HALLOWEEN MEETS THE HUNGER GAMES IN A DEADLY GAME OF CAT AND MOUSE.
The horror genre is something that you either love or hate, if you love it you can never it seems get enough of sinister and unmentionable horrors and occurrences, if on the other hand you hate it well, you are probably the one with your fingers in your ears, your eyes tightly closed and hiding behind the couch. And that is just after hearing the opening music.
The Furies is not as some thought a gentile and sweet story about Furry little animals who are on holiday in Australia. No, The Furies is a 2019 extremely violent slasher/horror movie that is set in the harsh Australian outback and bush. I will add to this that if you in any way squeamish please do not even think about watching the film stay behind the couch I,ll call you when it’s all over, if I can breathe or speak that is. Written and directed by Tony D’Aquino, The Furies is a relentless blood fest filled with macabre, and gory killings that are shown in all their gut-wrenching glory with very few holds barred.
Its storyline begins with young women being randomly kidnapped in the street and after which they find themselves as unwilling participants in a deadly game of cat and mouse where women are the quarry and are hunted down by masked men. It is I suppose a slasher, survival movie but there is when you take a closer look much more to this shocking and graphic film with what many said was gratuitous violence encapsulated in a driving, unrelenting, near 90 minutes that contains harrowing, startingly, and upsetting images.
The director is a well know horror film fanatic or maybe connoisseur is a better way of putting it, and this affection for the horror genre certainly shows in the content of The Furies. D’Aquino draws on his knowledge and love of the 1980’s slasher films and puts some of the elements from these into practise alongside his own original ideas. It is a homage to those flicks from the late 1970’s, 80’s and the 90’s when Freddy Kruger, first appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Michael Myers began his vicious and manic trick or treating at Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre hit cinema screens leaving an indelible imprint of terror and mayhem upon many, and when Drew Barrymore picked up the phone and was asked “What’s your favourite scary movie”.
The Furies is a gruesome yet alluring movie, it’s one of those films when you know full well you should look away but find it so hard to do so in case you miss anything. Set in a rural area of Australia, which is uninhabited or at least this is what it looks like. A group of young girls are taken to the bush after being abducted by a handful of unknown males and are literally dumped in the middle of nowhere. Its soon apparent that this is a situation that will not end well, and you get the distinct feeling it’s the women who will be the ones who will come off worse.
As the scenario unfolds and progresses it is as if the women have been placed in a video game situation, but this is a video game that is very real and very dangerous as we see them pursued and, in some cases, cut down and savagely killed by various killers in an array of grotesque looking masks, which evoked shades of Friday the 13th and that film franchises central character Jason Voorhees.
On watching the movie, I felt that apart from the killings and the girls trying to avoid being dispatched by their pursuers the storyline was quite simple and straightforward, at times containing little glimpses of comedy that came shining through to ease the tension just a little. As with all horror movies especially slashers the prey does not behave in a rational way in the situation, they find themselves in, so instead of sticking together (safety in numbers etc) the women decide to split up (Not a good idea). But this just adds to the tension, slightly macabre entertainment value, chaos, and brutality that is being acted out on screen.
The Furies, is probably not Oscar material, but it is not aimed at the mainstream. It’s an independent production and is more for the discerning horror connoisseur who are certainly not put off by buckets of blood and the odd eye scooping and head exploding moment. It has since its release achieved a small cult following but saying that everyone who has seen it does come away with many lingering memories of their viewing experience, and if you mention the film there always seems to be someone who knows it. It’s a carve em up rather than a shoot em up, with solid performances throughout, the director doing a brilliant job of helming the production and composer Kenneth Lampl fashioning a musical score that is just perfect. His driving and powerful music underlining and elevating the moments of violence and supporting the uneasy atmosphere, whilst at the same time creating levels of unease that add to the overall impact of the movie.
Surprisingly the score has never been released, until now that is. The composer’s amazingly potent soundtrack is coming soon to a record store near you via the label Scare flair records, (click here for their website). www.scareflair.com
Initially the score will be issued on LP record and cassette, which is something that I think some collectors will find appealing. The LP will be pressed in two colours Pink (Beauty) and Teal (Beast) those who know the movie will also be aware of the significance of this. The colour of the LP is random, and you will not be able to request a particular colour when ordering. The cassettes will be super limited items as there will only be a total of fifty. Twenty-five being pink and twenty-five are blue, these will come with a black slipcase that looks like the black coffins which is another link to the film’s storyline. One side says Beauty and the other Beast. Both LPs and Cassettes will not be available until December/January (a great Christmas pressie or New Year gift for anyone).
But I recommend you go over and sign up on the website as you would not want to be disappointed, and whilst there check out the other releases, which include Knightriders the George A Romero movie with a score by Donald Rubinstein and Before and After the Bomb music by Antoni Maiovvi.
Another up-and-coming release on Scare Flair is the score for the Friday the 13th fan film Never Hike Alone. A film that has had over 8 million views on YouTube and part 2 was recently crowdfunded in 2 days. Music for part one is by Trevor Vaughn and Ryan Perez-Daple.
The label tells me that they are planning a vinyl release of Il Grande Duello by composer Luis Enriquez Bacalov, this is a superb Italian western score which has to it many affiliations to the sound of the Maestro Ennio Morricone, Bacalov utilizing the unique aural talents of Edda dell Orso, the distinct and flawless sound of l Cantori Moderni under the direction of Alessandro Alessandroni plus the harmonica playing of Franco De Gemini who performed that wailing and somewhat tormented harmonica sound for Leone’s Once Upon a time in the West as scored by Morricone.
The Grand Duel is not what I would call textbook Spaghetti Western music, as it is more romantic and melodic than many of the scores within the genre as in Bacalov’s Django Instead possibly taking its lead from Once Upon a Time in the West.
A style that the composer also employed on the movie A Man Called Noon and to a certain degree on Gold of the Bravados. Il Grande Duello is a remarkably haunting soundtrack and will be good to see on vinyl in an updated edition. Liner notes for the soundtrack are by Mike Malloy, who wrote the biography on the star of the movie Lee Van Cleef.
So much to look forward to.