Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

Released in 1989, SUNDOWN-THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT was a bit of an oddball Vampire movie. Set in modern day America it tells the story of a community of vampires that have hidden away in the small desert surrounded town of Purgatory. The reason they have hidden away is because they have turned their back on the old ways and are kept alive by drinking synthesized blood. But there are certain members of the community who think they should return to the old ways and become predators once again and feed upon the blood of humans. These elements lead by Ethan Jefferson (John Ireland) plan to stage a revolution of sorts and force the head vampire Joseph Mardulak (David Carradine) to either return to being a vampire proper or die. Jefferson’s followers plan to wipe out any opposition they meet by the use of wooden bullets no less. The film’s cast also included Bruce Campbell Continue reading Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

James Bernard

James Bernard
James Bernard

Muir Matheson once said something along the lines of “Films need music, but music does not need films”. Which I suppose is true to a certain degree, but one could argue that if it were not for films, then some of the most popular and finest music ever written would probably not have seen the light of day. As film music enthusiasts we are probably more aware of the need for music in a movie, and if placed correctly, the score for a film can add a whole new dimension to the images that are appearing on the screen.

Horror movies in particular tend to use a great deal of music, and the films as produced by Hammer from the late 1950’s through to the 1970’s relied quite heavily upon the use of dramatic orchestral scores. The Hammer studios used various composers for their Gothic horrors, but one in particular stood out above the others and his scores were and still are highly regarded by collectors of film music throughout the world. Continue reading James Bernard

Mark of the Devil

Mark Of The Devil
Mark Of The Devil

I must admit that I had heard about both of  these movies but have never seen either of them or up until 2001 heard the music from either. THE MARK OF THE DEVIL was released in 1970 and is certainly a film that has achieved a real cult status, it is notorious and known by many horror fans for being given the first ever ‘V’ for violence certificate, or was it a ‘V’ for vomit, as apparently vomit bags were handed out at screenings of the film. Either way, it was a category which it apparently richly deserved or so I am led to understand. The film is now available on DVD  from Anchor Bay video and as a matter of interest I did see a copy on the shelf in a local supermarket recently, (which just shows us how times change). Released two years after the classic British horror WITCH-FINDER GENERAL. Continue reading Mark of the Devil

Oscar Navarro

Oscar Navarro
Oscar Navarro

Studying at the prestigious University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, obtaining a degree in Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV (he graduated receiving the “Harry Warren Endowed Scholarship” award as the best graduating student in his class), Oscar Navarro has fully entered the world of film and TV scoring. He has recorded in famous studios such as Capitol Records, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros.
He received his film scoring training under the tutelage of renown composers like Joel McNeely (Peter Pan 2, The Guardian, American Dad), Pete Anthony (orchestrator of Ice Age, King Kong, Batman Begins) Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Super 8, Ratatouille), Thomas Newman (American Beauty, Wall-e, Finding Nemo), John Williams (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter) and Christopher Young (Hell Raiser, Ghost Rider, Spiderman 3) amongst others. For Mr. Young, Navarro worked for a full year as orchestrator and arranger of his music for concert suite.
Oscar Navarro has worked in several projects for animated, short and long feature films. Among many other projects, Continue reading Oscar Navarro

Ehi Amigo… Sei Morto!

Ehi Amigo... Sei Morto!
Ehi Amigo… Sei Morto!

Carlo Savina was an established name within film music circles long before the Italian western came into being. It was Savina who conducted the first BEN-HUR LP re-recording for the great Miklos Rozsa in Rome. But Savina was not just a Musical Director, he was a composer in his own right and composed numerous scores for Italian cinema and came up with interesting and original soundtracks within numerous film genres. Savina also conducted for a number of Italian composers – Nino Rota to name one – and it was Savina who took up the baton to direct the orchestra on Rota’s THE GODFATHER soundtrack. But it is Savina as a composer I am here to review, or at least this particular foray into the world of the Italian produced western by Savina. Originally released in 1971, EHI AMIGO…SEI MORTO! or HEY AMIGO REST IN PEACE was a fairly low key western which starred Wayde Preston. Continue reading Ehi Amigo… Sei Morto!

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