Who says that a low budget movie can’t have a great score, well whoever it was obviously never saw the movie THE RETURN OF SWAMP THING and never sampled the musical delights as written by composer Chuck Cirino. Ok I have to say I love this score, always have done and now some 30 odd years on my opinion has not changed, in fact, my admiration and devotion to it has grown. Ok, this is not Oscar material but it is a wonderfully thematically driven work, with the composer pull a theme out for every character in the movie or so it seems, and these are just wonderfully attractive and compulsive themes that are addictive with catchy musical hooks, at every turn. The album opens with ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE SWAMP, which is a subtle and somewhat subdued piece, but it manages to set the scene and purvey an atmosphere of apprehension and uncertainty to the listener. Cirino is a big fan of Morricone and I can hear shades of that composer or at least his style within this brief but entertaining track. In fact, there are gentle nods of acknowledgement to Morricone throughout in some form or another, they maybe fleeting but one can certainly hear them. The score which is mostly via synthetic methods is surprisingly melodic and rich, this is especially noticeable in tracks that are of the more romantic leaning, LOVE IN THE SWAMP for example has to be one of the most alluring melodies I have ever heard, it is an enchanting and fragile sounding piece, again I think containing shades of Morricone, Cirino employs a style and sound that was used widely during the 1980.sby composers such as Alan Silvestri, Richard Band and Jerry Goldsmith, it is a mix of the rich and the lush which is fused with that of the electronic, and when composers such as this, Cirino included did this it worked wonderfully, giving the score a contemporary sound but also allowing the more traditional style of film scoring to shine through.
Cirino, in my opinion is one of the more inventive composers who works on low budget movies, and he has created a substantial back catalogue of scores that are original as well as being entertaining , plus they serve the movies well and in some cases dare I say outshine the pictures that they have been created to enhance. THE RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING is a score that I know collectors will engage with and love as I did and do, time to check it out if you have not already. But please get the 30th Anniversary edition, for the 27 tracks.