Randall Larson

Randall Larson contributed “The Score” column to Cinefantastique magazine from 1983 to 1999. The author of Musique Fantastique, A Survey of Film Music in the Fantastic Cinema (1984) and Music from the House of Hammer (1996), Larson also published CinemaScore: The Film Music Journal during the 1980s. He currently writes a bi-weekly film music column for buysoundtrax.com, reviews horror soundtrack CDs for Cemetery Dance magazine, writes for Music from the Movies and Film Music magazines, and writes soundtrack CD liner note books.
Music for a Mockbuster: Scoring the Other Battle of L.A.

Music for a Mockbuster: Scoring the Other Battle of L.A.

Millions of dollars and years of pre-production planning, filming, and post-production refinement went into the massive sci-fi blockbuster BATTLE: LOS ANGELES, currently storming theaters across the country; only a small fraction of that expense and time was lavished on its pretender, BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES. Arriving on home video today after a March 12 premier on the SyFy Channel, BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES was made by The Asylum, a movie production company known for making “mockbusters” – low-budget films synthesized quickly to capitalize on the release of the larger films they are imitating.

From Killer Crocs to Road Kill: The Horror Music of Rafael May

From Killer Crocs to Road Kill: The Horror Music of Rafael May

Australian composer Rafael May has made down-under horror cinema his own, with a trio of very powerful, very persuasive, and very scary Australian horror movie scores. He made a significant splash with his second feature film score, 2007’s BLACK WATER, an intensively suspenseful and powerfully directed film about a rogue saltwater crocodile, threatening three vacationers in [...]

The Tuneful Tentacles of Sharktopus: Composer Tom Hiel

The Tuneful Tentacles of Sharktopus: Composer Tom Hiel

Original movies airing on the SyFy Channel (formerly The Sci-Fi Channel) have gained a reputation for being the equivalent of the Roger Corman exploitation movies of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, only with better special effects thanks to the wonders of CGI. SyFy’s seemingly endless parade of killer critters and mega monsters perhaps [...]

Of Superheroes and Predators: John Debney Returns to Sci-Fi

Of Superheroes and Predators: John Debney Returns to Sci-Fi

Comedy has always been contrapuntal to chillers in John Debney’s career. The composer began in the early 1980s scoring Disney television and cartoon shows like SCOOBY-DOO and features such as JETSONS: THE MOVIE.  These lighthearted scores were offset against Debney’s darker side, which revealed itself in such venues as the relentless horror music of [...]

The Score: Robert Carli on Survival of the Dead

The Score: Robert Carli on Survival of the Dead

Joining the ranks of Italian prog rockers Goblin and film composers Norman Orenstein, Reinhold Heil & Johnny Klimek, John Harrison, and a battalion of library music composers whose work has accompanied the walking dead in their nights, dawns, days, lands, and diaries of the dead as brought to shambling life by George A. Romero, is [...]

Brian Tyler’s Final Destination

Brian Tyler’s Final Destination

Fourth in the franchise launched in 2000 by former X-FILES writers James Wong and Glen Morgan, THE FINAL DESTINATION (known during production as FINAL DESTINATION 4 and FINAL DESTINATION: DEATH TRIP) is the latest variation on the entertaining but formulaic story about a group of teens who seem to cheat death only to find that [...]

The Score: All This and Halloween II - Interview with composer Tyler Bates

The Score: All This and Halloween II – Interview with composer Tyler Bates

In his last few scores, composer Tyler Bates has watched the WATCHMEN and observed THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, spent a DAY OF THE DEAD and survived DOOMSDAY, but as potent – and as diverse – as those scores were, it’s been his work for Rob Zombie that continue to be his edgiest, evincing [...]

The Score: Scott Glasgow Enters The Gene Generation

The Score: Scott Glasgow Enters The Gene Generation

Pearry Teo’s 2008 cyberpunk science fiction thriller, THE GENE GENERATION,  builds an effective futuristic environment, borrowing liberally from BLADE RUNNER, MAD MAX, and other cinematic cyberpunk landmarks, while creating its own unique post-modern landscape. The film is greatly aided by an excellent musical score from award winning composer Scott Glasgow, which provides a great sense [...]

Chanbara Beauty & Chanbara Beauty: Vortex - A Saga of Sword and Skin

Chanbara Beauty & Chanbara Beauty: Vortex – A Saga of Sword and Skin

A look at a lovely pair of import DVDs from Japan
CHANBARA BEAUTY (Onechanbara, Japan, 2008) is geek paradise: two gorgeous babes and a fat dude wander around the countryside killing zombies. One is a gorgeous sharpshooter who never misses. The other is a samurai in Western hat and serape – and little else save for a [...]

The Fantastique Film Music of Simon Boswell

The Fantastique Film Music of Simon Boswell

British composer Simon Boswell has scored films that span a myriad of genres and styles, but it is his work for horror and fantasy cinema that stands out: the mid ‘80s giallo films of Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava, Clive Barker’s masterful horror film, LORD OF ILLUSIONS, the chilling atonality of INCUBUS, the hybrid cyberpunk riffings [...]