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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
The composer discussions his musical collaboration with the Italian master of horror.
Dario Argento has been a legend in Eurohorror cinema since the 1970s, and in many ways his films of that era, which include DEEP RED (1975), SUSPIRIA (1977), TENEBRAE (1982), PHENOMENA (1985) and others, define the giallo form – that uniquely Italian style of horror [...]
Bruno Coulais’ score for Henry Selick’s 3D-animated film, CORALINE, is an enchanting enactment for orchestra and choir, which brings to wonderful life the magical environment and story concocted by the brilliant author Neil Gaiman. The music features a perfectly appropriate blending of unusual instruments (mechanical piano, electric bass guitar, jazzy flutes, what sounds like a child’s [...]
Film composer Maurice Jarre passed away March 29th in Los Angeles at the age of 84. One of the finest craftsmen during what is called the “Silver Age of Film Music,” Jarre left a legacy of significant and influential scores, including some notable efforts within the fantastic genre.
The French-born composer began scoring movies in his [...]