The Score

Long-time Cinefantastique columnist Randall Larson sounds off on the art of horror, fantasy and sci-fi soundtracks.

RIP: Keith Emerson

RIP: Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson – the keyboard genius and composer – has died. According to Rolling Stone, the 71-year-old musician was found at his home in Santa Monica, with a single gunshot wound in his head – an apparent suicide (though that has not been confirmed yet). Emerson was known mostly for his virtuoso keyboard work in [...]

La-La Land Superhero Scores

La-La Land Superhero Scores

La-La Land Records debuts BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES, X-MEN 2, and THE PHANTOM extended movie score CDs.

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.

John Barry: A Wordless Poet Dies

John Barry: A Wordless Poet Dies

On January 30, 2011, iconic – and very prolific – composer John Barry passed away, after being in ill health for some time.  He was seventy-seven years old.  There is little doubt a great many will be saddened at the loss of one of film’s truly cherished friends.
Barry was an emotionally introspective and poetic composer [...]

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 [...]

Erich Kunzel - A Fond Good-bye

Erich Kunzel – A Fond Good-bye

It is with sorrow that we note the passing of Erich Kunzel at the age seventy-four. On September 1, 2009 the celebrated conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra for well over thirty years was struck down by “cancer of the pancreas, liver and colon,” according to Chris Pinelo, a spokesman for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, [...]