A Watery Apocalypse + Soundtrack News & Reviews
The last week of May’s been weirdly chaotic, featuring a bizarre series of murder & cannibalism reports (relax, there will be no links of this crap) and Toronto’s Union Station flooding with storm water & raw sewage – the latter perhaps a sign better drainage planning should’ve been in the construction currently underway.
Not long ago, we had flooding that shut down the subway again, and prior to that, a bigger flood where the steps leading down to the subway platform became a river from a Bugs Bunny cartoon (later replicated in Jumanji). In any event, Union station has its share of ongoing flooding issues. An urban explorer took a fascinating image of a flooded office corridor at infiltration.org, and a more recent ‘expedition’ investigated a flooded, generally sealed off transit tunnel reported used when the subway opened, but sealed perhaps due to an ongoing flooding issue. The selection of images come straight out of a seventies sci-fi thriller (or Mario Bava shocker, minus the primary lighting scheme).
As for the eating & killing humans thing, maybe its Mars and Pluto in retrograde, with influence from excessive methane gas from the global bovine population, and people not eating enough hard boiled eggs.
Switching to film music, Intrada announced limited soundtrack releases of Charles Fox’s Foul Play and Michael Small’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, plus two surprises: expanded soundtracks of Henry Mancini’s Charade and Hatari! Both scores, as with most of Mancini’s RCA soundtrack albums, featured a mix of sometimes original / mostly re-recorded cues, with a specific slant towards leisure background music, often less than 35 minutes of music.
The two albums feature original score cuts – probably the first time (if not the first after a long gap) this has happened with Mancini’s massive RCA catalogue. Weirdly, Charade isn’t a limited release, but Hatari! is, and I’ve a feeling the latter will sell out much faster than the others.
Kritzerland’s latest trio are equally important: the composer mélange that makes up I Married a Monster from Outer Space coupled with The Atomic City, featuring music by one of the most neglected & marginalized genre composers, Leith Stevens. Hopefully this signals a small wave of releases, as there needs to be a legit release of War of the Worlds and When Worlds Collide, not to mention his sublime Destination Moon.
Also from Kritzerland (and also limited to 1000 copies) is Lady in a Cage by ignored Paul Glass (Bunny Lake is Missing), and When a Stranger Calls, a marvelously chilling score by underrated Dana Kaproff.
La-La Land Records also released Henry Mancini’s excellent score for Mommie Dearest and Christopher Komeda’s Rosemary’s Baby; I’ll cover the former at KQEK.com, whereas a review for the latter will appear in an upcoming Rue Morgue issue.
Advance words: Rosemary finally sounds good, and features cuts I’m pretty certain aren’t on the older Polonia CD, which was likely sourced from a music & effects mix. LLL’s edition features the soundtrack album released by Dot Records, and the original mono music recording for Rosemary’s Baby, plus some alternates and bonus source cues.
Note to fans of the film: while not on Blu-ray, the film is back in print on DVD, part of Paramount’s wise decision to reissue long out-of-print catalogue titles that should never have been deleted in the first place.
As for Rue Morgue, this month’s issue features my reviews of Les Baxter’s The Raven / An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe (Kritzerland) and David Lee’s frankly awesome The Masque of the Red Death (Quartet Records).
As for new reviews, I’m splitting the 8 into two uploads because I’m in the process of building another website specifically for the audio & video extras related to reviews & interviews at KQEK.com, as well as the short films I’m trying to complete amid a frankly ridiculous schedule. You know when a low-paying gig is robbing you of creative time better suited for things like writing, editing, and filmmaking? A year from now, I anticipate this will no longer be an issue, but it’s a bit of a juggling act, not to mention the compacting of already pressurized frustration. A few things are in the works right now, and perhaps in the coming weeks I’ll add more info.
As for the new site, hopefully it’ll be live & well by the end of next week, launched with a composer interview you’ll like. There’s a bug in the theme which needs some fixing, but when it’s up & running it ought to look nice, using a fancy-schmantzy Word Press theme.
As for reviews, there’s Quartet Records’ great 2-CD set of Burt Bacharach’s Casino Royale [M] which differs significantly from the prior Kritzerland [M] release; and La-La Land’s really gorgeous expanded CD of Maurice Jarre’s A Walk in the Clouds [M] The last two are a pair of Ernest Gold scores: from Monstrous Movie Music comes the wonderful The McCullochs [M], and from Kritzerland we have Pressure Point [M], which I picked up as part of a sale at SAE. I’ve a feeling this is one CD producer Bruce Kimmel waiting long and worked hard to release, and when it debuted, no one cared. Fans of grisly early sixties shockers will be delighted by the grimness of the largely non-melodic score, and the clever way Gold makes use of jazz without crafting a familiar jazz orchestral score.