Thursday, 31 October 2013
This particular custom soundtrack was not made by myself, but was crafted by the excellent Ben from Toys & Techniques. I had been asked to make a soundtrack for this one, but instead here's a link to Ben's original post, as he's done a superb job of capturing the music and sounds from the film. However, I couldn't resist making an album cover using the track titles suggested by Jedrific.
The eerie score was composed by Orville Stoeber & Walter Sear and you can download it here. Well worth a listen - especially today !
Saturday, 22 June 2013
I came across this album in the village second hand shop, hidden away behind some damp asbestos tiles. The three old ladies who run the place looked horrified when I asked the price, and screamed that I should "just get rid of it... take it away before it all starts again!".
I did as I was asked, and after a walk home via the churchyard to collect some wild flowers, played the album by candlelight. What followed was a distressing evening of mental torture, sinister apparitions, and malevolent rural forces; all seemingly awakened by these ghastly recordings. My doors mysteriously locked themselves, and I became aware of a group of dark figures gathering around the cottage in the fields outside. At some point I must have passed out, and I awoke the next morning to discover a dozen mummified woodland creatures had been arranged around me in a crude circle.
The year 1974 has been scratched onto the surface of the vinyl, but apart from that, no other information about the contents exists. The back cover credits 'Cottage of Electric Hell' and 'Island of Terror' and I can only assume that these deranged individuals were responsible for the trauma I suffered.
The sounds you hear were taken from side 'A' of the album, and when my mental strength returns I'll attempt to capture the sickening terrors trapped within the grooves of side 'B'.
Until then, I advise you to proceed with extreme caution, cast the appropriate protective runes, and stay inside your chalk circle until you're certain the danger has passed.
You are advised not to allow this unholy noise into your home, but if you insist on dabbling in the black, sonic arts, you can invoke it here.
Thursday, 21 March 2013
Giant Foes, Starvation, & Basic Communal Challenges.
Dear reader, I know what you're asking yourself: " how could a 1970's LOW budget dinosaur movie find it's way into the Cottage ? "
The answer is because I carefully coaxed it inside, captured it's crazed music, and released the highly dangerous results back into the wild.
The electronic madness of this score has to be heard to be believed (it took me three viewings just to assure myself that all this was really happening), and those who seek out the Triassic roar of the Analogue Synthesizer will not be disappointed.
And I urge you to mix up your most potent narcotic potion, sit down in front of the film itself, and marvel at the truly stunning stop-motion dinosaurs*, atrocious acting, and monolithic trousers.
* the impressive prehistoric creature footage was ripped off a thousand times for various movies, commercials, and specials, mostly without crediting the source of the material (making this a sort of modern-day ONE MILLION B.C. in terms of cannibalized dinosaur footage).
Sunday, 30 December 2012
For many years, it's been my festive tradition to sit down by the fire with Bob Clark's horror masterpiece 'BLACK CHRISTMAS'.
Made in 1974, this film defined the modern 'slasher' movie, and has rarely -if ever- been bettered. A thoroughly nasty tale, made all the more sinister by fabulous cinematography, and Carl Zittrer's unsettling score. 'Billy', the deranged killer, is without a doubt the most disturbing screen maniac of all time, and the mere thought of him is enough to freeze even my blood.
His series of twisted phone calls to the sorority house make for extremely distressing listening, and paint a bloody mental picture of infanticide, and the most severe psychopathic disorders imaginable. His first call is pure obscenity (be warned), but chillingly ends with the calmly delivered statement: "I'm going to kill you".
What follows is a mind-bending outburst of insanity each time the telephone is answered.
Composer Carl Zittrer had worked with director Bob Clark before, scoring the wonderfully eerie music for Clark's 1972 'DeathDream'. Another film that left me feeling uneasy for days after my first viewing.
His 'Black Christmas' soundtrack makes a perfect accompaniment to the terrors depicted on-screen, and hugely adds to the ever-present menace in the air.
"Carl Zittrer, stated in an interview that he created the film's mysterious music by tying forks, combs and knives onto the strings of the piano in order to warp the sound of the keys. Zittrer also stated that he would distort the sound further by recording its sound onto an audio tape and make the sound slower. The audio for the disturbing phone calls was performed by actor Nick Mancuso, director Bob Clark and an unknown actress. Mancuso stated in an interview that he would stand on his head during the recording sessions to make his voice sound more demented."
In making this custom soundtrack recording it was necessary to include moments of dialogue and effects that would have been impossible to remove without severely spoiling the nightmarish mood. After some deliberation, I decided to edit out John Saxon's speech towards the end, as this would have revealed a major twist in the plot for anyone who hasn't seen the film. I chose to keep the protracted sound of the ticking clock and winter wind in the final minutes, as careful listeners will pick up a variety of disturbing whispers in the background; all essential to the overall effect.
Lastly, I've included the audio from the original cinema trailer, which is a masterful piece of editing, and an effective distillation of the music and madness of this classic.
Duration 37:25. 320kbps mp3. Download from here or here
I wish it could be Black Christmas everyday!