Scary (Horror) Movies
The Most Fun
Festive Recording of the Year!
(It's not just for Halloween)
Review by Karl Lozier
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CD Stock Number: Telarc CD-80580
This outrageously fun and fun-poking at "Scary Movies' Music" starts out with SFX (sound effects) by SFX's yet to be formally crowned prince, Michael Bishop. In other words they have let him out of his cage once again. This release is actually more fun than its well-known predecessor
Chiller recording. This CD is simply upbeat, really upbeat and would be most any music lover's top choice to play during a Halloween party. If someone does not think this is a full barrel of musical fun and surprises, they should have his or her pulse checked - to see if there is one! Absolutely and unquestionably the most musical fun you can have with your clothes on.
Bishop's unparalled introduction leads right into the end theme from the scary, really scary movie if you have not seen it,
Sleepy Hollow. I should note here that nearly all the music on this fantastic disc is from the movie world, the scary music world. I should also mention that much of it might not sound familiar for a visual/auditory reason. The reason goes that psychologically when the visual (film) and audible (sound track) seem to almost perfectly mesh they become an inseparable one but for some individuals the visual predominates by far. If you have had a real scary dream/nightmare ask yourself this, do you remember any sound or music or only the visual effects? Well, in this case you are only getting the audible side of the scary effects, but here presented as a fun or swinging parody of it all. The next selection is from
The Nightmare Before Christmas that is followed by themes from Beetlejuice. All three of the preceding selections were composed by Danny
Elfman. If you're not familiar with this outstanding composer for movies, try to rectify your oversight. Fortunately a fair number of his soundtracks enjoy above average sound quality.
Other movie and television themes included on this CD are Ghostbusters,
The Shining, The Haunting, The Blob, The Adams
Family, Tales from the Crypt, and The Munsters.
Michael Bishop runs completely amok with the track labeled The Haunted Fun House and I guess I am forced to term him the composer of said title. He mentions that, in typical horror movie style, a teenage girl enters a "carnival fun house" alone - only to find that the carnival sideshow is actually the "gateway to hell". Come in with her, if you dare. It is one "hell" of a ride! The sound effects here are unsurpassed in my experience and yes, fun to boot, really fun. Beware it will put your sound system to test; use reasonable volume levels till you can be sure your system can handle it. In retrospect I wonder if this track should have been placed last on this recording, as it would make a tremendi (that is the plural of tremendous?) climax. There are many other things to mention, but I have to cut it short to make our Halloween month issue. I do want to mention a number of beautifully natural vocals added to some of these "scary" compositions.
Also noteworthy is the performances. Somehow they, maestro Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops seem to be looser, more swinging and "just with it" to an unprecedented degree on this disc. Could it be because of Joseph Price's arrangements"? They remind me of my favorite all time combination of Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops. Keep it up maestro
Kunzel. The sound is as good and natural sounding as it gets. It is of demonstration and showoff quality while being genuinely fun - yes I have used that word often in this review and deservedly so. The theme from the cult favorite movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is swingingly presented in an anything but scary manner as the last movie selection on this CD. As an anticlimax Michael Bishop cannot resist throwing (literally) in his eleven-second sound effects entitled Tomatoes on the Rampage. There is a rumor that what actually happened was that after the recording session was over and with the microphones still live either members of the crew or the orchestra, I do not know which group, found some of those round red things from the last selection's title. What happened next was throwing them at a moving target, namely Michael Bishop with the audible results captured here for eleven seconds after the
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. There was no video record of this reputed event. My recommendation is "double" - translated as buy two copies so you can give one to a music fun loving friend before all are sold out. On a scale of 1 to 10 the fun quotient rates a solid 10+ and even higher on the Richter scale for its room shaking potential. What a treat for jaded ears!