Halloween Horrortracks

I love horror movies.

I also love their soundtracks. It always amazes me how many soundtracks to great (and…not so great) horror movies end up going out of print! A well-crafted horror movie soundtrack can be just as memorable and creepy as the movie’s villain. Think of a movie like Jaws or Halloween, those movies are scarier because of their amazing scores! It’s a shame that so many soundtracks to lesser horror films have become lost over the years.

While I’ll be the first to admit that none of the soundtracks I’m featuring tonight can hold a candle to the films I just mentioned, they are still worth mentioning and might serve as great background music to your Halloween party, if nothing else.


The Fog

Matthew Ghost Story
Main Title Theme
Walk to the Lighthouse
Rocks at Drake’s Bay
The Fog
Antonio Bay
Tommy Tells of Ghost Ships
Reel 9
Can anyone else name a director who also scores most of his or her films? I sure can’t think of one – John Carpenter walks alone. With awesome keyboards.

For a long time John Carpenter’s scores were nearly impossible to find, but over the past few years many of his best soundtracks have found their way back into release. Today you can easily pick up the scores to such classics as They Live, Prince of Darkness, Escape from New York,  and the first three Halloween films, complete and uncut! The soundtrack to The Fog was available on CD for a while too, but for some reason that version has lapsed back out of print. It’s a shame. It may lack some of the hooks or melodies that made Carpenter’s other scores so memorable, but I still enjoy it immensely. It has a atmospheric, brooding feeling that perfectly encompasses the slow dreadful feeling you get from the film as you see the zombie-filled fog slowly roll its way across the town, killing anyone who gets in its path. I haven’t seen The Fog since I was in high school, I really have to re-visit this movie. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Just avoid that remake. Ugh.

It’s Alive 2 (AKA It Lives Again)

Main Title
Birth Traumas
Savage Trilogy
Beautiful and Bizarre
Basement Nursery
Evil Evolving
Living With Fear
Stalking The Infants
It Lives Again, the sequel to the only movie that I know of that put my mother into shock while she saw it (true story – Hi mom!).

Despite what my mother might tell you otherwise, the original It’s Alive is an awesome movie, and not just for its schlock and shock value. For a movie about a mutant killer baby, there’s a lot going on there! It talks about women’s rights, the environment, government corruption, prejudice, and tabloid journalism. Deep shit!

The movie was directed by Larry Cohen, a twisted genius of a filmmaker who also made The Stuff, a movie about killer ice cream, and Q: The Winged Serpent, an AMAZING movie about a giant winged serpent that lives on top of the Chrysler Building and eats people. Seek those movies out, they will change your life.

The score for It’s Alive 2 is just a slightly modified version of the score to the original film, which was composed by the legendary composer Bernard Herrmann. During his illustrious career, Herrmann composed the scores to countless classics, including Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Cape Fear, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jason and the Argonauts and Sisters. The last movie to feature one of his scores to come out before he died was It’s Alive, his actual last score was for Taxi Driver, but that didn’t come out until after he passed away.

Of the three scores I’m featuring here tonight, this is my favorite. Just like a great horror film, it’s filled with mystery, intrigue and the occasional jump scare. I also love its subtle use of electronic instruments, something that Herrmann was known for as far back as the 1960s.

This recording sounds amazing too, because until about three hours ago, my copy was sealed and had never been played.

Killer babies!



Underwater Camp
One of Us
The Body Within
Escape Bubbles
Can We Fix It
Situation Under Control
It’s Growing
Too Hot
A Lot Better
In 1989, three underwater-themed horror/sci-fi movies were released in American theaters; The Abyss, Deep Star Six, and Leviathan. Of the three, The Abyss is rightfully the most remembered. It was directed by James Cameron, had a huge budget with jaw-dropping and revolutionary special effects, and a touching story that managed to simultaneously deal with small, interpersonal relationships as well as the dangers of the military-industrial complex and cold war paranoia (at least it did in the Director’s Cut).

Deep Star Six, on the other hand, is a horrendously awful underwater monster film by Sean S. Cunningham, the director of Friday The 13th. It’s only redeeming quality is it’s incredibly bizarre cast, which includes Nia Peeples from Fame, Miguel Ferrrer (The Stand) and that dude from B.J. and The Bear. Don’t see it.

Somewhere in between (although admittedly closer to Deep Star Six) is Leviathan.

Leviathan certainly isn’t a good film by any means, but it’s not horrible, and is definitely entertaining. One thing is for sure, it has a pretty stellar cast of B-movie stars and characters actors, including Peter Weller (fucking Robocop!) Ernie Hudson (a fucking Ghostbuster!), Richard Crenna (fucking Trautman from Rambo!) and Daniel Stern (fucking….Daniel Stern! Dude was in Home Alone! And CHUD!).

It also probably helped that the film had a halfway decent director in George P. Costomas, a work-for-hire director who churned out entertaining films of questionable quality during the 80s (Cobra, First Blood: Part II, Of Unknown Origin) before somehow scoring a gig directing Tombstone in 1993 (although Kurt Russell would later claim he ghost-directed that film). The man knew how to work with a limited budget, and manages to make the most out of the rather silly practical monster effects throughout the film.

The plot of Leviathan is almost identical to that of Alien, so it’s probably more than just coincidence that they hired the composer of Alien, Jerry Goldsmith, to do the film’s score. It’s not the most creepy of scores, but it does feature whale songs! So hey…that’s something I guess.

Random thought: Wouldn’t it be fucking incredible if the heavy metal band Mastodon made their album Leviathan to be in sync with this movie? Hey, you potheads out there, go find that out for me.

By the way, the babies in the It’s Alive movies could totally fuck up the monster in Leviathan.

2 Responses to “Halloween Horrortracks”

  1. Drain says:

    excellent scores tonight, especially with ‘the fog’. i just love any score done by john carpenter. the guy has made some of the best scores ever. as for george p. cosmatos, i heard somewhere that stallone ghost-directed both ‘cobra’ and ‘rambo: first blood part II’.

  2. Jason K says:

    Great post, just wanted to throw in that Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, El Mariachi, From Dusk Til Dawn) scores some/much of his movies. At least he did, not sure about the Spy Kids movies..

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