Sunday, June 27, 2010

Psycho Turns Fifty - Exploring the Sounds of Violence

Well - it's been awhile since I made a post here. I went out and got an interview with the guys of Seppuku Paradigm, which is the band that scored Martyrs, but I needed an interview for June over at Brutal As Hell, so snagged that away from here to post over there. Such is the way of things. I've also been really busy with a new day job, so that has maximized my time across the board.

However, all that said - a really top notch article came out over at the Wall Street Journal from Jack Sullivan, exploring the sounds of Psycho. It's an amazing article, better than most genre writers can produce, and it's in the Wall Street Journal.

So - I wanted to make anyone who occasionally stops by here aware of it, so they can check it out before it gets pulled and archived. I think they only keep their articles free for a limited time.

Here's the direct link: Hitchcock's Psycho at 50, The Sounds of Violence

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's the Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer with 'The Horror of Party Beach'

It's been a while since I've made a post over here. I never promised much, and I seem to be delivering on that! Well, we just wrapped up a great Memorial Day weekend a week ago and summer is in full blast. That only means one thing - It's time for horror to head to the beach! For me there's no better film for fun in the sun than Del Tenney's The Horror of Party Beach. Ridiculous sea monsters brought to life by radio active waste terrorizing volumptious beauties, all set to the highly danceable tunes of the Del-Aires. Wait. Who are the Dynamic Del-Aires? You don't know of this hip happening funky bunch of guys? Well, that's probably because you haven't seen The Horror of Party Beach. If such is the case you need to get your jive ass into motion and head to Netflix to cure that lame limb pronto, daddy-o. Bikers, Teen Romance, and lots of retro rock n' roll that can't be beat. Don't want to wait? Good thing. I've got all the clips from the film right here for your viewing pleasure.

As far as the band is concerned the Dynamic Del-Aires is very much a real band, and not one that happened to get slapped together just for film. Del Tenney shot and created his film in the Stamford CT area, and the Del-Aires were a small local outfit from across the river (both of them) in (of all places) Patterson, New Jersey. One of the crew happened to know about them and their reputation for wild shows and brought them into the film. Sadly, this was the most of their "big time" success. After the film the band went on to record a couple other small records, but never made it and went the way of so many other bands. The tunes that appear in the film are all theirs, including the intro tune "Drag".

The band features Ronnie Linares on lead vocals and guitar, Bobby Osborne on keyboards, guitar, and saxaphone, Gary Robert Jones on bass guitar, and John Becker on drums.

Here are the songs from the film... take note of the hilarious one line zingers - Says one guy as he's watching a girl shake her ass, "Hey that reminds me, did I bring my hot dog buns?" You just don't hear those lines anymore!

If you have more interest in the band you can check out this really cool page that includes an interview with Bobby Osborne.

While the monster rises from the deep the Del Aires rip through "Joy Ride" and get the party started!

Still got the bug to keep dancing? Keep it rockin and rollin' to Just Wigglin'-n-Wobblin'...

Oh yeah! Now it's time for 'The Zombie Stomp' and 'Elaine'

Official Trailer:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Lucky 13: Week One: Grindhouse & Exploitation

Well - I guess you didn't see this one coming. To be honest, neither did I. I'm sitting here on a Sunday morning thinking of something that I could post for this week and it dawned on me - Why not just include myself in The Lucky 13 project? What's that you say? Well, it's basically a 13 week project that I started for my main site - Brutal As Hell - in collaboration with Brian Solomon from The Vault of Horror. Every week, for 13 weeks, we'll be selecting our favorite films from a specific sub-genre of horror film and will talk about their influence on us, and of course what we find so appealing about our chosen film. Yesterday was the debut of week one where we covered Grindhouse and Exploitation films. You can check out the features here (BAH) and here (VOH).

For my favorite grindhouse film I picked Pieces. It was a tough call between that and Cannibal Ferox, but in the end I had to go with Pieces. It's way too fun and way too gory to not have been at the top of the stack.

But when it comes to soundtracks, theme songs, and the blazing synth riffs that define grindhouse cinema my film list goes in a totally different direction. Several themes immediately come to mind. Fabio Frizzi's score from The Beyond is easily tops and makes the lists of finalists. It's a well constructed score from top to bottom and I promise I'll make a post regarding this one at a later date. Another one, and I hate to say it, is the theme song from Robert Rodiguez's tribute to grindhouse, Planet Terror. This riff is quite catchy and has been already utilized in other films, such as Run Bitch Run. But I don't really consider Planet Terror to be true grindhouse. Homage is homage and we'll leave it at that.

When it came down to it, after pouring over my fairly large collection of grindhouse film one track in particular stood out well above and beyond any others. And that one is the theme track from Cannibal Holocaust. What I love about this track is that it is so unassuming. For a film as notorious as Cannibal Holocaust the main theme is a direct juxtaposition of tone. Its soft, serene, and almost calming effect clashes with the unyielding brutality that is highlighted throughout the film. Italian composer Riz Ortolani created something that is instantly recognizable and infectious. Once you give it a listen you'll have a hard time getting it out of your head. I'm even considering covering a variation of the theme for my band to take on. I probably won't even tell them what it is when I introduce it to them!

I'm not going to blather further about this song. Just give it a listen below and leave a comment on what your favorite grindhouse theme track is!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

No Tears Please, It's a Good Waste of Suffering

My first real post here just has to highlight one of my favorite horror film scores, and that is none other than Clive Barker's Hellraiser. Hellraiser happens to also be my favorite of Clive Barker's films. It's a gothic masterpiece that indeed may have a stronger following amongst the goth/fetish/industrial club crowd than that of horror geeks. It was my time playing keyboards in an small indie industrial band that I really started to explore the nuances of this soundtrack. On many nights this soundtrack swept me off to a deep peaceful sleep. (But I was also the guy who would sleep like a baby to Nine Inch Nails.)

Each track in this score is slowly paced and deliberately haunting. Sweeping strings gently flow over soft piano stabs, while bass horns and soothing cello's carry us away in a waltz of death. This is horrifying musical erotica perfected.

While many of the tracks from this score are outstanding in their own right it is the theme track that is most instantly recognizable. The repeating theme runs through the score and surrounds the listener in a blanket of darkness and gothic morbidity. To those enchanted by death, Christopher Young's masterful soundtrack is pure heaven, (or should that be hell?)

Throughout the years the soundtrack has been a study by the gothic/industrial music subculture and the music has been covered, remixed, and sampled by a variety of bands including Skinny Puppy and Entombed.

Take a listen to the first track "Hellraiser" below and then continue on to the forth track "The Lament Configuration". Notice how through Young's configurations he presents the theme proper, and then a discordant variation filled with noisy tonal undercurrents and abrasive audio attacks, though yet throughout returns to the main theme in order to create a perfect sense of cohesiveness.

Hellraiser Track 1: Hellraiser (Main Theme)

Hellraiser 1:43
Resurrection 2:32
Hellbound Heart 5:05
The Lament Configuration 3:31
Reunion 3:11
A Quick Death 1:16
Seduction And Pursuit 3:01
In Love's Name 2:56
The Cenobites 4:13
The Rat Race Slice Quartet 3:15
Re-Resurrection 2:34
Uncle Frank 2:59
Brought On By Night 2:18
Another Puzzle 4:06
Total Album Time: 42:40


by Marc Patterson

Right now there's not much to say. I've preliminarily started this blog because I love horror film and I love music. I've spent most of my life playing music, starting piano lessons as early as eight years of age. I continued with lessons for eleven years, and would have likely gone to study at a conservatory, except I was talked out of it by parents who felt I needed to study something more tangible. Somehow the thought of their son trying to hack out a career as a jazz musician was too much. Nonetheless it never abated my love of music. I continued studying, picking up bass guitar playing in diverse bands from funk to free jazz to punk rock and hardcore. Over the past few years I've returned to the keyboards with a fresh take on what is possible with a set of keys. Call it a decade departure.

I also run a pretty popular horror website,, where we dissect, discuss and argue the finer points of the horror genre. This is a spot where I hope the two will collide. My love for music with my love of horror film. Here I hope you'll find interesting scores to discover, bands that are re-defining horror in music, and interviews with composers, as well as a bunch of other cool shit I haven't even thought of yet.

I can't promise a fast of quick growth of this blog. It's going to be slow and steady, but I hope you'll stay tuned!

Rock n' Roll,