Wednesday, October 12, 2011

That's Why God Made Soundtracks: The Creepshow Soundtrack

Have you seen the faux trailer from director Eli Roth… THANKGSIVING (you’ll have the stuffing scared out of you)? Well if you haven’t then you’re missing a great comic moment in horror history. It’s filled with actors that you’ll know from across the slightly off Hollywood universe to folks like Michael Biehn . Whoever thought the man who assisted Sarah Connor would end up as a sheriff in an Eli Roth gore short. It’s movie magic and one of the reasons I think Grindhouse might just be my favorite horror picture/double feature of all time. See for yourself:

But ya know… it wouldn’t have been perfect without one uncreditted star of the show… the music from the George Romero portmanteau film, CREEPSHOW.

How many notes does it take to scare the absolute fucking Christ out of you? Correct answer: Three. You’ll hear them below. Creepshow is another of my favorite all time horror pictures. I’m sure many of my readers (many?) could say the same. Five stories with an all star cast told by the master of the zombie picture and written by the Master of Horror, Stephen King. Tom Savini shows up on acting duty as well as special effects mastery. And how about John Harrison! You’ve all heard John Harrison before you just don’t know what he does in the picture. Composer of the theme music, this man is as responsible as Romero, King, Savini or any of the fine cast that got you to jump out of your seat. He’s an expert at giving you the heebie jeebies.

Brief background on John Harrison. Born and raised in Pittsburgh (no wonder he knew Romero) this is a man who has done it all, writing, directing, producing and of course composing. He’s started off in the film director as a 1st director and assisted George Romero himself working on Knightriders. He would eventually go on to do quite a few episodes of Tales from the Darkside as well as a few other scary shows. He’s done composition work from Tales from the Darkside, and Day of the Dead (also appearing in the film in the “screwdriver” scene”. We most recently talked about a Tales from the Darkside the Movie and its creeptastic soundtrack. He directed the film and also composed the music for the “Lover’s Vow” segment. He’s got horror in the blood and some impressive credentials. He plays the bass guitar primarily but is fairly versatile in his instrumental capabilities.

Now what I find most impressive is how a fairly basic synth/piano based score can scare us so. He’s almost perfected the art of the musical jump scare. Hit the notes as hard as you can, syncopated and pulsing like your heart while throwing strange rising square waves of death songs at you. From quiet reflective ebb to choke you to death/I want my cake flow you know when to be scared… it’s when John hits the keys.

From the editorial notes over at Amazon:

“Presenting composer John Harrison's (DAY OF THE DEAD, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, EFFECTS) score to George A. Romero's (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE DARK HALF) and Stephen King's (CARRIE, SALEM'S LOT, DREAMCATCHER, THE SHINING) timeless horror classic CREEPSHOW. This digitally re-mastered album features special, never-before-released BONUS TRACKS including Harrison's music from the famed George A. Romero television series TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, a never-before-heard overture Harrison composed for MANSIONS OF THE MOON (an unproduced sci-fi version of the Opera TALES OF HOFFMAN), and two songs from an outrageous send up of 1950's musicals and Horror Films called SHOOBIE DOOBIE MOON -- both Romero projects that were never filmed!!! The 12-Page, full color, comic book style booklet includes exclusive liner notes from the composer and director, along with an in-depth essay on the making of all the projects by Film Music Historian Randall D. Larson!”

Track Listings for the Remastered CD release including aforementioned bonus tracks:

1. Prologue - Welcome to Creepshow
2. Father's Day
3. The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill
4. Something To Tide You Over5. The Crate
6. They're Creeping Up On You
7. Epilogue8. Until Next Time (End Title)
9. Satanic Piano [*]
10. Everybody Needs a Little Love [*]
11. Sorry Right Number [*]
12. Mansions of the Moon, overture [*]
13. Main Title Song [*]
14. You Make Me Feel Like A Monster [*]

Hopefully your ears are now well lubricated and waiting for some song samples. We’d like to play a few pieces from Creepshow . Try not to wet the bed, have nightmares or get buried up to your neck at the beach and then pulled out into the high tide only to come back from the dead and kill Leslie Neilson, OK? Get ready for fourteen minutes of looking over your shoulder making sure the friggin’ boogeyman isn’t after you.

Tee hee heeeeee….

-Dr. Terror

And if this little number is just too damn creepy for you or gives you nightmares then maybe you’ll enjoy the horror pop sensation The Creepshow. The band. It’s not for everyone, but it’s well produced and upbeat. Somehow the band The Creepshow made music that is the completely antithesis of the soundtrack from its namesake. Check ‘em out now. As a fan of psychobilly and horror movies in general this is a great listen (we’ll cover them more at a later date for sure, for sure).


  1. I really love your blog.

    Soundtracks and scores can make or break a movie for me. I find Billy Corgan's Stigmata very interesting (I just happen to be watching it right now cause it is on the telly) but his musical personality is overbearing and takes over from the movie itself. Hence Reznor being the one with an Oscar.

    I don't really remember Creepshow that well, but you've inspired me to check it out again. Thanks!

  2. If you like Romero or Stephen King or Tales from the Crypt or the 80's or... I really can't say enough good things about this film. It's a formative one for me and a movie that I judge films by. Glad you enjoyed this blog. Check out the band The Creepshow as well. Fun pop psychobilly. She's wearing a Rue Morgue shirt in that video!