Friday, July 11, 2014

IHW: MAESTRO MANIA - The Tournament of Great Italian Horror Composers Begins!

MAESTRO MANIA is here! Today begins a competition that is near and dear to my heart, a battle of talented individuals to see who YOU feel should be recognized for great achievement in the composition of music in the Italian Horror subset of music. Maestro Mania will feature sixteen composers in a single elimination tournament to decide who is the best Italian composer of all time. Some of the names you'll know. Some you may not, but you will be given the chance to listen to each one and make a choice. YOU will be asked to vote for your favorites based on the selected musical composition. Granted that won't be the only criteria used to decide the winner, but it's going to help push your favorite to victory!

Voting will be done via survey, but if you are using your votes to enter the Region Free Blu-ray Player giveaway (enter HERE), please email me and let me know when you vote. I keep track of all of your entries via email for that particular contest and fortunately, my email service groups entries by sender. I will provide you the battles including an updated bracket with each round showing the winners. You then simply take the survey and your vote is recorded. We will have a winner. There will not be a tie. We also will record two runner ups.

The Italian Horror composers are fighting for an imaginary J and B Scotch Sponsored Belt that I devised. While I would love to see it in the physical (and perhaps someday I’ll figure out how to create it for other competitions) the spoils are simply for fun, however voting does get you entry into the aforementioned competition and could potentially win you another goodie during Italian Horror Week. You’ll want to keep updated via our Facebook page or Twitter account for details on updates. If at all possible, we’re going to try to notify the winner once the competition ends.


This tournament of champions will run from today, Friday July 11th to Sunday July 20th. Italian Horror Week typically flows into the following weekend, and to allow adequate time for voting and processing we need to run it through Sunday.


JULY 11TH - Voting Begins for Sinister Sixteen

JULY 14TH - Voting Ends for Sinister Sixteen

JULY 14TH - Voting Begins for Evil Eight

JULY 16TH - Voting Ends for Evil Eight

JULY 16TH - Voting Begins for Frightning Four

JULY 18TH - Voting Ends for Frightning Four

JULY 18TH - Voting Beings for the Finals


One last thing before we begin the competition. I realize that some of the names are better known than others. It almost seems unfair. Well, it is. When you vote I ask you to vote based on the particular composition embed Youtube link I have included in the post below. That assures that we’re not putting up the Bernard Hermann’s Psycho equivalent of Italian Horror songs to compete against the theme from Toolbox Murders for example. Think of this as my way of handicapping a match. Name recognition alone should not necessarily decide the outcome. It’s dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog. Oh, and yes I included Goblin as a whole and Claudio Simonetti separately. The contributions as a band and Claudio separately are distinct and equally important. Let’s see if they come to a head in competition. What a marvelous battle that might be! If you’re favorite isn’t here it is distinctly possible that he didn’t make it through our preliminary seeding round HERE with results HERE.

You want your champion to movie forward; you have to vote!

Here are your matchups and survey for the first round.


Day of Anger – Riz Ortolani

Killer Likes Candy – Gianni Marchetti

Isn’t it ironic that we are starting off Maestro Mania with Riz Ortolani during Italian Horror Week and the composition isn’t even horror? Well Marchetti’s first weapon against him is a from a crime thriller that has borderline Giallo tendencies. Fight it out.


Bay of Blood – Stelvio Cipriani

The Case of the Bloody Iris – Bruno Nicolai

It’s a battle painted in yellow... or maybe Giallo. The Case of the Bloody Iris is the a the groove perfect, jazz prog that balances with a quirky melody laid over the top of sexy swagger and Bay of Blood is a haunting dirge to the death. A Bava great vs. the Carnimeo classic.


Buio Omega aka Beyond the Darkness – Goblin aka The Goblins

The Witches – Piero Piccioni

The big bad Goblin comes to town bringing the synth fury turned perfect dance to the death sounds of Beyond the Darkness while Piero Piccioni brings the jaunty, piano jazz based sounds of a classic villain’s theme. Look for Master Gio’s write up of Buio Omega later this week.


5 Dolls for an August Moon – Piero Umiliani

Contraband – Fabio Frizzi

Both of the movies from which these compositions are drawn were re-released within the last year. Redemption put out 5 Dolls for an August Moon. Contraband has seen a brilliant new release from Shameless with badass cover. Umiliani brings the super strange and exotic with this piece while Frizzi collaborates with Fulci and rocks a more upbeat score than you may be used to.


Cut and Run – Claudio Simonetti

A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin – Ennio Morricone

Talk about a powerhouse battle of the great composers. While each of these artists have great works with which we are very familiar, I wanted to choose tracks that you might not associate with either. Cut and Run is the third jungle adventure created by the great Ruggero Deodato and A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin is a Fulci Giallo film that is as abstract and artistic as it is beautifully violent. A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin is a fascinating piece of eccentric smooth jazz with clever hooks and beautiful femme vocals. Cut and Run is perfectly danceable in that classic Simonetti style that might make you believe that you’re listening to a collaboration he may have created for Lamberto Bava.


Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals/Zombie Holocaust – Nico Fidenco

Black Cat – Pino Donnagio

If I had a favorite in this whole competition it would be Pino. This won’t bias you I’m sure, but it must be said. His work venture across the globe. It is the perfect writing music. That being said he’s up against the fight of his life against Nico Fidenco with one of the goddamn coolest track of the whole competition. A track featured in two movies, equally awesome though most of you may be more familiar with Dr. Butcher MD aka Zombie Holocaust. Give ‘em both a listen and make a tough decision.


Erotic Nights of the Living Dead – Marcello Giombini

Zombie 4: After Death – Al Festa

What a complete unique battle we have here. We bit Giombini’s larger than life score for a D’Amato picture up against the pure 80’s awesome composition of Al Festa. Sexy classic organ versus a Fragasso voodoo undeath machine. We’re gonna need a bucket for this blood spitting contest.


Aenigma – Carlo Maria Cordio

Strip Nude For Your Killer – Berto Pisano

This is perhaps one of the more obscure battles in our tournament. Aenigma is a ghostly story directed by Lucio Fulci in 1987. On the other side we have which came out some twelve years early from Andrea Bianchi in Strip Nude For Your Killer, a classic, over the top Gialli. Bianchi and Pisano would work together again. You might see them later in the competition if Pisano survives the first round.


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That first round certainly has a doozy of a matchup between Simonetti and Morricone!

1 comment:

  1. Voted! Love this idea and love your choice of Pino Donaggio score