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Saturday, July 01, 2006

CD REVIEW - I Vampiri/Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale

I Vampiri/Caltiki - Il Mostro Immortale
Music by Roman Vlad/Music by Roberto Nicolosi
Digitmovies CDDM058 (Italy)
Disc 1 - 19 Tracks 46:12 mins Disc 2 - 18 Tracks 44:54 mins

This pairing of '50s horror films will be of particular interest to fans of the Hollywood style of scoring fantastical films of the '30s, '40s & '50s, with 1957's I Vampiri, scored by Roman Vlad most resembling the old Universal Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman etc. scores, and 1959's Caltiki more closely resembling the otherworldly sci-fi scores of the '50s.
Both scores are monothematic, that is they both boast a strong main theme, which runs through the whole score in variations. I Vampiri's is first heard as a propulsive, brassy and menacing affair, but is versatile enough to carry much of the mystery and suspense of the score as well. There are few light moments in this dread-filled score, although a romantic string quarter feature in "Pierre e Giselle," a theme that is reprised in the "Finale." There is also a nice waltz and something of a child-like innocence about the theme in "Rapimento & Appartamento Vuoto." But overall, this score is for those who like their music for horror in the old school menace and suspense style.
As a bonus, at the end of Disc 1, Carlo Savina, who conducted Disc 2's Caltiki, is featured in the form of his "To Mirna" from 1973's Lisa e il Diavolo, which starts delicately and then becomes an easy-going theme, with Edda Dell'Orso's wordless vocal.
Caltiki's monster most strongly reminds me of that from The Blob, the cult movie debut of Steve McQueen and the music is largely otherworldly and eerie, with again the main theme first appearing as a powerful, brassy affair, but then showing its versatility in many mysterious and suspenseful cues, as well as menacing moments when appropriate. Dark piano chords and eerie organ accompaniment make their presence felt, giving it that '50s sci-fi feel, and there is nothing really melodic to hang on to.
Both Il Diavolo and Caltiki's scores are presented in surprisingly good mono sound for their age, and are accompanied by the usual colourful booklet, featuring stills and poster artwork, plus notes by Claudio Fuiano and Tim Lucas.


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