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Monday, April 23, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Creature Wasn't Nice

The Creature Wasn't Nice
Score by David Spear, Songs by Bruce Kimmel
40 Tracks 67:29 mins

This is a first for me, in that I've never reviewed a score before where the film's writer/director has actually criticised the score presented on the disc in the accompanying liner notes. True, he does call composer David Spear's efforts "very good," and says "most of it works just fine," but then goes on to say that his "ponderous Planets-like theme told the audience nothing, and I still believe to this day had he come up with something faster and wierder it would have helped the film immeasurably." But, you really need to read the whole story of the film and its journey to what was finally released to fully understand Kimmel's words.
As for me, well I doubt I'll ever get the chance to see the film in question, which was something of an Alien spoof, made in 1984 at the time when every serious film, no matter its genre, was fair game for spoofing.
Taken away from the film, Spear has indeed written a main theme, somewhat inspired by Mars from Holst's The Planets, but this was not a unique approach at the time with, among others, James Horner doing the same kind of thing for Krull. Spear's main theme, plus his 5-note mystery theme, are virtually ever-present throughout the numerous, mostly quite brief tracks that make up the score and indeed, sometimes are to be heard in combination in some of the more dramatic action moments. The other principal themes that also make appearances are a proud, martial anthem for Captain Jameson (Leslie Nielsen - fresh from Airplane), and a very nice love theme, that I could have stood hearing more of.
Intermingled, and somewhat at odds with Spear's score are a number of show tunes, composed by Bruce Kimmel, like "Hold Me, Touch Me, Thrill Me" "Bachelor Bills" and the most catchy of them all "I Want To Eat Your Face," which I've had a job to shake, its lyrics drawing some strange looks from people around me.
Alternate versions of these songs are presented among numerous bonus tracks at the end of the disc. Some are just voice and piano demos, others just the backing tracks, so you can add your own vocals if you wish. And at the very end you can hear some dialogue from the fondly remembered Broderick Crawford, who played the voice of the abusive computer.
Speaking solely as a score collector, I would recommend Spear's music to those of you who like the Elmer Bernstein school of comedy scoring, and would also liken it to John Morris' efforts for Mel brooks' Star wars spoof Spaceballs, also recently released on CD.
As I've already mentioned, Kimmel provides the disc's liner notes, and thorough they are indeed, in the colourful accompanying booklet.
For more information, audio samples and to order your copy of this 1000-unit limited edition release, go to


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