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Thursday, April 19, 2007

CD REVIEW - Grindhouse: Planet Terror

Grindhouse: Planet Terror
Music by Robert Rodriguez
Varese Sarabande VSD 6807 (EU)
22 Tracks 43:53 mins

So, I hear that Robert Rodriguez and Quintin Tarantino's efforts to revive the old "grindhouse" experience has been less than successful in the States, and that the double feature is likely to be separated for UK distribution. Pity, because it was a grand idea to restore the kind of b-movie exploitation double feature, complete with trailers, that used to play years ago, making for a real value for money evening out.
Tarantino's film was, as was the Kill Bill films, tracked with all kinds of music from the director's favourite tracks, whereas Rodriguez's effort, reviewed here is, as has become customary, scored by the director himself, with just a little help from Graeme Revell, Carl Thiel, Rick Del Castillo and George Oldziey.
The whole score is based upon a single, somewhat hypnotic, rock-based theme, asnd most of the tracks are quite brief, but show plenty of variation. The opening version "Main Titles" accompanies Rose McGowan dancing and is a real raunchy piece for electric guitars and sax. Miss McGowan also sings the old standard "You Belong to Me," and adds breathy vocals to the largely wordless "Useless Talent #32" and "Two Against The World," both co-written by the director and Rebecca Rodriguez. The director/composer's band Chingon also provide an instrumental version of the main theme, and there is a song by Nouvelle Vague, which uses offensive language throughout, so don't play this disc in front of the kids.
But back to the score, and it's really a mix of rock and electronics, with atonal, otherwordly moments ("Dakota"), menace and action ("The Sickos," "El Wray," "Zeroto Fifty in Four," "Fury Road," and "Melting Member"), piano-lead poignancy ("The Ring in the Jacket") and fateful showdown music ("Helicopter Sicko Chopper" and "Killer Legs.") Along the way, Rodriguez pays homage to John Carpenter, sailing mighty close to his Halloween theme in "His Prescription - Pain."
I tried very hard not to like this score, but had to give in to its charms (if that's the right word) in the end. I can't wait to see the film, if only to watch Charmed star McGowan shoot 'em up with her automatic rifle for a leg. And I thought they didn't make 'em like that anymore!


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