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Friday, February 22, 2008


Thunder/Thunder 3
Music by Francesco De Masi
Beat Records CDCR 87 (Italy)
36 Tracks 78:12 mins

Cashing in on the success of the Rambo movies, a number of films began to appear, carrying the same theme of the war veteran pitted against the authorities and among these were the Thunder series, made by director Fabrizio De Angelis and starring Mark Gregory, who had first come to screen prominence with the Bronx trilogy.
Composer of the scores for the original Thunder (1983) and for Thunder 3 (1988) was Francesco De Masi, one of the best of the composers of music for the Italian Westerns in the '60s, and although set in the modern-day, De Masi applied many of the techniques used in that genre, composing a versatile main theme, first heard at the start of the 16 Thunder selections in a laid-back, county-pop arrangement for Franco De Gemini's harmonica. A suitably pseudo-Native American piece follows for "The Old Indian Man," before the main theme returns in bold, dramatic style for "Thunder Vengeance." The subsequent score features many great action and dramatic moments, combining the main theme, in a whole set of differing moods and variations, with Native American elements, but also incorporating a new sympathetic theme, again introduced by De Gemini's harmonica in "Thunder Escape." The Thunder programme is the same as the original LP release, but with the addition of two previously unreleased tracks, including another version of the exciting "Thunder Gymckana."
As the Rambo series progressed through the '80s, so composer Jerry Goldsmith added more electronics to the orchestra, as he did with many of his scores for that period, and when De Masi returned for Thunder 3, he followed suit, incorprating synthetic elements to his base orchestra. His great themes from the original film were still there, but given even more varied and interesting arrangements, whilst successfully capturing the more rhythmic, beat-driven style of the period, to provide yet another exciting score, which also features a charming love theme for "Thunder and Sheena," again voiced by Franco De Gemini's harmonica.
Accompanying the disc is a colourful booklet, featuring stills and artwork from the film, together with Filippo De Masi's notes on the films and his father's scores for them.
I have had both these fine scores in my collection for a long while now and it's great that Beat have resurrected them, presumably to tie in with the release of the new Rambo film, as they certainly deserve an audience. And despite the more modern feel to the music, if you are a collector of Italian Western scores, you won't be disappointed with this disc, as the music is very much along the same lines. Go to

From Costa Communications



Saturday, March 1st in Burbank, CA

WHAT: CD and book signing at leading macabre book store and memorabilia shop. Signings of “Dexter” CD, the 20th anniversary edition of “Hellbound Heart” novel and “The Hephaestus” novel.

WHO: Daniel Licht (composer) Dexter series and “Hellraiser: Bloodline”

Rolfe Kent (composer) theme for Dexter

Peter Atkins (screenwriter) virtually all “Hellraiser” films

Thomas Page (author) “The Hephaestus Plague”

WHEN: Saturday, March 1, 2008. Signing begins at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Dark Delicacies. (4213 W Burbank Blvd. Burbank, CA)

Phone: (818) 556-6660

WHY: The Milan CD release of the “Dexter” first season soundtrack; The Showtime series is now airing on CBS. The 20th Anniversary Edition of “The Hellbound Heart,” introduction written by Peter Atkins. The Irish reprint of Thomas Page’s “The Hephaestus Plague.”

OTHER INFORMATION: Composer Daniel Licht and writer Peter Atkins worked on “Hellraiser: Bloodline.”


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