Monday, October 21, 2013

Alan Howarth - The Lost Empire and Retribution soundtracks (1983, 1987)

Alan Howarth, in addition to being a composer, is an accomplished sound designer and editor, having worked on films such as STAR TREK: THE MOTION  PICTURE, POLTERGEIST, TOTAL RECALL, ARMY OF DARKNESS, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, STARGATE and many others. He has been a frequent music collaborator with John Carpenter on his films beginning with ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK in 1980 and including HALLOWEEN II & III, CHRISTINE, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, THEY LIVE and PRINCE OF DARKNESS and Alan has scored many films on his own, including RETRIBUTION, HALLOWEEN 4 & 5, THE DENTIST, HEADLESS, BOO!, EVILUTION, BASEMENT JACK and most recently, HOUSE AT THE END OF THE DRIVE and BRUTAL.
Released in 1983, THE LOST EMPIRE was the feature film debut of exploitation director Jim Wynorski. A mixture of camp fantasy, corrupt villains, and chesty babes – not to mention caped ninjas and killer apes –  the film is a wild and surreal action fantasy that makes the most of its resources despite the lack of a workable budget and loaded with plenty of charm and beautiful women.
RETRIBUTION tells a story about a guy named George Miller that when falls asleep, people die brutally. The problem arises from the fact that when he was born, Vito Minelli (a smalltime crook) was also born. The two of them died at exactly the same moment and they came back in the same body. Thus, when placid, pleasant George is asleep the wicked and restless soul of Vito takes over and sets upon a mad killing spree. Luckily for troubled George, a young psychiatrist realises the truth behind George's nightmares and protects him from the prying eyes of the police.
Both films are low budget (b-movies) but very fun to watch. The soundtracks are made entirely with synthesizers: Prophet 5 and 10, Prophet VS, Oberheim 4voice, Emulator I, Arp avatar and sequencer, Moog vocoder, and Linn drum computer drum machine. Highly recommended for the fans of vintage electronica!