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Film Music Review (Volumes 1-7)

 
   

 

 

 


FRIDAY THE 13 TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (1988)/
FRIDAY THE 13 TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1989)

Music composed, performed and produced by Fred Mollin.

16 Tracks (Playing Time = 58:42)

PART VII: 8 Tracks (Playing Time = 26:13)

PART VIII: 8 Tracks (Playing Time = 32:29)

Sequenced, recorded, and mixed at Zoomer South Studios, Nashville, TN. Album edited, sequenced, and mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland. Art direction by Mark Banning.

BSX Records BSXCD 8847 ( Limited edition of 1000 copies)

Rating: ***

For over thirty years Fred Mollin has been scaring us in theaters and on television with his music for many teen horror films. His connection to the FRIDAY THE 13 TH franchise actually begins with the fine 1987 television series that was only tenuously linked to the multiple movies. By the time these visions of horror arrived the appeal for me had passed but these films, especially PART VIII, continued to have a fan base even while moving into self-parody of the genre. Mollin was not involved in the movie franchise until 1988 when the producers decided to involve another composer after running out of ways to re-use Harry Manfredini’s music from previous FRIDAY THE 13 TH outings. For this release, the music was re-sequenced and transferred to a multi-track system, allowing more clarity and flexibility for Mollin to manipulate his material.

Fans of the series will welcome these two scores on one disc. The music is at times tuneful, vicious, creepy but generally more interesting than the films themselves deserved. Mollin’s title track for PART VII includes several ostinato motifs running simultaneously that slowly build before several chime punctuations announce the slow dissolution at the end. The sampling here is quite good and well-integrated into the various experimental ambient textures of the score. Some of Mollin’s rhythmic ideas have a kind of Goldmsith-esque quality which some will find interesting. Otherwise the score is another interesting track through 1980s horror music at a level similar to Alan Howarth’s work on the later HALLOWEEN series. If you are enthralled by the 9-note thematic idea of FRIDAY THE 13 TH then you will be interested in how Mollin manipulates this idea and the amazing creativity that it takes to try to keep the idea fresh. The motif is his anchor upon which all the other material is cast. The love theme idea for Nick and Tina is a small beacon of light amidst the danger that surrounds their music. It does not get much time to breathe.

The score for PART VIII is really more of the same. Since little or no time separated the release of these two chapters in the series one cannot expect there to be much more innovation technologically. There is a bit more experimentation with percussion effects in the 1989 and this is what makes it the more interesting of the two. Mollin’s ideas are layered here in a crystal clear way allowing each to cut through one another. Whether that was possible in the film is unclear, but for this production it was possible to control more fully the way these various threads of the score were mixed together. It seems to have payed off and if these scores have been on your secret wish list this release is very worthwhile. This pays off with the interesting mix of ideas in the extended track that begins with “Wayne Fries.” PART VIII’s score has more moments of relaxation but these are really nothing more than those sucker punch moments in a film like this. There presence is a reminder that Mollin can write a great lyrical theme if given the chance.

Tracks for both scores average about three minutes in length and are compiled essentially from several sequences in the film. However, they are well edited together by the team that has produced many fine score releases on La-La Land. The sound is equally impressive and puts to shame many big label releases. The look and design of these “BSX Records” suggests that this may be an extension of La-La Land’s catalogue or perhaps a subdivision. The disc is a wonderful demonstration quality release superbly illustrating Mollin’s talents.

--Steven A. Kennedy, 11 January 2006

Comments regarding this review can be sent to this address: stev4uth@hotmail.com

 

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