Tuesday, September 29, 2009
John Carpenter obviously has no problem with scoring his own films. Halloween, Halloween II, They Live, Escape From New York, Big Trouble In Little China, and The Fog (among others) all contained brilliant musical input from Mr. Carpenter, and were better movies for it. But his greatest film, in my humble opinion, was 1982's The Thing, a gory sci-fi masterpiece starring Carp's man-muse of the time, Kurt Russell, in an epic battle to the death with an angry unfrozen shapeshifting alien.
But Carp didn't do the soundtrack for The Thing. Oh no. He enlisted the talents of one of the all-time great film composers, the one and only Ennio Morricone. Morricone built his legacy producing reverbed-out music for spaghetti westerns in the 60's, but by the late 70's he had branched out into giallo, horror, and sci-fi films as well. His compositions became a bit more accessible and classical/jazz influenced (see White Dog), but his vision never faltered, and his catalog remains chock full of solid classics throughout the decades. His work on The Thing may not be his all-time best, but it's still some powerful stuff, creepy and suspenseful in all the right places before swelling to a triumphant crescendo. Absolutely wonderful sci-fi/horror accompaniments. Goldsmith would be proud.
Below: The man, the myth, the pimp.
A sweet poster: