Anthology: Movie Themes 1974 - 1998 - John Carpenter

If you have anything resembling a passing interest in films, or specifically horror films, you'll know the self-proclaimed 'Master of Horror' John Carpenter. Throughout his 40 plus year career he has produced some of the most well-known films of the 70's and 80's. Alongside these classics, he has also produced some stick-in-your-head theme tunes alongside them. Having now semi-retired from the film industry, he has recently concentrated on music and here brings us his best-known themes in one package.

Starting with the 80s driving rock of In The Mouth of Madness it shows that although Carpenter is well known for his synth driven pieces, he is quite the multi-instrumentalist across the piece, the composition coming across like a ZZ Top B-side. Synth's don't take long to enter the musical landscape though with the haunting, trippy, acid-fuelled wail of Assault On Precinct 13 taking over and lesser known themes from  The Fog accompanying it close by.

To answer the question hanging over this collection of songs, yes, the theme from Halloween is included and rightfully so. The surprising thing here is that minus the film and amongst the themes here, it's one of the less potent tracks. With its simple repeated motifs and well worn 'loud bits' it pails in comparison to tracks like Escape From New York with its thrusting, pompous beat and uplifting swagger. Just the right track to accompany the film and its anti-hero in Snake Plisskens.

Talking of Russell, their collaborations are all over this release and their most famous film The Thing and its majestic theme is included here for good measure. Its downbeat sonics making you want to revisit the film immediately and truly realise their collaborations were something to behold.

Having been away from the film industry and now fully immersed in music, it's good to see Carpenter back doing what he loves best. Expressing himself through the medium that truly understands him, the master of horror can truly engage the audience as he see fits. Taking them on a journey through fear, trepidation, darkness and ultimately, the horrors of the world up there on the silver screen.


A strong package from the Master of Horror himself. Guaranteed to make you want to watch the films this Halloween.


out of 10


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