A SATANIC MUSICAL INTERLUDE

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Whatever you do, do not forget to drop by here on Tuesday, August 6, 2013. Why? Because that’s when WM3 heavyweights Cinatas Cinap and Retro P. Pus will be debating Exhibit 500. It promises to be a truly momentous occasion, which just happens to coincide with the video release of West of Memphis.

In the meantime, let’s listen to some music. Now, what type of music would be fitting as an interlude between posts about the WM3? Classical? Nah. Opera? Uh-uh. Nordic folk? Nope. Vietnamese chamber music? ‘fraid not. Scat jazz? Kabuki? Polka? Funk? Barbershop? Yodeling? I’m gonna have to go with no to those. Heavy metal? Well, yeah, but heavy metal music is verboten on this blog, so that’s out. Besides, this is a film blog, and so only film music will do. Fuck Metallica. I’ve got some real devil music for ya.

Let’s kick it off with music from the granddaddy of all demonic possession movies, The Exorcist. Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ is so closely associated with The Exorcist it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t originally composed for the film. Poor Mike: I doubt he set out to make “scary” music, but who can listen to it now without thinking about swiveling heads, crucifix masturbation, and projectile vomiting?

The commercially disastrous sequel to The Exorcist features a score by my all-time favorite film composer, Ennio Morricone. Here Ennio gives demonic possession a kinky disco beat, complete with sadomasochistic bullwhip lashings. Is there nothing The Maestro can’t do?

L’arcidiavolo is more bawdy comedy than horror movie, but that’s okay, because the theme of this post gives me an excuse to play the fiendishly cool guitar riffs in this cue by Morricone contemporary Armando Trovaioli.

Nobody puts his lips together and blows quite like Alessandro Alessandroni. A world-class whistler, Alessandroni is the dude whistling so memorably on the soundtracks of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. In La plus longue nuit du diable, Alessandroni puts his whistling talents in the service of Satan with some seriously sinister lip-piping. His sister, Giulia, supplies the equally eerie and otherworldly vocalizations.

Spawns of Satan need shuteye too. Here’s Mia Farrow’s Rosemary La-La-La-ing a lullaby to her hellborn baby:

Charles Manson. Do I have your attention now? Charlie wasn’t the only murderous musician in his “family.” Let’s not forget the satanic stylings of fellow family member and convicted murderer Bobby Beausoleil. Imagine Beausoleil’s spooky psychedelic music from Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising playing in the secret torture chamber underneath Damien’s Hermetic Reiki Center.

Step aside Charlie Daniels. Daniels plays a mean fiddle, but he’s no match for Satan, whose supernatural ability to pluck the fretboard with ten fingers is on diabolical display in Christopher Young’s masterly ‘Concerto to Hell’ from Drag Me to Hell.

Want to see the Devil actually play the fiddle? Check out the 50:07-51:39 minute mark of The Devil and Daniel Webster. Old Scratch appears in the form of Walter Huston, frantically fiddling an orgasmic rendition of ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’ at a sinful hoe-down. Here Bernard Herrmann uses the multi-track recording of a solo fiddler to devilish effect.

“Damien. Damien. Damien, look at me. I’m over here. Damien, I love you. Look at me, Damien. It’s all for you!”

Remember that from The Omen?

There’s no better way to conclude this post than with one of the greatest pieces of music ever recorded on celluloid, Satanic or otherwise. Jerry Goldsmith must have commissioned an evil choir from the pits of Hell to sing his ‘Ave Satani’. Doubtless Goldsmith’s Gothic choral orchestrations were influenced by Stravinsky’s ‘Symphony of Psalms’ and Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’, but he betters the both of them in terms of sheer spine-tingling, hair-raising, goose bump inducing creepiness.

For those of you unfamiliar with Latin:

Sanquis bibimus, Corpus edimus
Prode corpus Satani
Ave, Ave Versus Christus
Ave, Ave Satani

We drink blood, We eat flesh
Bring forth the body of Satan
Hail Antichrist
Hail Satan

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