Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

THANK YOU, Film Score Monthly. Thank you.

This news made me chuckle evilly and impressed-ly: Film Score Monthly's CD label will finally, 38 years after the film came out, release the Bernard Herrmann score to It's Alive!

Yes, I really like this film, Larry Cohen's 1974 exploitation flick about a mutant killer baby tearing its way across Los Angeles while its parents and the authorities try to contain it. Yes, I really like this score: Herrmann, who was having trouble getting work by the late 1960s because a) he could be hard to work with and b) his style had become considered old hat, found Cohen and a bunch of other filmmaker Young Turks in the early '70s who liked him precisely because of his often harsh, aggressive, melodramatic musical style. Had Herrmann lived a little longer -- he died in his sleep mere hours after he'd finished recording the score to 1976's Taxi Driver -- he would've happily rejoined Cohen on his film God Told Me To. As it is, It's Alive! gave him a chance to add drama and pathos to the (again, really good) low-budget horror film. (With, by the way, baby effects by special effects/makeup wunderkind Rick Baker.) Done with a sense of humor, too: the cue Herrmann wrote for a scene where the baby attacks and kills a milk delivery guy is titled "The Milkman Go-eth."

How much do I like this score? I made a cassette tape dub of the score off of a VHS copy of the film, edited to get around some (though not all) of the sound effects and dialogue. (And for those who know the film: I deliberately saved the film's last line. Because I'm perverse like that.) I still listen to it every once in a while.

Here's some of it:

Tags: music

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