Film Review: W.
Hate Mail (10/21/08)

The Sunday Score: Planet Terror (2007)

Planet Terror 

This week’s selection is from the 2007 motion picture, “Planet Terror.”

It appears John Carpenter has a legion of fans. Over the last two years (perhaps a few more), genre film scoring has been admiring Carpenter’s iconic way in an effort to resuscitate the long dead practice of creepy synth manipulation to fatten genre investments. It’s been a kick to hear the beats of old, with a younger generation of filmmakers doing their best to keep Carpenter’s signature touch alive.

Neil Marshall’s “Doomsday” certainly pulled a few muscles reaching for the rusted Carpenter crown, but Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror” was the film that actually achieved a precise aural mood. Teaming with Carl Thiel and Graeme Revell, Rodriguez walked carefully in familiar footsteps, rolling out an aggressive synth/rock score to backdrop a horror film that also reeked heavily of big, wet Carpenter smooches. Normally, such worship would be worth a few grimaces and a flat-out dismissal, but Rodriguez and his team nailed to nuance of a Carpenter score, while heightening the musical tension for modern audiences.

The score for “Planet Terror” is all over the map musically (befitting the grandiose “Grindhouse” experiment), but the synth tracks steal the show. The music lends a film a rare shot of cool energy not enjoyed since the 1980s, tempering the showboat visuals with some delectable electronic style.

If only John Carpenter himself still held the same enthusiasm for his movie music. Perhaps it’s best a nation of fanboy filmmakers want to continue to play in his sandbox.      

Here’s “Zero to Fifty in Four.”

Here’s “His Prescription…Pain.”

Here’s “Police Station Assault.”

And the film’s trailer.

Comments

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)