Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Cult Wax - MARTIN, FRANKENHOOKER/BASKET CASE 2 and MANOS on vinyl from Ship To Shore ""

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cult Wax - MARTIN, FRANKENHOOKER/BASKET CASE 2 and MANOS on vinyl from Ship To Shore

Ship To Shore is great New York-based label that specializes in cult movie and video game soundtracks on vinyl. Another one I learned about from the good gentlemen at The Damn Fine Cast. Below find a few examples of the kinds of LPs they are putting out. All sound good and come in nicely put together packages - including new artwork, composer liner notes and more. A quality company that I certainly recommend for your vinyl soundtrack needs.
Follow them on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Ship-to-Shore-Media-149183008458063/?nr
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/STSPhonoCo
and Instagram for details on their upcoming projects and releases:
https://www.instagram.com/stsphonoco/


MARTIN is one of the great unsung horror films of the 1970s and easily one of George A. Romero's best works. John Amplas brings this remarkable humanity to a character that is a vampire and is depicted in a much different way than you've come to expect from a movie like this. The whole thing functions as more of an art film than straight horror - which is part of what makes it so memorable and has helped build a cult audience over time. That uniqueness is also backed up by Donald Rubinstein's excellent score to the film which is a mix of lonely piano and some strings as well as one more freeform jazzy track or two. The overall tone is a haunting and melancholy one. There is an unsettling nature to some of the music too. It has a dissonance in parts and an eerie female vocal that is both lovely and unnerving at the same time.  It's a nice listen and a nice release from Ship to Shore. They've also included some liner notes from Rubinstein himself in which he touches on his memories of composing the score and his musical influences at the time.
On the other end of the cult movie spectrum is Frank Henenlotter. While he and Romero share a the aesthetic of low-budget filmmaking, their movies are quite different. Like Romero, Henenlotter has a few signature films that define him a bit and for which he has come to create a larger universe for over several entries. I'm speaking specifically of the BASKET CASE series - which Henenlotter made three films for. FRANKENHOOKER is equally memorable and despite it not being a completely original idea like BASKET CASE, it is a significantly  memorable cult item nonetheless. Composer Joe Renzetti's music is filled with unease and ambient tension throughout. Ship to shore's album includes music from both films (one on each side of the album) and both scores go together well. FRANKENHOOKER is a mix of goofy and tense stuff - most of it seemingly synth based (sample below). BASKET CASE 2 is a similar mix, erring on the side of creepier in parts. Renzetti's style is great for uneasiness - an deft mix of knowing apprehension and straight horror atmosphere.

MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE is one of the most notorious movies ever to be shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000. I even remember a quick inside joke referring to it in MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER: THE MOVIE. It is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination and some claim it may be one of the worst of all time. I find it oddly fascinating myself and the music is part of what's memorable about it. The tune we all may be familiar with as "Torgo's Theme" (though it doesn't have that title on the album) is one of those pieces of musical accompaniment that will get caught in your head and play on an endless loop - driving you slowly insane. The soundtrack itself is an interesting mix of jazzy stuff, dialogue from the film and some suspenseful tracks. It's actually a winning record to throw on at a game night party or some such social event. It's got enough energy and kitsch to keep folks bobbing their heads and curious about what the hell you are playing for them.

Here is a humorus 10-minute loop of "Torgo's Theme".


Grab these LPs from Ship to Shore direct:
MARTIN:

FRANKENHOOKER/BASKET CASE 2:

MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE:

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