Soundtrack Review: Edgar Allan Poe Suite / Horror Express

Edgar Allan Poe Suite - Horror ExpressEdgar Allan Poe Suite / Cry of the Banshee / Horror Express
Released by Citadel
14 Tracks, with a total running time of 61:58 min.
Composed & Conducted by Les Baxter and John Cacavas

This release is a real gem and a treat for horror fans. First it has the music from a series of four different one-man stage plays starring Vincent Price, each based on a story from Poe: The Pit and the Pendulum, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontilado, and The Tell-Tale Heart. Then it also has a suite from Cry of the Banshee that is almost 20 minutes long. These were both composed by Les Baxter, who did a lot of work for AIP and their Corman/Poe series. Then we also have the score for Horror Express by John Cacavas.

The themes for the Poe stories are very simple and very unique to each, sounding quite different. This gives a nice change between them. But each one of them still give off that creepy and eerie vibe. The suite for Cry has again a different feel to it, but highly memorable. Because it is a suite, there is quite a range in moods and themes within the track.

But the real treat to this is Cacavas’ score for Horror Express. That opening whistle theme resonates throughout the entire score and movie, especially those first four notes, hitting all the right notes, no pun intended. It builds a creepy element to it, suspense and tension, plus it seems to burn in your brain where you’ll be hearing or even whistling it yourself afterwards. I love when a score has a reoccurring theme and this is a perfect example. My only complaint with this is that there is only about 15 minutes of music for this film, but even with that short time, it remains one of my favorites.

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