Soundtrack Review: Stake Land

stakelandcdStake Land
Release in 2011, by Screamworks Records
26 Tracks with total running time of 48 min.
Music Composed by Jeff Grace.

To say this score is epic sounding is really an understatement. It starts off with a bang, and then proceeds to hit all the different notes. No pun intended. The film is about a post-apocalyptic world and this score gives us just that feeling. We get those feelings of being alone… down… desperate. We see a world where there just might not be any hope left, and Grace’s score accompanies that feeling perfectly.  There are some action based themes or sequences in here, but mainly it is a slow and moody score, filled with wonderfully dark and brooding strings, often giving it a slight western feel to it.

There are action pieces in the score which work quite well in the film, and give the listener that same sense of excitement. But the overall score has a strange sense of sadness in the music throughout. Very somber. And yet, there are moments in here where with a few notes, Grace shows us a glimmer of hope. That shows how much of an emotional score this can be. The strings and piano used in the track Belle and the New Family or New Eden are perfect examples of that.

Ever since I heard this score, I’ve been checking out a lot of Grace’s work and have never been let down. An incredible talent that I look forward to with each and every film he’s worked on.

Movie Review: The Descent (2005)

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The Descent (2005)
Directed by Neil Marshall
Starring Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring, Nora-Jane Noone

Early in his career, director Marshall broke not one, but two well documented theories. The first one was that if a film premiered the Sci-Fi Channel before hitting theaters or video, it meant that it wasn’t going to be that good. Such as Cherry Falls (2000) or Beyond Re-Animator (2003). So when I heard that this new werewolf movie called Dog Soldiers was going to make its debut on there, I never bothered with it. But once it hit DVD, and quite a few people were giving it quite a bit of praise, I decided to take that risky chance and give it a rent. I went out and bought the DVD the next day. That’s how impress I was with it. Continue reading

Friday Favorites: Terror in the Deep

Terrors in the Deep

For the July 4th weekend, we know a lot of people are busting out Jaws to watch, since it is a favorite this time of year. As it should be. But there are so many other great monsters out there waiting under the water’s surface, so what better time to celebrate those!

From barracudas, killer whales, piranhas, octopus, crocs, gators, and all sorts of other nasty beasties out there, we want to hear your favorite… except for sharks! Let’s take sharks off the menu, so to speak, since most will be posting about Jaws anyway. But there are so many other great titles out there, let’s put the spotlight on them for now.

So what cinematic underwater adventure featuring one of the many (non-shark) terrors of the deep is your favorite?

Horror History: Erika Blanc

erikablancEricka Blanc
Born July 23rd, 1942

Born as Enrica Bianchi Colombatto, she changed her name to Ericka Blanc when she got into movies. Fans of Euro horror may recognize her face, since she has worked on some great films with some great talent, from the giallo to westerns to horror. Blanc was the first woman to play the famous character Emmanuelle in the 1969 film Lo, Emmanuelle, which would later be played by several other actresses over the years.

For for us horror fans, it was her work in films like Mario Bava’s Kill Baby, Kill (1966), the rarely talked about The Vengeance of Lady Morgan (1965), The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971), working alongside Paul Naschy in A Dragonfly for Each Corpse (1975), and one of our personal favorites, Jean Brismée’s The Devil’s Nightmare (1971). So don’t be surprised if you’re watching a classic Euro horror films from the ’60s or ’70s and see this lovely lady’s face appear on the screen. If it does, the film just got a little better.

July Kryptic Army Mission: Go Ask Alice!

alice in wonderlandOn July 4th, 1862, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson took the three daughters of his good friend, Henry Liddell, on a little rowing excursion. During the journey, the young girls pressed him for a story. It was on this trip that the beginning of the now famous Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland started to form. It would be published in 1864, under his penname Lewis Carroll.

Carroll’s story is a perfect example of the Literary Nonsense sub-genre, where it “balances elements that make sense with some that do not, with the effect of subverting language conventions or logical reasoning.” Make sense, right? I honestly just love the fact that there is an actual sub-genre called Literary Nonsense! But let’s get back to our mission. Continue reading

Philip Latham & Dan Hicks – Rest in Peace

The great thing about the horror genre and the fans is that you don’t have to be a huge iconic star to be remembered. Today, I’ve heard the news that we’ve lost two actors that might not have made a ton of films or starred in them, but they made such an impact, even if only in one film, that fans remembered them for decades to come. Both of these actors were like that.

Continue reading

Bruce Campbell at the Midway Drive-In

Bruce at the Midway

Are you anxious to get out of the house and see some classic horror films in the theater? Wait? Indoor theaters not open yet? No worries. Now is your chance to still go to the theater and see some classic horror films on the big screen, all from the comfort of your own car!

Oh yeah… Did I mention that Bruce Campbell will be there as well.

On July 10th & 11th, the Midway Drive-In in Dixon, IL, will be hosting the one and only Bruce Campbell for two nights of fright films that we all love. Now this isn’t the usual event at the Midway, so you’ll need to head over to the Flashback Weekend site (just click HERE) for all the ticket information, as well as the latest information about the event.

Also, because of Covid-19, there are new rules that MUST be followed. Click HERE for those rules and policies. Remember folks, this is about keeping everyone safe, from you and your family, to everyone else coming out to enjoy the evening. So please make sure you read and follow the rules and we can all still have a safe and fun night at the drive-in.

Here is the events planned for each night: Continue reading

Mystery Photo 6-29

Our last photo for June. This means that summer is 1/3 over! Some might not be happy about that, but I definitely am. Anyway, our photo from last week was from the film Deranged (1974), one of the the best adaptations of the story of real like nutter Ed Gein. Kudos to the following for sending in the correct answer: Hoby Abernathy, Peggy Christie, Kuba Haczek, Martin Meeks, Gary Miller, Michael Shields, and Greg Wojick. Well done!

On to this week’s photo. Give it a close look because it things might not be as they seem at first glance. Just remember, just send us an email with your guess, to jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good Luck!

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Soundtrack Review: Prince of Darkness

Prince of Darkness soundtrack (1)Prince of Darkness
Released by Alan Howarth Incorporated, 2008
28 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 134:50 min.
Music Composed by John Carpenter, in association with Alan Howarth

Back in 1988 when this movie first came out, I saw it opening weekend. I mean, it was a new John Carpenter movie after all. But upon that first viewing, I actually didn’t care for it that much. I did love the music, though, right from the opening queue. So while I didn’t care for the movie itself, I immediately started looking for the soundtrack, only to find it impossible to find. Supposedly, Varèse Sarabande released it in 1987, but I could not find it. Years later, I was able to finally score a copy of it from a German release. And after all those years, the score still kicked ass. I also finally came around to really liking the film. I still have a few issues with it, but it is still a damn good movie. Continue reading

Horror History: Stelvio Cipriani

stelviociprianiStelvio Cipriani
Born Aug. 20th, 1937 – Died Oct. 1st, 2018

For some reason this name might not be that familiar (which is a shame), but if you’re a fan of Italian movies, then you’ve most likely heard his work. Cipriani is a composer that has written music for over 200 films. Working in many different genres, he created his share of horror film scores. He worked with Mario Bava on quite a few films, such as A Bay of Blood (1971), Baron Blood (1972) and would later score Rabid Dogs (1974). He also did the music for Riccardo Freda’s Tragic Ceremony (1972), Luciano Ercoli’s Death Walks on High Heels (1971), as well as films like Tentacles (1977), The Great Alligator (1979), Nightmare City (1980), Piranha 2 (1981), and a few more.

When he scored Tentacles , he re-used the main theme from one of his earlier movies, La Polizia sta a Guardare (1973), which apparently a young filmmaker named Taratino liked the film so much that he used it in this film Death Proof (2007).

With all the great Italian films out there, the music is usually very effective as well as important to the whole feel of the movie experience. That is why these hard working composers, like Cipriani need to be noticed and remembered.