Soundtrack Review: Scars of Dracula

Scars of Dracula
Released by GDI Records,
22 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 48 min.
Music by James Bernard

No matter how you might feel about this entry in the Hammer / Dracula saga, I don’t think anyone could argue about how good the music is. Once again, James Bernard has created a score that encompasses what we love about these films. It has that rich and powerful score that seems to burst through the screen.

With the second track, Innocent Victim / Opening Credits, we hear those strings that immediately bring a sense of sorrow followed by those strong tones of the darkness. Bernard was able to bring visuals just from the themes that he created, whether it was villagers storming the castle, or Dracula’s resurrection, you could feel it in the music. That was one of the key elements to Hammer Films, and a lot of that had to do with Bernard. With just a couple of notes, like in Slaughter in the Church for example, you knew something bad was coming. I think that is where Bernard excelled so much in bringing an immediate emotion with just a few seconds of music.

While this CD might not be the easiest to find these days, if you are a fan of Bernard and of Hammer, then you really do need this in your collection. It will bring back memories of old castles, crazy servants, and the Prince of Darkness, and all with a smile.

Soundtrack Review: Twins of Evil

twins of evilTwins of Evil
Released by GDI Records, 2000
22 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 44 min.
Music by Harry Robertson (listed as Harry Robinson)

One of the many things that made Hammer Films so memorable was the music. With booming sounding themes, they always made an impact. And Robertson’s score for Twins of Evil is no different. The opening theme immediately puts the images in your head of the Brotherhood riding their horses through the forest, searching out the wicked! One little cue was used in the trailer (as well as many parts of the movie) that has always stuck in my brain, probably from watching the trailer and movie more than a few times. But it is the march-type theme of the Brotherhood that is most familiar. 

The use of strings seems to be the most prominent instrument here, though we do hear from the wind instruments, such as in the Karnstein’s Guest track. This is a perfect example how a rousing score just adds to what we’re seeing on screen, and Hammer did that so well. Being one of my favorites of Hammer’s, this score is right up there as well.

Soundtrack Review: The Devil Rides Out

devilridesout1cdThe Devil Rides Out
Released in 2000 by GDI Records
28 tracks with a total running time of 1:01:26 minutes
Music composed by James Bernard

Any fan of Hammer films should know the name of James Bernard. If not, start taking notes. Bernard was one of the main guys responsible for making Hammer films sound like they did. He created the music that surrounded the incredible colorful images that we were watching. Probably his most famous score was that of Horror of Dracula (just Dracula in the UK) where he would use the name of the film to create the main theme. The music is one of the things that let audiences know they were watching a Hammer film. Continue reading