Gino Marinuzzi, Jr.

Planet of the Vampires

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Gino Marinuzzi Jr.'s music for Mario Bava's Terrore Nello Spazio (aka Planet of the Vampires) was one of the eeriest film scores of its period, utilizing the composer's considerable skills within both the orchestral and electronic idioms. Marinuzzi's music features striking orchestral passages, written in an atonal mode but fully accessible -- strings and percussion instruments shimmer and swell, and wind, reed, and horn parts rise out of the background amid the oscillations, both orchestral and electronic. The music obviously works best in the context of the movie for which it was written, but it stands up surprisingly well on its own -- Marinuzzi's use of sound textures to create a desired effect places him among the more sophisticated screen composers of his generation, and there are moments -- such as on Track Five, "Exploring Aura," that are worthy of Bernard Herrmann. The CD reproduces the music off of the original master tapes in stereo (the movie was issued in mono); it was mastered cleanly and carefully, complete with one unused alternate take and a short, unedited excerpt from a recording session for the score