Michael Perilstein

The Deadly Spawn [Bonus Track]

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Michael Perilstein's score for the low-budget 1980s horror film The Deadly Spawn is a keyboard-based synthesizer work, as might be expected. A film that was made for less than $20,000 hardly could have afforded a symphony orchestra. Like the film, however, Perilstein gets the most he can out of his limited resources, contrasting his wistful melodies with howling washes of sound and thudding synthesized drums in a way that musically evokes the hapless characters in the film struggling against the malevolent (and hungry) space monsters who threaten them. The artificial sounds came to seem dated in the decades after the movie appeared, but that didn't hurt the camp appeal of the project. When Perseverance Records came to reissue the soundtrack, Perilstein added a newly recorded 12-minute bonus track, "Spawn, But Not Forgotten," that employed some of the themes from his original score and looked forward to a potential sequel (or so he said). He also filled the CD packaging with his fanciful humor, including a set of comic horoscopes and a self-reflective "About the Composer" section in the zany spirit of a picture that didn't take itself too seriously.

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