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Thread: Night of the Living Dead 1968 "Rescore"

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    Being Attacked beat_truck's Avatar
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    Night of the Living Dead 1968 "Rescore"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7go35DHg3AY

    I ran across this version of NOTLD '68 with a "new and improved" soundtrack and thought I'd share. It doesn't seem badly done, but it's totally unnecessary and sticks out like a sore weiner after seeing the movie properly so many times. The opening sequence definitely seems to be Italian / Fabio Frizzi inspired.

    Why do people feel the need to mess with perfection?

    It's like years ago when I bought a VHS copy of the 1931 version of Dracula, and found it had a ~65 year newer soundtrack tacked on.

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    Zombie Flesh Eater EvilNed's Avatar
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    Didn't they try this in the 30th anniversary edition too? But they only rescored the scenes without dialogue because they didn't have access to the original sound tapes?

    Also this soundtrack sounds way 80's.
    But I can sorta dig why you'd want to rescore it. I'm not a fan of library music - ever.

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    Webmaster Neil's Avatar
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    Immediately... Music score audio too loud!

    It's, look what we did mum volume levels!
    Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. [click for more]
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    Just been bitten Monrozombi's Avatar
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    i just had flashbacks to 1998 due to the title of this thread alone

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    Team Rick MinionZombie's Avatar
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    Ugh.

    First version of Night that I got on DVD had a 'new' score slapped on it. Sounded shite.

    This sounds totally askew tonally. As has been said, that opening track is heavily inspired by the themetunes to Zombi 2 and City of the Living Dead (the latter of which was just a re-jigging of the Zombi 2 theme itself, for the most part).

    I do recall there being a Giorgio Moroder re-score of Metropolis, although I've not seen it. I don't really see the point in re-scoring, personally, much like my disliking of audio tracks that get 'remastered' for surround sound (e.g. The Terminator, or Jaws, where in the former the gunshots are all messed up - the shotgun battle in the underpass is particularly shat all over - or in the case of Jaws you have "Smile you son of a BANG" instead of the actual word being heard. All those remasters have really loud, obnoxious-sounding 'glass breaking' effects, too. Anyone know what I'm talking about?). I always go for the original audio track - and likewise, it's the O.G. score or I'm not interested.

    As for Night's library score, I think it sounds really good. Romero picked an excellent selection of tracks and used some unusual pieces in not-so-obvious contexts and really made it work. There's a groovy extra feature on the new Criterion Blu-Ray about the score.

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    Being Attacked beat_truck's Avatar
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    Flashbacks to 1998 because of the 30th Anniversary Edition are completely understandable. I still get pissed when I think about buying that piece of shit, thinking it was going to be something great (or at least hopefully good), and seeing what a hideous abomination it really was. I'm pretty sure I threw my copy in the trash where it belonged.

    I know exactly what Minion is talking about with the crappy "remastered" soundtracks and messed up effects. The gunshots always stick out as big and boomy with an ultra wide stereo effect. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly comes immediately to mind. I think even my DVD of Zombie has some of this nonsence. I hate it, and would rather hear the original soundtrack and effects even if they were low-fi.

    One of the worst things I ever had the displeasure of seeing was a VHS box set of the John Wayne short films from the '30s that I made the mistake of buying. They actually changed the titles and credit sequences, did a gawdy looking colorizing job, and added new tacky soundtracks and sound effects. Another total WTF were they thinking moment. I guess those were also in Public Domain like NOTLD, so anyone could fuck them up any way they see fit and sell them for a profit.

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    Dying JonOfTheShred's Avatar
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    I thought this was cool. I actually did an interview with these guys about it on The Blood Shed.

    The movie that really needs a rescore, though, is Survival of the Dead. I've said it numerous times, one of the things really dragging that film down is the soundtrack. It's all Danny Elfman sounding, making the tone of the film all wrong. If that movie had a proper 80's synth sound it'd be far more effective and creepy, I guarantee it.
    Last edited by JonOfTheShred; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:46 AM. Reason: asdfg

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    Zombie Flesh Eater EvilNed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonOfTheShred View Post
    I thought this was cool. I actually did an interview with these guys about it on The Blood Shed.

    The movie that really needs a rescore, though, is Survival of the Dead. I've said it numerous times, one of the things really dragging that film down is the soundtrack. It's all Danny Elfman sounding, making the tone of the film all wrong. If that movie had a proper 80's synth sound it'd be far more effective and creepy, I guarantee it.
    I remember the leadup to Survival when there was a lot of hype surrounding John Harrisons statements that he'd score the film. In the end he didn't, but it'd be interesting to see what he'd do with it.
    The thing is film scores these days aren't used the same as back in the day. These days you just hire a composer to compose a few cues that you then attach to the film on your own. There's little synchrocity between image and music.
    This mostly applies to low budget films of course, big budget hollywood films still score the film the old fashioned way.

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    Dying JonOfTheShred's Avatar
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    Wow, that would have been amazing! John Harrison's score for Day of the Dead was just phenomenal. Probably my favorite OST for any zombie movie. I think it worked even better than Goblin's music for Dawn. (Probably because John used steel drums in his score, so it made it feel tropical.) NOTLD 1990 had an amazing score as well.

    The industry is very strange. One of my songs got licensed for the Amazon show "Red Oaks." They offered a low-end 4 figure contract for the use of the song. I watched the episodes, and it's literally 10 seconds of my song, barely audible under the dialogue. I would love to land a dozen of those every month.

    On the other hand, I did the bulk of the filmscore to an upcoming Australian comedy, "Lieutenant Jangles." They had no budget, so I did it for free. (Although if it made profits I'd be entitled to a percent.) I composed a LOT of music for that, over an hour, and synchronized every bar of music to with what was going on in screen.

    You're right though, music licensing is where most people get songs. Libraries curate quality tracks and release compilations that have themes. Sites like songtradr act like gateways as well. And as far as the indie market, game developers buy entire soundtracks for $2 off the Unity asset store. Music composition is an increasingly underpaid and unappreciated art form. I still want to make a career of it. Just selling my albums wasn't working either.
    Last edited by JonOfTheShred; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:43 AM. Reason: fgdh

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    Zombie Flesh Eater EvilNed's Avatar
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    Hmm, I thought Night 1990 had a horrible score...
    In fact the main reason I never watch it anymore is because of the score.

    Interesting to hear that you're a musician tho. Did not know that.

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    Being Attacked beat_truck's Avatar
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    I thought NOTLD '90 had a decent score. Not great, but it seemed to fit the movie well.

    Ever see the work print version? It had a score that was bits and pieces lifted from other movies like The Evil Dead and Halloween II.

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    Team Rick MinionZombie's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm kinda iffy about the Night90 score, as well. Some of it works really well (like the end credits theme), but other parts sound a bit ... ... eh ... ... such as the opening credits. It feels too light and delicate, a 'bit TV', and doesn't really command anything. The opening theme in the original 68 version really takes charge of the opening sequence (while never entirely drowning it out), but in the remake it feels flimsy, if that makes sense? It's kinda hard to describe.

    Like I said, some of the Night90 score work, but other bits don't at all so it's a very mixed bag.

  13. #13
    Zombie Flesh Eater EvilNed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    Yeah, I'm kinda iffy about the Night90 score, as well. Some of it works really well (like the end credits theme), but other parts sound a bit ... ... eh ... ... such as the opening credits. It feels too light and delicate, a 'bit TV', and doesn't really command anything. The opening theme in the original 68 version really takes charge of the opening sequence (while never entirely drowning it out), but in the remake it feels flimsy, if that makes sense? It's kinda hard to describe.

    Like I said, some of the Night90 score work, but other bits don't at all so it's a very mixed bag.
    Now that I think about it, yeah some bits work. But overall it relies too much on extremely cheap sounding synth effects that rival something I'd expect from something like an early SeaQuest episode or something like that.

    Never seen the Workprint. I guess I'd like too, but I'd rather just they revisited it and released an unrated version with the gore inserted back in and a new music score. That'd make it a top-tier zombieflick.
    Last edited by EvilNed; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:16 PM. Reason: fdsfasf

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    Dying JonOfTheShred's Avatar
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    I love the NOTLD 1990 soundtrack. The synth gurgles and groans are very unsettling in a very cheesy way. It's sort of similar in many ways to what Hans Zimmer and his hundreds of clones do now - sound design over melody, dissonance over music theory. I heard Savini himself hated the 1990 soundtrack. Still, I maintain it's excellent. It's definitely dated though, not sure what synths he was using for that soundtrack but they sound like early ROMPLERs or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilNed View Post
    Hmm, I thought Night 1990 had a horrible score...
    In fact the main reason I never watch it anymore is because of the score.

    Interesting to hear that you're a musician tho. Did not know that.
    If you say "Alexa, play Jon of the Shred" you've got 7 albums worth of music that could be brought up. I used to post my albums on here, because they are all concept albums tied to the same universe (and yes, the planet in this universe features a major zombie apocalypse) but no one seemed to listen to them so I stopped posting. They are very horror soundtrack inspired, but also meets prog rock and metal.
    Last edited by JonOfTheShred; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:36 PM. Reason: afdg

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    Being Attacked beat_truck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilNed View Post
    Never seen the Workprint. I guess I'd like too, but I'd rather just they revisited it and released an unrated version with the gore inserted back in and a new music score. That'd make it a top-tier zombieflick.
    There really isn't much of any extra gore to see, to be honest. A handful of extended gunshot to the head/crow bar to the head shots is about it, equaling all of about 10 seconds. The work print has some different/extended dialog and a slightly different opening, but nothing impressive.

    Edit: Here is the added gore. Although I think the scene towards the beginning where Ben puts the crowbar through the zombie's head and it breaks the door glass is a half a second longer, too.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p58GF4Ekov0
    Last edited by beat_truck; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:11 PM. Reason: ..

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