"So I Married An Axe Murderer"
Music By Bruce Broughton
Intrada Special Collection Vol. 258
40 Tracks/Disc Time: 53:40
Comedy scores are very tricky in that most of them are mickey mousing the action on screen or simply just accentuating jokes that really don't need to be accenuated with wah-wah-wah musical mock laughter. Then there are movies such as "So I Married An Axe Murderer" that both romantic comedy and horror spoof that makes good use of a comedy score in the best way possible. The film stars the then red hot Mike Myers, who was just coming off the grand success of "Wayne's World" and was on his way to leaving "Saturday Night Live" for a movie career that would eventually lead to Myers' most memorable roles as both "Austin Powers" and "Dr. Evil" years later. Myers plays Charlie MacKenzie, a loveable poetic goofball who has commitment issues until he meets Harriet Michaels (Nancy Travis, "Three Men And A Baby"), whom he sees at a butcher shop and helps out one day in which she finds him attractive in his own right. Charlie and Harriet do give a go and get married, but soon after, he has his own suspicions about his sweet new bride as he fears that she's the murderous "Ms. X" , a femme fatale that marries and then kills off her husbands soon after. The film was a box office disappointment, but has garnered a nice following over the last few decades with appealing performances by Myers and Travis and the direction of Thomas Schlamme, who would go on to produce the memorable hit series "The West Wing."
For a film such as this that needed to blend both comedic and suspense elements, Bruce Broughton was the man who was tapped to write the films' musical score amidst the assortment of pre-recorded songs that he had to contend with. Broughton who scored major attention with the terrific scores to "Young Sherlock Holmes" and "The Boy Who Could Fly", had also become very adept at scoring comedies which he had recently done (at the time) with the likes of "Betsy's Wedding", "Stay Tuned" and "Honey I Blew Up The Kid" along with the comedies that would follow this film including the romantic comedy, "For Love Or Money" starring Michael J.Fox. The music for "So I Married An Axe Murderer" is fun, whimsical and full of mock comedic suspense that is very themeatic and enjoyable. It combines a little bit of the mystery elements from "Young Sherlock Holmes" and just turns them into flat out comedy which actually does work. Starting out with the albums' opening track "Main Title", Broughton introduces us to two themes that would make up the score that feature the mystery elements and then switching over to a light contemporary vibe featuring a nice little rock guitar that gives it a certain hipness to it to emphasize Mike Myers' character. "Boy Meets Girl" is the score's third theme that plays off the established themes in the first track with a more jazzy vibe to it and easily my favorite of the three themes which is alot of fun and memorable.
The rest of the score pretty much takes their cue from these themes and Broughton playfully utilizes them in tracks such as "A Creeping Doubt (Revised)", "Ralph" (which features a goofy theremin like effect), "Name Your Poison", "Globe Bridge" (which features a fun rendition of the Boy Meets Girl theme), "Stalking" (which has a bit of mock Bernard Herrmann quirky edge to it) and "She's Mrs. Axe (Revised)". Broughton finally culminates the story's main idea during the enjoyable and cheerfully mocking of thriller scores in "The Finale" and "The Finale Part 2" where he mixes the rock guitar into the fray along with playful orchestration that just builds and builds to achieve the comedic shenanigans on screen as Broughton the fine composer that he is only knows how to do. "End Theme" reprises one of the scores major themes for a cool rock guitar solo that played in the latter half of the opening track for a satisfactory close to the score and album.The rest of the album features a slew of alternate material that's slightly different than the final product as scenes in the film were edited or changed around during the recording sessions of the score.
Intrada's album is a nicely put together production especially since they've really been huge fans of the composer for over two decades now and they're always produced high quality albums of Broughton's work over the years with this one being no different. If I have any problems with this album is just that there are way too many short tracks that with a few editing decisions would've played better as a single cohesive track at times. This is a very minor thing since the score is so breezy that it just goes by without much of an issue. It took about 20 years to finally get a release of Broughton's fine music for "So I Married An Axe Murderer" and it was definitely worth the wait since it was one of the best reasons that the film was so likeable. This is a very solid album and one of the better comedy scores of the 1990's. Thumbs up.