"The Pit And The Pendulum: Deluxe Edition"
Music By Richard Band
27 Tracks/Disc Time: 63:39
1991's "The Pit And The Pendulum" is Director Stuart Gordon's remake of the Edgar Allan Poe's short story told in a rather interesting and unique perspective. The film stars the great Lance Henriksen ("Aliens", "Millennium", "Pumpkinhead") as the feared inquisitor Torquemada during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. a young married woman named Maria (Rona DeRicci) does not like what is going on during the "Auto De Fe" and speaks out against it and is immediately arrested and accused of being a witch. Torquemada has plans for her! He orders her to be tortured and her tongue to be cut out while her husband (Jeffery Combs, "Re-Animator") desperately attempts to free her from the clutches of the insane and feared religious leader. With the film being one of better Full Moon Entertainment films produced by the company which has gained a strong cult following over the years.
As with most of Full Moon Entertainment's films, the musical chores fell upon the underrated musical talents of composer Richard Band. who's brother Charles was the head of Full Moon and his father, Albert was a prolific filmmaker and naturally was the right choice to score most of their films including cult classics such as "Puppet Master", "Parasite", "Zone Troopers", "Trancers", "Ghoulies", "Re-Animator", "Troll" and "Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jaryed Syn" amongst his most accomplished work that also features excellent television work on shows such as "Walker: Texas Ranger", "Stargate SG-1" and Showtime's "Masters Of Horror".
The music for "The Pit And The Pendulum" is a surprisingly dramatic and full blooded work that is very gothic at times but full of thematic material that is very memorable. This isn't a horror score per se, but if it was it really would be amongst Band's finest. Complete with a full chorus, the score is brooding and has a rather operatic touch to it in that way. Highlighted by a truly memorable "Main Title" that immediately sets the tone of the score right off the bat featuring a full blooded orchestra and chorus that sounds apocalyptic in nature that would probably rival Jerry Goldsmith's "The Omen" in parts but not quite as accomplished as that great score. The rest of the score pretty much concentrates on Torquemada's obsession with his now captive love from afar, Maria and his relentless pursuit of her that ultimately results in a more vicious side to Torquemada. Highlighted by "Auto Da Fa", "Torquemada Meets Maria", "Torquemada Takes Maria", "Maria Is Shown Chamber", "The Rape of Maria", "Torquemada Cuts Out Maria's Tongue", "Maria Is Buried In The Crypt" and "Maria Rises From The Crypt" which uses the main theme in a rather aggressive and obsessive way which signals both a dark love and also Torquemada's power of fear, wickeness and torture that Band smartly brings out through his score in varied ways. The score is also highlighted by three important tracks "Esmeralda's Curse", "The Pit And The Pendulum" and "Finale & End Title" that bring out the best out of the material that Band has established with powerhouse gusto and expressive melodies.
Perseverance Records expanded release of score features the complete score as it was intended to be released before Moonstone Records went out of business in the early 1990's. This is a very solid and intriguing score that really deserves to be rediscovered again along with the work of Richard Band, who really is a much underrepresented and truly underappreciated composer that deserves a little more exposure again. Thumbs up.