Jean Richard & Patrick Giordano - Mad Mutilator/ Terpanator (OST) [Omega Productions - 2017]Mad Mutilator/ Trepanator brings together two synth based soundtracks for ultra low-budget French horror features from N.G. Mount(Norbert Moutier)- a video shop owner/ horror fanzine editor, turned SOV horror fiend. Fans of trashy, gory & often nonsense euro-horror will be probably be aware of Mad Mutilator( aka Ogroff) as it’s one of the more puzzling & lo-fi blends of the slasher & zombie genres to appear. But less so Trepanator- which is a lesser known/ barely distributed Reanimator rip-off from 1992- if you’re a fan of the 80’s/ 90’s moody-yet-crude soundtracking you’ll surely get a kick out of this double-headed CD release.
This release is the fourth in Omega Productions Collection Horreur A La Francaise series, that’s seen the label releasing a host of long-lost French horror/cult soundtracks. It comes in the form of wonderful garish & blood jewel case release- which takes in ten page colour booklet, featuring a short write up about the making of the Mad Mutilator soundtrack, and stills/ poster art from the film…though sadly nothing from Trepanator, which I’m guessing is down to the scarceness of prints.
As I mentioned in my opening paragraph if you ever dabbled in the more trashy/ extremely lo-fi side of Euro-horror, you’ll be surely aware of Mad Mutilator..But if not I’ll give you an outline. The film appeared in 1983, and it’s fair to say it’s one of the most deranged & truly bizarre horror films put to tape- firstly it features a rather weird killer- OGOFF lives in a broken down wooden shack in the French countryside- he wears a lopsided & bedraggled brown gimp mask, a blue woolly hat, and green Wellington boots- and he pretty much attacks anyone on his land, including children. Next there is barely any dialogue for its hour & a half runtime, instead, you get a selection out of sink sound effects, over loud field recordings, extremely lo-fi sample based sonic experimentation, and all manner of screams, groans & kill tool sounds. Lastly, for some bizarre & unknown reason, it switches to a zombie film in its last quarter- all making it a film you’ll never forget.
The soundtrack for Mad Mutilator was played/ composed by self-taught synth geek Jean Richard, and was seemingly all reordered on a first generation Korg Ps-320. The soundtrack as it’s laid out here takes in just three tracks- two tracks of two-to-three minutes & one epic nineteen-minute track. The first track is entitled “Mad Mutilator (Rasta Reaper)”- and as its subtitle suggests it’s rather reggae flued- the tracks built around a mid-paced, though slightly wonky electro-reggae beat- around this Richard adds a choppy bass-line, grooving organ lines, and a host of swirling, popping, and whooshing electro tones.
Up next we have the second shorter track “The Chase”- and this pretty much does what you’d expect from the titles, so you get dramatic throbbing bass line & disco drum hits, skittering higher melody line- all with the nice addition with frying, woozing, and phrasing sub tones. Last for this first soundtrack we have the epic nineteen plus the minute track “OGOFF’s Electronic Suite”- and this is a fair loose almost jam type affair, which shifts from a blend of pitter-patterning rhythmic textures & semi-melodic purrs & swirls. Onto meatier throbbing & phaser landed work-outs alive with jittering & twitter synth tones. Through to blends of deep chop-ness & all manner of synth-based texturing. If you enjoy the loss/ more structure-less moments of Klaus Schulze work I think you’ll enjoy this track
So next on the disc we move onto the second soundtrack on the disc for Trepanator- which takes in thirteen fairly short cues, and one more song length end title track- these are seemingly all by Patrick Giordano, who only ever recorded this one soundtrack. This was N.G. Mount third film, it appeared in 1992, and to show it’s obscurity it doesn’t even have any reviews on IMDB. After having a little hunt around the net, it seems the film was somewhat of a mad doctor/ Reanimator rip-off, and by all accounts, it didn’t stand up to the lo-fi charm of Mad Mutilator, though after now hearing the soundtrack I’d like to check it out. The thirteen cues run between under a minute & three minutes, and each is set around a tight sort of eerier music box gone synth melody- around this, we get a selection of bizarro mad scientist samples, & all manner buzzes & knocks. It’s certainly a very simplistic score, but when in the right mood I found it wonderful wonky & deranged. The thing I didn’t enjoy about this soundtrack was the ultra-bland & badly played 80’s glam/ pop rock end title track…which just seems to feature lots of chanting of ‘I Want To Have a Good Time’- I don’t mind some 80’s glam rock, but this is just so clichéd & forgettable….so really it's just best to skip it, and don’t let it spoil the proceeding tracks.
Hats-off to Omega Productions for putting out these two obscure synth soundtracks- and each has its own charms & moments of quirky wonder. So if you have a penchant for lo-fi electro based horror sound-tracking, this really is something you need to pick-up.