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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Paul Zaza & Carl Zittrer - Prom Night(OST) [Perseverance records - 2019]

Here we have the first-ever release of the full soundtrack of the classic 1980’s Canadian slasher film Prom Night. This recent thirty four track CD release brings together both the original score, and the films often disco focused songs- but on top of this, you get a selection of both un-used score cues, and un-used disco tunes for the film. All making this release on Perseverance Records  the ultimate and definitive release of the film's soundtrack.

The CD is presented in a clear jewel case- this takes in a glossy eight-page inlay booklet, featured with-in is a six-page essay about the soundtrack, and its two decidedly different musical genres. We also get a good selection of film stills, poster artwork, etc. I’m not sure what the pressing of this release is, but I can imagine  it’s not huge-  so I'd act sooner and I can see it disappearing fairly quickly as there are at least three key audiences for this release- soundtrack fans, disco fans, and of course slasher/ horror fans.

I’m guessing that most folks reading this review will know all about the plot of this 1980 slasher classic- but just encase not here is a brief rundown. The film opens with a flashback- showing a group of kids playing in a rundown house- one of the little girls is been tormented by her friends, and accidentally falls out of a window to her death. Fast forward six years, and a group of high school seniors are getting ready for their prom night- and when the big night happens a masked killer starts stalking the teens.  In the lead role of Kim is Jamie Lee Curtis, with supporting role from Leslie Neilson as the principle- in a more straight/ seriously role, before he went onto do the Naked Gun films. Prom Night is a fairly slow-paced, but intriguing enough slasher- that is very much backpacked with its stalk & slash action.

The CD comes in at the sixty six-minute mark- with the films score been the first twenty-two tracks- this takes in both the released & unused score- with eight cues from the original score and fourteen unreleased cues. Tracks twenty-three to thirty-four are the song tracks- and here we get six songs used in the film and six unused songs.

The film's score was written by Canadian composers Paul Zaza( Porky's, My Bloody Valentine) and Carl Zittrer- for it the pair conjure up a nicely dramatic and suspenseful orchestrated score. This sees a mixture of simmering-to-brooding strings sweeps, dips and picks. With moments of darkly bombastic horn work,  unsettling/ creepy flute trails, and tolling piano moodiness with dark string flourishes. There are a few fairly recognizable themes though-out the score- but these are more of the eerie and edgy side of things, and less on the overly harmonic/memorable side of things. The score nicely shifts from sinister swoons, onto more dramatic string sliding panic, through to dreamingly sinister & slightly sensual, onto playful and bombastic- with slight hints of more disco-like hornwork- though these never become fully realized.

The songs for the soundtrack where also composed/written by Zaza and Zitter- and these saw the pair mimicking the more pop and cheesy side of disco- with slight forays into synth-funk and soul elements. The six soundtrack original songs go from the flare shaking & slicing groove of “Dancing In The Moonlight”- which sees a musical blend of snazzy & punchy horns, funk bass, vivid disco drums, and the odd stray sax- this is topped by female chorus vocals, and more soulful male vocals. Onto the sparking and cascading synth disco-meet- horn swooning groove of “Tonight Is Prom Night”- with its singalong chorus of ‘It’s prom night everything alright, no good feeling uptight”. Though to the dramatic and rising piano pop ballad “Fade To Black”- which is enjoyable enough in a campy way, though sounds very much genric female singer-songwriter of the time.

The bonus/ unreleased stuff on the scored side of the CD, is mainly very short and slight cues, that last between twenty-five  seconds and one minute, with only real longer track "Haunting Robin" having a runtime at nearing three-minute mark. These tracks are no great revelations, but when played along with the original score work well.

The bonus track song-wise feature a slightly different version "Tonight Is Prom Night" track,  called "Prom Night". We get more funked-up disco with “Disco Out The Back Door”. A few instrumental disco tracks and a sassy-swing-horn meets chugging funk tune called “You Can Be What You Want To Be”- which features chant along with female chorus. Again there are no great revelations here- but they are nice additions/ follow on to the other song tracks.

It’s certainly great to finally get the ultimate edition of this soundtrack from this slasher classic- and never released material both on the score and song side of things really does work well within context/ flow of the whole release- which you can’t say for many bonus tracks on similar releases. So all told- a great, great release which will have any slasher fan heart singing with joy.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

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