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Go to the Stelvio Cipriani website  Stelvio Cipriani - Mario Bava Original Soundtracks Anthology Vol 3 [Digitmovies - 2005]

This great two-disk set brings together three soundtracks which Stelvio Cipriani wrote in the 1970's for Italian horror maestro Mario Bava. One of the soundtracks having its world premier here, it's from Bava's film Rabid Dogs, originally planned for release 1974 but that fell through.

First up is the soundtrack to Bay of Blood( Ecologia del delitto) or Twitch of the death nerve - the film in itself is interesting, having been a major influence on the slasher genre. Scene and murders have been taken wholesale from the film, to use in other films. The titletrack is mix of tribal rhythms, harpsichord and lush painted making a memorable and haunting mainpiece. Another highlight is Evelyn theme, that appears a few times, it's a beautiful realized mixture of sad piano melody and raising string swells, painting great romantic sadness and feeling of memory of past joys. The rest of the soundtrack is made of tribal and samba style rthyems, mixed with lush string work and piano flourishers. Later on in the soundtrack, there some wonderfully menacing and strange tracks made up of rumbling drums and sizzling moody electric guitar work. Another Stand out moment is the high lovable and chessy Teen-agers Cha Cha Cha is a mix of sunny keyboard and some wonderfully chanting and cha cha's guaranteed to paint a silly smile on your face, great stuff. A varied and highly enjoyable soundtrack.

Next up on the first disk is the soundtrack for Rabid Dogs (Cani arrabbiati) which was laid unfinished until 2002, when his son finished it off. The vibe to this soundtrack is more fast paced, gritty and urban. The film tells the story of a gang of thief's hijacking a man's car. The main theme is a pumped up mix of argent harpsichord and nice dramatic trumpet work, carrying the main melody, along with lush swirls of string work and tuneful weavings from the saxophone. The rest of the soundtrack offers Hammond organ pumped, funky and jazzy, takes and variation on the main theme, another enjoyable soundtrack, which is slight less varied than the Bay of Blood soundtrack.

Lastly we have on a disk all to its own the soundtrack from The Torture Chamber of Baron Blood (Gli orrori del castello di norimberga), a story of a young man who returns to Austria to search for his heritage. There he visits the castle of his ancestor, a sadistic baron, who was burned at the stake. But he returns from the grave to continue his murderous tortures. The music maintheme is memorable mix of sunny guitar work, pretty piano tinkling and female voices, having a wonderfully camp lounge/easy listening feel to it. As the soundtrack progress things turn more sinister, with bassy and doomy cord dissension, eerier percussion hits and Phantom Of The Opera-like church organ: a creepy vibe. There are some wonderful moments here, dropping down in lots of interesting atmospheric and camp moments, stretches of sleazy jazz rub against dying light doomness and chase-round-the-house piano cords. Very rewarding and satisfying stuff.

A wonderful collection of soundtracks, that comes with an informative and colourful booklet, with an essay about the films written by Tim Lucas of Video Watch Dog and some great stills and poster work.

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

Roger Batty
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