In general, the purpose of a movie’s music is to complement the action without getting in the way. Even a soaring John Williams score, with memorable themes representing the major characters, is meant to enhance the impact of what we see on screen, not replace it.

But sometimes you — yes, you, personally — can’t help but notice the music.

Have you ever found yourself absolutely electrified by opening credits, only to be bored to tears by the movie that followed? Has a musical ever inspired you to sing along with it, even though you don’t speak Tamil or Cantonese? Have you ever gone crazy over the music for a movie you couldn’t stand — or vice versa? Has a terrible movie ever made you furious by ruining your favorite song? Love it or hate it, sometimes music follows you out of the theater and refuses to leave you alone. It’s a difficult experience to try to put into words — so that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

This month, we celebrate the movies that — for better or for worse — added something to the soundtrack of our lives. Join us as we consider movies… In the Key of B.



1000 Misspent Hours and Counting Battle Beyond the Stars At New World, you never did anything successful just once. If an idea worked, you used it again and again until it stopped working— and any minor variation that might keep a successful formula viable for one more go-round was fair game. The principle applied to premises, to scripts, to typecasting, to props and costumes, to completed special effects footage, so why not apply it to music, too?
1000 Misspent Hours and Counting Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness And that brings us back to BIR-BIR-BIR-BUR-BUR-BUR-BER-BER BIR-BIR-BIR-BUR-BUR-BUR-BER-BER. That damnable synth riff has a weirdly specific function in Truth or Dare? A Critical Madness: it plays every time deranged antihero Mike Strauber gets behind the wheel of an automobile. Every… fucking… time.
And You Call Yourself A Scientist! The Blob (1958) These days, The Blob sits comfortably amongst the other iconic science-fiction films of its era; certainly not one of the truly greats – though, let’s face it, the competition was pretty stiff – but one whose heart and originality made it stand out from the pack. While much of this can be laid at the, uh, feet of the film’s marvellously simple yet brilliantly effective red-jello monster, the production which surrounds that monster is much more thoughtful, and has more real substance, than you might anticipate… Though The Blob has some virtues that need a bit of digging to get at, one of them thrusts itself at the viewer right at the outset. Though it is not, in fact, an appropriate prelude to the film which follows, being altogether too light and jokey in tone, the theme-song from The Blob is irresistibly catchy…
And You Call Yourself A Scientist! The Green Slime (1968) With all due apologies to Tsushima Toshiaki, this mindbogglingly marvellous bit of psychedelic kitsch is enough on its own to secure The Green Slime a slice of immortality… And it could be reasonably argued that this theme-song is a better fit for the film overall than Tsushima’s solemn scoring. There are, as I have already suggested, many odd things about The Green Slime. It is by no means alone in the field of science fiction in being, evidently, incapable of imaging THE FUTURE in terms other than those in existence at the time of its production; the Italian films which preceded it suffer from exactly the same, admittedly often amusing, shortcoming; yet its military-installation-cum-discotheque space-station seems even more than ordinarily “off”.
Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension
The Unknown Movies The Sword And The Sorcerer (1982) Indeed, there are some moments in The Sword And The Sorcerer that show that Pyun did at least have some creative control. Before your hopes for this movie are dashed, let me assure you again that in this film at least, Pyun managed to prevail. In fact, there is one moment in the movie that Pyun makes to be absolutely perfect. It’s during the extended action climax of the movie, starting at the one hour and twenty minute mark and lasting for about one minute, when Talon the hero is shown fighting in slow motion Cromwell’s soldiers while the movie’s magnificent David Whitaker musical score – one of the best fantasy movie scores I’ve ever heard, a score that really boosts the movie out of its low budget origins – plays triumphantly in the background. There may be many movies more critically acclaimed than The Sword And The Sorcerer, but a lot of those don’t even have one absolutely perfect moment as this movie has.