Soundtrack Review: Night Of The Living Dead

Soundtrack Review: Night Of The Living Dead

Night Of The Living Dead Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Night Of The Living Dead by Ogre & Dallas Campbell.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 98.3
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 76.9
Album Excellence: 91.5%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

Night Of The Living Dead is a 1968 American horror film directed by George A. Romero and starring Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea & Karl Hardman. A disparate group of individuals takes refuge in an abandoned house when corpses begin to leave the graveyard in search of fresh human bodies to devour. The pragmatic Ben (Duane Jones) does his best to control the situation, but when the reanimated bodies surround the house, the other survivors begin to panic. As any semblance of order within the group begins to dissipate, the zombies start to find ways inside — and one by one, the living humans become the prey of the deceased ones. The score is composed by Ogre & Dallas Campbell.

Night Of The Living Dead, the small budget cult classic from the late 60s has been a reference point for many horror films that came after and it’s indefinitely quotable. the original did contain a score of sorts mixing in original music by William Loose and some stock recordings by Fred Steiner. What would it sound like in an 80s horror film style music? Synthwave artists Ogre and Dallas Campbell wanted to find out and here it is. You can watch the movie with the new score on Lakeshore Records YouTube channel. I did, and, well, I’ll let you know what I think about that later. I want to get into the actual score first. I’m a huge 80s movie fan, and there’s a certain style and cheesy-ness attached to the films and scores of that era. Has Ogre & Dallas Campbell captured the essence of it?

The score opens with ‘Opening Credits’ and it does sound a bit too cheap in the opening 40 seconds, but when the super slick bass kicks in, then I’m back into my comfort zone. This is pretty great 80s horror music with a little religious motif as well added in. I’m impressed. ‘Cemetery’ strikes a chord in me as well with the slow building synth string. I also love the subtle but noticeable effect of noise on the recording. Ogre & Campbell got their synth sounds tunes, because the cemetery theme is quite brilliant. They definitely got the sound down and the rest is all up to personal preference. The themes are simple, not very memorable, but they do a great job deliberating what it should feel like watching an 80s horror flick.

But that’s maybe the score’s biggest problem. It’s an 80s score fit for an 80s film, not a film from the late 60s. I watched the movie with this music, and I sadly couldn’t connect with it at all. It felt like it didn’t fit the premise sadly. So in context, the score fails for me, but on album, it’s a brilliant score and that’s what I’m reviewing. It makes me feel all sorts of things, most importantly it brings me back to more fun time in a cultural sense. For me, this is a fantastic score, not in context, but on album. It is a score I’ll happily listen to more than most scores because of what it means to me, what it represents. There’s some fun alternates or bonus cues if you will at the end. There’s a new opening credits that use Dies Irae heavily and it’s like the 80s cheesy synth version of the classic main theme to The Shining. If you are a fan of the 80s and horror films, or even if you just enjoyed the score to Stranger Things this is a score you can’t miss.

HIGHLIGHTS:
1. Opening Credits
2. Cemetery
3. Graveside
4. The House *
5. Ben
6. Don’t Look At it
7. Music Box
8. There Were No More Screams
9. Murder Happy Characters
10. Dwellers
11. Windows *
12. The Boss Up Here
13. Barbara
14. High Levels Of Radiation
16. We’ve Got To Do Something
17. The Truck
18. Those Things
19. Johnny Has The Keys
21. Haven’t You Had Enough
22. The Basement
23. Morning
24. End Credits

BONUS CUES
25. Opening Credits (Alternate)
26. Cemetery A (Alternate)
27. Cemetery B (Alternate)
28. House (Alternate)
30. Windows (Alternate)

GD Star Rating
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Soundtrack Review: Night Of The Living Dead, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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