4 out of 5
Produced by: Chris Kuchler, Fred Myrow, Malcolm Seagrave, Paul Ratajczak, Scot Holton, Tom Null
So indicative of 80s horror – that Carpenter sense of minimalist tones – and yet, like the movie, such a standout. The original Phantasm maintains a sense of mystery and menace throughout, and Myrow and Seagrave’s instantly recognizable theme captures that to an absolute. The A side of the score – which is collected here mostly in movie order, though apparently chopped down a tad – brings us in to the world of Phantasm by transforming that dreamlike Main Title tune into rockier versions, more ethereal versions, and even a freakin’ disco version, which somehow doesn’t betray any of the tenseness or odd beauty of the tone and vibe. The B side is slightly less interesting as it errs more toward short cues than the full songs of the A side; they aren’t true cues – they’re about a minute and some change each – and Myrow and Seagrave pack plenty of interesting sounds in there, but they’re a break from the album’s immersion.
Still an imminently relistenable score, front to back, and one that has aged exceedingly well. (As has the flick…!)
The Mondo reissue sounds dang good to me, and features appropriately understated art that services the key, iconic imagery of the movie really well.