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- Halloween II by John Carpenter
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This has got to be one of the most exciting developments in the unfolding Death Waltz saga so far - reissues of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s scores to his excellent Halloween sequels. Sadly no sign yet of a new pressing of the first Halloween but I’m quietly crossing my fingers that will materialise eventually. Anyway, I eagerly lapped up the recent ‘Escape from New York’ and ‘Prince of Darkness’ reissues and I’m just as delighted to finally have a listen to these ones.
‘II’ very much continues on from the original Halloween score in terms of style and themes, perhaps a little bolder and punchier but it’s pure Carpenter and the melodic refrain of the main theme makes several chilling appearances, clearly intended to tie the films together as companion pieces. It closes with the oft-sampled doo-wop of ‘Mr. Sandman’ by the Chordettes which gains a new level of creepiness in this context (much like the incongruously upbeat ‘Everyone’s Coming To New York’ in the EFNY OST or the ‘Halloween Montage’ of ‘III’).As for ‘III’, we’re in different territory altogether with the malevolent technology themes of the film being mirrored in an ominous synth-techno dronescape with partially obscured fluttering modular touches, violent cosmic stabs and patient, bass pulses. This one is considered by many to be one of the great underrated jewels in Carpenter’s glittering career and it’s immediately easy to hear why. It’s a pulsating, gliding, stuttering synth-dread masterwork. Both these records are essential.
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