VAMPIRELLA - Original Soundtrack by Joel Goldsmith
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Dragon’s Domain Records presents the original soundtrack for VAMPIRELLA featuring music composed by Joel Goldsmith (STARGATE UNIVERSE, STARGATE ATLANTIS, THE UNTOUCHABLES) for the 1996 fantasy horror film directed by Jim Wynorski (LOST EMPIRE, DEATHSTALKER II, CHOPPING MALL), written by Gary Gerani (PUMPKINHEAD), starring Talisa Soto as Vampirella, Roger Daltrey, Richard Joseph Paul, Brian Bloom, Corinna Harney, Rusty Meyers, Lee de Broux, Tom Deters, Lenny Juliano, Angus Scrimm along with John Landis and John Terlesky.
Vampirella was introduced to the world in September 1969 in the first issue of the comic magazine VAMPIRELLA from Warren Publishing, the creation of writer Forrest J Ackerman and artist Trina Robbins. She joined Warren’s successful sister magazines CREEPY and EERIE, and at the time the sensual Vampirella was featured as the hostess of each issue’s collection of horror stories, much like Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie were used in their own magazines. Vampirella was noted for her skimpy blood-red costume and sassy attitude. Beginning with issue #9, however, writer-editor Archie Goodwin elevated her from hostess to a headliner, starring in the featured story in each issue. Eventually a fictional history developed around the character. She came from a planet named Drakulon which was inhabited by vampires. After an Earth spaceship crashed on Drakulon, Vampirella discovered that Earth astronauts contained a hefty amount of blood in their veins. As that substance was growing sparse on her planet, Vampirella repaired and piloted the spacecraft back to Earth, and thus her adventures began. The popularity of Vampirella as a blood-sucking sex symbol whose style and substance left little to the imagination eventually reached the interest of filmmakers.
Joel Goldsmith was hired to provide the music for VAMPIRELLA. Joel had scored Wynorski’s 1993 family film LITTLE MISS MILLIONS, and would later compose STEALTH FIGHTER, MILITIA, and LOST IN THE WOODS for the director. Son of renowned composer Jerry Goldsmith, Joel began scoring films in 1978, mostly using his array of electronic equipment and synthesizers, composing more than 70 films and television productions until his untimely death in 2012.
VAMPIRELLA is a limited edition of 500 units.
1. Titles/Drakulon Opening/Vlad’s Escape/Dad Dies (7:47)
2. Vampirella Appears in Alley/The Fight/ Vampirella Tells Forry her Story (5:31)
3. Quick Kill: Purge Team Set Up/Vampirella Finds Professor Trax/A Lead on Vlad (6:09)
4. Purge Team Arrests Vlad and Vampirella (4:14)
5. Escaping The Police Van/First Confrontation (3:40)
6. Vampirella’s Story/From Mars to Earth (4:12)
7. Let’s Work Together/Vlad’s Base/ Taking Vampirella to Purge HQ (2:59)
8. Vampirella Tries the Sun Gun/Van Helsing and the Artificial Blood (4:53)
9. Vlad Addresses the Council/Walsh Prays (3:21)
10. Vampirella Attacks Guards/Our Souls are Identical/Start the Countdown (2:37)
11. The Kiss: Vlad’s Speech/Vampirella’s Bloodthirst (3:31)
12. Purge Team Arrive/The Battle (3:24)
13. Vampirella Battles Vlad (4:05)
14. End Credit Score Suite (3:57)
Total Time: 60:54
Vampirella (1996) ***
Dragon’s Domain DDR723
14 tracks - 60:24
Vampirella is another direct-to-video exploitation film from director Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Munchie). Forrest J. Ackerman created the classic character back in 1969 in a magazine where she acted as a hostess of sorts, introducing random tales of horror. In the movie, the title character (played by the scantily-clad Talisa Soto) has her own story in which she comes to earth from the planet Drakulon to seek revenge against her father’s killers. Rocker Roger Daltrey (The Who) also stars. Apart from these curiosities, film music fans may also appreciate that the score is by Joel Goldsmith (Laserblast, Moon 44), who delivers gothic stylings using the most current electronics at his disposal.
Pounding drums kick off the title sequence as a small motivic idea gradually expands into a lyrical theme for Vampirella. When “Vampirella Tells Forry Her Story,” the surprising beauty of the melodic line shines through. There are also some attractive, dark colors that swirl throughout this opening section.
Worthwhile subsidiary material is on display as well, as in the theme for Vlad and the Purge Organization, which receives a full treatment in “Purge Team Set Up.” There are also several non-thematic effects employed frequently in the score, including hammer hits and other recurring soundscapes that add a mysterious feel to the proceedings.
The highlight of the score is the climactic action sequence, comprised of both “Purge Team Arrive/The Battle” and “Vampirella Battles Vlad.” The end credits offer an effective suite of the core themes, wrapping up the playlist nicely.
Vampirella is a well done ’90s synth score that dabbles in gothic horror and atmospheric fare. While one may find themselves wishing this were a fully orchestral work, Goldsmith at least creates enough of that sense to make for an enjoyable romp. You can check out clips of the 500-unit limited album at the label’s website. —Steven A. Kennedy
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