KILLER PARTY - Original Soundtrack by John Beal
CD includes Digital Download / Digital PDF
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Dragon’s Domain Records, to be distributed by BuySoundtrax, will be releasing KILLER PARTY for the first time, featuring music composed by John Beal (TERROR IN THE AISLES, THE FUNHOUSE) for the 1986 horror comedy directed by William Fruet, written by Barney Cohen and starring Martin Hewitt, Ralph Seymour, Elaine Wilkes and Paul Bartel.
Written by Barney Cohen of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER fame, KILLER PARTY is a Canadian supernatural slasher film with comedic tongue-in-cheek overtones directed by William Fruet. A native of Alberta, Canada, Fruet directed a stream of low-budget horror flicks throughout the 1970s–80s including THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE, FUNERAL HOME, and SPASMS, before venturing into television to direct episodes of FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES, WAR OF THE WORLDS, and GOOSEBUMPS.
Released the same year as the seminal slasher APRIL FOOL’S DAY, KILLER PARTY lacerates the traditional April Fool’s joke to the nth degree. After a series of false introductions, the real plot of the movie revolves around a trio of young ladies who make a pact to pledge Sigma Alpha Pi, a popular sorority at their university during Hell Week. In spite of Mrs. Henshaw’s warning, the sorority sisters decide to hold their annual April Fool’s Night hazing ritual at Pratt House anyway. And the body count starts to rise…
The music for KILLER PARTY was composed and conducted by John Beal. A combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Beal is a prolific composer and conductor internationally recognized for his work with major recording artists including Elton John, Gladys Knight, Olivia Newton-John, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King, and Deadmau5 to name a few. As principal conductor of the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Beal has traveled the world directing orchestral performances in cities including London, Tokyo, Antwerp, Prague, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, and Luxembourg. In addition to his extensive conducting experience, Beal is also an accomplished composer having scribed scores for forty-five theatrical motion pictures including THE FUNHOUSE, TERROR IN THE AISLES and multiple television series.
Beal’s eclectic score for KILLER PARTY is the quintessential amalgam of 1980s synthesizer technology fused with live performances. Composed in just two weeks with the help of trusted friend and orchestrator Douglas Timm), Beal amassed fifty hefty minutes of avant-garde horror music far surpassing the strict budgetary limitations. An arsenal of high-tech gadgets including a Yamaha DX7, Fairlight CMI, and a mellotron were intermixed with a modest string section comprised of eight musicians and one player each performing trumpet, trombone, and tuba.
Dragon’s Domain Records, to be distributed by BuySoundtrax, presents the world premiere release of KILLER PARTY, featuring music composed by John Beal, mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland. The booklet contains liner notes written by author and composer Brian Satterwhite, with the participation of the composer.
KILLER PARTY is a limited edition of 500 units.
1. A Killer Opening (0:36)
2. Church Funeral Organ (Source) (2:03)
3. Coffin Attack Into The Fire (Movie Source) (3:59)
4. Abandoned Concession Stand / Abandoned Sorority House (2:32)
5. Alan's Tombstone / Mrs Henshaw Beaten (4:08)
6. Stalker Stinger/ Stone Gargoyle / Girls Sneak Into Frat House (2:36)
7. Jennifer Undresses / Martin Stalks (2:06)
8. The Goat Pledge Ceremony (2:22)
9. Basement Noise / Vivia Goes / The First Guillotine (2:44)
10. “It's The Only Reason You Are Here, Sweetie" (0:41)
11. Girls Enter The House / Blake Scares Girls (2:12)
12. Jennifer Enters The Basement /
Henshaw Flashback Stinger /
Dr. Zito Enters House / Electrocuted (2:57)
13. The House Possesses Jennifer / Trident Murder / Calling for Blake (2:33)
14. Hammer To The Skull /
The Second Guillotine (2:38)
15. Girls Find Blake's Dead Body (2:48)
16. Jennifer's Transformation (1:38)
17. House Battle / Chased To The Roof / Vivia Falls (5:04)
18. Phoebe Fights Jennifer/ Stabbing Jennifer/
Phoebe Becomes Possessed / Cops Arrive (3:09)
19. Vivia In Ambulance With Possessed Phoebe (0:48)
20. BONUS TRACK: Abandoned Sorority House #2 (1:40)
Total Time: 50:08
Killer Party (1986) ***
Dragon’s Domain DR722
20 tracks - 49:14
William Fruet’s Killer Party (1986), which had a brief theatrical release after being shelved for a couple years, concerns a demonic spirit that terrorizes a sorority. The film has its requisite share of nudity and gore, plus an appearance by the always campy Paul Bartel. Composer John Beal worked on a variety of television series and provided some prominent trailer music as well. His first feature was Don Weis’ 1978 comedy Zero to Sixty, and having provided music for Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse (1981), Killer Party seemed to be right up his alley.
Beal assembled his low-budget instrumental palette out of an array of synthesizers (Yamaha DX7, Fairlight CMI and a mellotron), coupled with a small string section and a few brass players. The result is a surprisingly intense, avant-garde horror score.
Things get off to a grim but tongue-in-cheek start in the brief “A Killer Opening.” After some organ source music adds funereal flair, “Coffin Attack Into the Fire” leans on references to Bach, which appear in tracks such as “The Goat Pledge Ceremony” as well. These various stylistic allusions lend the soundtrack a gothic feel.
By contrast, “Abandoned Concession Stand” moves us firmly into ’80s electro-horror, with synth strings moving amidst other creepy sounds. Beal uses a handful of thematic threads to unite the score (“It’s the Only Reason You Are,” “Vivian in Ambulance With Possessed Phoebe”), but the bulk of the material is about setting the tone. The rock inflections of “House Battle” are another example of stock ’80s horror scoring, and work well here.
Killer Party is a solid guilty pleasure score for fans of the genre. John Beal’s use of acoustic material to bolster his synth battery makes the album experience more interesting than one might have expected. As a bonus, there’s also an unused alternate pop track, “Abandoned Sorority House.” Hopefully this 500-unit limited issue from Dragon’s Domain will lead to releases of some of the composer’s other work. —Steven A. Kennedy
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