SORCERESS - Original Soundtrack by Chuck Cirino
CD includes Digital Download/Digital PDF
Dragon’s Domain Records presents the original motion picture soundtrack to SORCERESS, featuring music composed by Chuck Cirino for the 1995 horror film directed by Jim Wynorski, written by Mark Thomas McGee and starring Linda Blair, Edward Albert, Julie Strain, Michael Parks, Larry Poindexter, Lenny Juliano, Rochelle Swanson, Toni Naples, William Marshall, Antonia Dorian, Kristi Ducati, Melissa Brasselle and Fred Olen Ray in the role of Bill Carson. GHOULIES IV continues the longtime collaboration between filmmaker Jim Wynorski and composer Chuck Cirino, which includes films such as CHOPPING MALL, DEATHSTALKER II, NOT OF THIS EARTH, TRANSYLVANIA TWIST, RETURN OF SWAMP THING, A DOGGONE CHRISTMAS, A DOGGONE HOLLYWOOD and, most recently, A DOGGONE ADVENTURE.
Julie Strain stars as Erica, a sexy witch married to attorney Larry (Poindexter), who is on the fast track to a partnership in a prestigious law firm. Erica makes a fatal mistake when she tries to kill Larry’s main competition for the partnership, Howard (Albert), instead crippling him for life. It so happens Howard’s wife Amelia (Blair) is also a witch, and she tries to destroy everyone and everything in Larry’s life. When Larry accidentally knocks Erica off their bedroom balcony and she falls to her death, her wiccan spirit and sexual energies remain at large to exact her own revenge.
Continuing their longtime collaboration, composer Chuck Cirino came aboard to score SORCERESS. Looking for a European sound for the score, Cirino used vocalist Alexa Anastasia again, after a successful collaboration on GHOULIES IV.
Chuck Cirino did not start his career as a composer, but rather as a programmer in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania for a Public Access cable TV station, where he learned how to create TV shows by himself, without a crew. In his spare time, he experimented with the station’s video equipment and created a series of genre productions that allowed him the opportunity to learn how to incorporate special effects into his work. After relocating to California, Cirino transitioned into directing high-end special effects television commercials. His first work as composer was for the 1980 cult film GYPSY ANGELS, which starred Vanna White and Richard Roundtree. Since then he has scored films for Roger Corman, directed music videos for bands like Earth, Wind & Fire and The Dickies’ KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE, and has recorded over 40 music soundtracks for feature films including SORCERESS, HARD TO DIE, TRANSYLVANIA TWIST, and many others. Most recently, he has scored A DOGGONE CHRISTMAS, A DOGGONE HOLLYWOOD and A DOGGONE ADVENTURE.
Chuck has worked as a producer, director, filmmaker, videographer, animator, special effects technician, editor, and composer. He executive produces and directs WEIRD TV, a television series featuring weird Americans, bizarre news, unbelievable events and outlandish skits. Chuck’s credits also include executive producer and director of the Sci Fi Channel projects, WORLDWIDE WEIRD and WARPED IN SPACE, and BABERELLAS, an independent Sci Fi feature distributed by Xenon Pictures.
Dragon’s Domain Records is excited to bring SORCERESS to compact disc for the first time, mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland with exclusive liner notes by author Randall Larson, with the participation of the composer and the director.
SORCERESS is a limited edition release of 500 units. As a special offer, the first 50 people to order the album from the record label’s website will have their copy autographed by the composer at no additional charge.
1. Prologue and The Accident (3:38)
2. You’ll Never Be Rid of Me / Main Title (4:52)
3. Larry Comes Home / The Murder / Stan Runs (3:43)
4. Larry Finds Maria In Bed (W/Vocals) (1:53)
5. All the Way / Stan in the Shadows / Maria Exits / Stan Dies (3:20)
6. Carol’s Erotic Dream (3:13)
7. Amelia at the Altar / Amelia’s Dark Magic (2:19)
8. Maria Follows Larry (2:27)
9. Shower Time (2:18)
10. Amelia’s Madness (3:49)
11. The Final Rampage / Aftermath / Bad Dream (Finale) (5:39)
12. Sorceress End Credits (4:03)
13. Short Transitions (0:30)
14. Larry Finds Maria In Bed (W/O Vocals) (1:55)
Total Time: 44:16
Munchie (1992) *** 1/2 / Sorceress (1995) ***
Dragon’s Domain DDR718
23 tracks - 53:25
14 tracks - 43:37
As 2020 came to a close, two Chuck Cirino soundtracks were released by Dragon’s Domain and BSX, and may have flown under the radar. These genre works demonstrate the composer’s versatility and skills working on low-budget films and using the latest synthesizers of the day.
First up is the score for the 1992 comedy Munchie (a sequel to the earlier Munchies), directed by Jim Wynorski, one of Cirino’s most frequent collaborators. The film features Loni Anderson, Andrew Stevens, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Dom DeLuise (providing the voice work for the title character). It’s something of a lighter take on Gremlins, as the lead monster is a sort of lounge lizard with magical powers who comes to the rescue of a bullied kid.
Cirino captures the film’s carnival-like atmosphere with tracks that cover a wide range of styles. A lyrical melody, often preceded by bell tones, runs throughout the score and often serves as a departure point for other hijinks. Highlights include the Morricone-esque “You Need a Friend—Western Fantasy”; action cues like the “Opening Chase” and “The Chase Is On”; lyrical passages in “Funeral Fantasy—Munchie Is Gone” and “Airport Goodbyes—Finale”; and quotations from the likes of “Funiculi, Funicula,” “O Sole Mio” and “Greensleeves.” There’s also an excellent end credits suite that sums things up nicely.
The album has a couple of bonus tracks that include stingers and outtakes. Despite its source inspiration, the main theme is quite beautiful, and Cirino’s various stylistic references make for humorous, engaging elements of the score.
Coming a couple of years later, Wynorski’s Sorceress (1995) stars Linda Blair in a fantasy/horror take about a witch (Julie Strain) who uses her skills to influence her husband and others at his law firm. For the score, Cirino dives into atmospheric horror with dark synth colors, but still offers lyrical writing, as evidenced right from the start in “Prologue & The Accident.”
Alexa Anastasia is a featured vocalist whose dark tone appears first in “Larry Finds Maria in Bed,” (a bonus track uses the same material, minus her contribution) and later in the haunting “Carol’s Erotic Dream.”
The score features appropriate menace throughout, often via amorphous clusters and blocks of sound anchored by a repeating chime motive. While some of the thematic material is interesting, the horror elements dominate here.
For additional samples of these two scores, each limited to 500 units, click here. —Steven A. Kennedy
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