Horror Movie Dept: Today some excerpts from Mr. Vic Mizzy's first feature film score, snipped from the actual film and not from the soundtrack CD release. Directed by William Castle in 1964 and starring the always-terrific Barbara Stanwyck, with Robert Taylor and Lloyd Bochner, and a screenplay by Robert Bloch. Quite a lineup! Joe Gershenson, head of music at Universal Studios decided to use as much of Mizzy as they could for film work, on the basis of his fine work on this score. I'm still unclear on Mizzy's timeline as to whether he worked on this piece first or the Addams Family TV show theme, but they certainly would have been composed very near each other.
There's an interesting 'lightness' and 'goofiness' about the tone of this score for a 'serious' (as serious as William Castle could be anyway- this film isn't nearly as wacky as, say, 'The Tingler') horror picture; although it's rather an unfair assessment, as his work is well-known for its rather 'fanciful' air, being much less experimental or ponderous than many of his contemporaries. Mizzy was certainly known for his unique style and this piece shows it in spades. The picture also has many bizarre elements typical of Castle: peculiar dialogue and script, outrageous visuals, some over-the-top acting, and a good title sequence. Presented here are six selections from the soundtrack exhibiting some nice music cues, weird vocals, and sound effects.
Beware of the 'Screaming Dream', though- Babs really ramps up the 'screaming in utter terror' in this flick and she generates waves of them; we hear Stanwyck rattle the rafters numerous times in here and she could sure let loose with them! I hope you enjoy this fun collision of these unusual talents, from way back in 1964.