Dead on the Dancefloor


Suspiria: Jessica Harper and a bird with crystal plumage.

For this year’s Halloween playlist I’ve let Mark Pilkington from Strange Attractor make the selection. The following is from a CD-R collection of Italian horror soundtracks that Mark sent me some time ago. Not everything here is easy to find but the superbly nerve-jangling racket created by Goblin to accompany Dario Argento’s equally superb Suspiria (1977) is widely available and ideal Halloween listening.

If one hasn’t been written already, there’s probably a thesis to be found in the influence of progressive rock on Italian cinema. Many of these pieces represent a curious blending of the kind of Italian prog-rock exemplified by bands such as PFM together with the scores of (inevitably) Ennio Morricone. William Friedkin’s use of the opening of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells in The Exorcist inspired legions of imitative themes in subsequent horror films, not least Suspiria. Dario Argento later brought in ELP’s Keith Emerson for the sequel, Inferno (1980), whose main theme—a kind of disco version of Jerry Goldsmith’s Latin chants from The Omen—I’ve always been rather partial to. The best of this music manages to be groovy and scary at the same time, Goblin being the masters in that department, and is often better than the films it was written for. The perfect thing for zombies in satin flares.

Cannibal Holocaust (Main theme) by Riz Ortolani
Death Dies (Profondo Rosso) by Goblin
Zombie Flesh Eaters (theme) by Fabio Frizzi
Sighs (Suspiria) by Goblin
Suoni Dissonanti (City of the Living Dead) by Fabio Frizzi
Flashing (Tenebrae) by Goblin
Adulteress’ Punishment (Cannibal Holocaust) by Riz Ortolani
Suspiria by Goblin
Voci Dal Nulla (The Beyond) by Fabio Frizzi
Deep Shadows (Profondo Rosso) by Giorgio Gaslini & Goblin
L’alba Dei Morti Viventi (Dawn of the Dead) by Goblin
Suono Aperto (The Beyond) by Fabio Frizzi
Markos (Suspiria) by Goblin
The Dead On Main St/Voodoo Rising (Zombie Flesh Eaters) by Fabio Frizzi
Escape From The Flesh Eaters (Zombie Flesh Eaters) by Fabio Frizzi
Roller (Non-soundtrack album) by Goblin


And while we’re on the subject of music and Halloween, Mark Pilkington is playing as part of the Raagnagrok All-Stars on November 1st at the Horse Hospital, London, as part of a Day of the Dead event. More about that here.

Happy Halloween!

Previously on { feuilleton }
Another playlist for Halloween
White Noise: Electric Storms, Radiophonics and the Delian Mode
The Séance at Hobs Lane
A playlist for Halloween
Ghost Box

4 thoughts on “Dead on the Dancefloor”

  1. Suspiria is the first part of a trilogy, Inferno was the second step in 1980 and the third and final one is Mother of Tears: The Third Mother (2007), with original soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti (ex Goblin).
    Dario Argento is now remaking Suspiria, expected for 2010.
    Daria Nicolodi, his ex-wife, has co-writed the original and is working on the remake, as actress she was both in Inferno and Mother of Tears. Asia Argento, daughter of the two is the leading actress in Mother of Tears.
    It’s a Family business………

  2. I was one of those waiting years for him to complete the Three Mothers trilogy but I still haven’t seen the third part and given its bad reviews I’m not sure I want to.

    As for a remake of Suspiria, that sounds like a complete waste of time and a good way to damage his reputation given that the original is one of his best (if not the best) works. Hitchcock remade The Man Who Knew Too Much but when you see the original you understand why. This would be like him remaking Vertigo.

  3. Third part of trilogy is VERY disappointing, mainly a poor script and bad acting, some interesting shots thou.
    I agree with you on the unnecessary remake of Suspiria.

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