The Funhouse
Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 484

Movie Film release: 1981

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# Track Artist/Composer Duration
1.Funhouse-Theme (Main Title)5:50
2.God Is Watching1:12
4.No Escape1:31
5.Crystal Ball0:16
6.Scary Stuff0:21
7.All Alone No. 11:31
8.Too Serious1:11
9.Zena Dies1:47
10.Bad Idea3:07
11.The Unmasking1:21
12.No Place To Be1:50
14.Hatchet Job1:19
15.Liz And The Knife3:13
16.The Last Of Liz0:55
17.Losing Battle4:54
18.Manic Montage2:29
19.Monster Mashed5:00
20.All Alone No. 20:54
21.Funhouse Theme (End Title)1:32
The Extras
22.Funhouse Theme (Alternate Main Title)2:41
23.Carousel March2:50
24.Carousel Waltz2:54
26.Zena's Zingaresa2:27
27.Eatery Source3:24
28.Stripper Source2:26
30.Organ Loop #92:34
31.Dementia Rag1:02
32.Cockeyed CalliopeJohn Berkman5:19
33.Funhouse-Theme (End Title–Alternate Take)1:31
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The Funhouse (1981)

Added on Tuesday, January 24, 2023  

The Funhouse (1981)

Intrada announces the premiere release of John Beal's impressive score for the 1981 Universal horror film The Funhouse.

Intrada announces the premiere release of John Beal's impressive score for the 1981 Universal horror film The Funhouse.
Although the film capitalizes on the horror craze started by Halloween several years earlier, it did not follow suit in its approach to scoring. Whereas the earlier film featured a legendary electronic score, The Funhouse's executive producer Mace Neufeld insisted that a largely orchestral approach was warranted.

The orchestra mixed with some electronics brings a sophisticated depth to this early entry in the slasher film genre.
While the score starts unassumingly with a simple piccolo solo representing the kernel of Beal's main theme, the mood is quickly shattered by an orchestral slashing gesture before transitioning to the other major theme – the carousel waltz.
The score culminates in a full-blown passacaglia of sorts as the action in the funhouse comes to a head.

Fans responded enthusiastically to the score, with the composer receiving letters from around the world for decades.
For this release, Intrada obtained the original 24-track session elements stored at Universal, allowing the composer to oversee a new mix, highlighting details and a stereo image never before heard. Watch the soundtrack trailer here.

In the film, teen Amy (Elizabeth Berridge) sneaks out to a traveling carnival with her date, Buzz (Cooper Huckabee), her best friend, Liz (Largo Woodruff), and Liz’s boyfriend, Richie (Miles Chapin).
Reluctantly she goes along with their plan to hide overnight in the carnival funhouse. When the four teens witness a murder while locked inside, they become the targets of a shady barker (Kevin Conway) and his monstrous son (Wayne Doba).

The film was directed by Tobe Hooper, best known for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist.

Intrada ISC 484

( - Intrada Records - )

Dynamic orchestral score by John Beal arrives on CD! Universal releases no-nonsense horror film in 1981, brings attention to career of director Tobe Hooper, who follows year later with hit scare-fest, Poltergeist. Young cast features Elizabeth Berridge, Cooper Huckabee, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin as group of four teens attending local carnival, with veteran Kevin Conway as memorable Barker. Larry Block scripts, John Beal scores.

Vivid orchestral score is anchored by waltz theme emphasizing intervals of the tritone, not just in melody but in harmonic structure as well. Interesting shape has theme begin in solo flute in upper register, increase in weight and density, then close in powerful statement for full orchestra.
Harmonic vernacular continues throughout, and in one instance stands out in pure tritone major chords for French horn during closing bars of “All Alone No. 1”, a highlight. When scares arrive, Beal unleashes in kind with intense fortissimo episodes of musical fury. Interestingly, while intensity is keynote, Beal relies on propulsive energy and exciting jabs of color rather than overt dissonance to underscore the thrills.

Results are striking! First half of score leads to the horror, second half provides the thrills. Standout action cues include “The Unmasking”, “Hatchet Job”, “Liz and the Knife”, “Losing Battle”. Spotlight unquestionably goes to lengthy “Monster Mashed” sequence: As gears and chains grind away underneath the Funhouse, so does the score with a relentless obstinate for basses and cellos underneath sharp jabs from the orchestra above. Spoiler alert: As lone survivor Amy struggles with monster, Beal adds chopping figures to his ostinato, creating powerhouse buildup of musical terror.
Fortissimo intensity plays all the way up until monster is mashed between the gears. Sensational cue! When all the horror subsides, picture winds up without cheap gimmicks, and Beal returns to his solo piccolo to usher Amy away from danger… albeit all alone.

As fadeout turns to ending credits, Beal returns with his powerful waltz theme to close. Very strong finish to dramatic score! Following are numerous extras featuring carnival music, calliope tunes, assorted cues scored by Beal and used as “source music” as teens stroll throughout carnival. Even the bulk of these pieces play with an unsettling veneer.

Complete score presented courtesy of Universal, mastered from the 24-track session tapes recorded by Rick Riccio, mixed by Matt La Point.
Score recorded at Evergreen Studios in November 1980.
Orchestrations by John Beal, Miles Goodman, Richard Ellis, Don James.
Graphic CD package designed by Kay Marshall, informative booklet notes by John Takis.

John Beal composes, conducts. Intrada Special Collection CD available while quantities and interest remain!

( - Intrada Records - )

More info at: Official Web Site Intrada Records

More info at: Composer John Beal Official Site



Other releases of The Funhouse (1981):

Funhouse, The (1998)
Funhouse, The (2014)

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