01/05/2011. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus: The Monster Film Music Of Chris Ridenhour. pub: MovieScore Media MMS11003. CD and digital download: 78 minutes 6 tracks. Price: $ 8.99 (US).
check out website: www.moviescoremedia.com
‘Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus’ is right up there with ‘Snakes On A Plane’ as one of the best movie titles in evoking the silly mayhem contained within the film. Produced by ‘mockbuster’ film studio The Asylum, which specialises in straight-to-video low budget horror films that often mock current Hollywood releases, the trailer for ‘Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus’ took the Internet by storm and though the film was overwhelmingly panned by critics with a rating of just 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, its schlocky action remains a bit of a modern cult classic among fans of silly horror movies.
This music release contains Chris Ridenhour’s music for that film, as well as its semi-sequel, ‘Mega Piranha’, and a few other monster-themed films such as ‘2010: Moby Dick’ and the straight to video ‘Sherlock Holmes’. Ridenhour has been an assistant music editor soundtracks for some major films such as ‘Blade’ and ‘Rush Hour’, but, since hooking up with The Asylum in 2007, he has been incredibly prolific – this is one of three CDs out showcasing his soundtrack work.
The music is typical of the genre, full of sweeping orchestral bombast. Brass booms its way across sweeping string arrangements and the quiet contemplative flute or Spanish guitar moments never last long before the rest of the orchestra piles back in.
The tracks here are all fairly enjoyable examples of classical-esque soundtrack work, with some interesting moments where the orchestral score breaks down and other elements prevail such as the Spanish guitar moment in the opening track ‘Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus’ and the strange crackly jazz radio at the start of ‘Haunting Of Winchester House’. The CD features four tracks of 17-20 minutes in length, as well as two short snatches of a minute or so.
The opening cut ‘Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus’ and the third track ‘Mega Piranha’ are a lot of fun, flitting between down moments and huge sequences where it feels like the whole orchestra is trying to bash its way out of the speaker. The more suspenseful horror theme ‘Haunting Of Winchester House’ is less interesting as a standalone listen, with lots of shrieking violins and rather flat sections. The track from ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (the B Movie where the detective fights big monsters, rather than the big screen version with Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in the lead roles) is a little stop and start, but the action sequences are still a lot of fun. The two short bonus tracks from ‘Mega Python vs Gateroid’ and ‘2010: Moby Dick’ are probably the easiest to get your head around due to their length – the longer pieces do tend to vary in tone quite rapidly.
These are very fun B Movie soundtracks and would be the perfect accompaniment to a gym session or something similarly active. The music frequently turns to full volume action mode and so if you’re looking for a soundtrack to get your heart pumping, this is certainly a good contender.
Tomas L. Martin
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