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Summertime Killer
  • Composed by Luis Bacalov
  • Quartet Records / 2010 / 48m

Directed by Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, Summertime Killer was a Spanish-made film released in 1972 designed to break the international market.  Chris Mitchum played a young man out for revenge on the men who killed his father when he was a child.  Outliving the film in many ways is the terrific score by Luis Bacalov, which attracted a bit of well-deserved attention a few years back when Quentin Tarantino used the main theme in Kill Bill.  And it’s quite a theme – guitars and drums joining a modest orchestra, it’s full of youthful vigour and enthusiasm, not to mention a driving beat.  It’s exactly the type of music you can hear in your head when you look at the image of a motorcycle leaping over a burning car on the CD cover (and this is especially true if you are listening to the soundtrack through headphones while you look at the CD cover).  The similar action piece “Motorcycle Circus” is wonderful as well.

“Lisboa’s Tram” is a beautiful guitar-led piece of source music (perhaps the loveliest piece of music ever to have been inspired by a tram).  There’s a really nice baroque-styled secondary theme, “Like a Game”, which also gets a vocal version (“Like a Play”, vocalist uncredited).  The lengthiest piece is the suspenseful “The House on the Lake”, which begins with a dissonant passage before the second half features a strong melodic presence.  And the album (in its original sequence, at least) is top-and-tailed with a song, “Run and Run”, performed by Country Lovers.  It’s a pleasant enough, if not especially memorable, bit of folk music.  This Quartet album massively expands the original half-hour album and the sound is great, but to be honest given that each of the new tracks is a variation on one of the previously-released themes I usually just stop playing the album after the original programme has completed.  Regardless – it’s a wonderful score.

Rating: **** | |

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  1. AJ (Reply) on Tuesday 4 June, 2013 at 15:51

    Nice branching out here James.