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PRD 005

Artwork copyright (c) 2004 Michael Perilstein; review copyright (c) 2005 James Southall



Hilariously awful


The very definition of a cult movie, The Deadly Spawn was released to little acclaim in 1983.  A super low-budget affair which cost under $20,000, it concerned the invasion of earth by some giant penis-shaped monsters.  This was cleverly done to tap into people's basest fears - I mean, which of us hasn't lay awake at night worrying about being eaten by a giant penis?  Having never seen the film myself I am forced to rely on internet reviews to gauge the public's opinion, which seems to be split between those bemoaning its lack of intelligence (come on guys, take a look at the plot - methinks it is not a film to be taken entirely seriously) and those who just can't get enough of it.

Providing the music was legendary composer Michael Perilstein, hot off the success of nothing at all.  Like the film, the music is low-budget, and the results are hilarious.  Indeed, it frequently reminds me of something I might write myself, making full use of my Grade 3 piano theory.  This is not an album to be taken particularly seriously, as evidenced by the wonderful liner-notes (probably the best I've read) and jokey comments all around the album packaging.  Indeed, if I didn't know better I'd think the whole thing was someone's idea of a joke, a made-up score for a made-up movie.  Actually, I'm not sure I do know better.

The music is a mixture of variations on an infuriatingly-catchy theme (heard best in a flute version in the penultimate track, the end titles) and some more typical synth material, which must have sounded pretty dated at the time, let alone now.  It's almost unbelievably awful stuff, but it's surely impossible not to be charmed by it and to begin, against all one's better judgement, to start really liking it.  The final track, a twelve-minute newly-created suite from the score, is the icing on the cake, featuring synths which sound even worse than those used 22 years previously, but adding yet another layer of kitsch glory to the whole thing.  If you want something to stand alongside Spartacus or Captain from Castille in your collection then I suppose you're better off looking elsewhere, but if you're in the mood for a laugh then look no further.

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  1. The Landing of the Meteorite (It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Meteorite) (:18)
  2. Afternoon of a Spawn (2:38)
  3. All that Slithers is not Good (2:57)
  4. Creeping Right Along (3:47)
  5. Spawn with the Wind (2:14)
  6. Let's Spawn (4:12)
  7. Here Today, Spawn Tomorrow (2:34)
  8. Spawn Lake (3:05)
  9. The Spawn who came in from the Cold (2:31)
  10. An UJpstream Battle (3:42)
  11. The Deadly Spawn (4:06)
  12. Spawn, but not Forgotten (12:37)