AT THE MOVIES

Where music meets the silver screen.

For as long as people have been throwing around the term “rock star,” Alice Cooper’s been one. This is probably why he was hired to play a rock star in Claudio Fragasso’s 1984 film Monster Dog — few individuals define those two words so succinctly. In turn, one expects a character named Vincent Raven to bear passing (if not entire) resemblance to a guy like Alice Cooper. And so, it’s a wild shock to watch Monster Dog and witne...

Within the first 20 minutes of the original Adventures in Babysitting, a piece of supposedly teen fluff released on July 4, 1987, 15-year-old, chocolate-loving Brad Anderson calls his 8-year-old, Thor-loving sister’s hero a homo… and there’s a rape joke. Our modern collective mind swirls... You couldn’t make that kind of movie today. (The shitty tween Disney reboot says it all.)

When one thinks of Goblin, the progressive rock band that sprung up in 1970s Italy, the mind quickly drifts to the handful of genre-redefining horror films that were scored by this shaggy-haired quintet. Classics like Suspiria and Dawn of the Dead wouldn’t be the same without Goblin’s warping cathedral of ominous impressions. The supernatural is Goblin’s forte, but occasionally they’d make do with simply the natural. Hence the...

1984’s Voyage of The Rock Aliens is a film that seems to exist because someone with money watched two hours of MTV and thought, We could do this on the big screen. And so they did, hiring surrogates of Devo, the Stray Cats, Cyndi Lauper, and Michael Jackson for a rollicking musical showcase that — like most music videos of this or any era — retains only the vaguest elements of plot or storytelling. Not that you need any of tha...

What little music there is in The President’s Plane — a brassy but sparse jog, vaguely conveying tension through extended notes and rhythmic percussion — was composed by noted jazzbo Gil Mellé. Mellé also contributed sound to classics such as The Andromeda Strain, You’ll Like My Mother, The Savage is Loose, Blood Beach, and Killdozer!.

"Disorderlies" is probably the only film in cinematic history that contains a sequence in which 1960s surf deities the Beach Boys are nearly shot to death in a Domino’s Pizza by overzealous fans who can’t keep a firm grip on the rifles they’re carrying en route to safari (I say “probably” because I haven’t seen "The Ghost and the Darkness").

And lo, the soundtrack gods scored again. This mish mash of impossibly distorted guitars compressing against canned computer beats feels like what an evening with Spawn might possibly be like — at times oppressively repetitive, at other times meandering and structureless, occasionally thrilling to an almost orgasmic degree.

Directors remained a bit vexed by this new technological avenue as late as five years later, which is why audiences can hear literal swaths of nothing.

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