Horror Song of the Day: Prince of Darkness Opening Credits (by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth)

Prince of Darkness

John Carpenter, as most long-time readers and visitors to the site will know, is one of my favorite filmmakers. While he has been in a self-imposed retirement these last 15 or so years from directing, his works for two decades prior have to be considered some of the best genre films.

While some of his films have been critically-acclaimed from the start, others weren’t treated as well when they first released. It would only be years later when genre fans would finally come to appreciate some of his lesser works.

One such film is Prince of Darkness. The second film in his unofficial “Apocalypse Trilogy”, this one would be lambasted by most film critics upon it’s release. Even fans of his films would mostly avoid this entry.

Yet, years later it has turned out to be one of his most underappreciated films. It’s soundtrack, one Carpenter did himself with assistance from long-time collaborator Alan Howarth, would become a favorite.

The expanded “Opening Credits” section of the Prince of Darkness soundtrack is a great example of the sort of mood Carpenter can create with his preferred usage of synthesizer and electronic keyboards when it came to composing his film’s soundtracks.

Song of the Day: The Leaving/The Search from Conan the Barbarian (by Basil Poledouris)

Conan the Barbarian OST

If there’s been one constant in this site right from the beginning it’s been my love for the film Conan the Barbarian and it’s equally great orchestral score that was composed by the very underappreciated film composer Basil Poledouris. Sure, everyone loves John Williams and rightly so. Then there’s the inexplicable love and worship of Hans Zimmer. Zimmer does some good, and sometimes, great work, but his overall work all tends to sound the same.

Basil Poledouris, on the other hand, seem to have been pushed to the sidelines despite creating some very iconic pieces of film scores in his lifetime. The peak of which will always be the orchestral score he composed for John Milius’ Conan the Barbarian.

I’ve chosen some key pieces from this soundtrack throughout the years. From the Carmina Burana inspired “Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom” to the rousing “Anvil of Crom” intro all the way to the melancholy and introspective “Orphans of Doom/Awakening”. I think in time every piece of music from this score will make it onto this site. That is just how great this soundtrack from start to finish really has become. Even it’s weakest moments have elements of to them that make them stand out from the latest Zimmer.

Today, it shall be the section of the score for the film that accentuates Conan’s decision to take on a quest that will finally bring him to the very warlord who destroyed his people and killed his family: “The Leaving/The Search”.

Song of the Day: Killing Strangers (by Marilyn Manson & Tyler Bates)


John Wick wasn’t just a surprise hit (relative to it’s modest budget) of 2014, but it was also one of the best films of that year. It was part of a renaissance in action film making that was ushered in by the two-punch combo of The Raid and The Raid 2 that came out of the mind of Gareth Evans.

This Keanu Reeves revenge action thriller didn’t just excel in the visual mayhem and the alternative world the title character lived and killed in, but it also was accompanied by a kick-ass soundtrack created by the underrated film composer Tyler Bates.

“Killing Strangers” is one of the songs from the film’s soundtrack. A song that perfectly captures the character of John Wick that’s sung by Marilyn Manson and composed by Bates himself.

Killing Strangers

This world doesn’t need no opera
We’re here for the operation
We don’t need a bigger knife
(Cause we got guns)
We got guns, we got guns
We got guns, you better run
(you better run, you better run, you better run)

We’re killing strangers
We’re killing strangers
We’re killing strangers, so we don’t kill the ones that we
We’re killing strangers
We’re killing strangers,
We’re killing strangers, so we don’t kill the ones that we
Love, love, love, love

We pack demolition
We can’t pack emotion
Dynamite, we just might
So blow us a kiss, blow us a kiss
Blow us a kiss, and we’ll blow you to pieces

We’re killing strangers
We’re killing strangers
We’re killing strangers, so we don’t kill the ones that we
Love, love, love, love

We got guns, we got guns
Motherfuckers better, better run
We got guns, we got guns
Motherfuckers better run
And we got guns, we got guns
Motherfuckers better, better, better run
We got, we got guns
Motherfuckers better run

We’re killing strangers
We’re killing strangers
We’re killing strangers, so we don’t kill the ones that we (better run!)

We’re killing strangers (we got guns!)
We’re killing strangers (we got guns!)
We’re killing strangers, so we (we got guns!) don’t kill the ones that we
Love, love, love, love
Love, love, love

Song of the Day: Binary Sunset (by John Williams)


2015 will see the return of Star Wars to the big-screen. Will it erase the underwhelming memories left behind by the prequels which came out at the start of the new millenium? Will it return the franchise to it’s rightful place as a pop culture juggernaut that began many decades ago?

We shall soon find out this coming Christmas when Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres around the world. Until then here’s the latest “Song of the Day” from John Williams.

May the 4th be with you.

Song of the Day: Taking A Stand (Henry Jackman)


I’m a bit biased in that I do believe that at this very moment whatever film Marvel Studios releases I will probably like it. I’m very close to having drunk the MCU Kool-Aid. Which is a good thing that trashfilguru is here to keep me from drinking that delicious, overly sweetened drink by the liters.

I know that the MCU is not what one would call high-brow art, but I will admit that it’s a very entertaining piece of world-building that we really haven’t seen done in film history. Well, at least not in the scale that Kevin Feige and the creative minds over at Marvel Studios have been attempting (and succeeding) these past 7-8 years.

One film that I highly enjoyed and consider one of my favorites of 2014 (if not one of the best) was the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. This sequel was a game-changer in regards to the very cinematic universe that Marvel had been building since the first Iron Man. Captain America: The Winter Soldier looked to up-end the very foundation of this universe by making one of it’s bricks become something to not be trusted.

Lisa Marie did a great job in conveying my thoughts about what made Captain America: The Winter Soldier such a good film (I would say great, but again I have that glass of Kool-Aid). One aspect of the film that has been given little to know attention to has been Henry Jackman’s work as film composer for the sequel. In fact, the film’s score has been much-maligned just because the filmmakers made the decision to veer away from the Alan Silvestri musical cues and motifs that had become recognizable as Captain America.

Alan Silvestri did the film score for the first film, but Jackman was tasked with recoding the very musical DNA for the sequel. What we get is a film score that’s very minimalist and supplements well the very paranoia and conspiracy tone the film’s narrative took. This was quite the opposite of Silvestri’s score for the first film mirrored that film’s nostalgic and heroic themes.

The track “Taking A Stand” which scores the David Mack illustrated and Jim Steranko-influenced end credits sequence is a perfect example of why Jackman’s score for Captain America: The Winter Soldier should be put on more “best of 2014” lists.

Song of the Day: Orphans of Doom/The Awakening (by Basil Poledouris)


We’re closing out another year and it’s always time to reflect back on the events the we all experienced.

Here in Through the Shattered Lens we saw a new writer join the ranks with the arrival and addition of Alexandre Rothier. We also saw more and more of our writers grow in confidence with their writing. This didn’t just translate into more writing from them, but better as well. There’s Dazzling Erin with her constant surprise of finding new artists to share. Then leonth3duke who finally made the jump to truly appreciating horror. Leonard Wilson continued to find his voice with each new review he wrote.

I can’t forget necromoonyeti who continues to be my source of all things music and with each new band written I pick up something new to experience. Semtex Skittle showed the world his appreciation not just for the franchise of Final Fantasy but Sailor Moon as well and to that otaku are grateful. Speaking of otaku there’s the site’s own big bear of one with pantsukudasai56 who always brings in his choice recommendations in anime.

Then there’s Dork Geekus giving us his thoughts on things comic book. We also have trashfilmguru gracious enough to take time to share his unique take on horror, comic books both high and low-brow who also keeps the rest of us from drinking the Marvel Kool-Aid wholesale which makes for a better site.

Finally there’s my co-founder and partner-in-crime Lisa Marie Bowman who upped her game as she literally propped up the site at times with her voluminous, insightful and unique brand of writing. I will be forever grateful for her continued support and for becoming one of my closest friends.

I’ve chosen the latest “Song of the Day” as an analogue to what I saw myself and this site go through this year of 2014. I had just lost my father at the tail end of 2013 (it is a loss still felt even today) and then had fallen deathly ill around the holidays. Through it all I was thankful and proud of the work my fellow writers were able to do in my absence through my grief and sickness.

Basil Poledouris remains an artist I’ve admired from the moment I heard his music transform John Milius’ screen adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s Cimmerian barbarian from just your standard violent sword-and-sorcery matinee piece to something close to a perfect blend of epic fantasy and primal storytelling. Poledouris would go on to make other memorable film scores, but it’s his work in Conan the Barbarian that always remains his most iconic piece of work.

With the final denouement that follows the climax of the film we have a somber piece titled “Orphans of Doom/The Awakening” closing off the film. I chose this piece to symbolize the year Through the Shattered Lens went through. The piece begins on a somber note with the use of a choir adding a layer of the ethereal, but as the piece continues to it’s conclusion it gradually segues into something triumphant with hope for the future.

This song perfectly encapsulates Through the Shattered Lens circa 2014 and it’s my hope that brighter future awaits me and mine as the new year dawns.

Horror Song of the Day: It Was Always You, Helen from Candyman (by Phillip Glass)


Latest Horror Song of the Day comes courtesy of one Phillip Glass who was tasked with composing the film score for the film adaptation of Clive Barker’s short story “The Forbidden”. The film would become Candyman.

“It Was Always You, Helen” becomes the film’s overarching theme throughout the film. Unlike other horror themes before it, the one created by Glass for Candyman highlighted the Southern Gothic backstory of the title character and the origins of the Candyman legend. It’s been called a minimalist score, yet it’s selling the film score short, especially this theme. While Glass has become famous for his work within the minimalist music movement he actually created a very symphonic score, albeit one which focused on subtlety over bombastic.

While listened on it’s own doesn’t evoke any sort of shivers up one’s arms and back, this theme will bring about such feeling of supernatural dread when paired with the film. It’s a shame that Phillip Glass doesn’t do more horror film scores because this theme and the score for the film shows that he has a knack for it.

Horror Song of the Day: Theme from The Fog (by John Carpenter)


It’s that time of year again for the gang here at Through the Shattered Lens. October has become a sort of official month for the site with much of the posts and articles being related in some manner to all things horror (or close enough to it).

To start off 2014’s Horror Month here at Through the Shattered Lens I’ve chosen a wonderful and creepy piece of horror film music courtesy of the Master himself, John Carpenter.

It’s a great piece of atmospheric music that more than adds to the encroaching horror that is the film’s title. John Carpenter has done most of the soundtracks to his films and his use of electronic keyboards and synthesizers have become such a unique signature in all his films. The last couple years have seen a sort of revival for Carpenter’s type of electronic/synthesizer compositions. One recent film which made great use of this particular style was Jim Mickle’s Cold In July.

The theme to The Fog remains a favorite of horror fans and its influence on filmmakers today is a nice testament to well-earned classic status.

Song of the Day: A Bridge Too Far Overture (by John Addison)


John Addison’s film score for Sir Richard Attenborough’s military epic, A Bridge Too Far, has become as recognizable and as iconic as the film itself. One particular piece of music from the film that anyone who has watched in full and/or passing this great film is today’s “Song of the Day”.

The title track is “A Bridge Too Far Overture” and it’s ever present melody becomes the leitmotif for the entire film. It starts off quite celebratory in the beginning then gradually becomes melancholy and defeating as it helps set the tone and gives a sense of the tragedy to come from a very victorious beginning.

As someone who has enjoyed and studied films which depict important military events in history this song remains as one of my favorite and I can catch myself humming or whistling the tune whenever I hear it play as the film plays on the TV.

Song of the Day: Make Thee An Ark (by Clint Mansell)


I’ve been waiting for quite a long time for the release of Darren Aronofsky’s biblical disaster epic. Now that it’s finally here it also means a new film score from Aronofsky’s collaborator Clint Mansell.

The soundtrack to Noah is definitely on par with past Mansell scored Aronofsky films going all the way back to Pi. It’s a soundtrack that’s both epic, majestic and more than just a tad apocalyptic. One of my favorite tracks from the soundtrack comes at a moment of triumph early on in the film which creates a sense of hope in the face of the approaching divine apocalypse.

“Make Thee An Ark” starts off slowly. Layers on layers build within the string work by the Kronos Quartet who have worked with two Mansell on past Aronofsky films. The track actually has a nice musical throwback to Mansell’s work on The Fountain. It’s probably the influence of that past film which made the Noah soundtrack appeal to me more than the previous ones for Black Swan and The Wrestler.