MANFREDINI, HARRY  Friday The 13th OST  CD   (La-La Land)   16.98

Finally have the La-La Land CD reissue of this classic 80's slasher score back in stock, which includes a sixteen-page booklet with extensive new liner notes from Film Score Focus's Brian Satterwhite.

When it comes to the truly great horror film scores of the 80's era, it is John Carpenter's work that is most frequently invoked, his minimalist synthesizer compositions having now become almost synonymous with the decade. But it would be tough to argue that the iconic theme that composer Harry Manfredini created for the classic 1980 slasher Friday The 13th isn't just as epochal as Carpenter's pulsating Halloween theme, having been cribbed and copped just as often in the deluge of dead-teenager flicks that would wash across the rest of the decade. While Friday director Sean Cunningham made no secret of the influence that Carpenter's 1978 horror film had on his own creation, composer Manfredini drew from a more classical approach to the film's score, combining the elegance and complexity of Bernard Herrmann and Leonard Rosenman's scores from the previous decade with a fearsome intensity and atonality that was strongly influenced by 20th century modern classical. Most of Manfredini's score blends tense, shrill strings and lower-register cello, the main themes extrapolating upon portions of Hermann's classic Psycho score while playing more extensively with the use of space and silence, while the chortling brass and woodwinds add a uniquely frenzied energy, turning the main orchestral pieces dissonant, and utterly terrifying.

The tracks are filled with lots of low, ominous droning sonorities and abrasive percussive sounds, Manfredini citing Penderecki another key influence on the creation of the score (something that Manfredini discusses in his slim but still quite fascinating liner notes), especially in the creation of the refrain of "...ki...ki...ki...ma...ma...ma..." that echoes throughout Friday The 13th that is Manfredini's most inspired contribution to the film, a dread-inducing vocalization run through a bank of echoplex style effects that is as instantly recognizable as anything in the horror soundtrack canon. There are a few points where the score deviates from the tense orchestral sounds, namely a freewheeling' 70's-style country music song and a classical guitar instrumental, both of which appear towards the end of the soundtrack, but most of this score is pure nail-biting tension, a perfect engine of dreadful anxiety that slowly and inexorably builds to the shrieking climax.