More enthralling spook-prog action from Frizzi, here soundtracking the outrageous Italian monster movie Shark (Rosso Nell'Oceano), titled Devil Fish for the foreign market, from all the way back in 1984. Unfortunately, I still haven't seen the full, uncut film outside of the butchered cut used for an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Even despite the ludicrous English dubbing and shit-tier video transfer, I still enjoyed the hell out of this gory, gonzo flick about a bizarre prehistoric "proto-shark" with tentacles terrorzing the Floridian coastline. A marine biology research base and hoppin' tourist spot, this foamy paradise is wracked by an onslaught of absurdly ultra-violent attacks from the titular titan, who just can't gobble down the toursts and scuba divers fast enough. Starring one of my all-time Italo-splat actors Michael Sopkiw (in his regular moody, man-of-action role) and French model Valentine Monnier back together again after the crazed post-apocalyctic actioner 2019, After the Fall of New York, Spaghetti Western legend Gianni Garko of Sartana fame, and frequent Jess Franco collaborator William Berger as the voice of scientific reason Professor Donald West, Devil Fish is one of Lamberto Bava's lesser efforts, but still a load of violent, goofy fun. Lots of scenic seaside footage, mid-paced action, amputations, someone named Bob, jarring tonal shifts, monster shark-induced PTSD, sordid love triangles, questionable marine biology science, frantic phone calls, tropical resort anguish, military conspiracy, comic releif from a couple of impertinent dolphins, and, naturally, bottomless pina coladas. Plus, I'm an avowed fan of the roaring, toothsome octo-shark monster design. I think it's bitchin'.
The music doesn't reach the lofty heights of classic Frizzi works for Fulci such as Zombi, The Beyond and City of the Living Dead , but it's still a rousing, infectious blast of proggy analog keyboard action, atmospheric strings and synthesizers. This album features fifteen sequences from the film score, and blend together bluesy guitar licks, yacht-rock melodies, and __________________ with Frizzi's signature use of throbbing bass guitar, swarming synths, and strange electronic flourishes. Just like you would expect from an early 80's Italo-Jaws clone, there's a bassy synth line that vaguely echoes elements of John Williams' classic theme, but Frizzi employs some interesting instrumental sounds that are a little unusual. String sections (with notable violin arrangements), chimes, and those aforementioned electric blues licks appear alongside his pulsating bass and staccato guitar, lending a romantic allure to some of the pieces. Other tracks are instantly recognizeble Frizzi jams, funk-inflected dirges and brooding piano keys atop a steady kick drum beat. There ios this one legitemately beautiful, melancholic motif that dominates the score as well, mixed in with the tense action-oriented arpeggios and slow, hypnotic electronic passages; on repeat listening, there's a chunk of this music that sounds like it would more at home on the soundtrack to a crime drama than that of a giant monster shark flick. It's straight, uncut 1980s vibe, though. While considered to be unexceptional by some film score enthusiasts, there's definitely enough Frizzi-action going on, sprinkled with just the right amount of eccentricty, to make the Shark (Rosso Nell'Oceano) a solid listen for fans of the maestro.