SATAN'S SLAVE (1976)

PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth

Satan’s Slave is one of the big underrated movies of the ‘70s, directed by the legendary Norman J. Warren and written by the equally fabulous David McGillivray. The film’s score, by the prolific and often overlooked John Scott is finally set for a glorious release on a CD and a beautifully presented vinyl set.

If one hasn’t seen the movie, there’ll be no issue as the music and series of cues presented here are an interesting listen. The opening track, Main Titles, sets the mood perfectly, with brooding notes leading to a mournful refrain. It’s reminiscent of the opening of A Clockwork Orange, mixed with The Blood on Satan’s Claw. Perfect. Track two, Sacrifice, brings in a tribal feel, and certainly sends shivers down the spine of the listener; a very tangible threat is felt - something Scott manages to maintain throughout the following tracks and cues.

Even the more ‘hip’ sounding Drive to Alexander’s and Crash - which would have worked wonderfully as a theme tune to a documentary show on TV in the ‘70s, which should come as no surprise really as Scott has a long history on the small screen, having composed the theme music for BBC’s Nationwide - manages to meld whimsy with a terrifying threat of what is to come.

Several regular themes are repeated throughout the record, almost always coming alongside something completely unexpected, creating an equally unnerving and exciting listen. By the time we get to Stephen Kills Frances and Kitchen Rendezvous (track 19), the horns are screaming and there is a definite air of Psycho as the pace slows before a powerful, tense conclusion.

Satan’s Slave is a stunning piece of work, melding some erratic styles perfectly and creating a genuine atmosphere of dread with each listen. The vinyl edition has liner notes by director Warren and Moscovitch Music head Joel Martin, while the CD version’s booklet features more images from the film and extra notes from composer Scott. Either (or both!) releases are essential purchases for fans of horror soundtracks. The film may not be a high profile as some, but it is certainly having some resurgence with fans and will be recognised as a vital entry to the British horror pantheon one day.

SATAN’S SLAVE (1976 OST) / COMPOSER: JOHN SCOTT / LABEL: MOSCOVITCH MUSIC / RELEASE DATE: TBC

 


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