FREAKED OST / COMPOSER: VARIOUS / LABEL: MONDO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
For the first time ever, the score and soundtrack to the 1993 Tom Stern and Alex Winter bizarro comedy Freaked has been made available thanks to the folks at Mondo. This double LP set on clear with splatter marbling vinyl is the debut release of this much-requested, long-hoped-for set of recordings, and it's absolutely worth the wait.
Coming just in time to capitalise on the impending return of Alex Winter in Bill and Ted Face the Music later this year, the soundtrack for Freaked represents the musical tastes of Winter and co-director Stern. The weirdo heavy metal and funk which dominate the first disc makes for a throbbing, head-banging listen, thanks to the likes of Blind Idiot God and the Butthole Surfers. Throw in a walking blues demo from Iggy Pop and the combined weight of the supergroup Axiom Funk – featuring George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Bernie Worrell – and the music is a perfect compilation of all that was weird in the early ‘90s.
Some of these tracks have found their way out in the intervening years since Freaked was made. The Axiom Funk cut Hideous Mutant Freekz came out on 1995's Funkcronomicon, and the title tracks, a collaboration between Blind Idiot God and Henry Rollins, finally popped up on Blind Idiot God's 2017 reissue of their album Undertow. Sweat Loaf, the Butthole Surfers' lysergic reworking of Black Sabbath's Sweet Leaf, was originally released on their 1987 Touch & Go release, Locust Abortion Technician.
Kevin Kiner's original score, however, has never seen release in any form, and it's a delight. Unfortunately, the cuts are quite abrupt and many of the pieces are simply short cues. The first side of the second LP has a 22 separate tracks, most of which don't even scratch the minute mark, which is unfortunate because it feels as though many of them are only just getting started before cutting off and going to the next piece.
The score is, however, much as the folks at Mondo describe it: “so good that it could easily rival any number of Amblin's films from the 80s. Kiner's music is incredibly nuanced, yet playful and bombastic (in a good way).” It's such a delight that one really wishes that there were more. Thankfully, it's complete as is, and sounds like a Chuck Jones cartoon gone terribly mad.
David Daniels – whose original opening credit sequence for Freaked is basically a music video for the Blind Idiot God/Rollins collaboration – did all of the artwork for Mondo's double LP, and it's absolutely perfect. Fans of the film will delight in being able to see some of their favourite characters represented, and those unfamiliar with the movie will be immediately struck by just how wonderfully bizarre and eye-catching the cover is. The liner notes by directors Tom Stern and Alex Winter go back and forth between the pair, discussing how the film was originally supposed to be a Butthole Surfers film, but then changed and mutated, much like the characters within.
It all adds up to a package nobody ever thought they'd see, but can now hold in their hands, put on the turntable, and drop a needle onto.