Published Jan 28, 2019While many reissue labels have become content with playing it safe with the tried and true, Waxwork Records has took some big chances over the years. The latest example of that comes with The Prowler — a soundtrack release for a little-known American slasher by the even-lesser-known composer Richard Einhorn. In fact, Waxwork's latest isn't even a reissue at all, but a first-ever release.
Known for scoring such horror flicks as Shock Waves and Don't Go in the House, Einhorn's previously unreleased soundtrack for The Prowler comes in a somewhat unconventional format. Instead of a selection of tracks, cues or themes, it's all laid out as four long suites: "The Prowler Suite," "Stalking the Grounds Suite," "Dormitory Intruder Suite" and "A Rose to Remember You by Suite." Each of these are presented on one 45 rpm side of a two-LP set for the Waxwork release.
The overall effect leads to a very fluid listening experience, where one moment seamlessly flows into the next on each side. And while the soundtrack comes for one of the very first American slashers — directed by Joseph Zito in 1981, and which tells the tale of a masked G.I. assailant taking out college students — it's hardly a standard-stock horror soundtrack.
At times, Einhorn weaves in some beautifully romantic pieces, especially during the album's first suite, but then at others, he veers off into much more abstract territory, mixing orchestral cues and free-forming electronic soundscapes. In a way, it's like what you'd get from a purposely experimental Morricone score, such as on one of the Italian composer's abstract Dimensioni Sonore releases.
But there are some true horror touches as well on The Prowler, including tension-building string work, ghostly, manipulated woodwinds and some seriously menacing piano-banging sounds of terror. Overall, the album can be downright unsettling at times — but in a good way.
Besides the music itself, The Prowler comes with new artwork by the esteemed Ghoulish Gary Pullin, as well as liner notes by director Joseph Zito, who writes "When it was all over, Richard came to me and said, 'this was the most miserable experience of my life… but I did my best work.' At least, that's what I think he said. If not, he should have."
And really, it's hard not to agree with him. (Waxwork Records)