Saturday, October 25, 2008
Continuing with out modern day monster movie scores, it's time to focus on Friday the 13th. As a young child, out of all the horror movie characters, it was Jason Vorhees who frightened me the most. Most people would agree that the early Friday the 13th movies were the best of the bunch, especially the original, but I have a fondness for some of the later movies in the series, particularly parts 6 and 7, as they were among the first horror movies that I can recall watching. Jason, played by actor Kayne Hodder at this point, was an unstoppable mass of rotting flesh who crushed victims with brute strength as often as he impaled them with a machete. The scene of a rotting Jason, exposed spinal column and all, emerging from Crystal Lake in the 7th film scared the shit out of me at that age.
Henry Manfredini's score for the original Friday the 13th would serve as the blueprint for all of the sequels to follow. Manfredini credits composers Penderecki, Luoslawski, and Bartok for inspiring the sound of the score. The score was extremely low budget, recorded in a basement studio in New Jersey with only 13 (oddly enough) players. Manfredini played all of the percussion, sound effects, keyboards, winds, and also contributed the now infamous vocal effects. I always thought it sounded more like "chi chi chi ha ha ha", but it is actually "ki ki ki ma ma ma". There is an interesting backstory to this. Here is an excerpt of an interview where Manfredini describes how this sound byte came to be included in the score:
"I was listening to Penderecki, and he had an enormous choir, and they did some interesting vocal effects. Of course, we had no choir. So, necessity being the mother of invention, I had to come up with something. If you remember in the picture, at the end we saw a close-up of Betsy Palmer's mouth, saying "kill her, mommy" over and over. As she said this, the voice changed from her voice to the voice of young Jason. So, I took that as a cue. I simply pronounced the letters "ki" for kill, and "ma" for mommy, and then ran them through a piece of equipment called an echoplex. (now really an old piece of gear) and that's how it came to be. So what you hear is KI KI KI KI ---- MA MA MA MA MA.
Unfortunately Paramount never released the official score for the original film, and many of the sequels to follow. The only soundtracks that saw a release were part 3 and Jason X. Fortunately, Friday the 13th has a very devoted fan base, and a number of people have made bootlegged versions of the score available in one form or another. I'm sharing what I consider to be one of the best, which is the "Friday the 13th Special Edition Soundtrack". The Special Edition Soundtrack collects music and sound bytes from the first eight films, and even includes a bonus "Jason Hack Track", which is a collage of sound bytes from every kill made by Jason in the seven sequels featured on the soundtrack.
1. Prophet of Doom/Introduction to Horror - Friday the 13th Main Theme
2. A Mother's Love
3. Kill Her Mommy/Excerpts of Terror
4. What About the Boy?
5. Friday the 13th End Theme
6. Campfire Tale
7. Doomed/Friday the 13th Part 2 Main Theme
8. I Have Warned Thee/Friday the 13th Part 3 Main Theme
9. Moments of Sadness
10. Friday the 13th Part 4 Main Theme
11. He's Alive
12. Friday the 13th Part 4 End Theme
13. You Talking To Me/Friday the 13th Part 5 Main Theme
14. Friday the 13th Part 6 Main Theme/Tommy's Plight
15. Teenage Frankenstein
16. Dead Meat
17. The Man Behind The Mask
18. Friday the 13th Part 7 Main Theme
19. Welcome to N.Y.
20. Friday the 13th Part 8 Theme - Darkest Side of Night
21. Bonus - Jason's Hack Track
Download: Friday the 13th Special Edition Soundtrack
Download Size: 66MB