SLITHER (SCORE)
Music composed by Tyler Bates

Label: Bulletproof
Catalog: BPF 1004
Year: 2006
Tracks:

1. Meteor
2. Infection
3. Just A Bee Sting
4. Munchies
5. I Can’t Trust You!
6. The Basement
7. Alien Rape
8. What’s That Smell?
9. Hollywood
10. Russkies
11. Do The Split
12. Ho Lee Shit!
13. Brenda Bursts
14. Bedbugs
15. Blood Vomit
16. Wally-Grant
17. Family Fun Day
18. Bitch Is Hardcore
19. Crashtermath
20. Love Theme from Slither
21. Snaking The Mayor
22. Starla’s Got Her Gunn
23. Slither Finale

Total Time: 47:46
Rating:

Reviewed by
Jorge Saldanha


Just in time for Halloween, Slither arrives on DVD and the score album hits the music stores at the same time. There's a song CD also, but right now we are only interested to share some thoughts about Tyler Bates' music. The film follows the same trend of, for example, Eight Legged Freaks, paying homages to such sci-fi/horror classics like Invasion of The Body Snatchers and The Blob. In short, Slither can be defined as a fun, sometimes scary and many times overblown horror comedy.

Tyler Bates was hired to compose the score, defined by director James Gunn as, "Bernard Hermann put through a punk rock/John Zorn meat grinder, and then lovingly reassembled without any irony whatsoever." Previously Bates delivered two solid efforts in the horror genre, Zack Snyder's Dawn of The Dead and Rob Zombie's The Devils Rejects. For Zombie's film the composer created a sometimes difficult but very original work, plenty of exquisite dissonance, sounds and scary chords. For Slither Bates had to keep the score faithful to the genre's formula, so this music is not so original or creative. The score had to translate the movie's heart attack-inducing scares and laugh-out-loud humor into music with emotional depth and complexity - as far its possible.

The B-movies used as references for Slither are memorable, but not exactly for their music. This fact was an obstacle for Bates, since the audiences would be also expecting to hear some genre references in the soundtrack. Bate's solution was simple - to emulate more recent works from composers like Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner and even Elliot Goldenthal. So, if you appreciate the music from films like Aliens or Predator (yes, the introduction of the famous Alan Silvestri's theme gets a nice rendition in the track "Russkies"), for sure you will enjoy this work.

But it is a mistake to think that the quality of Bates music only depends upon the work of other composers. It is the engine that moves forward Slither, enhancing the film's pulsing flow of blood and irony. Despite to be mostly overblown, like the film that serves, the score sucessfully expresses the characters individual qualities. The quiet moments are rare, like the evocative strings based "Love Theme from Slither" (and even this one ends with orchestral bursts). Bates employed an orchestra of 105 musicians, to assure that the performance would deliver to the audiences a classic roller coaster ride. What the Slither soundtrack loses in originality, it gains in fun and thrills. To be honest, how could a score assembled of tracks with names like "Alien Rape", "What's that Smell" and "Blood Vomit" not to be fun?

In addition to Slither, Bates recently completed his score for Zack Snyder's battle epic 300, based on the award-winning graphic novel by Frank Miller, to be released in USA theaters March 9th, 2007. Soon he will begin scoring Rob Zombie's animated The Haunted World of El Super Beasto, as well as Resident Evil: Extinction, the third chapter of the series based in the famous Capcom's game franchise. As you see, thanks to his competent works Tyler Bates is a very busy guy today, in such a way that very soon his name will be recognized even by casual audiences.

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