Timed for Halloween, FACT’s countdown of the top 100 put the Italian prog band’s score ahead of Popol Vuh’s music for Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) at number two.
In a list that digs deep beyond the mainstream, obvious choices fare notably less well than obscure offerings from the shadowy margins of giallo, slasher movies and video nasties.
Bernard Herrmann’s score for Psycho (1960), for example, a shoe in for number one on more traditional lists, comes in only at number 13, and there’s no space at all for either The Exorcist (1973) or The Shining (1980).
Their exclusion leaves room to shine a light instead on such relative obscurities as Fabio Frizzi’s score for video shlock horror City of the Living Dead (1980), Japanese experimental composer Toru Takemitsu’s music for the ghost story anthology Kwaidan (1964), and one Chuck Cirino’s synth-heavy theme music for Chopping Mall (1986).
The top 10 looks like this:
10. Kwaidan – Toru Takemitsu (1964)
9. Devil’s Nightmare – Alessandro Alessandroni (1971)
8. Eraserhead – David Lynch and Alan R. Splet (1977)
7. Full Circle – Colin Towns (1977)
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – Tobe Hooper and Wayne Bell (1974)
5. Videodrome – Howard Shore (1983)
4. Halloween III: Season of the Witch – John Carpenter and Alan Howarth (1982)
3. City of the Living Dead – Fabio Frizzi (1980)
2. Nosferatu the Vampyre – Popul Vuh (1979)
1. Suspiria – Goblin (1977)