* 2023 stock * Not quite in time to beat the arrival of 2015, but thank God before the end of the world comes this delightful treasure, Il Fiume Del Grande Caimano aka The Great Alligator, the eighth digitally remastered Stelvio Cipriani film score from "The Little German Label That Could" Chris' Soundtrack Corner! Since 2007 producer Christian Riedrich has been using his fully-loaded soundtrack retail business as the springboard for a thriving series of Retro Euro-Cult soundtrack restorations. As with every preceding CSC presentation this disc benefits from flawless audio mastering, all cues in attendance for completists – including 8 minutes of previously unreleased score - detailed liner notes by Italian film music scholar John Bender, and arguably the most sublimely beautiful packaging design of the soundtrack specialty market.
Director Sergio Martino is a beloved icon to connoisseurs of Italian genre cinema. Just as Antonio Margheriti is revered for Gothic horror and Umberto Lenzi for cops and crime, Martino will forever be revered for his masterful work in the strange realm of the giallo - the violent, erotic, and highly stylized Italian murder mystery / thrillers. But Martino has also been a proteus talent doing great things in other areas of filmic narrative, including sci-fi and horror.
The Great Alligator is undeniably a horror-satellite spun off from the box office mega-force of Spielberg's monster movie Jaws, but composer Cipriani did not merely follow in the footsteps of Maestro John Williams. This 1979 score is a surprising approach to the giant water beast sub-genre and provides a vivacious and engaging listening experience from beginning to end. In fact the score has been a cult-favorite for over 35 years and now fans can satisfy the craving.
Although a late Silver-Age effort THE GREAT ALLIGATOR still embodies all the most valued characteristics of the period, the score is an exciting fusion of stylistic elements combined with pleasurable, full-form melodic motifs. For the beautiful Barbara Bach and other elegant aspects, the composer creates seductive and erotic portraits of femininity. Cipriani also provides colorful and evocative variations of his three precisely crafted principle themes – the Main Title, the Love Theme, and the Great Alligator Theme. These are supported by numerous, highly descriptive references to the exotic locale (ostensibly the Amazon) and primitive tribal cultures. Cipriani mixes such percussive, rhythmic details with modernistic electronic textures, and despite an overall primal ambiance these specific, synthetic sounds evoke a fear of mythological horrors beyond the natural.
Fortunately some CDs are worth every penny paid, and this extravagant score unquestionably qualifies for that coveted distinction!