From the mind of Wes Craven, the A Nightmare on Elm Street series was a caffeinated jolt to the heart of horror hounds worldwide. Not only giving birth to the son of 100 maniacs, the franchise also provided us with one of the most iconic movie themes in the history of cinema with composer Charles Bernstein’s "Prologue." Sitting on a gold mine of Krueger classics, Death Waltz records set out to make every A Nightmare on Elm Street fan’s dreams come true with the Box of Souls: A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection 8xLP set. Not only a choice collection of synthesized dreamscapes, the Box of Souls contains an assortment of original pieces from acclaimed artist Mike Saputo, whose highly detailed works showcase the Elm Street horror icon in a terrifying new light.
Built on a foundation of successful and highly collectible soundtrack reissues, the debut issue from Waxwork Records’ House of Waxwork comic book series has quickly established itself as one of the most sought-after treats this Halloween season. A showcase of paperback scares, movie poster aesthetics, and a devilish “host” character (The Die-Rector), House of Waxwork oozes with nostalgic nods to both EC Comics and VHS horror. Waxwork also carves out a niche selling point for themselves by pairing up the comic with an original 7-inch soundtrack which will both immerse and entertain the reader. With issue one out now in both stores and online, Daily Dead caught up with Kevin Bergeron, co-owner of Waxwork Records, to chat about the past, present, and future of the Waxwork comic brand.
The sequel to one of the most influential horror movies of all time, Halloween II continues the story of the night HE came home. Directing from a screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, Rick Rosenthal skillfully replicated the deliberate yet intoxicating pacing and overall mood of the original film while adding a potent surplus of gore. Unfairly overshadowed by the film’s legacy, Carpenter’s score finely whittles away the nerves with its tense synthesized savageness. As one of Death Waltz Recording’s early releases, the label made sure it got off on the right note by commissioning Jump Cut artist Brandon Schaefer for the cover art. Dark, hollow, and heartless, Schaefer’s adaptation of The Shape is a fresh and hypnotizing take on a horror icon.
Released in 2003, Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy is often heralded as a cult favorite and masterpiece of Korean cinema. Venturing to emotional extremes with its grim violence and extraordinary sadomasochism, it is a film that is compulsive viewing for anyone with a petulance for gore or a good revenge story. As tense as it is tragic, Jo Yeong-wook’s composition work mirrors the film’s dark beauty—filled with melancholic moments and infectious melodies. Looking for a visual artist to complement the project, Milan Records enlisted the talents of Laurent Durieux, whose captivating, lucid style immaculately captured the overcast essence of the film.
One of 39 titles to be successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Acts in 1984, Joe D’Amato’s Absurd (aka Horrible aka Rosso Sangue) massaged the erogenous zones of gore hounds across the globe upon release. Centered around a tense, unforgettable melody, Carlo Maria Cordio’s score is a compelling mix of high-strung grindhouse funk and synthesized splinters of Italian flair. As part of Death Waltz’s video nasty series, the label commissioned the canvas work of Wes Benscoter, whose grizzly graphical style violently epitomized the film's dark, bloodthirsty aesthetic.
The brainchild of horror maestros Stephen King and George A. Romero, Creepshow is a frightening, fun, and faithful ode to the EC Comics of the 1950s. An anthology of classic chills and kills, this collaboration between the genre’s finest creative minds has long been a favorite amongst fans of monsters and the macabre. Along with the spectacular special effects of Tom Savini, Creepshow is often heralded for its brilliantly malevolent, piano-tinged music score by composer John Harrison. Having worked exclusively with Harrison, Romero, and the original master tapes to create the ultimate Creepshow experience, Waxwork Records also enlisted the talent of renowned artist "Ghoulish" Gary Pullin, whose precise palette and vision carved out the vicious visual aesthetic that became the perfect complement to the campy, dark imagery of the film and its audio.
From the production stable of Roger Corman, 1982’s Forbidden World (aka Mutant) delivered an Alien-inspired tale oozing with both gooey gore and sci-fi scares. Low on budget but big on schlock, the film gained cult status due to its camp violence, gratuitous nudity, and the syrupy synthesized soundtrack courtesy of Susan Justin. Turing the original masters into delicious 180 grams of vinyl, Death Waltz commissioned London’s Kimberley (aka "The Holla") Holladay for the cover art, bringing in an artist whose swift penmanship was ideal for capturing the macabre marrow of the film.
Often regarded as the pinnacle of the franchise, Super Castlevania IV is the classic tale of vampire hunter Simon Belmont stalking Transylvania’s dark and undead overlord. As well as being infinitely playable, Super Castlevania IV is renowned for its beautiful soundtrack featuring compositions and arrangements by the Konami Kukeiha Club that were well beyond anything heard on a Nintendo system before. With Mondo pressing the 16-bit sounds to 180-gram vinyl, the label sought out French visual artist JenoLab to create a cover art that packs more bite than Dracula himself.
A warped, schizophrenic journey into the dark recesses of the mind, David Schmoeller’s Tourist Trap is a fragmented piece of cult cinema dripping in masked mayhem and macabre mannequins.
A contemporary twist to a well-trodden tale, Hammer’s Dracula A.D 1972 tried to breath new life into the Count by transporting him from the grim gravestones of Transylvania to the stomping grounds of swinging London. To mirror the modern approach to the film, composer Mike Vickers replaced the classic orchestral scores of the past with a collection of modernist, pop-jazz-styled rhythms. With Death Waltz resurrecting the Count for a limited vinyl reissue, the label unearthed graphic artist Silver Ferox to bring a fresh and frightful concept for the cover artwork.
Based upon a frightening fable penned by Clive Barker, the Candyman film series not only delivered a refreshing, sophisticated story—it also gave the horror genre a tragic and terrifying new boogeyman to fear in Tony Todd’s sinister portrayal of the title role. As the composer for both the original and follow-up film, Philip Glass’s cold soundscapes helped bloom the dark urban dystopia that resonated on the screen, complete with one of the most iconic movie themes of modern cinema. Summoning up Jeremy from Silver Ferox to create the hazy kodak visuals, One Way Static’s vinyl release of both Candyman and Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh captures and crystallizes the foreboding dread both sonically and visually in a stunning and sugary release.
With pages steeped in youthful chills and soft-core paperback scares—R.L Stine’s Goosebumps series was a fundamental horror stepping stone for the majority of the MTV generation. Bringing these sweet-tempered shocks to the big screen, the 2015 cinematic adaptation of Goosebumps reintroduces the franchise to a new audience—complete with a big budget, dazzling effects, and a score from legendary composer Danny Elfman. Issuing the soundtrack on stunning 180 gram double vinyl, Waxwork Records had the forethought to realize the series' resurrection would not be complete without the art direction of Tim Jacobus, whose creepy cover arts were one of the fundamental reasons for Goosebumps' success and longevity within popular culture.
The feature film directional debut of Jason Lei Howden, 2015’s Deathgasm is the perfect party flick for horror hounds and headbangers alike. Taking a blood-soaked page or two out of New Zealand counterpart Peter Jackson’s first feature film, Bad Taste, this satanic-themed splatter-fest also turns things up to "11" with a soundtrack filled with some of black metal’s finest. Needing an artist to capture the essence of the film for the vinyl release, Death Waltz Records commissioned Sam Turner to dish out a devilish display for the album’s cover art.
Capitalizing on the brief fad of Reagan-era 3D movies, Steve Miner’s Friday the 13th Part 3 continues Jason’s manic journey across the blood-soaked grounds surrounding Crystal Lake. Acclaimed and revered by some fans more than the film itself, Harry Manfredini’s score fashions some of the most chilling, daring, and skillfully orchestrated music ever composed for the horror genre. Stalking the vaults of Paramount Pictures, Waxwork Records faithfully restored both Manfredini’s master tapes as well as the vintage 3D aesthetic of the film by commissioning the iconic horror artist "Ghoulish" Gary Pullin to carve out the vicious visual illusion that brought a new dimension of terror to the turntable.
Taking the slasher genre to both literal and metaphorical new heights, Ridley Scott’s Alien set the blueprint for sci-fi horror. Released nearly 40 years ago, much of Alien’s claustrophobic, isolated dread can be attributed to Jerry Goldsmith’s brooding, almost maniacal score. As Mondo is gearing up to release the 4LP expanded score, the label recruited Tyler Stout for the art direction. With a cult following and bewitching back catalogue of work, his trademark new retro style is the perfect breeding ground to bring Alien to life.