It’s Muerto Las Vegas In Zack Snyder’s Army Of The Dead Trailer

Friends, earlier today Netflix released the official trailer for the upcoming Zack Snyder directed Army of the Dead, which looks like it is ready to double down on zombie action and thrills when it pits Dave Bautista against a horde of the living dead in Las Vegas. This is actually the first of three projects though in this new ‘Army’ zombie cinematic universe scheduled to hit Netflix. As there is also an upcoming anime series entitled Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas as well as a prequel film called Army of Thieves.

Snyder is no stranger though to the zombie genre thanks to 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, itself a remake of the classic 1978 film by the late and great George A. Romero. I was one of those many fans of Romero’s work that looked on the screenplay by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) as well as the trailer for the remake of the movie with a healthy does of skepticism. Being a huge fan of the zombie genre though, I scheduled a day off from work so I could catch the first showing… and ten minutes after it began I was grinning ear to ear and planning on catching the second matinee as well. That opening to the Zack Snyder version of Dawn of the Dead managed to give you a slice of normalcy and calm before aggressively letting you see it all get swept away overnight.

Perhaps the most surprising fact of 2004’s Dawn of the Dead was just how much fun it was – it was a still a horror film to be sure – but Snyder and Gunn definitely provided some dark laughs and action to go along with the zombie carnage. And judging by the trailer for Army of the Dead it is a return to form for Snyder, especially with the “Always Bet on Dead” tagline as seen on the official poster. Word of warning though before you check out the trailer for yourself, there is a brief moment of SALTY language, but thankfully it doesn’t cross the PG-13 line. And kudos by the way to the filmmaker for using the 1978 cover of “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers in the trailer below!

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Netflix.

Dave Bautista plays Scott Walker, a former soldier who leads a team of mercenaries into the remains of Las Vegas in the hopes of securing $200 million dollars locked in a vault. Not only does the group have to contend with what looks like intelligent zombies and an undead tiger, but they only have 32 hours before a nuclear bomb is dropped on Las Vegas. If you listen closely to the news report at the beginning of that trailer, the city that never sleeps has been walled off to prevent the zombie hordes from spreading. So I think it’s safe to say that the $50 million pay out will still go a long way for Walker and his team… assuming any of them survive the job, right?

In addition to Bautista, the film also stars Theo Rossi (Luke Cage), Ella Purnell (Sweetbitter), Tig Notaro (One Mississippi), Ana de la Reguera (Goliath), Hiroyuki Sanada (Westworld), Omari Hardwick (Kick-Ass), Matthias Schweighöfer (You Are Wanted), Raúl Castillo (Ghost Tape), Nora Arnezeder (Safe House), Garret Dillahunt (Deadwood), and Samantha Win (Mortal Kombat: Legacy).

As I understand it from reading online, Army of the Dead will be released in select theaters beginning on May 14th with it hitting Netflix one week later.

Tales From The Score Keeper: Thieves & Smugglers & Ghosts

The September smorgasbord of soundtracks just keeps spinning – and there’s a little something for everyone this time around.

If thieves are your thing, you can’t do much better than the Prince of Thieves, as in Robin Hood – as in Intrada’s four-disc remastered release of the late Michael Kamen’s complete score (and then some) from 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Now, this has been released before – as a single CD alongside the movie’s original release, and as a 2-CD collection by Intrada just a couple of years ago. But with help from Kamen’s estate, missing material that had to be omitted from the 2018 release now comprises a third CD – that’s three discs of the score as composed for the film, and, on a fourth disc, the score suite from the 1991 CD release in remastered form.

Before you ask: no, the Bryan Adams songs – you know the one – is not to be found on the 4-CD set, nor is the much more obscure (but much desired by ELO fans) Jeff Lynne song “Wild Times”. The entire 4-CD set is simply Kamen’s score – but what a score it is.

To help you contain your disappointment that it’s not on the otherwise amazing 4-CD set, here’s That Bryan Adams Song. Video courtesy Bryan Adams

From BSX Records comes a trio of releases, including one that has been very near the top of the Score Keeper’s soundtrack holy grail list for several years. Just in time for Halloween, two spooky scores by Howard (Flash Gordon) Blake arrive in remastered form on a single CD, The Canterville Ghost and Amityville 3-D. The latter of these was previously available on a now-out-of-print limited edition CD along with Blake’s Flash Gordon score (you know, the bits of music that weren’t done by Queen), but it finally gets, shall we say, a more “official” release this time around.

BSX is also releasing Conrad Pope’s score from the movie Lloyd, a comedy for kids filmed in the ’90s but not released theatrically until 2001. (It’s almost as if the movie and its score were competing to see whose release could be delayed longer. With a 19-year gap between movie premiere and the soundtrack, I think the soundtrack wins.)

The third BSX release is one that yours truly has been wanting on CD for ages, but gave up on ever actually seeing or hearing. It’s Don Davis’ score from the 2004 BBC docudrama Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets, the first volume in what will hopefully be a series of releases of Davis’ soundtrack work. The two-night BBC miniseries was a project Davis took on almost immediately after The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and a little bit of the Matrix trilogy’s style can be heard rubbing off on the epic music for the fictional (but educational) documentary about a crewed space mission spanning the entire solar system, from Venus to Mars. I’m particularly fond of this oddball piece of television and its fantastic score, so if you’re looking for an endorsement, just know that I ordered this one immediately.

Video courtesy Mike Combs

In fact, thanks to BSX’s policy of making a digital download (with a PDF digital liner notes booklet) available immediately upon purchase, I’m listening to it right now before the CD even goes in the mail. Each of the three BSX titles have very limited print runs: only 500 copies each. (I have it on good authority that Space Odyssey’s down to 499 already.)

Varese Sarabande has another of its expanded deluxe releases on tap, and this one is both movie music and rock ‘n’ roll. The new single-disc release of music from The Buddy Holly Story offers previously unavailable film versions and alternate versions of songs featured in the film, with songs performed by Gary Busey (in character as Buddy Holly), Jerry Zaremba as Eddie Cochran, and Gailard Sartain as the Big Bopper (hellooooooo, baby!)

Finally, exciting news of an upcoming digital-only release on the horizon, one that will make Star Wars fans feel like they’ve just pulled off the galaxy’s biggest heist with their favorite smuggler. Composer John Powell posted a trailer on Instagram announcing the imminent release of over two hours of the complete, unedited (!) score from Solo: A Star Wars Story, featuring the complete end credits suite and a wealth of other material not available on the previous single-disc-length release. Find me a Wookiee sidekick and count me in.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFcZDwYBa24/

See? Something for everyone.

Also missing from Intrada’s 4-CD set, here’s the Robin Hood song you don’t remember by ELO’s Jeff Lynne.
Video courtesy Music From Movies

Tales From The Score Keeper: Keeping Things Running Around Here

Your friendly neighborhood soundtrack aficionado is back with a smorgasbord of summer listening!

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m still not venturing out into a world that seems to have collectively forgotten that there’s a dangerous and highly contagious health hazard still out there, so what to do while staying inside? Ah, yes… soundtracks. There are always soundtracks to listen to. And it just so happens that some of your favorite soundtrack labels are gracing you with some new ones, and new editions of old favorites.

Courtesy Dragon’s Domain

Dragon’s Domain Records is unleashing a trio of releases that’s… eclectic, to say the least. A new recording of Lee Holdridge’s score from the 2004 NBC miniseries 10.5, about a cataclysmic, west-coast-shaking earthquake, is probably the least obscure of the three; it’s worth noting that the miniseries was also co-written and directed by the late John Lafia of Child’s Play fame. Why a new recording? Due to the lion’s share of 10.5’s budget being thrown at stunts and special effects, there was only enough money left for an electronic score with no orchestra. Holdridge collaborated with MIDI wiz Robert Irving to try to make it sound orchestral, and it’s Irving who is behind the new version of the score, bringing more modern technology and samples to bear on that tug-of-war between “electronic instruments” and “orchestral sound”. 500 copies will be available.

Courtesy Dragon’s Domain

The oddest of the three releases, if it’s not a now-forgotten 2004 disaster-flick miniseries? It’s an entire disc devoted to the works of composer Dr. Edward David Zeliff, who often provided the scores to religious films that had a somewhat limited audience. But his orchestral and choral works both large-scale and small are represented here – Beyond The Next Mountain, The Living Word, Under Fire, Ezekiel File, and Pilate’s Easter – in their original recordings. Volume One – wait, there are going to be further volumes? – will be limited to 500 copies, the first 50 of them signed by the composer.

Courtesy Dragon’s Domain

The last of the Dragon’s Domain trio features Richard Band’s original score from 1978’s The Day Time Ended, which was only Band’s second foray into film scoring (his first, of course, being the infamous, MST3K-lampooned Laserblast, composed in collaboration with Joel Goldsmith), but his first created with an orchestra in mind. Band also contributes to the liner notes of this release, which has been remastered from the original session tapes. 500 CD copies will be available; all of the Dragon’s Domain releases also give buyers access to an instant download of a digital copy of the music, complete with a digital copy of the booklet, so technically…you don’t actually have to open the CDs.

Courtesy Quartet Records

Quartet Records has remastered and reissued Ennio Morricone’s album of music from John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing, digging the original master tapes out of the ice and thawing them out because, really, what could go wrong? The original running order of Morricone’s album – which featured some music not used in the movie because late editing changes were rescored by Carpenter and Alan Howarth – is preserved for this CD release. As things would have it, at the time I’m writing this, The Thing is temporarily out of stock, but more copies will be pressed to meet demand – watch Quartet Records’ page closely, because it’ll probably go fast.

Courtesy Varese Sarabande

Varese Sarabande Records is delivering a couple of much-anticipated expanded releases as part of its limited-edition CD Club line, starting with Harold Faltermeyer’s score from The Running Man (1987). While The Running Man did have a soundtrack release alongside the film’s premiere, this CD edition more than doubles the number of tracks from 17 to 35, adds original cover artwork and liner notes, and gives the orignal records a fresh remaster. Pre-orders are being taken ahead of the August release of a CD edition of 2000 copies, as well as a double LP vinyl edition.

Courtesy Varese Sarabande

Getting not just a vinyl release but a picture disc release is another title from Varese’s vault, the songs from the Xena: Warrior Princess episode Lyre, Lyre, Hearts On Fire. The CD has been available since the episode’s premiere, but this LP edition is a new one, with packaging aimed, perhaps, at display rather than play. (On a personal note, I just never dug Lyre, Lyre‘s “cover album” selection of existing songs as much as I did the original numbers from the first Xena musical episode, The Bitter Suite.)

Courtesy Varese Sarabande

Varese is digging into its vault of already-released TV soundtracks for August’s other CD Club surprise, a remastered edition of 1995’s seaQuest DSV score by John Debney. If you measure the value of a soundtrack reissue by how many tracks it adds to the original, this one is worth the (re)investment: the original 1995 CD contained 14 tracks from the pilot episode, but this new edition balloons out to two discs, featuring a whopping 58 tracks spanning Debney’s music from the entire first season of the show. seaQuest fans parched for anything related to the much-missed show better be thirsty enough to jump on this one fast – only 1500 copies of the 2-CD seaQuest deluxe soundtrack will be pressed.

Courtesy Intrada

Looking ahead, Intrada has already start dropping hints about a late June release of a 2-CD edition of Hugo Friedhofer’s music from The Young Lions (1958). Whether this will be 2 CDs devoted entirely to that film, or if it’ll be sharing space with another classic film score, won’t be known until Intrada gives more details. As of now, there isn’t even a pre-order link available.

See? There’s a lot to listen to while you’re still practicing your social distancing and contemplating whether or not our future is a little too uncomfortably close to the plot of The Running Man.

Enjoy This Promo Video For The Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror

Promo Video For The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - 2004 - Disney California Adventure

Friends, I hope you will forgive me for running a little late today – I thought the best birthday gift for myself would be the treat of getting a full 7 hours of sleep. That worked out well for me to be honest but then I found this little gift waiting as well – a promo video for the The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – the Disney California Adventure version that opened back in 2004. It would be safe to say that I am a HUGE fan of The Twilight Zone television series that was created by Rod Serling back in 1959 for CBS – I’ve actually gone on record as saying it might possibly be the greatest TV series of all time. Granted it is hard to go wrong with a collection of writers that included Richard Matheson (Duel, I Am Legend), Charles Beaumont (7 Faces of Dr. Lao, The Masque of the Red Death), George Clayton Johnson (Wanted Dead or Alive, Star Trek), Reginald Rose (Twelve Angry Men), Jerry Sohl (Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Star Trek), Earl Hamner Jr. (Spencer’s Mountain, The Waltons), and of course Ray Bradbury. Together with an embarrassment of riches in front and behind the camera – The Twilight Zone entertained as well as taught us that often the true monster need not come from outer space or from our imagination… but is plainly visible in the nearest mirror.

I have shared in the past how the bedtime stories of my youth unbeknownst to myself were actually episodes of The Twilight Zone that my Father remembered. So when I started catching the series on reruns… I was a little shocked to realize I knew some of the twist endings before they were revealed. I still loved watching them and would tape them on VHS and watch them over and over again. Then my mind was kind of blown when I found out that in ’94 that The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World… I knew I must make a pilgrimage there to check it out. Especially when getting a glimpse of the fun courtesy of Walt Disney World Inside Out at the time of the ride’s opening. Who better to give us a guided tour of the Hollywood Tower Hotel than host of Walt Disney World Inside Out Scott Herriot and special guest Gilbert Gottfried?

Video Provided by Tower of Terror Database.

Actually two of my best friends beat me to the Tower of Terror and brought back some chilling tales from their encounter with the Twilight Zone – in addition to some sweet, sweet collectibles too. A couple of years later I was able to experience the Tower of Terror for myself with another best friend and while the ride was over before I knew it… I kept the memories with me… I even bought the photograph of us screaming our heads off – plus some video of the bellhops of the Hollywood Tower Hotel doing their best to be both creepy and funny!

Video and Article Image Provided by Cow Missing.
For what it’s worth our Bellhop as the doors were shutting closed remarked ‘Feel free to drop in… anytime.’

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Florida is still in operation – with the Disney California Adventure version opening in 2004 but closing in 2017 to make room for the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout! drop ride. At the very least we have this wonderful promo video on the Disney California Adventure version opening – including some chats with a few of the Imagineers responsible for the ride design and even architecture. To say nothing of the reactions of some of the lucky people who were able to try out the ride during the promo video!

Video Provided by Cow Missing.