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Soundtrack review: Cat’s eye (Alan Silvestri – 1985, 2015)

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“Cat’s eye” is a Stephen King adaptation I hadn’t heard about and this is puzzling because I thought I knew them all. Anyway this 1985 comedic horror movie is one of the lesser known Alan Silvestri scores. He wrote it just between “Romancing the stone”, his first collaboration with Robert Zemekis, and “Back to the future”, the movie that launched them both. It will be exciting to discover early Alan Silvestri and to look for the sprouts of what was to become such a signature sound. I had an “Alan Silvestri month” last year and explored a lot of his music.

Yep, this is the 80s as the intro shows us with the dark metallic synth tone. Ah, my favorite decade, my favorite sound, just in a slightly different variation. I almost see the studio in which this was recording with all that machinery that creates these sounds I am so addicted to. This brand of horror is sometimes a little lighter than, say, “Terminator” but it does step from the same root. I would even say Alan Silvestri’s desolate future is more sophisticated than Brad Fiedel’s. Yes I know this is a movie about a crazy cat or something but the music reaches different chords and triggers different images inside me.

Contrary to the tone of the music I am overcome with joy when I listen to this score. This is my favorite place and I feel comfortable here. I didn’t expect to get such a shot of nostalgia today. It’s not just the Terminator vibe but also the early 80s horror sound which I am very familiar with. I can almost see the sets, the camera shots, the bad angles and the weird colored blood. Plus every now and then there is a shot of 80s coolness with “Bumper to bumper”. Writing about a score like “Cat’s eye” is so easy because I know it won’t change its pace or its appeal and I can just enjoy the feelings it gives me.

The nostalgia grip loosens a bit when the more comedic synth variations come up. I enjoy them as well but I know those won’t be the ones I will return to. “Bird escort” or “Cat in Atlantic” city sound like the musical companions of some of the first Arcade game characters. They are delightfully simple and they make me smile.

“Cat’s eye” is Alan Silvestri at his most basic. It sounds like Alan Silvestri trying out the synthesizer in his garage before becoming a composer. It is fascinating for me to hear him like this and I bet it’s just as amusing for him as well to remember this score 30 years later. Fans of 80s horror will adore this one. This is for you nostalgic folks out there.

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 31 / 52

Album excellence: 60%

Highlights:

Cat’s Eye – Intro

Cat Chase (Main Title)

Help Me

The Cat Room

Closet Case

Bumper To Bumper

First Smoke

Television Message

You Have My Wife

Nighttime

Mom Has A Plan

General’s Love Of Amanda

Cat Chase (Intro & Main Title – Film Edit)

 

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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