Film scores

Soundtrack review: The creep behind the camera (John Schuermann – 2015)

creepbehindthecamera

“The Creep Behind the Camera” is a documentary written and directed by Pete Schuermann about notorious cult filmmaker Art J. Nelson. Nelson wrote, produced, edited and starred in The Creeping Terror, a low-budget 1964 horror about a monster consuming teenagers. It’s considered to be the worst horror movie on all times and was made by one of the strangest guys in the business. The score was written by John Schuerman, the brother of the director.

The main title puts me in a great mood. It’s a long and delightful theme that mixes the monster / Sci-fi sound of the 60s with the smooth jazzy sound of the same period. Especially the latter which comes after I’ve already heard lately quite a few gorgeous spy movie cues reminiscent of the same period is music to my ears and I am grooving and shaking in my chair. The monster sound takes the spotlight then and I absolutely love it. Haven’t heard it in a while and it’s done both honestly and fun. It sounds just as preposterous as it did back then.

There’s something about the sleazy jazzy sound the composer uses to introduce the main character to us that’s both charming and repulsive. Sometimes it reminds me of “Twin Peaks”, other times the music makes me want to wash my hands. This is the brilliance of the composer; this is not a generic score and this is not a composition that could work for any movie. It’s clear that John Schuerman knows the story and the character and does a great job in making us feel as if we were on those movies sets 40 years ago working alongside this guy. Ok, maybe some of the cues could work for a James Bond movie to describe one of the ridiculous or sophisticated villains but it’s the same thing. Art J. Nelson was a real life ridiculous villain and I get to know him through the eyes of the composer.

This is the best thing about “The creep behind the camera”. The music is creepy both with the monster and the jazzy sound. Different kind of creepy, but just as effective. I was instantly transported to the 60s and 70s and didn’t leave until the score was over. The brilliant duality of the sound and the spectacular and fun interpretation make for one of the freshest and most cheerful scores I’ve heard in a while. Come and meet the creep, you won’t regret it!

Cue rating: 90 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 20 / 36

Album excellence: 56%

Highlights:

Main Title

The Monster From Lake Tahoe

I Love Stalking Lucy

Big Time

Print That One

A Monster In Hiding

I Am God!

The Mambo Behind The Creep

 

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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