‘Erotic Nights of the Living Dead‘ is a 1980s Italian horror film written and directed by Joe D’Amato. The film is also known by its Italian title: ‘Le notti erotiche dei morti viventi‘.
The plot here is secondary to all the flesh on show – what little plot there is involves a land owner purchasing a tropical island in order to do some development and create a luxury holiday resort on it. Upon arriving on the island, they are warned to stay away by a local shaman who proclaims that the island is gripped by voodoo and supernatural forces that have caused the dead to roam the island.
Needless to say, they don’t heed the warning and they stick around on the island – and an orgy of sex and death follows (…but mostly sex).
The film was churned out quickly on a low budget, and the cast, crew, and location were all also used to film another movie called ‘Porno Holocaust‘ at the same time.
The film may have been made on the cheap, but the soundtrack is great – the score for Erotic Nights of the Living Dead was composed by Marcello Giombini and is an synthesizer fan’s wet-dream.
Marcello Giombini was born in Rome in 1928 and he father was a music professor. Giombini’s interest in music started early and in his younger years he would spend time as an organist in the churches of Rome.
His skill, curiosity, and versatility soon became apparent and Giombini quickly started experimenting with multiple music genres – he composed classical music, created religious pieces, and also was one of Italy’s pioneers in electronic music with a number of albums to his name like ‘Computer Disco‘, ‘Astromusic Synthesizer‘, and ‘Italian Folk Synthesizer‘.
Much of Marcello Giombini’s electronic work was done on the now vintage ARP 2600 audio synthesizer – in the early 1970s he owned two ARP 2600’s and also an Eminent organ which he used to create a number of scores as well as incidental music for library records.
It is curious that a musical figure with such a religious background should also compose soundtracks for 80s exploitation movies full of sex and violence, but Giombini ended up composing a number of scores for these films, including ‘La Bestia Nello Spazio‘, ‘Terror Express‘, and various others.
Marcello Giombini also created scores for a number of Spaghetti Westerns and his most famous soundtracks are probably those he created for the two Sabata films directed by Gianfranco Parolini and starring Lee Van Cleef.
The soundtrack for ‘Erotic Nights of the Living Dead‘ is pretty decent as it happens – the score dives into a fast paced, almost disco-like, main theme – complete with synthesized choral vocals, and an organ hook that sounds like it belongs in a Church (probably Giombini’s religious background showing through), or a hair-metal track.
Check it out below.
Listen to “Le Notti Erotiche Dei Morti Viventi” by Marcello Giombini:
The rest of the soundtrack is a a mix of haunting and creepy synthesizer tracks. Many of them are quite beautiful to listen too, but remain unsettling at the same time – they create a unique and distinctive atmosphere – like being in a beautiful place, but with something not being right at the same time, with a vague but unspecified danger lurking. A great example of this can be heard in “Tema Romantico” which is an ethereal sounding piece of music, but there is something lurking on the surface to keep you from drifting off and keeps you on the edge. Check it out below.
Listen to “Tema Romantico” by Marcello Giombini:
“Ballo Erotico” is another slow paced electronic piece that is full of haunting atmosphere. Check it out below.
Listen to “Ballo Erotico” by Marcello Giombini:
The soundtrack has never had an official release, although it did become available for a short-time as a bootlegged CDr which collected together two Marcello Giombini soundtracks for Joe D’Amato: “Antropophagus” and “Le notti erotiche dei morti viventi“
The sleeve artwork and the track list for the bootleg can be seen below:
1. Main Theme Padre Snaturato (1:49)
2. Arriving The Island (1:08)
3. Exploring The Village (1:48)
4. Mysteries (1:14)
5. Abandoned Boat (0:42)
6. Maggie Disappeared (0:26)
7. The Hunt & Trapped At The Cemetery (1:45)
8. Mansion Of Klaus Weltmann (2:43)
9. Search For Maggie (1:08)
10. The Catacombs (2:45)
11. The Hidden Room (2:16)
12. Flashback (1:15)
13. Escape (2:33)
14. The Well (1:49)
15. End Title (0:32)
16. Tema Inizio (1:34)
17. I morti si Svegliano (0:43)
18. Ballo Erotico (2:59)
19. Larry e Fiona (1:31)
20. L Isola del Gatto (Versione 1) (0:44)
21. L Isola del Gatto (Versione 2) (0:16)
22. Tema Romantico (2:11)
23. Ill Morti Viventi (3:20)
24. Antropophagus 1 (Demo) (1:21)
25. Antropophagus 2 (Demo) (2:46)
26. Le Notti Erotiche dei morti Viventi (4:15)
27. Le Notti Sexy Beat (Demo) (3:01)
Depending how adapt and tech-savvy you are, you shouldn’t find it too hard to find a copy of the soundtrack for download.
Marcello Giombini’s son also followed in his father’s footsteps and is one of the pioneers of ‘Italo Disco’.