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One Dark Night (1983): Soundtrack

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One Dark Night (1983): Soundtrack

One Dark Night‘ is an American horror film that it was directed by Tom McLoughlin – it was made in 1981 on a small budget of less than $1 million, but it didn’t get a theatrical release until 1983. Despite it’s label as a ‘horror film’, it went against the grain of the usual horrors of the time, and it was released with a PG rating as no blood or nudity was shown on screen.

The plot follows a group of teens who make a girl (Julie) spend the night in a mausoleum as part of an initiation ceremony to get into their gang. Just before Julie spends the night in the crypt, a strange man called Karl Rhamarevich who had a powerful gift of telekinesis is laid to rest. Thing is, he doesn’t rest for long, and he is soon up and about making the dead bodies reanimate under the command of his telekinesis. Cue much shrieking, chasing, and tension.

One Dark Night‘ had a very limited theatrical run, and soon found itself as a regular on cable TV being pulled out yearly for Halloween. This was actually a blessing in disguise, as coupled with its PG certificate it found a wide audience and the film has gone on to get a bit of a cult status.

The Soundtrack

Bob Summers composed the soundtrack for ‘One Dark Night‘, and he was also one of the music producers behind the soundtrack for the cult classic ‘Night of the Comet‘ (1984). Bob Summers has also made his name on the soundtracks that he composed for Sideways (2004), and Sailor Moon (1995).

The soundtrack, is a solid offering and really deserves a release as sadly it has yet to be made available.

The soundtrack is mostly 80s synthesizer based but it manages to stand out from the crowd by being pretty melodic with a catchy theme that is revisited many times throughout the movie. The opening theme starts off slow and is punctuated by thunder and lightening strikes that takes place during the opening credits, but it soon finds its rhythm and it establishes a distinctive and repetitive melody – it is still very creepy and eerie, but it sticks in your head and you find yourself humming along to it in your mind. This main signature theme is used in differing variations throughout the movie. It sets a dark tone from the very start, and despite this being a PG rated film, it manages to make you forget that fact and instantly puts you on edge.

Aside from the usual 80s synths, Bob Summer also employs some orchestration and most notably string sections are used to emphasize the scares and to build tension, especially towards the end of the movie when all the action is taking place in the mausoleum.

Like we said, it has never been released which is a real shame as we are sure many horror fans and nostalgics would be happy to shell out for a decent copy of this soundtrack.

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