ReMix:Splatterhouse 3 "Call of the Mask" 3:35

By Beckett007

Arranging the music of one song...

"Prologue 1"

Primary Game: Splatterhouse 3 (Namco , 1993, GEN), music by Eiko Kaneda

Posted 2008-10-31, evaluated by djpretzel

Splattery will get you everywhere, as Mr. Rich Douglas, alias Beckett007, provides a splattered - not stirred - helping of our first arrangement from the legendary Splatterhouse series, just in time for Halloween. Chronicling the adventures of a man questioning his existence and looking for answers by hitting things with lumber and wearing inappropriate sporting gear, these games were dead simple and had some of the best, most visceral sound FX work to date, along with gothic/moody soundtracks that went straight for the jugular. In this case the artist is focusing on the third installment, which is the one filmed in 3D, where Jason Voorhees terrorizes Higgins Haven. Or not. It's for the Genesis, at any rate, but Douglas' production bumps up the original FM textures to a whole new dimension in horror. He writes:

"It's been a while since I've done a mix for OCR and wanted to find something dark to do once again, so what better than a piece of music from a game dear to my heart.. Splatterhouse 3.  In the past, my remixes for Flashback (Memory Leak Suite) and Super Metroid (Mother Brain Suite) have both been done in a very cinematic fashion rather than simply remixed.  I approached this one the same way and put together a main title arrangement of sorts of the menu music which utilizes two of the main motifs from the original cue.  So rather than my usual medley / suite approach I stuck to one theme this time which gave me a chance to really flesh it out.

This cue represents just how well the theme could work in a Splatterhouse film... honestly when played out by a full orchestra it's pretty decent thematic material as it turns out.  I felt that the motif heard at around :35 in the original was a bit too happy and fast for the context of the game, so keeping the same theme intact I slowed it down and gave it more of a dark sound backed by female vocals.  The decending synth/bell line heard throughout the original has been replaced by a more haunting crescendo / decrescendo string staccato section and the main bassline theme is played by a menacing low string and horn section (the horns are slightly out of tune and constantly bending for another subtle unnerving touch).  The granular synthesis textures that open and close the cue are 100% original and not from a sample library, that motif represents the mask itself.  Lastly, I added in a bass swelling synth to round out the B Movie feel and to help add more flavor / depth to my string section.  Overall I'm exceptionally happy with how this turned out!"

Granular synthesis ftw. Actually... I've never been able to find a musical use for it in anything *I've* worked on, but it's perfect for this setting. Assuming Uwe Boll was the one being splattered, and not in the director's chair, this would indeed make for a great cue. The string crescendo/decrescendo parts REALLY remind me of the intro to the film Clue, which I feel has an underrated and amazing soundtrack, and other portions channel The Silence of the Lambs for me, both of which - while not traditional Halloween movies per se - have spooky/disturbing elements. The integration of dark, unusual synthesis elements works primarily because the textures aren't garden-variety subtractive/additive/FM synths, which could easily have tipped the cheesiness scale in the wrong direction, but rather the slicker, harder to pin down granular shizz Rich mentioned.

There's no strong melodic motif here that you'll find yourself humming for days on end, and you can't dance to this at all (unless you're very, very odd), but it's PERFECT music to have playing looped tonight as lil chibbins come knocking for candy, as it's atmospheric, spooky, and dark.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Skyline Drop
on 2010-07-13 23:14:04

Well... This mix is absolutely chilling - to great effect, of course. I've listened to all of your other remixes tonight, too, and they've all successfully captured that film score-y kind of vibe. This one, however, I think is best if only for the fact that it really emphasizes mood and texture over melody, which makes it stand out from a lot of the other remixes on the site, while sticking true to its film score inspiration.

on 2010-05-02 23:51:38

This could be the theme to a REALLY good horror movie.. I actually like the chord progression especially in the first half

Great stuff !!

on 2010-01-14 19:15:41

This does a great job of creating a creepy atmosphere - this is a great example of accomplishing this without having to go into a 5-6 minute song with a lot of complexity to fully accomplish a concept. The orchestration is used just right I feel here.

on 2009-11-12 06:10:03

Reminds me a lot of a few of the creepy renditions of the Super Mario World's ghost house music that are here on the site. This is perhaps more understated, and probably benefits from it more on the creepy, mood-setting side of it. There's a distinct lack of driving melody, which actually becomes the mixes strongest trait. It becomes less about a journey through the usual stages of structured music and just lets the suggestions of tone seep into you.

The samples are a huge reason why I think this is so successful. The strings, choir and percussion do a stand-up job in capturing that cinematic horror vibe, and I even think the brass was a pretty acceptable selection.

It doesn't lend itself for multiple playings and its not really going to please anyone in the mood of an energetic party song, but given the right time, place and mood, it achieves everything it sets out to and sounds terrific in the process. A different approach to mixing and definately worth checking out.

on 2008-12-10 10:38:16

Wow very atmospheric :) Sounds so professional too I can imagine hearing this song exactly in Saw, Jeepers Creepers, I don't know any movie where the viewer is meant to think the bad guy is in the room with them as they watch the cinema innocently

I meant for that to sound creepy

No really, I'm scared. . . great work =)))

on 2008-12-10 08:10:55

Orchestral, plus sound effects. Yeah, that's a movie score sound all right. This is one of the tracks I should listen and learn from. A lot of the time it seems so simple, yet is powerful, ominous, captivating... As if _it_ was a movie.

on 2008-11-18 12:36:16

Very suspenseful; I almost expected something a bit more 'shocking' coming from the source, but this is a lot classier; great use of SFX like the rhythmic footsteps. Great textures and sample use, and some nice progression. The source doesn't lean to far towards a strong melody, but the mood set in the arrangement is the real star here.

Nice work. :-D

Martin Penwald
on 2008-11-15 15:34:15

The strings really give this a sort of 90s Bruckheimer/Simpson action movie feeling, especially around 2:00.

Very atmospheric piece that would fit perfectly for some dark and dangerous dungeon in an adventure game/RPG. Nice use of the choir sample, too.

on 2008-11-02 19:20:15

This is a pretty awesome remix. Though it reminds me of music from Fallout Tactics. Probably just because of the darker mood of the piece itself.

on 2008-11-02 12:45:55

This remix was very fitting for Halloween coming up. It's perfect for the occasion. I had it on repeat in my dark room with my headphones blasting. I got chills everytime. Ha ha!...and then I heard my door shut behind me...and jumped.

big giant circles
on 2008-11-02 11:10:29

Really fantastic remix. It's very haunting and suspenseful. Definitely A-list quality stuff. :nicework:

The Runaway Five
on 2008-11-01 14:26:20

Absolutely incredible! What instrumental samples/sound library are you using?

I can imagine that some would be your own samples. Regardless, it would be great to know!

Amayirot Akago
on 2008-11-01 08:50:10

Beckett is fast becoming one of my new favorite remixers, and this song's another great reason why. Nice and spooky, great orchestral sound as always.

on 2008-10-31 19:38:58

Very creepy. Very nicely done. Would be a great song for a haunted house, movie, etc.

My only issue is the trombone sound. Brass is near impossible to get to sound real, and while this is well done, it's still sounding a tad too fake. One minor gripe compared to a really good track, though.

on 2008-10-31 16:08:46

Short. Yet incredibly scary. Yet amazingly well done.

This guy still impress me a lot. Every song posted, there is an improvement. Strings are spot on and the choirs are pretty cool. It didn't needed a lot of samples to become a great track.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Splatterhouse 3 (Namco , 1993, GEN)
Music by Eiko Kaneda
"Prologue 1"

Tags (5)

Usage > Halloween

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