Unreleased music from the cult 1973 horror film 'Messiah of Evil'.
Practically ignored for decades, this stylish and atmospheric chiller was the debut from the American Graffiti/Howard the Duck team of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz.
Inspired by classic horror, European art films and California Pop Artist Ed Ruscha, it has a genuinely surreal and dreamlike tension which places it alongside somnambulist classics Carnival of Souls, Suspiria and Phantasm.
Steadily growing in stature over the years, the film and it's soundtrack have been championed by such noted genre hounds as Stephen Thrower (author of Nightmare USA) and Zombi's Steve Moore.
One of the earliest fully electronic feature-film scores, Phillan Bishop's Moog-y mood music for Messiah of Evil is an avant garde suite of modulated shrieks, drones and pulses which whirl a discordant vortex around the bizarre on-screen images.
With only three early-70's budget horror movies to his credit, this represents the first release of music by the mysterious Bishop, as well as including the haunting torch-song 'Hold on to Love' which originally played over the film's opening scene.
This release is also a tribute to the artistic vision of Messiah of Evil- it's painted sleeve art and complex design echoing the film's vivid visual aesthetic, bizarre production design (by Lynch-regular Jack Fisk and Art Director Joan Mocine, whose extraordinary painted murals haunt the main location), and rich Techniscope cinematography. Our hope is that, with this release, you can fully immerse yourself in the unnerving world of Messiah of Evil.
To rightly honour this unique film, we have devoted ourselves to creating a number of stunning limited edition vinyl packages for this release.
The "Dark Stranger" Deluxe Numbered Art Edition features:
● Heavyweight 7" EP on 70 gram virgin black vinyl
● Hand-finished and assembled 12" fold-out sleeve design
● Full colour oversize heavyweight card-stock sleeve
● Mounted onto deluxe 'Foamex' art board, with extending flaps which open to reveal large cruciform painting
● Screen printed 'film logo' over-bag
● Vintage-style postcard featuring full 'Messiah of Evil' painting
● Set of 3 lobby cards, randomly selected from 6 different designs
● Lobby cards housed in glassine envelope, hand printed with 1978 US District Court legal ruling
● Numbered limited edition - 50 copies only
A note on the audio:
With the original master tapes unavailable, every effort has been made to create the best possible release of this music using existing materials.
Working from a 35mm release print, the soundtrack has been fully restored to eliminate noise and unwanted artifacts. The available music cues were then edited and sequenced to present as much of the score as possible for this first ever release on any format.