A very odd 'plinky-plonky'
score indeed for Steve Miner's enjoyable sorcery adventure. Not
at all what was expected when fans heard about this movie and
the composer's involvement. For a start the score has a curious
tonality about it and a rather dull recording. This might be
to do with the orchestration and what Goldsmith assembled, though
you're never quite sure whether the recording venue is to blame.
The score to Warlock is essentially built around two themes.
Firstly, a rather stately sounding religious theme for Richard
E Grant's Redferne, played predominantly by strings but instigated
and supported by a plodding synth beat and an 'organ like' melody.
Secondly, for Julian Sand's Warlock, you have unworldly
synth effects and orchestrally, low end brass with an echoing
xylophone effect, reminiscent of a metronome tick.
Goldsmith never overstates his themes and much like the remainder
of the score, his music never dominates the visuals. Initially
it seems odd to see a name like this writing rather unassuming,
and some might say, bland music for such a movie, but yet again
his instincts are correct. Warlock the movie never quite
goes for big budget thrills, it keeps to its B movie agenda,
with humour, some scares and excitement too. Take the The
Weather Vane for example, the highlight of the score, as
Redferne almost traps and captures the Warlock. Goldsmith's
lengthy cue of stop/start action begins ominously before a chase
ensues which doesn't spur Goldsmith into making much noise. There
is a little percussion, some muted brass - utilising Rosenman's
famed 'pyramid of brass', but electronics and strings carry the
sequence adequately. Anything more and it would have drawn attention
The body of the score is made up of a series of eerie pieces
for a wild array of electronic sounds for sequences involving
the evil Warlock. Effective scoring and interesting but
some might find them a difficult listen separated from the visuals.
The score closes though on two good lengthy cues. Salt Water
Attack plays out the final battle between good and evil and
it's here we get to hear more orchestra, due to the fact that
the synth work was toned down or removed just before the album
was pressed. Of note is a gorgeous melancholy theme for Redferne
as his spirit is whisked back to his own time, a wonderful contrast
to the music that has come before. Salt Flats encompasses
the end credits and builds to an exciting coda before the credits
crawl up the screen. Not surprisingly Goldsmith doesn't quite
go out with a bang. There is a flourish of orchestral colour
but it's not over stated as the demonic slow tempo of the Warlock
theme is reprised.
Warlock remains an interesting score and quite a contrast
to the composer's usual style. It was written at the height of
his synthesiser experimentations and shows a composer thoroughly
fascinated by their impact with orchestra. But I can't help but
think the orchestral parts could have sounded quite impressive
as the more I listen to this score, the more I feel there is
something wrong with the recording.