Chris' Soundtrack Corner proudly presents the CD soundtrack to Antonio Margheriti's horror film Apocalypse Domani, better known in English terrotories as Zombie Apocalypse and sometimes by its alternate US title, Invasion of the Flesh Hunters). The movie was released in 1980, one of no less than ten flesh-eating horror classics emerging in that year alone. Cannibal Apocalypse is rather unique in comparison, occupying several genres at once – merging the cannibal film with the flesh-eating zombie movie and then adding elements of Euro war cinema, the Vietnam vet drama, the urban thriller, and the family-oriented horror picture – a veritable confluence of Italian exploitation genres in a single film!
The picture opens in the jungles of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. US Army Captain Norman Hopper (John Saxon) has led a group of soldiers to rescue a pair of his men, Charlie Bukowski (Giovanni Lombardo Radice, credited as John Morghen), and Tommy Thompson (Tony King), who have been captured by the Viet Cong. In the process Norman discovers his apprehended men have been infected by a virus that makes them crave human flesh. Norman is bitten by a hunger-crazed Tommy, but he manages to control his new-found craving and that of the captives enough to rescue them and survive the rest of his tour relatively unscathed, except for a touch of post-traumatic stress. With this sequence establishing a backstory, the rest of the film takes place far from the jungle, in urban Atlanta, Georgia, where Hopper has resumed normal family life, only to find a seriously traumatized Bukowski show up to renew acquaintances – which motivates their latent cannibalistic hunger into a compulsion neither veteran can't stop.
Cannibal Apocalypse benefits from the funky rhythms, harshly declarative keyboard statements, intricate patterns of progressive rock, and romantic jazz composed and conducted by Alessandro (aka Alexander) Blonksteiner (1930-1985). This was only one of three scores that he composed. He provides the movie with several distinctive themes that are developed across the film's soundtrack and support Margheriti's extended urban action sequences. This is no more a subtle score than the movie is a subtle film, and Blonksteiner's electric rock-and-funk vibe fits the storyline and period like a closed mouth. Elegance is left for softer moments of the film's love theme, while the rending of flesh via blood-stained teeth is well suited to chaotic rock variations and sonic synthesis.
The Cannibal Apocalypse score was originally released in 1980 on Beat Records vinyl with 14 tracks. Chris' Soundtrack Corner is proud to offer the premiere release of this soundtrack on CD, with an extended program of 26 tracks, twelve of which have not appeared previously. The album is produced by Christian Riedrich and mastered by Enrico De Gemini. The CD is accompanied by a 16-page illustrated booklet designed by Aletta Heinsohn featuring detailed, exclusive notes on the film and its score by film music journalist Randall D. Larson, who deconstructs the score's elements in detail.