Musical Notation: Manhunter
West likes soundtrack albums from the 80’s, and will occasionally play some of them at you! In this episode, West returns to the 80’s Soundtrack Corner to play songs from the first film appearance of Hannibal Lecter, Manhunter (1986).
Music in this episode includes:
“Strong As I Am” written by Gary Thomas & Curt Werner; performed by The Prime Movers
“This Big Hush” written by Dave Allen, Barry Andrews, Marilyn Barker & Carl Marsh; performed by Shriekback
“Graham’s Theme” written and performed by Michel Rubini
“Heartbeat” written by Michael Becker & Gene Stashuk; performed by Red 7
“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” written by Doug Ingle; performed by Iron Butterfly
This is one of my favorite movies, and the Inna-Gadda da Vida sequence is a big part of that, but ending the film on “Heartbeat” was a terrible decision.
“Graham’s theme” is maybe too similar to Pink Floyd’s famous “comfortably numb” (you need to listen to the whole song; in the podcast bit, West starts talking just in the exact moment when the likeness becomes clearer). The music in the tiger scene still gives me the chills though.
I’d also say that the veterinarian in that scene is creepier than the “tooth faerie”:does he really need to keep touching Joan Allen that way? https://youtu.be/y07Z8YVbjbs?t=40s
Mann wanted Comfortably Numb in Thief, but couldn’t get the rights so he hired someone else to write something similar.
Good episode, and I appreciated the shoutout to Black Sunday. I’ve written what I believe to be the only piece of fan-fiction for that novel. Harris ran into diminishing returns with his Lecter novels, with the last one being a travesty he was forced into because Dino Delaurentiis said he was making a prequel film with or without his involvement, and hasn’t written anything since. I wish he’d write another non-Lecter novel like Black Sunday. It might help to refresh his creative juices.
Manhunter is my favorite Harris film in part because it’s Will Graham vs the Tooth Fairy. Hannibal as the lead worked rather badly in the later novels, and in Silence he really is a supporting character in the larger Clarice vs Buffalo Bill story. Jame Gumb is just less interesting than Franics Dolarhyde.
I can listen to Inna Gadda da Vida for all 17 minutes, but it’s perfectly understandable you wouldn’t want to play the whole thing on the podcast. I roll my eyes when people refer to that song as being part of the film’s “80s soundtrack”. It’s very 60s, with an entire decade in between! The story behind that song’s inclusion made me want to look up the real killer Dennis Wayne Wallace, but even with the internet today it’s hard to find out anything.
Good to know that this wasn’t just Rubini being lazy. A similar situation turned this mortal coil’s “song to the siren” into “Mysteries of love” in Lynch’s “Blue velvet”, although I’d say Badalamenti wrote a completely new tune.