Morgiana / The Cremator [Soundtracks]

Morgiana / The Cremator [Soundtracks]

by Zdenek LiskaZdenek Liska


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Continuing with their commitment to release lost and cult Euro and Czech New Wave soundtracks to an appreciative and new audience, the notable label Finders Keepers unearths two of the finest scores of late-'60s and '70s Euro horror in the form of Lubos Fiser's (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders) Morgiana and Zdenek Liska's (Daisies) The Cremator. With both films directed by the criminally underrated director Juraj Herz, the single-CD edition contains both scores and begins with Morgiana. Considered as the final film of the Czech New Wave, Herz's simple tale of two sisters -- one good, the other bad -- was loosely based on Poe Aleksander Grin's 1929 novel Jessie and Morgiana. The gothic and slightly camp onscreen goings-on are sumptuously scored by Fiser, who fills his compositions with stirring melodies, grand orchestral tones, and violent and unsettling percussion, which all suit the emotional nature of the film. Herz's 1969 film The Cremator is considered to be his finest work and is one of the most unsettling and overlooked horror films of the past 50 years or so. The macabre story of a cremator who enjoys his job a little too much employed black humor with slight shades of political allegory and is soundtracked superbly by Liska, who creates waltzes alongside chilling celestial orchestral pieces and macabre fairground whirls to breathtaking effect. This is a wonderfully remastered package and should hopefully shed more light on the Czech New Wave and two extraordinarily talented composers who have been languishing in the shadows for far too long. ~ Aneet Nijjar

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