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 Posted:   Sep 29, 2007 - 2:10 AM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

I re-watched The Legend of Hell House and was once again struck by the effective, rumbling score by Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson. I've never heard anything else by these two, and was surprised to find little else by them on IMDB except work on the new Dr. Who show.

Fans of creepy, low-key horror scores should give this a rent and a listen. This is the kind of effective scoring horror films need if they're going to get away from the numerous horror score cliches. A genre that depends on surprise needs original approaches in scoring, and this is a prime example of how an unusual score adds to a movie's effectiveness.

 Posted:   Sep 29, 2007 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   Melchior   (Member)

Derbyshire and Hodgson were members of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and they provided numerous British TV-programs with electronic music and sound effects.

And the Hell House score is really great. : )

 Posted:   Sep 29, 2007 - 8:16 AM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Dudley Simpson, the Australian composer, actually wrote all of the instrumental music heard in the film ie. the main and end titles featuring the creepy, quiet, log drum riff with organ, solo horn and contrabass clarinet. It's actually almost identical to an incidental cue he wrote for the Doctor Who story The Carnival Of Monsters.

The rest of Hell House's score, the electronic "tonalities", was the work of Derbyshire and Hodgson. A very effective soundtrack on the whole.

I don't know what the story is behind Simpson's involvement, but he was Doctor Who's resident composer at the time and he worked extensively with Hodgson on those scores. Perhaps he was returning a favour. Simpson's work on Hell House remains his only feature film work, AFAIK. As such, it's ironic that Simpson is not officially credited for it to this day (probably contractual or Musicians Union reasons).

Now you know.

 Posted:   Oct 22, 2016 - 12:16 AM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

I just watched THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) for the first time and would buy a CD release of the score in a heartbeat!

 Posted:   Oct 22, 2016 - 8:49 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Never knew about this!

Just had a quick look at a really poor copy of the film on YT and there's no mistaking that low sound that Dudley did for many a Tom Baker episode. The tonalities meanwhile remind me of various labs in a Troughton story! The end titles aren't there. Shame as I'm a Pertwee fan and would've loved to hear the Carnival-like stuff lol. Will have to track a copy down now..

 Posted:   Jun 4, 2024 - 4:18 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

Wonderful to see this creepy film on Criterion Channel, as part of their 'Synth Soundtrack' season (with "Forbidden Planet," "A Clockwork Orange," "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence," and more):

I found this YouTube link if you want to sample the eerie music and acoustical effects, credited to Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson (12 mins):

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