r Bells

(aka Murder By Phone
aka The Calling)


No soundtrack release

The Movie

This cockamamie flick starts with a woman on a subway platform picking up a ringing public phone. "Hello?" All she hears is some strange sound, but then she appears hypnotized, then she starts to have tremors, then bleeding for her tear ducts, then in what appears to be a lightning strike she's blown backward onto an escalator—dead.

When I was in high school my best friend dragged me to every cheesy low-budget horror movie of the time. I have no idea how we missed this one. The fact that I just watched it shows my commitment to hearing Barry's music in-context, in the wild, so that I can discuss it here. You're welcome.

The Music

According to the credits, music was composed and conducted by John Barry; orchestrated and performed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen. According to John Barry: the Man with the Midas Touch, the two Johns were synthesizer experts and they worked with Barry later again.

It was a pure synthesizer score, and I swear if I hadn't seen Barry's name on the credits I would have bet my house he didn't have anything to do with it. I think almost everyone would agree that Barry has a recognizable style, and not just in arrangements. He's got a lot of breadth, but I think fans would hear most Barry scores and say, yeah, that sounds like him. Not this one. It sounds to me more like early Tangerine Dream heard in very small doses.

It also sounds trite; horror movie standard library music. Barry usually went against the expected.

Release Notes

There is no soundtrack in release, and I am unaware of any of the music being available anywhere else. I was surprised by this until I actually saw the movie, and realized that I doubt anyone would ever want to hear it twice.

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