That’s a name that had I run across it as a misanthropic teen on one of my many trips to the video store in the 80s would have peaked my interest. Had Murdercoaster been hanging on the wall of Video World in 1987, collecting dust and the ire of every parent walking in that back room in search of The Neverending Story for their little Johnny or Jane, I would have taken it home for the weekend. I would have reveled in the “Video Nasty” level nudity and practical effects gore, the over-the-top acting, the see-thru plot about a rollercoaster that murders its townie riders and takes their souls straight to Hell. I would have yanked the pull-out poster highlighting one of the best kill scenes from said Murdercoaster out of the latest Fangoria and hung it on my wall. Right next to ‘Bub’ from Day of the Dead.
And as a misanthropic middle-aged adult I would have seeked Murdercoaster out, first looking for old VHS copies in the late 90s on Ebay as a lark for a friend on his birthday. Then there’d be the Anchor Bay special edition DVD that would have come out in the early 2000s; complete in its uncut version with anamorphic widescreen, pristine digital rendering, director commentary and an interview with the lead actress conducted by Joe Bob Briggs. All displayed in a lovely tin with the original movie poster art donning the lid, while the movie sat inside with faux ride tickets, a postcard from the Murdercoaster itself, and a paper with other selections from the Anchor Bay library listed.
Then, as a man nearing 50-years old I would most certainly find Murdercoaster on Shudder and would revel in its excessive 80s glory with my teenage son on some random Saturday night. We’d laugh at the terrible acting, be in awe of those practical special effects, ponder the logistics of a Hell-bound rollercoaster, and would marvel at the fantastic score by Repeated Viewing. The vintage synths, the sonic sleaze, the rock-meets-pop-meets-dread electronic vibes all coming together to make this latex-covered slab of 80s schlock horror so much better than it deserves to be.
Of course I’d seek out a beat up copy of the soundtrack from label Spun Out Of Control and pay way too much for it as the only copy would be in the UK. Or Japan.
Opener “Murdercoaster” has sleazy synth and a driving electro rhythm setting the mood for murder. All eerie vibes and electro rock glory. “Slot Machine Slaughter” may sound menacing, but it’s light as air and with its 80s rock guitar I get the feeling of walking the Midway at the fair in 1985 looking for fun, and maybe love. “Dreaming On The Big Wheel” swells with colored flashing lights, the smell of fried dough in the air, and hides the danger lurking just around the corner.
The danger returns with “Dodgems Of Death”; all sweat, fear, and anxiety with a Giorgio Moroder flair in the slinky disco rhythm. “Exit Via The Gift Chop” leads us from Murdercoaster to the dawn of a new day. At least until Murdercoaster 2 : Electric Boogaloo.
Finding this gem of a soundtrack would then lead me down the path to past scores by Repeated Viewing, like The Family, Nature’s Revenge, Street Force, Street Force 2, Frozen Existence, and The Beach House. And just like Murdercoaster, the scores would essentially save the films from obscurity. They’d be the reason to seek them out.
Though Murdercoaster the movie doesn’t exist, Murdercoaster the soundtrack does. All you need to do is listen to it, and you’ll be surprised how much of that imagined flick your imagination will conjure up in your noggin. Like all of Repeated Viewing’s releases, there’s more than meets the ear.
And remember, keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times.
2 thoughts on “Repeated Viewing : Murdercoaster”
What a beautifully written opener… prose to be proud of for sure. Thanks
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Never been a horror movie guy and the concept of this one sounds silly but your enthusiasm more than makes up for it.
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