The chilling synthesizer music that ratcheted up the menace in Twin Peaks has been hailed as one of the most influential television soundtracks of all time.
Fans were rejoicing this week after it emerged the mastermind behind the haunting score, Angelo Badalamenti, will return to write new music for the third series, which will air a quarter of a century after the last one.
News of the 78-year-old composer’s involvement was revealed by two of the cast members who are also returning, Sherilyn Fenn and Sheryl Lee.
Badalamenti is a long-term collaborator with Twin Peaks creator and film director David Lynch, who said: “He has a gift of pulling on the heartstrings. It’s a deep and powerful beauty. It speaks to people on an emotional level that is undeniable. It takes over.”
The eerie theme tune for Twin Peaks won Badalamenti a Golden Globe, and the soundtrack went gold in 25 countries.
It would go on to be huge inspiration for TV composers and musicians including Lana del Rey, Bastille, Sky Ferreira and Moby. There is a band named Twin Peaks and another called Audrey Horne after Fenn’s character.
The music was described as “dark, cloying and obsessive – and one of the best scores ever written for television,” by Brian Mansfield on the Allmusic website. Rolling Stone called it the “most influential soundtrack in TV history”.
“The soundtrack’s music, which spans ominous synth-pop, cool-cat jazz and Julee Cruise’s soaring, airy odes on nightingales, is an ever growing legacy,” the magazine added.
Mr Badalamenti has written a string of film and television scores and worked with recording artists including David Bowie, Paul McCartney, the Pet Shop Boys and Nina Simone.
Yet the Brooklyn-born musician is predominantly known for his work with acclaimed director David Lynch. He has said the two are “like brothers; when we work there’s so little to say”.
Best horror films of all-time
Best horror films of all-time
1/10 The Shining
The retailer play.com used a heart rate monitor on film watchers to assess what horror films set pulses racing. The ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene in which Jack Nicholson peers through a hole in a door he has just created with an axe came up on top.
The rest of the film isn’t any less scary as a writer coops his family up in an empty Colorado hotel for the winter.
Stanley Kubrick creates tension at every turn, especially when he follows Danny riding his bicycle along the corridors.
2/10 Rosemary's Baby
Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Ira Levin’s best-seller is the daddy of demon baby movies.
It involves a struggling couple, a pregnant Catholic girl and unemployed actor, played by Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes, who move into an apartment block and are befriended by Satanist.
The occult is scary, but not nearly as evil as Guy’s decision to sacrifice his wife for an acting role.
Polanski’s brilliance is that the horror is not the supernatural but the doubts that brew up in our own minds. Paranoia reigns.
There is a sense of foreboding even before petty thief Vera Miles checks into the Bates motel.
Then we are introduced to Norman Bates and his Oedipus complex.
The fact that Bates on the surface seems mild-mannered and ordinary only made his transformation scarier. Showers would never be the same, in the must iconic murder scene on celluloid.
4/10 Blue Velvet
The huge amount of film noir elements in the narrative of David Lynch’s murder tale often see this 1986 American tale overlooked on horror lists.
But this film is aimed to chill and has the aesthetics, pacing and tension of the greatest horror, including severed ears, dwarfs, and the supernatural.
But it’s Dennis Hopper’s Frank Booth that is the clincher, whenever he’s on screen, whether he’s harassing Isabelle Rossellini or encouraging singing, he’s the scariest character that has ever been on-screen.
5/10 Nosferatu - A Symphony of Horror
The granddaddy of the genre, this silent masterpiece, an unauthorised adaptation of the Dracula tale (The Stoker estate won a case ordering all copies of the film destroyed, which was thankfully unenforceable in Germany), sees director FW Murnau establish many of the touchstones of the genre including vampires lusting after blood
6/10 The Orphanage
The haunted house is a staple of horror movies, especially of American horror.
But it’s this Spanish gem from 2007 that is the scariest of them all. It starts with a mother whose attempts to deal with her childhood inner demons seeking closure by buying the orphanage in which she was born, and taking on the demands of looking after not just her own imaginative adopted son, but six other Orphans.
What ensues is an eerie homage to Jack Clayton’s The Innocents that once again proves that nothing is as scary on film as creepy children.
Lars von Trier’s says it was while he was undergoing cognitive therapy for depression that the idea to make a film exploring the semiotics and tools used by depression came to mind.
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe play a couple coping with the death of their son.
She cannot belief his response and he hers. The result is a film featuring gender mutilation, talking foxes and where chaos reigns. Booed at Cannes only seems to cement its status.
8/10 Don't Look Now
Adaptations of Daphne du Maurier’s prose have a habit of making great horror films, especially in the hands of Alfred Hitchcock (Birds and Rebecca).
British director Nic Roeg created this masterpiece when he took Maurier’s short story and meshed it with his trademark non-linear approach to the story of parents attempting to come to terms with the death of their young daughter by moving to Venice.
Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie give career best performances in a film that has a clairvoyant, serial killer, but most scary of all, feelings of guilt.
There are not many directors who have made more horrors than Italian maestro Dario Argento. His 1976 effort Suspiria remains his masterpiece.
An American ballet dancer goes to study in the Black Forest, where she meets a pair of lesbians administrators (Alida Valli and Joan Bennett), a bizarre shrink (Udo Kier, an actor who adds to the terror level of any movie) and discovers that the school was once a notorious witches’ coven.
All this done in piercing Technicolor and a terrific synthesised score.
J-Horror (Japanese horror) went through a purple patch at the end of the 90s with Hideo Nakata’s excellent Dark Water follow Ring trilogies.
However, the most chilling film of the era was directed by Takeshi Miike, who makes films like they are cups of morning coffee.
He uses the casting couch as the source of his evil as a friend tries to find a television producer a new wife by hosting a fake casting call.
Miike slowly pulls us into the tale, as we discover dark secrets of both the widower and the actress who has caught his eye.
The collaboration with Lynch started when the young director hired him to be Isabella Rossellini’s vocal coach for the film Blue Velvet, released in 1986.
He went on to score the film and wrote the feature song Mysteries of Love with Lynch. The pair collaborated on Wild at Heart in 1990, Lost Highway in 1997, and The Straight Story two years later.
He has won a string of awards, including Composer of the Year in 2005, and nominations for a Golden Globe, three Emmies and a Cesar Awards. He also wrote the opening torch theme for the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992.
Twin Peaks was seen as one of the most ground-breaking television series of its time, following the fall out in a small US town after the murder of student Laura Palmer. It influenced shows including The X-Files, The Sopranos to Lost and Broadchurch.
After some negotiations, and fears the project would fall apart over a budget dispute, Lynch confirmed this month he is on board to write and produce the new episodes alongside co-creator Mark Frost, as well as direct them.
The new series will be set in the present day, 25 years after the events of the second series, and may provide answers to some of the mysteries that have haunted fans for decades.
While the producers had initially announced the series would run to nine episodes it has subsequently been announced there will be 18.
Angelo Badalamenti's iconic works
Badalamenti was brought in as a voice coach for Isabella Rossellini but ended up working on the score and writing signature track Mysteries of Love.
The Flaming Arrow
The Flaming Arrow
The composer was called on by the organisers of the Olympic Games to come up with a theme for the lighting of the torch.
Badalamenti worked with the heavy metal band on their tribute to Twin Peaks Black Lodge, arranging the strings for the piece.
A Foggy Day (In London Town)
He collaborated with David Bowie on the recording on George and Ira Gershwin’s tune
The Straight Story
A departure for Lynch telling a sweet story of an old man driving across America on a tractor, with Badalamenti adapting his work accordingly.
One of the best collaborations between Lynch and Badalamenti.Reuse content