Laserblast (1978) was one of the first low budget B grade
Sci-Fi films to exploit the new wave of sci-fi popularity spawned by the
fortuitous success of George Lucas's Star Wars film a year earlier. The
film’s plot focuses on an alien being pursued by two other aliens who
eventually catch up and kill it. The dead alien accidentally leaves a laser
weapon which in turn is discovered by a young boy who is already ostracized
socially and later begins to use the weapon for revenge on his antagonists.
The film score was the swan song for
composers Richard Band and Joel Goldsmith (Jerry's son), and a test for their
budding talents. Like the protagonist in the film the composers were themselves
very young. There is nothing groundbreaking in the music, however its pure kitsch
actually compliments the film (that has since achieved near-cult status since
its television re-runs).
There is a great deal of pre-MIDI
synthesizer samplings over electronic instruments in a pretence orchestral
palette. The composers even manage to render a quite charming ragtime-like
motif despite limited resources including time - the project was obviously
being rushed and apparently only completed in the nick of time. There is also a
great deal of source music composed both by Richard Band & Joel Goldsmith
since the film budget didn’t allow and licensing of exiting songs at that time.
From a historical point of view, the
music of Laserblast is probably most interesting to fans of the film.
Though this is an example of the seminal efforts of two composers, their future
works would be of a substantially higher quality. For those with an affection
for the film though, this is an effective piece of work organically moulded to
the film in an unforgettable way such that the composers describe this as being
“Third Dimensional Music” for a “Two Dimensional Film”
The CD is nicely packaged with liner
notes by Randall D. Larson and colour pictures taken directly off the TV screen
as well as production stills. Get this limited edition of 1000 produced CDs
only if you are a cult fan of the film or the composers: otherwise pass it