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Top 200 Scores of The Century - #185 - #170
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• Posted by: Riley KZ
• Date: Saturday, April 30, 2022, at 5:39 p.m.
• IP Address:

And, we go again, continuing my favourite rundown of the scores of the century so far. Is it too soon since the last entry? Maybe. Am I a bit tipsy and bored and just wanna post it anyway? Yep. Especially after making my Lesbian Vampire Killers post earlier today, just seemed right to continue with that exact same discussion...


#185 – Lesbian Vampire Killers – Debbie Wiseman

Well, this was a late showing. As in, my list was all done, then just hours before I figured I’d start posting, and then I thought “Y’know…everyone on the Board talks up that Wiseman vampire thing a lot, maybe I should finally listen to it”. Damn. Why did it take me this long?! Lesbian Vampire Killers is a massive, orchestral, thematic blast of Gothic awesome goofiness from beginning to end. The primary theme could be considered a blatant rip-off of Elfman’s Sleepy Hollow theme, but…I guess cause this movie is a satire, she gets away with it. And I’m fine with that, cause the theme is awesome, the music is awesome, everything is awesommmmmme (and now that song is stuck in your head all morning, suck it!)

Best Cue (barely anything of this score is on YouTube, so this is just a suite performed live):

#184 - Iris by James Horner

A few months ago I made a post about this score, cause I’d sat it out for over a decade and only recently returned to it and went “holy shit, this is gorgeous”. The solo violin work by Joshua Bell is exquisite, and while there are many Horner-isms throughout that might bug the haters….I say the haters can suck it up, because this is a beautiful, haunting album that I desperately wish we had 50 more of on a yearly goddamn basis.

Best Cue:

#183 – Rush by Hans Zimmer

Zimmer doing Jablonsky doing Rabin. That’s really the best way I can describe this sucker, which is like a delightfully silly combination of all three of those composers to create a real rock-out of a score. It pumps the blood and revs your engines *nyuk* with some really awesome action cues and the very rare Zimmer power anthems to emerge in the post-Batman years. Sure, the main anthem is suspiciously VERY close to Jablonsky’s Optimus Prime theme, but that theme is amaze-balls, so I sure won’t complain about hearing it as inspiration for something else.

Best Cue:

#182 - Maleficent by James Newton Howard

This is one that might get some flak for being ranked so low. And that’s fair, cause if I were to be totally objective and focus just on intelligent score writing and craftsmanship, Maleficent is one of the most impressive scores to come out in a long time. The justification for it’s lower ranking is simply that I just don’t listen to it that often; regardless, this sucker is awesome, as close to a James Horner fantasy score as we’ll likely ever get since he passed.

Best Cue:

#181 - The Neon Demon by Cliff Martinez

So full disclosure; the best cue on this album is not Martinez’ music, but the techno song “Demon Dance” composed by director Nicholas Winding Refn’s wife. Second disclosure; yes, I’ve listened to this more times than Maleficent. A great blend of ambience, rave, horror, and demented fairy tale music, this oddball is among Martinez’ best. Movie’s underrated too, if you’re Ok with a woman humping a corpse and throwing up an eyeball.

Best Cue (ironically):

#180 - The Help by Thomas Newman

A gorgeous slice of musical apple pie, The Help is one of my go-to picks when I just want to feel comfy on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Is all of it in Newman’s wheelhouse? Yep. Is it still a treat-and-a-half to listen to, where the whole hour flies by with pluck and homespun beauty? YEP. If Newman’s modern, repetitive eccentricates bug you, yet you miss the old-school homespun orchestral vibe from his work in 90’s…then I can’t quite understand why you don’t love The Help.

Best Cue:

#179 - I Lost My Body by Dan Levy

Another one I don’t think anyone around here likes (or has heard of). To be honest, I didn’t love it either on first listen; this was “that” kind of score, where seeing it in context completely changed my opinion, and now I’ve seen the film and heard the album about 5 times since it came out in 2019. Some of it is harsh and dissonant, and the French hip-hop songs interrupt the mood like a hair in your food. But the sheer, wonderful melancholy of the main theme, utilized throughout, is among my favourite bits of music in the last few years. My advice is to listen to the cue below, watch the flick on Netflix, and then sit down and listen to the entire score. It’s a beauty.

Best Cue:

#178 - Requiem For A Dream by Clint Mansell

Funny, how for a low-budget, nightmarish masterpiece about drug addiction, Requiem’s theme wound up being one of the most famous of the 00’s – and not really because of the flick itself. As probably everyone here knows, the theme (heard most prominently in the album as Lux Aterna) became re-scored as epic trailer music for The Two Towers and then suddenly this fucker was everywhere. There’s other excellent stuff in this score as well, albeit of a disturbing and often creepy variety, but make no mistake – it’s all about the Lux, and whenever that haunting, simplistic, hypnotic theme gets played, I’m hooked. Pun intended.

Best Cue:

#177 - Drive by Cliff Martinez

Probably Martinez’ most popular and successful album, although I should also say a lot of the best “music” moments of Drive come from pre-recorded songs on the soundtrack. But that shouldn’t take away from Martinez’ work here, which might also be among his most accessible, especially with haunting tracks like Wrong Floor and flat-out awesome electronica like Bride of Deluxe. Not for everyone’s tastes, like most Martinez CD’s, but damned if I don’t dig the hell out of it.

Best Cue:

#176 - Pompeii by Clinton Shorter

Probably a “….really?” kind of pick, because it didn’t get much praise when it came out and has been roundly buried and forgotten (pun not intended) since then. A bummer, because for me this was a wonderful return to 90’s style Media Ventures scoring; big power anthems, entertaining action music, a nice romance theme, and the whole thing is in-and-out within 45 minutes. Loved it then, love it now; a “guilty pleasure”, you could say, if I ever really felt much guilt when putting it on.

Best Cue:

#175 - The Patriot by John Williams

Everyone was bummed when Roland Emmerich ended his partnership with composer David Arnold, who gave us some of the best scores of the 90’s with their collaborations. Yet before Emmerich went the Kloser/Wanker route, he decided the best way to one-up Arnold is by somehow ACTUALLY one-upping Arnold, with John freakin’ Williams composing a fantastic, exciting, melodramatic, and of course deeply patriotic work. If you haven’t heard it yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

Best Cue:

#174 - Reign of Fire by Edward Shearmur

Every now and then some of us old foggies complain on here, “Where did Ed Shearmur go?”, and if you young folks don’t understand why we keep asking that, then go listen to Reign of Fire. Cause this shit has some gonads – militaristic action, aggressive awesomeness, and a damn near perfect blend of horror/thriller writing with exciting stuff to pump your fist to. The movie, also, is kind of a charmer; one of those “what the hell were they thinking” messes that I wish we had more of.

Best Cue:

#173 - Jane by Philip Glass

I love Philip Glass. Hell, I’m listening to him right now, with a score that barely missed this list (Undertow, for the two of you who give a shit). Jane was a surprise a couple years back, seemingly coming out of nowhere to a movie I didn’t know existed. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Glass; beautiful, repetitive, hypnotic, minimalistic, and awesome. If you like him, you’ll like this. If you don’t, you won’t.

Best Cue:

#172 - Waltz With Bashir by Max Richter

Speaking of “love or hate” kind of composers, here’s Max Richter. Waltz was my first introduction to the composer, and probably still my favourite of his. Like the film itself, it blends genres frequently – the opening cue is action-packed techno music reminiscent of what you’d expect from Lorne Balfe, and then others (notably the Haunted Ocean cues) are as quietly spellbinding as a Horner drama. Strangely, the mesh of tones work effectively. Waltz is far too forgotten and overlooked, both film and score, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Best Cue:

#171 - Doomsday by Tyler Bates

So here’s a composer just about everyone hates (or, for the more polite of us, “moderately tolerate”). When people were surprised by the quality of his Guardians scores, I kept stomping my feet like a petulant child, screaming “Did no one listen to me about Doomsday???” An action/horror score that plays at the tone and tempo of a garish rock opera, Doomsday is balls-out awesome from first cue to the last. If you ever wanted a mix of Suspiria, Armageddon, 300, and Mad Max Fury Road, here you go.

Best Cue:


Agree? Disagree? Don't give a shit? Give so many shits you're reading this on the toilet? Comment below!

Next entry -- some forgotten Elfman's, some well-liked Powell's, and a very hated Zimmer.

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