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Battle Beyond the Stars/Humanoids from the Deep
One great work, one mediocre, but a great package overall. -Isaac Engelhorn (9/17/2001)
Track List:
    Battle Beyond the Stars

  1. Main Title 2:00
  2. Malmori Rear Guard 3:52
  3. The Battle Begins 4:33
  4. Nanelia and Shad 1:27
  5. The Maze Battle 3:11
  6. Shad's Pursuit 3:23
  7. Cowboy's Attack 1:45
  8. Love Theme 3:52
  9. The Hunter 1:40
  10. Gelt's Death 1:30
  11. Nanelia 1:32
  12. Heading for Sador 0:59
  13. Destruction of Hammerhead 2:36
  14. Epilogue/End Title 5:03

    Humanoids from the Deep

  15. Main Title 2:27
  16. The Buck-O 3:45
  17. Unwelcome Visitor 2:02
  18. Night Swim 1:48
  19. Jerry and Peggy 0:57
  20. Trip Upriver 1:58
  21. The Humanoids Attack 2:54
  22. Jerry's Death 2:04 :-O
  23. Search for Clues 1:56
  24. Strange Catch 1:07
  25. The Grotto 3:22
  26. Night Prowlers 2:08
  27. Final Confrontation 3:04
  28. Aftermath and New Birth 2:22
  29. End Title 2:12

Total Time: (76:53)

Composed by:
James Horner

I'm cerainly no aficianado of Roger Corman movies (I believe that the only one I've actually seen is Humanoids from the Deep), but I have recently seen Battle Beyond the Stars available for purchase on DVD at more than one store. Of course the movie's only real claim to fame is the three names that are acutally displayed on the cover: James Cameron, John Sayles, and of course, James Horner. When you first pop this CD into your player, you will undoubtedly be reminded of the opening title sequence of Star Trek II. Though very similar, it is acutally hard to pick out anything that was directly borrowed for use in the later Trek movie. Instead, what you will notice is the uncanny similarity of this score to its largest source of inspiration: Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Many sections are almost directly borrowed from that score, and you probably notice the most obvious as the similarities to "Klingon" battle from that score.

While not entirely original, Battle Beyond has more than it's fair share of terrific moments, even though the orchestra has trouble handling anything that comes close to being difficult to play. Fortunately, Horner is not the kind of composer to write insanely difficult material. The most difficult music to play on here is almost always played by the trumpets. In fact, there are many rather difficult fanfares that would be expanded on in Horner's later score for Krull. While it has been rather common knowledge to soundtrack collectors that Horner himself has never been entirely enthused about releasing this score on album because of the bad performance, I can honestly say that I am incredibly glad that it finally *has* been released on CD. Though parts of the performance may be sloppy, no part is so bad as to make any of the score unlistenable.

The Humanoids from the Deep section of the album is not nearly as interesting to collectors or probably even hardcore Horner fanatics, but it is a nice inclusion in the long run. It has better sound quality and a better performance, but unfortunately it seems that Horner was much less interested in writing and what we're basically left with is nothing more than a generic and typical horror score, with nothing particularly noteworthy occuring for its entire duration. This isn't surprising since the movie was little more than an excuse to have naked women running around.

The CD is blessed with very good packaging. There are some pretty decent pictures in the insert (including one of Horner from 1983) and some decent liner notes with excerpts from an old Horner interview with Soundtrack Magazine.

Though half of it is mediocre, I can still easily recommend this CD. People who dislike current Horner almost always seem to like his earlier stuff and those who are fans of Horner any day will love it.

Battle Beyond the Stars and Humanoids from the Deep is Copyright 1980/2001 GNP Crescendo Records. Scores produced by James Horner. CD produced by Ford A. Thaxton and Mark Banning. Executive producer Neil Norman. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.