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CD: Battle of the Amazons / Le Amazzoni: Donne d'amore e di guerra (1973)
Review Rating:   Very Good
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May 26, 2010

Tracks / Album Length:

24 tracks / (57:52)


Composer: Franco Micalizzi

Special Notes:

8-page colour booklet / Limited Edition

Comments :

Heavily influenced by Ennio Morricone’s 1966 Navaho Joe score, Franco Micalizzi’s main theme uses small orchestra with rock instruments, and in place of wailing mixed chorus there’s wailing female chorus, which makes sense, since Alfonso Brescia’s naughty actioner deals with angry Amazon women (bare breasted in the campaign art, although the sampled stills insinuate a more conservative film) terrorizing poor stray men.

The score’s design is full-contemporary, and Micalizzi does a fine job in combining jazz, funk and rock elements, with the vocals and a pseudo-Native American harmony of the title theme inferring primal aggressiveness is always close-by. (The score’s closing main theme arrangement is more lovelorn and optimistic, and gushes with sleek strings and light electric bass.)

“Rito crudele” is a great variation of the secondary ‘angry woman’ theme where long bars of wailing electric guitar and eerie (primordial) synths play off rippling bongos, shrill, breathy flutes, and shrieking women, exclaiming the Amazonian’s war cry.

That sense of looming danger is counter-balanced by an eclectic handful of lighter cues, such as the Greek-styled “Sirtaki di Artemio” (bouzouki, with echoey hand claps), and “Una banda di straccioni,” a hippity-hoppity comedic cue with jazzy woodwinds dueling with a mouth bow that’s been echo-processed for maximum silliness.

“Il tempo dell’amore” is a great a cue with a silky / sleazy design tailored made for onscreen erotica. The orchestrations are particularly striking in the way Micalizzi lets his 7-note theme unfold (somewhat reminiscent of Alex North’s orgy music from Spartacus): a flute on the right channel plays a series of teasing notes, and the refrain brings in female voices on the left channel, forming a titillating duet, with both breathy sounds retarding before some light percussion hints at an invasive onlooker.

Most of the tracks were recorded with very directional microphones, so there’s little just a slight echo to covey a broad stereo spectrum. The main themes from tracks 1-14 form the complete score as it appeared on the Japanese release, while tracks 15-24 are a series of alternates that repeat most of the core material (which may be of chief interest to fans for the minor theme variations).

The real attraction to the score is its funk style (even when Micalizzi has the piano hammering out ‘Indian’ bass chords in “Il cerchio si stringe” the cue rocks), and the crisp orchestrations. The buzzing flutes have a great breezy jazz quality, and the shrieking vocals, while kitschy, enliven what’s obviously a tongue-in-cheek score.


© 2010 Mark R. Hasan

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