John Carpenter s 1980 follow-up film to his smash hit Halloween featured ghost sailors terrorizing a Californian coastal community as a dense fog descends on their homes. The multi-talented filmmaker not only directed and wrote his films but also created his own unique brand of atmospheric synthesiser scores. This updated version of Silva Screen s long deleted and sought after 2000 reissue brings together not just the original album which featured 20 minutes of newly released music but a second 20 track disc of the entire score, drawn from the original tapes, remastered by long-time Carpenter collaborator Alan Howarth.
Christine, based on Stephen King's novel about an unusual kind of car repossession, was taken by John Carpenter from book to screen in a blazingly short time. Rather than bypassing his usual methods, as he did with The Thing, Carpenter once again chose to do the score. The original soundtrack released from the movie was a brief affair indeed, offering up a small selection of rock & roll tunes used in the movie, plus a short selection ("Christine Attacks," here with the subtitle "Plymouth Fury") from Carpenter's score. As it is, this Tangerine Dream-influenced, mechanically pounding number is probably the best thing in the score, highly visual, threatening, and relentless. As with the best of Carpenter's work, it's enough to haunt your dreams for a few days – a property shared by the scores for Halloween and The Fog (both on Varese Sarabande).
You might have seen Alan Gardner exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show. You could hardly miss him with his shock of vermillion hair, tattoos and exquisitely painted fingernails. But he has an unusual take on life, too, because he has autism. He’s taken on a bunch of five keen horticulturalists who are also on the autistic spectrum (or “my weirdly wired proteges” as he calls them) for this garden makeover show with a difference. It’s an intriguing experiment because some of his team can’t cope with social situations, vocalise their thoughts or stay focused, while others get obsessed with details, straight lines or their own fixations. But, as Alan explains about the condition, “When you connect with what stimulates you… you can unlock genius.” The series is less about gardening and more about their unorthodox approach to it, but as you get to know the individuals, you start to see past their different traits and recognise their creative talents.