Posts Tagged ‘Basil Poledouris’

AMERIKA – Basil Poledouris

March 9, 2017 1 comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In the spring of 1987 viewers of the network TV channel ABC were treated to a 6-part mini-series imagining a horrific alternate reality for the United States where the country has been insidiously, but bloodlessly, overtaken by the Soviet Union. Amerika posits the country as being essentially a puppet state of Moscow, with the President and Congress mere figureheads for the Soviet regime; the population is kept under control by a UN peacekeeping force called the UNSSU, which is supposed to be multi-national but is in reality a Russian Communist military arm, which uses fear and intimidation tactics to suppress opposition. From out of this nightmare three heroes emerge: former politician Devin Mitford (Kris Kristofferson), who is released back into society after spending years in a labor camp for treason; administrator Peter Bradford (Robert Urich), who pretends to collaborate with the Soviets while working to bring down the regime from within; and Colonel Andrei Denisov (Sam Neill), a KGB agent becoming more and more disillusioned with his country’s politics. The series, which was written and directed by Donald Wrye, has been in the news of late after more than 20 years of relative obscurity, mainly due to the accusations of Russian influence in Donald Trump’s successful run for US President in 2016… this fiction couldn’t be happening in reality, could it? Read more…

RED DAWN – Basil Poledouris

August 14, 2014 1 comment


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Red Dawn was a popular and successful action film, written and directed by John Milius, set in an alternate 1980s in which a Communist army, led by Russians and Cubans, launches an invasion of the United States in the aftermath of a devastating economic crisis. The story is centered around a small Colorado town, where a group of mostly teenagers embarks on a sustained campaign of guerilla warfare against the invaders, using the name ‘wolverines’, after their high school mascot. The film starred Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen in early career roles, co-starred C. Thomas Howell, a pre-Back to the Future Lea Thompson, a pre-Dirty Dancing Jennifer Grey, and Ben Johnson, and featured an original score by the then 39-year-old Basil Poledouris. Read more…

CONAN THE DESTROYER – Basil Poledouris

January 26, 2012 2 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

The immense worldwide success achieved by “Conan the Barbarian” lead, to the surprise of no one, to an inevitably sequel. Producer Dino De Laurentiis hired director Richard Fleischer to revisit the mythic Hyborean world and offer us the classic mythic adventure. In the tale we see that at the bequest of the evil Queen Tamaris of Zamora, Conan is promised that his dead lover Valeria will be resurrected if he would bring to her the sacred Horn of Dagoth. In reality the duplicitous Tamaris plans to betray Conan and sacrifice her niece Jehenna to reanimate the god Dagoth with whom she plans to mate and generate a new progeny of gods. A colorful and eclectic cast lead again by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan) was assembled and featured the fierce Amazon warrior Zula (Grace Jones), virginal Princess Jehenna (Olivia d’Abo), the wise wizard Akiro (Mako), the comic thief Malak (Jeff Corey) and the treacherous Bombaata (Will Chamberlain). A parade of directors and a truly feeble script soured Schwarzenegger as he chose to not return for a third film. Never the less, fantasy films were at their zenith in the 80s and the film was a commercial success, doubling its $18 million production costs. Read more…

CONAN THE BARBARIAN – Basil Poledouris

January 13, 2012 4 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Conan The Barbarian is based on the Conan stories penned by author Robert E. Howard. The movie adaptation tells the story of a young Conan who lives in the mythic Hyborean Age and suffers grievously at the hands of an evil ruler of the Snake Cult, Thulsa Doom, who kills his parents and sells him into slavery. Eventually after much suffering he gains his freedom and trains to become a mighty warrior. He then sets out to solve the riddle of steel and avenge his parent’s death. As such, this is a classic morality tale with an unambiguous hero and villain. The film was a commercial success, which spawned a sequel and served to reinvigorate the fantasy genre. Read more…

FLESH + BLOOD – Basil Poledouris

February 8, 2011 4 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Flesh + Blood was director’s Paul Verhoeven’s first American film as well as his first collaboration with Basil Poledouris. The tale is set in the darkness that was 16th century Europe during the era of the great plague. It stars Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Burlinson. Our ‘hero’ Martin (Rutger Hauer), who was commissioned by the King, leads a band of brutal mercenaries. When the King reneges on his deal, Martin and his band of men strike back by kidnapping Agnes (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is betrothed to Prince Steven (Tom Burlinson). They take control of a castle and prepare for the attack by royal forces under the command of the aggrieved Prince Steven. Fate would have it that Agnes begins to fall in love with Martin which brings her into conflict with Celine (Susan Tyrell) who also loves him. To say that this film excelled in graphic, gratuitous, brutal violence and carnal imagery is an understatement! Verhoven shows everything without restraint or shame, and the film is not for the squeamish. Commercially the film was a bust, with a production cost of $6,500,000 it grossed only $100,000. Read more…

Basil Poledouris, 1945-2006

November 8, 2006 Leave a comment

Basil PoledourisComposer Basil Poledouris died on November 8, 2006, at his home in Los Angeles, California, after a battle with cancer. He was 61.

Vassilis Konstantinos Poledouris was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in August 1945, to a family of Greek immigrants. A piano player from an early age, Basil moved to Los Angeles in 1964 to study filmmaking and music at the University of Southern California, where he was a contemporary of soon-to-be-directors George Lucas, John Milius and Randal Kleiser, who would go on to be lifelong friends and collaborators. Poledouris dabbled in acting – he had a non-speaking role as a crewmember on the original series of Star Trek – but concentrated on music following his graduation with a BA in film studies.

Poledouris composed music for over 100 educational films before getting his break in feature films, which came in 1978 following the release of the popular cult surfing movie Big Wednesday (directed by Kleiser), and which he followed by writing music for hit teen romance The Blue Lagoon in 1980, and the action fantasy epic Conan the Barbarian in 1982. The film launched the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and is considered one of the finest fantasy scores ever written. Read more…

THE TOUCH – Basil Poledouris

August 1, 2002 Leave a comment

thetouchOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been a long time to wait for Basil Poledouris to get back into the scoring saddle. A couple of TV movies, a couple of flops, and the lamentable Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles not withstanding, it’s been almost four years since his last major score, Les Misérables. His sabbatical has largely been self-imposed, choosing instead to concentrate on building up his Blowtorch Flats media organization, and supporting his daughter Zoë on her quest to enter the film music fray. With The Touch, however, it seems like the man behind epics as great as Conan the Barbarian and Starship Troopers is back with a vengeance – and, if I may say so, not before time. Read more…