As a film soundtrack aficionado, there are times when you come across a score of a quality far exceeding the film in which it was recorded for. I’m not about to suggest that Ted Nicolaou’s 1986 film, TerrorVision doesn’t have its ardent fans. Its slapstick stupidity and terrible alien puppetry were made for cult audiences to fall in love with. If I don’t count myself among the film’s fans, it has more to do with my love of the soundtrack more than anything. TerrorVision follows the story of a family who inadvertently make contact with aliens via their TV satellite dish. When the aliens land, they become something akin to a family pet, albeit a particularly out of control variety. Comedic carnage ensues. You get the idea.
The score for TerrorVision was composed by art rock group, The Fibonaccis. The Fibonaccis emerged from the Los Angeles art punk scene in 1981 and quickly made a name for themselves by blending as many styles of music as they could into an indescribable gumbo of intricate madness. The Fibonaccis made no secret about their love of film scores, and cited the great Ennio Morricone as one of their major influences. It’s no surprise that they found themselves contributing to scores for myriad cult movies.
In 1986, The Fibonaccis teamed up with composer, Richard Band to provide five original tracks for TerrorVision. What they created was brilliant madness. Despite the potential for art rock excursions into the abstract realm of their own assholes, The Fibonaccis stay bound to melody throughout their five recorded tracks. In keeping with the antics of the film, the music has a comedic lightheartedness, but unlike the film, it is full of inventiveness. This is not your typical score for an 80s horror film.
The influence of Morricone is evident throughout. In many ways it could be the score to a spaghetti western set in a cardboard cemetery. One moment you’ll be listening to faux-horror, synth patterns, which turn into spaghetti western tropes on speed, which then become power metal, then a quick detour through 1950s American sci-fi. So many iconic elements of film soundtracks are disected, blended and regurgitated as something completely unique and joyful to listen to.
Thanks to a kindly YouTube user deciding to rip the original cassette and uploading it, we can now all enjoy the truly fun antics of The Fibonaccis as they perform a soundtrack that the film didn’t really deserve. Have a blast.