When you think of a giant, a picture of a large hulking beast normally comes to mind. The beast making each step look extremely difficult to take with the foot landing in a manner that it shakes the ground nearby as it crushes the land and knocks over smaller trees. This is what you will get a sense of in the very first track in the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The soundtrack for the Gary Jones film, “Axe Giant the Wrath of Paul Bunyan” produced by Midnight Syndicate.
The film’s plot takes the viewer into a group of first-time offenders at a boot camp who find out, the hard way, that Paul Bunyan is real. The problem they find is the legend is a bit different from what many of us grew up with as a child. This Paul, he isn’t so friendly, in fact he swings a mean axe.
This is about all I will say on the movie as this is more about the music featured in the movie. It is of course composed by Edward Douglas and produced by Midnight Syndicate. The music is something that had it been featured a bit more in the movie may have helped me enjoy the film experience more.
The problem in many of these films is that you either get the brilliant soundtrack to be too loud or under-utilized as it is just small background noise that if louder helps build tension. The piece S.T.U.M.P.S Meet Bunyan is a great example of how a piece of music could really set a scene. The piece uses a combination of low base like tones to show Bunyan’s movement and his ever changing gate as he chases the kids. The kid’s movements are met with a higher pitched sense of quicker musical movements that fit perfectly with a group running for their lives.
The album makes use of several lower toned pieces of music and brass movements to help give the listener a mental image of the giant. His movements can be understood through the sound of the brass instruments representing steps and other movements Bunyan could be making. The music fitting what must be seen in the film, much like the seventh piece on the album, No Escape.
There are other great pieces on the album such as, The Legend of Paul Bunyan. The piece uses what sounds much like a guitar, or banjo, to give you a musical interlude to the legend. It would fit in perfectly behind the telling of what brought Paul to this place in his life and why he became the giant he is in the movie.
There is one additional track on the soundtrack that was written and performed by one Hickory Hawkins. Hawkins is the lead guitarist of the band Hickory Hawkins and the Panty Sniffers who have been playing their style of music for years. The band’s music has a rockabilly sound that combines country music with that of the punk music scene. So it is no surprise that the piece “The Ballad of Paul Bunyan” does a great job of telling the listener of how Bunyan got to be who he is now. It’s a toe tapping piece that makes a great use of a guitar and Hawkins voice.
Sadly in the case of many movie reviews this great soundtrack does not get much mention. Instead you will find many reviews calling the film a mediocre B-horror movie and pointing out some of the poor acting. This in a way is a shame as they are not pointing out that the music played behind the movie is brilliantly well done by Douglas and Midnight Syndicate. It is just another great entry into the work that they have done and can stand alone from the movie. However, if you are like me, you will find yourself looking for the movie to see how the music is used. Who knows maybe you will also wonder had the music been a tad higher the film could have been even better than I thought it was.