October 03, 2017

HALLOWEEN TAPE REVIEW #3: Haunted Horror: Terror on Tape

Title: Haunted Horror: Terror on Tape
Manufacturer: LHL Productions
Year: 1980       
Total Runtime: 60 Min
Repeats on both sides: No (But it may loop at some point)
Stories: No
Music: Opens with ‘Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” and organ music is scattered throughout. In places there’s some synth that sounds like the end of Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle.”
Narration: No
Distinct Audio: They throw a cooing baby into the mix several times.
Review: While the 1970s offered a slew of Halloween sounds on vinyl, Haunted Horror: Terror on Tape was ahead of the scary cassette biz which didn't get crowded until about 1987. Terror on Tape seems to be designed to take advantage of its format. In a world before the “repeat” button the owner could forget about it for a half hour at a time. This was the workhorse you needed when your attention was focused on personalized porch scares. The downside to its length is that there are a lot of recurring effects.
The recording creates an atmosphere that’s broad and consistent. So your victims won’t encounter corny dialogue, or detracting scenes of say, cat torture that can ruin the tension. The theme weaving it all together is chaos. At its best it’s frantic and unexpected, although sometimes things get overloaded, as if someone sat on the soundboard. There’s plenty to catch the listener off guard. Is that an acid bath? What sort of thing just attacked her? Do I hear a happy infant in a ghoul-infested graveyard? There are some effects that are completely unidentifiable, but I consider that an added feature.
The typeface on the cassette is a thing of beauty. I don't even care that they may have lifted the style from The Haunted Mansion story album. Also beautiful is this promotional image that we can enjoy thanks to the Sweet Skulls blog...

Rating: Cassette-4 of 5, Promotional art- 5 of 5


John Hunter said...

I went ahead and listened to this alone. So far, i'm okay......

Kirk D. said...

Rest In Peace John.

Phillyradiogeek said...

I haven't heard the YT clip yet, but I'm almost certain my family had this tape. It scared me to death! I wouldn't be in the same room when it played (much to the amusement of my siblings).

Jody Birchfield said...

Haunted sounds with a cooing infant mixed in. That's a first for me. And that baby sounds happy.

Unknown said...

I can give you a few ideas where some of the sounds come from. A lot of them sound like they came from the 1979 Disney Haunted House record. Also, the synthesized music that shows up now and then is this piece. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3vk4hkLMSA