Film Score: “Subferatu”

I used to work with Pat Penta at The New School for Jazz. I advised students, he tuned pianos. Whenever he popped into my office I knew we were about to take a delightfully warped trip to the unknown. One day he told me, “someday, I’m gonna make a movie about vampires on a submarine during World War II and it’s gonna be called ‘Subferatu’ and it’s gonna be great!” AND GUESS WHAT. Two years ago he started doing exactly that.

He built a lifesize cross-section of a sub in a warehouse in Seattle. He wrote a hilarious script. He spritzed the actors in the face with water before each shot. And as he and his wife are SHWILSON’s biggest fans, he asked if I would write and record the soundtrack. YES PLEASE.

As a rabid classic horror fan, I was psyched. After reading through the script, I immediately rewatched some of my favorite films from the ’70s and ’80s for inspiration. Phantasm, The Shining, Videodrome, The Thing, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. All synthy and delicious.

I started sketching, running my synths through tons of pedals, glitching out and feeding back. Sweeping filters. Dark oscillating ostinatos. I wanted this thing to ooze with creepy nostalgia. There are even a few large ensemble numbers to support the WWII-era and tropical themes.

And now it’s done! Here is the horror of…SUBFERATU.