Disques Cinemusique presents a digital soundtrack album of THE HORRIBLE DOCTOR HICHCOCK (1962) composed and conducted by Roman Vlad.

The Romanian born Roman Vlad (1919-2013) had an honorable career in the field of concert music in Italy, in addition to his activity as a composer for cinema. He wrote about sixty scores for European movies, mostly minor stuff but with a fine orchestral support. His classical oriented writing, relying mainly on strings, is characterized by a great vigour and a certain harshness.

Gothic style suited maestro Roman Vlad perfectly, as evidenced by THE HORRIBLE DOCTOR HICHCOCK (L'ORRIBILE SEGRETO DEL DR. HICHCOCK) directed by Riccardo Freda. The title is a nod to the British master of suspense but the film itself doesn’t contain any hint of humour. Here is a summarize of the nightmarish story

At the end of the 19th century, professor and doctor Bernard Hichcock started to drug his consenting wife Margaretha with a powerful anesthetic to practice necrophilic sexual games on her. One day, an accidental overdose leads to the death of Margaretha. Afflicted, Hichcock then leaves his London residence. Years later, he returned to settle there with a new wife, Cinzia (Barbara Steele). Quickly, the young women feels oppressed by the strange atmosphere of the house. She soon undergoes a ghostly and threatening creature, draped in a white shroud. During a stormy night, Cinzia discovers the empty coffin of the first wife of the doctor. Hichcock is reassuring her but he actually plans to use her blood to restore health and youth to Margaretha...

In 1957 Roman Vlad scored the very first Italian horror movie, also directed by Riccardo Freda, LES VAMPIRES (I Vampiri). It’s one of the few composer's soundtracks which have been released on CD. His best known work remains the peplum URSUS (1961). Disques Cinemusique previously featured a 1958 mini album by Vlad, UNE VIE, in the 4-CD box set MUSIC FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF FRENCH CINEMA, available digitally.

THE HORRIBLE DOCTOR HICHCOCK music, perhaps Roman Vlad’s cinematic masterpiece, was taken from the best DVD/blu-ray edition available. Fortunately, the rather scarce dialogue leaves much place to the score and the sound quality of the recording is quite good. Our selections include a small amount of sound effects and words which have the merit of reflecting even better the atmosphere of this thriller starring the fascinating Barbara Steele.

1 The Horrible Dr. Bernard Hichcock – Opening title
2 Attack in the cemetery
3 Margaretha at the pianio
4 Funeral game with Margaritha
5 Fatal overdose
6 Margaretha’s coffin is placed in the vault
7 Hichcock is back home with his new wife
8 Cinzia befriends Dr. Kurt
9 Meeting the ghost’
10 Hichcock‘s morbid addiction
11 Cinzia explores the house I
12 Kurt surprises Hichcock with a corpse
13 Cinzia explores the house II
14 Hichcock’s injects drug to Cinzia
15 Hichcock’s plan for murder
16 Seeing help from Kurt
17 Struggle for deliverance
18 Kurt rescues Cinzia / Final