Review: Life Toward Twilight - Edison’s Frankenstein (2008) 2

ltt_frankensteinartist: Life Toward Twi­light
release: Edison’s Franken­stein
format: DVDr + CDr
year of release: 2008
label: Bottle Imp
dur­a­tion: 12:44 + 39:43

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com.

Franken­stein, made in 1910 by Edison stu­dios, is one of the old­est hor­ror movies, though not one of the bet­ter known ones. Accord­ing to this fea­ture, all but one of the film’s cop­ies were lost, and it resur­faced as late as the 1970s. Silent movies are usu­ally sup­plied with a score from some stock music archive, but Daniel Tuttle, the man behind Life Toward Twi­light, appar­ently wasn’t con­tent with the ver­sions of this film’s score that were out there. So, he set to com­pos­ing his own. The pro­ject took some years too attain final form, but in 2008, the release was there, com­bin­ing the ori­ginal film with new score, and includ­ing a CD with more exten­ded ver­sions of the soundtrack com­pos­i­tions.

As can be expec­ted, the approach is from the dir­ec­tion of dark ambi­ent and indus­trial elec­tron­ics, not a bad choice, even for a movie from a dif­fer­ent period. The soundtrack com­bines sim­ple piano melod­ies, syn­thes­izer waves, drones and some quite heavy noises and per­cuss­ive sounds here and there. The com­bin­a­tion of film and score works very well, in par­tic­u­lar in the part in the first half of the movie where Franken­stein con­ducts his exper­i­ment. The impress­ive stop-motion anim­a­tion of the monster’s alchem­ical birth in the cauldron is accom­pan­ied by intense indus­trial ambi­ent, both ele­ments enhan­cing eachother and form­ing the high­light of this release. After this cli­max, the pace of the movie slacks a bit, depict­ing the haunt­ing of Frankenstein’s bridal night and the sub­squent ‘dis­sol­u­tion’ of the mon­ster in a less impress­ive way than the parts that came before.

All the same, this short film is a pleas­ure to watch, espe­cially for his­toric reas­ons. In addi­tion, the soundtrack adds a lot to the movie’s atmo­sphere, not in the least because the altern­at­ive (stock piano music) could be con­sidered par­tic­u­larly grue­some (cf. [You­Tube]). If you’re inter­ested in old (hor­ror) movies and post-industrial music, Edison’s Franken­stein is excel­lent value for money. And if you’re not con­vinced, and want to try before you buy, the soundtrack can be down­loaded for free from the artist’s webpage (see below).

Reviewed by O.S.


The Film:
DVD-01. Edison’s Franken­stein (12:44)

CD-01. Dis­covered The Mys­tery Of Life (3:46)
CD-02. The Evil In Frankenstein’s Mind Cre­ates A Mon­ster (3:39)
CD-03. Appalled At The Sight Of His Cre­ation (1:10)
CD-04. The Return Home (1:35)
CD-05. The Mon­ster Sees Him­self (1:16)
CD-06. Bridal Night (2:19)
CD-07. Over­come By Love And Dis­ap­pears (1:09)
CD-08. Attack (2:57)
CD-09. The Mon­ster (1:24)
CD-10. The Mir­ror (2:08)
CD-11. Leav­ing For Col­lege (5:39)
CD-12. Edison’s Franken­stein (12:40)