Past Perfect


No score soundtrack available; released on VHS in America 1998.6.23; released on DVD in China?

Music clip, 2'59" (700Kb) [end credits, beware large file size]


Distributed in 1998 but made in 1996, Jonathan Heap's bad-mouthed, gun-shot-filled, timetravelling mishmash of social commentary and Terminator rip-off is strictly low-budget video-friendly fare, with a flawed script (from John Penney) that fails to tie up its science, has poor dialogue and wastes the talents of actors such as Eric Roberts and newcomer Laurie Holden (who went on to the X-Files). Strictly for late-nighters it's strengths are its proficiently handled violent action scenes.

Although music was written by Christophe Beck, additional scoring (perhaps as much as half) was crafted by Christopher Mann (now of commercial music house, Machine Head), probably due to schedule conflicts with Beck's television work. The style is well-placed for this movie: gritty, violent, percussive—all that a testosterone-friendly sci-fi requires—but this hides general rough edges in scoring and there is little else to unify the score during the bulk of the film (the end titles in the sound clip above do, however, feature a striking cor angalis solo).. Additionally some of the more synth-heavy elements (oboe, strings) betray their origins and allow some slippage into typical B-movie budget soundworld. When scoring for Buffy Beck was able to cover for midi's failure to capture the realism of instruments (particularly solo wind) such as the oboe by bringing in a live performer. This also appears true in places here, but in others the synthetic sounds used detract from any attempt to raise this film's calibre.

Webmaster's note: since the author cannot differentiate between Beck and Mann's contributions, no further comment is planned for this score, and no sound clips offered. (NB. Please note that the heavy criticism of film and score are made by the author and not by the composer!)

Film music credits

Additional music by Christopher Mann
"Tall like God"
"Then I creep away"
Written and performed by The Almighty Ultrasound
Courtesy of Countdown Records
"Toys-r-us parking lot"
Written by Jeff Blue, Matt Jaccovies, Tom Gonzales
Performed by Meat Nixon
Blue Publishing