The Demons of St. Petersburg

Composed By: Ennio Morricone

Distributed by: Keep Moving Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Taking place in 1860's St. Petersburg, Russia, The Demons of St. Petersburg is the fictionalized life story of writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Miki Manojlovic).  Struggling to complete a novel whose proceeds will go towards ever-increasing gambling debts, Dostoyevsky finds himself embroiled in political intrigue as he learns of a plot to assassinate the Tsar.

                The musical score of The Demons of St. Petersburg was created by Italian composer Ennio Morricone.  Beginning his composing career in 1946, Ennio Morricone has created a number of well known film scores over the years in a vast spectrum of movie genres.  He is known for creating the musical scores of spaghetti westerns such as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon A Time in the West, action films like The Untouchables and Bugsy, horror films like The Thing and Exorcist II: The Heretic and televisions series like Marco Polo and Nostromo.  Overall, Morricone has created musical scores for over five hundred movies and television series.

                The musical score of The Demons of St. Petersburg features music that represents the film's locale - Russian classical with a Transylvanian undertone.  It's that Transylvanian undertone that gives one pause.  The guitar string plucking theme is reminiscent of many a vampire film and the listener keeps waiting for that dramatic moment when Dracula jumps out to bite his victim.  This theme is made no better by the female vocalist employed to perform it in various tracks.  At other times, the score appears to borrow a great deal from older films, perhaps those in Morricone's vast list of works or those of John Williams.

                That being said, I found nothing new and exciting on The Demons of St. Petersburg Soundtrack.  I felt like I had heard it all before.  The music was boring enough to put me to sleep.  And placed along the visuals of the trailer to the film, the music appears to be incredibly mismatched with what is taking place throughout the film.  This is definitely one soundtrack I would expect to find gathering dust on a shelf in a music store...if I were even inclined to look for it in the first place.


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