Episode #50, Jungle Trap with Taken By Savages

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On this episode, we continue our Halloween series, talking with Annie Choi and Joe Ziemba of the synth duo, Taken By Savages, about their music for the unearthed 1990 James Bryan shot on video horror movie, Jungle Trap.

Shot in 1990 and unreleased until this very moment, Jungle Trap is the final collaboration between exploitation demigods director James Bryan (DON’T GO IN THE WOODS) and the late actress Renee Harmon (FROZEN SCREAM). The movie is a decapitation-fueled, shot-on-video horror masterpiece about a jungle hotel haunted by kill-crazy ghosts in loin cloths.

The movie remained unedited, unscored, and unseen by human eyes for over two decades, until it saw release back in late July. Under Bryan’s guidance, the Bleeding Skull team meticulously edited the movie and Taken By Savages recorded a soundtrack utilizing vintage 1980s synthesizers.

Jungle Trap is currently available on DVD, VHS, and via digital download from Bleeding Skull Video. Taken By Savages' score for Jungle Trap is available digitally on Bandcamp and on vinyl LP from Mondo.

Taken By Savages, "Shorts Authority" (Taken By Savages)
Taken By Savages, "Enter the Trap" (Jungle Trap OST)
Taken By Savages, "Have You Seen Rita?" (Jungle Trap OST)
Herschell Gordon Lewis, "Brains Knocked Out" (The Amazing Film Scores of Herschell Gordon Lewis)
Taken By Savages, "Raise the Spirits" (Jungle Trap OST)
Taken By Savages, "The Guests Arrive" (Jungle Trap OST)
Milli Vanilli, "Girl You Know It's True" (Girl You Know It's True)
Taken By Savages, "Exit the Trap" (Jungle Trap OST)

Podcast #16, You're Next

The 2011 home invasion thriller, You’re Next, was directed by Adam Wingard from a script written by Wingard and Simon Barrett. It was probably my favorite movie of 2013, when it officially saw wide release. It’s a taut series of violent encounters that manages to take elements of the slasher genre’s final girl trope and cross them with both home invasion films, as well as the “dinner party from hell” genre that seems to be slowly becoming a thing. It’s fantastic, with lead Sharni Vinson being particularly amazing, to say nothing of the return of genre icon Barbara Crampton.

As Films on Wax editor Charlie Brigden says on the obi strip for the vinyl release, “the score gets under your skin with ambient eerie textures causing maximum discomfort with minimum effort.” The score isn’t particularly ornate, but yes -- it does a great job of creepy you right the hell out. Of course, the most notable piece of music in the film is the Dwight Twilley Band’s “Looking for the Magic,” from their 1977 sophomore LP, Twilley Don’t Mind.

I spoke with him in 2015 about a split single he’d released with the Josh Berwanger Band on Goodland Records, and we spoke about the newly-iconic status of the song.

Track listing:

Adam Wingard, "Commando Mode" (You're Next OST)
The Dwight Twilley Band, "Looking for the Magic" (Twilley Don't Mind)
Lou Reed, "Perfect Day" (Transformer)