The main theme to Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator (1985) lifts entire passages from the score from Psycho (1960), which is why it sounds so familiar. But then it gleefully nineteen-eighties them up with rollicking march-time electronic percussion. The result is impossible not to like, although Psycho composer Bernard Herrmann was probably glad that he didn’t live to see it. Composed by Richard Band.
John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) is great for many reasons, not the least of which is its theme music. The urgency of the 5/4 piano motif above ominous synthesizer orchestration, all performed by Carpenter himself, distills the pomp of giallo prog rock to a proto-New Wave, Zen-like meditation of one’s own imminent and bloody demise. Composed by John Carpenter.