Thursday, August 26, 2010

David Fincher, please take note: soundtracking the Goon

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 4:25 AM

click to enlarge goon_cast.jpg

Imaginary Movie Soundtracks are just that -- the soundtracks to movies that doesn't exist. We pick the songs, write the story, and your mind makes the movie.

We're taking a different tack with this week's soundtrack. Eric Powell's comic The Goon had a short animatic debut at this year's San Diego ComiCon, but has yet to find a backer. The film has David Fincher attached, along with Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown. Powell interviewed on Ain't It Cool News earlier this week about his EC horror comic aesthetic, crossed with Looney Tunes cartoon violence and humor that creates something that's 100% original. If the movie ever gets made, here's some suggestions as to how it should sound.

The animatic uses Southern Culuture On the Skids' "White Trash," but I'd disqualify that as having already been used in Beavis & Butthead Do America. Plus, the Goon and Franky aren't really white trash. They're more like...well, goons. They like beer and broads and breaking heads. "Camel Walk," while a little lyrically specific as to what it's about, has a bit more swagger to it than "White Trash."

click to enlarge goon_norton_s.jpg

The music that plays in the Goon and Franky's usual hangout, Norton's Pub, needs to be boozy and ramshackle. Nobody embodies this sound more than Tom Waits. "Come On Up to the House," from Mule Variations, captures a sense of warmness and familiarity that the bar needs to have, without being maudlin like "The Piano Has Been Drinking," and also provides a bit of respite from the other, darker songs on this soundtrack.

click to enlarge goon_zombie_priest.jpg

To introduce the villain of the piece, the Zombie Priest, you're going to need something to set the mood. The Kings of Psychobilly, the Meteors, have a discography that's rife with songs that fit right in with the Goon. It's not too going far to say that one could easily soundtrack the entire flick with their b-movie take on things.

However, "Graveyard Stomp," from Teenagers From Outer Space, easily fits with the idea of a man of the cloth who reanimates everything from an entire Western town to a gigantic ape.

If the movie uses the Buzzard, a former sheriff turned reverse zombie (in other words, rather than eating brains like a zombie, he eats zombies), they're going to need something suitably lamentable. The Buzzard's a sad man, who let an entire town die because he couldn't stand up to the Zombie Priest. Heavy Trash's "That Ain't Right" is a slow shuffle of a rockabilly number, with a lonesome tone speaking to the Buzzard's woeful situation.

click to enlarge goon_dames.JPG

There's going to have to be a dame in the film at some point. Any instance of the Goon and Franky's bad luck can be traced to a skirt. Franky has his ongoing issues with his lady-friend Stella, while the Goon is frequently bedeviled by Norton's resident chanteuse, Mirna (to say nothing of what happened with Isabella, his first real love, as chronicled in Chinatown). The Reverend Horton Heat's "One Time For Me" fits the rockabilly aesthetic we're going for, as well as the lyrics that present the female protagonist of the song as a sexually adventurous and lascivious ne'er-do-well.

While we didn't tell you a story this week, I hope that the glimpses we've provided of the Goon leads you to head to your local comic shop and pick up an issue of the comic. It's one of the best reads out there, and you're got nearly a dozen trades at this point to wade through, so there's no lacking of material once your appetite's been whetted.

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