Synth Soundtracks

Synth Soundtracks

23 Episodes

Once the sound of the future, now awesomely retro, synth soundtracks add a splash of otherworldly atmosphere to some of the coolest movies ever made. Using state-of-the-art analog and digital technologies, pioneering musicians like Bebe and Louis Barron (FORBIDDEN PLANET), Wendy Carlos (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE), Sun Ra (SPACE IS THE PLACE), Tangerine Dream (THIEF), Vangelis (MISSING), and Ryuichi Sakamoto (MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE) created immersive soundscapes that expanded cinematic storytelling and forever changed the art of movie soundtracking. Alternately eerie, icy, pulse-pounding, and thrillingly emotional, these scores tunnel into your eardrums at ecstatic frequencies hitherto unexplored.

Coprogrammed by Synth History/Danz CM

Synth Soundtracks
  • Synth Soundtracks Teaser

    Episode 1

  • A Clockwork Orange

    Episode 2

    Directed by Stanley Kubrick • 1971 • United Kingdom
    Starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates

    Stomping, whomping, stealing, singing, tap-dancing, violating . . . Derby-topped hooligan Alex (Malcolm McDowell) has a good time—at the tragic expense of others. His journey from amoral p...

  • Thief

    Episode 3

    Directed by Michael Mann • 1981 • United States
    Starring James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Robert Prosky

    The contemporary American auteur Michael Mann’s bold artistic sensibility was already fully formed when he burst out of the gate with THIEF, his debut feature. James Caan stars, in one of his most ri...

  • Tenebrae

    Episode 4

    Directed by Dario Argento • 1982 • Italy
    Starring Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, Daria Nicolodi

    Dario Argento raises the giallo genre to new heights with this darkly humorous and notoriously grisly murder mystery, widely considered one of his finest works. American mystery author Peter Neal (Ant...

  • Missing

    Episode 5

    Directed by Costa-Gavras • 1982 • United States
    Starring Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon, Melanie Mayron

    MISSING is political filmmaker extraordinaire Costa-Gavras’s compelling, controversial dramatization of the search for American filmmaker and journalist Charles Horman, who mysteriously disappeared...

  • Assault on Precinct 13

    Episode 6

    Directed by John Carpenter • 1976 • United States
    Starring Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer

    John Carpenter’s lean, mean second feature puts a gritty exploitation spin on Howard Hawks’s classic western RIO BRAVO, transposing the story to a soon-to-be-closed LA police station where a gr...

  • Messiah of Evil

    Episode 7

    Directed by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz • 1973 • United States
    Starring Marianna Hill, Michael Greer, Joy Bang

    A woman (Marianna Hill) arrives in a sleepy seaside town after receiving unsettling letters from her father, only to discover that the town is under the influence of a strange cult th...

  • Liquid Sky

    Episode 8

    Directed by Slava Tsukerman • 1982 • United States
    Starring Anne Carlisle, Paula E. Sheppard, Susan Doukas

    One of the coolest and most outrageously stylish oddities to emanate from the 1980s indie underground is a postpunk science-fiction fantasia set in New York’s zonked-out bohemian demimonde....

  • Cat People

    Episode 9

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1982 • United States
    Starring Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard

    Paul Schrader’s kinky-stylish reworking of the 1942 Val Lewton classic transfers the action to a voodoo-spooky New Orleans, adds an incestuous undercurrent, and ups the sex and gore. Nastassj...

  • Sorcerer

    Episode 10

    Directed by William Friedkin • 1977 • United States
    Starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal

    William Friedkin takes Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic palm-sweater THE WAGES OF FEAR and transforms it into a blood-and-guts opera of existential delirium. The setup is familiar: four desper...

  • Manhunter

    Episode 11

    Directed by Michael Mann • 1986 • United States
    Starring William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen

    Michael Mann’s hypnotic, hyperstylized adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novel “Red Dragon” was the first film to introduce audiences to the infamous Hannibal Lecter. Will Graham (William Petersen) is a...

  • Delta Space Mission

    Episode 12

    Directed by Mircea Toia and Călin Cazan • 1984 • Romania
    Starring Mirela Gorea, Marcel Iureș, Dan Condurache

    Set to a killer synth prog soundtrack, the first animated film from Romania is a loopy and lysergic science-fiction eyeball-twirler that plays something like 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY on psyc...

  • Forbidden Planet

    Episode 13

    Directed by Fred M. Wilcox • 1956 • United States
    Starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen

    There are many wonders on Altair-4, but none is greater or more deadly than the human mind. A landmark of fifties sci-fi loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” FORBIDDEN PLANET is th...

  • The Legend of Hell House

    Episode 14

    Directed by John Hough • 1973 • United Kingdom
    Starring Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill

    From the pen of science-fiction and horror legend Richard Matheson comes this gothic tale of things that go bump in the night. Dying millionaire Rudolph Deutsch hires a group of four people to e...

  • Next of Kin

    Episode 15

    Directed by Tony Williams • 1982 • Austrlia, New Zealand
    Starring Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, Alex Scott

    When a young woman (Jacki Kerin) inherits a creaky retirement home, she finds herself plunged into a waking nightmare of murder, madness, and a legacy of evil that may be inescapable. Awash in...

  • Solaris

    Episode 16

    Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky • 1972 • Soviet Union
    Starring Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis, Yuri Yarvet

    Ground control has been receiving mysterious transmissions from the three remaining residents of the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is dispatched to i...

  • Space Is the Place

    Episode 17

    Directed by John Coney • 1974 • United States
    Starring Sun Ra, Barbara Deloney, Raymond Johnson

    Avant-jazz mystic Sun Ra brought his pioneering Afrofuturist vision to the screen with this film version of his concept album. It’s a wild, kaleidoscopic whirl of science fiction, sharp social comment...

  • Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

    Episode 18

    Directed by Nagisa Oshima • 1983 • Japan
    Starring David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tom Conti

    In this captivating, skewed World War II drama from Nagisa Oshima, David Bowie regally embodies Celliers, a British officer interned by the Japanese as a POW. Rock star Ryuichi Sakamoto (who also composed ...

  • Scanners

    Episode 19

    Directed by David Cronenberg • 1981 • Canada
    Starring Stephen Lack, Jennifer O’Neill, Michael Ironside

    With SCANNERS, David Cronenberg plunges us into one of his most terrifying and thrilling sci-fi worlds. After a man with extraordinary—and frighteningly destructive—telepathic abilities is nabb...

  • The Last Wave

    Episode 20

    Directed by Peter Weir • 1977 • Australia
    Starring Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, Gulpilil

    Richard Chamberlain stars as Australian lawyer David Burton, who takes on the defense of a group of aborigines accused of killing one of their own. He suspects the victim has been killed for violatin...

  • Stalker

    Episode 21

    Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky • 1979 • Russian Federation

    Andrei Tarkovsky’s final Soviet feature is a metaphys­ical journey through an enigmatic postapocalyptic landscape, and a rarefied cinematic experience like no other. A hired guide—the Stalker—leads a writer and a professor into the heart...

  • Shogun Assassin

    Episode 22

    Directed by Kenji Misumi and Robert Houston • 1980 • Japan, United States
    Starring Tomisaburo Wakayama, Kayo Matsuo, Minoru Oki

    The legendary midnight-movie sensation that firmly embedded samurai mythology within American pop-culture consciousness, this English-dubbed reedit of the first two fil...

  • For All Mankind

    Episode 23

    Directed by Al Reinert • 1989 • United States

    In July 1969, the space race ended when Apollo 11 fulfilled President Kennedy’s challenge of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” No one who witnessed the lunar landing will ever forget it. Al Reinert’s documentary FOR...