14. Ennio Morricone – (Theme from The Return of Ringo/ La Resa Dei Conti/Death Rides A Horse)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
A farmer swings his axe, while in the distance we see the dust of approaching visitors. The farmer spots it, and tells his family to go inside the house, the music swells and makes us think that a gang of black-hatted cowboys are coming over the horizon. But it's a gang of jack-booted Nazis.
The scene shouldn't work, the music should be at odds with what's happening onscreen, but it both adds atmosphere, and introduces us to the off-kilter weird world of Basterds.
“Morricone is hands down my favourite composer of film music.
I use other tracks of his than just his spaghetti western stuff, but particularly in the first half of the movie I’m going for a ‘spaghetti western done with World War Two iconography’ kinda feel, and so the spaghetti western tracks in there go a long way to enhancing that.”
13. The 5678s, ‘Woo Hoo’
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Now this is just showing off. Real-life Japanese rockabilly girl band The 5678s play a jumping cover of The Rock-A-Teens 1959 hit in O-Ren Ishii's House Of Blue Leaves.
In one spectacular move the shot drifts away from the stage to pick out Thurman's Bride as she stalks through the building, the camera bounding over walls, through doors, and even giving us an x-ray vision reveal of The Bride getting ready for war. Dazzling.
“I was in Tokyo and I had about two hours before I had to leave to go to the airport. So I’m taking a walk and I’m enjoying myself, and I see a hip used clothing store.
Now I’m not expecting to find many things that’ll fit me, but I go in anyway. And there’s this cool Japanese trio singing songs, and they’re not in Japanese, they’re in bad pidgin English, but they’re really kinda cool and groovy.
II remember the song that was playing was called Three Cool Cats. And finally I walked up to the girl at the counter and said, ‘Who is this?’ And she says, ‘Oh, that’s the 5678s.
When I got to Australia I started playing the whole album, and I loved it. And then I immediately conceived that whole big long shot that plays with the song – ‘Woo Hoo.’”