mid-to-late Seventies seemed rife with films that featured sharks and the
mysterious depths of the Bermuda waters. High class entries of course included
Jaws (1975) and The Deep (1977), both of which were based upon successful
novels by Peter Benchley. For every good example, there is naturally a fair
amount of cheaper, less impressive imitations.
Bermuda: Cave of the Sharks (1978) directed by Italian Tonino Ricci,
unfortunately lands in that category.
Andres (Andrés García ) and his partner Angelica (Janet Agren ) are hired to recover some treasures
from an aircraft that has ditched into the Bermuda Triangle, they face not only
human treachery but also the mysterious powers of an underwater civilization. Ricci’s
film did very little business and came about strictly because of the Italian
film industry’s love affair with shark movies.
Tonino Ricci did have the good sense to hire Italian composer Stelvio Cipriani
to write the score. The composer was becoming more than familiar with this particular
genre with Cipriani, also scoring Il triangolo delle Bermude (The Bermuda
triangle) (1978) and Uragano sulle Bermude l'ultimo S.O.S. (Encounters in the
score for Bermude La Fossa Maledetta is quite an eclectic mixture of styles. A
great number of the tracks serve as simplistic mood setters, not unlike
standard ‘library’ samples. There is nothing in the way of a memorable lush
theme or even a stand out action piece, which is strange considering that this
is an adventure movie. There is nothing that could be described as rousing. Instead,
Cipriani uses a recurring 6 note motif in various alternative forms.
Additionally, the listener is reminded that this is indeed 1978 and with it
comes plenty of bass guitar played over a Euro/Latin disco backing track, a
style that would come to dominate many Italian films from this particular period.
Cipriani’s score sticks very much to formula, with some nice little synthesised
cues thrown in along the way.
Chris' Soundtrack Corner's complete CD gets really interesting when it reaches the bonus material.
Cipriani seemingly gains access to a rather nice (if limited) set of orchestral
musicians. As a result, the music has a much improved, almost lush appeal and
provides a complete change of direction. Mysteriously, this only occurs for a
couple of tracks before reverting back to the more familiar synthesised
approach. However, even these ‘alternate’ versions seem to carry far more
weight and even provide some threatening wordless vocals which really hype up
the atmosphere. Ultimately, one is left wishing that there were a great deal
more strings and harmonies used within the context of Cipriani’s main score.
label Digitmovies had previously released a three-score, 2-CD set that featured
18 tracks from Bermude La Fossa Maledetta - but is now long deleted.Chris' Soundtrack Corner now offers the complete
score (31 tracks in total) with an additional 26 minutes of previously
unreleased material – an element which is bound to appeal to dedicated Cipriani
collectors. Comprehensive album notes are provided by John Bender contained within
an 8-page booklet.