London 1846. Singer Gloria Vane has a resounding success at the Adelphi Theater. While she throws a brilliant party, her lover, Sir Albert Finsbury, an army commanding officer, prepares to leave England for Australia, leading one of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's regiments. But Finsbury is also a compulsive gambler and, being unable to repay his debts, he commits a fraud that could cost him his career. Out of love for Albert, Gloria claims responsibility for his crime and his sentenced to penal labor in a camp in Australia, Paramatta. She is 'saved' by good-natured farmer Henry Hoyer who chooses her in a wedding market. But Gloria is not made for farming and soon realizes that she can't stand her new life.
This two-fer release from Varèse Sarabande pairs two of the more influential and interesting horror soundtracks of the slasher-film era. Charles Bernstein's score to Wes Craven's 1985 slasher cult classic A Nightmare on Elm Street is very much a product of its time, eschewing traditional orchestral approaches while employing state-of-the-art synthesizers and sound effects to convey the horror of Craven's suburban dreamscapes. Bernstein's unsettling cues utilize technology to strong effect, creating sinister atmospheres that effortlessly communicate the threat posed by the film's ghoulish antagonist, Freddy Krueger. The inorganic, dehumanized tones produced by the composer's synthesizers underscore the narrative's detachment from waking reality. That said, taken on its own terms the music is more than a little dated. While the best Hollywood scores boast a timelessness that transcends their origins, A Nightmare on Elm Street is immediately recognizable as a product of the mid-'80s, and whether that's a positive or a negative is left to the listener to determine.