CD: Frankenstein vs. the Subterranean Monster Baragon - Original Soundtrack


Frankenstein vs. the Subterranean Monster Baragon - Original Soundtrack

Japanese CD Title

フランケンシュタイン対地底怪獣 バラゴン オリジナル・サウンドトラック
[Furankenshutain Tai Chitei Kaiju Baragon Orijinaru Saundotorakku]

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Akira Ifukube
August 2017

Based On:

Frankenstein vs. Baragon



By: Anthony Romero

Cinema-Kan has shifted from obscure Toho soundtracks, like Vampire Doll (1970) and Blue Stigma (1978), to now releasing some of Toho’s more famous films. This score here for Frankenstein vs. Baragon, the first full soundtrack release of an Akira Ifukube score from Cinema-Kan, marks their transition to overtly picking up the pieces from Toho Music’s failed science fiction line. A line that only saw 13 of the 22 planned titles make it to market, and among those casualties is a never released but touted two disc set for Gorath (1962). With this release, though, Cinema-Kan has proved that these scores are in good hands. While it misses out on some of the zanier bonus material Toho Music would sometimes come up with, it has a stellar presentation of Ifukube’s 1965 score, which is an odd mixture of horror and march themes with a pinch of go-go and surfer music tossed in.

Now this score is at its best when it’s focusing on the more gothic moments of the movie. The "Main Title" and "The Fleeing Shadow" are great examples of this, and arguably the best the score has to offer. If there is a theme for contention with that crown, though, it’s easily the “Search March”. This rousing march, which many will likely associate with its reuse in Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), is a very energetic track. In the movie itself it’s wasted on a sequence of soldiers running up a hill, but works very well as a stand alone experience. As for the Baragon theme, heard in tracks like “The Terror of Baragon” and “Frankenstein vs. Baragon I”, it’s an okay motif. It has some deep horn work, which makes it sound as sinister as Baragon probably should be from the plot, although his unintentionally cute appearance betrays this in the movie. The theme is a bit overused during the climax, though, although thankfully it doesn’t appear in the score until about the halfway marker so it doesn’t spoil the whole score with repetition.

In terms of how the content on this disc compares to the earlier Futureland release of Frankenstein vs. Baragon (TYCY-5504), you are literally trading one track for another. This CD misses out on the trailer track, but adds in an edit of “Discovering the Wrist” found on track 36. Despite the name, this is actually an edit of “The Left Behind Hand” and shortens the cue with an abrupt fade. It’s not particularly noteworthy.

Since there isn’t any new bonus material to cover, though, let’s instead examine audio quality. To conduct these tests I did a combination of listening with my own ears and also dumping the tracks onto my computer. When doing the latter, I was able to do lossless volume adjustments to get them at the same level to make comparisons and see how this impacted clipping. In doing this, the Cinema-Kan release was a definitive winner. This was instantly noticeable on the “Main Title”, which was not clipping at higher volume levels while the Futureland release clipped without even modifying the volume level. Just from listening, one can pick up more distinction in the various instruments playing the theme as well on this new release. Next up I tested “The Fleeting Shadow”. These were almost identical in terms of volume level, literally a 0.11% difference between them. Right away, though, it’s obvious that the horn work in the theme is much more pronounced with greater clarity in this new release. The final test was on the “Search March”. Being the loudest of them, this one was the most obvious. First off, the Cinema-Kan version was a little louder, almost 1% louder. To raise the Futureland one to the same level would have caused clipping, though, so both were lowered instead. After doing this, the new release still sounded so much richer. A lot more clarity among all the instruments, to the point where the older release almost sounded “murky” after getting used to the new release.

Overall, this an enjoyable Ifukube score. It’s nice to see Cinema-Kan step up to the plate to take these on and also to apply so much care. This includes on this release not just the stellar audio quality, but also the cover which is quite attractive, although the decision to feature the Giant Octopus so prominently is interesting. As for those who have the earlier Futureland release and are wondering if they should upgrade, I would say no. The audio quality improvement is great, but it lacks the bonus material to go with it to make it a compelling upgrade. For fans who don’t have the score, though, this is easily the definitive way to enjoy it now.

As a side note, and unlike their The War of the Gargantuas CD, a number of track titles were changed from the earlier Futureland release. Examples include “Transporting the Heart” to “U-Boat”, “Sueko’s Pendant” to “The Light from the Pendant” and more. The worst of these are the “Biwako Cruise Dance Music” to “Pleasure Boat Music” and “Shirane Cabin Surfing Music” to “Mountain Hut Music”, where they are removing details.

Rating: Star Rating


  1. Main Title (M1)
  2. U-Boat (M2)
  3. Frankenstein's Heart (M3)
  4. Hiroshima (M4)
  5. The Fleeing Shadow (M5)
  6. Encounter in the Rain (M6)
  7. Miyajima (M7)
  8. The Protected Vagrant Child (M8)
  9. TV Music (M9-T2)
  10. The Light from the Pendant (M10)
  11. The Caged Mysterious Person (M11)
  12. The Mysterious Person's Rage (M12)
  13. The Mysterious Person Escapes (M13)
  14. Parting (M14)
  15. Discovering the Wrist (M15)
  16. The Left Behind Hand (M16)
  17. Liquid Solution (M17)
  18. Pleasure Boat Music (M18-T2)
  19. Frankenstein in Lake Biwa (M18B)
  20. The Whereabouts of the Hand (M19)
  21. The Tank Corps are Dispatched (M20)
  22. Incident in the Forest ~ Search March (M21)
  23. Mountain Hut Music (M22A)
  24. Tragedy at Shirane (M22B)
  25. The Terror of Baragon (M23)
  26. Frankenstein in the Stone Pit (M24)
  27. Akita Oil Field Recollection (M25)
  28. Searching in the Fog (M26)
  29. Frankenstein vs. Baragon I (M27)
  30. Frankenstein vs. Baragon II (M28)
  31. Frankenstein vs. Baragon III (M29)
  32. Frankenstein vs. Baragon IV (M30)
  33. Ending (M31)

    Bonus Material
  34. TV Music (M9-T2)
  35. Pleasure Boat Music (M18A)
  36. Discovering the Wrist (M15 Edit)
  37. The Mysterious Person Escapes (Overseas Music M13)
  38. Parting (Overseas Music M14)
  39. Frankenstein vs. the Giant Octopus (King Kong vs. Godzilla M13)
  40. TV Go-Go Dance Music (M9-T1)

    Sound Effects
  41. Frankenstein's Heart Sound
  42. Submarine Alarm Sound
  43. Frankenstein's Roar
  44. Baragon's Roar