The locally made horror film "Johnny Gruesome" has found a theme song in the voice of Robby Takac.
The Goo Goo Dolls bassist sings the film's original theme song, "Dyin' Tonight," which he co-wrote with Armand John Petri and Joe Rozler. It was recorded at Takac's GCR Audio.
The film, written and directed by Gregory Lamberson, is based on his award-winning novel of the same name about a murdered high school student who returns as a supernatural creature seeking vengeance. The movie, which was filmed last year throughout Western New York, stars Anthony De La Torre, Byron Brown II, April Ann and Michael DeLorenzo.
Petri, who has produced such acts as 10,000 Maniacs and Sixpence None the Richer, and Rozler, a noted keyboardist and studio musician, composed the entire score for "Johnny Gruesome." The theme song was the last component of the movie, which Lamberson said he is currently shopping for distribution. Petri, Rozler and Takac are all members of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
The rock song works as a theme for the title character who is a heavy metal rebel. "The themes of the movie are definitely there," Lamberson said. "The name of the song is 'Dyin' Tonight' and that sets up the murder of Johnny Gruesome which leads to him becoming the creature."
Petri and Rozler previously composed music for Lamberson's movie "Killer Rack" and also are working on the musical version of the movie, currently being adapted for the stage by Neal Radice. "Killer Rack: The Feminist Horror Comedy" will run Sept. 14-Oct. 7 at Alleyway Theatre as part of Curtain Up!.
"Two of them work really well together," Lamberson said of Petri and Rozler, adding they will also release "Dyin Tonight" as a single before the movie.
Lending their musical talent to the "Johnny Gruesome" score are Mary Ramsey (10,000 Maniacs, John & Mary) on viola and violin, conductor Bryan Eckenrode on cello, and Virginia Croft, honored by Miramax Films with their "Music of the Heart" award, on violin.
The soundtrack also features songs by Dean Italiano and Giasone Italiano who originally wrote tunes for the "Gruesome" rock CD released 10 years ago to promote the novel and is available on iTunes and Amazon. The film’s co-star, April Ann, performs “Not You.”