TOUCH TEST “October Blue” C45 (Katuktu Collective)

Orson Welles lost a shit-ton of film stock. Terry Gilliam had a shit-ton of shit luck on “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” (then didn’t). Claudio D’Amato’s “October Blue” never even finished shooting. And while it may be premature to mention D’Amato in the same breath as Welles and Gilliam (for example, I’ve never heard of him), he certainly did crash and burn a film because of financial woes. So he’s got that in common with the auteurs.

Jesse Kapp made some lemonade out of all those unfortunate lemons. As Touch Test, he was tasked with sketching a score for “October Blue,” and despite the film’s unceremonious halt, Kapp saw his musical vision through to completion. This is good news for all of us, because it’s freaking excellent, and it would have made a great soundtrack to “October Blue,” or even something NOT “October Blue,” if given the chance. But hey, his inspiration came from the script and the footage that was shot, so I guess that’s where we’ll have to leave it.

Unlike most film scores that actually need the visuals to really sell what you’re hearing, “October Blue” stands proudly on its own. Perhaps part of that is the style – Touch Test excels at melodramatic synthwave, the kind lovingly curated by the likes of the Duffer Brothers in “Stranger Things,” and also have you seen the “Midnight Predator” video by Mr. Eff? Love that one – it also reminds me of excellent sci-fi indie “Midnight Special.” But “October Blue” was intended to be “unflinchingly dark, … tracing the narrative of three teenagers who are pulled into a violent suburban underworld.” That Touch Test’s score does NOT follow that vibe is kind of cool – it’s way more stylized, and the somewhat incongruous tone (I’m assuming from the description – I’ve never seen any film) would still probably work amazingly well in a variety of situations.

So take it from me – you don’t need a film version of “October Blue” to enjoy its soundtrack. Touch Test has made very sure of that.