Although the short film is full of powerful, shocking, and sometimes unsettling visual imagery, the soundtrack in Scorpio Rising stood out to me as the film’s most influential element. The 60’s themed music filled the void created by the lack of any diegetic sound or dialogue with hit pop or rock songs that fit the theme of each scene. This can be seen in one of the first scenes where Scorpio is working on his motorcycle. The song Wind Up Doll compliments the physical but quiet scene by playing “wind up noises” right as Scorpio is using his wrench, acting in an almost diegetic manner. This makes the scene feel more realistic since expected sounds can be heard, allowing for a more immersive experience for the viewer.
The soundtrack also complimented the otherwise soundless film by providing context that may have not been as easily implied without it. Take the “I Will Follow” scene for example:
The lyrics “…and where he goes I’ll follow…” are played repeatedly accompanying images of both Jesus and a character dressed in all black. This song, as well as the clips of Jesus, allow the viewer to imply exactly who this man is and what his role is in the organization with no other context. Without the music or the accompanying clips, he seems to be nothing more than a man standing alone on what appears to be a stage. However, the music changes the whole meaning of the scene and establishes him as a leader with the same kind of influence as Jesus.
Is the role that the soundtrack plays in this film strictly reserved for experimental films? Can you think of any mainstream films where the soundtrack is as important as it is in Scorpio Rising? Which film had the better soundtrack: Scorpio Rising or Dog Star Man?