Forbidden Zone (1980), an off-beat sci-fi cult movie, was Danny Elfman’s first venture in film scoring. It was five years later that director Tim Burton hired him to write what would be his breakthrough score for Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Forbidden Zone was a family project, directed by his brother Richard. The plot concerns the Hercules family who have found a secret door in their basement that leads to the 6th dimension.
The soundtrack to Forbidden Zone has recently been reissued, and as played by Elfman’s band Oingo Boingo, it’s a weird and wonderfully silly affair. The score reveals Elfman’s promise as a composer as well as the beginnings of his signature playfulness. Think Beetlejuice and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.