Seven Times Around The Stones, Then Scream!
It is unusual for a film soundtrack to be released when hardly anyone has seen the film that it is associated with – but that is exactly what has happened with the latest release from Pylon Phaser, the production company which also publishes books and zines, most notably the paranormal partwork series, Occultaria of Albion.
This is a collaboration between two enigmatic electronic artists – The Burial Group and Linoleum Department. Together they have created a soundtrack of psychedelic synthesizer sounds pulsing with fuzzed frequencies, revealing an acid red sky and the black shadows of standing stones burning into your mind. It’s an electr-o-ccult cacophony!
But how did it come about? The only source for its provenance is the information provided by Pylon Phaser – and it’s a fantastical origin indeed.
In the mid-seventies, prior to setting up the production company Karswell Home Video with his wife Tina, Lee Fields had several film projects that he was trying to develop or get finance for.
Lee Fields’ goal had always been to write and direct in the horror genre, however, before setting up KHV in the late seventies he had made a living from working in television, mainly as a jack of all trades on Trent Television’s popular soap opera, Paradise Row.
It was during this time at Trent Television that Fields met the Italian director Fabio Farella.
Farella had been sent to the UK, on a work exchange programme, by an Italian production company to learn new techniques in filming and post-production. With his mother being English, Farella could speak the language and was able to interpret for the other Italians he was with.
It wasn’t long before Fields and Farella struck up a friendship. They both had a love of horror and a desire to direct their own films. Farella ended up staying with Lee and his wife Tina in their small flat for the duration of his stay in the UK. It was during this time that they began to discuss ideas for a film and together they began work on a script.
After Farella’s exchange programme came to an end he went back to Italy with their half-written manuscript. Over the next twelve months Lee Fields continued to communicate with Farella and they both worked on, what at that point had a working title of simply, The Stones.
Miraculously, Farella was able to secure financing from the Italian production company Zarlenga Films International to make the film that he and Fields had been writing. On the strength of this, Fields was also able to obtain a small grant as well and he brought together a crew of people he had previously worked with. It was agreed that the film would be shot on location in the UK and would include a small cast of both Italian and British performers.
In 1976 filming began on the retitled, ‘Seven Times Around the Stones, Then Scream!’ (Sette Volte Intorno Alle Pietre, Poi Urla! In Italian). Much of the filming was to take place in and around the Devonshire village of Darracombe St Piran and its nearby stone circle – The Dancing Druids.
The budget was limited and the schedule tight, but filming was completed despite numerous setbacks. Farella took the work back to Italy for editing and for a soundtrack to be added. He had obscure Italian prog rockers, Stella Strega, lined up to write the score but then disaster struck; Zarlenga Films fell into financial difficulties and the plug was pulled on any new releases. Whilst the Italian courts wrangled with Zarlenga’s creditors, Farella could do no more with the film.
By the time the dust had settled several years had gone by. Lee and Tina Fields were busy with their own production company, Karswell Home Video and Farella had moved on, finding some notoriety and success directing a series of soft porn sci-fi films – Hellcats From Orion being the most well-known. Eventually the Italian director moved to Hollywood, but his career never really found its feet and by the nineties he was producing corporate videos back in Italy. It seems that his first, unreleased feature had been completely forgotten about.
It wasn’t until his daughter, Fabiana Farella, was going through his archive after the filmmaker’s death in 2020 that she came across the version of ‘Seven Times Around the Stones, Then Scream!’ which had been almost completed by her father – except for minor edits and a soundtrack.
Fabiana contacted Lee Fields and, knowing that he and her father had remained lifelong friends, sent the film to him.
Fields has now, at last, completed the film and invited The Burial Group and The Linoleum Department to create a soundtrack for it.
The soundtrack is complete and represents a unique blend of The Burial Group’s lo-fi sensibilities with the quixotic musical dexterity of Linoleum Department. Hopefully they will work together again on future projects.