Composer Paul Dunlap dies

Worked on classic sci-fi and horror pics

Paul Dunlap, a composer whose scores included such sci-fi and horror classics as “The Angry Red Planet” and “I Was a Teenage Werewolf,” died of natural causes March 11 in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 90.

Dunlap launched his film-scoring career with a 1950 Sam Fuller film, “The Baron of Arizona,” and did four more for the director: “The Steel Helmet,” “Park Row,” “Shock Corridor” and “The Naked Kiss.” But he was best known for his music for low-budget horror and sci-fi of the 1950s and 1960s including “Lost Continent,” “Target Earth,” “I Was a Teenage Frankenstein,” “Blood of Dracula” and “Frankenstein 1970.”

His more than 100 films included a number of ’50s Westerns such as “The San Francisco Story” and “The Oregon Trail,” the John Wayne drama “Big Jim McLain” and several 1960s Three Stooges comedies including “The Three Stooges in Orbit,” “The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze” and “The Outlaws Is Coming.”

Dunlap was born in Springfield, Ohio, and studied with leading composers Arnold Schoenberg, Ernst Toch and Nadia Boulanger. His classical compositions included a piano concerto, a choral work entitled “Celebration” and an opera, “Elektra XI.”

Dunlap worked briefly in television, scoring episodes of “Have Gun — Will Travel,” “Gunsmoke” and “Schlitz Playhouse of Stars,” among other series.

In the late 1960s he composed music for “Operation CIA,” “Destination Inner Space,” “Cyborg 2087” and “Panic in the City.” His last scores, both in 1980, were for the comedy “Gorp” and the TV documentary “Sharks: The Death Machine.”

Survivors include three children and two grandchildren. Donations may be made to the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

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