(August 2, 1939 – August 30, 2015)
Devastating news in the horror community as iconic screenwriter and director Wes Craven has passed away at the age of 76 from brain cancer. His credits include the original A Nightmare on Elm Street (as well as Part 3: Dream Warriors and New Nightmare), all of the Scream movies, Shocker, The People Under The Stairs, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left (both the original and the remake), just to name a few. His presence will definitely be missed.
Stephen King, Wes Craven, and George A. Romero are three of the most recognizable names in modern horror. In Beyond Fear, author Joseph Maddrey takes a look at some of the most iconic works of each and explores their deeper meanings, drawing on each creator’s personal history and worldview. The book, however, is not too highly intellectual, making it accessible to the average fan who is interested in learning more about their favorite scary storytellers.
Maddrey divides his writing into three parts: one essay on Romero and his Living Dead series, five chapters on Craven’s career in film, and twenty-seven entries on King’s material (including five entitled “The King of Hollywood”). Early influences and possible inspirations are cited for each story or film, and the impact they had on society is considered.
Beyond Fear provides an interesting overview, specifically when it comes to Stephen King’s prolific output and the struggles of his early career. The first 123 pages covering Romero and Craven are an interesting read, but even if they were omitted, Beyond Fear would still be well worth the reader’s time.
Day 30 – Your favorite horror film of all time…
Man, it’s difficult for me to pick a favorite anything. Food? I like pizza and hot dogs. Baseball players? I like Griffey and Sabo and Stillwell. TV show? I like “Chuck” and “Smallville.” To make me pick a favorite something is like asking me which eye I want poked out.
In a way, my selection of the original 1984 A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET brings this challenge full-circle, having selected the remake on day 1 as “a horror film no one would expect you to love, but you do.” The original has a lot going for it: one of the most recognizable modern-day monsters, a megastar actor in his pre-megastar days, a legendary writer/director, and a foundation strong enough to carry several sequels and spin-offs.
Day 09 – Your favorite exploitation / grind house type film…
The original 1972 film THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT directed by Wes Craven is one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. The remake is tame by comparison. I will not recommend this movie if you haven’t already seen it…that’s how disturbing it is. If you do watch it, just keep repeating, “It’s only a movie. Only a movie. Only a movie…”
Every year, my mom asks what she can give me for my birthday. Every year, my answer is the same: “I don’t know.” There’s not really anything I need, so I usually end up getting a gift card to Walmart or Best Buy. This year was Best Buy, and I took a trip out to the store last night.
Here’s what I bought…
Wes Craven is a horror mastermind. He is the genius behind Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. I watched The People Under The Stairs not too long ago, not realizing it was a Wes Craven movie. I’m think I saw The Serpent And The Rainbow while I was half-asleep a couple of months ago on television. And I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Shocker, but I love the soundtrack.
Poltergeist is a classic that should be in every horror fan’s collection, and I’m ashamed that it has taken so long to arrive in mine. It’s been too long since I watched it, but that will be corrected by this weekend.
I have a long history with Prom Night. The movie came out in 1980, so I was obviously too young to see it on the big screen. I was probably 7 or 8 years old when I saw part of the movie on television. Only part. This part…
I turned it off after that scene, and never saw the rest of the movie…until just now. I didn’t even know what the movie was until this September. I could describe that opening scene, but no one ever made the connection with Prom Night until I was talking about it at the ScareFest in Lexington in September.
I didn’t know Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Neilsen were in it; I didn’t know it was set around a school dance; I didn’t know anything but that opening scene. Fortunately, someone at the ScareFest was able to tell me immediately what the movie was. I looked it up on YouTube, and sure enough, that was the movie. So I bought it last night, and I’m glad I did. Although I’m not sure I’m going to be able to sleep today…that opening scene still gives me the chills.