Craven. Krueger. ‘Nuff said. Enjoy.
What can I say about the death of Wes Craven that hasn’t been said already? That he was a master of horror; which he was. That he created a character in Freddy Krueger that is as iconic and memorable as Frankenstein’s monster or Count Dracula; which he did. Was all of his movies absolute perfection in every way? No. Bad or good, though, the one thing they could never be called is boring. From Krug in The Last House on the Left to Ghostface in the Scream series of films Craven gave us characters that will not be forgotten and for that reason we will not forget him.
As tribute to Wes Craven I present to you the trailers from his many genre films. If I couldn’t find the trailer then I present to you the film in its entirety; if I couldn’t find either then I humbly apologize. Here, in chronological order, is a Friday Night at the Trailer Park tribute to the films of Wes Craven.
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972)
THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977)
STRANGER IN OUR HOUSE (TV MOVIE-1978-CLIP)
DEADLY BLESSING (1981)
SWAMP THING (1982)
INVITATION TO HELL (1984-FULL)
THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART 2 (1984)
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
CHILLER (TV MOVIE-1985-CLIP)
DEADLY FRIEND (1986)
THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988)
THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991)
WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (1994)
VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN (1995)
SCREAM 2 (1997)
SCREAM 3 (2000)
RED EYE (2005)
MY SOUL TO TAKE (2010)
SCREAM 4 (2011)
I couldn’t find a trailer or clip for the TV movie Night Visions (1990). For that, I apologize.
Rest in peace, Wes Craven; take comfort in knowing that we will not forget you.
Short and sweet: I’ve been thinking about changing the look of my blog. It’s been the same for about 2 years now and I’m getting itchy about changing it. That is where you come in. Should I change the theme entirely? Should I keep the same theme and make a few cosmetic changes? Should I leave it just the way it is?
I’ll run this for one week. Give me your input, please. Peace out…I mean-take care…and stay scared.
From A Nightmare on Elm Street:
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab your crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again.
Directed by Tobe Hooper
Teleplay by Richard Christian Matheson
Based on the short story by Richard Matheson
Pop Quiz, boys and girls; what do you get when you take an episode of Masters of Horror, directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist) and starring Jonathan Tucker(The Ruins) and Jessica Lowndes (Autopsy, The Haunting of Molly Hartley) as star-crossed lovers, and finally you throw in Mr. Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, as an eyeliner wearing, slick talking MC and toss it all into a post-apocalyptic tale written by Richard Christian Matheson, based on a story by Richard Matheson where youth run wild, blood is valued and the dead dance for our entertainment?
Answer: You get a steaming pile of nothing.
The first two episodes of Masters of Horror, flawed though they were, showed flashes of promise and kept things interesting enough to return for episode three, Dance of the Dead. This is where the series took a big step backward; and if this was only the third episode then that is not a good thing.
I don’t know what the hell has happened to Tobe Hooper over the years; but if he keeps directing crap like this then he’s going to lose the Master of Horror title he’s hanging on to so loosely. Jonathan Tucker and Jessica Lowndes have no chemistry in their roles. As for Robert Englund, I barely recognized him in the role of the MC. It wasn’t until he spoke that I knew who I was watching. Basically, Englund is playing Freddy Krueger; only without the razor fingers, the burnt face, the hat or the sweater. Take all that away and he’s pretty much playing a giant dick.
I know that I have a few friends out there who are big on post-apocalyptic cinema and the like. I admit that although I like the genre, my knowledge of it is not that extensive. However it would seem to me that one of the main ideas or points would be to have a whole lot of something happening in a world that’s become a whole lot of nothing. Dance of the Dead takes that old Billy Preston song too seriously; ‘nothing from nothing leaves nothing’.
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Wow, I’ve done ten editions of “What’s Their Best Film?” already. In that time I have received great response from some of my regular and my non-regular commentators. I’m sure that a lot of you have voiced your opinion of not what you thought a particular filmmaker’s best movie was; but listed your favorite film from said director instead. Hey, that’s cool; because in order to accurately give an opinion of a director’s best movie you would have had to have seen every film in their catalog. I love movies, but I will not and cannot watch movies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are more important things such as work, supporting a family and figuring out ways to get Honey Boo Boo off the air. Damn what an annoying kid and her equally annoying mother!
So why am I babbling on and on? I shall tell you. In the last ten editions of “WTBF?” it has been you, dear reader, who has voiced your humble opinion. Now it’s my turn to give you my opinion. I will list each director below and I will tell what I think is their best movie or my favorite movie; whatever you want to call it.
Is it any surprise that I’m going with Goodfellas for this one? In my opinion it’s the greatest gangster flick ever made.
Runner-up: Taxi Driver
Most of what Bay puts out is complete shit; but if I had to choose a movie of his to watch I’d go with Armageddon . At least it got the Criterion Collection treatment.
Psycho. It’s my favorite “Hitch” film and in my humble opinion it is also his best. The shower scene alone is worth the price of admission.
Runner-up: Rear Window
Two words: Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2, Okay, so that’s six words. That’s because these movies rock so hard they blow up two words and turn them into six!
Runner-up: Pulp Fiction
I loved Magnolia and watch it at least three times every year. There are just so many great performances in this film from Julianne Moore to John C. Reilly. Tom Cruise was robbed of an Oscar for his role as informercial sex guru Frank ‘T.J.’ Mackey.
Runner-up: Boogie Nights
Do you honestly think I would choose anything other than The Thing?
Jeff Goldblum had the role of a lifetime in Cronenberg’s vision of the George Langelaan short story The Fly. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Runner-up: The Dead Zone
BRIAN DE PALMA
Some might say Carrie, some might say Scarface; I’m going with Blow Out as De Palma’s best. Travolta’s performance is one of the key reasons Tarantino wanted him for Pulp Fiction.
Runner-up: Carrie or Scarface (tie)
I loved Short Cuts the first time I saw it and every time after that. Fantastic ensemble acting.
Not only is Sin City Rodriguez’ best film; but it is also the single most faithful adaptation of a graphic novel from page to screen that I have ever seen in my entire life. It’s also the movie that once again made a contender out of Mickey Rourke.
Runner-up: From Dusk ’til Dawn
Unforgiven is one of the greatest westerns ever made. It was directed by Clint Eastwood; who in turn learned a few tricks from one of the greatest filmmakers, Sergio Leone.
Runner-up: Million Dollar Baby or Mystic River (tie)
This is cheating, but I’m going with the entire Evil Dead trilogy for this one. Who needs Spider-man when you’ve got Ash? Bruce Campbell rocks!!
Runner-up: Spider-man 2
To be honest, I’ve only seen three Argento films: Suspiria, Mother of Tears and Opera. Of the three of those I suppose my choice for his best would be Suspiria. What a creepy and atmospheric film.
I have to go with The Wrestler on this one. I’ve been a fan of the squared circle for quite a long time and it’s the first film to take the subject matter seriously. Mickey Rourke was amazing as Randy “The Ram” Robinson.
Runner-up: Black Swan
I could be a complete asshole and go totally against the popular choice of A Nightmare on Elm Street as Craven’s best; but that would just be stupid. He gave us Freddy Fucking Krueger with this one, for crying out loud!
Runner-up: The Last House on the Left or Scream (tie)
Just as Craven brought usFreddy Krueger with his greatest film A Nightmare on Elm Street; so did Tobe Hooper bring us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Leatherface 10 years prior. Watch this movie and you’ll think twice about picking up hitchhikers and eating Texas Bar-B-Que.
It may seem like a strange choice, but I pick his remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes over High Tension (aka Haute Tension aka Switchblade Romance) as Aja’s best film. It’s close though; both movies are fucking brutal.
Runner-up: High Tension
Some people seem to love Rob Zombie’s films and other people seem to hate his films and his fucking guts. There’s no middle ground. What’s his best film? That’s easy: The Devil’s Rejects.
What have I said before? The Howling is the greatest werewolf movie ever made; so the choice here is a no-brainer.
Re-animator, of course. Those of you who disagree can get a job in a sideshow. This film brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘giving head.’
Runner-up: From Beyond
GUILLERMO DEL TORO
I haven’t seen everything by Del Toro, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil’s Backbone. It was an amazing little ghost story.
There is no question that Night of the Living Dead is Romero’s greatest film; the trouble is that Dawn of the Dead is every bit as awesome. Folks, we have a tie! Zombies everywhere have Uncle George to thank for their popularity.
Runner-up: Day of the Dead
I loved Session 9 and The Machinist on equal terms; but if I had to choose I’d have to go with the latter based simply on the strength of the performance from Christian Bale. The Machinist is a brilliant film about guilt and how it can affect us so deeply.
Runner-up: Session 9
The Exorcist. Nothing else need be said.
Runner-up: The French Connection
I choose May as McKee’s best for one simple reason: the deliciously disturbing performance from Angela Bettis. She deserved an Oscar for that movie.
Runner-up: The Woman
It’s going to take Sanchez a long time before he gets out from under the shadow of The Blair Witch Project. He’s been making heavy strides with films like Altered and Lovely Molly. Still, it is the witch who holds sway over all.
I’ve only seen one Bava film and that is Black Sunday. I do want to see more.
The same goes for Lucio Fulci and Zombie. I know, I know I need to watch more Fulci and Bava.
The man who gave us The Man with No Name. It’s hard to pick one great Leone film. A Fistful of Dollars? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Once Upon a Time in the West? Once Upon a Time in America? Nope, I just can’t do it.
There you go; my choices. Some are your choices as well and some are not. Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one and they make the world go ’round.
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Before I get started I want to get a few things out of the way. First, here is the somewhat mandatory Nostalgiathon badge:
Then there is the also somewhat mandatory link back to Andy Watches Movies and his post regarding Nostalgiathon. Don’t be afraid to click it.
Okay, now that that’s all out of the way I can get down to this business of nostalgia. What is nostalgia, exactly? To me, nostalgia is when we fondly remember the good things about our past that we are never going to experience again. Maybe it was Sunday dinner with the entire family in one room; eating, laughing and communicating about the events of the day. Maybe it was your first kiss from your first girlfriend or boyfriend. It’s always the good things we remember and look back on with fond remembrance. You never hear someone say “Do you remember when Uncle Ted was working under the car and the engine fell on him and Aunt Gracie didn’t find him until three hours later? *Sigh* those were the days.”
So, what was a nostalgic time for me? I don’t think it was so much a time as it was a friend and a mutual adoration that our elementary and junior high school brains shared for all things horror. His name was T.J. Johnson; and every Saturday, and later Sunday, I would be glued to my TV as Shock Theater and the monsters that I first feared but soon grew to love would play out their macabre adventures before my eyes. It was here that I first made acquaintances with Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Fly, The Invisible Man and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. My parents couldn’t understand why I loved these ghouls so much, but that was because they didn’t understand that to a boy who was smaller than most and picked on constantly by his larger peers that these monsters were the bodyguards that I had always dreamed of. With that much said, let’s fast forward to Monday morning and homeroom.
Monday was the best day of the week. It was the day that T.J. and I could compare notes and wax on and on about the movies that we both knew the other had watched over the weekend.
“You see it when Frankenstein killed Igor?”
“Did you hear the screams as she ripped the hood from the Fly’s head?”
“Man that was sure cool seeing that guy turn into the Wolf Man!”
On and on we would go. It was because of T.J. that I discovered a love for the trivia behind the scenes. I began to devour, at first, issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland and later Fangoria and now the latter magazine and Rue Morgue and HorrorHound magazine. The Universal Monsters gave way to Hammer Films and Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as his arch-nemesis Van Helsing. Oliver Reed howled with the Curse of the Werewolf and Herbert Lom was the lonely Phantom lurking beneath the streets of London. Then as seasons change and people live and die then again these monsters would give way to the violent and silent Leatherface and Michael Myers, the undying and relentless Jason Voorhees and the razor sharp knives and wit of Freddy Krueger. I ramble on and on and I apologize; but what I am trying to say is that though the monsters may have changed and the movies may be color instead of black and white and we see the blood and the gore instead of just imagining it is that my love for horror all started with a long canceled TV show, Shock Theater, and a long unseen friend, T.J. Johnson.
I lost touch with T.J. in the ninth grade. I can’t tell him about all the great horror movies or about my life and its ups and downs and about the wonderful woman that I call my wife and best friend. I don’t know whether he’s alive or dead. I like to think that he reads my blog and say ‘hey, I remember that guy.’ If he is then I just want to say thanks for some good fuckin’ times.
So, there you go; that’s what nostalgia means to me.
Take care and stay scared.
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