Tag Archives: Freddy Kreuger

Hudson Horror Show XIII

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After really enjoying the last showing 6 months ago, I knew I had to come I’d come back.

The lineup for the film festival consisted of “Dolomite,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Jaws 2,” “Nightbreed” and two mystery films.

Like last time, there were vendors with a myriad of horror DVDs, Blu-Rays, VHS tapes, t-shirts and signs. This time however, the Hudson Horror Show vendors had a larger variety of other items including comics and vinyl. The film festival also had exhibits such a model shark from Jaws that you could get pictures with.

I met up with some friends and purchased DVD copies of the films “Slaughterhouse” and “555” as well as a Blu-Ray of “Corruption” (which comes with the exploitation classic “Last House on Dead End Street!”). At around 12:15 p.m.  the mystery movie played. While I can’t reveal what it was I will say it was very enjoyable crap. After that came an intermission and then the first of the revealed films.

Dolomite

“Dolomite” is an iconic blaxplotation film (and one of the best). Starring stand-up comedian Rudy Ray Moore, the film is about a pimp named Dolomite who is let out of prison and hired to catch a bunch of notorious criminals. The film is very sleazy and humorous with the word “motherfucker” being said in every other scene. A good place to start for those looking into the blaxplotation genre along with “Shaft” and “Coffy.”

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The next feature was this well-known horror flick. For the two people that don’t know, the film is about a killer named Freddy Kreuger (played by fellow horror icon Robert Englund). Unlike your average serial killer, Kreuger is a demonic spirit that haunts people’s dreams. If he kills you in your dream, you die in real life. While trying to stop this from happening, the main protagonist Nancy finds out more about Krueger and his connection to the parents of her and her friends.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a horror classic. Kreuger’s mix of sadistic insanity and silly one-liners made the character a horror behemoth and England a legend to this day. Then-unknown Johnny Depp’s death scene remains a staple to the franchise and help project his career into the stratosphere. While I’d already seen the film several times it was nice to watch it again as it had been awhile.

Jaws 2

The following film was “Jaws 2” – a film with as much notoriety as the previous one.

Before the movie started a man by the name of Louis Pisano gave a short lecture on his book “Jaws 2: The making of a Hollywood Sequel.” The book is about pretty much everything there is to talk about in “Jaws 2” and how it was the first Hollywood sequel.

While not as good as the first, “Jaws 2” is still great. The film is pretty much just a direct follow up that tried to one-up the original in every way. Any fan of the first film would most likely enjoy this one as well.

After this film I started to head out. As much as I love “Nightbreed” and was curious to see what the last mystery film was, I was getting tired and it was getting late. On the way out I ran into Pisano and ordered his book off him (which I eventually plan to review) but that is something for another time.

My Experience with the Works of Wes Craven (Part 2)

It’s been two weeks since the Horror community lost one of its pillars in the iconic form of director Wes Craven to brain cancer at age 76.

Here is part two of our tribute to the legendary filmmaker (click here for part one).

Deadly Friend

Another film I’ve seen thanks to Guy and Angie. We found this on a now removed streaming site called AllUC. The site had many films on it including several cult horror films from the 70’s and 80’s. Knowing this was a more obscure Craven film we decided to watch it.

The movie is about a young child prodigy who’s best friend is a robot he built named BB. He has a crush on his neighbor Samantha who’s father abuses her. The two decide to play a prank on a crazy old lady from their neighborhood that goes wrong. BB ends up being destroyed and Samantha gets pushed down the stairs by her dad, leaving her brain dead. Doing what any normal teenager would do in this situation, he puts BB’s chip in Samantha’s brain to bring them both back. Although the experiment works, Samantha isn’t quite the way she used to be.

This movie is as cheesy as it sounds. When we first saw this the three of us thought this film was a great underrated work by the master. Looking back, the film is pretty bad – but in a fun way. The concept brings stupid to new levels and the kills are hilariously bad (including the infamous dodgeball scene). Originally the film was going to be more of a Sci-Fi film driven by its story. Hopefully one day that cut will show up.

The Serpent and The Rainbow

This was always a film I’ve heard of. Although I never knew anything about the plot, it was a title that stuck out. One day I saw that Chiller was showing it. Naturally, I decided to watch it.

The film is about a man named Bill Pulman (Dennis Alan) who goes to Haiti after hearing rumors of people coming back from the dead. This is very different from Craven’s normal work. The film is surreal, atmospheric and isn’t really based around gore. Nor does it have the amount of tongue-in-cheek humor Craven’s films tend to have.The film is also based on a true story which made it seem bizarre to me. I love learning about weird real-life stories so that aspect got me hooked. I admired that the film showcased a more intelligent style from this director. My mom recently bought a cheap copy of it for herself from Walmart as she remembered this was a film she really liked.

Shocker

Yet another film I watched with Guy and Angie. Being bigger Horror collectors then me, those two would always end up with new additions to their collections almost every week.

The film is about a psychotic TV repairman who is turned in to the police by a football player. He is then put on death row. Before he is killed in the electric chair he sells his soul to Satan. This causes him to become one with electricity and gives him the ability to travel through power lines, TVs and even people.

I found this film to be very silly but in a fun way. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all. The second half of the movie is where it really gets weird, but I won’t spoil anything.

The People Under the Stairs

My mom was searching through eBay for a film she remembered from childhood about little people coming from under stairs and taking people away. She mistakenly thought it was the film called “The People Under The Stairs.”  Upon watching we find out she mixed the title up with a different movie.

The film is about a young kid in the ghetto named Fool. When attempting to rob the house of his family’s insane landlords, Fool, along with two others, get trapped in their house. They then face the horrors inside and learn some very dark secrets. The landlords themselves are an incestuous brother and sister who are really over the top.There are also themes of child abduction and abuse. One would think this is a throwback to Craven’s exploitation days, but this film has a more comical tone then his earlier works.

To this day this is one of my favorite Craven films and one I recommend it to those who want to explore him beyond his obvious works.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

After buying the “Nightmare on Elm Street collection I would watch one or two of them every day after school. I enjoyed part two even if it was little weird. Three was my favorite of the sequels. Four, five and six I found to be pretty weak. The only one left was “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.”

I was a little worried since three of the films in a row were crap and the concept almost sounded like a spoof. Part of me was excited since it was Craven back in the director’s chair.

The film is about Craven (as himself) and the cast members of his films (also as themselves) having their dreams invaded by Freddy Kreuger from outside of the movie world. Though the concept may seem a little silly this is the darkest Freddy film to date. Unlike the other “Nightmare films, he is not portrayed comically at all.

I fucking love this film.

I found this darker updated version of Freddy to be pretty cool. It is my third favorite in the series.

Scream 1 and 2 

While first getting big into Horror (collecting in 8th grade) I’d go on eBay and look up horror films I’d heard were supposed to be good.

I saw a lot that contained “The Howling,” the first two “Scream” movies, a film I hadn’t have heard of called “The Last Broadcast” and “Friday the 13th Part Seven.” I’d eventually watch all of these films. “The Howling would end up being my all-time favorite werewolf movie, I had seen “Friday” before and loved it and “The Last Broadcast was pretty cool and not what I expected at all.

Then there were the Scream films. “Scream” is a pretty well known movie about a killer in a ghost face mask who goes around killing people – but before he kills them he gives them horror trivia.

The film is very meta and full of self references and jokes about the slasher genre. The film is kinda TOO meta especially considering it is set in reality.

If this was a weird surrealist film or a parody film like “The Naked Gun” trilogy this might have worked. To me it just came off as hipster shit.

The film’s influence was even worse as a good chunk of mid 90’s-early 2000 Horror was filmed to the brim with “Scream” clones. I had the same feelings about the sequel which had a similar plot. I never saw the remaining two and have no interest.This would be the point where Horror fans said Craven had sold out. While I don’t like most of his post “New Nightmare” stuff I don’t blame this franchise on him but on writer Kevin Williamson. I have yet to see a film with that name I like.

Cursed

Seeing previews for this I was little excited.

Having only known Craven for Freddy at the time and seeing his name in previews made me want to see said films.

My Dad would buy the bootleg of this from that same guy in the city who he bought “The Hills Have Eyes” of off.

The film stars Christinia Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg as two siblings who get attacked by a werewolf. They then start turning every full moon and try to find out who bit them to end this curse.

This movie absolutely sucks.

The writing (which no surprise is by Williamson), the acting , the plot, everything in this movie is horrible. There is no atmosphere. This couldn’t scare an agoraphobic five-year-old. All of the characters are annoying. To think this is the same guy who brought us many classics in the past is amazing.

Red Eye

The same year as “Cursed,” Craven would release another film called “Red Eye.”

I remember seeing previews for this that didn’t detail what it was about. All it showed was a woman talking to a man on a plane then one of his eyes would flicker red before the title appeared.

I didn’t see this in theaters but sometime after it went to DVD I rented it from Blockbuster (remember those?).

The film is about a woman who meets a mysterious man on a plane. She then ends up getting kidnapped and is forced into a plot to kill a politician. If she refuses her father will die.

This movie was surprisingly good. The style was different from Craven’s norm. More of a Hitchcock style Thriller than Horror, “Red Eye’s” moments were very intense and you worried for the girl the entire time.

Out of the post “New Nightmare Craven films, this is the only one I’ve seen that I enjoyed. I have not seen “My Soul To Take,” but have heard nothing but bad things about it and “Music of the Heart” does not look like my kind of film. All in all, Craven is someone who was important to me as a Horror fan and will be missed.

My Experience With the Works of Wes Craven

Last Sunday, Horror icon and director Wes Craven died of brain cancer at age 76. Like John Carpenter and George A Romero, Craven was one of the most important Horror directors of all time.

“The Last House on the Left,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream” (even though I don’t like the latter) all left their mark on the Horror genre and have influenced countless other films.

Here I will go into my experiences with his directorial work (take note I have not seen every film he’s ever done).

The Last House on the Left 

Back when I was in High School my local mall had a Borders. It was an awesome book store with tons of books and a decent-sized movie section. I had always heard of this film from reading about Craven’s works and from my mom who is also a Horror fan. I had also always heard that this film was widely controversial and as a mid teenager, that made me want to see it more. I eventually saw a copy at this particular Borders and without hesitation, I picked it up and watched it as soon as I got home.

The film is about two girls on their way to a rock concert that are kidnapped by four thugs and are raped,tortured and eventually murdered.

The thug’s car later breaks down in front of the house of an old couple who let them stay the night. Little do they know that this couple happens to be the parents of the two girls.

I loved this film. I loved how fucked up and violent the way the girls are tortured and in the way the main villains die. David Hess was great as Krug – the head of the thugs and the characters were mostly very fun. The explicit content helped tell the story and wasn’t there for just shock value. The film is loosely Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s “The Virgin Spring (a great film that’s more of a Drama than a Horror) in plot. The film spawned many rip-offs including ones that would have Hess in the same role (“Hitchhike” and “The House on the Edge of the Park”).

The Hills Have Eyes

In 2006 I was still in my early stages of becoming a full-fledged Horror fan. I remember seeing trailers for a movie called “The Hills Have Eyes”. It looked very cool to me.

My dad at the time was working in New York City and would buy bootleg movies off of a guy he knew. After his shift, he brought home a bootleg copy of the film and we watched it. We both found it to be very fun and pretty damn brutal.

Around that same time I used to hang out a lot with a brother and sister named Guy and Angie who were the biggest Horror fans I knew. They recommended I check out the original and that Craven had directed it. That next weekend I went over their place and watched the original with them. Eventually I picked it up at a local Rite Aid during a Halloween Season.

The film is about a family whose car breaks down in a desert in the middle of nowhere. They are then attacked by a family of inbred cannibals. The parents are killed and the child of the oldest daughter and her boyfriend is captured. The daughter and her brother stay behind while the boyfriend goes out to find the baby and fight these inbreds.

Like the previous film, this movie is very raw and violent as this was Craven’s exploitation era. Though most people I know liked the remake, I preferred this version. The remake was great but this just felt more like what I love from horror films. The two movies are very similar with the only major difference being the origins of the cannibals. In the remake they are a community of people mutated from nuclear testing instead of an inbred family. Not only do I recommend both versions, I also suggest you stay away from both sequels as well.

Swamp Thing 

I have always known about the Swamp Thing character.  My friend Isaac showed me some of the comics (which I thought were cool) as well as hearing from Guy and Angie that the comic series is the first appearance of Hellblazer’s John Constantine.

I always knew this movie existed but never took the time to check it out (mostly because I was a teenager with no job). Then one day Isaac got a copy and invited me over to watch it, claiming it was the best Craven film.

“Swamp Thing”  is about a scientist named Alec Holland who is working on a chemical that can merge animal and plant life. He is sabotaged by the evil Anton Arcane who causes a freak accident that turns him into Swamp Thing. He ends up helping a woman named Alice Cable and uses his new found abilities to fight Arcane and his followers.

While I did disagree on this being Craven’s best, (and still do) I enjoyed it a lot and to this day consider it to be the most underrated DC movie out there.

This film appears in horror sections all the time but I wouldn’t call it a horror film. It’s more along the lines of a Sci-Fi/Action movie although the film still feels like it was made by Craven. I would later pick up a copy for myself last year when the store I work at added a movie shelf. It came in a pack with the other classics “Return of the Living Dead,” “A Bucket of Blood” and “Frogs”.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

My Horror journey started when I was in middle school. While I have always had an interest in Horror and have always had ones I’ve seen that I like (such as “Carrie” and “The Shining”), I was still more focused on playing video games and watching anime on Toonami.

Then around the seventh grade, my mom started buying Horror films she remembered loving. These includes such classics as “Pet Cemetery,” “Beyond the Door” and “Fright Night.” I fell in love with the Horror genre and felt the need to see all the classics.

Some time later Isaac and I were at an FYE looking at the VHS tapes (yeah, the good ol’ days). I picked up “Friday the 13th Part III,” “The Thing” and this film. After having a fun time watching some hockey masked massacres we put in “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

For the two people that don’t already know, the film is about a killer named Freddy Kreuger (played by fellow Horror icon Robert Englund). Unlike your average serial killer, Kreuger is a demonic spirit that haunts people’s dreams. If he kills you in your dream, you die in real life. While trying to stop this from happening, the main protagonist Nancy finds out more about Krueger and his connection to the parents of her and her friends.

This film is a horror classic. Kreuger’s mix of sadistic insanity and silly one-liners made the character a Horror behemoth to this day and made England a star. Johnny Depp’s death scene remains a staple to the franchise and help project his career into the stratosphere. Seeing this movie made me want to check out the sequels and eventually I would get the Nightmare Boxed set with all the films except “Freddy vs Jason” (which I have no reason to own anyway).

The Hills Have Eyes Part 2

As a random gift, Isaac decided to buy this for me when he saw it for real cheap. I popped it in when I got home the next day (even though I knew this film was an infamously bad one).

“The Hills Have Eyes Part 2” is about a group of bikers which include the youngest son from the first film, the daughter of the cannibal family (who is now a regular person as well as a blind psychic because, why not?) and a black guy who gets kicked in the balls every other scene he’s in (because that’s funny, right?).The team decides to race where the events of the original film took place.They are then attacked by some of the cannibals from the first film.

This movie sucks.

The first part is made up of mostly flashbacks from the original, including a flash back from the dog (not making this up). While part one was awesome, part two is not scary at all. Part two is full of wooden acting, terribly unfunny jokes and scenes that make you wonder “what were they thinking?.” The remake had a sequel that was pretty bad too but not as bad as this. Craven would later admit he only made this film because he needed the money.

As is tradition with Horror, there’s always a sequel. Keep checking back for part 2 of this tribute to one of the masters of terror.