Wes Craven: The Man and his Nightmares

Wes Craven: The Man and his Nightmares

John Wooley

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0470497505

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The life and film genius of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream director Wes Craven

Wes Craven is one of the most successful and iconic horror movie directors in Hollywood. His masterful examination of the nightmarish nexus of dreams and reality helped spark a career that has spanned close to forty years. Then, with their mix of horror, sex, and humor, Craven's Scream movies helped revitalize the slasher film genre.

  • An absorbing portrait of cult film director Wes Craven's life and career in film
  • Draws on the author's new interviews with Craven, including little-known details about the director's life and work
  • Insights into the making of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and the Scream films—the #1 horror franchise of all time
  • Fascinating stories about the director's work with a range of producers, screenwriters, and actors, including Robert Englund
  • Publication timing ties in with the release of Scream 4


If you've ever had nightmares about Freddy Krueger or psychopaths wearing Halloween scream masks, or if want to know more about the director behind the new Scream 4, this is one book you simply have to read.

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much of a jump to hear Isaiah's fire-and-brimstone pronouncements as echoes of the pulpit-pounding preachers Craven listened to in his youth and to see Jim Schmidt's life among the Hittites as something based on Craven's own experience. Craven mused, some thirty years after Deadly Blessing's 1981 release: I think [fundamentalist] religion is always floated around in there, with crosses on the wall and so forth, just because that's a part of how I was raised. I've never felt, necessarily, that

seemed to fear going to sleep because they were afraid to enter the world of their dreams. Craven explained it in a 1988 Rolling Stone interview with Mikal Gilmore: None of these men were related by family or even by locale [by some accounts, they were all Southeast Asian immigrants], though they all had similar events happen to them; they would have a disturbing nightmare that was beyond anything they'd ever experienced before; they would tell their families about it; and they would attempt not

he’d played a boarding-house bully. Pileggi, who would find more lasting fame as FBI agent Walter Skinner in TV’s The X-Files (1993–2002), was plenty convincing as Pinker, a maniacal television repairman with a distinctive limp. (It’s implied, although never explicitly stated, that the banks of televised images relentlessly driven into his brain are what have ultimately taken him around the bend and into serial killing.) By the time the picture starts, Pinker’s been at it for months, murdering

Hardy Boys TV star Shaun Cassidy, who was given an executive-producer credit along with Craven, the pilot episode starred Ms. George, Fab Filippo, and Bodhi Elfman, who had been seen briefly in one of the TV scenes in Shocker. Only the initial sixty-minute show exists, and although some sources credit Craven as the director, the Hollyweird pilot was actually helmed by Jefery Levy, best known to genre fans as the producer and the writer of 1985's Ghoulies. Done at the behest of the Fox network,

especially in its final act, emerges as a shining example of the benefits of arts education, which is still usually the first thing to get the ax from school boards when times turn hard. Reviews were generally very good, sometimes running under headlines that emphasized Craven's reputation as a purveyor of horror. “Shifting from Blood and Guts to Hearts and Brains” topped Malanowski's New York Times piece, while that paper's positive review (by Janet Maslin, who tended to treat Craven well) was

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