a Nightmare on elm street

August 31, 2015

RIP Wes Craven 1939-2015

1939-2015
What can be said about a man that created nightmares….
We lost a legend on August 30st 2015 as Wes Craven was removed form this mortal coil, but he will live on in the minds and hearts of horror fans everywhere. We at Simplistic Reviews say this sucks and….well….it sucks.
While his filmography has had its series of ups-and-downs, there is no denying his influence on not just the horror genre, but film in general.
While this is just one man’s opinion, but of course it’s the right one, here is my Top Five List Wes Craven Films:
5.  The People Under the Stairs (1991)
An outlier in his filmography, but also one of his most out of the box horror efforts. Always one to make a social message, Craven chose “Stairs” to talk about income inequality and the failure of Reaganomics in the inner city. There are also tones of child abuse and the breakdown of the seemingly All-American Family in the suburbs. This also one of the first screen appearances by Ving Rhames and there are scenes of nice tension and of course gore. People think “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream” when they think of Craven, but “Stairs” is certainly one of his strongest efforts.
4. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
Do you want a creepy voodoo story, look no further than “The Serpent and the Rainbow.” Filmed in the Dominican Republic due to political turmoil in Haiti, Craven weaves a tale about “real” zombies and includes the corruption and political strife that was gripping Haiti at the time into the storytelling. By no means is this film perfect, but it is perfectly unsettling and the trippy visuals add a lot of style.
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
I wrestled with this decision as I understand that normally its sacrilegious to not make “A Nightmare on Elm Street” the guaranteed number one on any Wes Craven list, but hey, its not my number one. The creation of Freddy Krueger is one of the most iconic in not just horror history, but in film itself. At the time the concept of a monster that you couldn’t hide from, even in your dreams, was revolutionary and all but perfected the slasher genre. My one big gripe, and this is only recently, and after watching “Never Sleep Again” is the way the ending was changed in order to create a create a series of films as opposed to just one great horror film. Mind you, just my opinion, but the sequels do play into my overall opinion of the film itself.
2. Scream 2 (1997)
Yes, it’s true, I prefer “Scream 2” to the original. While “Scream” reinvigorated the horror genre and pretty created a new wave in slasher cinema, “Scream 2” used the template used and made a sequel worthy of the original. There are old faces and new faces and a good twist that kept the “Scream” mythology going for two more sequels.
1. New Nightmare (1994)
The beginning of self-referential Craven was “New Nightmare” a love letter to all “Nightmare” fans. Much of the whole of the original cast shows up in cameos, and Heather Langenkamp shines in a role that made her a star 20 years before this film. You could see Craven took all he learned from his years as a horror director/writer and put his heart and soul into something that he held dear for so many years despite the sour taste I’m sure he had in his mouth in the years following the original film.
  
October 31, 2013

This is Halloween: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 Dream Warriors: Imaginative

96mins/Horror/1987

This is it guys and girls!

This is the film that introduced me to horror and Freddy. Two loves that will never die for me. I remember that day, it was a cold rainy day and me and my family went to a farmers market early that morning. I walked around couldn’t find a damn thing to buy, but I knew I wanted to buy something thou nothing had peaked my interest.

I began to check out a collection of VHS’s that seem to just collect dust.

Then a beat up VHS cover came my way…

That is what I saw, and I was never the same again. I asked my mom, since it was rated R and I was like 6, she obliged; lucky for me! I went home holding the shit out of that VHS counting the time to when we would get home. It was getting late so once everyone went to bed and my tracking on the VHS player cleaned up that damn picture I begin to watch the film that would make me into a man that faithfully night!

Dream Warriors is the 3rd film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series, raking as one of the stronger Freddy films. This film is the one with the “puppet strings”. My favorite kill on Freddy’s slasher list and yes its a gory film if you didn’t know, maybe the most out of all the Nightmares. This time around the the victims fight back using their own dreams to create a force Freddy has yet to see. This is a interesting turn in the films that really makes it stand out. Almost everyone agrees possibly the best sequel in the franchise.

Chuck Russell (The Mask, Eraser, The Scorpion King) does a fantastic job as Director. Sure its a bit goofy, gory and somewhat cheesy but its hands down one of the best entertainment bang for your buck of films in years. Its a film I would watch with friends and never get bored with the repeats we had with that one old beat up tape.

May 6, 2013

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Catchphrase

A Nightmare on Elm Street – Catchphrase

Say what you will about the horror genre, but from Dracula to Jigsaw, no other genre has given the movie-going audience more endearing, beloved, and downright frightening characters in the history of film.  Some of the most recognizable characters come out of the 1980s Slasher Film boom, and without a doubt, while I give Jason Voorhees a heaping helping of blood-soaked credit, you still have to give it up to Wes Craven and his greatest creation, Freddy Krueger from 1984’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

“Nightmare” is the tale of a group of high school friends, including a young Johnny Depp, as they are plagued by the vengeful spirit of child murderer Freddy Krueger, who haunts their dreams.  One by one the teens are dispatched in often-graphic ways while they sleep.  While the plot might seem a little more far-fetched than your standard slasher film, that was the touchstone for “Nightmare.”  While still in it’s infancy, the slasher genre received a huge shot in the arm and deviated from the traditional “killer in a mask” scenario that was popularized by “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween.”  It was fresh, new, and terrifying.

What John Carpenter did to William Shatner masks, is what Craven did to fedoras and Christmas sweaters, he made them scary.  What also works for Craven was the timing of creating Freddy.  While Michael Meyers and Jason were scary, they didn’t talk.  With Freddy, we got a walking, talking boogey man who haunted us in our most sacred of places; our bed and dreams.  Dreams are supposed to be a safe haven, especially for kids.  We should be able to control our dreams, and escape from the daily grind of life.  But Freddy pretty much takes a piss on that notion, and whether its beds that eat you, or stairs that give way to quicksand, the Springwood Slasher was always there to haunt you.

Craven, usually known for some type of social or political statement in many of his films, created “Nightmare” with a fairly basic premise, by horror movie standards, but he did just enough to separate it from what people had been used to from the previous six years (using 1978’s  “Halloween” as a landmark).

While the sequels got goofier and goofier, and Freddy pretty much became the poster-boy for bad horror movie puns, the original “Nightmare” still stands as one of the most lasting horror films produced in the last 25 years.  The later sequels, including the fantastic “Freddy vs. Jason,” tried to really squeeze out a plot about a town conspiracy involving Freddy, the use of the sleep drug Hypnocil, and of course “A Dream Child,” worked for the jokes, but nothing else.  While I do appreciate the fact that the writers attempted to make sense and legitimized the series, what people really want is for Freddy to say a line or two, whip out his clawed glove, and killer teen stars from the 1980s.

On this “National Nightmare Day” (actually famed psychologist Sigmund Freud’s birthday) pop in your Blu-Ray, or even better, your VHS, slid on your favorite Christmas sweater, shout a one-liner, and enjoy “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”  And after you get done with that, creep over to Slaughterfilm.com for more hot Freddy action with their video review of the genre classic.

See you in your nightmares!

October 22, 2012

31 Nights Of Halloween, Shocker

Shocker: Mess

The Idea is fun, The Content is weak

This is a review and also a questionnaire if anyone knows the answers to. I have so many question on this film. The first time I ever knew about this film was at the dollar store years ago. I had found the soundtrack there for just a dollar and thought it would be a cool film to watch. After listening to the disk I just had to watch this film, which brought up a ton of question. Never has a film left me with so many questions before.
“I eat this wimp’s will power for breakfast, John-bo.” Let me say first I know its a comedy-horror hybrid. It just doesn’t work for me this time around. Peter Bergs acting is not the greatest, lets just say that. Mitch Pileggi is the only reason to watch this poorly made film. Wes Craven is a favorite of mine mostly do to, A Nightmare on Elm Street, a horror masterpiece (In my opinion). This film isn’t even close to good let alone a masterpiece. Craven seems to wanna recreate that magic that was on Elm Street and as well as a new franchise. By trying to recreate, they created a film that so bloated it seems they tried every idea they could think of. It’s almost 2hrs long and thats way too long for this film, just way too long. The idea is so stretched out it gives stretch armstrong a run for this money. That line there might of been bad, but its nowhere near the cheesy dialogue in this film.

Here is a film that knows its not suppose to be good (at least I think so) and goes with it. Only redeeming value is watching this with friends do to its stupidity, other then that is hard to watch by yourself. 

The scene that sticks out for me, is the Park scene, in which we get a odd “gun shooting count”.
This is how it goes…
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12
(Reloads)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
(Reloads)
Throws Gun
New Gun
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
“It’s no good, Pinker; Alison told me the secret. Maybe you *were* my father, but you know who my father is now? You know who’s responsible for me? Me; no one else.”(Spoilers if you care ahead!)

Side notes: Nobody seems to care that there is a cop trying to kill a kid at this park. Also the children continue to play as gun shots ring out. And why does Jonathan seem to be running in a circle that whole time? Really lets just say, the whole direction of this film is a Mess. Doing this creates many plot-holes and makes the movie not a movie but a joke. The script needs a line of time to stay on its course, like a train on a track. The film seems to have its scenes written individually, thrown in a bag then picked out one by one for the film. This makes things tough to follow and allows the viewer to really not care. As you watch this film things just pop up for no reason, like Alison talking from the dead, did I miss something? And the damn necklace that Jonathan gives to her, apparently it has a bit magic, how? And didn’t he get rid of the necklace 6ft under? How did it come back from being 6ft under? 

“It smells like the goddamn electric chair in here.” 
So as I watch this film I asked myself, if Pinker is apparently Jonathan’s father, then why is he trying to kill his own son? Because his son shot Pinker in the leg? Seems a bit much I think. Also why the hell is Jonathan so damn hard to kill? Because Jonathan doesn’t seem so bright, I mean he does run in circles as Pinker tries to kill him. Oh and I don’t think anyone will disagree on this one, but Jonathan’s adapted father is a idiot. Why was he written so badly? He doesn’t realize anything, even when Jonathan proves to him he knows things that can help catch Pinker, he keeps shooting down his adapted kid who knows things he shouldn’t know.

How could he travel into bodys, because of the devil worshiping he did? Is that why he can’t die? And how can Jonathan see into the future? I found it funny the cops have to read the miranda rights from a piece of paper, they don’t know it by heart yet?

And why was finding one killer so difficult? Seriously they had a shitty group of police in that town.
Why? Why? Why?
Maybe I just don’t remember, but I do believe they didn’t explain this stuff. Hey possibly I had passed out or something because I’ve never had so many question after watching a movie.
Listen I usually don’t care so much about stupid films like this, I really like stupid horror films for the comedy side of it but this film had too many questions on this one.

Like I said in the beginning watch it with friends or if you can’t sleep one night pop it in.

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