‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ rights have returned to Wes Craven’s estate. This gotta be a good thing, yes?

nightmare on elm street rights wes craven

I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to Nightmare on Elm Street. I’ve only recently watched the first three installments. But, I’ll tell you something. I fucking love them. Thus, I’m pretty stoked the creator’s estate have regained the rights.

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Master of Horror Wes Craven has passed away at age 76

Wes Craven.

Wes Craven has passed away at the age of 76, after a battle with brain cancer. What a goddamn bummer. The man is behind some of the greatest horror movies of all time, and certainly the inspiration for countless great ones to come. Let us remember the lad well. What was your favorite movie of his?

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As I write, I’m sitting in a plastic chair that faces the leaf-painted lawn my parents spend all spring & summer trying to protect. “Sorry `rents,” I laugh inside my head, “but even Home Depot’s finest lawn-care products can’t ward off Mother Nature. That bitch is nasty!”

The wind just picked up, tossing over a few of the aforementioned leaves and inspiring my obese pooch to tilt his head upward. I see his snout quiver ever so slightly and he squints as the breeze fills his lungs. Maybe I really am starting to turn into a hippie, but I think Stryder’s got it right. He’s not worried about the recession, or the perpetuation of the military-industrial complex, or even whether or not his DVR is going to save tonight’s Californication. No, this motherfucker is just glad to be.

Since I’m particularly struck by the  dog today, I’ve decided to let him choose the OCTOBERFEAST entry. I mean, he’s just a dog so I let him make a choice from my tentative list. I was going to write about any topic of his choosing, but he wasn’t willing to budge:

Pepsibones: Hey, what should I post about today?

Stryder: Isn’t there some Halloween movie where every scene includes a cat being brutally murdered?

Pepsibones: Nah, I don’t think so man.

Stryder: Hrm…I’m pretty sure there is.

Pepsibones: Well, I’ve never heard of it.

Stryder: Really? C’mon, you know what I’m talking about. It’s that movie by the director, and in every scene a stupid cat gets just  what he fucking deserves.

Pepsibones: I don’t know.

Stryder: …Well, what if I give you a script that I wrote and you enter that into the OCTOBERFEAST?

It went on for about a half an hour. Seriously.

Anyways, Stryder finally made a decision and thus the OCTOBERFEAST will continue upon its magnificent voyage.

Stryder the Dog contemplates OCTOBERFEAST

Stryder the Dog contemplates OCTOBERFEAST

Today, we hit the rest stop known as Scream.

I’m not sure why, but I’m under the impression that the 1996 film is the object of much hatred. I understand why one may dislike the series as a whole, as Scream is a satire of the horror/slasher genre and its penchant for producing subpar sequels. But Scream itself? A great movie.

Penned by the master of 1990’s horror, Kevin Williamson, Scream is a slasher flick with a brain. While trying to avoid being stabbed to death, Neve Campbell (remember her?) and her friends realize just how similar their situation is to a horror movie. As a result, they come up with all sorts of strangely self-aware theories about how they should behave. Jamie Kennedy, in an awesome performance as a hardcore video-store clerk/nerd, lays out the rules:

Perhaps I’m just a sucker for the 1990’s and its finer moments. More accurately, I am a sucker for metafiction, and Scream certainly dabbles in that area. So if you want to chalk up the appreciation for Scream to that, feel free.

But even stripping away the self-referential aspect, the plot is noteworthy: you have a killer who calls you on the phone (in the days before Caller-ID), quizzes you about movies, and then stabs you to death. It’s fucking fantastic. The death scenes are exciting and full of gore, executed lethally (cheesy pun intended).

What really makes me root for the movie is that it takes some chances. There’re some recognizable names in Scream and not all of them make it out alive. In fact, Barrymore doesn’t even make it out of the first scene. While I was only ten when I saw it for the first time, I remember that Scream kept me guessing throughout.

Oh, and I completely forgot to mention — Wes Craven directed this movie. Sure, he isn’t Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, Tarantino, PT Anderson or Ridley Scott — but as far as horror movies go, he’s a force.

Forget the fact that it spawned the reprehensible Scary Movie series and the terribly played-out “ghost-face” costume. Scream is a good movie and you should include it in your personal OCTOBERFEAST celebration.