Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep...
A Nightmare on Elm Street was first released in 1984 by New Line Cinema, being written and directed by Wes Craven. Since its inception, it has spawned seven sequels, a TV series and a remake of the original film. It has also managed to invoke more fandom and fanaticism than any other horror franchise in history.
As an extremely avid movie geek, I too have been a part of that fandom since I was an eight year old just getting into movies. I owned all of the films on VHS and bought all of the magazines, posters, comics and soundtracks that I could get my hands on. Like most people, I also had the obligatory Halloween costume: the hat, sweater and glove combination. I even went so far as trying to build my own Freddy glove out of soda cans, steak knives and work gloves. I was later amused to find out that I wasn’t the only one doing these things. People from all over the world have been constructing Freddy gloves in their basements and garages and selling them over the internet for many years. There haven’t been too many film franchises that have driven people to this seemingly maniacal and obsessive behavior, and that level of fandom shouldn’t be taken for granted. [Read on here...]
You have to give it to European filmmakers. They might not have always made effective horror films, but they usually always tried to inject some style or subtlety into them. I’m not saying that they weren’t capable filmmakers. They were, but they just didn’t always quite hit the mark when it came to something that would scare or disgust an audience. Some managed to pull it off, but others fell by the wayside. Filmmakers like Jean Rollin and Jess Franco were two of those hit or miss type filmmakers. Both men were more interested in pushing sexuality in their films while the framework wasn’t given as much attention. It all goes hand in hand with where you come from and what your passion is as a filmmaker.
"His name was Jason..."
When it comes to the slasher sub-genre of horror films, it's difficult to find any that are unique and bring something new to the table. Most of the ones that came out of the early 1970's and throughout the 1980's followed a particular formula: teens go into woods; teens drink & do drugs; teens have sex; teens get slaughtered. That pretty much sums up the genre, more or less. Immortalizing that formula was the Friday the 13th franchise, a series of films made specifically to cash in on the success of the original and annually provide entertainment for horror fans.
Since the holidays are here and chances are very good that a lot of us will be gathered around the TV for some entertainment after stuffing ourselves silly, here are some reviews of a couple of high-class (but clean) Blu-ray titles that everyone can enjoy: Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times and The Great Dictator.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and please be careful when you go out shopping for those awesome Black Friday deals this weekend!
- Tim Salmons
Welcome to Dailies, a column dedicated to bringing you both the obscure and the mainstream on DVD and Blu-ray. Being that a lot of us seem to have such a large appetite for varying film genres, this column will cover virtually everything I can get my grubby little paws on. Some of it will be good, and some of it not so much, but hopefully it will illuminate a few titles that you might not have seen otherwise, or perhaps just needed a reminder about. Either way, enjoy!
In this week’s entry, we’re going to be taking a look at a couple of new titles from the folks over at Shout! Factory via their new Scream Factory label: The Island and Death Valley. I gotta tell you, I’m just thrilled to bits with the quality of product that this company is putting out. Their transfers may not be the best that money can buy, nor are all of them overloaded with supplemental features, but they do give new life to mostly unseen sci-fi and horror film titles that a lot of us have either never heard of or have forgotten about. They cover some pretty high profile titles like Halloween II and They Live, but for me the real cream of the crop is the unseen stuff.