Deadly Friend: Krueger and the Near-Demise of Wes Craven

Wes Craven was never one to rest on his laurels.

A creative force who twice redefined the slasher genre, he would make his name as a horror movie director thanks to a series of low-budget films that would win him a generation of loyal fans. After making waves with grungy efforts The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, he would finally burst onto the mainstream with 1984’s A Nightmare On Elm Street, his most famous character Fred Krueger spawning the kind of franchise that turned faltering production company New Line Cinema into a surging goldmine […]

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Darkest Before Dawn: The Best Horror Trailers of the 80’s

Question: What do you miss most about those halcyon home video days?

Cover art is something that stands out – it made that oh so joyous experience of choosing your rental all the more joyous. Choice is the second thing that springs to mind. Sometimes you would arrive home on a Saturday evening and be thoroughly disappointed with a movie that promised so much and delivered so little. But that was part of the fun, particularly when you unearthed the kind of gem that you couldn’t wait to rent again […]

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Scream and Scream Again: A Brief History of Video Nasties.

The rape of our children’s minds.

I thought that might get your attention, and although that headline may sound like unrestrained hyperbole from a writer of little restraint, it is actually a snippet from a carefully constructed media campaign designed to criminalise independent filmmakers. I’m talking, of course, about the ‘Video Nasty’ scandal of the 1980’s, a political manoeuvre that would scare working class voters into the Draconian arms of Conservative Thatcherism […]

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Shocker (1989)

By 1989 horror movies had become rather tepid.

Thanks to the chastening whip of the MPAA and BBFC during the mid-1980s, the genre would descend into cartoonery as a way to reach a broader audience. Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn would lead the way in that respect, and some movies were able to pass explicit gore based on absurdity, while others, such as Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, added depth as a way to counterbalance the meaningless nihilism that would outrage a generation […]

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Never Sleep Again: Elm Street and the Dawn of Krueger

From the moment Charles Bernstein’s seething synthesizer sinks to the pit of your stomach, you know you’re in for something quite special.

What we see onscreen is different somehow. It is dank and grungy and saturated with a sense of palpable terror. We hear heavy-breathing, more perverse than your standard stalk-and-slash drivel. Instead of following some unseen POV presence, we step into the shoes of a young girl and wander as she does, falling deeper into the bowels of a wretched boiler room as the cackles grow and a teasing shadow haunts the periphery of our imagination […]

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VHS Revival’s Bizarre Movie Posters 2

Promotional posters are an essential part of any successful movie. Not only do they offer the public its first visual insight into an upcoming picture, they help to promote its genre and theme, as well as the marquee attractions whose job it is to convince eager fans to part with their hard-earned cash.

Posters can make or break a movie. From the crudely drawn, minimalist posters of the late 19th century, the art form would grow in both scope and impact […]

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