A Nightmare on Elm Street

All posts tagged A Nightmare on Elm Street

Review: The Bloody Man

Published July 15, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

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I grew up in the heart of Amish country in Western New York. The skies seemed to grow inconceivably dense above the tree swept hills there, turning black at night, the only light a cautious flecking of far-away stars. On evenings when I was left alone with my younger brother and sister, it seemed like anything could happen…like something sinister would surely unfold, all that space breeding uncertain wonder….and fear.

In Daniel Benedict’s incredibly creative and extremely ambitious The Bloody Man, a nostalgic horror offering, bar none, young Sam (a sympathetic David Daniel), the film’s troubled protagonist, actually does find something lurking in the shadowed recesses of his home and he and his siblings (the relatable Sam Hadden and the truly adorable Olivia Sanders) must band together and fight for their survival. With their mother recently killed in an accident and a new step mother tentatively trying to forge a bond with them, the odds seem against this emotionally damaged trio. But apprehensive viewers need only to recall that celluloid history is littered with iconic villains who have fallen due to a little familial ingenuity, so all hope may not be lost.

Nicely wearing his influences proudly on his sleeve, Benedict includes elements of superhero films, John Hughes coming-of-age comedies and delirious references to such anthology films as Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt here. A strong love for the works of Wes Craven and Fred Dekker also emerges as the proceedings unfold. Yet Benedict has tricks all of his own. The opening sequence featuring Sam trying to catch up with the morning school bus is a feat of ingenious planning, highlighting the director’s comic timing and intrepid filmmaking skills. 46463393_1880538832015170_7751063814790971392_o

Fans will rejoice at the casting of Tuesday Knight and Lisa Wilcox, as well. While their connection to Craven and his iconic A Nightmare on Elm Street series makes their inclusion a natural one, these two seasoned performers definitely supply more than mere name value. They give detailed, heart filled performances in major roles. Knight also brings her rock n roll heart to the film’s beyond cool soundtrack, singing several of her own pop compositions – including a theme song that is reminiscent (in all the best ways) to Nightmare, her popular sonic contribution to the Dream Master’s opening moments.

Indie horror film fans will also be sure to rejoice upon discovering the presence of such homegrown terror stalwarts as Jason Crowe (Dead Moon Rising, The Bad Man), Roni Jonah (Shark Exorcist, The Legacy) and the always personable, scene stealing Mercedez Varble, the heroine of Benedict’s truly fun slasher throwback Bunni.

More information on The Bloody Man is available at www.redserial.com and https://www.facebook.com/RedSerialFilms.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Tuesday Rules The Massacre

Published January 1, 2019 by biggayhorrorfan

 

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She stood up to Freddy in one of the favorite installments of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series. Nicely, this past fall The Dream Master’s eternally cool Tuesday Knight also stood up before a sold out crowd at The Davis Theatre in Chicago (for their annual 24 hour The Massacre) and regaled them with onset memories and more.

For those who weren’t able to make it, here is the Q and A that I was lucky enough to conduct with this talented actress and singer-songwriter. Be sure to look out for her next project, the highly anticipated The Bloody Man, as well.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Review: Triggered

Published September 12, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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You have to hand it to writer-director Chris Moore. He always knows how to spin an issue without negating its rightful purpose. His first feature Blessed Are the Children, was a horror film treatise that looked at the complexities of the abortion issue. His latest, Triggered, explores the complications of being politically woke or as the case is here, being way, way too woke.

Callie (Meredith Moller) is a high school student who is ready to take down anyone who discriminates. Unfortunately, the fact that her overenthusiastic calling out is often based on misguided perceptions is totally lost on her. Ian (Jesse Dalton), her gay best friend, puts up with her antics, grudgingly, and because his open homosexuality often puts a damper on other forms of schoolyard camaraderie. But as Callie’s increasingly out of control finger pointing and warped world view is coupled with the arrival of a serial killer, he soon finds that he may finally have to strike out on his own in order to survive.

With sharp humor, Moore looks at the ways in which political correctness may not always be founded in necessity here. Thus, while reveling in the comedic nature of this viewpoint and in the very bloody nature of the classic slasher prototype, Moore also allows us to examine our own beliefs and look deep within our justified outrage to find a necessary balance – a true artistic feat.

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Nicely, staying true to indie terror expectedness, Moore gives original A Nightmare on Elm Street sweetheart Amanda Wyss a role here. But, he subverts expectations, once again, by using her for more than a momentary moment of fan-folk glee. As Gloria Fielding, one of Callie’s advisors, Wyss is a major participant in the plot proceedings and is given a wide range of emotions to tackle. From exasperation to grief to survivalist determination, Wyss delivers with a bold and thoughtful performance. She, along with Moller and Dalton, are deserving of any film festival awards that should, rightfully, come their way.

Importantly, Moore also dashes another common horror movie dynamic here. Instead of showering in a preponderance of female breasts and buttocks, all the nudity here is of the male variety. This adds a fresh, desperately needed spin on the exploitative measures of these films…and definitely gives the testosterone loving audience members something to look forward to.

Currently hitting the festival circuit, you too can point a biased finger at all of Triggered’s activities at https://www.facebook.com/FindURSafeSpace.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Bananarama

Published February 11, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

Bananarama

Unlike contemporaries like Blondie or The Divinyls, Bananarama never appeared on the soundtrack for A Nightmare on Elm Street flick. That’s unfortunate because the exuberant trio, well known for their cover of Venus, definitely showed more than “pure desire” with tracks like Cruel Summer and Dance with a Stranger.

In fact, the haunting Stranger, which appeared on their best selling 1986 album True Confessions, hints at possible suicide and/or deadly repercussions due to a broken heart.

The beloved group, currently alternating between a longstanding duo and the original line-up, is still making music as of this day, though, so Krueger fans may eventually get a longed for sonic paycheck.

http://www.bananarama.co.uk/

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Mimi Craven at Hollywood Palms

Published October 28, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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She portrayed a nurse for Nancy, but perhaps most importantly, the divine Mimi Craven was also the mother of Freddy! Married to director-writer Wes Craven during the creation of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, Ms. Craven, a former actress whose other credits include Vampire Clan and the kid-gone-murderer epic Mikey, will be heading to the Hollywood Palms Cinema, in Naperville, IL, this weekend to discuss the behind-the-scenes magic of one of contemporary horror’s most enduring classics.

Appearing for one night only, October 29th, 2016, this gregarious lady is sure to have plenty of stories to share with many a besotted terror loving Midwesterner.

More information for the two special showings, one at 7:15 pm and the other at 9 pm, is available at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1203228113069317

https://www.mapado.com/en/naperville/a-nightmare-on-elm-street-with-special-guest-mimi-craven.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Jack Sholder: Generation Awesome!

Published April 16, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

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Director Jack Sholder is, perhaps, best known for a trio of 80s horror and science fiction titles, Alone in the Dark, Nightmare on Elm St 2: Freddy’s Revenge and The Hidden. But his adventurous resume includes such features as Renegades (featuring Kiefer Sutherland) , an episode of the short-lived television version of Tremors and (another terror sequel) Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies. Plenty of comic book aficionados, though, still thrill to Sholder’s Generation X, a fun television film based on the X-Men comic spin-off. Here, on the eve of his appearance at the Sci-Fi Spectacular, where The Hidden will be screened, Sholder takes a moment to talk about the behind the scenes dynamics of Generation X and his experiences working with some of Hollywood’s most established talents.

BGHF: The Sci Fi Spectacular will be showing The Hidden this weekend and everyone knows you for Alone in the Dark and Nightmare on Elm St 2, as well. But, I’m actually thrilled to be talking to you because I love so much of your work: By Dawn’s Early Light, Generation XTwelve Days of Terror, which I think is really, really well done.

Jack Sholder: Thank you. I’m really glad that you have seen some of my other films. 12:01. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen 12:01

BG: I haven’t.GenerationX-poster

Sholder: You should really see that one. I think that it’s certainly in my top 3.

BG: Awesome! I’ll have to check it out. That would have been one of my questions: what’s a neglected favorite of yours? So, I’m glad you brought it up. But, as a burgeoning comic book geek, I’d really love to talk about Generation X, here. Matt Frewer, as the villain Dr. Tresh, is just over the top and amazing in it. What kind of experience was it like working with him?

Sholder: Oh, Matt?

BG: Yeah!

generation x mattSholder: Matt was fantastic! As a matter of fact, the writer was one of the producers, and he was extremely protective of his work. He didn’t want anything changed. He was on set everyday and criticized me for having the actors move around too much! (Laughs) He just wanted them to stand still and say his lines. We didn’t always see eye to eye. He didn’t want anyone changing his dialogue. But as far as Matt went, he’d let Matt do anything! Matt was brilliant. He’s kind of like a Jim Carrey. He never quite got that kind of recognition, but he’d just improvise and he was unbelievable. He was kind of like a genius. He was a lot of fun. He was a great guy.

BG: He’s so well balanced by Finola Hughes in that, who is just so cool and detached and sexy as Emma Frost!

Sholder: Yeah. That was a difficult film to make because we were trying to do something extremely ambitious. The means were very limited, though. New World Pictures, which was the producing entity, had been taken over by Revlon, I think. They were doing the film for Fox, but they wanted to run it like a normal business. Like, “If you say you’re going to bring the film in for $6,000,000 or $7,000,000, you can’t go to $7,000,000 and 10 cents! So, everyone was very nervous and people were standing around with their arms crossed, keeping an eye on me. So, there was a lot of pressure. But, it was a great shoot and it was really fun to do. It was fun to be able to push things really far, visually, and in terms of performances.

generation x finolaBG: On that, you worked with Frewer and Hughes, who were well honed, but a lot of the cast was younger and just starting out. Do you work differently with seasoned actors than with fresh talent?

Sholder: Yes. When you’re working with younger talent, they’re very open. They’re not set in their ways. They’re grateful for whatever they get. But, sometimes, they don’t quite have the chops. When you’re working with the old guys, the seasoned guys, they really know what they’re doing. But, occasionally, they can get a little grumpy. On By Dawn’s Early Light, Darren McGavin could be a little grumpy. Martin Landau is lovely. He’s a terrific guy. He’s actually been sort of a mentor of mine in terms of how to work with actors. Rip Torn was kind of a handful. But, he’s a great actor. James Earl Jones…you know, it doesn’t get any better! I love working with those guys. I did a pilot for NBC. The series never got made. I had Norman Lloyd. He had been in the Mercury Theatre with Orson Welles. He was the guy who fell off the Statue of Liberty in Saboteur by Alfred Hitchcock. He used to play tennis with Charlie Chaplin. He was friends with Chaplin! He was friends with Welles and Bertolt Brecht! So, just by having lunch with him, I was only one step removed from almost everyone who was ever great in Hollywood

BG: That’s amazing! I’m a theater critic on the side, so those names are killing me!

Sholder: Oh, nice! Speaking of great, great theater actors, I worked with Beatrice Straight.

BG: I love her. Hopefully, she will come back into public consciousness a bit with this Poltergeist remake coming out. She was so great in the original.
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Sholder: She got an Academy Award for Network. She played William Holden’s wife. She was basically in two scenes. There was one small scene and then there was one big scene where she finds out that he has been having an affair with Faye Dunaway. That got her an Academy Award.

BG: …and it was so well deserved! I love those character actresses who made such a mark, but don’t have the recognition of Meryl Streep or what-have-you!

Sholder: Yeah. Oh, yeah! Me, too!

(Note: The film that Sholder worked with Straight on was a 25 minute adaptation of The Garden Party, a Katharine Mansfield story. It was shown on PBS and won a number of awards, further proof of this director’s amazingly eclectic skills.)

Be sure to meet Sholder this Saturday, April 18th, in Chicago at the Sci Fi Spectacular. After the screening, Sholder will be discussing The Hidden and many of his other projects. There will be a number of cool vendors, free autographs and photos and, in addition to The Hidden, there will be 16 hours of cool horror and science fiction films, including Screamers and Alien, shown, as well. Get more information at: https://www.facebook.com/events/771555102921288/.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: (The Divine) Ronee Blakley!

Published August 10, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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She’s conquered the horrors of Return to Salem’s Lot and gave Freddy the what-for (at least initially) in the iconic (original) A Nightmare on Elm Street. But, for those who have adored the acclaimed music of eclectic wonder Ronee Blakley, this probably came as no surprise.

Need a New Sun Rising from her beautifully realized recording Welcome is a poetically potent reminder of life’s beauty and an amazing hymn to determined survival. In fact, this layered masterpiece could serve as an empowering theme song for all the final girls who conquer the uncompromising horrors of many a slasher classic.

Be sure to revel in all Blakley has to offer at http://www.roneeblakley.com

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Ronee’s Psychic Dark Side!

Published August 7, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

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Best known to terror fiends for her door melding appearance in A Nightmare on Elm Street, the versatile Ronee Blakley proved why she earned an Academy Award nomination (for her subtly anguished Barbara Jean in Robert Altman’s Nashville) with her layered work as Cassie Pines in The False Prophet, a first season episode of the acclaimed anthology series Tales of the Darkside.

ronee justinArriving at a bus station in a small Texas town, the spiritually obsessed Pines tells the counter woman how her advisor informed her that she would find her true love that day. After the roadside employee unveils Horace X, an astrological fortune machine, Pines soon finds herself in a bind. Horace X urges her to remain at the desolate stop while Pines is eager to continue on her journey. The arrival of a handsome preacher (a magnetic Justin Deas) complicates matters further. As Pines and the stranger find themselves compelled towards each other, Horace X, shockingly, reveals his jealous nature.horace attacks

Working with frazzled energy and a sweet sense of natural comedy, Blakley’s Pines wouldn’t be out of place in a latter day Tennessee Williams’ production. Blakley makes her truly endearing whether she is frantically consulting her tea leaves or, breathlessly, informing a newfound companion that she only travels with quarters so she is on the ready for any fortune telling devices. It is, ultimately, compelling and truly enjoyable work, a testament to Blakely’s multiple skills as a performer.

Be sure to keep up with all of Blakely’s projects and activities at http://www.roneeblakley.com.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Lia D. Mortensen: A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Favored Mother!

Published January 5, 2013 by biggayhorrorfan

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There is nothing Big Gay Horror Fan adores more than a beautiful eclectic actress and when it comes to those qualities, Chicago stage actress Lia Mortensen is top of the line! Mortensen has even dipped her elegant feet into the razored bloodshed via her passionate performance of Nora Fowles in 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. Yes, this gorgeous goddess of the boards actually got to chase down Jackie Earle Haley’s Freddy and send him to his fiery destruction! Currently, participating in the incisive stage revival of the mystical, gothic tinged Faith Healer at the Den Theatre in Chicago, Mortensen took a few moments to chat about her time on the Nightmare set and her current role. So, grab your singed sweaters and cherished playbills– and let’s go!

BGHF: Hey, Lia! Let’s dive right into the bloodshed! Was there anything that stands out in particular about your experience working on the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake?A_Nightmare_on_Elm_Street_2010_poster

Lia: It was a huge learning curve for me; I was on set for 3+ weeks, filming 7 scenes. This was my largest role to date, and getting comfortable, really feeling like I belonged there was challenging. I also LOVED watching the process from behind the monitor. Watching how the director and the lead photographer set up shots and then seeing that come to fruition. And it was awesome watching/being a part of the special effects! The stuntmen and women really earn their pay.A

BGHF: It sounds fascinating! So, what was it like working with (genre remake queen) Katie Cassidy (Black Christmas, When A Stranger Calls) who played your daughter, on Nightmare? Were you able to spend any time together or was it more ‘hello – and go’?

Lia: “Hello – and go”, definitely. Let’s just say there is a distinction between Hollywood and Chicago.

BGHF: Well, all I can say is Ms. Cassidy lost out on some awesomeness! You’ve recently returned to a stage role you first visited many years ago. What has been the most interesting difference in how you approach the role of Grace in Faith Healer now as opposed to the original production?

Lia: Life experience! There is no substitute. The lines on my face have been earned. 17 years ago, there was alot I had to manufacture emotionally. Now, it’s just in me.

BGHF: What has been the most enjoyable aspect of revisiting the piece for you?

Lia: (laughing) I’m not sure the word “enjoyable” applies. Grace’s story is an intense, painful, one on so many levels. I suppose what has been gratifying about revisiting this piece is that we all three have wanted to return to these characters for years. We were too young for the roles the first time around. It’s as if we played a concerto and never resolved the piece with the final note. We are getting to do that now, if that makes any sense. And, I have found more humor in her all these years later. That’s good!

BGHF: Definitely! Grace does go to some dark places throughout Faith Healer. How do you prepare yourself to enter her journey for each performance?

http://bravelux.comLia: Some days I think, God, I don’t want to go where she needs to go. But once I put on her sweater (which in my mind belonged to Frank) and sit in her chair backstage, I’m there. I listen to Frank’s monologue as if remembering the words he’s saying and I am transported – the sign of a brilliant play, if you ask me!

BGHF: True! You have forged a successful career as an actress and director in Chicago – which I know has involved hard work and (probably) plenty of emotional horrors. What has sustained you along the way?

Lia: Hmmm, the knowledge that I have no choice! This is what I love and I don’t have any other marketable skills! (More laughter)

BGHF: Well, at the very least, honesty will get you a smile! So, are there any current projects that we should keep an eye out for? lia 1

Lia: I will be (as well as Brad Armacost – my costar in Faith Healer) in a new adaptation of Spoon River Anthology at Provision Theatre – www.provisiontheater.org – (where I’m also an ensemble member) this Spring.

BGHF: Great! We’ll definitely have to check that out! And thanks, Lia. This has been better than chasing down a demented child killer any day of the week!

For more information on Faith Healer, which runs until January 20th, 2013, check out www.dentheatre.com.

Big Gay Horror, meanwhile, is always welcoming lovers of the bloody arts at http://www.facebook.com/#!/BigGayHorrorFan, as well!

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!