Scream Saturdays: Scream (1996)

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Wes Craven’s Scream, so each Saturday in October, myself and a cadre of like-minded individuals will be re-watching the franchise one movie at a time. Is the series influential -- and if so, positively or negatively? How does each installment reflect the time in which it appeared? What does the series’ reboot as an MTV television program indicate about the state of horror today? We’ll answer all of these questions and explore whether or not the franchise holds up as we go along. scream-logo SCREAM Dimension Films, 1996 Nick Spacek is a writer and podcaster based in Lawrence, Kansas. He runs this website (obvs), as well as the From & Inspired By soundtrack podcast, in addition to writing for Cinepunx, Modern Vinyl, the Pitch, and the UK's Starburst Magazine. He can be found spewing nonsense on Twitter @nuthousepunks. The first ten minutes of Scream are near-perfect, right? It’s perfectly balanced: funny, then nervous, then eerie, then absolutely taut before getting gory and gross. Casey’s basically the most likable character in the whole movie, and they ax her before the credits even roll. For real: the rest of the characters in this movie are fucking terrible. I’d never noticed it when I first saw it -- probably because I was a contemporary of the characters when it was first released -- but, man, every single dude in this movie needs a swift kicking. “You know what you do to me?” Billy asks Sidney, when we first meet him. I’m glad she pushes him off after he’s such a pushy dick, but then she flashes him and he calls her “such a tease.” Goddammit. Like, I understand that they’re in high school and you do dumb shit when you’re in high school, but Billy’s whole speech about wanting to take thing to an NC-17 relationship is fucking gross. Also gross: the slowed-down, acoustic version of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Gus is, I think, the first use of the trope before Gary Jules’ “Mad World” six years later in Donnie Darko. So, let’s blame Scream for starting this whole irritating thing -- although, I guess the real question I’m finally getting around to asking is if Scream is to blame for making horror movies winking and self-aware or, like AMC posited in 2009, is it to blame for the slew of PG-13 horror which followed in its wake? scream-drew-barrymore-gif Craig Mann is a writer and artist based in San Diego, CA.  His work, including where to go in Tokyo to watch professional wrestling, can be seen at BadArtGoodLove and on Twitter @BadArtGoodLove. It baffles me as much now as it did then. I can’t help but wonder the motives behind casting Drew Barrymore in the most significant scene, and ultimately one of the most iconic scenes of the 1990s. Scream was primarily promoted around the name and reputation of shockmaster Wes Craven.  The cast composed of Hollywood unknowns and family-friendly television actors, known more for their respected shows than their individual contributions (Friends, Party of Five). For years, Drew Barrymore had been an afterthought in film. A former child star, born into the Barrymore dynasty, stole the hearts of America as the adorable younger sister in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. She would become a notorious party animal and drug addict before reaching maturity. While looking for some of the promotional appearances of the cast for the film’s release in 1996, I found a gem of Drew Barrymore and Courtney Love on the red carpet for Primal Fear, released eight months prior to Scream1. Barrymore, not yet cast back into legitimate celebrity status is nonchalant and trying her hardest to act in a manner befitting the company of her infamous celebrity “punk” date for the evening. Barrymore quips at the host when asked about her problems with drugs and alcohol, “Who gives a shit?  Get over it!” Scream was released only a year after Barrymore’s attempted re-emergence as “Hollywood’s Wild Child,” with a stint as cover model in Playboy magazine and a year removed from a scripted “impromptu” topless birthday celebration prancing atop David Letterman’s desk. The entertainment gossip media went bonkers but few were jumping to make Barrymore a star.  Barrymore seemed more interested in eking out small paydays in insignificant parts (Wayne’s World, Batman Forever) where her legacy namesake would allow it and beefing up her “wild child” image than becoming Hollywood’s next break-out star. Barrymore’s attitude and reputation quickly changed after the mega-success of this film. For all of the effort put into making Neve Campbell a star, she accomplished very little and is known primarily for four Scream movies, while Barrymore, in under ten minutes, became one of the biggest box office draws of the following ten years. scream-neve-campbell Liam O’Donnell is co-host and co-creator of the Cinepunx podcast as well as Editor in Chief of He also co-hosts Horror Business and Eric Roberts is The Fucking Man. When not hosting, editing, or promoting so many damn podcasts, Liam works in higher education in diversity and equity programming and education, and lends his promotion and event planning skills to This Is Hardcore Fest and the Bruce Campbell Horror Film Fest. Find him talking all kinds of crazy shit on twitter at @liamrulz. You two have really covered a LOT of my initial thoughts on this, but I can’t help but wonder if my ... frustration let's say, with Scream now may be that the entire meta effort now seems played out? Yes, part of my issue is the dialogue. When I was a kid, watching something I thought may never exist, that is a NEW Wes Craven film in a THEATER, I was entranced by all this snappy witticism. They talk so fast and they have so many snappy, and snarky, things to say. Shit, did I try to talk like this after seeing this film. Guys, I think I tried to talk like this after seeing Scream. Fuck me. Regardless, now this dialogue hurts me. It seems forced, and hard to even keep up with. I can’t care about these people, but I am not sure I need to empathize to enjoy this film. I would rather not hate everyone though, if I can choose. Yet, most of the time when people are talking in this film, I want them to die. Who are these snarky inhuman creatures, and how do I erase them from this world? That is neither here nor there, though. I don’t need Shakespeare from Craven, despite the grand heights of writing he managed in Shocker (omg burn!). The very idea itself, though -- so smart and interesting at the time -- has lost all charm for me. Scream has some effective scares, and some really taut directing. Yet, most of the film operates on this meta criticism level, winking and poking the audience in the ribs. The film keeps loudly whispering to you, “DO YOU GET IT?” and I can’t decide if I am amazed at how fucking charming I found that at the time, or if I am amazed at how frustrating I find it now. Is it simply that Scream, which is actually rather intelligent in how it does this work, inspired any number of rip-offs which simply lacked its insight? Do I hate Scream because it birthed I Know What You Did Last Summer? No, I don’t hate it. I still love it in so many ways. Yet, it no longer charms, and I am not sure which of us has changed and moved on. It hurts though, it hurts not being in love with Scream anymore. The beginning really is brilliant, though.
1. “Dennis Pennis Interviews Courtney Love and Drew Barrymore (1996)"

Halloween horror marathon: Deadly Friend

poster - deadly friendMaybe because it's a weird follow-up to A Nightmare On Elm Street, but Deadly Friend isn't really given the attention it deserves for being the film that bridges director Wes Craven's intensely disturbing '70s output like Last House On the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, and the more commercial material he made in the 1980s. As in all of Craven's movies, there's an undertone of creepiness to everything. They're horror movies, of course, but with Deadly Friend and all films going forward which starred a teenager cast, Craven would begin his movies with a sense of jocularity and friendship. The dialogue's light, and everybody's all buddy-buddy, pal-pal. At some point within the first half-hour, however, you're made privy to the dark side of one of the kids -- usually some sort of physical abuse. Hell, A Nightmare on Elm Street doubles it up by making the killer a child molester. It's strange to realize that Deadly Friend and Short Circuit were released so close to one another in 1986. You'd assume that one had influenced the other, but it seems that it's just another case of synchronicity between films, having two movies about self-aware robots coming out within a month or two of each other. Craven's given this a bit of Frankenstein, as well, with reanimated corpses and one of the friendliest mad scientists ever. Really, he's a kid, but still: implanting a computer chip into the brain-dead body of the girl who lives next door? Total whack-job mad scientist shit, going all the way back to the work done by Luigi Galvani and Peter Abildgaard, who'd hook frogs or birds up to Leyden jars and make their muscles twitch back in the 1700s. The film is a mish-mash of tone -- BB's all cutesy, there's a love story, there's child abuse ... you're never quite sure as to whether or not this is a deeply black comedy or a horror film that's struggling to find its tone. It has my favorite scene of all time in it, however, so despite the fact that it's uneven, a little weird, and doesn't ever really get as dark as I really want it to, it's worth seeing. [embed][/embed]

Cipro Dog

book-cover-dark-directionsUpon first flipping through Cipro Dog, Kendall R. Phillips' new book, Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film, I was worried that it was going to go down the same path as Shock Value, and attempt to cover too much ground in too short a space. Thankfully, 50mg Cipro Dog, such is not the case.

Dark Directions - while, at times, covering a similar era as that of Shock Value - is a totally different book. Phillips takes the work of three directors, susses out a particular thematic thrust from each, and uses that particular theme as a lens to focus his view of each man's work.

The particulars are what allows Dark Directions to succeed as it does, Cipro Dog. 1000mg Cipro Dog, Specifically, Phillips doesn't focus entirely on the "horror" output of each director. Recognizing that such a limited range would hamstring his work, the author brings similarly-themed "genre" pictures from the three filmmakers into his critcism, allowing for each argument to be made more fully.

they-live-alienWith John Carpenter's films (and, to a lesser extent, those of George Romero), the need to bring in a greater range of genre is most necessary, Cipro Dog uk. As Carpenter's films include action/adventure, sci-fi, and so forth, it's vital to include films such as Big Trouble In Little China in order to better comprehend the purpose of the drifter in They Live. Cipro Dog, As with most works that are directed more towards a scholarly audience, rather than mass appeal, there's a certain assumption that the reader is familiar with the works being covered. If the reader's not viewed the films directly, there's at least an assumed passing familiarity with each director's overall output. In essence, 10mg Cipro Dog, Dark Directions may lose the casual reader, but there are enough touchstones along the way that most film buffs will be able to follow along.

Phillips deserves serious kudos for his admission that every director might not fit specifically into each slot the author has prepared. While Carpenter might focus his directorial vision on the frontier, he certainly has elements of the Gothic in his work, if not to the extent that Wes Craven uses them. The explanation of each director's non-genre work is appreciated, as well.

Dark Directions makes good on its promise to place Carpenter, Cipro Dog mexico, Craven, and George Romero within the pantheon of important '70s filmmakers. Discussing the themes and storytelling abilities of each director, Phillips has a definitive case for their inclusion with the likes of Martin Scorcese in terms of influence.

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Antibiotic Cipro Problems

poster-serpent-the-rainbowThe Serpent and the Rainbow Antibiotic Cipro Problems, is damned confusing. From the moment Bill Pullman's character Dennis Alan takes a draught of potion from a shaman, nothing is as it seems. Director Wes Craven takes the viewer on a journey where you're forced to decide whether what's happening is a drug-induced hallucination, or whether it's something else entirely.

Are there zombies. Antibiotic Cipro Problems us, Is it magic. Is he going crazy, or is he being attacked by voodoo priests who don't want him to know their secrets, Antibiotic Cipro Problems. It's difficult to know, but the further you get into the Serpent and the Rainbow, the more afraid you are for Alan and his safety.

As well you should. The scene where Alan is tortured ranks up there with anything Hostel has to offer, and rivals even the "Is it safe?" scene in Marathon Man, Antibiotic Cipro Problems overseas. If you've seen it, you know what I mean, and if you haven't, I'm not going to be the one to ruin the terrible surprise that awaits. Antibiotic Cipro Problems, Sadly, the movie isn't nearly as scary as the early moments would imply. As the film progresses, 500mg Antibiotic Cipro Problems, it becomes more like a supernatural thriller, and less like a psychedelic horror film. It's mostly jump scares, rather than any sense of actual fear. Why aren't you ever really afraid. The voice-over. When there's a voice-over, you know the narrator survives, Antibiotic Cipro Problems. Simple as that, Antibiotic Cipro Problems ebay.

Fuck the voice-over, though. Seriously. I can't watch this without imagining Pullman as Daryl Zero in Zero Effect. Voice-overs so very rarely work, Antibiotic Cipro Problems craiglist, and only ever come across as lazy story-telling. I know Craven's aiming for sort of a Haitian-based, voodoo detective noir, but it just seems cheesy. He did so much better with his early work, which makes this regrettable.


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