Tributes have been paid to actor John Saxon, known for roles in Nightmare on Elm Street and Enter the Dragon, who has died aged 83
If horror movies are to be believed, it’s only a matter of time before your house is invaded by some maniac or gang of wrong ‘uns. Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) has the good sense to set her house up with a load of booby traps, setting her nemesis Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) on fire, before catching him with a swift one to the family jewels courtesy of a spring-loaded sledge hammer. To be fair, she knew Freddy was coming – but to be completely safe, it’s best to get the house booby trapped in preparation for potential intruders.
The king of it, of course, was Peter Jackson, who made it an art-from in his early filmmaking days in New Zealand. The film, about a heavy metal band who accidentally summons an ancient evil force, is packed with more gore, guts and DIY tools to the face than you could shake an eviscerated intestine at. Considering most of his career choices of late, Johnny Depp might occasionally wish his bed would swallow him up.
Just over two weeks on from the death of legendary horror director Wes Craven, Johnny Depp has at last spoken out on the passing of the man who gave him his big break. 1984′s ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ is notable for many reasons, as the birthplace of one of the enduring horror icons in Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger, a major launchpad for fledgling mini-studio New Line Cinema, and almost certainly the best film overall of director Craven’s career. The surreal, cerebral slasher gave the future superstar his first role, and Depp himself has not forgotten this.
Filmmaker Wes Craven, responsible for several of the most influential horror films ever made, has died aged 76. - Nightmare On Elm Street Reboot Announced - Winona Ryder Confirms Beetlejuice 2 - Friday The 13th TV Series Confirmed Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Craven had a strictly religious upbringing which kept him largely sheltered from movies and popular culture throughout his childhood. However, he fell so deeply in love with cinema as an adult that he quit a comfortable career as a college humanities professor to seek work in the film industry. Initially working under various pseudonyms as a director of pornographic movies (he is known to have worked in some capacity on ‘Deep Throat’), Craven made his official directorial debut with 1972′s ‘The Last House on the Left.’ A key film in the rejuvenation of horror in the 1970s (notably a collaboration with producer Sean S Cunningham, who would go on to create ‘Friday the 13th’), ‘The Last House on the Left’ became a huge hit, and also the cause of massive controversy owing to its realistic tone and level of violence which was largely unprecedented at the time. Initially banned in Britain, it was available only in a series of censored versions until the BBFC finally passed it uncut with an 18 certificate in 2008.
The recent announcement of a new, second reboot of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ has prompted reflection on just where the 2010 version went wrong - and most seem to agree one of the key problems was the new-look Freddy Krueger. Studio Warner Bros and production house Platinum Dunes may have picked the right man for the job in Jackie Earle Haley, fresh from his scene-stealing turn as the psychotic Rorschach in ‘Watchmen’ - but the heavily redesigned make-up, clearly intended to make this new take on Freddy stand apart from Robert Englund’s iconic turn, ended up robbing the character of all his personality. Now, the film’s special make-up FX artist Bart J Mixon - who had also worked on earlier entries ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: the Dream Master’ (which, not for nothing, feature two of the best Freddy make-ups) - has discussed where things went wrong on the reboot, and he pins the blame squarely on the abuse of CGI.