Author Topic: Wes Craven Marthon  (Read 11431 times)

Offline addicted2dvd

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Wes Craven Marthon
« on: July 22, 2007, 08:33:06 PM »
Wes Craven Movie Marathon
This time around I decided to do a marathon of some of my Wes Craven Movies. I have enjoyed a lot of Wes Craven's work. My favorite has to be the Nightmare on Elm Street Movies. Which I am sure I will get ATLEAST the first one in. So anyway... This time around I watched...

Cursed: Unrated Version
Packed with even more intense thrills than audiences experienced in theaters, this unrated version of Wes Craven's 'Cursed' brings you the terror of werewolves as never before! Christina Ricci ('Monster'), Jesse Eisenberg ('The Village'), Joshua Jackson (TV's 'Dawson's Creek'), Judy Greer ('The Village'), and Milo Ventimiglia (TV's 'Gilmore Girls') find themselves caught up in an unimaginable horror! A werewolf loose in Los Angeles changes the lives of three young adults who, after being mauled by the beast, learn that the only way to break the curse put upon them is to kill the one who started it all! From the creators of 'Scream', this never-before-seen version is shockingly more frightening and undeniably more fun than the original release!

My Thoughts:
I definitely wouldn't say this is the best Werewolf movie I ever seen... but I did enjoy it. I don't know what the theatrical version was like... but this one has a nice amount of gore in it. I tell you though... I did not think much of the werewolf dog scene. To me it just felt out of place. Other then that... the movie itself was fairly good. The DVD looks and sounds great.... and there is a few nice extras on this release.
Pete

Najemikon

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 08:53:35 PM »
I like some of his films, but he has the dubious honour of directing the only film I truly despise. Last House on the Left. :yucky: I find it beyond awful!

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 09:09:43 PM »
Really? Thanks for the warning. I never seen Last House on the Left yet... but I do own it. is in my rather large unwatched shelf. I was planning on watching it with this marathon... probably still will... matter of fact I may watch it next to get it over with and see what I think of it. (What can I say... My curiosity is peaked!)  :P
Pete

Najemikon

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 09:18:37 PM »
If you like it, it would be worth adding for the analysis thread. Personally, my basic thoughts are, it goes too far and gives us a glimpse of the inner workings of Wes Craven's sick puppy mind, but I'd be willing to forgive, if the last third wasn't so bloody surreal.

Don't mean to hijack your thread, but I watched The Devil's Backbone last night. Great ghost story. Have you seen it? I have Cronos too, but haven't watched it yet.

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 09:54:10 PM »
Nope... never seen either of those you mentioned.
Pete

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2007, 01:25:24 AM »

Last House on the Left
Bold, powerful and starkly realistic, this chilling cinematic debut of horror master Wes Craven ('Scream') is a shocking journey into the heart of evil. Written and directed with "almost unbearable dramatic tension" ('Chicago Sun Times'), 'The Last House on the Left' will make you deadbolt your doors and frantically mutter: "It's only a movie… it's only a movie… it's only a movie.!"

Easy going Mari Collingwood and her fun-loving friend Phyllis are on their way to a Bloodlust concert to celebrate Mari's 17th birthday when three escaped convicts kidnap and torture them. But Mari and Phyllis are fighters, and although they are drugged and beaten into unconsciousness, stuffed in a car trunk and driven into the woods for even more brutality, they are still alive…. But for how long?


My Thoughts:
I blind bought this movie several years ago and just now getting around to watching it. After watching this one... I still not 100% sure what I think of it. I am far less then impressed though... I don't know if it is something I would ever watch again. That being said... I think the premise of the movie is a good one... I just don't particularly like the way it was carried out. I do think that if this movie was remade it would have the potential of being something really good.
Pete

SailorRipley

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 04:49:47 AM »
Chiming in about Last House on the Left...

I watched this quite a long time ago, but I still remember it as being a good film on its own, although not necessarily something that we can go back and re-watch from time to time. Sure, it's potent stuff, extremely misogynistic, very violent and raw.

I would say, in order to appreciate a film of this kind, one has to understand the reasons for which it was made; the main reason is no big mystery at all (money), but it's also cool to acknowledge the other reasons of the era. Last House on the Left was made at the pinnacle of the drive-in double feature. Based on Bergman's The Virgin Spring, it was a rapidly written, very improvised, and directed by a guy who had not directed a feature ever in his life. And the big, huge reason behind it all was to shock. From the famous advertising tagline "to avoid fainting, keep repeating to yourself: 'it's only a movie... it's only a movie...'", Craven's big point was to make something that would force drive-in couples put a stop to their making-out and watch in pure horror. It has being constantly banned in a number of countries and it is still able to make waves.

So, not to provoke an argument at all, but I just would say it's a bit unfair to call Craven a sick puppy; Quite the opposite, I'd say, it was just in his power to try and make something in his youth that was daring, would raise eyebrows and more importantly, would spawn a career that has lasted quite a few good years. Sadly, Craven is in nowhere the league in which he was during the 70's, his material being watered down and lacking any real resonance. But, IMO, that first step was quietly, perversely and very smartly put together. I don't think a sick puppy is able to work his way like that.

Najemikon

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2007, 10:02:19 AM »
But I don't agree it was smartly put together. In fact, I think it's a mess. You can tell it was improvised by someone who hadn't directed before!  :devil:

If he wanted to create an exercise in shock, then fine. The torture and murder of the two girls in the woods in just that and more. That part is acceptable though I wouldn't go as far as saying it was well done and I do think it goes further than it needs to, going through shock and out the other side until the viewer is left empty. I felt Craven was acting out a prolonged forbidden fantasy for us all the share.

The bit that really gets me though is when the gang happen to end up at the house where the parents of one of the girls lives. I have no problem with that, a lot of stories are built on convenience and contrivance. It's how the couple react when they understand who they are dealing with. Not simple revenge, but well planned surrealism. The part where the mother performs oral sex on one of them near the swimming pool and ... ahem.  :-X

I know what he was trying to say, but she wouldn't have done it. Therefore my perception of who I should sympathise with was replaced with "what the hell is this crap?". Again, it went too far. It wasn't shock I was feeling at this point, it was simple contempt. A bit more of Craven's perversion coming through.

He demonstrated none of the skill he would bring to later films. Even in the early scenes, I was simply disgusted and actually bored. There was no art in this; I think half of any good film is restraint. Not because of what is socially acceptable (quite the contrary), but because the mind can only take so much of one element before it says "of course it's only a movie and a crap one at that!".

I remember a story about Spielberg testing Jaws and people jumping right through the ceiling when the severed head bobs into view. He thought that was great so he stuck another one in a minute or so earlier. He tested it again and this time, the audience didn't react. He'd cancelled out the shock and replaced it with, well, nothing. Craven does this all the way through.

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2007, 11:49:41 AM »
I had a feeling while watching The Last House on the Left that it can cause some controversial conversations. Reading Najemikon's last comments makes me think about it I think the major problem for me also was the way the parents react to finding out who they are and what they did.

As I said... for me it was the way it was done more then the story itself. The story itself had the potential of being great.
Pete

Najemikon

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2007, 02:25:28 PM »
That's my feeling too. A decent story squandered. That said, it's an old film that's lasted, so what makes other people regard it highly. I don't like Texas Chainsaw, but I appreciate it and find it far more potent than this. I agree, Sailor, that it is raw. I'd applaud it for that if the revenge matched the crime.

I think this is Kevin Coed's (Invelos) favourite film and has threatened me (in a virtual sense, with smileys!) several times as I usually name check this in Worst Film Ever threads.  :devil: Send him a note and let him weigh in ...

Offline Achim

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2007, 03:05:13 PM »
My Thoughts:
I definitely wouldn't say this is the best Werewolf movie I ever seen... but I did enjoy it. I don't know what the theatrical version was like... but this one has a nice amount of gore in it. I tell you though... I did not think much of the werewolf dog scene. To me it just felt out of place. Other then that... the movie itself was fairly good. The DVD looks and sounds great.... and there is a few nice extras on this release.
I agree with you, not a great film, but fun. But, I actually found the dog werewolf scene to be rather funny; something not really expected until the last few seconds before it's revealed.

He demonstrated none of the skill he would bring to later films. Even in the early scenes, I was simply disgusted and actually bored. There was no art in this; I think half of any good film is restraint. Not because of what is socially acceptable (quite the contrary), but because the mind can only take so much of one element before it says "of course it's only a movie and a crap one at that!".
I don't hate it anywhere near as passionately as you are, I think more along the lines as Sailor. However, if I remember the Interview on the DVD correctly, Wes Craven would be one of the first to agree with the above quoted comments... He actually seemed to distance himself from the film quite a bit, saying that, as Sailor mentioned, he was hired to provide something of shock value, and so he did.

As a side note, often when watching special features on horror film DVDs or reading about them to other participants say, that the directors are very nice people and not even remotely as sick (actually not at all) as their movies might suggest. In similar agreement many actors seem to say, that the most fun to be had is on a horror movie set.

Najemikon

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2007, 03:26:45 PM »
As a side note, often when watching special features on horror film DVDs or reading about them to other participants say, that the directors are very nice people and not even remotely as sick (actually not at all) as their movies might suggest. In similar agreement many actors seem to say, that the most fun to be had is on a horror movie set.

The thing is, a lot of filmmakers are secretly sick puppies, from Tarantino to Spielberg even. The best ones know just how to use it. Knowing about this film certainly makes me appreciate Nightmare more, because you know where he could take it, but chooses not to, therefore making a more entertaining film.

Actually this is one of the reasons I agree with classification (note that I didn't say censorship!). By providing them a moral guide, filmmakers are forced to be more imaginative and subtle. I enjoy a bit of gorno but I do wonder if the stories would have been more effective filmed years ago when standards weren't so lenient.

It struck me when I last watched The Treasure of Sierra Madre how dark and effective some of the scenes are, and you don't see a drop of blood. There's a wonderful comic moment when some bandits are about to be executed by firing squad. Obviously born from not being able to show such graphic scenes.

SailorRipley

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2007, 06:35:04 PM »
Alright, this is an interesting conversation!  :)

Jon, I understand get your points and I have to say I agree with a lot of them. While I wouldn't say Last House is some kind of secret masterpiece, I think it has a value of the era. It is not particularly entertaining, it's thoroughly repulsive and yeah, it's messy, but I always wonder, wasn't that the whole point? I didn't know you hated it as passionately as to give it a Worst Movie Ever (I think there are countless movies more worthy of that recognition) but it's all about diversity, so that's cool. :)

I agree with Ya-Shin about the sick puppies. Maybe there's something inherent about horror directors but most seem to be very laid-back kind of guys. People usually tend to put these monikers just for the sake of it. Haven't they said the same about David Cronenberg? And there you have one of the most cerebral, intelligent and nicest guys all around. People find his movies repulsive, I find them all exciting, thought-provoking and really really great.

I've always felt Brian De Palma is an old sick puppy, :laugh: but I have no idea if I'm right!

The point where I will strongly disagree with you, Jon, is the classification thing. A rating board does not give you anything to work at all, you are not forced to be imaginative and subtle, there is not any kind of moral guide. They don't give you a frigging thing. This is especially true with the MPAA. They're censors, but they like to think they're not. If you submit a film, they give you zero notes, you don't know what to cut. Maybe it's just me, but any kind of interference to any kind of work is what makes a messy result.

Now, I'm not saying being subtle is wrong and that I'm a gorehound who never misses an issue of Fangoria. Being subtle is great, if that's the purpose. Do we know if John Huston wanted to have blood flying all over the walls like a maniac Peckinpah? I love Treasure of the Sierra Madre like any other film lover, but it does make you wonder if subtlety is an intended approach or a forced one. We'll never know. What I'm saying is, people should be able to do whatever film they want, subtle or not, one is not better than the other.


Najemikon

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2007, 08:51:08 PM »
We've seriously hijacked this thread!  :laugh:

I meant more of a perceived moral guideline from the censors, forcing more responsibility onto the filmmakers. Really it's the same situation as special effects. Before CGI, before decent make-up you were stuck with actors in rubber suits. If it wasn't convincing what do you do? Quick cutaways, film the shadows, rack up the tension in music. The result is often a better film. Despite themselves, they made a better film. I think the same thing happens with the threat of censorship. Just imagine the story behind Hostel. Without the freedom to show full on torture, how might they have made it?

Games have tested the water with Manhunt II, which has just been banned in the UK. Apparently it is a simple game made up of walking around murdering people in a variety of ways with no consequences. They knew what was acceptable before submitting the game, but their imagination has been found wanting.

I'm actually really forgiving with films, normally finding some element to enjoy. Often I think the worst reviewed films are a case film makers simply being unable to hold all the threads together, but you can't complain if they make the effort. It's films that make the effort, but spend the time shafting the viewer I save my venom for! This is almost one, but the fact it has a healthy following shows I must be wrong to some degree. My real bottom two are Judge Dredd (twenty-five years of backstory, some of the best writing in comics and we get "Ah am duh LAW!") and Matrix Revolutions (fantastic setup but then the most hyped film in years proved the Wachowski's were out of their depth. Waste of everyones time.).

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Wes Craven Marthon
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2007, 10:46:39 PM »
LOL... don't worry... talk away... it will take away from the fact that I was too busy to watch a movie today.... whoops... forget I said that!   ;D
Pete