Wesley Earl “Wes” Craven (born August 2, 1939) is an American film director, writer, producer, actor, perhaps best known as the director of many horror films, including the famed A Nightmare on Elm Street, featuring the iconic Freddy Krueger character and has directed the entire Scream series, featuring Ghostface. Some of his other films include, Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes (and it’s sequel), The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, Red Eye and the recent My Soul to Take.
Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where he had a strict Baptist upbringing. Craven earned an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois, and a masters degree in Philosophy and Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to landing his first job in the film industry as a sound editor for a post-production company in New York City, Craven briefly taught English at Westminster College and was a humanities professor at Clarkson College of Technology in Potsdam, New York. He then left the academic world for the more lucrative role of pornographic film director. In the documentary Inside Deep Throat (2005), Craven says on camera he made “many X-rated films” under pseudonyms, learning his directing craft. While his role in Deep Throat (1972), is undisclosed, most of his early known work involved writing, film editing or both.
In 1972 Wes Craven directed his first feature film The Last House on the Left, a written and directed by Craven and produced by Sean S. Cunningham who would go on to invent the Friday the 13th series.
The story is inspired by the 1960 Swedish film The Virgin Spring, directed by Ingmar Bergman, which in turn is based on the 13th century Swedish ballad “Töres döttrar i Wänge”. The Craven film was itself remade into a 2009 film of the same name. Written by Wes Craven in 1971, the original script was intended to be a graphic ‘Hardcore’ film, with all actors and crew being committed to filming it as such. However, after shooting began, the hard decision was made to edit down to a much softer film. This script, written as Night of Vengeance has never been released; only a brief glimpse is visible in the featurette Celluloid Crime of the Century, and a sample is available in the UK DVD release.
Craven produced the first of his mega-franchise A Nightmare on Elm Street movie on an estimated budget of just $1.8 million, a sum the film earned back during its first week. An instant commercial success, A Nightmare on Elm Street also met with rave critical reviews and went on to make a very significant impact on the horror genre, spawning a franchise consisting of a line of sequels, a television series, a crossover with Friday the 13th, a remake and various other works of imitation.
The film is credited with carrying on many tropes found in low-budget horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, originating in John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic Halloween, including the morality play that revolves around sexual promiscuity in teenagers resulting in their eventual death, leading to the term “slasher film”. Critics and film historians argue that the film’s premise is the question of the distinction between dreams and reality, which is manifested in the film through the teenagers’ dreams and their realities. Critics today praise the film’s ability to transgress “the boundaries between the imaginary and real”, toying with audience perceptions.
Craven’s works tend to share a common exploration of the nature of reality, where A Nightmare on Elm Street, for example, dealt with the consequences of dreams in real life, New Nightmare “brushes against” (but does not quite break) the fourth wall by having actress Heather Langenkamp play herself as she is haunted by the villain of the film in which she once starred. At one point in the film, we see on Wes Craven’s word processor a script he has written, which includes the exact conversation he just had with Heather – as if the script was being written as the action unfolded. The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), portrays a man who cannot distinguish between nightmarish visions and reality. In the Scream series, characters frequently reference horror films similar to their situations, this concept was emphasized in the sequels, as copycat stalkers reenact the events of a new film about the Woodsboro killings occurring in Scream.
His films have tended to waver between hit-and-miss throughout the 90’s to present, however, he is always worth watching.
Jackie Earle Haley (born Jack Earle Haley, July 14, 1961) is an American actor, perhaps best known for his roles as pedophile Ronnie McGorvey in Little Children, the vigilante Rorshach in Watchmen, and horror icon Freddy Krueger in the awful remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Haley was born and raised in Northridge, California, the son of Haven Earle “Bud” Haley, a radio show host/disc jockey and actor. Haley was a well known child actor and appeared in numerous films, including The Day of the Locust, The Bad News Bears (and 2 sequels), Damnation Alley, Breaking Away, and Losin’ It.
It has been rumored that in 1984, Haley’s friend Johnny Depp accompanied him to auditions for Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street; instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Whether true or not, Haley struggled to find many good roles throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, when he moved to San Antonio, Texas, and eventually turned to directing, finding success as a producer and director of television commercials.
With the recommendation of Sean Penn, Haley returned to acting in 2006, first appearing in Steven Zaillian’s All the King’s Men (2006) alongside Penn as Sugar Boy, his bodyguard, before giving a critically acclaimed performance as a recently paroled sex offender in Todd Field’s Little Children (2006). He stated that his preparation for the role was greatly influenced by the relationship shared between his mother and his brother True, who battled a heroin addiction before he died of an overdose. Haley was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this portrayal.
In 2008, he appeared in Semi-Pro and starred in Winged Creatures with Kate Beckinsale, Guy Pearce and Dakota Fanning. He also co-starred in Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel, Watchmen, as Rorshach, a masked vigilante working to find the identity of a costumed hero killer, a role which earned Haley praise from many reviewers. The film also reunited him with Little Children co-star Patrick Wilson who played Nite Owl II, former partner of Rorschach.
In 2010, Haley appeared in Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese, playing a patient of a hospital for the criminally insane. That same year Haley played the role of Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake. He has apparently signed on to play the role in three installments in the series.
He played Willie Loomis in the 2012 film adaptation of Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton, and will play Alexander H.. Stephens in the forthcoming Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg.
Cool A Nightmare on Elm Street poster art… Happy Birthday Robert Englund.
Clarence J. “Clancy” Brown III (born January 5, 1959) is an American actor and voice actor. Brown was born in Urbana, Ohio. He graduated from St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., and earned a scholarship to Northwestern University. He was inspired to become an actor by a neighbor who showed him Shakespeare’s works.
Brown’s defining role as the Kurgan in Highlander (1986) brought him fame, and a role to which he would be forever linked. Other well-known roles include Captain Byron Hadley in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ (1994), Viking Lofgren in the 1983 hit drama movie ‘Bad Boys’, Rawhide in ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension’ (1984), Frankenstein’s monster in ‘The Bride’ (1985), Army mercenary Larry McRose in Walter Hill’s ‘Extreme Prejudice’ (1987), vicious killer Steve in ‘Shoot to Kill’ (1988), the police officer in Michael Jackson’s short movie ‘Speed Demon’ (1988), ‘Dead Man Walking’ (cameo only), ‘Pet Semetary Two’ (1992) as Gus, Career Sergeant Zim in ‘Starship Troopers’ (a role he would reprise in the animated television series ‘Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles), and a role in ‘Fubber’ as one of the evil henchmen that get harmed by uncontrollably bouncing sports equipment.
Brown has three times played senior prison officers in movies dealing with miscarriages of justice: in The Shawshank Redemption, the tyrannical Capt. Byron Hadley; in ‘The Hurricane’ (1999), the sympathetic Lt. Williams; and in ‘Last Light’ as Lt. McMannis. In 2007, he played the Viking leader opposite Karl Urban in ‘Pathfinder’. He also voiced Mr. Krabs in ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’. He featured in the HBO series ‘Carnivale’ and underrated ‘Earth 2’ from th mid-nineties.
He starred in several independent films in 2008: ‘The Burrowers’, screened at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008, and released in the US on DVD in April 2009, and The Twenty, which is currently awaiting screening. One of his most recent roles was in Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film ‘The Informant!’ opposite Matt Damon in which he played an attorney. He also portrayed Alan Smith in Samuel Bayer’s woeful 2010 remake of the horror film ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. In 2011 he starred in ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ alongside Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. He also voiced the astral supervillain Parallax in the film ‘The Green Lantern’. He will be the voice of ‘The Goon’ in the upcoming (and long-awaited) animated feature film.
Brown also works extensively as a voice actor in animated films and TV series, notably portraying Mr Eugene H. Krabs in the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. He also voiced Lex Luthor in the DC Animated Universe and the film ‘Superman/Batman: Public Enemies’, Captain Black and Ratso in ‘Jackie Chan Adventures’, ‘The Spectacular Spiderman’, ‘Wolverine & the X-men’, ‘The Batman’ among countless others, after all, he possesses an incredible voice.