September 18, 2015 Wes Craven – Dreaming Up Nightmares That Will Last Forever
The Horror genre suffered one of its biggest losses when the legendary Wes Craven passed away on August 30, 2015 after a battle with brain cancer. Born on August 2, 1939 and raised in a strict Baptist household, the 76-year-old writer, director, producer and actor grew up in the mid-western suburbs of Cleveland. After getting an undergrad degree in Psychology and English from Wheaton College in Illinois and a Masters in Philosophy and Writing from Johns Hopkins University, Craven briefly taught English at Westminster College and was a humanities professor at Clarkson University in New York.
While teaching high school in Madrid, New York, Craven purchased his first 16mm camera and began making short films. Once a friend got him a job as a sound editor for a post production company in Manhattan run by singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, the rest, as they say, is history. Craven enjoyed that period of his life where he learned the skills that would propel him into the movie industry. In a stark contrast to the projects that would give him his greatest success, Craven did a stint as a pornographic movie director. Under an alias, Craven was involved in the production of the infamous film, Deep Throat (1972). Like all of life’s lessons, Craven used these experiences to make himself a better filmmaker.
Later that same year, a 33-year-old Craven wrote, edited and directed his first successful film, The Last House on The Left, a controversial movie that hit cinemas with a splash and began a string of successful films to follow. He frequently collaborated with Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th 1980, House 1986), and although their first project was a little know Rom-Com titled Together (1971) starring Marilyn Chambers, a year later they turned the tide and made the “Sex Crime of the Century” the talk at the water cooler with The Last House on the Left. Later, the two men collaborated again as co-producers of 2009 remake for their contentious film.
With no shortage of memorable credits, Craven also wrote and directed the Exploitation Horror film, The Hills Have Eyes, in 1977. This bought the inbred, cannibalistic, serial killing family, lead by Papa Jupiter (James Whitworth: Quincy M.E. 1980, B.J. and the Bear 1981), to the screen. Starring scream queen Dee Wallace (Cujo 1983, The Howling 1981) and Michael Berryman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1975, The Devil’s Rejects 2005), The Hills Have Eyes is considered by many to be Craven’s homage to Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and is based on the Scottish legend of Sawney Bean, whose family caught and ate several transients in the late 1400s. Since its released, The Hills Have Eyes has become a cult classic and garnered a number of sequels and even a remake in 2006.
Looking to raise his creativity to the next level, in 1981 Craven began writing the screenplay for the now cult hit, A Nightmare on Elm Street, which was later released in 1984. Touted as a Supernatural Slasher, Craven directed the film that kick-started Johnny Depp’s career and made the jive talking, burnt up demon with the bladed glove – Freddy Kruger – a household name. Craven found inspiration for the film from a number of sources, including nightmares from his own childhood. After reading various, strange stories in the newspaper regarding Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome and Eastern Religions, Craven developed the now iconic character of Freddy Krueger. The storyline reiterated the Slasher trope that immorality and promiscuity eventually leads to death. Essentially, Craven had created the boogeyman of the ’80s right along with Horror monsters like Dracula, The Mummy, Leatherface, Michael Myers, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s Monster. While Craven only took part in two of the films in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, the 1984 original and 1994’s New Nightmare, his character had become a Pop culture phenomenon.
Interestingly enough, the original film Craven pitched the idea to Walt Disney Pictures, who agreed to back the film if Craven would tone down the script to suit younger viewers. One can only imagine what the movie would have turned out like had Craven agreed. For a man whose name means “weak” or “cowardly,” Craven was not one to back down. Luckily, up and coming mega movie production company New Line Cinema decided to take a gamble on both Craven and the film. Although the company ran short of funds during productions at one point and were unable to pay the cast and crew, once the film was released, it met with both commercial and critical success. In fact, Craven turned a roughly $1.8 million budget into over approximately $25 million at the US box office. Ironically, both Craven’s creation of Freddy and Cunningham’s undead mama’s boy, Jason Voorhees, would finally meet in 2003 in Freddy vs. Jason. New Line Cinemas to this day rightfully still give credit to Craven and Freddy Krueger, which is quite a legacy to leave behind.
In 1988, Craven expanded his repertoire and went in another direction, delving into the world of voodoo with the release of The Serpent and the Rainbow. Directed by Craven and starring Bill Pullman (Spaceballs 1987, Independence Day 1996), the script was written by Richard Maxwell (The Sentinel TV series, Pensacola: Wings of Gold TV series) and Adam Rodman (Fame TV series, Unforgivable 1996) and had been loosely based on a non-fiction book by Wade Davis relating to some of his strange experiences in Haiti. Filming took place in Boston, Massachusetts, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and in Haiti. Although this meant that the personal safety of Craven and his crew was in jeopardy, that did not stop them. With their hard work paying off, the film met with mostly positive critical success, and unlike Craven’s previous films, had no problem achieving an R rating by the MPAA.
Craven then applied his skills to direct The People Under the Stairs (1991) starring Brandon Adams, (Ghost in the Machine 1993, The Sandlot 1993), Everett McGill (Dune 1984, Heartbreak Ridge 1986), Wendy Robie (Twin Peaks TV series, Vampire in Brooklyn 1995), A.J. Langer (Escape from L.A. 1996, Meet the Deedles 1998), Sean Whalen (Twister 1996, Men in Black 1997) and Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction 1994, Dawn of the Dead 2004). The movie hit #1 at the box office and exceeded all expectations worldwide. Shocking the world, again, this was another project that totally changed the expectation of the Horror movie. The centered around a young boy who finds himself stuck in a house full of psychotic killers after a bungled break in. The film focuses on the abject poverty faced by residents of a Los Angeles ghetto who are all facing eviction. Craven was inspired to write the screenplay after seeing a news story about authorities investigating a burglary who find children who had been locked inside their rooms by their parents, never allowed to go outside. Craven re-released the film, along with The Serpent and the Rainbow, on February 20, 2010 in the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, California.
Not content to rest on his laurels, Craven also created Ghostface, another terrifying killer, for the Scream series. He directed all four Scream films, with the first being released on December 20, 1996 to critical and commercial success, becoming one of the only Horror series that reaches and attracts such a diverse range of viewers. The film starred Neve Campbell (Party of Five TV series, The Craft 1996), Courtney Cox (Friends TV series, Cougar Town TV series) and David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks 2002, 3000 Miles to Graceland 2001), alongside appearances by Drew Barrymore (E.T. the Extra-terrestrial 1982, Firestarter 1984) and Happy Days’ Henry Winkler, already established actors at the time. Craven himself even had a cameo in the original film as a green and red-sweatered school janitor named Fred.
In his spare time, Craven teamed up with 30 Days of Night comic book creator Steven Niles to create Coming of Rage, a five issue comic book series that was released in digital format by Liquid Comics and is also now available in print. Prior to his passing, Craven continued to work on the comic book series, one that is set to turn all preconceived ideas about zombies, werewolves and vampires on their heads. A film version is being considered, giving fans something to look forward to.
During his expansive career, Craven won several awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York City Horror Film Festival in 2012. The significant impact Wes Craven provided not just to the Horror genre, but to the movie world in general is undeniable. His hard work ethic and desire to create founded the very fabric of the Horror world.
Survived by his third wife, Iya Labunka, and two children, writer/director Jonathan Craven and singer/songwriter Jessica Craven, without question Wes Craven will never be far from the minds of his loved ones, and in memories of his expansive fan base. Above all his achievements, those who knew and worked with Craven have nothing but fond memories of his warm, gentle, caring personality. Craven was no doubt a man of character on top of his vast talents as a writer and moviemaker, which inevitability is the best quality a human being can have. So while he may no longer be a part of planet earth, the nightmarish visions he created will frighten and delight for an eternity.
The imagination of Wes Craven effected people from all walks of life. Below are the thoughts of actors and musicians with fond memories of the legend:
“Wes is a Horror master that will never be forgotten. His works will continue to haunt the nightmares of generations to come!” – KT Paige, Romantic Rebel vocalist
“He was one of the most talented and sweetest men I have ever worked with. He will be missed.” – Tuesday Knight, actress (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master 1988, New Nightmare 1994)
“Wes Craven is a true pioneer whose body of work is not just Horror movies but an entire cinematic language of fear. Scream was one of the movies that inspired me to write in the Horror genre. Though Mr. Craven leaves an undeniable void, we all continue to operate under his shadow.” – Mike Le, writer/director, producer (Dark Summer 2015, Amnesiac 2015)
“He gave a lot of joy in this world” – Rutanya Alda, actress (The Deer Hunter 1978, Amityville II: The Possession 1982)
“Any fan of the Horror genre, present or future, will know of the immensely influential films and brilliant directing of the late Wes Craven. The iconic original A Nightmare on Elm Street will forever ring in my brain as being one of the scariest and greatest Horror movies of all time. In today’s stale and recycled plotlines, a mind as creative and talented as Wes’s will certainly be missed.” – Brandon Yeagley, Crobot vocalist
“Your legacy will haunt many generations to come! Thanks for the nightmares, Wes.” – Davey Suicide vocalist
“Wes Craven sits immortal amongst those who could manipulate your perception of reality and fear and take you to worlds beyond imagination. For me, the obvious choice of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, will always hold a special place in my love of horror. The creation of an entity like Freddy Krueger is like nothing else imaginable and unlike the quiet menace of Vorhees, Myers, Leatherface, Freddy was hands down next level and testament to the imagination of Craven’s depth into horrific characters that could scar your psyche. But for me, the underrated flick Shocker was something else and the soundtrack kicked major ass! Whether he had anything to do with it or not, the supergroup,’Dudes of Wrath’ showed a unity I wish could exist more prominent in music today. Wes Craven, fangs for the nightmares.” – Jesse Dracman, Darkc3ll vocalist
“Wes was an incredible human being, a dear friend and an amazing Director with a very big heart. One particular moment describing who he was and how he worked tirelessly with Actors to get the perfect shot/s comes to mind, even if I have many. We were shooting one of the last scenes in The People Under The Stairs, close ups on me and Brandon Adams when Brandon was telling me how to get out of the house. We kept shooting it, but there was something missing. Wes stood up, walked over to us and grabbed Brandon, who was only 11 at the time. Wes said let’s go for a run around the studio. He took of with Brandon running outside, holding his hand. About 10-15 minutes later they came back into the studio and the set, still running. Wes let Brandon’s hand go and called Action. Brandon completely out of breath started saying his lines so natural and real, it was amazing. We had the shot in that 1 last take! That was Wes, always finding a way to make it happen! Wes was a man full of Talent and Love! I will miss him” – Yan Birch, actor (The People Under the Stairs 1991, Sucker 1998)
“Wes Craven was a mastermind at his craft from A Nightmare on Elm Street that I grew up on and still watch today. For him to create such an iconic figure like Freddy is surreal. He was the Dream Master. To have a mind like him and dream up these characters is inspiring. His work from Scream to The Hills Have Eyes has pushed Horror movies to what they are today. Always been a huge fan of his work.” – Daniel Trejo, Shattered Sun guitarist
“Wes craven was the master. A kind soul with a talent to make us scream. His work is incredible and he really shaped the genre with his creative genius! As so many mourn, he lives through his incredible films and will continue to give us nightmares always! RIP Mr. Craven” – Felissa Rose, actress (Sleepaway Camp 1983, Satan’s Playground 2006)
“I use to jam once a week with Wes and Charlie Barreca, who became my soundman for Twisted Sister. They both worked at a film editing house Called Van Dyke’s, in NYC In the early seventies. Wes invited me to a screening of his first movie called The Sex Crime Of The Century.He told me it was a comedy. I went to see it in a film studio on 50th st & Broadway. The movie title was changed to Krug and Company. It wasn’t a comedy, it was the first edit of what became The Last House on the Left. Wes was laughing all the way through the screening. The violence made me ill. Wes was a funny guy with a sick sense oh humor!!” – Jay Jay French, Twisted Sister guitarist
“I have always enjoyed horror flicks, ever since I was a kid. A Nightmare on Elm Street especially have been some of my favorite. They used to scare the crap out of me! I was even Freddy Krueger for Halloween when I was 6 years old! I plan on getting a Freddy tattoo in the near future. This was before knowing of Wes’ death.. His films will live on along with his name for a long time.” – Peter Webber, Havok drummer
“Craven will be remembered an an iconic horror director. He knew what scared people and how to evoke true fear through the cinematic medium. His passing is a great loss, but we will always have his output to enjoy forever.” – Jim Wynorski, Writer/Director/Producer (Chopping Mall 1986, Not of This Earth 1988)
“Without Wes Craven we would not have Freddy Kreuger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Ghostface from the Scream movies or the Dokken song ‘Dream Warriors’! R.I.P. Master Of Horror.” – Don Jamieson, Comedian/co-host of VH1’s That Metal Show
“Wes was a genius in his genre, a true original that inspired many filmmakers. He also had great taste in music. I was honored to be asked to produce the song, “Are You Ready For Freddy” at my Power Station Studios in Manhattan. When the opportunity came up, I was working in the studio with an upcoming rock band from Indiana and some of the members wrote the song in the studio. Since we didn’t have a script or a reel of the film, the lyrics are centered around Wes’ iconic Freddy Kruger character. The single received great critical acclaim and commercial success. As you might imagine, working with The Fat Boys was a lot of fun and energy. Even ordering lunch produced a lot of laughs…….” – Tony Bongiovi, record producer
“The Horror world just got a bit smaller. Wes Craven is responsible for some of the greatest horror movies. His name will never die, his movies will not be forgotten. It’s movies like The People Under The Stairs, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Hills Have Eyes – these are some of the titles that have fueled me to put on a mask to explore and bring the horror world into my music. He may be gone, but his ideas will haunt you forever.” – Joey Simpson, Kiss Candice vocalist
“To say Wes Craven had an effect on my childhood and life would be a massive understatement. The A Nightmare on Elm Street series embodied my childhood as far as entertainment went. “Freddy’s Dead” was MY movie as a kid. The whole if you’re gonna kill someone kill them with a smile and a one liner, was the ultimate teenage angst therapy! It was also the first movie I ever saw in 3D. He will be very missed in my house.” – Greg Burgess, Allegaeon guitarist
“Wes Craven movies were the background to my formative years. When I came across the first A Nightmare on Elm Street, Shocker, The Last House on The Left, they set the tone and visual aesthetic for what was to become Murder FM. Wes, his films and his legend will forever live on in the legacy he left behind.” – Norman Matthew, Murder F.M. vocalist/guitarist
“As a Horror movie enthusiast I was quite upset to hear of Wes’s passing. He was someone who defined the genre, pushed the envelope, and left a legacy of films to enjoy for a lifetime of fans. When I was just a young kid I remember seeing movies like The Hills Have Eyes, and The Last House on The Left and having nightmares for days. Thanks mom and dad (mostly dad) for letting me watch those!! I can even remember turning on The Hills Have Eyes re-make on the bus before a festival we were doing with SOiL and everyone was in this weird freaked out mood the rest of the day and blamed it on me. I put one of our band walkie talkies in Adam’s (Soil guitarist) bunk that night and whispered “goggle….come in goggle” and had him jump up. See, even Wes Craven’s movies were good for a practical joke as well! In memory of a Horror movie mastermind……..” – Tim King, SOiL bassist
“Thank you Wes Craven for scaring the shit out of me since I was a kid and shaping who I am.” – Seth Cooper, Secret Eyes vocalist/guitarist
“When looking to have the living shit scared out of me, I look no further than The Serpent and the Rainbow. RIP Mr. Wes Craven” – Dave Raymond, Rubikon guitarist
“I was terrified when I was a young kid watching his movies.. Truly a master at his art.. I would have given anything to see what kind of movies were going on in his head… Truly will be no other like him.” – Joey Duenas, Ünloco & Anew Revolution vocalist/guitarist
“He directed me in my first film. How lucky I was for that. He was gentle, kind, cared deeply about the work, and was like a mentor and friend. Not just to me but to all he worked with.” – Sean Whalen, actor (The People Under the Stairs 1991, Twister 1996)
“Wes Craven RIP…never afraid to push boundaries and always guiding the frontiers of his art and genre. True inspiration, great filmmaker.” – Chris Hawkins, One Machine vocalist
” When I reminisce on Wes Craven, I can’t help but think of the very first time I heard of A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was the summer of 1986 and I was hanging out at a local arcade with Monoxide and in walked our friend The R.O.C. telling us about this movie his parents had rented called … you guessed it, A Nightmare on Elm Street from writer & director Wes Craven. He went on to explain how this guy Freddy Krueger kills these kids in their dreams and they die in real life… “what the fuck!?!?” was my initial response. Needless to say we all went to the video rental store later that day and rented that very movie and watched it that night with the lights off and the volume super loud! The outcome was our introduction to Mr. Craven’s creation of Freddy Krueger and the side effect was insomnia. His works are timeless and terrifying and all I can truely say is Thank you for the nightmares Wes Craven.” – Jamie Madrox of Twiztid
“He was along with John carpenter and Tobe hooper a pioneer of the true Horror/Slasher genre.” – Lesleh Donaldson, actress (Funeral Home 1980, Happy Birthday To Me 1981)
“When I saw Wes Craven’s first film, The House on Left, there was no denying he was a Horror master – It is and always will be one of the darkest and disturbing films I have ever seen. Of course A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes, and Scream will live on to inspire the next generations of horror to come. He will be missed, but live on in our nightmares. “ – Pat Via, January Jane vocalist
“I am truly bummed out to hear about the passing of Wes Craven…A man who has cultivated the Horror genre and inspired so many current directors to fulfill their goal of creating horror movies. I have been a Horror movie fan for most of my life with most of my favorite classics (such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes, Scream, and way many more) ironically being directed and written by Craven himself. There will definitely be a hole left in the hearts of Horror movie fans around the world. From all of us in Broken Flesh, our prayers go out to his family and many friends.” – Joshua Mathes, Broken Flesh bassist
“I think A Nightmare on Elm Street was probably one of the first Horror movies that I ever saw. I couldn’t sleep right for nights after watching that movie. One of my friends was a weirdo Horror fanatic at a super young age. So, I had to be subjected to all these twisted ideas that you get in that genre. Sooner or later I figured out that twisted ideas aren’t really ‘wrong,’ per se, and Horror movies (at least the ones that stuck with me) were a lot about questioning reality… or exploring the hard truths around us. There were a lot of elements in Horror that I ended up appreciating and a lot that shaped my art and self. So cheers to one of the classics, one of the masters, Wes Craven.” – Jon Redditt , War Baby guitarist/vocalist
“I’m shocked and saddened to learn about the passing of writer-director Wes Craven today. I had the honor and pleasure of working with him several times. He was a warm and wonderful man.” – Mick Garris, Director/Writer/Producer (Critters 2 1988, Masters of Horror series)
“RIP Wes Craven! A longtime fan of his work, from The Hills Have Eyes (the original of course), through the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises (even though he didn’t write all of them, inspiration started there), no one did horror as complete and well as him, in my opinion. A visionary who laid the path for future franchises such as Saw, Insidious, and others I’m quite sure, you’ll forever be in my memories as driving my nightmares for many years to come. Rest In Peace.” – Steve Smyth, One Machine, guitarist
“Wes Craven scared the hell out of me when I was a kid…which is a very good thing. I needed to get it out of my system. RIP Wes and thanks” – Phil Leavitt , 7Horse drummer/vocalist
“Wes was the master of nail biters and a trail blazer for so many inspiring young film makers. He will love forever” – Charlie Overbey of Charlie Overbey and the Broken Arrows
“Wes Craven made our childhood slumber parties that much more exciting! It’s sad to see such a legend pass! We tip our hats to you Mr Craven!” – Dan Palmer, Zebrahead lead guitarist
” Wes Craven had guts. He was a visionary, a one of a kind, the Stephen King of cinema. Humble and true to himself. His organic talent is what we all should strive for. He never went with the status quo. He was easy going because he trusted his inner voice and we all reaped the benefits. There is something to be learned from Wes. There is never a dream too big if you trust in yourself. He will be missed and though I never met him his impact on me will last forever.” – Cherie Currie, The Runaways vocalist
“I was really sad to see Wes Craven had passed away. He was the godfather of horror and made all my favorite classic horror flicks – Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes, and all their respective series. RIP WC.” – Branden Kreider, From Ashes To New guitarist/vocals
“August 30th the world lost a true genius… When I read about Wes passing from brain cancer I was really shocked. We’ve lost a lot of amazing people from the genre this year from Roddy Piper to Christopher Lee now Wes Craven?? So sad…I grew up on his legendary films from The A Nightmare on Elm Street series to The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left and The Serpent and the Rainbow. All of these films are so nostalgic for me! Thank you Wes for what you did for all of us You will forever live on through your art.” – Phil Cross, Biters bassist
“Horror movies and heavy metal have often gone hand in hand, so with the passing of Wes Craven, not only has Horror Cinema lost a household name but metal has lost an inspiration also. One who will always be remembered through his nightmares….”Pure evil never dies!” – Stefano Selvatico, One Machine, bassist
“This is a devastating loss for the Horror and film making community. Wes Craven was one of the most imaginative and inspirational people to create and capture images and nightmares for all of us to be inspired by and enjoy for lifetimes to come. He had a way of turning words on paper into a nightmarish reality unlike any other. The feeling and atmosphere to his movies was unmatched by any other writer or director. so much of my upbringing was on his films and his visions brought to life. they will forever have a lasting impact on the world of horror and dark art. So to Wes, to the creator of our best nightmares… thank you for sharing your nightmares with us… for creating our heroes… thank you for the inspiration… thank you for the nightmares. rest in peace Wes Craven.” – Jeremy Saffer, Photographer
“Wes Craven’s masterful horror films are what first transformed most of our childhood nightmares into a place of curiosity and blinding terror. To where we go when we dream, to what could be lurking in the dark at anytime, all the way to the very things our own imaginations force us to believe before entering a state of absolute panic. Wes Craven had a gift of reaching into our deepest fears and showing them to us. He will be terrifyingly missed and shall always be know as the great father of modern day Horror.” – Chris Rivers, Stories Of Living vocalist
“To me Wes was always like the Grandfather with the amazing stories. From A Nightmare on Elm Street, to The Last House on the Left, to Scream, his films made up the best part of my childhood.
With my A Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy and Nancy tattoo on my arm to always remind me of the mark he made on my life, in my eyes he will always be the king of Horror.” – Mitch, Death By Six vocalist
“I will always remember getting together with family and having A Nightmare on Elm Street marathons. I have always loved the made for television movie Summer of fear he did with Linda Blair. Wes Craven was and will always be one of the masters of the Horror genre and now that he’s gone he will be deeply missed.” – Alexis Brown, Straight Line Stitch vocalist
“Wes Craven’s films were a huge part of my upbringing. As a child and today as well, my love for horror constantly grew. I remember my obsession with the Scream movies while I was in elementary school. I had the movies, the posters, the masks, the figures etc. Of course I also enjoyed The Hills Have Eyes, Last House on The Left, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. To hear about his passing saddened me deeply. Horror cinema has always influenced everything I do artistically and geniuses like Wes Craven are to thank for that. It’s terrible that we lost him so soon and no, horror won’t be the same, but the great thing about his wonderful creations is that they allow him and his incredible vision to live on and on as filmmaking, Horror and non-horror, continue to grow. A true legend has passed on but we have the privilege of celebrating his genius every time we watch his films.” – Andrew DeLeon, American’s Got Talent singer-songerwriter
“I am saddened by the death of one of the true kings of modern horror. The brilliancy of taking horror to the next level, whereby revoking the rules, remains the hallmark of this legendary filmmaker.” – Rikki Rockett, Poison & Devil City Angels drummer
“…a genius, a gentleman and a gentle man.” – Lin Shaye, actress (A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984, Insidious series)
“I’ve never been too big on Horror movies but I do remember watching the first A Nightmare on Elm Street as a kid and thinking damn that shit s scary for real.The Freddie Krueger character was so well designed as the ultimate boogie man on steroids.Then later I got into guitar playing and my favorite guitar player which I emulated the most was George Lynch from Dokken.When I found out that the A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was coming out and Dokken was doing the soundtrack theme I went nuts.When I heard the track I thought OMG! This is Lynch s best guitar sound and riffing ever.So powerful ,eerie and mystical just like the movie.Wes Craven did a perfect match there. Genius stuff!” – Ramon Ortiz, guitarist (formerly of Puya)
“It is indeed a sad day when one of the greats passes. With mile stones and personal favorites such as A Nightmare on Elm Street or The Hills Have Eyes, along with some less stereotypical Horrors such as The Serpent and the Rainbow, his heritage is undeniable. Our biggest flair for his style is definitely his way of questioning reality by using dreams and movies as tools for exploring what is real and what is not, often blurring lines and adding consequences between the two. We also love his adept way of portraying cannibalism and inbreeding in a classical horror context. And of course, his ruthless satire of the running-on-fumes slasher genre in the ’90s in Scream, somehow making it work through all of it’s inherent ridiculousness. All in all, thank you Wes for scaring the shit out of us as kids.” – Aksel Holmgren, The Great Discord drummer
“Wes was an amazing pioneer in the world of Horror…so many original ideas, he scared the hell out of us from The Last House on The Left all the way to all four Scream films. no one could ever take his place. Talent like his has not been given to many filmmakers” – Deron Miller, CKY vocalist
“I don’t think you can name any classic Horror films where Wes Craven wasn’t involved. He left us a timeless legacy of nightmares we will never wake up from.” – Zardonic, Metal EDM Producer
“Wes Craven Had a way of telling a story and creating a visual that stuck with you. He was the barometer for scary and probably responsible for more kids hiding under the covers or climbing in their parent’s beds than anyone. Growing up as a child of the 80’s and 90’s my boogey man was Freddie Kruger. My most memorable and frightening moment at the movie theater was the Drew Barrymore scene in Scream. My personal favorite has to be The People Under The Stairs! That was the one that always made me think “that could be my neighbor.” – Ryan Williams, Red Sun Rising guitarist
“Some of the scariest movies I have ever seen were the first three A Nightmare on Elm Street films. They were movies I will never forget. I couldn’t go to sleep.” – Alessandro AP Paveri, Gemini Syndrome bassist
“Wes Craven has been one of the biggest inspirations for myself and in all of my artistic endeavors. The man was a genius and gave birth to so many amazing Horror films. It was a sad moment to accept that this mastermind of Horror has passed away and may his spirit remain a legend forever. “ – Kristof Bathory, URILIA vocalist
“What’s your favorite Scary movie?” Many people’s favorite memory of a Wes Craven Horror movie is A Nightmare on Elm Street, but for me it’s one of the first Horror movies I ever saw, Scream. Scream was the perfect blend of sarcastic dark comedy and intense frightfest scenes. The premise was simple, drawing on all of the classic Horror movie scenarios in a real world type of way but was written so cleverly it kept you watching. Wes Craven just knew how to do that… keep you watching even if you wanted to cover your eyes and piss your pants…. Thank you Mr. Craven for scaring the crap out of us for years. You will be missed.” – September, September Mourning vocalist
– John LeCompt, NoMara/ Even Devils Die / We Are The Fallen guitarist