- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470497505
- ISBN-13: 978-0470497500
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wes Craven: The Man and his Nightmares 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
"Wooley tells the stuff that Screams are made of, richly exploring the deep intelligence, wit, edgy controversiality, and absolute terror that only Wes Craven brings to the screen." Ron Wolfe, coauthor of Old Fears and Death's Door
An absorbing portrait of horror's most terrifyingly imaginative writer-director
Wes Craven is one of the most successful and iconic horror movie directors in Hollywood, with a career that has spanned almost forty years. His examination of the nightmarish nexus of dreams and reality has enthralled millions around the world. This book goes beyond the screen to examine what really led to Wes Craven's nightmaresand ours.
Why was Craven reluctant to direct Scream, which spawned the number one horror franchise of all time? What led him to begin his career as a film director by making one of the most controversial horror movies ever? What inspired him to create the horrifying Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street? In this fascinating and insightful biography filled with new revelations from the author's most recent interview with Craven, you'll discover the answers to these and many more questions about the man whose name has become synonymous with horror.
You'll find out:
The source of the nightmares that haunted Craven's childhood and how he coped with them later in life
Craven's surprising scholarly roots
The real-life events that sparked the creation of the infernal Freddy Krueger
Why the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise didn't make him rich
The real story that inspired The Hills Have Eyes
The background dish on the Scream movies
About the Author
JOHN WOOLEY spent more than two decades as the horror-film writer for the Tulsa World and as a regular contributor to Fangoria magazine. He coauthored The Big Book of Biker Flicks and the Forgotten Horror series, and his novels include Old Fears, which was optioned for film adaptation by Wes Craven.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. John Wooley not only knows his subject matter well, he conveys his information in clear language and without talking down to his audience. If you're a hard-core film buff and historian, a casual viewer, or somewhere in between, this book is worth every second of your reading time.
Wooley did an excellent job of conveying Craven's frustration with Hollywood in stereotyping him as a horror director (the headline quote is from page 159). The man has tried to branch out several times over the years with so-so results (and not for lack of trying or knowledge on his part). For shame because the man is as intelligent and well-read as they come. His flops are better than others' blockbusters.
The part that impressed me the most about Craven's story was the fact that he earned his master's degree in a year! When you think of all the reading and writing he had to do for that, it's an impressive feat!
There were a couple of places I was surprised to see errors, however minor, for a writer of Wooley's caliber. Mr. Wooley made mention that John Carpenter's Halloween was an '80s film (p. 189). The film was released in 1978.
Craven's story is replete with the wonders of the business side of making movies (as many directors' biographies would be), but, for whatever reasons, Craven's stories are intense and beyond interesting.
From his childhood to his college days as both a student and professor to his start learning how to do dailies to his unofficial (and sometimes un credited) beginnings in the porno industry to his getting the chance to make "Last House on the Left" 40 years ago (the reaction to it is eye opening - either that or eye-rolling) to the legendary success of the Nightmare on Elm Street series to the even bigger success of the Scream series and everything else in between: Wooley did a beyond excellent job in chronicling the life of Wes Craven and, as far as I'm concerned, this is Craven's definitive biography (and it does help that this was done with Craven's cooperation).
I can't rave about this book enough! GREAT stuff! - Donna Di Giacomo
This book is a very good artist profile of Wes Craven and also very inspiring specially for film makers that feel are struggling to get into the industry. Wes Craven's journey as a film maker was far from easy, he faced many challenges, criticism and shot downs by production companies before he made is name and he never gave up. Also he was a man that worked within his possibilities, made the best of it, and expanded his message regardless of the genre he was tied too. The book also gives you an insight on how the film industry was in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's until present day and how it changed along the way as well as audience mentality. Craven has had a big impact in film culture and growth.
This book talks about Wes's inspiration and influence behind his stories and films. How he grew up and coped with a repressive society, religious up bringing and how the responded to it through his films and story telling. As the book quotes in the last chapter craven is a man that marches to his own drummer.