Farewell to Wes - Dread Central Writer Sean Decker - Dread Central
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Farewell to Wes – Dread Central Writer Sean Decker

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On a crisp November evening in 1984, my then teenage self purchased a ticket with friends to see Firstborn in a local multiplex in the then similarly rather small northern California town of Santa Rosa. My intention, having already seen that film and my life having already been given purposeful direction by John Carpenter’s Halloween years prior, was to see a different film entirely.

It was an R-rated flick, which meant we had to duck the usher. Successfully completing that task (we were professionals by that point), we settled into our seats; and minutes later I found myself journeying to a seemingly idyllic street named Elm, where a madman with knives for fingers would go on to butcher people who were, well, kinda just like me: young, confused, and overwhelmed with the junior high experience.

It was beautifully terrifying, and the threat at its center (while indeed mercurial and unlike anything we’d ever seen) laid its focused fingers on our collective zeitgeist with effective, and in a way comforting, skill. As terrifying as its villain may have been, equally as powerful was its resilient female protagonist, and my life was forever changed.

Twelve years later, after a steady diet of scares (which included Last House on the Left, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and The People Under the Stairs, among many others, prompted by this film) and a year before I entered the world of horror as a fledgling journalist at Universal Studios, my world was again forever changed by Scream.

At that time an underdog feature playing at the small Sunset 5 (I didn’t have to sneak in that time) in my then relatively new town of Hollywood, CA, the film (which made “meta” a thing) irrefutably reset the then-flagging genre. Like a punk rock band only we’d heard about, we immediately and collectively embraced the cinematic Woodsboro carnage with both vehement ferocity and unabashed love because it too was about, well, us. On the heels of local social unrest (the L.A. riots) and the 1995 Éric Borel massacre (a precursor to Columbine) and on the precipice of the internet and the advent of burgeoning cell phone tech (who’s actually on the other line?), the film smashed any lingering Rockwellian notions we’d held against a proverbial rock with such riveting intelligence, wit, and eerie prediction that we really didn’t know what’d hit us.

Oh, and yes, it did it all with another flawed, yet beautifully believable heroine.

I walked out of the theater elated. I was once again home.

As the years progressed, I would go on to have the surreal pleasure and honor to interview and converse with the director of these films: a man of immeasurable talent, intelligence, and soft-spoken grace, who possessed a keen understanding of story (and through that of how to frighten us like few others), and, in addition, a man who truly understood what it meant to be emphatically human.

As screenwriter Dan Madigan said to me last evening, “The prodigal sons of horror have lost a spiritual father,” and that’s exactly how I feel now, as if a family member has passed. Because, quite simply, he has.

Wes Craven, thank you for all you have given us and all that you have taught. We’ll try to make you proud.

I just can’t believe you are gone, though given your work, you never will be.

—- Sean Decker

Wes Craven

With the tragic passing of Wes Craven, literally everyone in the industry has been reeling and expressing love for the man and his work. Several people have been writing in to Dread Central to ask if it would be cool to post their thoughts. So this Farewell to Wes feature will be their opportunity to share their feelings and their thoughts with you, the horror community.

Some will be long, some will be short, but all are important and will be featured with love and caring. It’s our honor to be able to do this for the man who gave us so very much.

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Freddy’s Greatest Hits Vinyl Re-issue Is a Must-Own

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Strange Disc Records has just announced that it will be releasing “Freddy’s Greatest Hits – The Elm Street Group” on vinyl starting this Wednesday with pre-orders expected to ship in January 2018.

Not only that but Mondo announced they will be releasing an exclusive variant pressed on “Freddy Sweater” striped vinyl. This LP from Mondo is limited to 400 and will cost you $25.

For those who might not know, “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” was originally released in 1987. The record contains nine tracks (covers, originals, and instrumentals) with Robert Englund doing the voice of Freddy over the top.

I don’t know about you but this has just made my list of must-own items. But I’d prefer an original copy. That said an original copy is probably hundreds of buck on eBay as opposed to this version for a mere $25 bucks. Not bad.

You can check out the full track listing and a sample song below. Then make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’ll be snagging a copy in the comments below!

Track Listing

1. “Do The Freddy”
Freddy and the Dreamers cover, as well as a parody.
The lyrics were changed to fit Freddy Krueger persona and elements

2. “Obsession”
original song

3. “Wooly Bully”
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs cover.
Freddy (Robert Englund) provides the opening lyrics.

4. “Don’t Sleep”
original song

5. “In The Midnight Hour”
Wilson Pickett cover

6. “All I Have To Do Is Dream”
Everly Brothers cover

7. “Dance or Else”
original song

8. “Down in the Broiler Room”
original song

9. “Elm Street Dreams”
original song

Pre-orders begin Wednesday, November 22.

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That is One Gigantic Steampunk Squid…

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Perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi adventures novels ever written, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a landmark book, one that was decades ahead of its time. The story follows the crew of the Nautilus, a submarine commanded by Captain Nemo, as they venture in search of a giant sea monster. It was the basis for several film adaptations and the character of Captain Nemo played a pivotal role in the graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

So why am I bringing this up, you ask? Because Tor Books is releasing Nemo Rising, a sequel, this Christmas! Written by C. Courtney Joyner, the story once again follows Nemo, although this book sees him a prisoner that must be pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant in order to face an onslaught of more sea monsters.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother you all with this, but I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the cover art for the book is fucking epic! I’ve always been a fan of cephalopods, and I’ve found the steampunk aesthetic to be pretty fascinating. Combine them both along with giant monsters, and you damn well better believe that I’m 100% into it! Plus, it’s wrapped itself around the Nautilus, which is already a giant vessel, so now I’m wondering just how large these mechanical monstrosities are…

Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26, 2017.

Synopsis:
Sea monsters are sinking ships up and down the Atlantic Coast. Enraged that his Navy is helpless against this onslaught and facing a possible World War as a result, President Ulysses S. Grant is forced to ask for assistance from the notorious Captain Nemo, in Federal prison for war crimes and scheduled for execution.

Grant returns Nemo’s submarine, the infamous Victorian Steampunk marvel Nautilus, and promises a full Presidential pardon if Nemo hunts down and destroys the source of the attacks. Accompanied by the beautiful niece of Grant’s chief advisor, Nemo sets off under the sea in search of answers. Unfortunately, the enemy may be closer than they realize…

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Filming On Blumhouse’s Halloween Pushed to January

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Looks like filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween from Danny McBride and David Gordon Green has been pushed back a few months.

Not a huge deal, though. Only till January.

Filming on Halloween (2018) was supposed to begin this October (natch) but now it seems the film still has some cast to fill out.

The news comes to us via a South Carolina casting agency, The Island Packet, who are still seeking extras for the new film. In fact, if you are from the South Carolina area, you can be an extra in the film. Just click the link above for more details.

I wish I lived in or around South Carolina because being in this new Halloween would be a f*cking dream come true. If you’re in the area, get on it. You owe it to the rest of us! Haha?

How excited would you be to be an extra in this new Halloween? Let us know below!

Blumhouse’s Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer and is executive produced and scored by John Carpenter.

Halloween (2018) hits theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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