Believe it or not I'd never read a book about Wes Craven before
now. I've obviously been following his career from pretty
much the get to. I saw THE HILLS HAVE EYES when it debuted
on Showtime or HBO. I also saw DEADLY BLESSING and SWAMP
THING on one of those cable channels as well. I watched
LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT shortly after on VHS. I braved eighty
below zero temperature to see A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on it's
opening day in '84 (I was the only one in the theater), while I
was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana in the Army.
Anyway it was great reading about how the college
professor/school teacher became one of the masters of horror.
John Wooley gathers information about Wes Craven's life from a
variety of sources to tell his story. Some of it I had
read in Fangoria over the years, but much of the book,
especially the real personal info was new to me.
All of Craven's films, including his extensive TV work, as well
as projects that never came to fruition are all discussed.
Wooley collects box office take, critical reviews both positive
and negative for each movie so you can get a perspective on
Wooley interjects his thoughts on the films, sometimes pointing
the audience and critic's misunderstanding and argues against
the flack thrown at them.
You should find many of the stories fascinating in terms of the
difficulties Craven experienced on many of the productions,
including him even being re-written by book editors on his novel
The Fountain Society.
This book is succinctly written and is a very fast read.
By my count, Wes Craven is the only film director who has made a
horror classic in three consecutive decades; THE HILLS HAVE EYES
'77, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET '84 and SCREAM '86. For
that fact alone you should want to read the book.