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Screams and Nightmares: The Films of Wes Craven [Hardcover]

Brian J. Robb
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1999
A study of the horror films of Wes Craven, whose work includes "Last House on the Left", "The Hills Have Eyes", "Shocker", "The People Under the Stairs" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Scream". The book is based on interviews with Craven and on access to archive material.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 195 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Press (May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879519185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879519186
  • Product Dimensions: 28.1 x 21.7 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,302,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian J. Robb is a writer and biographer whose previous books have included a New York Times Best-Selling biography of Leonardo DiCaprio; Screams & Nightmares, the definitive book on horror director Wes Craven; biographies of Johnny Depp and Ewan McGregor; and Counterfeit Worlds, a study of the films of Philip K. Dick.

He is currently Managing Editor at Titan Magazines, a publisher of film and TV related titles.

He is Editor-in-Chief of the Official Star Wars Insider Magazine, and oversees magazines for Lost, Stargate, Smallville, Star Trek and Supernatural, as well as being Managing Editor on Total Sci Fi, an international cult film and television web site.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Wes Craven began his directing career in 1972 with The Last House on the Left, still seen as a shocking and controversial film a quarter of a century later. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good overall review 3 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Everyone's heard of Wes Craven, but how many of you could name every film he's made. This book isn't just for Wes Craven fanatics though. This is an in depth look at the man behind everything and his movies, not just the movies.
With everything from black and white pics from the set to a detailed filmography at the back - did you know that Wes actually makes an uncredited appearance in Scream 2 as Man at Hospital - from The Last House on the Left to Scream 2, this book has everything you could ask for. With a look at Craven's films it also covers what happened to the Freddy Kruger franchise when Craven took a back seat, before finally returning with Wes Craven's New Nightmare.
This is one of the most interesting biography around, with a lot of detail and and artwork that hasn't been seen before. The real film enthusiasts will love it, and even those who aren't will stuggle to put this down. This is entertaining and informative. One of the best books around at the moment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Insight To A Great Man's Work 2 Mar 2013
By DAWP
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book about a truly great man.

Screams and Nightmares is a carer profile of one of horror's great directors.

The work of Wes Craven is some of the best known horror movies out there and the man is equally if not greater than his works.

Highly recomended to fans

10/10
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INTRIUGING 25 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have been an avid fan of Wes Craven and his movies, But this book gives you more insight on his better movies, and gives you respect for his unsatisfactory movies. As well as getting inside his head and knowing what these movies really mean, After reading it you know what each movie is "really" all about. For anyone who is interested in Horror movies, or any genre of Movies, you should definately read this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The nightmare man 13 Feb 2011
By flawlessfx - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book gives the secrets behind of the best movies from one I was a kid. It shows behind the scenes photos, & info from on the set. It shows how the Freddy makeup was done for part 1. I am a horror fanatic & was very pleased with the book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Craven For More! 13 Dec 2003
By Barry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
At first thought, many people probably would have thought director Wes Craven to be some kind of unbalanced oddball because of some of the films he has made. Not to mention some of the gnarly and overly violent scenes he has created in his numerous films. What kind of a person would of made "The Last House On The Left", or "The Hills Have Eyes"?. Or have a geiser of blood shooting up from a teenaged boy's bed in the original "A Nightmare On Elm Street"?. Well, Mr. Craven. That's who. Newbies just finding his work and learning more about him, might be surprised to find that Mr. Craven is the exact opposite of what you would of thought. Instead of coming across as some crazy horror film director, he comes across more as a polished and highly intelligent man who looks and dresses like a college professor. "Freddy" star Robert Englund even once made that comment after meeting Wes for the first time after auditioning for the first Freddy movie. This book delves right into the entirety of Wes' career and offers glimpses into the makings of each ones, not to mention his own life. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 2, 1939. One other interesting note was how his family were a deeply religious baptist family. The religion and the nature of his family's religion is something Wes goes on to discuss a bit further in the book. It's also incredibly interesting to know that Wes never saw a movie until
he wasin college. The good and the bad from his work is brought to the forefront and dissected. A running theme thru the book is the effect that horror, and many of Wes' films, have had on the world. Is it good?. Is it harmful to children?. Is it responsible when someone commits a crime and says they did because of watching "Scream" or any other movie?. That is some of the interesting bits you will read about in this book. Author Brian J. Robb, an autobiogrpaher who has done work on such other people as Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, River Phoenix, and Leonardo DiCaprio, does a nice job of getting the information there and making it easily accessible and interesting to read. Granted, the book isn't entirely perfect. It's a thin and light book that could probably be read in one sitting. Also, many of the quotes seem like they were taken from many other sources. It doesn't feel like Wes had directly talked to this book or was involved in any interviews for it. I'm just guessing. It would of been better if it had a tad more in depth, but I'm not really complaining for as it is a great book. The "Nightmare On Elm Street" films are thoroughly researched and talked about here. It is kind of odd that every single one is accounted for since 4 of them had nothing really to do with Wes at all. I did get the feeling that Wes wasn't properly treated at time by New Line over the "Elm Street" series. These films were what really made Wes known, until a little movie called "Scream" came out to terrify theatergoers in 1996 and made Wes not only a household name again, but proved that he is master and back at the top of the horror list. Much talk and detail goes into all 3 of the "Scream" films as well. Overall, this is avery entertaining and enjoyable read. From his trouble with getting a film done, going without money, and the ever present cencorships board, and other things you will read about in this book, Wes Craven has had his struggles. But as always, he rolls with the punches and he always gets back on his feet again. This is a book that satisfy fans, newcomers to him and his work, and genre buffs all over the world.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Condition 27 Aug 2012
By Chaakal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is an old version but I have received it in a good condition. The size and number of pages are larger than I thought.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Craven fans only 28 Jan 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is designed for big, big, big fans of Wes Craven. It is a slim book whose text seems to be primarily based on magazine articles and newspaper clips. The book gives a fairly good overview of Craven's history and philosophy in a readable and serviceable style.
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