Freddy Krueger

Foreign Horror Of The Day: “Mahakaal” [AKA: Bollywood’s “A Nightmare On Elm Street”]

wgq4htc1

Seeing as I’m someone who lives in the North America, I sometimes find myself feeling as though I’m trapped in a “movie bubble.” Granted, it’s a comfortable bubble, but it’s difficult not to think of all of the insane horror movies we tend to miss from other countries. As a fan of foreign horror, I’m talking about films like Batoru rowaiaru [Battle Royale], Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da [I Saw The Devil] or Oldeuboi [Oldboy] – all of which I strongly recommend – though they do make it to North America, it should come as no surprise that there are some foreign movies, stories and general ideas that we would be missing out on. Not every last production or project is going to call for exporting. Some are best to be stay behind; right where they came from.. Which is what should have happened with: Mahakaal, or as it’s known in English: The Monster. [it’s also sometimes known as “Time of Death”]

It’s important to note that unlike the other examples of foreign horror films I used above, [which were all Korean cinema] this film is a Bollywood film – meaning it’s a Hindi film. Don’t read into this wrongly, I have nothing against Bollywood, but I do feel the need to point out that a lot of their films seem to follow the same plot: boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy has to prove his worth to girl’s family. Is Mahakaal any different? Let’s look into it.. For starters, the film itself looks ridiculous for so many reasons, that you’re bound to lose count. But if there’s one thing you’re absolutely guaranteed not to miss: it’s the clear “borrowing” from other horror movies – specifically, one film in particular..and it’s a favorite of mine. Need a hint?

eudtmyj

That’s right! Mahakaal is a [very] low budget Indian rendition of A Nightmare On Elm Street. But hold on; we’re not really talking about a loose rendition – no, this is a flat out, wild, and obvious rip-off! That guy you see above? The one with the glove – he’s not Freddy Krueger – he’s “The Monster” of the movie. Even the synopsis sounds very familiar to Nightmare, claiming that “a mysterious monster haunts the dreams of a young woman named Anita, who becomes concerned when one of her friends is killed by the monster in a dream.” The thing is though, this movie has a terrible habit of either being a clear as day rip-off, or straying so far from the path; that it may as well be a completely original idea! [With mixes of ANOES] For those who are considering watching Mahakaal, it runs at almost two and a half hours; and most of this time has the characters singing and dancing for no reason, even after they realized they’re being stalked by The Monster. [Though singing and dancing is typical in Bollywood cinema, so I guess I’m not overly surprised] Because of the long screen time, I searched for short clips on Youtube and Vimeo and actually found something better: someone actually re-cut the film, highlighting the important parts. If you have ten minutes, be sure to check it out below! It’s hard to take seriously, but that’s why it’s so damn great!



Still haven’t had enough? I also feel obligated to mention that one of Mahakaal’s weirder additions to the A Nightmare On Elm Street premise is there’s a scene where a group of angry men corner and molest the heroines. [which was actually a common social problem in India at time] However, toward the end of the film, we see a possessed Anita take one of these men up on his offer to go back to his place – where she slaughters him! Of course, before that happens, she and another female character endure not one, but multiple scenes where they find themselves groped in public – but fear not! Their boyfriends come to save the day.. with martial arts! [because of course they do!]

dvnoyef

So that’s Mahakaal: a movie that isn’t afraid to show that it’s a rip-off of a film that is so close and dear to horror fans everywhere. It’s by no means a “bad movie”, but it’s unnecessary. If you were to cut out the songs, the over the top “jokes”, and shorten the film by at least half an hour; you could have something of a fun film. Be that as it may, it’s still a bizarre and curious film from the world of Bollywood. If you’re still curious, and you want to watch Mahakaal in it’s entirety, you can do that here – subtitles and all – the film quality is actually decent, and it’s easy enough to follow along.. if you can follow along to monsters, murder, and dance numbers.

Now I turn to You. What are Your thoughts on Mahakaal? Is it something you found interesting? Or should blatant Nightmare On Elm Street rip-offs stay away from North America? Let me know your thoughts on the matter in the comments! As for me, I think I’ll just stick with good ol’ Nightmare from the master himself: Wes Craven! If you enjoy foreign horror, which [foreign] film is your favorite? Writing this made me want to see more so I’m open to suggestions! Also, if you find yourself to enjoy what I do on here, then please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 149+ likes – only a few more and we’ll have reached over 150!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been “gone live” online; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog.

Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! I’ve also been writing way more reviews on my Letterboxd account, this is because I’m trying to review every single movie I watch  – with each review coming the very next day after viewing! Are you interested yet? Check me out over there and click that “follow” button! I’m just bound to follow you back because I like reading other people’s thoughts on film, as well as writing reviews myself!

giphy1

remember: this is from “Mahakaal.” NOT “A Nightmare On Elm Street”..good luck convincing me otherwise..

THANKS FOR READING.

WEIRDO’WEEN #19: A Nightmare On Elm Street [1984]

weirdoween2015

NOTE: As he passed away at the end of August 2015, this review is dedicated to you, Mr. [Wes] Craven. Thanks for all the Nightmares, and for creating what I consider my all time favorite horror franchise.


Something I used to hate when I was younger, that I really enjoy now is getting the chance to go to sleep. After a hard day’s work or even a day filled with nothing but movies and video games, nothing feels better then lying down and catching some down time.. That is, unless you’re being plagued by a sleep-demon who is trying to kill you in your dreams! Worse yet – if he succeeds; you die for real!

So here we go, ladies and gentlemen, assuming you haven’t caught on yet; [which if you haven’t, we need to have a discussion about your lack of horror knowledge] today’s movie is the first in a franchise that went on for seven films: [and that’s not including a mashup film and a [[terrible]] remake!] we’re talking about A Nightmare On Elm Street!

weirdo'ween-#19

Everyone, and I mean Everyone has at least heard of our villain: Freddy Krueger. The easiest way to describe him is that he’s a psychopath who murdered several children with a custom glove fitted with straight razor blades attached to each one of the fingers. Oh, and he attacks/kills you in your dreams, all while making really amusing puns [at least I appreciate the puns] as he cackles! Here’s a lengthier explanation of just what happens in A Nightmare On Elm Street:

It all started when a judge set him free of his charges, that Krueger is burned alive in the boiler room of a school [where he worked] by the [obviously] angry group of parents whose children he terrorized! However, the actual film takes place years after his death, when the children whose parents were responsible for Krueger‘s death – including Nancy Thompson, who is the daughter of the police officer who arrested Krueger all those years ago- start experiencing terrifying nightmares involving a dirty dressed, and burnt man wearing a glove with razor blades on it’s fingers. [sound familiar yet?] As it turns out, it’s actually the ghost of Freddy Krueger haunting their dreams; and when Nancy‘s best friend Tina dies in her sleep with 4 straight cuts across her chest, Nancy realizes that she [along with the other kids] must find a way to stop the evil psychopath’s dream terrors – or risk never sleeping again…

What makes A Nightmare On Elm Street so clever is how it creates an entirely new way of representing dreams sequences on screen. In the movie, the scenes that take place during a “dream” are filmed within an airy and murky atmosphere, but the catch is; so are many of the waking scenes. This makes it very difficult to tell whether a character is awake or asleep. [which is ideal considering the plot!] While the movie never actually shows any character actually fall asleep, as a result we are constantly questioning whenever characters so much as close their eyes – even for a moment. In some of the more crucial scenes, it is impossible to tell whether what we are seeing is real or happening only in a character’s mind. But the movie ultimately suggests that the difference doesn’t matter. That, one way or another, Freddy will get you.

The actual premise of the movie, which has a child-killer haunting a group of teenagers’ dreams and has the capability of killing them while they’re asleep, ends up turning the whole “It was all just a dream” convention over on its head: according to Nightmare, the real world is safe, and the dream world is extremely dangerous. I mean, think about it: Unlike any other movie – where you can run and hide in the closet – Freddy attacks when you’re most vulnerable; when you’re sleeping.. how can you not sleep?

Director Wes Craven – RIP understood that the anticipation of danger tends to be more frightening than the actual attack; and he shows us some great visual shots using that effect, including one where Freddy‘s arms becomes unnaturally long in an alleyway, and another where the stairs literally turn into a gooey glue-like substance, almost as a nod of the common nightmare where it is hard to get away from someone chasing you. The movie constantly finds ways to tease the audience, never resorting to a red herring, which let’s be honest: is becoming a very tired convention used in almost all other slasher films. Especially in recent horror.

A fun fact about Nightmare is that this was actually Johnny Depp‘s first role, playing the character of GlenHeather Langenkamp‘s [Nancy] boyfriend, and although he does get a few neat lines, his personality is not overly fleshed out, and because it’s the 80s, there is no sense of the great actor Depp would go on to become in today’s age.

also, Johnny Depp dies quite brutally in the film; sorry, ladies.

Ultimately though, A Nightmare on Elm Street is really all about Nancy. As fans know, the film mainly focuses on Nancy‘s troubles, mostly Nancy‘s dreams and Nancy‘s responding actions. The ending of the film becomes a bit confusing, but it’s meant to be – basically asking us to answer the question: did all this happen? Or is this yet another dream? The booby traps that Nancy sets when Freddy finally comes into the “real world” are unfortunately a bit ridiculous, and Freddy does seem kind of helpless [almost to the point of lame] chasing Nancy around her home as he’s trying catch her, and it’s something the film could have done a little better. But that’s just a tiny complaint. I can live with it! Overall, it is a great mixture of horror, thriller and fantasy. A Nightmare On Elm Street taps into two hardly recognized everyday events in human life: sleeping and dreaming, and makes them into something we can learn to fear. Craven‘s ability to realize this unknown fear in a movie is something that hadn’t been done before, and it worked perfectly. A Nightmare On Elm Street still stands as a great movie [even with it’s terrible remake – and another remake on the way] and for horror buffs it is a must-see and for those that aren’t into horror, there is still a fair amount of other things to keep one’s interest on the screen. [and I’m not just talking about Mr. Depp‘s extremely dreamy – see what I did there? – appearance]

So seriously go and watch A Nightmare On Elm Street. It’s my favorite franchise of all time, and even if the sequels did suffer from sequelitis and there was that garbage remake, they’re some of the most entertaining films you can ask for! Also, if you want me to review the second film in this franchise, let me know in a comment! If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #20! – So STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

Dear Mr. Craven, Thanks For The Nightmares!

We horror fans are a weird breed: we actually enjoy watching people get attacked by angry ghosts, or sometimes murderous dream demons! We also tend to remember the first time we watched a horror film; either by date, or by film. We also tend to favor a certain Movie Director or two as well. In my case, it’s Mr. Wes Craven; who fans will know as the man behind such classics like Scream, and my personal favorite, A Nightmare On Elm Street. I remember the first time I saw both of these films: Scream was at a friend’s place and I had to hide under the blankets during the opening death sequence, and Nightmare was late at night [in my room] when I was about 13 years old. Back then, I was terrified by the film, I feared for the night because; what could be scarier than someone attacking you when you’re most vulnerable? When you’re asleep? Although scared, I was curious, so as I got older, I began watching the sequels..quickly making the Nightmare film series [as cheesy as they got] my all time favorite horror film franchise.

Besides being known far and wide for creating the iconic Freddy Krueger and Ghostface, Craven also wrote and produced film features for television and occasionally, wrote novels. Wes Craven was a humanities professor before leaving academia to work in post production. As most horror fans can tell you, his first official credited film was the controversial film The Last House On The Left:which he wrote, directed and edited back in 1972! Naturally, he followed it up with the blackly comic The Hills Have Eyes and Swamp Thing, which – if you know your comic books – was an early entry in the comic book to film adaptation genre! I only started to notice Wes during Nightmare though, Where the surreal slasher film is credited with having started something called the “dream reality” style of 1980s horror filmmakers and in turn; helped launch independent film studio New Line Cinema, which is sometimes referred to as “the house that Freddy built.”

[artwork is credited to @CodySchibi; I love the art-style!]

However, as I’m sure you saw all over the internet: Wes Craven had been struggling with brain cancer for a long time.. and last night, it caught up to him; passing away [in his LA home] at the age of 76.. a true master of horror – has left us. One of the last projects Craven was working on was MTV’s TV series adaptation of Scream, on which he worked as an executive producer. The series was recently renewed for a second season, back on July 29th. [I still have to start the series..now more than ever!] Wes Craven was a tremendous visionary whose sensibility for scares has connected with generations of MTV fans,” MTV has said in a statement. “We are honored to have worked with him and proud to carry on his legacy with Scream: Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”

It’s a truly sad day for us horror fans, we lost one of the greats.. From Ghostface to Krueger, horror won’t be the anywhere near the same without someone who helped push the envelope in the genre. Although horror will last without him, it won’t ‘feel’ right without Craven, who made us feel fear when we’re arguably, the most vulnerable..

So this post is for you Wes, you started scaring me at a fairly young age; and I wouldn’t have it any other way! You’ve inspired so many horror directors with your stylized cinematography, but you can’t replace an original. From everyone who loves the horror genre as much as you did; this is us saying “thanks”. Fun Fact: Craven actually told The Los Angeles Times in an interview: “My goal is to die in my 90s on the set, say, `That’s a wrap,’ after the last shot, fall over dead and have the grips go out and raise a beer to me.” and raise a beer we did, Wes, this one’s for you!

THANKS FOR READING.

FILM STUDY: the ENTIRE Freddy Krueger story – in chronological order!

“oh yes – this is going to be a good one!”

[NOTE: This post is in honor of Wes Craven, who celebrated his 76th birthday yesterday! Happy Birthday, good Sir – thank you for creating one of Hollywood’s most iconic horror villains, and my personal favorite! Sincerely, Warren]


 

For those that know me outside of the internet, [and some online..] you should know by now that A Nightmare On Elm Street is one of my favorite 1980’s slashers films of all time. Although the series got campy after even the first film, what I do give the films credit for is building an intricate timeline, piecing everything together to make one big story: even if it does feel complicated at times. Fans of the movie[s] know that it all began in April of 1941, when a young girl was [accidentally] locked up in a sanitarium of Westin Hills Psychiatric Institute where inmates kept her hidden for days! This young girl was raped… hundreds upon hundreds of times.. and when she was finally found, she was barely alive. we fans know that the girl was none other than Amanda Krueger – who, after becoming impregnated – gave birth to the demon child known as Freddy – who became known as “the bastard son of a hundred maniacs“. Freddy had a ton of problems growing up, mainly about his infamous [and brutal] conception. [kids are fucking mean, man..] So to release his ‘frustration’, he started murdering small animals. [like the class hamster] As he grew into adulthood – he turned his “pleasure from pain” behavior on himself; cutting his face with a shaving razor for pleasure. After suffering years of abuse from his stepfather, Freddy eventually murdered him.. with this same razor. [sound familiar?] Now, I could go on about how he grew up to become a child molester, and stalked the children of Elm Street, but the lore of Freddy Krueger only goes so deep and I’d feel like I’m rambling, which I would be. Besides, I have an even better idea:

Have you ever heard of a YouTuber by the name of Idiomanic? In case you haven’t, he actually recently posted a rather awesome 5 and a half minute video explaining everyone’s Dream Guy’s entire journey on screen [including Freddy vs Jason]..in chronological order! Better still, he decided to completely ignore the 2009 remake in his analysis- because as he puts it: “that ain’t Freddy!” Good thing too, because like most people who enjoy horror movies – I fully support the notion that the remake [like most remakes] was absolute garbage.. The video also doesn’t include Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, which has Freddy trapped inside Jason Voorhees‘ head. In this comic, he manages to learn of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis from The Evil Dead and [once again] decides to use the image of Pamela Voorhees to trick Jason to do his bidding..if only for a little bit. Ash shows up too of course, but I won’t get too into it. It is a great comic series though, so if you get the chance to read it, I totally recommend it!

Back to Idiomaniac‘s video, you should probably watch the 5 and a half minute video for yourself and tell me what you think, below! Also, if you enjoyed the video, why not hit that subscribe button on Idiomaniac‘s channel? He has a few other horror film chronological videos and for someone with a low subscriber count, he’s pretty damn talented!

So tell me, if you watched the video above, what did you think? Do you feel that that‘s the whole story? Could there be more to Freddy‘s life before he died – or could we really have all the pieces to the puzzle? Let me know what you thought, down below! Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this article, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – thanks so much!] By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted; and I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, [even if I have been busy lately – more on that later!] so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with your family and friends! As always, STAY WEIRD and:

THANKS FOR READING.

film study: DEADLIEST horror movie villains [ranked by KILL count!]

Look at the picture above. Which iconic horror villain stands out the most to you? Some of these guys are the epitome of horror: Ghostface, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jason, Billy, Leatherface and Chucky. They are all fairly formidable foes on their own, but which one is truly the most deadly? After talking through email with someone [whom I won’t mention by name due to obvious privacy reasons] from the website buycostumes, they actually made an info-graph back in 2014 explaining which horror villain is considered the “most deadly” – at least by their kill count. When trying to export the info-graph here, the picture kind of shrunk [making it hard to read] so I’m going to break it down by horror villain, in order. With this graph, this individual and I agreed that I’d talk about it here, mainly because it’s definitely something that could be up for debate amongst horror fans, and not everyone who reads this will agree! So strap your boots on tight, kiddies: this is gonna be a long one.


[click this info-graph to see the original post by BUYCOSTUMES]


Let’s start from the top of this ladder of villains with: Pennywise, from It. Probably my least favorite on this list for the fact that I have coulrophobia. Clowns in horror isn’t really something new, but Pennywise is probably one of the scarier ones. If you want to get down to the ‘technical’ stuff, It‘s villain wasn’t always a clown, but an entity known as It, which is a shape-shifting being that can take any form it chooses; Clowns just seem relevant.. According to the graph, Pennywise isn’t nearly as violent as the others, as his kill count is at only 09. In his defense though, he did only have one movie under his belt.


Jumping from 09 kills to 22, we have The Candyman, from you guessed it; Candyman. If you’re unfamiliar with the movie [and its two sequels], Farewell To The Flesh and Day Of The Dead, the basic thing you need to know is that The Candyman is a demonic being that can be summoned by saying his name in front of a mirror five times. If you’ve ever heard of “Bloody Mary”, this is  pretty much the same concept, just with a guy with a hook for a hand instead of a woman in the mirror..


Remember Chucky? Everyone remembers the first time they saw Child’s Play: it’s actually creepy [in it’s own right] with a killer “Good Guy Doll”; where the spirit of fictional killer by the name of Charles Lee Ray puts his soul into a doll to try and live ‘forever’. I assure you, it’s a lot better than I make it sound, even if they do get a little ridiculous after the third film. Chucky has killed over 30 victims over the span of his six movies.


If you’ve never seen his films, I’m about 100% sure you’ve at least heard of Leatherface of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame. The original film is gritty, it’s raw, and it’s really fucked up. In a good manner of speaking, of course. His real name is Jedidiah Sawyer, but that feels like a mouthful in it’s own, so let’s stick with Leatherface, shall we? Over seven movies later, [with a new one on the way] Sawyer has claimed himself 31 victims [beating Chucky by ONE]


Hellraiser has arguably one of the cooler villains on this list, because Pinhead is completely different than everyone else on here. I mean, think about it: he’s another worldly being who has a thing for pain, pleasure and most importantly; [Lament Configuration] puzzle boxes. nine films later, Pinhead has shown such sights to 35 people! [and that’s not including the books!]


If you know me well enough, you know that one of my [many] guilty pleasure film horror series is very clearly – the SAW series. Even if Billy isn’t the “technical” killer [the traps are] his “playthings” have been through seven movies and put in traps over 40 times, with only a [very] small number of survivors..


He’s everyone’s favorite dream-invading killer: If you die in your dream, you’re going to die in real life. Of course I’m talking about Freddy Krueger. A Nightmare On Elm Street is what I think of when I think classic slasher film; it has a bit of everything – including Johnny Depp in his first role! nine films and a [terrible] remake later, Krueger has claimed 42 sleeping teenagers and adults alike!


Imagine this: you’re about three feet tall, you’re Irish, and you’ve been kidnapped by an angry and greedy American who wants your gold. Essentially, you’ve become Lubin from the Leprechaun series. Though he may not be the first horror villain that comes to mind since he’s not overly popular, [if not for cult status]  Lubin is actually extremely violent, as proven by his 45 kills over seven [obscure] movies. Unlike others on this list, he doesn’t have a specific weapon choice either. He is the type to use whatever he can find including a pogo stick, which was used to crush a man’s chest. I don’t know if I’m scared or impressed.


As the second most dangerous horror villain, this guy is pretty impressive. Any guesses? Here’s a few clues: He’s quiet, He started killing when he was young, and His movie is named after a special day. That’s right, we’re talking about Michael Myers from Halloween. Not only is his silence scary, but the fact that his eyes seem almost empty makes him more vicious. ten films and a remake [which also had a sequel] later, Myers has claimed over 111 victims! If that’s not concerning enough, I don’t know what is..


Ranking in at number one is a villain who killed over 300+ people, He is extremely difficult to kill. Apparently if you do manage to stop him, sometimes extreme electricity can bring him back from the dead. Basically, you’re dead. No questions asked. Jason from Friday The 13th has murdered more people than anyone on this list over the span of thirteen movies. [which is kind of appropriate when you think about it] Okay, okay – I know that it was his mother in the first film, but come on – he’s still killed many others when He started doing the killing.

As proven by the above [very long] list, many horror icons have a ton of experience in being evil. There’s clowns, dolls, and dreamy killers, [pro tip: that was a joke about Freddy if you couldn’t already tell] and that’s not including horror villains that weren’t on this list [next time, Ghostface, next time..] Do you have a favorite horror icon – Who is it and why? How many films have they had and how many kills? Let me know in a comment below! Also, if you’ve made it this far – be sure to check out the original kill count post by buycostumes [found here] and tell them I sent you there!

If you found yourself to enjoy this piece of writing, please take a minute and follow me over on Facebook where you can click the “like” button on my Facebook page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links and pictures that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps a ton, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.