Fangoria issue #337 is now on stands, and it’s a doozy. The professor, Wes Craven, graces the cover, and inside is Brice McVicar’s brilliant series of interviews with key NIGHTMARE ON ELM street personnel– including Craven and stars Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp. I felt like the comprehensive 2010 documentary NEVER SLEEP AGAIN was the final word on the ELM STREET phenomenon, but McVicar proves that there are always new tacks to take when addressing the series.
It also helps that there is a little more meat to ELM STREET than the typical slasher franchise. ELM STREET brought a dose of wild surrealism and daring, fantastical makeup designs to what could have been throwaway cheapjack episodes. Even the worst of the series (part six, in my opinion) at least attempted to do something visually interesting with its 3D gimmick. Not to mention Craven’s NEW NIGHTMARE, which is one of the most original sequels of all time and accomplished the impossible task of making the increasingly-cartoonish Freddy Krueger scary again.
My contribution to the issue comes as a new Dump Bin Diaries installment, this one discussing a sample of the weird succession of HOWLING sequels. That modest little werewolf flick inspired some sincerely nutty follow-ups, three of which show up in this column. To steal a word from the great Harlan Ellison, these movies typify xenogenesis: They look not a thing like their parents. I still give the set a middling recommendation: goofy, yes, but the HOWLING flicks sure aren’t boring.
The issue is available here.