Video | Review by Dan Taylor
be the first to fess up that I fell for
the SCREAM hype machine. Hell, it was a
cold Friday night, I had three very strong
martinis in me, and some friends wanted
to check this thing out. I agreed, against
my better judgement.
After all, this was
an offering from Wes Craven, the pretentious
hack that'd directed such miscarriages as:
THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2, SHOCKER, DEADLY BLESSING,
DEADLY FRIEND, SERPENT & THE RAINBOW,
A NEW NIGHTMARE, and VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN.
Then again, ol' Wes had come through
in the clutch with LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT,
the original THE HILLS HAVE EYES, the first
ELM STREET, and even THE PEOPLE UNDER THE
STAIRS. Which Craven had helmed this comedy-horror-thriller?
Though not a gambling man, I rolled the
dice and took my chances.
Want to remind me of this
next time I want to visit Atlantic City?
It would be an understatement
to say that I was horrified that evening.
But not in the way empty-headed teens and
horror fans desperate for anything on a
big screen had embraced this tripe. I'd
read glowing reviews, trusted friends had
given it the green light, and it even held
the promise of nubile chicks decked out
in bippy shirts! Unfortunately, I couldn't
contain my disgust and my sighs, groans,
and laughter were punctuated with gasps
of "Of course he's the killer!
Are you people stupid?!" and the ever-popular
"Anyone here ever see a little movie
called STUDENT BODIES?!"
Months passed and SCREAM's
box-office climbed ever higher. Perhaps,
I thought, just perhaps, I was mistaken.
Had my mind been clouded by demon alcohol?
Was this really a superb thriller, nay an
homage to the very genre I loved so much?
I began questioning my own
radar so much that I rented SCREAM while
my significant other was away on business,
allowing me the chance to watch the film
in all its empty-headed glory. Then, were
I proved wrong, I could hang my head in
shame, knowing that yes, everyone else had
been right all along.
To say that I felt wonderfully
vindicated is selling this feeling of SCREAM-hating
euphoria short. Give me APRIL FOOL'S DAY.
Give me PANDEMONIUM. Give me the aforementioned
STUDENT BODIES. Hell, give me SATURDAY THE
14TH or SPLATTER UNIVERSITY. Just don't
make me watch SCREAM again!!!
It's hard for me to pinpoint
the proper word here... insulting, moronic,
idiotic? Oh, they all work so well.
I won't go into a rehash of SCREAM's "plot,"
since you've seen it before, whether you've
seen the flick or not. Instead, here's a
list of the superior-to-vastly-superior
flicks mentioned during SCREAM's interminable
115 minute running time: HALLOWEEN, ELM
STREET, FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE EXORCIST, THE
HOWLING, PROM NIGHT, THE TOWN THAT DREADED
SUNDOWN, HELLRAISER, THE BAD SEED, SILENCE
OF THE LAMBS and PSYCHO.
In case this really left you
longing for more, the oh-so-hip, though
actually more watchable, SCREAM 2 reached
theaters in December of 1997. Ugh.