Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

Scream (1996)

(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)

movie poster Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) sends up his own career in the first movie that manages to parody horror films while being quite scary in its own right (its original title was "Scary Movie"), beginning with the opening Drew Barrymore sequence that harkens back to the granddaddy of all slashers, Psycho. A knife-wielding ghoul in a Halloween mask is knocking off high school students according to "the rules" of horror films, and his number-one target seems to be Neve Campbell, who's obviously the Final Girl from the first moment we see her working at her computer in her nightgown. She's got the requisite haunted past (her mom was raped and murdered a year ago, and the suspected killer, Liev Schreiber, waits on Death Row), and she's got a raft of friends who could be suspects, including her movie-obsessed boyfriend Skeet Ulrich, an ineffectual deputy sheriff (David Arquette) and a take-no-prisoners news reporter (Courteney Cox). The ending is startling and very satisfying.
Eleven dead bodies.
Closeup disembowelment.
Lawn hanging.
Multiple slash attacks.
Garage-door-opener head-crushing.
One motor vehicle chase, with van crash.
With Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Jamie Kennedy, W. Earl Brown, Joseph Whipp, Henry Winkler. 4 stars

Scream 2 (1997)

(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)

One of the few sequels that truly lives up to the original, perhaps because director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson teamed up again to continue the story. Neve Campbell has relocated to another city and another school, where she plays the cursed Cassandra in the college play, but her nightmare continues with SEQUEL RULES. The only false note comes when Jerry O'Connell, as Campbell's boyfriend, sings "I Think I Love You" while dancing on the lunchroom tabletops in order to win her back.
Thirteen dead bodies.
Knife rammed through a wall AND a throat.
Aardvarkus interruptus.
Knife to the stomach.
Bimbo balcony-flinging.
Multiple stabbing.
One motor vehicle chase, with cop-heads-through-windshield.
Bullet through the heart.
Nice cameo with Luke Wilson and Tori Spelling as herself.
With David Arquette in a larger role as Deputy Dewey, Courteney Cox returning as the reporter you love to hate, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy, Laurie Metcalf, Elise Neal, Timothy Olyphant, Jada Pinkett, and in a much expanded role, Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary. 4 stars

© 2000 Joe Bob Briggs. All Rights Reserved. Not an AOL Time-Warner Company in this lifetime.

"Scream" availability on video and on DVD

For this and other movie reviews by the artist formerly known as the host of MonsterVision, go to Joe Bob

Quotes & trivia courtesy the Internet Movie Database

Killer: Okay, answer this question, you live. Who was the killer in Friday the 13th?
Casey: Jason! It was Jason!
Killer: Nope.
Casey: Yes it was! I've seen that movie 30 goddam times!
Killer: Then you should know that the killer was Mrs. Voorhees, Jason never appeared until the sequel!

Tatum: Oh, please don't kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel!

Reporter: How does it feel to be almost brutally butchered? How does it feel? People have a right to know!

Casey: Look, I am two seconds away from calling the police!
Phone Voice: They'll never make it in time.

* Tagline: Don't Answer The Door, Don't Leave The House, Don't Answer The Phone, But Most Of All, Don't SCREAM.

* Drew Barrymore was originally cast as Sidney Prescott (now played by Neve Campbell). But, due to schedule conflicts, Barrymore offered to play the much smaller role of Casey Becker.

* Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) auditioned for the role of Sidney Prescott.

* The film was originally to be shot at a high school in Santa Rosa, CA, but after the school board read the script they objected to the violent nature and production was moved to Healdsburg

* The credits include this line: No thanks whatsoever to the Santa Rosa City School District Governing Board.

* The special effects artists used about 50 gallons of blood for Scream.

* Tatum's house in Scream is right across the street from the house used in Pollyanna (1960), located in Santa Rosa, California.

Billy's surname, Loomis, is the same as that of Donald Pleasance's character in Halloween (1978), which in turn was the name of Marion Crane's lover in Psycho (1960).

* The beginning of the movie is much like When a Stranger Calls (1979)
* When Casey answers a question that the killer asks, she answers just like Rachel in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988): "It's Michael... Michael Myers!" in the same tone of voice.

* The song Don't Fear the Reaper can be heard; in Halloween (1978), Annie and Laurie listen to it in the car.

* When Sidney is going into her house, the killer comes out of the closet the same way Michael Myers comes out of the closet after Bob in Halloween (1978).

* When Casey's parents come home and see that something is wrong, her father says to her mother, "Go down the street to the Mackenzies' house..." which is a quote from Halloween (1978).

* When Billy (who looks like Johnny Depp) sneaks into Sidney's room in a manner similar to a scene where Depp's character does something similar in Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

* Casey hanging from the tree looks like the opening of Suspiria (1977).

* The school janitor Fred (played by Craven) can be seen wearing Freddy Krueger's outfit from A Nightmare on Elm Street.

* Tatum wears a jersey with the number 10 on it. This is the same thing Johnny Depp's character wore in Nightmare on Elm Street

* Sidney's friend said she can picture Meg Ryan playing her if they ever did a movie about her. Sidney said, "My luck they would Cast Tori Spelling to play me." Tori Spelling was cast to play her in "Stab" (the movie within the movie in Scream 2).

* Casey claims that all of the sequels to Nightmare on Elm Street "sucked". Craven had sold the rights to sequels before the film was a success and disliked the sequels.

* The mask is based on the painting "Scream" by Edvard Munch which was stolen in a daring daylight robbery in 2004.

* The cheerleader in the washroom scene was played by Skeet Ulrich's girlfriend.

* Cameo: Linda Blair (Exorscist) is the reporter who says, "People want to know, they have a right to know."

* Mathew Lillard (Stu) add-libbed the line "Ah... Houston, we have a problem" when he discovered that the gun was gone.

* When Sidney comes out of the closet and stabs Billy with an umbrella, the stunt man was supposed to hit a pad on Skeet Ulrichs' chest. The first hit got the pad but the second one slipped and hit him in the chest (you can see it in his reaction too). Wes kept it in because of its authenticity.

* To keep Drew Barrymore looking scared and crying, director Wes Craven kept telling her real life stories about animal cruelty. She is a keen animal lover and vegetarian in real life.

* The song "Don't Fear the Reaper", which plays when we see Billy directly after Sidney's first attack, may be an indication to the killer's identity.

* David Arquette's sister Patricia Arquette starred in "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors" written and produced by "Scream" director Wes Craven.

* The jiffy popcorn in the first scene acts as a clock. It goes from normal to out of control as does the scene

* A videotape box of the film "Clerks" is visible during the close-up of the miniature camera that Gale has left behind during the final party sequence. Having been released by Miramax, the parent company of Dimension Films (which released "Scream"), "Clerks" director Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes reprise their roles from the View Askewniverse as Silent Bob and Jay, respectively, for a cameo in "Scream 3"

* When Casey is trying to answer the "Michael... Michael Myers" question in an attempt to save her boyfriend's life, you can hear a light musical score homage to John Carpenter's "Halloween" theme.

* In the opening sequence, When Casey's boyfriend gets "gutted", was a reference to Wes Craven's first film, "Last House On The Left". The same fate is met by the first victim, Phyllis Stone, who gets "disemboweled" when trying to escape Sadie and Weasel.

* Drew Barrymore and Neve Campbell did not meet Roger L. Jackson, the actor who played "the Voice" before shooting commenced. Whenever they are talking on the phone to the killer, they really are talking to him.

* Two plugs for Kevin Smith's "Clerks". A poster for the film can be seen in the video store and the Video Box can be seen sitting on top of the VCR when everyone is watching Carpenters Halloween

* Rose McGowan dyed her hair blonde in order to contrast her black hair from Neve Campbell's

* The MPAA wanted to cut out the graphic shot of the killer stabbing Casey Becker at the beginning, but director Craven claimed it was the only take of it they had filmed (which wasn't true). The shot remained intact.

* The bathroom Sidney is attacked in is the same one used on the "Stab 3" set in Scream 3.

* Originally titled "Scary Movie" which was later used for a parody of the Scream and other pop culture horror films like it.

* William Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying (1930) features a character named Skeet McGowan (Scream features actors Skeet Ulrich and Rose McGowan) and a character named Dewey (as does Scream).

* In the scene when Randy is watching Halloween alone, he's constantly yelling at the screen "Jamie, behind you" referring to Jamie Lee Curtis. At the same time, the killer is lurking behind Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy.

* The killer was based on a Florida serial killer, the "Gainsville Ripper."

* Joseph Whipp who played Deputy Burke, was also in the original Nightmare on Elm Street, where he played a cop named Sergeant Parker.

* Mindy Clarke turned down the role of Tatum Riley.
* Rebecca Gayheart auditioned for the role of Tatum Riley, but scheduling conflicts with her film "Somebody is Waiting" (1996) prevented her from landing the role.
* Charlotte Ayanna was considered for the role of Tatum Riley.

* Being a Favorite of the writer 'Kevin Williamson' , Molly Ringwald was offered the role of Sydney Prescott, but turned it down, saying she'd rather not be playing a High School student at the age of 27.

* Wes Craven found the mask in a store while location-scouting in California.
* The person wearing the ghost face costume was mostly played by a stunt man, not the actor.

* When the killer smashes his head through a window and Casey hits him in the face with the phone, Wes Craven is actually wearing the costume and was really hit in the face.

* When Bob Weinstein watched parts of the first scenes filmed (rough cuts), he said that the mask that GhostFace used was "idiotic". He asked the producers to film one scene with seven different masks and let him choose the one he liked the most. Producers didn't agree and threatened him to shut down production, they told him to wait until the first sequence (Drew Barrymore's) was completed and then he could decide. After watching it, he happily agreed to the mask used and didn't make another complaint for the rest of the filming.

* When the kids watch Halloween (1978) at the party, someone says, "The blood is all wrong, it's too red." "Halloween" is known for having very little blood or gore.

* The idea of the pet door in the garage came from Williamson's assistant. Originally, Tatum's death scene was to be a fist fight with the killer, and having the door come down on her neck.

* The death of Principal Himbry was added to the film after Bob Weinstein noticed that there was about 30 pages in the script where nobody died and told Kevin Williamson that "somebody must die". Subsequently, the addition of the scene gave Kevin Williamson a good reason to have all the party guests leave the party near the climax.

* All the Killer's phone calls were really done by Roger L. Jackson on set with a Cell Phone. At one point, the crew were contacted by the police demanding to know who they were because they thought there was a real killer making the phone calls.

* Tatum says that the situation is like a Wes Carpenter film. This is a reference to Wes Craven, who directed the movie, and John Carpenter, who directed Halloween (1978), which is featured in the movie

* The scene where Sydney is calling the police through her "Deaf typer" program was originally longer. She types in "killer in the house" which is shown in the trailers but doesn't appear in the theatrical version. It also goes on to have her type in that her address is somewhere on Elm Street, a Wes Craven reference.

* There are several references to actors from "Friends" (1994) which stars Courtney Cox. Gale says that the nude photos of her that were put on the internet are fakes, and that the body is that of Jennifer Aniston. Also, We learn that in Stab, Dewey is played by David Schwimmer.

* Drew Barrymore had previously starred in Doppelganger: The Evil Within (1992)

Fun facts:
On Aug. 22, 2004, “The Scream” painting (on which the Scream mask is based) and another Edvard Munch masterpiece were stolen in Norway by armed robbers who took the paintings from the walls before the eyes of stunned visitors. Munch painted it in 1893 as a self-portrait of his reaction to the Hellish sky after the volcano Krakatoa exploded when he was a teenager.

Cary Granat was executive in charge of production (Scream), co-executive producer (Scream 2) and executive producer (Scream 3, Halloween H20, and Scary Movie) before quitting Dimension Films and founding Walden Media (Chronicles Of Narnia)

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Don't Fear the Reaper