Forgotten Flix Recommends…A Classic Horror Movie From Wes Craven

October 11, 2010

Wes Craven (on the set of Scream 2)

It’s 20 days until the official launch of the Forgotten Flix site!

I’ve decided to wait and post all full-length reviews and retrospectives starting on October 31. In the meantime, I’m posting short segments every Monday and Friday called “Forgotten Flix recommends…” where I’ll recommend a “forgotten” flick of a specific director, actor, or special effects artist. All recommended movies should be available through Netflix, Blockbuster, or your local mom and pop video store (if you can, sniff… still… sniff… find one… sniff…).

And since we’re in October, I’m going to be as predictable as a late-80s slasher film and recommend the movies of people whose primary work is in the horror genre.

Today, we’re focusing on the work of…

… Director Wes Craven

I’ve always been a big Wes Craven fan. I remember seeing A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) when I was hanging out with my friend, Richard. I was eleven and we also watched the original Night of the Living Dead that same week. These were defining moments for me as a film fan and helped shape what I love about the horror genre.

Here’s a Craven movie I think is in need of some remembering:

People Under the Stairs (1991)

The People Under the Stairs (1991): Truly an underappreciated classic of the horror genre! Fool (Brandon Adams) and Leroy (Ving Rhames) break into the house of Man (Everett McGill) and Woman (Wendy Robie), who own the slum where Fool lives. Inside this house of horrors, Fool learns the meaning of terror and what it means to be a hero. This is a dark fairy tale that even Jung would approve of. Craven often brings his background in Philosophy (he used to be a college professor) to his films, filling them with social commentary that’s fun to analyze and debate. The People Under the Stairs has it all: class warfare, race relations, gun-toting S&M gimps, a tongueless boy named Roach (Sean Whalen), and crazed, cannibalistic humans who live, well, under the stairs (although it’s more in the basement, which I guess technically qualifies). Definitely one of Craven’s best flicks. It’s also one of my personal faves.

Next up… I’ll be recommending a forgotten flick of scream queen great Jill Schoelen!

Until next time, remember, a flick is only forgotten if you’re not talking about it!

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6 comments on “Forgotten Flix Recommends…A Classic Horror Movie From Wes Craven

  1. Gotta agree here. This used to be a favorite of mine as well. You don’t get many great horror films that take place in the projects, let alone horror films made by genre icons. It’s been a long while since I’ve fired this one up, but I’m tempted to again because of your review. Good stuff!

    • Hey Uncle Jasper!

      Welcome! And yeah, it’s a great one. I watched it about a year ago and it still holds up very well. I’m thinking about watching it again around the high holiday of Halloween. : ) And for other great horror flix that take place in, around, or near the projects, there’s always “Candyman” and Rusty Cundieff’s “Tales from the Hood.” Don’t know if you’ve ever seen it (and it’s been awhile since I have), but it’s definitely worth checking out! Thanks again for posting!



  2. Candyman was pretty good, forgot about that one! I was a pretty big Tony Todd fan back in the early 90s, mainly due to his awesome work in the remake of Night of the Living Dead. I never got around to Tales From the Hood though. I’m gonna have to give it a whirl!

    American International made a couple of good forays into the genre during the 70s with Blacula and it’s sequel Scream Blacula Scream. I did a writeup for those a few months ago as well as the godawful, non AI film, Blackenstein.

    • I love the “Night of the Living Dead” remake. It’s one of the few remakes I love as much as the original (Carpenter’s “The Thing” is the other one). I saw Tony Todd on the T.V. show “The Event” a couple nights ago and I cheered. He’s great! And Savini’s direction in NOTLD was top notch. I wish he’d get more opportunities to do it. The rest of the cast was stellar too.

      As for the other pics you mentioned, I have to confess, while I’m familiar with “Blacula” and it’s sequel, I’ve never seen them. And I’ve never even heard of “Blackenstein.” I’ll be adding the to the queue though… thanks for the recommends!

  3. Peter Nielsen Jan 18, 2011

    Ah, yes… “The People Under the Stairs”
    A friend of mine and myself talked about this one, only a couple of days ago actually. In praising words of course. 🙂 I need… yes, need to watch this again in the not to distant future.

    • Yes! Peter, it’s one of my favorite movies that Craven made (and one of my favs in general). I think it still holds up really well. Let me know what you think after the rewatch!

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