This post contains minor spoilers for “Scream VI.”
The “Scream” franchise has moved beyond its original director Wes Craven, who sadly passed away in 2015 (leaving the horror guru’s final feature film as 2011’s “Scream 4”). However, that doesn’t mean the new stewards of the series, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (collectively known as Radio Silence), are looking to forget him.
Quite the contrary; in 2022’s “Scream” there is a scene that features a party honoring one of the victims of Ghostface, Wes Hicks (Dylan Minnette). In slyly clever fashion, the party allows the film and filmmakers to stage a tribute to Craven on a meta referential level, with the banner “For Wes” doubling as a dedication to the departed director.
The latest installment, “Scream VI,” heavily features the series’ new cast of characters and moves the action to New York City, yet the references to Craven are far from finished. In fact, they’re only getting more clever and, in this particular instance, naughty: a key location in “Scream VI” is named after a pseudonym for Wes Craven, one which the director used when making his first and only pornographic feature film.
Starring, Written, And Directed By ‘Abe Snake’
After the release of Craven’s debut as a director, 1972’s “The Last House on the Left,” the notoriety surrounding the release of that movie made it difficult for him to get his next project off the ground. Craven’s pal and producer of “Last House,” future “Friday the 13th” director Sean S. Cunningham, was amongst those who participated in the porn movement of the 1970s, a decade notable for adult films gaining more mainstream attention with features like “Deep Throat” and “Behind the Green Door.” Craven was an associate producer on Cunningham’s adult film, 1971’s “Together.”
All of that is likely what gave Craven the idea to try his own hand at making a porno film, and in 1975, in-between “Last House” and 1977’s “The Hills Have Eyes,” Craven made “The Fireworks Woman” (also known as “Angela, The Fireworks Woman”) using a spectacular pseudonym: Abe Snake.
The movie is as bizarre, transgressive and unsexy as one would expect a porno made by an imaginative, ex-repressed Baptist, struggling horror filmmaker to be: its main plot (such as it is for a f*** film) involves the titular Angela (Jennifer Jordan, under the pseudonym Sarah Nicholson) being sexually obsessed with her brother, Peter (Eric Edwards), who also happens to be a priest. When Peter rejects her (for fairly obvious reasons), Angela sets off to finger— Er, sorry, find herself.
But wait, Craven (er, “Abe”) isn’t just the director and co-writer of “The Fireworks Woman”; he also cast himself as the character Nicholas Burns, a magical figure who’s a Devil/God-like being attempting to guide Angela and Peter back to each other. If you ever wanted to see Craven portray Gene Kelly’s character from “Xanadu” in a porno, or hear David Hess’ “Now You’re All Alone” from “Last House” play over a lengthy masturbation scene, “The Fireworks Woman” is for you!
Bad Times At The Abe’s Snake Bodega
Early in “Scream VI,” Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) and her sister, Tara (Jenna Ortega) have only recently become aware of a new Ghostface stalking them through the streets of New York City when the costumed murderer chases them into a corner bodega. The scene is exceptionally tense, as Ghostface quickly dispatches the other customers as well as the proprietor, taking the man’s shotgun before pursuing Sam and Tara around the store’s aisles. Production designer Michele LaLiberte gives the scene a compelling claustrophobic look, with Radio Silence making the most of the set’s authentically narrow bodega corners.
Once the harrowing sequence is over and Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) arrives on the scene, we see a quick exterior shot of the bodega. Its name? “Abe’s Snake Bodega.”
Not only does the reference prove LaLiberte and Radio Silence’s nerd bonafides with the deep cut reference, it also doubles as a nod to another sequel to a Craven original. The bodega is not the first eatery named after Craven in a film: in “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master,” the diner where heroine Alice (Lisa Wilcox) works is named the “Crave Inn.”
Thank you, Radio Silence, for continuing the legend of Abe Snake and “The Fireworks Woman” in the “Scream” franchise. Quick pitch for you: maybe a magical figure wearing a top hat can befriend the survivors in “Scream VII?” Just think about it.
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The post Scream VI Contains The Most Clever (and Naughty) Reference to Wes Craven Ever appeared first on /Film.
/Film – Scream VI Contains The Most Clever (And Naughty) Reference To Wes Craven Ever
Author: Bill Bria
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March 10, 2023