Saturday, July 6, 2013

Only now does it occur to me... SCREAM 2

Only now does it occur to me...  okay, four quick things.

#1.  During an incredibly self-reflexive (and occasionally eye-rolling) Kevin Williamson-penned scene about horror movie sequels, HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY actually gets mentioned as a sequel that improved on the original.  This is followed by a series of well-deserved groans.  

As an aficionado of the HOUSE franchise (though not specifically the second installment) this still makes me pretty happy.

#2.  Apparently the briefly-glimpsed scenes of "STAB"– the fictitious film-within-a-film which adapts the events from the first SCREAM– were guest-directed by Robert Rodriguez, who was working concurrently on THE FACULTY, another Williamson-written horror flick.

 Heather Graham is standing in for Drew Barrymore, and it looks like Rodriguez had some fun with a couple of Hitchock homages.  In all, not too spectacular, but just the sort of footnote-worthy curiosity this column's all about.

#3.  David Warner! 

Genre legend and Junta Juleil Hall-O–Famer David Warner (THE OMEN, WAXWORK, BODY BAGS, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, TWIN PEAKS, MY BEST FRIEND IS A VAMPIRE, TRON, TIME BANDITS) shows up for one brief scene as Neve Campbell's college drama professor, whose productions look something like this:

He doesn't have much screen time, but it's definitely a welcome surprise.

#4.  The soundtrack from BROKEN ARROW.

This is a real head-scratcher.  Off and on, throughout the entire duration of SCREAM 2, excerpts from Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to BROKEN ARROW can be heard.  And the movie already has a soundtrack, composed by two-time Oscar nominee Marco Beltrami!  Now, I've probably seen BROKEN ARROW way more than the average moviegoer, but it's a fairly distinctive soundtrack and as such, when the action theme is playing, I'm imagining John Travolta laughing maniacally and Christian Slater running around willy-nilly, but instead I'm looking at Ghostface stalking a victim.  When the love theme plays, I'm visualizing the Slater Factor making out with Samantha Mathis, but then I'm seeing Courtney Cox and David Arquette on the screen in front of me.  The whole thing is pretty discombobulating.  Was Wes Craven a big John Woo fan?  Did Miramax accidentally buy the rights to the soundtrack and then insist that it be used?  Is it fodder for some kind of composer's rivalry between Zimmer and Beltrami?  It's jarring to me in 2013 as a bona fide BROKEN ARROW fan, but back in '97 a whole hell of a lot of people would have just seen BROKEN ARROW, which came out the year previous, thus increasing it's chances of being recognized.  Regardless: it's strange.

Anyway, SCREAM 2 is a pretty fun slasher that doesn't take itself too seriously– it's not as good as the original, but I was sort of surprised at how well it held up, some sixteen years later.


Anonymous said...

Like a lot of other kids brought up on 80's horror, I thought the first Scream was great at the time, but after seeing a few of the post-Scream stinkers (think crapola like Urban Legend or Valentine), I sunk back into the Craven/Carpenter/Romero back catalogue and never re-surfaced. However, these intriguing nuggets you've found kinda make me want to go back and check it out. Maybe I was too quick to abandon the heyday of 90s self-referential, in-jokey teen horror!

Chandler Marlowe said...

Now I want to watch Broken Arrow again! Thanks a lot.

Jack Thursby said...

Good observations Sean.

I'm actually tempted to agree with Pacey Witter. I love House II: The Second Story. Easily my favourite film about Crystal Skulls, Zombie Cowboys and Pterodactyls.

The scene with Cliff from Cheers is awesome.

Sean Gill said...


The Craven/Carpy/Romero back catalogue is not a bad place to live! I have been finding myself with enough distance and lowered expectations to be genuinely enjoying the 90s wave of slashers, but it's true that they can never match the 80's class-sicks which they constantly reference.


Glad I can be of service!


While HOUSE II is definitely a better film about Crystal skulls than the 4th Indiana Jones flick, I've never liked it as well as the original, which I think is a bizarre and nearly perfect blend of horror/comedy/war movie. That being said, Cliff's appearance (after Norm's appearance in HOUSE 1) is a bit of stunt casting genius. If only HOUSE 3 had Woody, and HOUSE 4, Frasier...

John Guedes said...

I loved HOUSE II as a kid! But I have to admit, watching it as an adult made me want to go back in time and punch the kid me in the face for liking it so much. While it does have some charm (ie Cliff, Gramps, and exotic beauty Devin DeVasquez), goofy Jonathan Stark really kills the movie. He's like that corny uncle everyone has who thinks he's a comedian but really isn't that funny.

SCREAM 2 was pretty good, I need to go back and visit that franchise again...

Sean Gill said...


Thanks for stoppin' by.
Hah! re: Jonathan Stark. What's funny is that I actually like him a lot in FRIGHT NIGHT, where his corny uncle/schoolyard bully vibe seems to fit perfectly.