Interview with Blake Best (“Behind the Screams: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 Revealed” co-written by Mick Strawn)
Blake- Well, I had been nurturing the idea of doing a book on “Nightmare 4” for about a year now. I was doing conventions with Mick Strawn and I got to be with the cast. I ran the idea by all of them and they all seemed to think it was a winning idea. Considering that Nightmare 4 was one of the highest grossest films in the franchise at that time and one of the most popular.
I kind of sat on the idea for a little while. I published other books and then came back to the idea. Then Mick Strawn who is a good friend of mine called me and said what do you think about doing a book on Nightmare 4 with me? What do you think about that idea and I said sure. I think it would be cool to tell these stories and work with you. So we made the formal announcement on the 14th of December. And how many of us really know what went on behind the camera? “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master” is a fan favorite.
Did you speak with the cast members and get their take on the book?
Blake- A lot of the cast members had already talked about it. A lot of the interviews in this book and the people that contributed were people in the production crew and special effects technicians and artists. There has been a resurge of behind the scenes material and a lot of people like those. Those stories are the ones that are not told. I’ve been a fan my entire life. These people are like family to me. Some of these stories were ones that I have not heard so I made sure to put those stories in.
Did you or Mick ever get to tell Wes Craven about this book?
Blake- No, Wes had died by that point. My book, “Razor’s Edge” is a re-telling of Freddy Krueger’s origin. I had intended on Wes to maybe write a forward or introduction but by the time the book had gone into full production, Wes had already died. I would have loved to have his input because he created Freddy Krueger and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” I did not get to speak with him.
Did you grow up loving horror and did you always want to be a writer?
Blake- I did grow up loving horror. The very horror films I saw, I was very young. I came from a broken home and they reeled me in and made me focus on something outside which was horror. When you are kind of living through your own nightmare it is sort of refreshing and freeing to vicariously live through someone else’s nightmare. It made me forget what I was going through. Here are all these characters and they are facing the same common monster and they have to find a way to build up courage and stand up to it. I think that is a powerful idea. It gave me the courage to stand up to the person that was hurting me and put my foot down and say that’s enough! It very much saved my life.
I hear you! I definitely can relate. It sort of gives you a certain kind of peace in all the chaos we go through. You search for something when you are traumatized but Horror gives you comfort.
Blake- Right, I mean it is weird and people think it is weird that we find comfort and solace in such things. I don’t think it is weird. There is a great following of people who are fans of horror. At every one of the conventions I do I get to meet fans and I am still a fan regardless of my reputation of a writer. Hearing the fans stories of what Freddy did for them. I love that it brings people together.
The horror fans are always the nicest people you will ever meet. What types of experiences have you had?
Blake- I have never had one negative encounter. I have never met anyone that gave me a negative impression. They are the nicest and most passionate people I have ever met. We all share a love of this thing called horror. Even though I am in the business, I still consider myself a fan.
What do you want to say to the fans?
Blake- I would like to say from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate each and every one of you. I want to thank everyone who is all ready to buy this book and ready for it to come out. From Mick and I want to thank the fans for taking time to read it and letting us share these stories with you because they will most definitely allow you to see the film in a whole new light. We are grateful and proud to be a part of the community and proud to know each and every one of you.
It was such an honor to speak with you and I wish you all the best! You are so talented and keep doing what you are doing!
Blake- Thank you so much. I love the site. (Horrornews.net)