Hello, blog readers! I hope you’ve been having a lovely weekend. Before we take stock of what we’ve been discussing here on the blog, I want to remind you all about the spring submission period for the Jet Fuel Review. If you want to send in your fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art for consideration, you have until March 15th. There’s still time! If you’re interested in submitting your work, check out this page on the Jet Fuel website.

This was a busy week at the blog! We had a Writing Advice post all about story openings, which can be the most difficult part of any story to develop. If you’re interested in some advice on story openings, or if you have some advice of your own to offer, check out the post! We also featured a poem entitled Story by Frances Leviston.

Our editors posted a lot of great content to the blog this week. Dominique started us off with another post in her “Before They Were Famous” series. This week she discussed the life of author Chuck Palahniuk. In Michael’s “What Are You Watching?” blog series this week, he talked about Playing House, a new show on the USA network. In Sabrina’s Book Corner, Sabrina reviewed Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter.

One of our film bloggers, Mike Egan, wrote a post about Interstellar and its Oscar snub. Michael Lane, our new horror film blogger, began his new blog series this week. In the first installment of “Down a Dark Lane,” Michael discussed the first three sequels to “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Last, but certainly not least, this week saw the return of our “Meet the Editors” blog feature. This week we featured Michael Cotter, the Jet Fuel Review‘s Assistant Poetry Editor. If you want to check out our past “Meet the Editors” posts, click here!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog content. Stay tuned for more fun and interesting posts!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

In 1984, a young director named Wes Craven unleashed the monster known as Freddy Krueger upon the world, and we loved it. After A Nightmare on Elm Street was released, the newest horror icon, Freddy Krueger (played magnificently by the horror cult icon, Robert Englund), became a household name throughout the 80s and 90s. With A Nightmare on Elm Street came an abundance of toys, a television show, Halloween costumes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a “Freddy O’s” breakfast cereal was in talks at some point. Freddy Krueger was arguably the biggest movie icon of the 80s. Forget Johnny Depp (whose first role was in the original NoES), forget Patrick Swayze, forget Tom Cruise. We wanted more Freddy, and we got it in the form of six sequels. Nearly everyone has seen the original A Nightmare on Elm Street (or it’s 2010 remake), but not nearly as many people have ever given the many sequels a chance. Because of this, for my first-ever post here on Jet Fuel Review Blog, I will be looking at the first three of six sequels (Nightmare parts 2, 3, and 4) and determining if the hype for Freddy Krueger was deserved or not.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was churned out not even an entire year after the first had been released (NoES released Nov. 16, 1984, whereas NoES 2 released Nov. 1, 1985). It really shows, too. If there was ever an award to be given to the most blatant cash grab in film history, it belongs to Freddy’s Revenge. Even the subtitle to the movie is yawn inducing. Freddy’s Revenge? Real original, guys. I imagine the head guy of New Line Cinema (the distribution company whose first big hit was NoES) saying, “hey, I’m the CEO of this film company and we need more money. Make a sequel quick to this movie that’s making us millions, and do it cheap! We’ll make even more millions!” And so they did.

Taking place five years after the events of the original, Freddy’s Revenge features a new cast of Elm Street kids (all of which are no-name actors who would go on to do nothing else of significance) to be harassed and ultimately murdered. Our main character is Jesse, a male teen who just recently moved into the house that was once occupied by Nancy Thompson, the heroine of the first film. Jesse has been having these nightmares that all include the same villainous Freddy Krueger at the helm of the madness.

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Michael Cotter

Michael Cotter

Happy Friday, readers! Please join us in welcoming our new editors for the Spring 2015 semester. Today, our new featured editor is Assistant Poetry Editor Michael Cotter, who is responsible for the What Are You Watching? blog series. Michael is a senior at Lewis University working toward his BA in English, with a film studies minor. In rare moments of free time, Michael can be found watching TV. In cases of no free time, Michael will stay up all night to catch up on the 105 shows he is currently watching. Here’s our Q & A with Michael.

Who are you and what is your role in the Jet Fuel Review?

I’m Michael Cotter, and I’m the Assistant Poetry Editor at Jet Fuel Review.

What book might we find on your nightstand right now?

Currently Gone Girl is sitting on my nightstand begging to be read and has been, unfortunately, sitting there for a while. However, I also have The Book of Nightmares by Galway Kinnell sitting there too.

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This past weekend, an academy of aged white men told us which movies they liked best, and for some reason we all cared.

Look, I like an award show as much as the next guy. Actually, no. I really hate award shows. And the Oscars are no exception. Forgive me, but boiling an art form down to a room full of celebrities patting themselves on the back for how awesome they are rubs me the wrong way. To me, the self-congratulatory nature of award shows like the Oscars feels a little too obnoxious and unnecessary. But people put weight on these things, and on the Oscars more than any other award show.

For some reason, film is the art that is most heavily geared toward the retrospective award show. When a new album is released, no one wonders, “Will it be Grammy-worthy?”

The Oscars carry a lot of weight in the film industry, and people in the industry care a lot about the recognition that an Oscar brings. And so it is in this context that I bring you: rage.

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Alice in ZombielandHello, readers and welcome back!

This time we are all taking a trip down the rabbit hole as we talk about Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter. Alice is just a normal girl with a somewhat crazy dad. He thinks he sees monsters that are going to eat you wandering around at night. Normally this would be fine, but it’s Alice’s birthday and all she wants is to go to her little sister’s dance rehearsal.

The only problem is the dance rehearsal ends after dark, which is against her dad’s rules, but miracles of miracles Alice talks her dad into letting the whole family go. The night was going perfectly until the ride home. When Alice wakes up in the hospital, she is an orphan. She lost her parents and her little sister. Alice ,who now goes by Ali, moves in with her grandparents and tries to put her life back together.

Everything is fine until she starts to see the monsters her dad was afraid of. Ali fears she is going crazy. New house, new school, new life, new craziness. When Ali meets Cole, she starts seeing visions of kissing him, a boy she has never met. This is a whole new type of crazy for Ali. The monster visions start to get worse, and then she discovers she might not be the only person to see the monsters. Cole might see the monsters too. If Cole can see the monsters, does that mean that Ali is sane?

Gena Showalter weaves an amazing take on Alice in Wonderland with a twist. Alice in Zombieland is one wild ride.

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

Welcome, dear blog readers, to another installment of our weekly feature, “Pick-a-Poem.” Every Wednesday on the blog, we feature a poem from someone whose work you may not have read before. We get these poems from Poetry Daily, which is a great site that features a new poem every single day. If you’re looking to discover some new poetry, I would definitely check out Poetry Daily. This week we feature Story by Frances Leviston.

According to her bio page on Poetry Daily, Frances Leviston is a Scottish poet, whose first collection — Public Dream — was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize for the Best First Collection, and the Jerwood-Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. Her work has appeared in The London Review of Books, The Guardian, and The Times.

Story by Frances Leviston

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“Playing House” (2014-2015, USA)

Is there anything better than having a best friend? Someone who understands your mild breaks in sanity or can always bring up a great, and often embarrassing, story from when you were younger is great to have around.

That’s basically the magic behind the new comedy on USA, “Playing House.” The show was created and written by real life best friends Jessica St. Clair (“Bridesmaids”) and Lennon Parham (“Accidentally on Purpose”), who also star in the show. That gives the show a chemistry unlike any other.

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