The ‘Scream’ Team
All these lovely young actresses from Scream 2 are tough. That’s what we hear. Around Hollywood, that’s the word. “Oh, man, are they tough-as-nails chicks,” says Wes Craven, the director of both Scream and Scream 2, his voice starting to quake. “I mean, I wouldn’t want to meet any one of them in a dark alley. Whoever tried to fuck with them would be dead!”
We don’t want to be dead, of course, so we aren’t meeting the Scream 2 Six — for there are six of them — in any dark alleys. What we have in mind are graveyards, honeymoon villas and bathroom stalls. Who knows what you could learn about an actress in one of those places, cornering her there. We want to find out. We think we can squeeze much from them: forbidden sexual curiosities, unspeakable fears, secret neuroses and longings, the truth about who among them wears a gum guard to sleep. That is to say, maybe we will hear the words of the person desperate to tell all just to escape, just like in one of those movies. Only, it’s real life. Sort of.
Kevin Williamson has his doubts as to whether any of this will bear fruit. Williamson wrote the first Scream movie, which grossed more than $100 million; wrote I Know What You Did Last Summer, which has grossed more than $50 million so far; and wrote Scream 2, which is expected to outgross everything in sight for the holidays — all of which makes Williamson a fellow who must know a thing or two. For instance, about modern fruit-bearing horror movies, he knows this: The booze-swilling slut lives, the dove-white virgin dies, or maybe they both get eaten up some dark night. “None of the old horror-genre rules apply — and yet all those rules apply,” he likes to say, cackling happily and firing up a cigarette with a Scream 2 commemorative lighter. “The only real rules are, it’s the ’90s!”
It certainly is the ’90s. But this is no time to be dwelling on moral decay and the loss of true north. We have our Scream 2 Six to think about. There’s Neve Campbell, Party of Five babe and plucky survivor of the first Scream, who in the sequel is a college freshman pledging a sorority. There are her maniac-dodging sisters on campus: Jada Pinkett, so fine in The Nutty Professor and Will Smith’s flame; Rebecca Gayheart, formerly the face of Noxzema and no doubt still quite creamy; and Sarah Michelle Gellar — Buffy! And then there’s Tori Spelling, who plays Campbell’s character in a movie within the movie (and about whom need we say more?); and, finally, Heather Graham, Boogie Nights‘ very own saucy Rollergirl. She is also in the metamovie. It’s called Stab! We refuse to reveal more.
Williamson ponders these women through the haze of his own smoldering tobacco. “All these women are guarded,” he says, finally and knowledgeably. “I mean, we’re in a business where you have to question everybody’s motives, because you just don’t know. You have to ask, ‘Are you after me because you like me and you want to get to know me? Or do you want to kill me, do you want to stab me?’ You have to look at the killer’s motive and question it.”
Though slightly puzzled by these remarks and not a little chilled, we are not put off. We will see for ourselves the stuff that the Scream 2 Six are made of. First we drive over to the seedy part of town, to Hollywood Boulevard, and buy a plastic bagel and a paper plate and a big brown plastic cockroach to hide between the two. Then we are on our way.
Rebecca Gayheart is pulling into the Westwood Memorial Cemetery, where some poor soul is getting the full Hollywood burial treatment, complete with Gatorade. We know this because the drink has major signage here. Gayheart, who is from Pine Top, Ky. (pop. 800; “near the big city of Hazard!”), says, “Oh, dear,” with sweet, provincial dismay, then drives around to the Corridor of Memories. She comes to stand in front of the simple wall crypt that contains all that is left of Marilyn Monroe, 1926-1962. Marilyn, during her time, certainly saw lots of things, maybe even a killer or two. In fact, she may even have slept with a killer or two. But who hasn’t in Hollywood these days?
In any event, Gayheart lifts her hand. She has picked this spot for our meeting out of an only-in-Hollywood guidebook that gives directions to star murder sites, star grave sites, star suicide sites “and much more!” Why she chose this particular place, she knows not, since she has never felt any special affinity for Marilyn. And yet, her wavy blond hair fluttering lightly in the breeze, her eyes clouded by a pair of glamorously oversize Gucci sunglasses, she presses her hand to the cool, smooth surface of the crypt much as a fan might, with a kind of awe.
“I wonder what she’s wearing,” Gayheart says. “I wonder if she has lipstick on.” Then, frowning, she moves her hand over the stone. “This is so weird,” she says. “I feel a little vibration. I wonder. Is she trying to tell us something?” She produces a pack of Marlboro Lights. “I want to smoke a cigarette with Marilyn,” she says, as if Marilyn were right there with us, craving one, too.