Mania Grade: A+
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Starring: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Wes Craven, Lisa Wilcox, Alice Cooper
- Written By: Thommy Hutson
- Directed By: Andrew Kasch, Daniel Farrands
- Distributor: Image Entertainment
- Run Time: 238 Minutes
- Original Year of Release: 2010, Blu-ray 2014
- Special Features: See Below
Never Sleep Again : The Elm Street Legacy REVIEW
By Robert T. Trate
January 22, 2014
Never Sleep Again : The Elm Street Legacy
© Image Entertainment
I will openly confess that I am not a huge fan of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series. I appreciate the first one for what it is, a great piece of horror cinema. However, I often felt that the series did become a cash cow for New Line. Then again, how could it not have? Audiences wanted to see more and more of Freddy. What I do love is movies or documentaries about the making of movies. So when Image Entertainment announced the release of Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, I knew this was something I had to see.
Before I get into it, let us look at the run time of the documentary. Yes, Maniacs, you read that right, 238 minutes. This does cover all the originals (shall we call them, Robert Englund Freddy’s), the TV series, and Freddy vs Jason. Thankfully, directors Andrew Kasch and Daniel Farrands were wise enough to let the 2010 remake slide. Let us get on to Never Sleep Again : The Elm Street Legacy.
My one word review: FANTASTIC
In all honesty, I never thought that I would last the full 4 hours of this documentary. I am not a horror aficionado. I know the difference between Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, but I couldn’t tell you who directed every one of them. I know that there are people out there who could. In fact, I have only seen all the Nightmare on Elm Street’s because I worked at a video store once and knocked them out over a few days.
This is a real down-to-earth documentary about the making of, legacy, and dirty laundry that went the creation of A Nightmare on Elm Street. To often we, the audience, are force fed studio manufactured behind-scenes documentaries. They are white washed and happy portrayals of the making of each film. Back in the day they were specials on TV or HBO. Later they would become supplemental material to raise the price of DVDs and Blu-rays. Now those same interviews and making of’s are Youtube clips. In short, they are advertisements and the good times behind the film. Even retrospectives, for anniversary editions, of films get happy go-lucky interviews about the glory days. Every one here from creator Wes Craven to New Line head Robert Shaye tell the real story behind the franchise.
Documentaries often are just filled with clips and rough transitions that are from the film(s) in question. Never Sleep Again supplies a great artistic tribute to the Nightmare legacy with stop motion recreations and tributes to the film in question. Overall they are tribute to A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Warriors sequence, but they are superb addition to the documentary.
Without running the surprises and shear joy that this documentary is, I’ve decided to not spoil much but a few choice tidbits from each of the individual films. The first being that David Warner was the original Freddy Kruger. The gay overtones are not only discussed by laughed about in the sequel, in a good way by the cast and crew. Frank Darabont worked on the third Nightmare’s script. Director Renny Harlin saw Freddy as a dark superhero in the fourth installment. The director of the fifth film honestly tried to bring Freddy back to his horror roots. Peter Jackson forged his groundwork for The Lord of the Rings trilogy by writing (an unused) script for number six. A New Nightmare is Robert Englund’s favorite in the series.
If you are fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street series there is no excuse not to add this film to your library. Never before I have been so captivated by a subject I cared so very little about.
First Look: Heather Langenkamp's "I Am Nancy"
For the Love of the Glove
Fred Heads: The Ultimate Freddy Fans
Horror's Hallowed Grounds: Return to Elm Street
Freddy vs. The Angry Video Game Nerd
Expanding the Video Game Universe: Freddy in Comic Books and Novels
The Music of the Nightmare: Conversations with Composers and Songwriters
Elm Street's Poster Boy: The Art of Matthew Joseph Peak
A Nightmare on Elm Street in 10 Minutes
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Teaser Trailer
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