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Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
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Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
July 19, 2020, 08:20:38 pm »
NO! NO! NO!
This isn't one of your Nightmares....this one... was every Freddy fan's
Like many a teenage horror fan in the mid to late 80's, I was a big fan of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and a confirmed FredHead.To this day, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street holds a very special place in my heart for immensely personal reasons.
If there was an article in a magazine about the character,actors, or somehow related to the movie, I would want it,even if it simply had just a single photo I had never seen before.If it was a caricature in a Cracked or Mad magazine,buy!Buy!BUY!A toy or sticker or what have you? I would try to collect it all.I even have a magazine that was basically an episode guide for popular genre shows because it had a list of all the episodes for Freddy's Nightmares(ones pre-internet paper version of wiki/imdb). Not much made it's way to my small home town but I would use whatever resources I could to acquire the latest item. Many thanks goes out to the pages of Fangoria, not only for the articles over the years but for the advertisements in the back pages that lead me to spend my allowance fast as I can on anything Freddy.
One of my most sought out acquisitions at the time was the score for the original movie. Eventually I would locate a CD combo for Part 1 & Part 2. It took me 6 years to find it.I still remember the local wrecka stow,Magnolia Thunderpussy, where I found it one fateful afternoon and then listening to it non stop for at least a week in pure bliss.
In these early days,I couldn't get enough of the gloved one or the potential for stories about bad dreams.Heck, I even joined the short lived fan club.The thought that I could see his spooky antics every week in his own television show?!!How could I resist? I was armed with blank VHS tapes and ready for Freddy!
What would it be like? Just how heavy a serious glove would the Freddy character have in the outcome of each episode?Would Nancy return?
I counted the days till the evening of Saturday October 8th of 1988 came to be.My birthday was three days before, but I could care less,because this day was more important,this was the night Freddy came home. Every Week.To our TV screens in an anthology series called "Freddy's Nightmares – A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series"
Ok, lets take a little moment and unpack that mouthful of a name.They could have simply called it "Freddy's Nightmares".ANYONE tuning into the program would be well aware of the movie history from which the man in the red and green sweater originated.
Adding the "A Nightmare on Elm Street:The Series" subtitle was just overkill.It served no purpose.More to the point, outside of the pilot episode the show had little to nothing to do with the ongoing storyline of the movies themselves.My faded memories from watching the show back in the day fail to recall if any of the stories in the shows two seasons actually referenced the events of any of the movies specifically.Or to the constant reoccurring deaths of teenagers in their sleep in this town.Let alone Elm Street.To be fair, the street itself was only significant in the original movie for the implication that several families who lived on the nearby blocks came together for a summer barbecue....of Freddy.
This premiered in pre-internet days.Just imagine how much word space alone writing that title up in newspaper and magazine articles would take? And an abbreviated FN:ANOES:TS just looks like your cat stepped on the typewriter.
It was mere months before this home viewing debut that audiences were treated to Krueger's antics once again on the big screen in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4 The Dream Master which was released in August of 1988. Only a year before were we gifted with the return of Wes Craven and Heather Langenkamp to the series in Dream Warriors,released in February of 1987
That in of itself was a lot of Freddy in a short amount of time.And the media and fan attention to the gloved one only continued to grow.Freddy Mania was huge.
Freddy fans were at this point riding high on another successful movie release with Dream Master.This saw Freddy taking on the MTV generation.And MTV supported him every slash of the way.Even having him host as DJ on several occasions to promote the then current movie in theaters.All over MTV we would see Freddy with almost hourly showings of the movies trailer during commercial breaks and in the music videos themselves with songs written for the films and about the character.In one, Freddy would even be found....rapping...about his exploits.
With this continued success came a glut of Freddy related merchandise and appearances. His face was popping up all over magazine covers,and not just Fangoria.Robert Englund would go on to appear on a variety of television programs in and out of Krueger drag.On October 6th of 1988,days before the premier of his own show,Krueger even sliced the stuffing out of the political puppet show of DC Follies.
Video Games and Comic Books.Sticker books and model kits.Toys of all varieties from board games to squirting Fred Heads started to appear on shelves as the murderous boogeyman was marketed to younger children,the very same ages of his earliest victims.Much to some parents dismay.
"Hi my names Freddy, wanna slay?"
The talking Freddy doll released in 1989 scared more parents than it did the kids and was subsequently pulled from production. Merchandising of this mass murderer was so over the top that Krueger was even given his own record album of dream related tunes,"Freddy's Greatest Hits" released in 1987, on which he implored you to "Do the Freddy" dance .
All this variety of media cemented Freddy's pop cultural icon status.He was now like Santa Claus,every kid seemed to know of the man of their dreams even if they never had seen one of his movies. And kids like me who had seen all the movies multiple times couldn't get enough of anything Freddy.
So it does not come as a surprise that New Line sought to peddle everyone's favorite crispy killer in a weekly television series.
A year before, a little show that could, called Friday the 13th :The Series premiered in October of 1987.It was created in part by Frank Mancuso Jr who was involved in many of the Jason Voorhees sequels.This particular show had NOTHING to do with Camp Crystal Lake's most famous camper at all.But that didn't stop it from lasting three seasons.Not bad for a show that was run on what was called "first run syndication" programing back in those days.First Run Syndication referenced shows that were created specifically for the secondary television market.A market that was beginning to expand even more in the late 80's with the development of cable and new networks beyond the main three of ABC,CBS,and NBC.Fun fact: The most successful syndicated show in the United States in the 1970s was said to be the The Muppet Show
It is interesting to note that Freddy's Nightmares is probably the first television show inspired by a popular horror film series.It was not a common result of a popular movie series or character to get his or her own television program though it has happened over the years.While there have been several long running sitcoms based off of a single successful movie,like M.A.S.H. and Alice.And a few short lived shows based off of popular science fiction movies ,Planet of the Apes and Logan's Run.The idea of a popular movie maniac getting his own show was beyond the pale. What are the odds of that happening?
I was always curious why they called the other show Friday the 13th. Sure, that date has been a harbinger of superstitious bad luck for generations, which did fit nicely into the weekly series theme of cursed items and those who befell them.But that date in the 80's was synonymous with the hockey masked mamma's boy.Even the typeface of the shows title in early advertising matched that of the movies with the same name.Why risk drawing a connection between the two medias when it would only lead to disappoint? They should have at least made one of the sought after cursed items a hockey mask.It could have been a subtle and amusing way to connect the two projects especially if it was shown bought by future camper Shelley.
So I think that Bob Shaye from New Line must have saw this show and was given spark to the idea of how they could continue to milk their murderous cash cow even more by doing a weekly show featuring Freddy.Why focus on making money with just one film a year when you could do it every week with the same property? A show that already had a built in viewing audience would likely attract advertisers to help pay for the weekly project.
Now,whereas the rival series failed to live up to the fans expectations by not including the main villain, New Line wouldn't make that mistake with their own show.If you close your eyes you can almost hear Bob Shaye say "Lets give the fans what they want...more Freddy!EVERY WEEK!"
Re: Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
Reply #1 on:
July 19, 2020, 08:22:20 pm »
And that's what we got.....well, sort of.
As a Freddy fan , I was excited to be able to see my favorite character ,the makeup and glove in action each week.Plus the exploration of Nightmare themes and dreams.Any story could be possible in the world of dreams.One week we could have a typical suburban nightmare,the next,the characters story could take place entirely in space as a part of the main victims dream.Like ones own dreams, the story possibilities,barring budget restraints, could be endless.The Nightmare films themselves,unlike Friday the 13th films, often had more going on in the story than just the slaughtering of teenagers.So there was hope that since dreams are often rife with symbolism draped communications of desires that the show could really play up on that aspect with each episode.Each story could be an exploration of the subconscious.Plus, being a weekly show,and even though episodes were made weeks in advance, there was potential for Freddy and the show to be used to turn the current teenager fad on its head.
However, The thrust of what became Freddy's Nightmares was a standard horror anthology series that took place in the fictional town of Springwood,OH.And it never strayed to far from that basic concept.
Each week a new selection of characters would be introduced and subsequently suffer bad dreams that lead to a terrible fate shortly thereafter,often rarely surviving more than one commercial break.
Each episode would feature Freddy Krueger, not primarily as a participant ,but rather as a Rod Serling-esque host who appeared in sequences what are referred to in television production as bumpers. Intended pauses in the program before commercial breaks.
Often Freddy would pop up within the first five minutes after the opening of the show to make a comment on the impending fate of this weeks victim. "Johnny has big dreams of making it in Hollywood, but he is about to find out that getting out of Springwood alive ..*puts on sunglasses*...can be a real nightmare" *YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH *
Freddy would crack a macabre joke about the previous scenes events or if it was after the characters denouement, he would eerily eulogize their fate.
The show ran for a full hour.And at the halfway mark we would be introduced to another persons story.This character was often somehow connected directly to the victim of the first half or was a background player to that story.
This consistent two story motif was unique.However the split of stories over the length of one episode brought home the fact that the show really didn't need to be an hour long.As the too often thinly written characters were then stretched even thinner over the second half of the show.Spending a half hour with them was enough.If they had focused more on telling a complete story in a single half hour they might not have needed to stretch each episodes budget over the whole hour.
On rare occasions , Fred Krueger himself would be the main focus of the story.But these stories were few and far between much to Freddy fans chagrin. In the end , I think we had 8 Freddy focused stories in total by the end of the shows run..
One of these Freddy focused occasions was in the very first episode,and not only was Freddy a featured participant but this show was where they attempted to depict what happened to Freddy the night he was burned alive.
The night he became...."No More Mr Nice Guy" (cue up the Alice Cooper song)
Though despite a intriguing fan friendly premise for a pilot episode, starting with a Freddy-centric story did set the wrong expectations for what would come next week and beyond.Honestly, what was the point of it being Freddy?Since Krueger would subsequently be shown to not have a direct involvement in every episode.On rare occasions it was merely hinted that Freddy was the reason the main character's luck ran bad and not that we were shown him directly influencing the events through his actions. Say for example, a character is in a desperate hurry to get somewhere fast.Before this person gets in his or her car we are shown Freddy appearing under the said car and slicing the break line or puncturing the tires.
It's not surprising that they opted to tell stories that DIDN'T revolve directly around Freddy Krueger.The need to have Robert Englund in makeup alone every week for months at a time would have been too much of a chore.Both costly and physically.As it was, they could film many if not most of the series Krueger inserts over a couple of days since most of them were filmed on the same "Interior Nightmare" set.Reducing the amount of consecutive times Robert had to go under the glue and be buried in full makeup.
If it had been designed as a show where he would have to be heavily involved in the storyline itself every week,Englund would have found himself under the makeup for long stretches.12 hour plus days that started with early calls just to spend close to 3hrs to get in the makeup in the first place.And then have to wear it for at least 8 more hours in a row under hot lights,dry ice fog filled sets, and exertion (all while wearing the trademark sweater). And then go home and do it all over again the next day.And the day after that?And then start all over again on a new episode the next week.I can't imagine they could have offered him enough money to agree to that.
In an anthology setting it would be difficult to come up with weekly tales where each week new main characters die by Freddy's glove and still keep it interesting.If the character is dull and one dimensional, who cares what happens to them?If we do care about the characters introduced, we don't want to turn in each week just to watch them die. The villain may get all the press , but the Monster is nothing without his heroine.And Horror fans love to watch their Ladies fight back against the abuse put upon them.WE love to watch them survive the night.
Now,they could have chosen to tell a seasons long Nightmare on Elm Street related story where Freddy sliced his way through the cast every other episode,but a season long horror story was not really something that had been tried before.Years later,series like the new Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer would effectively balance not only the monster of the week story but also the overarching season length storyline.If they ever decided to do another Elm Street related show,this is the route they should take.A season long arc that builds on it's characters and their struggles with the Nightmare.
As it was, even with Freddy's indirect involvement the show struggled to tell stories that were compelling.The main characters of each story seemed to experience the same type of dreams over and over.Strangely, a large portion of the episodes told stories about unrelatable adults with their dreams and problems,rather than teenagers, which one would think was the target audience for this show.Teenage angst,typical growing up troubles and fears would be a deep well to pull from for stories. What if you were the kid picked on by the school bully,that experience is sure to invade your dreams.And in these Freddy's Nightmare's influenced night terrors its something much worse.You cant escape the real horror even when you go home to rest.And you can't tell the difference when you wake.How far would you go to end the "Nightmare"? Bring your father's gun to school?
I've always had a trouble getting into anthology shows.While I appreciate the opportunity for the show to explore multiple aspects of it's theme, I find it hard to get invested in the characters or have the story grab me as I know this is it, once this show is over they or this stories world will be gone,never to be visited again.
That being said, shows like The Twilight Zone,Alfred Hitchcock Presents or Tales from the Crypt to name a few, I love and will often watch in repeat.
Maybe it was because shows like Twilight Zone managed to touch on different genres each week.If you didn't care for the concept of the story one week, don't worry, next week would present you something completely new.The half hour programing of most of these shows kept the storytelling compact and concise,like a well written radio play, as it couldn't afford time for filler.The shows were effective in their weekly world building.Quite often leaving you wanting more from that story,in a good way.Twilight Zone also managed in its less than half hour running time to create characters each week that held your interest.Culminating in a twist or surprise ending to the characters fate,often laced with a morality tale.
Tales from the Crypt gave us over the top comic book style horror and gore with most of the main characters suffering a deserved fate due to their questionable morals.The monster of the week show can be very appealing.Even if only for the special effects aspect alone.But this show had it's own style and humor to frame the picture.And a host of famous directors to boot.
Sadly, Freddy's Nightmares had little to none of that. No intriguing monster of the week,despite having a built in one in Freddy himself.Not enough interesting world building( i.e. - a LOT of interior loft type stories). No morality tales with surprising twists of fate.Just bland characters experiencing bland bad dreams with our friendly neighborhood French fried host quipping bad puns and proclamations from the sidelines.You knew their number was up before the first commercial break.Heck, I don't think any of our main characters got out of their stories alive.
I don't like knocking people's efforts.A lot of work goes into making a fantasy heavy television show or movie despite the outcome.And I'm sure whether it was the set dresser or a director,they all showed up to work intending to do a good job and make a entertaining program with the limited means they were provided.But the show just felt like it was rushed in it's production and too weakened by it's weekly budget.Too often the actors struggled to bring their characters up to one dimension let alone two. The show never established a visual style that would carry through from episode to episode. Dreams were too often represented by the same smoke machines and the same purple lighting and shadows.
That's not to say it was all bad.I watched every episode live.And at least once or twice later on my home made VHS tapes.If it were ever to be released on DVD , I'd buy it day one.
Re: Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
Reply #2 on:
July 19, 2020, 08:28:33 pm »
Watching the show one would occasionally find interesting attempts at surrealism within the context of a dream and limited budgets.And from time to time half or whole of an episode would be somewhat interesting.Even now some episodes are highlighted by the actors who have since gone on to do work that is much more significant.John Cameron Mitchell starred in an early episode and he went on to write,direct and star in both the off Broadway and feature film as Hedwig from "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". Brad Pitt even made an appearance in an episode.The series also saw appearances from actors well known among horror fans in the likes of Bill Moseley and Jeffrey Combs.Even a few genre directors like Friday the 13th part VI's Tom McLoughlan,Stephen King Miniseries go to man Mick Garris, and Tobe Hooper came to play in this sandbox.
Speaking of Tobe Hooper, he would direct one of the first Freddy related stories in the pilot episode
This was probably not the best choice for a beginning episode to a series that would go on to push Freddy to the sidelines while we were forced to watch unrelated characters to the movies and even Krueger himself week after week.
The story of how Krueger was burned alive by the families of Elm Street is a significant one amongst Freddy fans and I remember being wary of how they could possibly depict it properly within the confines of a television show.There is too much information to explore.Too many perspectives on the events.Would the story be told from the point of one of the Parents or from Freddy? Fans of the history of Elm Street still wish to one day see a proper presentation of the final act that gave birth to the Nightmare.
We know a few details about what happened before from the Original Nightmare on Elm Street and then a few more details about what happened to Freddy's body afterwards from Dream Warriors. but there is still a lot of information and details in between that remain a mystery.
How long did it take to catch Krueger? How was he caught and in such a way that the whole case was dependent upon a signed search warrant?What happened on the day when he was set free? How did the families come together and come to the decision to burn him alive?How quickly did this mob murder happen?How did the public respond to the burning?Did they even know Krueger was dead?Its not like the families would have been quick to talk about this publicly. As a Nightmare fan, my imagination has explored the possibilities for years :
So, on that fateful October premier Saturday night, we hungry Nightmare fans sat down in front of our television sets to welcome Freddy to the not so prime time.The fact that his story would be told by way of popular horror genre director Tobe Hooper was hopeful. The man who brought us Texas Chain Saw Massacre had a way with crazy characters that got under your skin.
Re: Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
Reply #3 on:
July 19, 2020, 08:28:55 pm »
No More Mr Nice Guy begins as a faux nightly news broadcast.I like to think that they hoped to fool unsuspecting audiences that they were watching an actual news broadcast that was suddenly interrupted by Freddy.But it doesn't play that way as the "reporter" jumps from one news story to another too quickly.It should be noted that each piece that is mentioned is of a violent crime that resulted in multiple deaths.Just another day in paradise.
The reporter starts to fade away for some reason and the screen turns to a red and green striped static shot. A "Please Stand By" screen appears suddenly and then is quickly sliced through by the glove for Freddy's first appearance.And the first appearance of that constant screeching noise that seems to be layered with victims moans on the soundtrack to Freddy's Nightmare world.It's loud and irritating and often threatens to drown out the dialogue spoken. The editing,framing, and lighting in this sequence was the first indication that something was off with the execution.Freddy is buried in more shadows than he was in Part 1.Only his eyes get a spot light.
We then find ourselves outside the courtroom of Krueger's trial per the same reporter from the opening scene.Have we traveled back in time? Krueger's murder spree took place during the 60's.The start of the episode news broadcast looks like a typical 80's news program.Nothing of the settings or depiction of place from here on out give any indication that we are in the decade of the 1960's.
Eagle eye viewers might recognize that the front of the Springwood Municipal building looks a lot like the high school shown in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Inside the building we are greeted with a courtroom in darkness as a slide show of evidence is presented of the supposed victims of Fred Krueger.There are few edits or cuts and coverage.This would have been a perfect moment to cut from the showing of one of the children to the victims parents sudden grief at seeing their child's fate in person.Show the pain and anger on their faces.Setting the emotional tension for when it's announced that their child's killer will go free.Instead we are treated with just the same slow push in as the scene cuts back and forth between what looks like two long shots.
The man in question sits inside a sealed box upon which the images of the victims are reflected.Nice touch.Krueger twitches in excitement to each macabre memory of his victims on display.His un-burnt face is kept entirely in darkness. While an effective choice for this introduction, the show would go on to keep un-burnt Freddy hidden in shadows and never show his face.Only close ups of his eyes or mouth.Even when we are later treated with a full on frontal face shot of Krueger, only his mouth is highlighted.The silhouette of Robert as Freddy is already an effective iconic image.But not once does the show take advantage of that un-burned or not.
It's strange that they would have him secured in such a fashion.Had he had violent outbursts in courtroom?Had the Parents already shown violence towards Freddy?This would have been a foreshadowing indicator to the Parents willingness to harm Freddy personally. Why would this caging of a as yet convicted suspect even be allowed.Wouldn't his lawyer object that it already presents his client as guilty?Not that Freddy is innocent by any stretch of the word.
In this version of events, the lawyer doesn't get fat and judge doesn't get famous.The court case barely lasts long enough for us to learn their names. Details mentioned in the original Nightmare indicated that there was a lot of self serving publicity seeking people in the courtroom mucking up the proceedings.We see none of that.Krueger is freed just like that due to his rights not being read to him and not a search warrant having not being signed in the right place. So already the history of Krueger is muddled again. For me, this failure to stick to the script, so to speak, of Wes Craven's original story was another warning sign of things to come.
As Krueger prepares to leave the courtroom we are briefly given a ridiculous shot of "Freddy Vision" where almost everyone is dead or dying and fog hovers over the floor.Seriously, in the background of the shot there is a man standing whose head suddenly leaps up into the air,but doesn't fall back down as his headless body drops to the floor.The twin daughters of the cop,Lt Blocker(not Thompson?) who failed to read Freddy his rights stand terrified,yet strangely still alive, in Freddy's vision of death.
Krueger slips away into the crowd of overacting background extras who keep dramatically looking for Krueger all over the courtroom as if he was a mouse who scurried away and could still be spotted in the corners of the room.
Outside the courtroom the Parents come to the decision that since the law failed them they would stop Freddy from going after more children.
Freddy is freed and what does he do first? Goes to his factory boiler room playground.This makes sense as he would have most of his toys and the few personal items there which he would want to collect before skipping town.Clearly since these items are present this is not where they caught him as all this would now be in evidence.
Freddy shares a moment with a covered ice cream truck.Was this truck part of his stalking game? Did he use it to get up and close to scout out neighborhoods but to also choose children? Watching for the ones who came running to the truck without parents. Using his role as the familiar and friendly ice cream man to befriend the kiddies so they wouldn't be frightened by him approaching later. He does say "Together again." .An implication that he had used the vehicle before to murder children.This is the first time in his history that the use of a ice cream truck is implied.Before we were led to imagine that he snatched children from playgrounds,backyards and bedrooms.
Or perhaps the ice cream man role was his next wave of attack before he was burned."Are you ready for Freddy?" has a bit of implication that they haven't played together before.Are you ready for what we can do together? The use of the truck could have been his next approach of getting to kids since his previous efforts had now severely limited his options. Scared parents keeping their kids off playgrounds and locked away an such.
Freddy then wastes no time finding one of his gloves and plans to get back to business. Not very bright. He just got extremely lucky and was freed from all his crimes due to a technicality. If he had half a sense he would get out of town asap. He's now identified as a child murderer. Nowhere in town can he go to escape.that. And there are parents all over town who want him dead
But he foolishly decides to seek out the ones who got away. The twins of the police officer who arrested him. How he thinks he could ever get away with this on the first night after his release is ridiculous. The whole town would be on watch for him.The second anyone spotted him in public he police would be called.
This sequence is another one that didn't impress me.What should have been dramatic and moody,Freddy in his natural habitat, is once again a series of static one shots and excessive shadows.It even doesn't use Robert Englund's body language to effect.
Its interesting to note at this time that NONE of the parents from the first movie,Thompson,Lantz,Gray,Lane, or of the Dream Warriors are represented by the mob. While it would be impossible to have the original actors play younger versions of themselves, the fact that none are represented is a tremendous misstep in the writing.
They are the reason the Elm street children were subsequently hunted in their dreams. All it would have taken was appropriate costuming to represent and indicate the characters or someone shouting out their names...."Lantz...you go round back and stop him from getting out that way." Show "Marge" pouring gasoline out the door.
That's another thing. The story told in part 1 is that they found him the old abandoned boiler room. Poured gas all around the place and made a trail of it out the door and lit the whole thing up and watched him burn.
Now in order to get away with pouring gasoline all around Freddy's lair without him noticing or striking back with his glove always indicated to me that they found him asleep. Ironically enough, considering how he came back
I would imagine a person like Freddy drank himself into a stupor on the night he was freed. Both in celebration and just emotional exhaustion. With the plan to skip town and start all over again on a brand new Elm street the next day.
But before he is off to play we watch as Freddy wanders around his playground. Where we are once again treated to "Freddy vision". He creepily speaks to several of his playthings that indicate the fates of the children that were brought to his playground.
Then he finds one of his gloves, strikes a pose and whispers "Freddy's home".
THIS shot right here is a prime time example of the ,quite frankly, dull camerawork. I can understand keeping a un-burnt Robert in the shadows in effort to create a spooky mood, but this full frontal face shot just looks home movie cheap. And then the zoom in on the glove fingers clicking while Freddy turns and watches? Just terrible execution. While Tobe Hooper is not known for choices in camerawork, the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre had a lot more effective shots while they filmed on 16mm with one short dolly track. This moment could have been handled more effectively
Back at the Lt Blocker's house,he and his wife are having a very laid back argument considering that he is responsible for their daughters still being in danger.The violence of the small town is compared to the violence of the big city where they had lived before coming home to Springwood.
The cop decides to go out but before he leaves one of his daughters tells him. "You cant kill Freddy. It will only make it worse."This seems to be referring to the more real situation that if her father hunts down a man and kills him that things will get worse.The cop is already going to be in trouble for failing to follow procedure.No one could know what Freddy would become after his death.
Next we see the parents have already tracked Freddy down to his playground. Had this info come out in the trial? If it was known before ,wouldn't that site have been cleaned of evidence? Vehicles AND weapons? Geesh, the cops of Springwood really are terrible. If it wasn't, the parents sure did a much better job in one evening finding the killer faster than the cops did in two years.
The parents even find Freddy's secret room .Again making greater progress than the cops. Inside a mother recognizes her child's toy and cries out in anguish. They immediately determine that Freddy is not here despite the factory being a huge building and then determine without the slightest bit of evidence that he must now be in town hunting.This throwaway line does at least help in establishing that the factory is outside of Springwood.
Cut to Freddy playing shadow puppets outside the Blocker house.Again, static,poorly framed shots.And the shadow comes across as if the person wearing it is a random someone on the crew.It gave me Freddy's Revenge shower scene vibes.
Freddy slices up the cop on watch outside and then slinks around outside to peek onto the window. Through "Freddy vision" we see the daughters inside and we hear cries of pain all bathed in a blood red tint.
All through these shots Freddy is kept in shadows and off screen.His head always turned away from camera. There is no tension or drama in the static one camera shots used. No movement.They even reuse the ending of the shadow puppet shot from before.
Inside, one of the daughter's can somehow sense Freddy's presence.
Outside Freddy slides his glove down metal causing sparks.....which somehow causes a glass to break inside the house? Umm ok...?
And then once again we are treated to a repeat end of a shot from before where Freddy was slinking up a wall to a window.
The mob of amazing deduction pulls up outside the Blocker home where Freddy is stalking .Scaring him away. And then correctly deduce minutes later Krueger has gone back to the boiler room where they rush off to find him.
Whatever you do .....don't ....blink....your...eyes
Back at the boiler room, Freddy simply steps out of the shadows to mock the parents who have every intention of killing him and just before he gets his head blown off Lt Blocker arrives and intercedes.
Freddy talks like a old school movie gangster and taunts the cop about his pretty daughters. Which angers him but you could never tell by the wooden acting.The cop then nonchalantly pours gasoline all over Freddy who just stands there and lets him. Laughing. even says "Missed a spot".
Seriously, this doesn't feel like our Freddy.He just stands there while someone assaults him.He doesn't even try to get away.There is absolutely no tension in this important moment of Krueger's history.
The parents, who moments before were ready and willing to shoot Krueger,just watch the event unfold passively.This crowd barely reacts to a man burning alive in front of them.Or that they could take joy in on his pain.
Krueger cries he is free and he will be back.How would he know? There was nothing at all presented before to open up the possibility that Krueger had a post death plan.And honestly,Freddy having devised something really takes away power from the character.I've always liked to believe that Freddy returned for revenge because he was so burned so hot with hate for the families of Elm Street and beyond that not even death would extinguish that fire.
But in this scenario ,none of the parents involved in the mob actually did anything to Freddy they just stood there. It's a wonder Krueger cared enough to hurt them more later. Since it is implied that each of these parents already lost a child to the glove it seems to support the screenplay theory that each parent in the mob had another kid after Freddy's death. Krueger kept killing their kids over and over.
Cue the screeching background music and a poorly lit Freddy who appears to be interrupted meditating.He tells viewers "That was then,this is now".Krueger illustrates he can cut himself with his own glove and that nothing can hurt him.All for the benefit of no one but the television viewer.A ineffective special effect of red and green goop simply pouring out of a sweater is shown.
After a commercial break we see Lt Blocker having a nightmare. Daughters singing the jump-rope song. And we learn that the Feds are on their way to Springwood because they think Freddy is responsible for murders across the state.Interesting thought, that Springwood wasn't Freddy's first town.
Lt Blocker freaks and immediately confesses what he did to the other cop in the room . This cop thinks no one will care or snitch. But our hero says someone always talks .....you mean like you just did at the mere mention of the Feds coming? Cause that was pretty fast confession.
Buddy cop offers to hide Krueger's body (umm so.....they just left it to be found? I'm beginning to get why Krueger wanted to hurt these idiots. This town needs an enema)
But then the body,which was hidden in the trunk of a car as learned in Dream Warriors(though a completely different car) goes "missing"
Another body shows up slashed at the boiler room. Its one of the parents from the mob.So Freddy is now stalking the adults?
Earlier Lt Blocker had a hallucination of Freddy's ice cream truck running him off the road. Damaging his teeth. And good for him the dentist is on site at the crime scene for some unexplained reason to tell the cop to come to his office.
That night the wife comforts Lt Blocker with a blowjob, one that through which she manages to still be able to talk clearly to her husband.
The cop falls asleep and has a nightmare where he sees the shadow of Freddy on the wall. This dream is slow paced. Very little edits for drama. And the shadow on the wall once again looks and feels like a stunt double at work.As if the performer was told to simply stand up into the light.
The next morning. The disturbed cop manages to disturb his already disturbed daughter with his ranting.
The cop tells his wife they are leaving Springwood. Immediately.
But not before he goes to tell his dentist pal.
The dentist seems unmoved by the cops crazy ranting about the dangers of this town or the plan to get out of town.The dentist then sends Blocker to a patients room so he can work on that broken tooth.
The dental assistant enters the room and gives the Lt some gas to put him at ease and the cop slips into a dream.
Common with many of the male dreams in Freddy's Nightmares,if there is an attractive woman in sight, she invariably is seen within the dream in her underwear.
Sure enough the nurse turns around and she is suddenly in her bra and panties
After administering a needle, the nurse leaves. Doctor Freddy appears wearing a new glove with each finger equipped with a gnarly looking dentist drill tools.
Freddy shoves the glove into the cops mouth and teeth are soon flying everywhere like popcorn.
In the awake world. The cop is found dead in the dentists chair.Believed to have died from an overdose of sedatives.
Freddy is then shown watching the preceding scene through some blinds from within his nightmare world. He speaks as if he himself is bored already with this show . And meanders off into the distance while halfheartedly threatening the viewer as his next potential victim.
Even his parting laugh is kind of a shoulder shrug.
Freddy at this point of his evolution of a character was over the top. Each line in the movies was delivered with demented enthusiasm. Here . Freddy sounds as if he himself is about to fall asleep.
Alas,poor viewer.We knew better stories were not to come
Re: Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
Reply #4 on:
July 19, 2020, 08:30:23 pm »
Overall , Not a promising start to a series.
While the story of Freddy's burning is a fascinating one . One fans have been interested in seeing made into a movie or show to this day. It deserved and still deserves a proper presentation. Much more than a truncated half hour.
The exclusion of any of the known parents from the movies is problematic. Especially considering that none of the parents shown at Freddy's burning actually do anything to Freddy other than threaten and stand by and watch while the cop does everything. And the cop isn't even Donald Thompson. Nancy's father.Missed opportunities.
Also,in the second half Freddy focuses his efforts on an adult and not the children. Freddy always went after the kiddies .Punishing the parents by still taking their children away despite their best efforts to stop him. There is even the implication that Freddy desires to kill the twins he was prevented from taking twice while alive only to ignore them in the Nightmare aftermath.The second half of this episode should have been Freddy stalking the twins in their dreams while the Parents watched defenseless while awake. Ignoring the stories their daughters tell of Freddy in their dreams.Brushing them off as fallout from their all too recent interaction with Freddy when he was alive.
While I was incredibly excited at the possibilities of a weekly Nightmare television show,even one where Freddy was simply host,this left me wanting something different. The Nightmare world was always steps above the standard slasher with it's imagination and it's depiction of the dream world.This first episode left me feeling troubled for what would come next.I'm fine with low budget results,but a good story is key. If they could screw up the already fascinating story of Freddy's burning and first dream efforts, what are they going to do with stories that have to be constructed from the ground up and nothing to do with Krueger?
The handling of the origin story left too many questions.Not a what's canon vs whats not as the original movie would always be the touchstone.But why was so much changed?Where are the parents from the original nightmare?Dream Warriors.even? Why were we following this random cop? Not the teenagers?
Freddy's quips and messages, often lacked any emotional or satirical connection to the story.Just something for him to say.For his debut episode, they really should have pulled out the stops and given him some clever quotable riffs.Something he was known for by this stage of his existence thanks to Dream Warriors and Dream Master.
Tobe Hooper as director?While I like his work (LOVE the original Texas Chain Saw and it's sequel, and his questionable involvement in Poltergeist) the direction in this is really lackluster.Minimal camera movement. Camera angles best suited for dreams were nonexistent.And editing just as less.What should have been dramatic moments on screen looked like someone was told to set up a camera in one place and that's the only angle they had to use for entire scenes. There was little attempt to establish a palette that could have been used as a through line in future episodes.It seemed like the go to choice was lots of shadows that cover the cheap sets and lots of purple gel lights and fog for effect.
Where was Wes Craven in all this? Had New Line by this time destroyed any working relationship with Craven by their continued abuse of his creation?Especially without compensation pay? New Line was making money off the Freddy character with not only the movies but the varied merchandise.It is after all referred to as the House that Freddy Built. Did Wes see any of this considering he was the reason the character existed in the first place? Did they even ask him to direct and episode?Write for the show?Why he wasn't involved in writing the pilot that presented the history of Freddy's burning is a terrible loss. His absence is always felt when someone else tries to write for the gloved one.
As the 1st season progressed, I do recall becoming concerned how this shows performance would affect or influence the potential of another movie.If the series tanked hard, would the studio heads think that the movie going public was sick of Freddy and there would be no reason to make another film? Would they try and connect the final episode in the season to the next movie to hit theaters? If the show was successful ,would they just continue with the series and ignore feature films? Or might they make a feature film that follows the anthology format of the series?
No one I knew talked about the series during it's first run.Whether it was to laugh at it or celebrate it.I saw few articles written about the show before or after its first season run.
The lack of multiple Freddy filled episodes was disappointing as well. Even though, having read up on the series before its premier, I knew that Freddy would not be the focus.But I thought he should have had more in story appearances.Even if it was only just for the second half of the episode.Like say the events of the first half of the episode leave a character so terrorized that they start having bad dreams in the second half. And bad dreams in Springwood are dangerous. Or if he was revealed in the end to be directly behind the events of the episode and made the final kill.For example,what if one of the characters was scared by horror movies and had seen one with a hockey masked killer.Throughout the episode the kid is terrorized by nightmares of someone in a hockey mask trying to kill him and in the end Freddy pulls off the hockey mask to reveal himself.Moments like that, so even when Freddy is not heavily involved in the episode, his presence and dark influence is still felt.
I ended the premier episode disappointed.But still intrigued about what the subsequent weeks would bring.It was after all still more Freddy, and I was always ready for more of that.
Re: Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
Reply #5 on:
July 20, 2020, 07:33:24 pm »
Yeah, I pretty much agree with all that. I was also a bit disappointed with Freddy’s Nightmares. Although I like the first episode, “No more Mr Nice Guy” , I would’ve liked to have seen Freddy more involved in the episodes, instead of new characters every episode suffering some sort of “mishap” in Springwood. Personally I would’ve liked it if they just continued the storyline from the previous Nightmare movies, where Freddy stalks people in their dreams. I’ve only seen 2 episodes where the storyline involves Freddy: the premier episode, and “Sisters keeper” when he goes after the twins. I remember when I first saw the premiere episode, I thought the rest of the series would’ve been based around that: how he becomes a dream killer, but I was disappointed that most of the episodes didn’t involve him as the main character.
And you’re right: the building in the first episode when the newsreader is covering Freddy’s trial, is the exact same building used for the high school in the original Nightmare.
Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 07:39:37 pm by Billy
“He is the first in fear. Second to none. He has no mercy, and no equal”- Dream Master
Re: Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
Reply #6 on:
July 20, 2020, 09:45:02 pm »
Yeah. I really hoped that they would have at least used Freddy to directly influence the events of the episode. Like a Graveling setting up the death of the character.
Freddy would make a comment in the Otherworld.We would then see Freddy's red and green striped sweater arm reach into frame and manipulate something in the story's world that causes a chain reation. Or a character would get a phone call and it would be Freddy on the line ,revealing to the character something that sets them on the nightmares path.
I haven't watched the show in quite some time. But I recall wishing that the stories themselves would have been more about the fears of the character in their concepts.Not just ..oooh "scary" thing happens and now they are dead.There are so many types of fears that people experience on a daily basis even without the influence of Freddy.But his touch could heighten those fears. Make them oppressive.
Afraid of being alone? A character could find everyone in their life slipping away,disappearing,dying.Until they are all alone in an empty town.
Or a character who fears that no one will ever know the real them, actually turns invisible and since no one can see or hear them, they can't stop something terrible happening to that one special person in their life.They just get to watch while they die.
I would have also liked if within the background of some of the stories there would have been mentions of events happening in the various Nightmare movies. Have a character know someone who died in a previous movie.Friend or family.Have them comment on what happened after the movie.Or even just the growing number of child deaths in this town.Use that as a fear of a expecting mother.
They never even used the 1428 Elm Street house as a story element. Have new characters move into that house on a regular basis and let the terrible influence of Freddy effect the outcome.Though we did occasionally see it's rotting facade front door in the otherworld.
Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 05:42:22 am by HazelRah
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Freddy's Nightmares :Saturday Nights Alright for Frightening
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