Ask anyone for their short list of the top most memorable cinema slayers of all time and more likely than not the filleting fingers of Freddy Krueger will chop towards the top.
And even after being put to rest for the past 10 years, you can bet with Warner’s release of “The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection” there will be plenty more sleepless nights to come. Freddy’s saga achieved cult status even after its first 1984 release, slicing through the normal conventions of everyday horror offerings with an ever evolving back-story and a refreshingly rambunctious ripper. Freddy consistently came through with a flair for phrasing and an always unique, always disturbing method for shredding sleepy teen after sleepy teen. Some of those teens going on to bigger and better things, with a victim list seeing the ends of 80’s heartthrobs Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp, and later in the 4th film offing Patricia Arquette. And though to watch them now might prove to be more hilarious than horrific, as you forego the safety of those well worn covers to spot the cheap and corny effects and even cornier one-liners, the series that wouldn’t let you sleep is still a wonderful diversion on a sleepless night. The veteran rich extras menu bring back many of the supplements from previous releases, but is blessed with a smattering of new additions. The rollercoaster ride of the series is chronicled well in the returning features, going over initial rejections of the first film by prominent film studios, the thought process and evolution of Freddy by Craven and portrayer Robert Englund, and highlighting well the special effects for many of the series films. The always impressive 4+ hour “Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy” also sees another life and is an absolute must for any true Freddy fanatic. Ten years in the making though, the new supplements should meet with the same gusto as was had when first unwrapping the original VHS film release back in 1984. New features include the 30+ minute documentary, “Fear Himself: The Life and Crimes of Freddy Krueger,” offering a fun look back with members of the cast and crew as well as scene highlights and personal impressions. The feature “Welcome to Prime Time” sneaks by as a new supplement, but is largely made up of trimmings from the 1999 Nightmare on Elm Street Collection, and includes lost interviews and plenty of series clips. But the most unique feature of the new material has to be the 17+ minute feature “Conclusions,” assembling a holy trinity of sorts for the series – Clive Barker, Robert Englund, and author Mark Edmunson, whose novel entitled, “Nightmare on Main Street” addresses many key issues as to why we as a society are so captivated with the Gothic/Horror culture – as well as bringing in the man behind “Friday the 13th,” Sean S. Cunningham. This is can’t miss commentary for lovers of not only the Elm Street films, but lovers of horror in general. The new features close by bringing 2 episodes from the three season stretch “Freddy’s Nightmares,” although some questions still remain about why the pilot episode was not included. So with plenty of frights, fights and a finger-pricking good time, “The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection” serves up all of Freddy’s favorites in one bloody good dish.
Studio Synopsis: “Don’t fall asleep” — words to live by for Elm Street teens. Not a problem for fans wide awake with fear (and glee) as they experience these 7 Nightmare movies released from 1984 to 2003. Each features Robert Englund’s masterfully macabre incarnation of slouch-hatted, razor-fingered Freddy Krueger, who mixes wicked wit with even wickeder mayhem as he haunts teens when they’re asleep and most vulnerable. A newspaper article about children who died after having fearsome nightmares provided the real-life springboard for filmmaker Wes Craven’s breakthrough series. Perhaps that underlying reality helps make these shockers so unnerving. Or maybe it’s just that we all like a good scare…and that this series consistently, imaginatively delivers some of the best. Included are all the original Nightmares on 5 discs, plus the new featurette “The Tales and Crimes of Freddy Krueger.”
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 702 minutes
Number of Disks: 5
- Veteran features are all included, with new extras including:
- Fear Himself: The Life and Crimes of Freddy Krueger
- Freddy’s Nightmares Spin-off Television Series Episode 2: It’s a Miserable Life
- Freddy’s Nightmares Spin-off Television Series Episode 3: Killer Instinct
- Welcome to Prime Time
Additional Series Resources:
Central Series Cast: Robert Englund | Heather Langenkamp | Johnny Depp | Mark Patton | Kim Myers | Laurence Fishburne | Patricia Arquette
Series Directors: Wes Craven | Jack Sholder | Renny Harlin | Chuck Russell | Rachel Talalay
Central Writers: Wes Craven | David Chaskin | Bruce Wagner | William Kotzwinkle | Rachel Talalay
- A Nightmare on Elm Street - November 16, 1984
- A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge - November 1, 1985
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors – February 27, 1987
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master – August 19, 1988
- A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child – August 11, 1989
- Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare – September 13, 1991
- Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – October 14, 1994