Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy 2 Disc Collector’s Edition
Directors: Daniel Farrands & Andrew Kasch
Starring: Robert Englund, Wes Craven, Heather Langenkamp
Review by Brian M. Sammons
The best thing, perhaps the only good thing, about all the horror classics from the ’80s getting the modern remake treatment is that when the new movie comes out, a new documentary about the original films also comes out. There was one for Halloween, one for Friday The 13th, and now with the new Nightmare On Elm Street remake soon to come out on DVD and BD comes this re-release of the massive documentary about all the Freddy flicks. So how does this doc stack up against the others and does it do the monumental horror series justice? Well five, six, grab your crucifix and lets dive into dreamland.
Never Sleep Again starts off where it should with a lengthy and in depth look at the first NoES. Wes Craven, Robert Englund, and nearly all of the actors from the first Nightmare are present for interviews. Ok, Johnny Depp has become too much of a big shot to be bothered to say a few kind words about the movie that started his career, but pretty much everyone else shows up. Additionally there are comments from the producers that risked everything to bring Wes’ nightmare to life, the special effects wizards that made the dreamscapes so frightening, and other crewmembers who were there wading in blood or turning rooms upside-down. Missing are any fans or critics commenting on the film, but with seven Nightmare films to cover, not to mention the Freddy vs. Jason flick, the short lived Freddy’s Nightmares TV show, an interview with the 80s metal group Dokken, and a look at the House the Freddy Built (that’s New Line Cinema to you and me), this documentary is not short on material. In fact, it’s so overflowing that it had to be put on to two discs.
But more on that later.
Everything Freddy is covered in incredible detail. While you might expect that from a documentary, what this one does is goes far beyond the call of duty. Remember the girl in the hallway who asked Nancy for her pass? Well they found her for this. How about the guy reading the creepy poem in class? Nah, me neither, but they dug him up too. Want the inside poop you normally don’t ever hear from the people in Hollywood? Well how about Wes Craven’s thoughts on the sequels to his movie and the problems he had with New Line Cinema over the years. Want to know if Nightmare 2 really was meant to be as gay as it seemed to be? Ever wonder why Kane Hodder (the fan favorite Jason from the Friday The 13th films) didn’t make it into Freddy Vs. Jason? Those and may more insider scoops can be found here.
How much more, you ask?
Well the actual documentary runs 240 minutes. That long enough for you? Oh, and that’s not including the stuff on the second disc that I mentioned before. That is likewise packed till bursting with content. There are extended interviews with nearly everyone they talked to for the doc and some interviews with people that were cut from the main movie probably in a desperate attempt not to stretch the runtime out any more. There’s a featurette on the famous Freddy glove, one about the old Nintendo Nightmare On Elm Street game, another that’s a Horror’s Hallowed Grounds segment on the locations from the first film, still another about the diehard Freddy fans, a sneak peak at another behind the scenes documentary covering Elm Street from a different perspective called I Am Nancy, and I could really go on and on and on. So when I tell you that this documentary has it all, you should really believe me on that.
As if all that wasn’t enough, CAV has brought this amazing doc out again in an even more expanded edition. There’s a four-hour-long creators’ commentary, expanded and enhanced interviews, and little niceties like a foil DVD sleeve and a 12″ by 18″ poster for your wall.
Simply put, if you are a fan of the Nightmare films then you MUST get this documentary. Of all of the recent 80s slasher retrospectives this movie is one of the best, most thorough, and easily the longest. To paraphrase a famous line; don’t … fall … asleep … before getting yourself a copy of this DVD, because missing out on this one would truly be a nightmare.