Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010)
I realized that I have yet to write a review on any of the many many horror documentaries that are out there. The reason? Well I’ve seen a lot of them … a lot. But to be perfectly honest I’ve never really been all that impressed with horror documentaries. But NEVER SLEEP AGAIN changed all that. This is the most comprehensive, interesting, and fun documentary I’ve seen in a long time. Directors Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch put together a really insightful and interesting 240 minute documentary that explores each NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET film in detail and gives us some really incredible interviews with the franchise’s top names.
When I sat down to watch NEVER SLEEP AGAIN I was unaware of the 4 hour run time. But before I knew it I had watched the entire documentary in one sitting and was never bored or checking my watch. The majority of the horror documentaries I’ve watched usually fall prey to one of two problems (sometimes both): They are either a vehicle for promoting the film and lack substance or the interviews are really superficial and don’t dive into the “nuts and bolts” of the creative minds behind the film. But directors Farrands and Kasch don’t just score some big names to be in this docu, they really get some incredible insight out them. We of course get interviews from Wes Craven and Robert Englund, but not the typical “I loved working on this film/franchise … I really feel we made a solid picture” yada yada yada bullshit. We get some real in-depth analysis from Craven, Englund, and everyone interviewed. It’s a really fascinating documentary.
The film starts with a kick ass claymation opening credit sequence that immediately goes into the history of New Line Cinema (which in and of itself is totally interesting). And then we get into some deep fucking analysis of the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. We get at least a solid 45 minutes to an hour on the original flick alone (the longest segment on the docu). Then after this we get each and every ELM STREET flick analyzed with interviews from all the main players for each film. We get to hear from the stars, director, writer(s), f/x crew … everything. Then after each film is discussed we even get a detailed discussion of FREDDY’S NIGHTMARES, the short-lived syndicated TV series. Ever since I saw NEVER SLEEP AGAIN I’ve been looking for the complete TV series; after hearing about all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans, I’m eager to give it another shot.
But perhaps the best part of the docu is when they talk about A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET PART 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE and how “gay” it is (their words, not mine). When director Jack Sholder and writer David Chaskin look straight into the camera and say that they honestly had no idea how “gay” and homoerotic their film was you won’t be able to keep from laughing out loud. It’s a truly hysterical moment. Check out this YouTube video a fan put together about all the “gay moments” in NIGHTMARE 2:
But besides this fantastic discussion there’s tons of other really interesting facts about NOES 2: Did ya know that Brad Pitt, John Stamos, and Christian Slater all auditioned for the lead role of Jessie? That Wes Craven refused to work on Part 2 because he never intended NIGHTMARE to become an ongoing franchise? That Robert Englund wasn’t even originally going to play the role of Freddy in Part 2? All true!!
When I find a film that I really love I find it hard to keep gushing on and on about it (but give me a flick I hate and I can go on for days). This is simply the best horror documentary I’ve ever seen. Directors Farrands and Kasch give us an amazing, fan-oriented film that delves into and examines every aspect of the ELM STREET phenomenon (they even talk about all the various merchandising products like the cereal and the board game) that you could ever hope to know about. This is without a doubt the most complete work on the subject of A NIGHTMARE ELM STREET. Definitely check this one out; I can’t recommend this one enough!!
Directors: Daniel Farrands & Andrew Kasch
Plot: 5 out of 5 stars
Gore: 7 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer