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|Index||18 reviews in total|
This was an excellent documentary and is probably going to cover any
questions you would have about the series. The interviews are great and
the cast and crew of every movie seemed to all have a great time with
the films so they enjoy talking about the experience. This keeps the
film fresh and enjoyable throughout and will keep even the most
hardcore fans entertained.
The film goes through the movies one by one, speaking with various cast and crew about production and the film itself. It answers some questions and may even surprise you with some information ( IE NoES 2 having strong homosexual undertones completely surprised me. ) on each of the films. While the doc is 4 hours long, it never seems to drag and each film in the series is covered equally.
It's a wonderful companion to the series and I doubt any doc is going to come this close to being so complete and well done on any other horror series or horror flicks in general. A must own for any Freddy fan.
I had a feeling the "Elm Street" documentary was going to be something
special, but I had no idea just HOW special until the pre-ordered disc
arrived early. Initially I presumed that the 240 minute running time
listed was for all the material on the 2-disc set, but to my great
surprise and delight, that's actually the running time for the main
feature. A few cast members (Ronee Blakely, Johnny Depp, Patricia
Arquette, etc) are noticeably absent, but practically everyone else who
worked in front of and behind the camera on an "Elm Street" film is
There's something here for even the hardest of hardcore Freddy fans (of which I am one), with lots of interesting stories and previously undisclosed revelations, never-before-seen photos and behind-the-scenes footage, some pretty nifty stop-motion animated recreations of key scenes from the films, laugh-out-loud anecdotes and much more! This puts every bit of bonus material that New Line's ever released to shame (excepting, perhaps, the long out of print Anchor Bay special edition of the first film -- though a few clips from that are included here too).
"His Name Was Jason," the documentary on "Friday the 13th" franchise already proved that the best way to do a documentary on a horror movie is to turn it over to the fans, but "Never Sleep Again" has raised the bar even higher. Kudos and thank you to the production team for putting together this incredible documentary!
When I first heard that a documentary was being done on the entire Elm
Street series, I figured it would be a fun one-hour film that brought
back a few key stars to discuss a few behind the scene stories and
celebrate the pop-culture that is Freddy and the Nightmare Films.
Boy, was I wrong! Instead, the Makers of Never Sleep Again gave us the most definitive fan-based documentary that has no equal. It is a four hour wet dream with interviews from the biggest stars like Robert Englund to nameless extras like the people who burst out of Freddy's chest in Dream Master. Every film is probed in detail on story-lines, subtexts, and behind the scenes incidents. They even go into Freddy's Nightmares, the short-lived syndicated television show.
The four hour long documentary itself is worthy of the eternal praise of this film and would be more than enough to satisfy the biggest Fred Head's appetite, but Never Sleep Again give us more. It give us another four hours of extras that equal the entertainment value of the documentary.
Even with all of that, there is more. If you order from the Never Sleep Again website by June 1st, you get a signed poster from none other than the legendary Scream Queen herself -- Heather Langenkamp!!! If you did see the Remake and feel let down and ripped off...Never Sleep Again will most certainly make you feel better.
If you never sleep again, it will only be because you are too busy
sifting through all that "Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy" has
to offer. This comprehensive 2-disc DVD set serves as a study on the
infamous "A Nightmare on Elm Street series" which not only offers a
four hour (!) long documentary, but almost as much in special features
and extra footage.
Produced by the same folks who brought us "Halloween: 25 Years of Terror" and "His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th" and hosted by Nancy Thompson herself, Heather Langenkamp, the main feature covers just about everything you would ever want to know about the original eight-film franchise. Beginning with Wes Craven's original film and wrapping up with the 2003 hit mash-up, "Freddy vs. Jason," the documentary brings back most of the main cast and crew from each film (sans major players such as Patricia Arquette, Laurence Fishburne and Johnny Depp) as they wax nostalgic about all of the fun, thrills, melodrama, successes and failures that "Elm Street" brought each and every one of them. Each film is given ample time and is expanded upon wonderfully, and not only is it a blast to see how some of them have aged, but a lot of new information is brought to the forefront that, even if you've followed the series throughout the decades, will come as news to you. This certainly is no fluff-piece, as everyone is open and honest, and in spite of its length, it never drags or feels dull.
Once you've plowed through the main feature, there's still a second disc of special features to swallow, and as before, there is not a moment wasted. The main meat of this disc is a compilation of extended interviews that runs almost as long as the average "Elm Street" flick. If you simply can't get enough after the four hours you've just completed, this piece serves almost as a fitting desert. Other features focus on Freddy phenomena such as the character's transition into comics, the music that was used in the series, locations, props and, of course, the fans. There's also a rather amusing bit with the famed Angry Video Game Nerd where he rips apart the Nintendo game based on the franchise, albeit, in a loving manner. There's so much here that it almost justifies its own release.
While the release glosses over the recent remake (save for a few minutes of cut footage), it doesn't spare anything from the Robert Englund golden-era. Those who remember how great this series was in its time will no doubt eat up each and every savory morsel that "Never Sleep Again" has to offer. You're certainly getting the bang for your buck, and even if the studio itself isn't too keen on producing something this informative, it's good to know that independent film-makers with a love for the material are willing to do all the leg-work themselves. Without this DVD, your "Nightmare on Elm Street" collection simply is not complete.
This was simply put, the best, the most comprehensive, the most
audacious, the most auspicious and loving fan letter to any lover of
this series of films that anyone could expect. Kudos and a clink of the
champagne glass to all involved, a labour of love that delivered.
From it's humble beginnings to it's controversial subtexts, revealing interviews piece together the history of the elm street series and paint a portrait of the horror community that made me stand up and applaud "Yes I am a horror fanatic and yes I am proud" Much we have seen before on the pretty comprehensive 8 disc set of Nightmares that New Line put out a decade or so ago, but so much new material and history has happened since then.
The lowlight for me was seeing former studio head Bob Shaye, a man broken after losing control of his studio due to politics. And when he broke down on camera, so did I, who would have thought, in tears in a documentary about the "ELm Street" series. SHeesh I must be getting sentimental in my old age. Every character actor from every movie is interviewed in depth and a running time of four hours - it still felt short! By the end the film had me standing and clapping at the screen like so many teen girls on their first Twilight viewing. Awesome Awesome Awesome. A Perfect 10.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010)
**** (out of 4)
Four hour documentary covering the entire series (minus remake) is without question one of the greatest things ever produced for the horror genre. Both HALLOWEEN and the Friday THE 13TH series have had documentaries done on them but there's no doubt that this film here is above both of them and ranks as one of the most well-informed ever produced. I prefer both Jason and Michael but it's impossible not to be impressed with this film because the filmmakers were actually able to bring pretty much everyone back (with the exceptions being Depp and Arquette). Not only do you get all the directors, writers and main actors but we also get several who had very small parts like the "where's your hall pass" girl from the first film. All seven movies and then the cross over are given a large amount of time so that we can hear about them being made, hear about the various production issues and we also get to see some deleted scenes that I don't believe have ever been shown before. The entire film is one big highlight but some of the most memorable moments can be found in the section on part 2, which has become known as the gay Freddy. It's funny seeing the writer, director and cast talk about the gayness to the film and it's even funnier to see how most of them didn't realize while making the film. The troubled production here is also very interesting as if Craven's thoughts on a sequel to a film he had planned on keeping single. The Craven aspect is another one of the most interesting things here because, again, I don't believe he's ever really talked about any of the sequels outside the ones he was involved here but he comments on all of them here. His opinion of them is rather low, which is to be expected to a point but it's funny to see other directors, especially the man behind part 2, dishing on the original. FREDDY VS JASON gets a lot of time given to it as we hear about the dozens of screenplays that were denied before they finally came up with a winner. There were years of rumors and fake reports about what was going on with this film so to finally hear some true stories was a nice tough. The various endings were discussed as well as an alternate version that featured more of Freddy. The cast list is too large to even start with but fans won't be disappointed because all the majors are here as well as most of the smaller characters and we even get Alice Cooper for good kicks. Horror fans can always debate which series is the best or which films are the best of a series but I don't see how it would be possible for someone to sit through this thing and not be impressed. The passion of this thing hasn't been touched by any other documentary of its kind and I'd be willing to bet that those other guys are going to have to step up their game if they want to come anywhere near this. Everything you want to know will be answered here and it really gives one a major respect for what a small studio ended up doing with one character.
For children of the eighties, Freddy Kruger was a massive pop culture
icon. Spanning seven moves from 1984 to 1994 (and the 'Freddy v Jason'
mashup in 2003), Freddy started as the brainchild of horror master Wes
Craven and grew into one of the most recognisable fictional characters
in modern entertainment and turning New Line Cinemas from a small
independent company to a major Hollywood force.
'Never Sleep Again' comprehensively chronicles the rise of Freddy - interviewing everyone from Craven, Robert Englund, New Line's Robert Shaye, Heather Lagenkamp (who narrates the documentary) to nearly ever actor from all Nightmares (notable exceptions are Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette) as well as special effects artists, directors and other vital crew members.
NSA is a Freddy fan's nirvana! Over nearly four hours, the interviewees speak openly about each film (divided into chapters and framed by cool claymation sequences), supported by script excerpts, behind-the-scenes footage, concept art and other rare gems. While some documentaries explore well-trodden ground, NSA delves deep into the Freddy mythology and the making of each movie. They also make an effort to explain why each film was a success or failure (Nightmare Part One, Part Three and New Nightmare are regarded as the best, while Parts Two and Five are the worst). They also examine the rise of New Line (or "The House that Freddy built"), the TV show 'Freddy's Nightmares' and how Freddy became such a phenomenon. What comes through is the love and respect everyone has for the Nightmare films, from Robert Englund (who has always been grateful and respectful of Freddy) to minor actors.
To put it simply, NSA is a must-watch for Freddy fans. Hardcore fans will have their love strengthened, while casual/newer fans will arguably find a renewed enthusiasm for the series.
Back in the late 1970's to early 1980's, Writer and Directed:Wes Craven
(The Scream Series, Red Eye, Shocker) created one of the most memorable
villains of all time and his name is Freddy Krueger (Played by Robert
Englund until the 2010 remake with Jackie Earle Haley as the new Freddy
Krueger). Originally Wes Craven's screenplay was rejected by every
major studio and every big-name producer until producer Robert Shaye
(Book of Love, The Last Mitzy) decided to produced the movie with his
then small distributor company turned major studio:New Line Cinema.
This documentary interviews most major cast members of the original series (Except:Johnny Deep, Patricia Arquette, Craig Wasson, Bradley Gregg and Laurence Fishburne), including every director, make-up artists, screen-writers and more. Interviews are surprisingly honest, they talked about what worked and didn't worked in the series. Even the spin-off "Freddy Vs. Jason" is talked about with the cast & crew.
Directed by Daniel Farrands (Screenwriter of "Halloween 6:The Curse of Michael Myers") and Andrew Kasch made an extremely long but always entertaining documentary of the entire original series. It is certainly more fun to watch than "His Name was Jason" documentary, which Farrands was involved in and it is better than "Halloween:25 years of terror".
Interviews on all the movies are certainly fun to watch, especially the underrated but flawed "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:Freddy's Revenge", considering how gay the movie is now! There's even an surprise interviewee on "Freddy Vs. Jason" is one of the biggest laughs of the feature.
Disc 1 is the entire documentary of "Never Sleep Again:The Elm Street Legacy". Which is nearly four hours long! DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and an good Dolby Stereo 2.0 Surround Sound.
Disc 2 includes slashed scenes:extended interviews of the entire series, featurettes and more. "Never Sleep Again:The Elm Street Legacy" is great fun and die-hard fans of the series will certainly have an ball watching it. Even non-fans will some of the interviews to be truly enjoyable. Don't miss it. (**** ½/*****).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have a condition called ADHD, it's very hard for me sit down for long
periods of time, but this huge documentary was so engrossing and so
wonderful I didn't wanna get up off my seat. It was sad that people
like Johnny Depp, Ronee Blakely or Patricia Arquette didn't show up,
but I was thrilled with everything here. Shocking stories and the main
thing was that people genuinely seemed to enjoy being there.
Nightmare On Elm Sreet. Everyone had some great recollections. Heather was very candid and enjoyable to listen to, while people like Amanda Wyss and Jsu Garcia shared interesting stories. It was shocking to find out Garica was a drug addict at the time and he went to work drugged up. Amanda seemed very enthusiastic about everything while Wes is clearly proud of his work and against the sequels. So surreal that one of the best horror films of all time was very risky to make.
Nightmare On Elm Street 2. They don't hold anything back on this one!. Jack Sholder is clearly disliked and he even seems like a snotty prick. David Chaskin who wrote this claims he didn't intend it to be gay, but I find that hard to believe as did a few crew members. Mark Patton and Kim Myers shared great chemistry and were very bubbly about the project. Robert Rusler who played Grady and Marshal Bell who played Schneider didn't have much to say, but Clu Gulager seemed drunk or something and was funny to listen too. Sydney Walsh even shows up who played Kerry the best friend.
Nightmare On Elm Street 3. This one was pretty controversial itself. It seemed to be a very crowded project with everyone stressed out and not really enjoying themselves. Chuck Russell the Director didn't seem to be very well liked while people like Rodney Eastman who played Joey and Ken Sagoes who played Kincaid bitched quite a bit. Craig Wasson is noticeably absent from the proceedings while Jennifer Rubin and Ira Heiden had fun doing there interviews. Priscilla Pointer who played Simms had one cool bit. Very well done, but it was a rather selfish one and a bit too heated for my liking. Favorite bit was finding out the cast members had crushes on Patricia Arquette and went to Robert Englund for dating advice.
Nightmare On Elm Street 4. This one is much more lively and a lot more fun to listen too, I didn't feel so uncomfortable. Lisa Wilcox is delightful to listen too|Great to look at as well| While people like Danny Hassell who played Dan seem very grateful for the semi fame and opportunity they were given. Andras Jones was great to listen too as Rick. It was funny to find out he did all that martial arts training and didn't end up doing it. Brooke Bundy and Toy Newkirk offer some interesting insight as well. Robert Englund recalls moments where he was aggravated at the crew for taking so long. Great listen, never a boring moment.
Nightmare On Elm Street 5. Interesting to find out this was based on an idea of one of the crew because she was going through motherhood. Turns out this project was rushed due to the success of the 1st one, though I still hold a special place in my heart for this one. Kelly Jo Minter seems a bit annoyed at some of the happenings, while Lisa and Robert share funny stories. Erika Anderson is likable and funny and recalls her part on Greta. Joe Seely who played the comic geek Mark is a bit of a nerd himself, but he was likable too. Beatrice Boepple who played Amanda Krueger shows up briefly while Whit Hertford who played Jacob shows up too.
Freddy's Dead The Final Nightmare. Very good stuff here as well. Lisa Zane happily seems to not regret her role, while Rachel Talay admits they should have probably made this more serious. Shon Grenblat who played John Doe looks like a scrag due to his beard manages to give some nice stories while Lezlie Deane who is in some weird makeup with some chick recalls her part as well. Ricky Dean Logan talks about his part as Carlos. Breckin Meyer is nowhere to be found unfortunately.
New Nightmare. Probably my favorite out of all of them. Wes seems very proud of this project and rightfully so. He says he wanted to neglect the other sequels and make a true sequel to the original. David Newsom is hilarious as he recalls his part as Chase. Miko Hughes, Tracy Middendorf, Fran Bennett|Who hilarious does her "Let's cut this evil" out of him impersonation|. It was cool to see Robert wanted to turn it up a notch for Wes as well.
Freddy Vs Jason. Good stuff here, but I wasn't nearly as interested in this as I was the others. I'm kind of weird with this movie because for some odd reason after repeated viewings, my enjoyment for the movie has slowly decreased each time. Everyone is likable though, especially Monica Keena.
Bottom line. Exhausting but in the best way possible. Do whatever you can to get a hold of this if your an Elm Street fan, it has everything.
P.S be sure to stay for the credits, there is some funny stuff while the credits roll.
An epic documentary charting the making of the 'Nightmare on Elm
Street' series from the 1984 original through to 'Freddy Vs. Jason',
'Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy' is essentially an extended
DVD extra but I can't imagine any fan of the franchise coming away
disappointed. I'm not one of those people by any stretch of the
imagination (although I've seen them all more than once and I do have a
morbid fascination with horror sequels) and I really enjoyed it.
At four hours in length it's about as exhaustive as you could ask for, featuring interviews with just about every key creative figure from each film, a list too long to bother typing out (notable absences include Johnny Depp, Brian Helgeland and Frank Darabont, but there's so much information here they aren't really missed). Along the way there's production art, storyboards, behind the scenes photos and deleted scenes, snippets of scripts, and candid interviews that reveal the struggles involved in bringing the films to life.
To my mind, the first film is massively flawed but has integrity, the second one is terrific, and the rest are rubbish. What struck me about this movie was that no matter how the final product turned out, everyone involved went in with the best of intentions and put their all into each film. The interviews are at their best when the various writers and directors talk about their struggles to realise their vision, and especially when they're honest about what went wrong.
The most engaging section for me by far was the part that details 'Nightmare on Elm Street 2' (really the only one I fully like) and the way almost everyone involved with that film missed the homoerotic subtext. I was also fascinated by the too-brief look at a draft of 'Freddy's Dead' co-written by Peter Jackson in which Freddy is almost powerless in his dreamscape kingdom and has become a joke to the Springwood teenagers, who deliberately sedate themselves in order to come face to face with him and beat him up. It's a great idea that comments on the state of the series at the time and sounds a lot more interesting than what made it to the screen.
Despite its length the movie is never boring, although once we get into the home stretch I did start to flag a bit (I watched it in one sitting, which may have been a mistake). It is basically 240 minutes of talking heads so I didn't come away feeling like I'd seen a great piece of film-making or anything, but on the level of a making-of-the-movie doc that's clearly a labour of love, it's pretty impressive stuff.
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