Freddy's Nightmares (1988–1990)
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The series wasn't really ABOUT Freddy Kreuger - only the first couple of episodes actually involved him as anything but a Rod Serling-esquire announcer. Instead, each episode was a distinct nightmare, using the traditional horror themes of horrific childhood, dating, cannibalism, dating, money, death, dating, and... hmm... dating.
From the episode where a teenage boy accidentally says "I will love you forever" to the wrong girl, and is stuck with her (literally, at least for a moment, they grow together...), to the one where a young stewardess goes home with a strange man, only to find herself in his cabin, where he has a trophy room full of other stewardesses, and one I only vaguely remember which compared blind dates to hockey (and the injuries and penalties that go with it) - dating was definitely the scariest thing in the series.
One episode had Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, etc.) as a motivated pizza merchant with a tasty new secret ingredient. Not original, but still creepy and fun....
Even so, some of the episodes were great. My personal favorite was "It's a Miserable Life" where a young man is trapped working in his parents' burger joint, when he wants to go off to college. Stuck talking to himself and doing little puppet shows with old cheeseburgers - until one late night when a weird guy comes through the drive through and suddenly his life is not the same. No, not Freddy, just a thug with a gun - turns out the whole mind-blowing episode is just that - the last thoughts that pass through the kid's head... along with a bullet.
The second half of the same episode (many of the Freddie's Nightmares episodes were essentially two vaguely connected short stories) followed his girlfriend, who was also wounded, but not killed in the drive-by, and who is taken to "the hospital from heck" - they cram in all the most creepy hospital nightmare clichés, and then some - from accidentally having your mouth sewn shut - or waking up during an operation - to having your dead boyfriend try and lure you into the morgue for a little cuddle.
Again, that was my favorite.
Some of the episodes were much dumber, like ALMOST ALL OF THE ONES THEY'VE MADE AVAILABLE ON VIDEO. They put the crummy ones out as representative of the series, and then nobody likes them, thinks the show stunk, and then they don't put any more on video. It's a Miserable Life is only available on PAL DVD in England - but I'm still gonna buy it.
Season one shines far brighter than season two with episodes such as "It's A Miserable Life", "Sister's Keeper", "Do Dreams Bleed" and "Identity Crisis" standing out amongst the pack. Almost all of the episodes are cheesy as all get-out but still just kind of have that weird 80's vibe compounded by random and bizarre stories that make them enjoyable nonetheless.
I'd love to see this series get a full release on video. It's a classic among schlock mongers and utilizes standard 80's stereotypes that would likely be considered weird by those born long after the series originally aired.
It shows Freddy being burned by the Elm street parents(in the 1st episode I believe) and the amount of parents were disappointing. With all the kids he targeted in the 1st 3 movies, you'd expect there to be more parents. But oh well.
Freddy is basically the narrator for the show. He watches the actions of people in the real world sometimes getting involved somehow. Just like other anthology shows like Tales from the crypt, there's a supernatural or surprise ending twist involved.
The acting lacks but believe it or not: the violence sometimes surpasses that of the movie. This show lasted a couple of seasons and was made around the time of the 4th movie. i heard it was canceled due to protesting parents. I watched a lot of R rated stuff as a kid, so its a shame parents had to ruin it for everyone. 4 more movies came after the series , so it wasn't a total loss.
However, there are also a lot of episodes which are no more than an excuse for a series of rather unimaginative surreal images and occasional unfunny 'jokes' from Freddy. These come across as very tedious. 'Saturday Night Special', for example, is just complete trash.
But if you can get hold of the better episodes then do so, as they make good viewing.
1) ` Freddy's Tricks and Treats' (`A Noite das Bruxas')
Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Lead Cast: Mariska Hargitay (Marsha), Darren Dalton (Zach), Daniel McDonald (Mark) and Cameron Thor (Gary)
In Springwood, Marsha is a beautiful, but sexually repressed student of medicine. On the night of Halloween, she decides to go to the morgue of the university to dissect a corpse, while her friends are partying. She is very tired and has a nightmare with her imaginary boyfriend and her dead repressing grandmother. She is invited by a friend to participate of an experimental research with dreams, where they would be recorded and then played back. Certainly Freddy Krueger has an evil participation in this great story. The atmosphere of nightmare is excellent. Fans like me of Freddy Krueger will love this episode. My vote is eight. (16 Jun 2004).
2) `Killer Instinct' (`Instinto Assassino')
Director: Mick Garris
Lead Cast: Yvette Nipar (Nickie), Lori Petty (Chris Ketchum) and Kane Picoy (David)
In Springwood high school, Chris is a runner disputing with Nickie who is the best. Her mother was a successful athlete in the past and Chris has developed a kind of mental block, loosing the competitions in the end. Her trainer gives a stone with a necklace that belonged to her mother as an amulet. The life of Chris changes, affected by the evil effect of this bijouterie. Freddy Krueger presents this good horror story. My vote is six. (16 Jun 2004).
Title (Brazil): `A Hora do Pesadelo O Terror de Freddy Krueger II' (` The Nightmare's Hour The Terror of Freddy Krueger II')
1) ` Sisters Keeper´s' (`Duplo Pesadelo')
Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Lead Cast: Hill Park (Lisa), Gry Park (Merit) and Anne Curry (Sara)
In Springwood, the twin sisters Lisa and Merit are suffering the consequences of the act of their father, the policeman who killed Freddy Krueger. Merit spent a period in a mental institution, having nightmares with the evil Freddy, and now is very protected by her mother, making Lisa a little jealous with the situation. In this episode, the sisters decide to share the same dream to fight against Freddy. Fans like me of Freddy Krueger will love this episode. My vote is eight. (17 Jun 2004).
2) `Mother´s Day' (` O Dia das Mães')
Director: Michael Lange
Lead Cast: Byron Thames (Billy), Jill Whitlow (Barbara), Elizabeth Savage (Sherry Gamble), Judith Blanton (Al)
In Springwood, on the mother's day, a family comes to live in the house that belonged to Freddy Krueger. Before the recem-married couple travels in honeymoon, Billy, the teenager son of the bride, is advised by her husband to take care with his belongings. While they are traveling, Billy meets his neighbor Sherry and reality and dream mixes in a crazy and tragic party. After this incident, Sherry decides to call her mother Barbara, who presents a show in the radio. This episode, composed in two parts, is another great horror story. My vote is eight. (17 Jun 2004).
Title (Brazil): `A Hora do Pesadelo O Terror de Freddy Krueger III' (` The Nightmare's Hour The Terror of Freddy Krueger III')
1) ` No More Mr. Nice Guy'
Director: Tobe Hooper
Lead Cast: William Frankfather, Jan Williams and Gry Park
On his trial, the judge due to illegal procedure in his arresting releases Freddy Krueger. The locals decide to act as vigilantes and kill him. One lawman feels tormented for breaking the law. My vote is seven. (14 Jun 2004).
2) `It´s a Miserable Life'
Director: Tom McLoughlin
Lead Cast: Lar Park Lincoln and John Mitchell
The son of the owner of a snack bar stays in the graveyard shift, and while waiting for his girlfriend, he feels threatened by a man in a motorcycle. When his girlfriend arrives, many weird things happen with them. My vote is seven. (15 Jun 2004).
I am suspicious to comment this series, since I am a great fan of Freddy Krueger. Both episodes are great. In the second one, the atmosphere recalls `Twilight Zone'. Just as a curiosity, John Mitchell is the same actor of ` Hedwig and the Angry Inch'.
Title (Brazil): `A Hora do Pesadelo O Terror de Freddy Krueger I' (` The Nightmare's Hour The Terror of Freddy Krueger I')
On the other hand this is one of the funniest things to ever be on television. The 80s fashions, the soft focus makes the actors look like their on the set of The View at all times, the premises lend the material more to self-parody than scares, so we're left with an episode where a high school kid is afraid if he fails his SAT's his girlfriend will dump him and his parents disown him, another is afraid she'll be locked up in prison because she's a substandard mom (her husband is played by Brad Pit), another is afraid that all the parents in the world are in league against him when he runs away from home, another is afraid she'll be confused with her socially-retarded twin, another is afraid if he doesn't break up his mom and step-dad he'll get killed for having a party at his house. The list goes on and on.
Being that these are dreams I suppose you could look past the ludicrous plot points and devices, but they're so out of left field that there's no opportunities for the writers to actually scare the audience. You have characters dressed like something out of a 80s-themed nightmare wandering around delivering bad dialogue in very hammy fashion and making illogical decisions that serve no other purpose but to move the story to the next weird plot point (typically watching as a peripheral character does something uncharacteristic of a sane person while our main character stares aghast and too shocked to do anything about it).
If you're looking for something that'll scare you stay away. If you're looking, on the other hand, for one of the funniest things to come out of the 80s ever. Watch it.
Its been showing on Chiller TV lately (pretty much every day) and I've been watching, earlier out of morbid curiosity, and now just so I can get a good laugh in each day. With Arrested Development and Extras off the air this is officially the funniest thing on television right now.
I can accept how Freddy became one punchline after another, but at least in the movies the appeal of Freddy carried the movies, but here these were so poorly made, they looked like high school productions of a horror series. The poor actors, if you really want to call yourself that after doing this show were obviously exactly what they paid for. I'm nearly certain this was a stopping point for two types of actors. Ones just starting on the Hollywood ladder, brand new willing to take any part that would put off their having to take that porn job they were offered last week, or seasoned actors on their way down the Hollywood ladder willing to take any part that would put off their having to take that porn job they were offered last week.
I half expected Dana Plato to guest star, but she was already dead by the time this was in production.
To paraphrase Nancy's line in the original Elm St,"What ever you do try not to fall asleep watching this."