Making its way onto UK Blu-ray next week is the Nightmare on Elm Street docu-movie, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy. The four-hour documentary, originally released on DVD back in 2010, arrives on Monday February 6th courtesy of 101 Films, and details the development of the Freddy Krueger franchise.
Directed by Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch, and narrated by Heather Langenkamp, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy takes an in-depth look at the films, by discussing the highs and lows of the iconic series. Beginning with the 1984 original, and running through six sequels, a television show, and the spin-off movie with the Friday the 13th franchise, this feature-length film takes audiences behind the scenes with input from all the key players involved.
From Freddy actor Robert Englund and the late director Wes Craven, to New Line Cinema producer Bob Shaye and music legend Alice Cooper, a wealth of cast and crew members pop-up on screen to talk about their involvement in the films. Each person shares anecdotes about the series, giving their opinions about what worked, what didn’t, and how it was all put together.
The whole thing is backed up by an extensive collection of clips from the films, as well as some backstage material including rare photos and concept artwork. The Nightmare movies feature lots of gags, set pieces, and creativity, and this is highlighted alongside all the conversations about plots, themes, and characters.
Because this documentary was originally released in 2010, the only entry it doesn’t cover is the misjudged (and bloody awful) Nightmare on Elm Street remake which was released the same year. However, as that movie is not part of the original run of films, and isn’t well regarded anyway, it wasn’t missed back in 2010 and it’s still not missed in 2023.
This documentary is purely about the life-span of the original collection of films. It is a celebration, a love-letter, and a reminder of Freddy’s popularity, and if you’re a fan of the series, then it’s a must watch.
For those who caught Never Sleep Again the first time around, then you will know just how detailed and engrossing this documentary is. A great deal of time and effort is put into bringing everything together, to ensure this franchise gets the back-story it deserves.
No corners are cut, and every Nightmare movie gets plenty of time in the spotlight. This isn’t a docu-film which skips over the less-than successful entries in favour of the fan-favourites, every movie gets a chance to shine.
As with the original DVD release, this new Blu-ray is a two-disc set which includes plenty of bonus material. In addition to the four-hour documentary, the set also features a commentary track, a collection of extended interviews with cast and crew members, a trailer, and ten featurettes.
The featurettes range from a focus on the music in the series, and a look at the fandom, to a spotlight on the poster art, and conversations about comics, video games, and more. The special features cover all the Freddy-related content that simply couldn’t fit into the documentary, to provide a real treasure trove for fans.
And this is a treasure trove for fans. It is hours of horror history, crammed into a two-disc set, and available for the bargain price of just fifteen quid!
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy is one of the best horror docu-films ever produced – it is insightful, humorous, and very entertaining. This is a docu-film that you can watch and appreciate even if you’re not familiar with the franchise, as it fills in all the blanks, and sends you on your way with all the Freddy knowledge you could ever need.
Should you add it to your horror collection? Yes, without question.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
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