After sitting through the tepidness that was A Nightmare on Elm Street how relieved I was to watch Never Sleep Again – The Elm Street Legacy. It felt like a high school reunion if you will. Of course, it was a high school reunion with a body count. But, I went to an inner city high school in the 90s, so nothing was really that different. With Wes Craven and Bob Shaye taking on the roles as the principal and vice-principal fighting it out in the halls to see who was really top dog, you get a behind-the-scenes reveal of how and why the choices were made to make these characters who they became. Robert Englund as the deadly jock, who clearly had a shitty home life and Heather Langenkamp as the class president, you get to see and hear from the cast of characters that gave birth to a horror iconary at its finest.
Never Sleep Again – The Elm Street Legacy also reunites us with Mark Patton (Jesse) and Robert Rusler (Grady) from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge.We finally find out that some of the much debated homoerotic subtext was actually intentional. Here I was just thinking Jesse and Grady were cute boys, who just really liked each other a lot. They should have just thrown a little brokeback moment in there. Two hot boys, I’m just saying. It also clears up another smaller debate, Freddy 2 does indeed differ from the others in Nightmare mythology because this Freddy does much of his damage outside of the dream world. Craven clearly had a problem with that, I have disagree with him (with all due respect) the pool scene, due to Robert Englund’s brillance of course was sort of the place where I would say a bit of the Freddy swagger was founded. Seriously, check out Freddy when he walks away from the party. Sheer badass!
KINCAID, bitches! We also hear from the cast of what is still one of my favorites in the series, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Come on you know you loved some Kincaid too. I must say how freakin’ brilliant Englund is, because we find the famous line, “Welcome to primetime, bitch,” was completely adlibbed. Awesome. Not only do we return to dream killing Freddy but, Langenkamp comes back to take him on in part three. We get new characters of course that set us up for the sequels that will follow. Good and bad sequels that follow.
Those were also covered, the lesser loved of the series, you know those where you are primarily watching just for Freddy jokes and whatever crazy kills he decides for his victims. But, we also discuss A New Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason . It was really cool to hear how those came about and how they managed to return Freddy to his early darer roots, if you will. And as I read somewhere, I must point out the difference between Never Sleep Again – The Elm Street Legacy and the His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th was there was no glossing over the scenes and ideas that failed. The directors, writers, make-up artists, special effects teams and actors all credit themselves with the brilliance of their films as well as the flaws and failures. This alone made the experience of this documentary more revealing and entertaining. Overall, Never Sleep Again – The Elm Street Legacy is a must see for us, Fred Heads. See it!