Looking Back At "Freddy’s Nightmares"

Freddy, the dream serial killer, hosts this anthology of stories set in Springwood.

I’ll be honest with you, I had no idea that this series existed for quite a few years, you see it was never shown here in the UK on television so I never had anyway of knowing about it during the pre-internet days.

A DVD was released over here in 2003 but unfortunately it was a very weak effort and it was very obvious that Warner Home Video weren’t interested in putting out a proper release, don’t believe me? Well the release only contained the first three episodes of season one, to put this into perspective there was two official seasons with a total of 44 episodes.

Like I said, weak, weak and highly disappointing. Apparently sales of the DVD were so poor, that Warner Home Video cancelled the release of Volume two. I’ve always had my suspicions that that was the plan from the beginning but I just can’t figure out why, if given a proper release this could’ve had very decent sales which is just good business sense.

I mean if the plan was to release three episodes per volume then that would be 14/15 DVDs and that’s just totally unnecessary, plus the fact that the DVD was priced around £10 (around $15) it would also be an unnecessarily expensive set. This could’ve easily been released as a proper box set, I’m sure this would have pleased fans.

There’s no denying that ‘Freddy Kreuger’/”A Nightmare On Elm Steet” is still a hot brand, even now, 34 after he first graced our screens. If packaged properly and given some real attention to the product this could’ve been a big success with the fans of the franchise but instead it just felt like a slap in the face to us all.

All in all this was just a blatant cash in by the studios, once again trying to bleed every penny out of the fans as possible. But I’m sure by now you’ve had enough of me moaning moaning (if you’re still reading) about the quality of the release by Warner Brothers, what about the series itself? Was it actually any good?

Well that’s all down to the viewer, personally I really enjoyed it as I’ve always enjoyed an anthology show or film, “The Twilight Zone”, “Tales From The Crypt”, “Masters Of Horror”, “Tales From The Darkside”, I love them all. Even as a kid I loved shows like “Goosebumps” and “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” so it’s always been there.

What you have here is what I’d describe as a “Tales From The Crypt” type setup with ‘Freddy’ playing our host and introducing the upcoming stories and then doing a pun filled recap at the end of each episode, it maybe a clichéd style but it’s a style that works. It’s familiarity is what helps you settle straight into the show.

Now there’s only really one episode that is all about our host and that’s the pilot episode “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, a prequel story to the “A Nightmare On Elm Street” franchise and it’s a riveting episode that I often revisit as I really enjoy the story, also it was directed by the late, great Tobe Hooper (a fun bit of trivia for you).

Of course ‘Freddy Kreuger’ playing our host was the big selling point for the show and guaranteed viewers, even if it was just out of curiosity. I really enjoyed a lot of the episodes, of course with this style of show obviously some episodes are better than others but there is some real quality stories in the series.

“Killer Instinct”, “Freddy’s Tricks and Treats”, “Sister’s Keeper”, “It’s My Party and You’ll Die If I Want You To”, these are just a few select episodes that are really enjoyable. Like I said earlier though, it’s just a shame that the entire series hasn’t had a proper release that I’m sure fans would like to see.

I’d love to see a remastered (not straight from VHS rip as the quality truly is awful and sometimes unwatchable) full release and see this series given another chance for a new generation to discover.

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