From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Created by||Wes Craven (characters)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||44 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||1 hour|
|Original run||October 8, 1988 – March 12, 1990|
Freddy's Nightmares is a late-night television anthology series, which premiered in October 1988 and ran until March 1990. A spin-off from the Nightmare on Elm Street series, each story was introduced by Freddy Krueger (played, as in the movies, by Robert Englund). This format is essentially the same as that employed by Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Tales from the Crypt, or The Twilight Zone. The pilot episode was directed by Tobe Hooper, and begins with Freddy Krueger's acquittal of the child-murdering charges due to his officer's lack of reviewing the Miranda warning at the time of Freddy's arrest. A mob of parents eventually corners Freddy in a power plant (his workplace), leading to him being torched by the police officer, dying and gaining his familiar visage.
The series was produced by New Line Television, producers of the film series. It was originally distributed by Lorimar Television. However, Warner Bros. Television would assume syndication rights after acquiring Lorimar (New Line is now a subsidiary of Warner Bros.).
Due to the murderous basis of the Freddy Krueger character, New Line Cinema opted to not develop a television series with a regular batch of characters to mix it up with Krueger on a continuous basis—deeming it futile, since he would inevitably kill most of them, and there would be no one left. Instead the producers created an anthology series, employing a new crop of actors to be used for each episode.
Each week Freddy's Nightmares told a different story, or stories, of a dark rooted and/or grim nature that took place in the fictitious town of Springwood, Ohio (and in particular, Elm Street)—the same setting as the A Nightmare on Elm Street films. Though the Freddy Krueger character would occasionally play a part in the plot, most of the stories did not involve him (it was, however, often hinted that Krueger indirectly influenced the desolate nature of the plotlines).
Krueger's primary function was to host the series. He was featured in regular bumper segments, where he would offer an ominous or slapstick reaction to the happenings of the episode—culminating in him giving a quick, and usually eerie, epilogue at the end.
One element that makes the series unique is its two-tier story approach. Most of the episodes feature two different stories. However, every second story usually built on a character who played a minor (or supporting) role in first. For instance, in one episode a woman plays in a game show hosted by the devil. In the second part she meets an old woman, who is actually her future self, who tells her she is going to kill her husband.
Due to budget restraints, the producers of the series were forced to use unknown actors, rather than some of the stars associated with the theatrical franchise. The only actor from the film series retained for the TV series was Robert Englund, as Freddy Krueger.
Some of the featured actors who went on to later become notable were:
- Robin Antin
- Sarah Buxton
- Kyle Chandler
- Morris Chestnut
- Joshua Cox
- Richard Eden
- Mariska Hargitay
- Eva LaRue
- Phill Lewis
- John Cameron Mitchell
- Yvette Nipar
- Lori Petty
- Brad Pitt
- Tim Russ
Other notable guest stars featured in the series were:
- Timothy Bottoms
- Tony Dow
- Joyce Hyser
- David Lander
- George Lazenby
- Lar Park Lincoln
- Dick Miller
- Susan Oliver
- Jay Thomas
- Tracey Walter
- Jill Whitlow
As of 2008, the series still has not been released on Region 1 DVD (United States and Canada). Five episodes of the series were released ("No More Mr. Nice Guy", "Lucky Stiff", "It's My Party and You'll Die If I Want You To", "Dreams That Kill" and "Freddy's Tricks and Treats") on VHS through Warner Home Video in the mid-1990s. Those videos are now out of print.
In 1991, Braveworld Ltd. released The Nightmare Begins Again, a direct-to-video movie comprising two episodes edited together. The film was used to launch Braveworld's collection of Freddy's Nightmares episodes, usually consisting of two episodes per tape. The episodes in the feature were "No More Mr. Nice Guy" (directed by horror legend Tobe Hooper) and "Killer Instinct" (directed by Masters of Horror creator Mick Garris).
In 2003, Volume 1 (the first 3 episodes) was released on Region 2 DVD in Ireland and the UK, by Warner Home Video.. Volume 2 was also planned for release later that year, however, sales were so poor, that Warner canceled the release of Volume 2.
There are currently no plans to release Freddy's Nightmares on DVD in the United States.
- ^ "Epi-Log #8 (July 1991) - Freddy's Nightmares". Star Tech. http://nightmareonelmstreetfilms.com/nightmareinterviewsepilog.html. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
- ^ amazon.co.uk listing of Volume 1
- ^ amazon.co.uk listing of Volume 2. Note how, despite showing a release in 2003, it shows "Classification: To be announced"