Never Sleep Again : The Elm Street Legacy

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy is a documentary that takes viewers through a definitive and nostalgic look back down Elm Street. Never Sleep Again starts in 1983, looking at the humble beginnings of New Line Cinema, where a handful of people distributed films from the boots of their cars to any cinema or video store they could. It explores how the first Elm Street films would launch New Line down a path that would make them modern cinematic pioneers; The House That Freddy Built, until they were sadly brought by Time-Warner in 2008.

Each of the Elm Street films are broken down into roughly four segments; Writing and casting. Interviews looking at the conflicts and friction amongst writers, directors, cast and New Line, along with a superb collection of first hand inside stories and trivia. Special effects and box office reception.

Not only does the documentary look at each of the seven original movies and Freddy Vs Jason, but it revisits the long forgotten Freddie’s Nightmares television series and musical collaborations with Dokken and The Fat Boys. It also includes a collection of never-before-seen photos, footage and behind the scene clips that hadn’t been released with previous bonus material. (Much to my approval it skips over the Time-Warners 2010 remake; like me, choosing to pretend that doesn’t exist.) The many cast and crew that have contributed to the in-depth interviews would take too long to list, obvious people missing from the line up are Patricia Arquette and Johnny Depp. Watch out for a great cameo from Jay, of Jay and Silent Bob. The real treat for hardcore fans is the marvelous stop-motion animated clips that have been made for this documentary. Darkly beautiful, these clips recreate some of the most memorable scenes and deaths spanning the series.

At four hours you’d better set aside a while evening, any shorter would have been an injustice to any self-respecting Fred-head. This documentary is certainly best and most informative guide to Elm Street available. Brilliant.

I’m not going to rate Never Sleep Again, but I have listed The Nightmare on Elm street Collection in descending order, from best to worst.

1. Nightmare on Elm Street

2. Dream Warriors

3. Freddy Vs Jason

4. Wes Craven’s: New Nightmare

5. Dream Master

6. Freddy’s Revenge

7. Dream Child

8. The Final Nightmare: Freddy’s Dead

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55 thoughts on “Never Sleep Again : The Elm Street Legacy

  1. This documentary is fabulous, one of the best out there. They should all be so extensive and informative. Love the series and this doc definitely does it justice! Great review. Do you have the two-disc edition?

  2. I watched this recently and really enjoyed it! I told myself a would just watch an hour but before I knew it it was 5am. Probably a good thing I didn’t fall asleep during…

  3. Great review, excellent documentary. This and the ‘His Name was Jason’ are the better horror docs. There are a few others worth checking out: ‘Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide’, ‘Halloween: 25 Years of Terror’ and ‘Going to Pieces’.

      1. Going to Pieces is a doc about slasher genre, it’s available as a stand alone dvd or as part of the Last House on the Left 3 disc edition. Haven’t seen the Scream one, it should be good as it’s by Thommy Hutson (who made the Freddy and Jason docs). Keep up the good work.

        1. My little brothers are gonna be hanging out with me on Friday for a movie night. Ages 12 and 14… Thinking I’m gonna have to start breaking them into horror movies pretty soon… Any suggestions? I mean, can’t exactly go in with anything to hardcore, but I want to start them with something Iconic. Loved your sleep away blog 🙂

          1. *lol* Thanks! Hmmm, well, I remember the first ones I saw when I was like 5 were Child’s Play and Children of the Corn, but they are all kind of disturbing in their own way, so I am not sure how sensitive your brothers are! Perhaps the original Halloween? That’s the ultimate horror classic! 🙂 That’s a hard question! I don’t have any siblings, so I’m sorry I don’t know anything for certain, but I’d go for something that the majority of people have seen, like Freddy, Michael, Jason. That way they can talk about it with their friends and they aren’t too hardcore!

            1. ha! No Siblings? Oh right…. I wish you’d mentioned that before…. one of those weird ‘only child’ people 😛

              I have 5 brothers… Only prob with the first Halloween is it’s kinda slow for modern kids… they want it all POW! in their face right now! I’m thinking something fast.. Zombies maybe…. or some kinda creature feature…

              I’m off to bed now, chat tomorrow (Midnight, my time right?)

              1. Well, you gotta get em to respect the old classics! Kids today move too fast, they need to slowww it down! *lol* But I know what you mean! Haha, yeah I’m one of those “weird” people! Five brothers? Wowww. Crazy. Yeah, absolutely! That’ll be 7pm to me! I’m sure I’ll be on a lot of the day! *lol* I’ll be here! Goodnight! 🙂

                  1. Okay.. I’m gonna confess something… its a little gay but…..I love number 3… I believe it’s like the most beautiful story ever!… my titanic 😛

                    Also, Mindy Clarke, when she’s all body modified and torn up…. all kinds of hot 🙂

                  2. lol, okay. well at first you said ROTLD #2, then #3, so it’s 3 and not 2 now? You said both, lol! Haha, you’re really funny though! That was very interesting 🙂

    1. Hey! Still here just been away for a few days! Been to a few gigs and seeing old friends. Movie night went great! Thank you 🙂 Although I did get time to read your Freddy’s best kills post on the train. I liked very much 🙂

      You notice how hardly any horror movies are being released at the min?

      1. Hey! That’s good, I’m glad! Thanks for the compliment! Yeah, I did notice that, there is usually a lull in time between horror movie surges at the theaters….it’s weird LOL Glad you’re doing well! Hope to see a post from you soon! 🙂

                1. No, a couple of years back I moved away from London to a Village in the english countryside – where people drive painfully slow, most places still only deal in cash and no where is open after about 6pm.

                  Guess ill go to stupid bed *Stomps away, grumpy and hungry*

                  1. Wow, really? That sucks. Might I ask why you moved there if you don’t like the way they do business? Just curious! 🙂 I’m sure it’s beautiful there! The sights for me would be enough, at least for a while! Awe, I’m sorry, don’t be grumpy! lol!

        1. Yeah I guess. I think I’m going to do a history of horror films, starting with 1960 and working through each year… just gotta sit down and write it.

          What about…. ‘best horror films you’ve never heard of’ or something like that? 🙂

          1. Yeah, a history would be really neat for you to do! I’d be excited to read it!! I’ve already written about some horror movies that some have never seen, I don’t know what else there’d be left to do….but I’ll definitely look into it, cuz it sounds like a good idea! 🙂

                1. Well… here’s my thinking (ish)… this isn’t my only blog… and one thing I’ve noticed is that the blogs with a pic of pretty / cute girl seem to get loads of comments and followers, and I’ve read some of there stuff, it’s not all ‘grade A’ material. I wanna get this blog up to 1000 followers (shy of about 300 at the min), but I’m very inpatient. Do you think that’s cheating?

                  1. LOL Hmmm cheating….maybe, but it’s not like a lot of people probably don’t do it. Like, if it was an actress everyone knew, they may not know if you were male or female. So that may not be technically cheating. Shy of 300? Wow, that’s a lot. 🙂

    1. I love Freddy Verses Jason. Although, an ongoing obsession with Katherine Isobelle may be tainting my judgement. But that aside, I suppose I could put New Nightmare above it, but surely not Revenge, Child or Freddies Dead?

      And lets be honest, Freddy verses Jason was never going to be more than a bit of tongue in cheek entertainment. It’s fun and easy to watch, and I think it will age well. As the remake has proven, it could have been a lot worse 🙂

      Thanks for your comment. Ill check out your site tomo!

  4. Here’s my list

    1.Nightmare on elm street
    2.Nightmare on elm street 2
    3. Nightmare on Elm Street 3:dream warriors
    4, nightmare on Elm Street 4
    5.The Final Nightmare: Freddy’s Dead
    6. Nightmare On elm street 5
    7. Wes Craven’s new nightmare

    1. Nightmare on Elm Street 2! The homo-erotic one? 😛
      No Freddy vs. Jason in there? I realise not everyone includes it in the series 🙂

      Your the first person that’s actually given me their list… which is what I was kinda hinting for people to do… Thanks!

      1. Yea that scene is disturbing which make it scary . The 2nd installment makes number 2 for me because it’s the last real scary elm street . Jason vs Freddy was a lot of fun love it have it in my collection along with the nightmare on elm street collection and Friday the 13th. They need to bring back the serious scary freddy . Same goes with Jason . What did you think about the remake of the nightmare on elm street ? I thought it was awful absolutely awful.

        1. I like to pretend that never happened tbh. I think theres a delicate balance with Freddy. The ‘remake’ maybe tried to make him a little too real/straight. He’s gotta be scary, but there was always a element of dry dark humour to him. I’m not sure what they were thinking with the remake – its almost like they put it in the hands of someone that hadn’t even seen the originals, but on the other hand, how do you follow a cult classic like that? I think they could have ingnored all the movies after 1, and picked up from there. It could have even ran alongside the other sequels, without actually being part of them, there were other kids on Elm Street. It would have played out like a dual reboot and sequel – therefore pleasing old skool fans and introducing new people to the series.

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