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7 Freddy’s Nightmares Episodes That Should’ve Been Movies

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Freddy's Nightmares

“Freddy’s Nightmares” is not known as one of the best television series based on a horror franchise, particularly now that we have shows like “Hannibal,” “Bates Motel” and “The Exorcist” constantly raising the bar. But in a world where we’re (mostly) coming to accept that we’ll never see Robert Englund take on the iconic role one more time, it can be a comfort to still be able to go back to this largely untapped well of Englund Freddy performances. Even if he was not always the focus, Freddy was a part of every episode, at least taking the time to break the fourth wall and comment on the story.

This, if anything, helped make “Freddy’s Nightmares” go down easier. When the episodes were interesting, Freddy was the icing on the cake. When the episodes were bad, Freddy got to play horror host, snarkily sending up his own show. The series wore its low budget on its sleeve, for better or worse, and Freddy had to do even more ridiculous bits and one-liners than the movies had seen up to that point, and yet Englund remained completely committed throughout all of it.

Because”Freddy’s Nightmares” is mostly known for those moments of Freddy popping out of the background to make some sly remark, I think people tend to forget just how many episodes actually do focus on Krueger as a character. There are several plot lines throughout the show that in some way revolve around Freddy himself.

Some of them are actually smart concepts that, with a little bit more focus and a much bigger budget, could have worked as full-fledged entries in the Elm Street saga.

“Freddy’s Tricks and Treats”

From the director of Return of the Living Dead Part II and Shock Waves comes this “Freddy’s Nightmares” Halloween special about an overworked college student being plagued by Freddy on Halloween night. The first episode to focus on Krueger after the pilot, it plays like a shortened version of a by-the-numbers Elm Street sequel, but having Freddy against the backdrop of Halloween is an undeniably cool idea that I think a full-fledged movie could really dive into.

Most movies in the Nightmare series are set during some undetermined time during the school year, but Springwood is a small Midwestern town and there’s no real reason for it not to have that crisp, autumn Haddonfield vibe. That would be worth exploring, at least for a single film, at least.

Freddy's Tricks and Treats

“Dream Come True”

“Dream Come True” deals with a young man going to a therapist because of his repeated nightmares about Freddy. It’s a simple concept, something that’s been skirted around in the first and third movies in the franchise, but it would actually have been cool to see dream analysis factor into an Elm Street movie in a very present, tangible way. The episode does its best with it, but it gets more interesting in the second half.

As with every episode, the latter half is a different story centering on a supporting character from the first half. This is one of the few episodes that’s more interesting after the weird shift in protagonist because it centers on someone absurdly trying to capture photographic evidence of Freddy.

Freddys Nightmares

“Dreams That Kill”

Occasionally, in true franchise tradition,”Freddy’s Nightmares” would cannibalize itself by producing sequels to its own episodes. “Dreams That Kill” is a sequel to “Dream Come True” about the host of “Springwood Confidential” who is pushing forward with his controversial new topic “Dreams That Kill” when he gets a personal visit from Freddy himself to warn him against moving forward with the episode.

This is a neat inverse to Freddy vs. Jason as this time it’s Freddy who tries to keep his existence a secret because he likes operating in the shadows as this unspoken dark secret in Springwood.

Freddy's Nightmares

“Sister’s Keeper”

This sequel to the pilot episode, “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” sees Freddy return to target the twin girls that led to his death to begin with. In the pilot, it’s revealed that Freddy was going after the daughters of a local police officer when he was caught, that it was their father who fudged on signing the warrant, allowing Freddy to go free.

If Freddy was about to claim another child when he was caught, it only makes sense that he would return to target them again after he came back. This episode also at least tries to strengthen the twins as characters, as they were barely present in the pilot.

Freddy's Nightmares

“It’s My Party and You’ll Die If I Want You To”

For some reason, this is one of the episodes of Freddy’s Nightmares that really stuck with me, to the point that it was the first thing I thought of when I heard about My Friend Dahmer coming out. When you get the opportunity to do an Elm Street TV series, it seems natural to go back and fill in gaps or take an interesting approach to the mythology. This is one of the few episodes that at least tried to do that.

The concept is simple and hokey: what if Freddy crashed his high school reunion? The execution is no less hokey, but there’s something uncomfortably sympathetic about this sad, lonely guy who was Freddy’s one and only friend in high school. What would you do if your only friend turned out to be the Springwood Slasher? If you made excuses for this guy all through high school and he grows up to be an unspoken town legend? There’s something legitimately interesting there. Freddy crashing his own reunion is silly, but he’s maybe the modern horror icon with the biggest chip on his shoulder and the first to blame the whole world for the way he turned out, so it actually makes a weird kind of sense.

Freddy's Nightmares

“Safe Sex”

Again, like “It’s My Party and You’ll Die If I Want You To” this actually tackles an interesting larger concept in a surprisingly clever way. Basically, this episode uses Freddy to explore the die-hard serial killer fandom. You don’t have to venture far on Tumblr to see someone who considers Jeffrey Dahmer to be their boyfriend, despite all of the real, horrific things that he did.

This was the late eighties, when women were marrying guys like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy in prison. Falling in love with monsters, whether they believed them to be misunderstood outcasts or because they were simply attracted to someone who felt like they could kill them at any moment. This episode focuses on a guy who falls for a girl who only has eyes for Freddy. Again, it’s a silly and cheap take on the subject, but still a great subject to tackle and one of the better episodes.

Freddy's Nightmares

“No More Mr. Nice Guy”

The pilot episode is the most obvious choice for an episode that should have been expanded into a feature film, because it’s something that New Line was actually trying to do for years. This is the Nightmare on Elm Street prequel fans had always been clamoring for. At roughly an hour in length, it only would have needed a little bit more expansion to be a feature-length work. There are places where it feels rushed, too, particularly in the formation of the parental lynch mob.

It’s still amazing that we actually got an Elm Street prequel directed by Tobe Hooper with Robert Englund in full-on Springwood Slasher mode. But man, those things alone would’ve been reason enough to put the extra cash into this one to make it a feature film. Even still, it serves as a solid introduction to the series and an example of what the show could achieve when it really tried.

Freddy's Nightmares

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Vampire Hunter D: The Series Gets Writer For Pilot Episode

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It’s been a little while since we’ve heard news about “Vampire Hunter D: The Series”, the CG-animated series based on Hideyuki Kikuchi’s titular character. However, some new news broke today over at ANN as they’ve reported that Brandon Easton, who is writing the scripts for new Vampire Hunter D comics, has been tapped by Unified Pictures to write the pilot for the series. The pilot will be based on Kikuchi’s “Mysterious Journey to the North Sea” storylines, which make up the 7th and 8th titles in the book series. Unified is making this series in conjunction with Digital Frontier, the Japanese animation studio behind the CG Resident Evil titles.

Easton told the site, “I’ve had to manage the expectations of three entities: the creator Hideyuki Kikuchi, the producers at Digital Frontier and Unified Pictures, and ultimately myself. This means that you have to find new and exciting ways of telling a story that has a set of concrete rules that have been fully established by the novels.

Meanwhile, the studio has also announced that Ryan Benjamin is taking over as the artist and colorist on the Vampire Hunter D: Message From Mars series with Richard Friend inking the issues.

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Watching A Quiet Place’s John Krasinski Get Scared by Freddy on Ellen Will Brighten Your Day

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I was just researching the new Platinum Dunes horror-thriller A Quiet Place and stumbled across this video. It features the film’s writer-director and star John Krasinski getting scared by a man dressed as Freddy Krueger on “Ellen.”

It’s as much fun as it sounds, and I’m sure it will make your day. It sure as hell just brightened mine.

Give it a watch below, and then let us know what you think!

John Krasinski directs the film, which will be the opening night entry at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX. Emily Blunt stars alongside Krasinski, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds.

A Quiet Place will then open wide on April 6.

Synopsis:
In the modern horror thriller A Quiet Place, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threatens their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.

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Interview: Director Jeff Burr Revisits Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

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Director Jeff Burr was gracious enough to give us here at Dread Central a few minutes of his time to discuss the Blu-ray release of his 1990 film Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. Recently dropped on 2/13, the movie has undergone the white-glove treatment, and he was all-too-happy to bring us back to when the film was being shot…and eventually diced thanks to the MPAA – so settle in, grab a cold slice of bloody meat, read on and enjoy!

DC: First off – congrats on seeing the film get the treatment it deserves on Blu-ray – you excited about it?

JB: Yeah, I’m really happy that it’s coming out on Blu-ray, especially since so many people bitch and moan about the death of physical media, and this thing made the cut, and it’s great for people to be able to see probably the best-looking version of it since we saw it in the lab back in 1989.

DC: Take us back to when you’d first gotten the news that you were tabbed to be the man to direct the third installment in this franchise – what was your first order of business?

JB: It was fairly condensed pre-production for me, and there really wasn’t a whole lot of time to think about the import or the greatness of it – it was basically just roll up your sleeves and go. It was a bit disappointing because a lot of times in pre-production you have the opportunity to dream what could be – casting had already been done, but certain decisions hadn’t been made yet. A very condensed pre-production, but exciting as hell, for sure! (laughs)

DC: R.A. Mihailoff in the role of Leatherface – was it the decision from the get-go to have him play the lead role?

JB: No – I totally had someone else in mind, even though R.A. had done a role in my student film about 7 years earlier, and we’d kept in touch, and I’d felt strongly because I’d gotten to know him a bit that Gunnar Hansen should have come back and played Leatherface, which would have given a bit more legitimacy to this third movie. He and I talked, and he had some issues with the direction that it was going – he really wanted to be involved, and it ended up boiling down to a financial thing, and it wasn’t outrageous at all – it wasn’t like he asked for the moon, but the problem was that New Line refused to pay it, categorically. I think the line producer at the time was more adamant about it than anyone, and Mike DeLuca was one of the executives on the movie, and he was really the guy that was running this, in a creative sense. I made my case for Gunner to both he and the line producer, and they flat out refused to pay him what he was asking, so after that was a done “no deal” I decided that R.A would be the right guy to step into the role. Since New Line was the arbiter of the film, he had to come in and audition for the part, and he impressed everyone and got the part. He did an absolutely fantastic job – such a joy to work with, and he was completely enthusiastic about everything.

DC: Let’s talk about Viggo Mortenson, and with this being one of his earliest roles – did you know you had something special with this guy on your set?

JB: Here’s the thing – you knew he was talented, and I’d seen him in the movie Prison way back in the early stages of development and was very impressed with him, and he was one of those guys that I think we were really lucky to get him on board with us. I really believe that The Indian Runner with he and directed by Sean Penn was the movie that truly made people stand up and notice his work. Every person in this cast was one hundred percent into this film and jumped in no questions asked when it was time to roll around in the body pits.

DC: It’s no secret about the amount of shit that the MPAA put you through in order to get this film released – can you expound on that for a minute?

JB: At the time, I believe it was a record amount of times we had to go back to the MPAA after re-cutting the film – I think it was 11 times that we went back. What a lot of people don’t realize is after Bob Shaye (President of New Line) had come into the editing room and he thought that it was very disturbing, and cut out some stuff himself. He thought that it would have been banned in every country, and it was banned in a lot of countries but so were the previous two. It was definitely on the verge of being emasculated before even being submitted to the MPAA, and I would have thought just a few adjustments here and there – maybe a couple of times to go back…but eleven? It was front-page news in the trade papers then, and I think that the overall tone of the film was looked at as being nasty. The previous film (Chainsaw 2) had actually gone out unrated, and with the first film being so notorious, I think it was a combination of all of that, and now even the most unrated version of this would be rated R – that’s how far the pendulum has swung in the other direction.

DC: Looking back at the film after all this time – what would be one thing that you’d change about the movie?

JB: Oh god – any film director worth his salt would look back at any of their films and want to change stuff up, and with this being 28 years old, I can look back and say “oh yeah, I’d change this, this and this!” You grow and learn over the course of your time directing, and this was my third movie and my first without producers that I had known, so the main thing that I’d do today would be to make it a bit more politically savvy. I had always thought that they wanted me to put my vision on this film, and that wasn’t necessarily the case, so maybe I’d navigate those political waters a little better.

DC: Last thing, Jeff – what’s keeping you busy these days? Any projects to speak of?

JB: Oh yeah, I’ve got a couple of movies that I’m working on – I’m prepping a horror movie right now, and then I’ve got a comedy film that I’m doing after that. You haven’t heard the last of me! I’ve had a real up and down (mostly down) career, but I still love it – it’s what I love to do, and it’s still great that after 28 years people still want to talk about this movie, and are still watching it – that’s the greatest gift you can get, and I thank everyone that’s seen it and talked about it over all these years.

BUY IT NOW!

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