The Forgotten Nightmare on Elm Street Prequel – Part 1

by

With the impending release of the Nightmare on Elm street remake hitting next month, I thought now would be the perfect time to delve deep into the nightmare chronicles and explore the little known NOES prequel directed by horror legend Tobe Hopper.

Tobe Hopper (the overrated director, of the overrated Texas Chainsaw Massacre) directed a Nightmare movie? Yes, kind of.

Back in the late 1980s, the world was suffering from a bad case of Freddy fever thanks to the release of NOES 4: The Dream Master – the most successful entry in the series. As you would expect, New Line Cinema were extremely keen to milk their Kruger cash cow as much as humanly possible, and so the idea for a Nightmare TV show was born, ingeniously titled – Freddys Nightmares!

The short-lived horror anthology series was hosted by everyone’s favourite child molesting psychopath Freddy Kruger (shockingly still played by original actor Robert Englund). Even New Line had the good sense to not produce a show where its icon simply butchers a bunch of random teens every week, and so decided to have each episode be its own stand alone horror tale, with Freddy simply playing the part of the shows host. In the same vein as Tales from the Crypt or Creepshow.  This in-theory sounds like it could actually be kind of fun right? … yes, but there was one problem…

Freddys nightmares was absolutely atrocious!

I guess 95% of the series production budget must have gone on Englunds salary, because it is definitely not on-screen. Freddys Nightmares is one of the cheapest, and ugliest prime time shows ever made. Every episode looks like it was shot on a home video recorder, and the sets, the acting, and the general plots were all consisting terrible. Unsurprisingly, the show failed to gain a following, and was mercifully cancelled after a whopping two seasons. The show quickly disappeared into obscurity.

So why am I talking about it now? Well, Nightmare fans have lobbied for a prequel movie for years, not knowing that their wish had already been granted. Not many people know that Freddys origin story was the basis for the pilot episode of the series.  But as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for…

After a horribly hokey news broadcast opening, the episode begins with a pre-toasty Kruger on trial for his crimes in a court of law. The trial is in full swing, as the prosecution lists the many, many victims that died at Krugers hands to the jury .  The un-scarred Kruger is bizarrely locked inside a strange glass cage that must have come from the same line of cells as the one Hannibal Lector had. Kruger’s face is kept in the shadows as he wearily taps his knee in boredom. Straight away, I have a couple of issues…

Why oh why is Kruger locked in glass box? It seems a bit much if you ask me. No matter how ruthless you might think he is, at the end of the day he is in a court of law, surrounded by armed police and in handcuffs! Seriously – what do they expect him to do?

Secondly, for some strange reason, the court deemed it appropriate for Kruger to wear his casual attire. Not only does he have his hat, but is wearing his favourite red and green sweater and scruffy trousers. The guy is standing trial for mass murder, you would think he would  have made a little effort to look normal right? At least slap on a tie and shirt Mr K. Even if you weren’t on trial, you would look like a nonce in that get up. Tone it down.

Anyway, once the victims lawyer has finished his piece, the case looks pretty clear-cut. Kruger is a murdering ass hole, and is about to go away for a long, long time… Until the slimey-est looking lawyer you will ever see (of course Krugers defence) stands up with a shock announcement – Kruger was not read his rights before being arrested! Dun dun dah!  So, despite the piles of evidence against him, and the fact that Kruger was caught red-handed attempting to murder the twin daughters of the arresting officer Lt. Blocker – this is all made worthless because of one trivial piece of police procedure? Hum…

The judge regrettably announces that this tiny flaw is enough to throw the case out entirely, and Kruger must therefore be acquitted at once. Ok…

There is a gasp from the jury, and seemingly the second the announcement is made, the doors on Kruger’s cage fly open, and shackled killer arrogantly steps out. Man, the justice system works fast! Kruger openly chuckles to himself as he leaves the court room, temporarily stopping to creepily eye-up the two twins that escaped his clutches. Why they were there to begin with, im not sure. You would think their parents would want them to – you know – NOT be in the same room as the guy that almost killed them only a few days ago. I guess the thought of that glass box was enough to put their minds at ease.

Oh, and did I mention that Kruger is breathing heavily to himself the whole time too? Man, what an ass-hole! At least try to trip him up on his way out or something.

As Freddy leaves the court room, Lt Blockers wife gives him a verbal tirade of abuse for not shooting Freddy dead when he had the chance. Yeah! What kind of cop wouldn’t simply shoot a suspect dead there on the spot? It’s not like there are laws against that or anything. What a terrible human being he is!

There is admittedly a brief, but fun shot of Krugers POV, where we are shown the world as he sees it. Basically,everyone in the entire court room has been horribly murdered. This dark moment is ruined slightly by a fuzzy effect that gets overlaid, probably in an attempt to hide the gore. You couldn’t get away with much in-terms of blood and violence back then. Incredibly, this episode was considered edgy at the time…oh dear god!

 

Back to the story – Kruger is allowed to walk free, and disappears back into society. The entire courtroom (including both the prosecution lawyer and jury) instantly storm outside, and have a very public discussion about delivering some major mob justice on Krugers butt. This scene is so ridiculous, its painful. If you are going to plot a murder, do it somewhere discreet. Dont do it literally on the steps of the court-house you have just come out of, in front of hundreds of witness, and more than likely a camera crew. I would also like to double-check that lawyers law credentials, because he seems to abandon his entire moral, and legal intergirty in a heart beat. During the mobs clunky exchange, we are treated to cleverly written gems like – “I`ve given my life to law. I’ve always believed in it – until today!” with the reply of – “What are you saying? That we become some kind of a lynch mob?” – I cant believe this show didn’t take off!?

Anyhow – for some reason, no one notices or cares about the public mob rally, and world continues as normal.

The episode then cuts to a completely un-supervised Freddy returning to the entrance of his lair, where the first piece of new Freddy lore is revealed – Freddy had an Ice Cream truck!

Unveiling the truck for no other reason than to show it off to the viewers at home, this macabre reveal is actually quite a cool piece of info. Although never explored, the scene suggests that Kruger used the van to lure his victims to their deaths.

 It should be noted that while this is all taking place, Kruger is randomly shouting terrible lines like “Ah! Together again! Are you ready for Freddy?!”  like a drunken hobo. Talk about subtle. You would think the guy would want to lay low or something, but no – he is literally running around, loudly broadcasting his love of death and murder to his ice cream truck.

Similar to the later movie sequels, Freddy does nothing but spout awful one-liners during this episode. He doesn’t utter one coherent or believable line from start to finish, making him more cartoon than monster. This wouldn’t be so bad if the one-liners were at least good. Sadly they are rarely funny, witty, scary or even that relevant to what is happening at the time. For example – the line mentioned above – “Together at last! Are you ready for Freddy?” Ok, so he and the ice cream truck are reunited – that explains the together part, but why then say – Are you ready for Freddy? What is the context of that? Is he actually asking the truck if its ready for him to…I dont know…do something? Every line is just random goofy statement, after random goofy statement, aimed directly at the viewing audience and not something any human being ( psychopath or not) would ever utter in-real life.

Moving on – We are then shown Freddy chill-axing inside his infamous boiler room. It appears the police never thought to investigate his nutty abode, because the place appears to be completely untouched. Creepy dolls, cages and torture equipment are all still there. Even Freddys murder weapon of choice – his razor glove – is left out on display. Damn, if only the cops had of thought to check this place out! Oh well.

Here we are treated to another clumsy POV sequences where Freddy walks around his lair looking at random nasty objects, and spouting more insane mumbo jumbo like,  “Patience – tonight we`ll have a little party!” and “Time to feed you some meat!”. Who are you talking to Freddy? I know you’re nuts, but talking to some old rusty chains is weird even for you.

For some reason Freddys face is kept in the shadows through out, and is never revealed from beginning to end. I can not figure out why this decision was made. We know that this is the pre-dream demon Freddy, and so will look normal, and there is no shock reveal or twist setup at work in this episode, so why did they think that seeing Robert Englund’s face would bother people so much? If your going to pay the actor an ice cream truck load of money to be in the show, why not show him off to the fans? Very odd…

Moving on – again defying logic and reason, Freddy decides to not waste anymore time, and head straight back out that same night to claim the two victims who escaped his wrath – Lt Blockers twin daughters.

Continued in Part II…..

Advertisements

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “The Forgotten Nightmare on Elm Street Prequel – Part 1”

  1. James Says:

    Oh god those NOES films are just horrendous

    Everything that was wrong with 80’s cinema is on display – and the shocking production values are the icing on the cake

    Ban this series!

    …and people thought it was Freddy’s evil that couldnt be contained…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: