Saturday, November 29, 2014

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010)

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
Director:  Daniel Farrands (writer of Halloween 6), Andrew Kasch
Starring:  Pretty much everyone

I didn't get a blow-job on the set, if that's what you mean.
               ~Clu Gulager

Never Sleep Again is a documentary that covers the entire run of the original cannon of the A Nightmare On Elm Streetfranchise.  Led by a narration from star Heather Langenkamp, the film consists of almost everyone living that was involved with the film coming back and telling the story of this franchise.  There are notable omissions that are expected, such as Johnny Depp, Patricia Arquette, Yaphet Kotto and Laurence Fishburne.  This is an incredibly in depth and expansive documentary clocking in at a 4 hour runtime.  For me, this is the definitive(and best) film franchise retrospective documentary ever made.  And yes, I’m counting Empire Of Dreams.  One of the undersold aspects of the documentary is how it tells the tale of the rise and fall of New Line Cinema (inception to Warner Bros purchase).  It was the “House That Freddy Built” so its obviously a part of this legendary story.
As I said before, there are some notable omissions, but I feel it is to the strength of the documentary that those people aren’t present.  This gives all the other folks, some that haven’t been seen in years (they managed to find Mark Patton for this and the guy had disappeared from Hollywood shortly after Elm Street 2 and took to Puerta Vallarta).  These are the people who have nothing to lose by being honest about their experience.  It paints a much more full, honest and colorful picture of how all these films came together.
In 2013, 1428 Films followed up this documentary with one on the Friday The 13th franchise (that one is 8 hours!).  That one is highly recommendable too, but I think the strength of which Never Sleep Again tops it easily, is that there was a familiarity between all the films in the series.  Whether it be on screen or behind the lense, there were always a good chunk of carry over people working film to film.  It almost gave it a familial aspect and there seemed to be much more of a focus to it all.  And like the Friday the 13th film’s casts, Crystal Lake Memories showed that that series seemed to just line them up and knock them down and then line up a fresh batch again with their productions. Not with Elm Street, there was always Bob Shaye and Rachel Talalay, Lisa Wilcox, Robert England…people who strung through all of them.
At 4 hours, this film can seem like a monster challenge, but trust me, it’s a cinch.  Especially if you’re a fan, you’ll find it hard not to get sucked.  The format of the presentation goes movie by movie, so you’ll find yourself thinking “Okay, just one more movie” and then another and another and all of a sudden you’re finished.  For this review it was the 4thtime I’ve watched it.  I consider as much a part of the franchise as I do the remake (I’ll be honest, I consider it MORESO than the remake).  Every time I do my marathon viewing of the series, I always end on this documentary.  Its 4 hours, but it’s a lot of fun and a complete blast.  All the interviewed cast and crew are an energetic and fun bunch to listen to share stories and anecdotes about a series I love and adore.
Article originally posted on Why So Blu?

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