183 of 203 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2000
This Nightmare On Elm Street Collection is Amazing! I own both the DVD Collection and VHS Collection. The DVD set is way better due to the many extras found on the bonus disc titled The Nightmare Encyclopedia which has all 7 Movie Previews that were shown in theatres, it also has Music Videos including DOKKEN's "Dream Warriors". It has a interactive game called The Labyrinth which is very hard, if you have a DVD-Rom you get even more extras like all 7 Screenplays and an interactive Freddy that haunts your PC courtesy of Togglethis.com. What can I say you get so much more! All the Movies are in the best Quality ever with the exception of the bad film transfer of Nightmare 2! As far as my personal review of each film I give Nightmare 1 five stars, Nightmare 2 two stars, Nightmare 3 five stars, Nightmare 4 four stars, Nightmare 5 two stars, Nightmare 6 two stars, and than Nightmare 7 Wes Cravens New Nightmare five stars. I have to also say NANCY who is played by Heather Langenkamp brought this whole collection to life with her roles in Nightmare 1, Nightmare 3, and Wes Cravens new Nightmare. Without NANCY who we were all so familiar with from the start, this collection would not be so Good. I also give a big thanks to Wes Craven for taking the laughs out of Freddy and taking him back to what he was in the original Nightmare 1, a Horror Icon not a comedian! I highly encourage anyone to buy this collection! The DVD set is truly amazing for any Nightmare On Elm Street fan!
100 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2013
This Blu-Ray collection includes the first 7 films of the Nightmare on Elm Street film franchise on only 5 discs (Chucky got 6 discs for 6 films!). 4 discs are Blu-ray while the fifth disc is a DVD. A commemorative booklet is included. There are 3 hours of special features on Disc 5 (Fear Himself, 2 episodes of Freddy's Nightmares, Conclusions, Welcome to Prime Time). Most of the features from the previous DVD box set release are included. Those supplements are good but brief. 13 deleted scenes are included in Welcome to Prime Time. The downside is that there is less than an hour of new material (close to 3 hours if you count the remastered Freddy's Nightmares episodes). Fortunately, the Dokken music video is here (but only in SD). There is roughly 4.5 hours of total bonus content in this collection.
Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 | Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Formats: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (First Disc Only), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles/Captions: English SDH, French, Spanish
Special Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Documentary, Music Videos, Alternate Endings, Deleted Scenes, Interactive Trivia Track, Trailers, Bonus TV Episodes
Limitations: 2 films are missing (Freddy vs. Jason; Nightmare on Elm Street reboot) which are sold separately. Overall, the picture quality is average but the audio quality is a little better. The 1999 Nightmare Encyclopedia is missing and the original film gets the lion's share of extras. Previous making of documentaries (e.g. The Making of Freddy's Dead) aren't included. The full 240-minute documentary Never Sleep Again is cut down to 50 minutes. The only commentaries included are 2 for the original and a commentary for New Nightmare (they seem to be old laserdisc versions). Discs 2, 3, and 4 in this 5-disc set have 2 films on them so the series doesn't get a disc per film like it should. The original Nightmare is not the 2010 Infinifilm version. Nightmare 5 is the R-rated version that doesn't include the extended scenes on VHS. Nightmare 6 does not include the 3D scene as it was intended. No sign of the "I Am Nancy" (2011) 71-minute documentary. The excellent Tobe Hooper pilot for Freddy's Nightmares is not included. The transfers look like the same masters used for the DVD box set.
Comparison to Friday the 13th BD collection box set:
- Complete Collection. Adv: F13. Freddy doesn't have the entire film canon here.
- Bonus Content. Adv: F13. Friday the 13th has over 11 hours of bonus content.
- Discs. Adv: F13. Freddy gets 7 films on 5 discs. F13 has 12 films on 10 discs.
- Deleted Scenes. Adv: Tie. Both franchises have substantial deleted or cut scenes in their archives (much of it remains unreleased).
- Documentary. Adv: ANOES. Freddy has Never Sleep Again. Crystal Lake Memories is not quite as good.
- Commentaries. Adv: F13. Freddy only gets 3 commentaries.
- Exclusive Content. Adv: ANOES. The F13 collection simply ported over old DVD extras and added nothing new.
- Remastering. Adv: Tie. Both franchises are in need of a good remastering for all the films.
This Blu-ray collection is very average. I would rate the actual films 4 stars but this collection only 3 stars. If you own the films on DVD there isn't much new in the way of extras. It would be nice for this franchise to get the deluxe treatment in the future. This collection is priced right and has managed to hold its value well.
99 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2005
If you love the "A nightmare on Elm Street" movies, this is for you. EVen if one or two aren't that great, this boxset is way easier than buying the four or five dvd's you love. I mean, 7 movies , a bonus 8th disk and a booklet descussing all 7 movies for only 80 dollars is a very good price.So, instead of looking at the two or three small things it doesn't come with, you're better off looking at the positive of it. However, if you only like maybe one or two of the films, you're better off buying just those dvds. THis is only for fans whom enjoy the majoroty of the series films. ( if you don't, lets face it you're simply wasting your hard earned money) Now, for those of you who haven't seen these films I will give a short run down of them ( with NO spoilers)
A Nightmare on Elm Street part 1 - Classic film and the best of the series, Freddy is probably the most frightening in this one, a cult classic. Even if you hate the rest, i'm sure you will love this one. It starts out as a young teen girl's (Heather Langenkamp) friends start dying in their sleep by you guessed it Freddy Krueger, as the movie goes on you learn a little about Freddy's history and how he came to be,Johnny Depp's movie debut. I give this 5 out of 5 stars.
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2. How do you follow up a great movie like the first? Well, eh. They really didn't, one of the worst installments in the series right after the best (go figure)
A young man moves into the same house as the girl from the first movie (Heather Langenkamp) and Freddy uses his body to come back, this movie suffers from havin a poor leading man and a leading woman that is too ditzy, however Robert England doesn't dissapointed and is as scary as the first, making this atleast watchable. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.
A Nightmare on Elm Street part 3 This right here, should have been part two, bring's back Heather Langenkamp's character and her father, this time she finds some teenagers in a mental institution, who have been having some pretty bad dreams..... this movie has strong acting by every character (even the ones who don't stay very long) here Freddy gets a bit of humour, while staying scary though ( the humour isn't over done like in future movies) I give this 5 out of 5 stars.
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4. sees the return of the surviving members of part 3, however, if you loved, part 3 the first 20 minutes or so might be a little vexing to you.Features a new hero (lisa) and her often dim witted yet charismatic boyfriend. This movie isn't great but definetly good has good actors and a few bad ones, Freddy is still Freddy and this is one of the better sequals. I give this 4 out of 5 stars.
A Nightmare on Elm Street part 5 Sees the return of Lisa. The story is Freddy comes back and is turning her unborn baby into a prodidgy of himself. The plot is one of the best, just not acted out very well. Freddy gets a little too funny. Yet is full of likable heros. Also goes deeper in Freddy's history While it isn't the best it is far from the worst and one of the most under rated in the series. I give this 3.5 out of 5 stars.
A Nightmare on ELm street part 6. One of the worst, plot is not thought out well and freddy goes over the edge with humor, few people die and the deaths take way too long. However, you learn the most about Freddy in this movie and that is the main reason to watch it. The plot is, that there is only one more kid left on Elm Street (our old pal Freddy did away with the rest) however the final kid has a bad case of amnesia and can't recall anything. Features scenes with a pre-teen human Freddy and a teenage human version of him, with a guest appearence by Alice Cooper as Freddy's drunk abusive father. (maybe somebody should have told poor old Freddy just because you were abused, you shouldn't abuse others) I give this one 2 out of 5 stars.
Wes Craven's New Nightmare The biggest turn in the series, Freddy gets an upgrade and for the first time, is in the real world. With this plot, the "A nightmare on Elm Street" films are just that films. Heather Langenkamp stars as herself and Wes Craven is in it as just Wes Craven, however when Heather's son starts believing in him, he comes to life, when Wes finds this out he flees. ( I would have loved to have seen a Wes fighting Freddy scene.) A new twist is just what the series needed after part 6 but i'm glad Freddy went back to the world of fiction in "Freddy vs Jason" good film. I give this 4 out of 5 stars.
So in conclusion if you love the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" series Buy this now. Enjoy
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2011
Firstly, I knew about this UK release before the announced release of the single disc, double movie edition of Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and 3. So, I didn't purchase that. I was very pleasantly surprised by the list of extra features included on this set, and even more pleasantly surprised to find all the old Nightmare Encycolopedia features on the disc as well.
Well, beyond having 'decent' but way better than dvd quality transfers on these films, the big hook for this set is a fifth disc, a dvd, of ALL NEW special features, most prominently a retropspective doc on the entire Nightmare series. Very cool. Wish it was a blu ray, but at the end of the day it really doesn't matter tha much. We also get two episodes of Freddy's Nightmares on this fifth disc. The weird thing about this is that the two episodes are not Freddy Krueger-centric episodes. What the hell is up with that? The pilot episode was a great one directed by horror legend Tobe Hooper(ORIGINAL Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, Eaten Alive). This episode was basically a short prequel to the first Nightmare on Elm Street film and told Freddy's backstory including his trial and eventual succumbing to mob justice. There were about three more Freddy starring episodes where he was just the villain and they're not the two included either. Makes no sense. Most of Freddy's Nightmares episodes weren't that good. At least with a release of the movie franchise some in cannon episodes would've made sense. I get the feeling Warner Brothers is gearing up to release the Freddy's Nightmares seasons soon and they know if people have the Freddy starring episodes already they probably won't buy the whole seasons. I could be wrong.
Disc one is a repeat of the already released first Nightmare film with all the previously released blu ray's special features. Disc 2 has parts 2 and 3 and ALL the special features of the recently released American version of this same disc....same pretty good to decent transfer as well. Better yet disc 3 has parts 4 and 5, and disc 4 has Freddy's Dead and New Nightmare on them, all with the various Nightmare Encyclopedia special features seperated for each film. Very cool. Can finally get rid of my old dvd box set and get some store credit.
Like I said the transfers are better than DVD but not great. The films have not been remastered and there's not a ton of digital noise reduction(which is a good thing, and yes I'm looking at you Predator blu ray). Weirdly enough the first two films look the best on blu ray. If you have the first Nightmare you already know how good it looks, its the same disc here verbatim. It's a good transfer with good sound. While Nightmare 2 doesn't have the same great sound it does have a crisp atmospheric transfer. The rest of the films look good and better, but not a showcaser for you HD TV or blu ray player....but then again they're low budget horror so why would you pick them to do any kind of showcasing?
Finally, you get a nifty Freddy Krueger comic book and a medium thick white blu ray case with Freddy tearing out of the front cover. You will not have copies of the hopefully forgotten remake or Freddy VS. Jason in this package. I have them on blu ray sooooo....I will live but it would've been cool to at least have the VS movie included. I paid very little for this and it looks better enough to warrant the upgrade for me. The new special features are mostly fun and grat with the exception of the bafflingly chosen Freddy's Nightmares episodes they did include. This is worth the price.
Also, for you major Nightmare geeks out ther the old late 80's MTV special is on the fifth disc as well and this sucker really brought pack some memories for me. NOW, if only Paramount would take the hint and finish releaseing the Friday the 13th films after part 3 OR just give us a blu ray box set and stop making even more dvd versions. Same goes for New Line. Why are they being so stingy with Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X? Gotta finish out the franchise....ya'know?
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2002
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I grew up with these movies. And although they scared me when i was little, I still liked watching them! I remember avoiding meatballs for months after seeing the meatball pizza scene in A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. I hadn't seen some of these movies in a while, and I wasn't sure I should spend this much money on this collection. But I finally decided to do it, and it was worth it. This collection is awesome! Not only the movies, but the packaging is good too. The front covers on the cases have really cool pictures (different from the DVD's which are sold seperately) The original covers for Nightmares 1, 3, 4 and Fredd's Dead are included, and brand new artwork for Nightmares 2, 5, and New Nightmare. The slipcase box is cool too with 2 different freddy images on each side, and the enclosed booklet is nice as well, but maybe could have inclded more stuff. The eight disc (The Nightmare Encyclopedia) is a game-type disc where you hunt for clues and find hidden features. ...
Now for the movies:
"A Nightmare On Elm Street"
The best of the best, and still the scariest of all the movies. I really love this movie, and even though the special effects are simple, they are effective. The characters in this movie are cool, and Freddy himself is dark, mysterious and frightening (as opposed to some of the other movies) I rate this movie 10/10
A lot of people hate this one, but I really like it a lot, epecially after seeing it again recently for the first time in a long while. I found the homo-erotic references intriguing, and although the Jesse character isn't as strong as Nancy was in Part 1, he gives the Freddy experience a new dimension because he is scared of Freddy (as Nancy was), but Jesse is losing control while being taken over by Freddy and he doesn't know how to handle it. I rate it 8/10
"The Dream Warriors"
I've seen this one more than the others, not necessarily because I lik it more. I think it's the 4the best in the series (after Pt. 1, 4, and 2) The story line is good, the characters are interesting, and they brought Nancy back! The only thing I don't like is that they killed Nancy at the end. They should have let her live and she should have been the one to kill Freddy in Fredd's Dead, not the stupid daughter. OVerall rating 7/10
"The Dream Master" I Think this is the 2nd best of the series. The special effects are cool (especially the pizza and roach scenes..yuck!) The Alice character was a good addition, but I don't like the fact that they killed off the last 3 dream warriors from the last film. They should have left them out of this one, except maybe for Kristen because she was necesarry in this film in order to bring more teenagers to Freddy. But still, she should have lived, and Patricia Arquette should have reprised her role. Anyway, I think this is the most entertaining of the series. 9/10
"The Dream Child" This one's more dark than the last, and kind of gives a reminiscence of the first Nightmare in terms of that darkness, but it's definitely not as good. I think this one is ok, but maybe a little boring at times. I really did like the Greta character's death, and was really disappointed to discover that the DVD collection included the R rated version so Greta's death scene was toned down (it was the best part of the uncut version! If you don't know what's going on, Freddy cut open Gret's stomach and feeds her her own guts) Anyway, the movie was a good effort with decent outcomes. Rating 7/10
Worst of the series! Oh my gawd, this movie is so stupid. OK, it has a few entertaining and interesting moments, but Freddy is WAY to comical in this one and is just plain not scary. I understand that may have been the intention, but still. And why did his dumb daughter show up all of a suddedn?? I didn't like how freddy was killed at all, and the movie felt like it ended abruptly because they killed him, then a close up of the daughter's face and she says "Freddy's dead". End of film. What-evah! Oh, and the 3-D sequence was stupid too. 4/10
"New Nightmare" This one's good, but like a previous reviewer said, it's a bit long and you can only watch it so many times before you get sick of it. Still,it's a good film 7/10
So is this worth it? YES. As a whole, it's nice to have all these movies, especially if you're as fond of them as i am
So get it!
73 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2010
***UPDATED REVIEW*** - (In light of the new Blu-Ray alternative collection that was recently released. This review was written long before the brand new (as of 2013) Blu-Ray upgraded box set of this film series) I will address the blu-ray box quickly, as I realize that recently I've gotten a lot of unhelpful votes b/c I didn't realize the Blu-Ray set had been recently released. And for all intents and purposes, the Blu-Ray collection is the best option for the major "Nightmare On Elm St." fans that can't get enough, like myself.
The ONLY negative thing about the Blu-Ray boxset is that as opposed to the newer DVD box set (which this review was originally written about, with me chastising it as a cash grab) is that "Freddy
vs. Jason" is NOT included in the new Blu-Ray collection. That is the Blu-ray set's only shortcoming really, and the new set handles the problems of that DVD re-release box set, and then some. Like I said originally, my review was not about the films themselves. It was about stripping the few bonus features from the previous "Nightmare" box set as a cash-grab around the time of the remake being released. The only way this new DVD set was superior to the other was that it DID include "Freddy vs. Jason", and in that respect, it's superior to the new Blu-Ray set. The Blu-ray set DOES NOT CONTAIN "Freddy Vs. Jason", and why, I don't know. A huge oversight. Even though "Freddy vs. Jason" wasn't nearly my favorite "Nightmare" film, lots of fans love it to death, and I like it every once in a while, and the new Blu-Ray set has the 1st 7 films, but not "Freddy Vs. Jason", which makes absolutely no sense, seeing that the DVD reissue had "FvJ"... and the blu-ray box has 2 films per disc, with COPIOUS amounts of bonus material, including many, many, many featurettes on every disc, deleted scenes, interviews, loads of behind the scenes info, a full documentary called, "Never Sleep Again: The Elm St. Legacy" that is absolutely great, however, "Never Sleep Again" was originally a 4-hour documentary on DVD, and in the new "Nightmare" Blu-Ray set, the 4-hour documentary is cut down to a measly 50 minutes or so. Kind of slack, considering that that documentary can be purchased in full, 4-hour form on DVD seperately. There are 2 episodes of "Freddy's Nightmares" - the spinoff TV show - and tons of other goodies available almost nowhere else. If you are a blu-ray customer, the Blu-Ray set IS THE WAY TO GO! Then you only have to buy "Freddy Vs. Jason" on your own, outside the box set.
Now, for my original review of the inferior DVD re-release from several years ago, when there wasn't a good blu-ray option:
First and foremost, I'm an avid "Nightmare" fan... My review of 3 stars is NOT my review of the movies themselves. This is a review of the NEW "Nightmare" box-set which existed in a previous, superior form. Just to cover the movies, however, here's how I rate them:
1.) "A Nightmare On Elm Street" - - 5 stars. An untouchable horror classic.
2.) "A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" - - 3.5 stars, and underrated by most reviewers if you ask me.
3.) "A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" - - 4.5 stars.
4.) "A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master" - - 4 stars.
5.) "A Nightmare On Elm Street 5: The Dream Child" - - 3 stars, and a bit of a disappointment for this series.
6.) "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare" - - 3.5 stars.
7.) "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" - - 4.5 stars, another horror classic from Wes Craven.
8.) "Freddy vs. Jason" - 3 stars. Not my favorite installment in the series, but many, many fans love it to death. I found Freddy's jokes to be corny (like always) but this time, in a poorly written way. The actors are very bad (especially the Destiny's Child chick), but the violence is quite awesome. This is more along the lines of "Bride Of Chucky" or "Seed Of Chucky" in that much of the film is a comedy, with some horror and guts splattered here and there. It's been a fan-favorite and the fans tend to love it a lot more than I do, but I still find value in it. If you thought his one-liners were cheesy in the other sequels, they are horrendous in "Freddy vs. Jason". Also the most atrocious scriptwriting in the entire series, but it's a horror film that got a bit of a ridiculous premise to execute well, so that's to be expected. The best way to view this one is to just have fun and try to love the good parts.
Ok, now that we've got that out of the way, here's my problems with the NEW DVD box set. I of course bought the original box set (released before "Freddy vs. Jason"), and although I felt the set should've had more extra features, at least it had SOME, as opposed to this new re-issue, which strips the old special features from the box set as well as all special features from the "Freddy vs. Jason" original DVD. Another issue - none of these films have been remastered from the original DVD releases. You might think that because New Line Cinema remastered the original a few years ago (in the form of an "Infinifilm" release) that you will get the remastered version in this set. You would be wrong, because you don't get the remastered version, you get the same version that was in the original box set. Frustrating. Another issue - I do have to say that Jackie Earle Haley's "Freddy" being featured on the cover is idiotic. Big deal or not, it doesn't make any g*d**n sense. We have eight films in this set, all of which feature Robert Englund as "Freddy", but to someone who hasn't seen the new remake, the cover has a stranger on it and is confusing (not to me, I've seen the remake and recognized Haley instantly). If they were going to feature Haley on the cover of the box set, they should have at least waited until the new remake is released on DVD, and then they could've included the remake in the box set. Not to mention that Haley cannot TOUCH Englund's portrayal of the classic horror character. Haley being featured on the cover is disgraceful to Englund and his many glorious years performing as "Freddy". Yes, I do think it's kind of a big deal.
Here's what you need to look at if you're considering buying all 8 of these films:
If you want to go the cheapest route, and you're not interested in bonus features, you should buy "4 Film Favorites: Nightmare On Elm St. 1-4" and "4 Film Favorites: Nightmare On Elm St. 5-8". Two 4-disc sets, with the identical prints of the films in this box set, priced as low as 2.50 apiece used, or about 8 bucks apiece new.
If you've got the money to spend, I would recommend buying the ORIGINAL box set (which comes in a larger, much cooler box, contains 3D glasses for the end of "Freddy's Dead" during the 3D sequence, and contains a bonus disc with a few special features), the remastered 2-disc Infinifilm version of the original "Nightmare On Elm Street" (for the bonus materials and the far superior audio / video quality), and a separate copy of "Freddy vs. Jason", which is also a 2-disc set (Remember, in this new box set, the 2nd disc of bonus features for "Freddy vs. Jason" have been stripped; as have ALL special features... this box set has none).
I will definitely stick with my original box set, the Infinifilm Version of the original "Nightmare", and the "Freddy vs. Jason" DVDs, due to the lack of extra features and no remastering. Come on, New Line Cinema, you could have done so much more with this brilliant series of films.
39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 1999
In Amazon.com's review of the Nightmare on Elm St. DVD box set, Halloween's Michael Myers is the "father," Friday the 13th's Jason is the "son," and NOES's Freddy Krueger is the "unholy spirit." In my opinion however, as best said by Freddy Krueger, "THIS IS GOD." I couldn't think of a better box set to be created. As a huge fan of the Nightmare on Elm ST. series (which can be seen on my reviews for the NOES 4 soundtrack on amazon.com), I was so excited to see the collection released on DVD that I bought it, then bought a DVD player so I could watch them. My friends thought I was a little nuts since I already own all 7 on VHS, but any true fan understands. Freddy isn't an icon, he's a part of history among all the greats (probably won't be taught in school but oh well). Many of today's top horror films run along the same lines as NOES where the killer(s) have personalities rather than going on a killing spree for who knows what dull reason (as so many horror films of the past exhibited). This box set does have it's small disappointments, however: NOES 5 is rated R. I have the unrated version on VHS and thought they'd use that on the DVD. And, at least on my dvd player, the labyrinth on the 8th disc has glitches but can be worked around with the chapter search. I was also surprised that scenes included in the criterion collection laserdisc of NOES 1 weren't included, i.e. the one where Nancy's mother tells Nancy that she wasn't an only child, Freddy killed her sibling years before. Yet these faults are small in contrast to what the box set does have, like interviews, behind the scenes footage, commentary, intervies, and much, much more. I only hope that when other series are put onto DVD in the future, they have features close to those in the Nightmare on Elm St. DVD box set.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 1999
This nightmare package is the best series of movies on DVD out there . It contains any type of extra a nightmare fan could dream of. Anything from trailers to interviews,music videos(like dream warriors-a great song) documentaries, commentary and much so much, much more. And of course the first thing you probably notice when you put one of the discs in is the superior picture and sound that have been remastered. They almost look like brand new movies. One other neat thing in this set is the labyrinth, an interactive trip around springwood. Here you can unlock doors find clues, and solve varoious things.Youll find behind the scenes footage and much more. Another great thing is that all are in widescreen! - One of the best things about this package. For the first time you get to see all 7 films in thier original aspect the way they were intended! Not that full screen junk. The commentary is great- very informative and interesting from Craven and others. Another great thing is the original 3D end sequence for freddys Dead the Final Nightmare with 2 pairs of 3D glasses included! You can't get much better than that! To me this is a Elm street fans dream. Anyone who has a DVD player and is a fan of the series should buy this set without any hesitation. It is packed with so many extra features its unbelievable. This truly is a Nightmare fans dream come true...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2005
This review refers to the bonus disc found in New Line Cinema's "The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection" boxed set.
THE WHO'S WHO: Starring Wes Craven, Robert Shaye, Sean Cunningham, Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, John Saxon, Rachel Talalay, Jack Sholder, Kevin Yagher, Dick Cavett, Chuck Russell, Frank Darabont, Dokken, Patricia Arquette, Renny Harlin, John Carl Buechler, Stephen Hopkins, The Fat Boys, Whodini, Clive Barker. (NR) Contains Very Mild Violence, Mild Profanity, Very Mild Gore, Very Brief Nudity and Mild Sexual Content; 240m.; 1999. Cumulative information for the film series as a whole includes an (R) rating for violence, gore, profanity, drug content, nudity and mild sexual content; 655m.; 1984-1994. The overall rating for the films included in this boxed set is four stars. For individual reviews of each film, please see separate titles.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN HERE?: Consummate "Nightmare on Elm Street" fans will be delighted by the inclusion of an eighth bonus disc as part of the series' boxed set. The central focus of this DVD is a "Labyrinth" video game, but all of the important documentary material that can be uncovered within the labyrinth is found on the index of the disc itself. However, the "Labyrinth" is the only place to uncover humorous outtakes and comedy interactions with Freddy Krueger. The bonus disc begins with the "Welcome to Primetime" (46:26) segment. Relevant members of the cast and crew for the original "Nightmare" film talk about the newspaper clippings that inspired the screenplay, how producer Robert Shaye was the only person who believed in director Wes Craven's script and how the original idea of Freddy Krueger was supposed to have him portrayed by a sixty or seventy year old man. Makeup man David Miller tells the story of how a pepperoni pizza inspired Freddy's face. There's also a small tidbit relating to the fact that New Line almost sold the "Nightmare" rights to Paramount. "Welcome to Primetime" concludes with the first alternate ending of the original "Elm Street" film. The index of the disc is divided into separate sections by film. The "Nightmare on Elm Street" section is just a breakdown of the "Welcome to Primetime" documentary with the addition of the film's trailer. Segments in this section include "Original Theatrical Trailer" (1:49), "It Really Happened" (3:03), "A Childhood Memory" (2:35), "Sometime in the Early 80's" (0:25), "So it Began" (4:47), "Beauty and the Beast" (8:42), "Making the Glove" (1:09), "Shapeshifter" (9:54), "The Shoot" (7:22), "The Revolving Room" (1:53), "All's Well That Ends Well" (4:04), "Talalay's Tally" (1:52), "It Couldn't Have Happened..." (1:51) and "Alternate Ending: Version 1" (2:00). The "Freddy's Revenge" section expresses Craven's concerns over the original screenplay for the sequel. We're also treated to horrendously bland interviews with director Jack Sholder who does nothing to bring perspective to his sequel, owing a lot of explanations and offering very few. He also sounds very indecisive of the choices he made now that he has the opportunity to look back on his film. Even production assistant Rachel Talalay admits the film's vast array of mistakes. Segments in this section include "Original Theatrical Trailer" (1:28), "Heroes and Villains" (6:23), "Psycho Sexual Circus" (3:28), "The Male Witch" (2:48) and "Freddy on 8th Street" (5:29). The "Dream Warriors" section finds Wes explaining how he wanted to take the film series to the next psychological level. Director Chuck Russell and screenplay writer Frank Darabont share discussions about the controversies surrounding the Freddy snake and the Robert Englund-improvised "welcome to prime time, b*tch" line. Englund is also on hand to relate a tale of how he had breakfast with transvestites across from the L.A. county jail. Segments in this section include "Original Theatrical Trailer" (1:37), "Fan Mail" (0:46), "Onward Christian Soldiers" (9:02), "Snakes and Ladders" (6:05), "Trading 8's" (4:10), "That's Show Biz" (2:01), "Burn Out" (3:39), "The House That Freddy Built" (0:39) and "Music Video: Dokken - Dream Warriors" (5:06). The "Dream Master" section finds Robert Shaye explaining how the 'stamina effect' helped director Renny Harlin get the job. Discussions are also held about how the writers' strike affected the outcome of the movie. Segments in this section include "Original Theatrical Trailer" (1:31), "Krueger, Freddy Krueger" (8:17), "Hopeless Chest" (3:46), "Let's Make-Up" (2:21) and "The Finnish Line" (2:28). The "Dream Child" section finds Talalay mentioning why her husband Rupert Harvey produced the fifth film and not her. Surprisingly, the Fat Boys music video was misplaced on the disc. Instead of appearing in the section for the fourth film where it belongs, it wound up here. Segments in this section include "Original Theatrical Trailer" (0:46), "Womb Raiders" (6:24), "The Sticky Floor" (5:46), "Take the Stairs" (0:57), "Hopkins Directs" (0:36), "A Slight Miscalculation" (1:27), "Music Video: Fat Boys - Are You Ready For Freddy?" (5:32) and "Music Video: Whodini - Anyway I Got to Swing it?" (3:26). The "Freddy's Dead" section is the lightest of all sections, though it does find Talalay talking about how the 3-D format of the finale limited her choice of special effects. Segments in this section include "Original Theatrical Trailer" (2:14), "Rachel's Dream" (2:50), "3D Demise" (2:19), "86'd" (1:41) and "Hellraiser" (0:40). The "New Nightmare" section focuses entirely on Craven himself. He discusses how he originally thought he would become a novelist and touches briefly on the friendship he shares with "Friday the 13th" creator Sean Cunningham. Segments in this section include "Original Theatrical Trailer" (2:41), "Becoming a Filmmaker" (7:55), "An Insane Troupe" (0:52), "Two Worlds" (2:04), "The Problem With Sequels" (1:36) and "Filmmaker" (4:38). The final section is entitled "Conclusions" and features horror master Clive Barker comparing Freddy's characteristics with Pinhead's. We're also able to see small sections of a 1989 interview with Robert Englund as he discusses the witty and sexy traits Freddy possesses. Segments in this section include "Where Gothic Plots Come From" (2:04), "Why We Like Gothic" (1:34), "Sadomasochism" (0:54), "Freddy v. Pinhead" (2:46), "Freddy's Manic Energy" (1:40), "Creating Lasting Characters in Horror" (1:33), "No More Magic Tricks" (2:28), "Monster With Personality" (0:33), "Freddy as Sex Machine" (1:59) and "Campfire Stories" (1:43). Overall, this is an enjoyable and highly informative way of killing four hours.
THEY SAY THEY'RE SPECIAL BUT...: The 1.33:1 full screen format is a solid presentation featuring even flesh tones, good coloring and stable black levels. The 5.1 surround sound is pointless during the documentary portions of the disc. The only time the surround sound really picks up is during the music videos and the theatrical trailers. Then the presence of the 5.1 is truly felt and truly appreciated. This bonus disc arrives packaged in one of New Line's atypical paper cases. The front cover features a fantastic "Hellywood" painting that fits the Freddy motif perfectly. The rest of the case is devoid of any artwork. The inside of the case spotlights the list of special features on this disc. The disc itself is painted with a montage of six different Freddy Krueger photographs. The entire disc is comprised of special features, however the ones not described above include the actual "Labyrinth" video game which is a wonderful way to experience the separate pieces of information for those who want to take the time. Graphics for this game are very entertaining and the sound quality is above par. DVD-ROM users are also treated to the final "Dream World" trivia game and an interactive Freddy that will "haunt" your computer.
THE YOLK'S ON YOU: New Line Cinema has packed their boxed set so well that they don't need to place hidden easter eggs on the separate discs. Of course, on this bonus disc, there are a few useful pearls of wisdom for the wary viewer. For starters, if you stand in one spot for too long at the entrance of the "Labyrinth" (where the question mark appears), Freddy will pop out of one of the doors on the left side of the hallway and quickly dart into one of the doors on the right. Also, if you make it down into the boiler room, look into the ashes of the furnace for awhile. Pretty soon, you'll be able to see the burning image of Freddy himself. Finally, for those viewers searching for the mythical "second alternate ending" to the film (which is not included as part of the index section on this disc), there's a very simple solution. When you come to the locked fire door, step up to it until you can see the individual diamond panes of the glass. There are three horizontal rows of clickable diamonds. Each row has four diamonds you can try. The alternate ending is hidden beneath the fourth diamond (the one farthest to the right) on the middle row. However, be warned that the "second alternate ending" is not worth the time it takes to find. Frankly, it's an incredible let down, even to a hardcore Freddy fanatic like myself. Forget the second alternate ending and try to uncover all the Krueger cut-ups instead.
THE LEWD AND NUDE ALERT: There is absolutely no stimulation on this bonus disc. However, since this is mostly a documentary forum, that's to be expected.
THE GORE REPORT: The bonus disc actually shows a bit of gore in the original theatrical trailer during Tina Gray's (Amanda Wyss) death sequence.
SAY AGAIN: "Sometimes a giant snake is just a giant snake. Yeah." - Frank Darabont. "Exactly." - Chuck Russell. "Which is why it wound up eating the little girl." - Frank Darabont (during a conversation about the phallic symbolism of the Freddy snake from "Nightmare 3").
THE FINAL SAY: Yes, I recommend buying this disc. As part of the "Nightmare on Elm Street Collection" boxed set, it provides an invaluable source of behind the scenes discussions and revelations. One wishes they would have had more interviews with the actual cast members of the films, but the crew members and Robert Englund provide a wealth of details. It's just a shame that this disc is not available separately as it stands very well on its own. Yes, I also recommend buying the boxed set itself. This is an efficient way of acquiring all seven films and is the only way you can receive the bonus disc.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM: "Freddy's Favorites: The Best of a Nightmare on Elm Street" Available on Varese Sarabande Compact Discs.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 1999
How anyone who has a DVD player and loves horror movies could NOT pruchase this fantastic set is SICK IN THE HEAD! Having grown up in the mid-80s, all the nightmare films have a special place in my heart, with the first and last one being the best (Craven having written and directed them might have everything to do with it). Part 2 is the most trashed of all the sequels, but I was surprised how well it holds up over the years. Visually, it's like a comic book with all the bold colors and the gay subtext makes it all the more enjoyable. Part 3 seems to be the worst aged of them all, with a plot that makes not sense and some super-duper bad acting from Heather Langencamp (I think the director is mostly at fault, she was great in the first and last films). Part 4 is the most visually acomplished, with the most elaborate and creative deaths. Part 5 is also a visual treat, but one of the weaker entries. Also, since this is the definitive say on the nightmare series, you'd think that they would have shown The Dream Child UNCUT, but they don't, it's the R-rated version with heavy edits during the dream sequence with Yvonne. Part 6, which I saw in the theater when it was released, is the absolute WORST of the nightmare films. GOD, what an absolute mess! It's nice to be able to see the last 10 minutes in 3-D, but it's so LAME(you'd think the director would have know what she was doing, since she was involved with all but part 5). All transfers are amazing and properly letterboxed. The extras included in the DVDs are amazing, with in-depth interviews with a lot of the people behind the camera. Unfortuneatly, you have to play some dopey video-type game to get a lot of the extras, but I really can't complain.