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Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2-Disc Collector's Edition)

4.9 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews

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(Oct 05, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this thrilling 2 disc DVD retrospective, fans will find everything they've ever dreamed of as they enter the world of A Nightmare on Elm Street like never before: exploring what spurred mastermind Wes Craven to craft the first groundbreaking film; delving deep behind the scenes of the original and all of it's sequels; learning how the cast and crew brought their real nightmares to life on screen; and, finally, understanding the impact the series and it's mythos have had on modern pop culture and the horror genre.
Bonus Features:
  • Enhanced extended interviews
  • 4-hour filmmaker commentary with Daniel Farrands (co-director/producer) Andrew Kasch (co-director/editor), Thommy Hutson (writer/producer) and Buz "Danger" Wallick (cinematographer)
  • New Stereo 2.0 Mix
  • All-New "O-ring" Slip-Sleeve Cover in Full Color with Metallic Highlights
  • Limited Commemorative poster (12x18) featuring original artwork by Matthew Joseph Peak, who created the poster art for "A Nightmare on Elm Street Parts I-V"


One of the most detailed and entertaining documentaries on horror films ever made, the two-disc, four-hour Never Sleep Again explores the history of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and its enduring legacy for both its fans and filmmakers. Narrated by actress Heather Langenkamp, the once and future Nancy Thompson from Wes Craven's original 1985 Nightmare (and an executive producer on this documentary), Never Sleep Again covers all six surreal, blood-soaked Elm Street pictures through candid interviews with the primary creative figures, including Craven, New Line exec Robert Shaye, Freddy Krueger's offscreen alter ego Robert Englund, and nearly all the above-the-line personnel from each feature, among them directors Jack Shoulder (Nightmare 2), Renny Harlin (Nightmare 4: The Dream Master) and Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason), special effects and makeup wizards Mark Shostrom, Kevin Yagher, and David Miller, and the majority of the casts from each film (though not Johnny Depp from the first Nightmare or Patricia Arquette from Nightmare 3), as well as deleted scenes, production photos, and conceptual art. Viewers are given the full lowdown from multiple perspectives on each film from inception to release (including personality clashes and production troubles, which are discussed in frank terms), as well as Freddy's rise from low-budget boogeyman to pop culture figure and hero to millions of adolescents. Directors Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch, who chronicled the adventures of another '80s horror star--Jason Voorhees of the Friday the 13th franchise--in His Name Was Jason, have outdone their previous efforts by compiling this wealth of information and keeping it informative, frequently funny, and eminently watchable for first-timers and hardcore Freddy heads alike over its considerable running time. And they're to be commended for making room to paint an unflinching look at the effect the Nightmare series had on New Line Cinema, which rose from modest indie to Hollywood player on the finances reaped from the films. As a portrait of an iconic genre movie series, Never Sleep Again sets the bar for all future endeavors. They've also done a Criterion-level job of supplementing their film with enough featurettes to fill an entire second disc. Not only is there an additional hour of extended interviews (which include some amusingly dismissive comments about the 2010 reboot), but there's also a tour of the first film's Southern California locations, conversations with the composers for all six films (as well as pop-metal rockers Dokken, who reaped a hit with their theme to Dream Warriors), a look at the memorable poster art of Matthew Joseph Peake, and an impressive array of collectibles and memorabilia from fans, some of whom have taken their love for Freddy to extreme levels (i.e., tattoos). A hilarious rant from the Angry Video Game Nerd about the Nightmare on Elm Street game for Nintendo is a highlight, while a preview of Langenkamp's own documentary, I Am Nancy, is a quirky look at the actress's apparent attempt to comprehend the Nightmare phenomenon. Never Sleep Again is quite simply the definitive look at every aspect of the Nightmare franchise. --Paul Gaita --Amazon.com

The Final Word -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In the time it'd take to fully explore Never Sleep Again's two discs, you could just about watch all eight of the original Nightmare on Elm St. flicks. Seriously, between the documentary itself, its audio commentary, and all of the other extras, Never Sleep Again runs just shy of twelve hours. ...and I loved every last minute of it. Not a moment is wasted. Never Sleep Again is exhaustive but never exhausting. With contributions from more than a hundred members of the cast and crew, no stone is left unturned. There's a frankness to it all that's often lacking in the retrospectives on studio-issued DVD releases, and my interest never waned, not even when delving into the sequels I really didn't like that much. There's just a passion and enthusiasm -- from the filmmakers behind this documentary and its interviewees alike -- that sears its way into every last frame of Never Sleep Again, and it's infectious. When I finished watching the four hour doc, I craved more. Turns out nearly four more hours are waiting on disc two. After that, I was intensely curious how a project of this scale was put together. Turns out that's answered in the commentary. Never Sleep Again feels like such a satisfyingly complete experience. It's not just the most amazing Nightmare on Elm St. documentary I could ever have hoped to see. It's not just the most insightful, most engaging, and most unrelentingly entertaining retrospective of a film franchise that's ever been produced. You don't need to qualify it by mentioning a genre or even the fact that it's a film-about-films at all: Never Sleep Again is an amazing documentary, period. Watching Never Sleep Again made me want to run out and grab the Nightmare DVDs I'm missing. Hell, it compelled me to order their Friday the 13th retrospective too. This is a desert island disc. It doesn't even matter if you haven't seen any of the Elm St. flicks in ages: if you ever considered yourself a fan, Never Sleep Again is essential viewing. DVD Talk Collector Series. --DVDTalk.com

By: Ryan Daley Full disclosure: I'm not really that big of a Freddy fan. When comparing and contrasting the most influential horror franchises of the 1980s (Friday the 13th, Alien, Halloween, Evil Dead, Child's Play, et al), the Nightmare franchise has a tendency to rank pretty low on my list of personal faves. The fact that I'm bestowing Never Sleep Again with a perfect 5-Skull rating should serve as a testament to the talent of Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch, the filmmaking duo behind this brilliant Nightmare on Elm Street documentary. Even for the casual fan, this is one hell of an educational film. I settled down to watch Never Sleep Again, my review notebook close at hand, not quite knowing what to expect. After the doc had spent an engaging 40 minutes dissecting Wes Craven's original A Nightmare on Elm Street, I found myself genuinely enraptured, but also disappointed that a feature length running time wouldn't be enough to properly discuss the sequels. It was at that point that I checked the time display. Holy..., Never Sleep Again is four hours long! Granting each Nightmare film a generous 30-40 minutes of coverage, the running time of Never Sleep Again flies by. It's an ingeniously edited film consisting primarily of recent interview segments, some snippets of archival footage from the franchise, and a few deleted scenes. A good portion of those involved with the series simply heap praise on their co-stars, no matter which film they starred in (with Robert Englund, the biggest praise-shoveler of them all, even daring to refer to Nightmare 4's flaming-dog-pee-resurrection scene as mythic ), but if you take the time to read between the lines, it s obvious that tensions still lurk beneath the surface. From director Jack Sholder (Part 2, Freddy s Revenge) admitting that he was never a fan of the first film, to Wes Craven openly mocking the more ludicrous aspects of the non-Wes directed sequels, Never Sleep Again is packed with plenty of behind-the-scenes finger-pointing. But even with the differences in opinion, most at New Line seem to agree on which films most undermined the franchise. And there's more than mere gossip going on in Never Sleep Again. The doc also serves as a Where Are They Now? of even the most minor players in the Nightmare series. (Even with its extremely thorough approach to cast interviews, super-celebs like Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette are conspicuous in their absence.) Some ex-cast-members look drug-addled, some are still unbelievably attractive, some have faces that are swollen and shiny with facial injections, and one ex-cast-member sports a fake-bloody-goth face and what appears to be a lesbian S&M slave by her side. It s an extended cast reunion as bizarre as it is train-wreck compelling. Frankly, there are so many good parts in Never Sleep Again, it would be too time-consuming to cite them all. But it s worth mentioning that I cackled throughout two segments in particular: one covering the ill-advised syndicated television series Freddy s Nightmares and one exploring the not-so-hidden gayness of Freddy s Revenge. Oh man, what were they thinking? There s a lot to love about Never Sleep Again, and virtually nothing to hate. It s not only an expertly crafted film about a beloved horror franchise, it s also a film about the legacy of New Line Cinema, and ultimately, a film about the horror genre as a whole. Frankly, you won t find a horror documentary better than this one. Score: 10 / 10 --Bloody-Disgusting.com

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Wes Craven, John Saxon, Renny Harlin
  • Directors: Dan Farrands, Andrew Kasch
  • Writers: Thommy Hutson
  • Producers: Thommy Hutson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 1428 Films/CAV Distributing
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2010
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ZZ7TQA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,960 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
For those who wonder what's on this set...

Disc 1:
Main Feature - 4 hours
Although there's a few notable absences (Ronee Blakely, Johnny Depp, Patricia Arquette, Craig Wasson, etc.), the bulk of the surviving cast/crew members from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" through "Freddy Vs. Jason" are interviewed. They even touch on the TV series "Freddy's Nightmares." Includes clips from the films (and tons of other related films), never before seen photos, on-set footage, deleted scenes and more!

Disc 2:
Extended Interviews - 2 hours
Additional interviews, separated by film, that didn't make the final cut. Annoyingly, there's no "play all" feature, and there's some sound issues (the stereo sound is off-balance during several segments).

First Look: Heather Langenkamp's I Am Nancy - 7 mins.
A sneak peek at Langenkamp's forthcoming documentary.

For the Love of the Glove - 18 mins.
A superfan shows off his collection of prop gloves from the films; and several people who create and sell glove replicas are interviewed. Elm Street 2 star Robert Rusler also discusses the day the glove was stolen from the set.

Fred Heads: The Ultimate Freddy Fans - 13 mins.
A look at Freddy merchandising and its fans.

Horror's Hallowed Grounds: Return to Elm Street - 23 mins.
A tour of the locations from Elm Street 1, featuring appearances by several cast members from the first two films.

Freddy Vs. the Angry Video Game Nerd - 5 mins.
A humorous look at the '90s Nintendo game.

Expanding the Freddy Universe: Freddy in Comic Books & Novels - 16 mins.
Authors of Elm Street comic/novel spin-offs discuss their works. Again, the stereo sound is off balance for a good chunk of this featurette.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are a Nightmare On Elm Street fan like me and felt sick to your stomach with the new Elm Street movie, as well as a total lack of respect for the fans and franchise by the makers of said catastrophe, don't fret. 2010 is still the year of Freddy for the fans...just not with the new film. Nope. You see, the fans get something better. Something much, much better. 2010 is the year of Freddy because we get what is ultimately the most amazing present/documentary ever. A 4 hour treasure that looks back on our beloved series. If you got the Freddy fever that is sweeping up again, this is your one stop destination for the cure.

From the makers of the Friday The 13th docu, "His Name Was Jason", comes this look back at the 26 year old Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. HNWJ was great. Great fluff. Don't come into this one thinking it is something along the same lines. What we have here is something far reaching and serious. Unlike the quick 90 minutes of past docus, this amazing gem is 4 hours long!. It's Freddy/Elm Street overload that should put every fan in an Elm Street induced coma(with special appearance by Freddy, of course). Every single movie in the franchise(excluding the remake), and even the short lived TV series "Freddy's Nightmares", is given it's due. A ton of people from the franchise, from both in front of and behind the camera, are on tap here to give up the dirt on the series. All of the regulars you would expect to be here like Craven, Englund, Langenkamp, etc. are all on board, but there are literally tons of people I have never seen in any kind of Elm Street docu or featurette ever here as well. It's just a non stop parade of Elm Street veterans, ready and willing to take a trip back down Freddy's favorite street.
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Format: DVD
Aside from parts 1 and 7, the DVD releases of the other films in the Elm Street series have absolutely no extras at all. Finally, someone has taken the time and effort to give Freddy fans and the other entries much needed and much deserved (and overdue) attention. "Never Sleep Again" is an exhaustive four-hour documentary that leaves no stone unturned. Featuring new interviews with every director involved in the Nightmare films (including Freddy VS Jason) and practically every cast member from each movie, this is the kind of thing fans like me have waited decades for. The production value is top notch, so much that New Line should be embarrassed for not commissioning something like this (instead of the "Nightmare Encyclopedia" disc they included on the boxed set) years ago. Narrated by Heather Langenkamp and featuring super cool stop-motion animated sequences inspired by iconic scenes in the original films, no Elm Street completist should be without this disc.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy is the best documentary I have ever seen, and that's saying a lot since I've seen lots of great ones. On Disc One, there is the 4 hour documentary, then there is the commentary for the documentary. On Disc Two, there are more extended interviews, videos on making the music, a tour of the area the original film was made, videos about the glove, videos about the fans of the series, a video of Freddy vs. the Angry Video Game Nerd, videos about the comics, the trailer for the documentary, a sneak peak for Heather Langenkamp's documentary, I Am Nancy, a video with the poster designer from the original movie, and "A Nightmare on Elm Street in 10 Minutes", which is the cast saying some of their most famous lines from the movies.

The people who made this documentary did a fantastic job and went in-depth on all 8 original movies and even the T.V. show, Freddy's Nightmares. Narrated by Heather Langenkamp, who played Nancy in 1, 3, and herself in 7. There's a lot about the making and the special effects in it, and how each movie was made. There isn't anything better than this when it comes to documentaries, and nothing can beat it. The interviews were informative, the editing was great, there is nothing wrong with this.

If you love A Nightmare on Elm Street, or love documentaries, then buy this! I could go on about how much I love this, because it's fantastic.
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