Never Sleep Again serves as more of a warning than a clever catch phrase for a Nightmare on Elm Street documentary. With a run time of 240 minutes, lack of sleep is almost guaranteed and for a person to even consider sitting and watching this film all at once they may want to consult a doctor. What kind of person would even think of doing such a thing? Well I did and Never Sleep Again is the type of film worth taking the risk for.
Never Sleep Again chronicles the ups and downs of the Nightmare franchise and holds nothing back as it lets everyone from the key grip to the bus driver get their say on how these films were made. I can’t imagine even the biggest Krueger fan coming out of this epic journey with out the true feeling of Elm Street enlightenment. Saying that, I must warn you that this documentary is only for die hard Freddy fans and true cinefiles and casual viewers should steer clear.
Though I am not a big Freddy guy myself, when it comes to the big three, Myers has always won me over. I can’t help but to admire the dedication that went into this documentary. Director/Producer Daniel Farrands, Director Andrew Kasch and Writer/Producer Thommy Hutson were able to get the most honest answers out of the cast and crew of Elm Street that I have ever seen. This brought the franchise into a new light for me and yes even after six straight hours of Nightmare on Elm Street, I was ready to pop in a dream scape or two. My sanity stopped me from doing so, but the knowledge the viewer gains from watching Never Sleep Again will turn all thoughts of the franchise a full 180 and force a second viewing.
One thing the documentary has definitely succeeded at is putting the thought into this critic’s mind that “I need to go back and watch Nightmare on Elm Street 2.” Wait, did I just write that? Yes! The stories and insight on the film made me realize that it is brilliantly horrible. Just listening to writer David Chaskin admit that he intended for Freddy’s Revenge to have gay undertones and having Mark Patton point out the planted props by the gay crew is classic. The best part about this segment of the documentary is listening to director Jack Sholder state that he had no idea that the film had these undertones and watching him come off as a complete fool.
Besides the satisfaction of laughing about a horrible movie, Never Sleep Again does add to what worked in the better tales of Mr. Krueger. The team behind this documentary have compiled a wish list of never-before-seen behind the scenes footage, deleted scenes and FX shots that are just jaw-dropping. The overall span of content from the original to the remake will leave fans rethinking their favorite franchise.
If Peter Jackson and Danny Mulheron’s DREAM LOVER draft for a potential sixth movie isn’t enough for you, that’s fine because that’s just the first disc. Oh yeah there’s more. The second disc is crammed packed with over an hour of extended interviews that are not just cutting room floor outtakes, there is real content there. This is where the “Remake Bashing” can be found, even producer Robert Shayne thought it was a bad idea. If just hearing that statement isn’t enough for the fans, there are two features documenting their obsession for Freddy “Fred Heads” and “For the Love of the Glove” that are both equally entertaining.
Overall, the only disappointing factor of Never Sleep Again is the lack of big interviews from the likes of Johnny Depp and and Patricia Arquette, but with the mass content of this DVD, the minor blemish is easily brushed away. Never Sleep Again is a must have for any true Elm Street fan and I would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in the production of a horror film. For fans of the film I give it a Buy It and for all others a strong Rent It recommendation.
by Ryan Davis