Freddy's NightmaresBy RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies
As of late, there has been a lot of talk about Robert Englund reprising his role of Freddy for a new Nightmare film. Englund has been put back into the spotlight since it was announced he will be playing Victor Creel in the new season of Stranger Things. And naturally, fans are wondering if 74-year-old Englund has one more Freddy performance in him. That made me think of the 1988-90 TV show Freddy’s Nightmares.
If you don’t know about this entry in the Nightmare universe. Freddy's Nightmares (also known as A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series) is an American horror anthology television series, which aired in syndication from October 1988 until March 1990. A spin-off from the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, each episode was introduced by Freddy Krueger, and featured two different stories, with eight of them throughout the series actually having Freddy Krueger as the main antagonist. The pilot episode was directed by Tobe Hooper, and begins with Krueger's prosecution on child-murdering charges. Hawk-eyed fans will notice the burning scene in Freddy vs Jason is from this series, so technically it is in the same universe.
Coming hotly off the success of Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master, the series was greeted with mostly positive reviews. Due to the murderous basis of Freddy Krueger, New Line Cinema opted not to develop a television series with a regular batch of characters to mix it up with Krueger on a continuous basis; deeming it futile, since he would inevitably kill most of them, and there would be no one left. Instead, the producers created an anthology series, employing a new crop of actors to be used for each episode.
The series wasn't really about Freddy Kreuger - only the first couple of episodes actually involved him as anything but a Rod Serling-esquire announcer. Instead, each episode was a distinct nightmare, using the traditional horror themes of horrific childhood, dating, cannibalism, dating, money, death, dating. Each week Freddy's Nightmares told a different story of a dark rooted and/or grim nature that took place in the fictitious town of Springwood, Ohio, and in particular, on Elm Street; the same setting as the A Nightmare on Elm Street films. Though the Freddy Krueger character would occasionally play a part in the plot, most of the stories did not involve him (it was, however, often hinted that Krueger indirectly influenced the desolate nature of the plotlines).
Similar to the Crypt Keeper in Tales from the Crypt, Krueger's primary function was to host the series. He was featured in regular bumper segments, where he would offer an ominous or slapstick reaction to the happenings of the episode—culminating in him giving a quick, and usually eerie, epilogue at the end. One element that makes the series unique is its two-tier story approach. Most of the episodes feature two different stories that each take up the first and second halves. Every second story, however, usually built on a character who played a minor (or supporting) role in the first.
I will admit some of the episodes are below average. But this is basic cable, and just like other shows (Tales from the Darkside, Hitchhiker, Monsters, Tales from the Crypt), you will get some lemons. But there were some hidden gems too. Things to remember, this is 80s TV, so you will see a mix of TV and movie stars. Unfortunately, the series only ran for 2 years(44 episodes). The series faced the same uphill battle as Halloween 3. Horror fans are fickled, they wanted stories about Freddy.
If you are a Nightmare fan, or like anthology-type shows, then give this one a try. I know Dailymotion has most of the episodes. Happy watching.Share this article on: