Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Never Sleep Again (Blu-ray Review) - Image Entertainment

Directed By: Daniel Farrands, Andrew Kasch
Written By: Thommy Hutson
Starring: Robert Englund, Wes Craven, Robert Shaye
Color/238 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A

The Film
It was 1984 and the slasher genre was on top of the horror world, if not the entire world of cinema. Director Wes Craven, known for his work on exploitation films such as The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House On The Left, developed an idea for a horror film based on a serial killer who stalks kids in their dreams. A Nightmare On Elm Street was born. Freddy Kruger has since become as pop culture as pop culture get. The Springwood Slasher, the bastard son of a thousand maniacs, has popped up in damn near a dozen films, a TV series, all the merchandise you can think of and just about anywhere else that would have a pop culture icon, Freddy has been. He was a rock star. He was a murderer. He was the villain of  one of the most successful horror franchises in history.

NEVER SLEEP AGAIN is a documentary covering each and every film of the original series from Wes Craven’s classic to the long awaited showdown with fellow horror icon Jason Voorhees. Damn near every key cast and crew member is interviewed on screen, the main exceptions being Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette, undoubtedly the pair that have gone on to the biggest success and fame. With a runtime of  4 hours each film gets a substantial amount of time allotted to it. Even the TV series and merchandising are covered. A film as popular as this has been talked about, written about and researched to death. It is amazing at how much information in this I’ve never heard before. I had no idea that Divine was originally cast to be in Freddy’s Dead prior to her death. That is my favorite piece of information I learned, but it is far from the only thing. NEVER SLEEP AGAIN is packed with information on the filming, distribution, reception and real world significance of each and every NOES film.

It is almost becoming a trend to make documentaries about the most popular 80s horror films. Friday the 13th has its own with Crystal Lake Memories, Return Of The Living Dead has one with More Brains… NEVER SLEEP AGAIN destroys them all. This is precisely what a horror franchise documentary should be. Crystal Lake Memories doesn’t hold a candle to NEVER SLEEP AGAIN and this 2-disc set will proudly be displayed next to my Nightmare On Elm Street box set.

The Audio & Video
Image Entertainment delivers the 2-disc Blu-ray set of NEVER SLEEP AGAIN with a 1.78:1 widescreen transfer that looks absolutely beautiful. There isn’t a ton to mess up here, all of the main footage is sit down interviews but they do look great. Obviously some of the footage from the sets of the films doesn’t shine like new but even that looks good. The Audio is a DTS-HD track that sounds perfect. The disc should look and sound fantastic and it does.

The Extras
On top of the audio commentary on the main feature disc, this 2 Blu-ray Disc set comes with an entire second disc of special features. Those features include:

-Extended interviews
-A preview of Heather Langenkamp’s “I am Nancy” documentary
-For The Love Of The Glove featurette
-Fred Heads: The Ultimate Freddy Fans
-Horror’s Hallowed Grounds: Return To Elm Street
-Freddy vs. The Angry Video Game Nerd
-Expanding The Elm Street Universe: Freddy In Comic Books and Novels
-The Music Of The Nightmare: Conversations with composers and songwriters
-Elm Street’s Poster Boy: The Art of Matthew Joseph Peak
-A Nightmare On Elm Street In 10 Minutes
-Teaser trailer for NEVER SLEEP AGAIN

The Bottom Line
From the incredible documentary that covers everything you could ask for, to the massive collection of special features that cover everything from even more interview footage, to epic fan collections, and a modern day look at filming locations used on the original film and much more NEVER SLEEP AGAIN is an absolute must own for any Freddy fan. Go buy it!

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