The slasher genre may have developed its formula in the 1970s, but it was during the 1980s that it got its groove with the creation of some of its most most enduring icons. One of those slasher icons happens to be the focus of this documentary. Never Sleep Again takes a look at the cinematic history of Wes Craven's classic A Nightmare on Elm Street and its entire legacy. Now, on the surface that may not sound like a terribly engaging documentary, but believe me when I tell you that it is. It really is.
I took a long time getting around to watching this. I really shouldn't have done that. Never Sleep Again, made by some of the same folks behind the Friday the 13th documentary, His Name was Jason, is an all encompassing look into this history of the series. They even include Freddy vs. Jason and the short lived Freddy's Nightmares television series!
The team of Daniel Farrands, Andrew Kasch, and Thommy Hutson were able to get an extraordinary collection of interviews of virtually all the notable players (notable exceptions being Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette), and it has its fair share of backslapping and subtle finger pointing. The bottom line is that if you are a fan of the series, you need to watch this.
Interview subjects include - but are not limited to - Wes Craven, Bob Shaye, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Jack Sholder, Chuck Russell, Renny Harlin, Ronny Yu, Mick Garris, Lisa Wilcox, Jsu Garcia, Clu Gulager, Rachel Talaly, and more cast members, special effects guys, and many others than you can shake a stick at.
Each film gets about a half an hour of time. Yes, you read that right. Never Sleep Again wants to make sure that you don't with a run time that runs close to the four hour mark. The surprising thing about that length is that when it's over, you want more. I swear, the time just flies by.
This DVD set makes up for all those bare bones DVDs of the series. This is better than any amount of promotional featurettes they could have scrounged up. Interviews, set photos, clips, bits of deleted scenes, and some great new animation take us into the development of each fil and the troubles and trials they went through. To take the time to go through all of the good stuff here would just take too long.