Monday, January 20, 2014

NEVER SLEEP AGAIN (1428 Blu-ray) - My Nightmares Never Looked This Good

1, 2 have I got a long ass documentary for you! 3, 4 it's not a bore! 5, 6 it shows you all the tricks! 7,8 you'll definitely have to stay up late... 9,10 it's called NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!

The last couple of years has seen an uptake in documentaries about the horror franchises we know and love so well. Now we have the chance to become deeply intimate with them. My first encounter with Never Sleep Again was a drunken night of movie watching turned late night marathon turned hungover rewatch. How could I possibly have know that the damn thing was hours upon hours long? I had imbibed a few beers and passed out mid-way through the movie only to wake up thinking the disc had restarted. Nope. Still on! That's something. So I enjoyed it and loved and raved about it. Then I had the chance to own and review it on DVD, this time I would watch it from cover to cover sober. Equally riveting though this time I was able to make it all the way through the feature. Somehow I failed to really exercise the thing to enjoy all the extras. I mean with over four hours of run time, it's easy to get burnt out. Today I'm here to talk to you about the Blu-ray including the extras which releases January 21st.

I've watched every piece of footage on the damn thing. The greatest revelation is that I feel like I have really grown close to some of these characters in particular Heather Langenkamp's character Nancy. There are discussions involving her that have lead me to believe that I have never understood why I felt so close to her, but I do. I've always admired her. I want to build my own sledgehammer security system and light bulb bomb (can we do that now that Tungsten bulbs are banned?). I wish my dad was John Saxon or maybe that I could turn my back on my nightmares (metaphorically and actual nightmares). I sound like I'm joking, and I am but only because I feel like I can have fun with Nancy.

For those of you who haven't been following along with this epic (not hyperbole here) documentary, Never Sleep Again is a chapter by chapter, sequel by sequel look at each of the films in the franchise including crossovers, TV show and marketing campaign. You will get the start to finish of Fred Kruger and the gang of folks who assembled him and his world. It is a family. It is a rabble. Nearly everyone you want to see in front of the lens will be interviewed (No Johnny Depp or Patricia Arquette ... boo). The whole thing, as previously mentioned, is HOURS long. You can either marathon the thing or take it chapter by chapter. Perhaps the best way to watch it might be to enjoy each chapter as you enjoy each movie (there are plenty of spoilers). This is the documentary by which all documentaries are judged and seems to be the reason we got a proper Friday the 13th and Return of the Living Dead documentaries (none of that His Name Was Jason bullshit). This is for fans of horror, fans of this franchise or future filmmakers.

Now on to the extras...

The extended interviews are extensions of the interviews you'll see throughout the feature. Watching this feature by itself is trying at times, but is good background fodder. There's juicy details but plenty of plain Jane gossip. There's a reason this content didn't make it into the full length feature, but there's plenty to learn here.

Horror's Hallowed Grounds: Return to Elm Street is by far my favorite of the extras. It's usually my favorite on the Scream Factory discs as well. Sean Clark is great fun as your guide through the locations on which the original Nightmare on Elm Street were filmed. He takes you to the high school (outside and in), inside 1428 Elm St (still around) and down some alleys and street corners of significance. He meets up with some particular funny guests along the way as well as cast members from the original feature. I laugh every time I watch these things. This is no exception.

There's a sneak peak at I Am Nancy, Heather Langenkamp's production taking a look back at her famous character from the franchise. She unveils, unravels, demystifies and searches for answers to better understand this character and the fan reaction to as well as ignorance of the character by some fans.

Other features include a look at the NES video game with the Angry Video Game Nerd, A look at the collector's of NOES merch and props, a look at recreators of the glove, Expanding the Elm Street Universe: Freddy in Comics and Novels, A Nightmare on Elm Street in 10 Minutes and The Music of the Nightmare Conversations with  Composers and Songwriters.

Note: 1080p HD Widescreen 1.78:1 DTS-HD MA

Pick our your favorite Elm Street movie, watch the chapter on it and then let me know if there's anything else you could possibly want to know about that particular installment. This documentary and the extensive supplementary materials captures the fan, actor, filmmaker and character experiences. I a number of these releases making their way to the big and small screen as a kid and understand why certain scripts made it to film is the number one draw for me. Perhaps the best part of the documentary was learning about all of the alternate possible scripts for Freddy vs. Jason. I think we got shafted! There's that and then the discussion, by episode director, of Freddy's Nightmares. Mick Garris says it the best. Check it out.

You can order your copy of Never Sleep Again NOW! Releases on Blu-ray January 21st and yes, it look beautiful in HD.

-Doc Terror

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