Written by Patti Pauley
The last three editions of Retro Rewind, I focused, and maybe bore you to death, with all three glorious years of that deliciously cheesy Horror Hall of Fame that was hosted year after year by Robert Englund. So it seems, I can’t seem to shake wanting to discuss the man, the myth, the Springwood Slasher when it comes to these little throwbacks, and this week is no damn exception. Because we’re going to talk about that 45-minute fantastic kick off to the Freddy’s Nightmares Prime Time series that was directed by the father of Leatherface no less; and essentially a proper Nightmare on Elm Street prequel my friends.
Love the series or hate it, the 1988 series pilot for Nightmare spin-off show Freddy’s Nightmares was undoubtedly, the diamond in the rough of the entire run of this show. So yeah, once you see that first episode, it kinda goes all down hill from there. I should know. I own the whole goddamn series. AND YES, I’ve gone through every, single, one of these gems.
Grant it, the anthology Tales From the Crypt-like series that Freddy hosted throughout its run is a fun watch for rainy days, don’t expect a complete Nightmare on Elm Street vibe from anything other than the first episode- for those who have never seen these little treasures. Could be why these little slices of The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise money pie only lasted for two seasons.
That first episode entitled “No More Mr. Nice Guy” directed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Tobe Hooper and penned by the late Wes Craven, dives into the backstory of Springwood’s Slasher and what had led to his current state of a Nightmare demon, which in retrospective, we never really heard much about up until later’s Freddy’s Dead movie of course. The opening liner from Freddy himself as he introduces the very first tale of Freddy’s Nightmares is really just that, “Don’t be afraid, This time, it isn’t one of your nightmares. This one… was mine.”
In the original Nightmare on Elm Street film, Nancy’s mother breaks from her denial, of what is happening with her daughter and explains the truth behind this man Nancy now knows as Fred Krueger- ole Freddy likes to label his belongings- due to the infamous fedora she yanked off Fred’s head in a REM dream state at the sleep study center. Marge (Nancy’s mother) explains, although not in great detail, just Freddy was: “A filthy child murderer who killed at least 20 kids in the neighborhood… kids we all knew.” Marge then goes on about Krueger’s arrest, a mistrial, and the private justice the parents of Elm Street dished out on the monster of Springwood.
“No Mr. Nice Guy” expands on Marge’s story beginning with a local news anchor doing the whole blah, blah, blah, schpiel. Then, the video is interrupted by a screen of green and red stripes with host Freddy Krueger close behind introducing his story to the masses which begins at the Springwood Municipal Building and the trial of one Fred Krueger.
Of course, the bumbling arresting police officers fuck up with the arresting process and Krueger is set free- typical American justice. Freddy, more pissed off than ever, goes to seek revenge on Lt. Timothy Blocker the cop who almost put an end to Freddy’s fun, by going after the officer’s twin girls. Fun little fact, the cop is played by Ian Patrick Williams of Dolls and Re-Animator notoriety.
Well, while Krueger is plotting his revenge, the parents of Elm Street form a lynch mob and corner him in his boiler room.Conveniently, Lt. Blocker arrives just as a shotgun is pointed at Krueger’s noggin’ and begins to talk peaceful resolution. That is until the good officer’s daughters are being threatened by a smirking Freddy who gives zero fucks about any of the threats being thrown at him by a very angry hoard of baby boomers. All bets are off, and Lt. Blocker is the one who lights the match, launching Krueger’s immortal nightmare legacy.
Personally speaking, I’ve seen this episode in particular more than any other in the series, because quite simply as previously stated, it is the best episode the set of tales has to offer. And funny enough, though the series doesn’t look as visually appealing as maybe it did back in 1988, this one 45 minute spectacle, and the only one actually revolving around Freddy, still holds up by today’s standards as far as storytelling. Speaking of which, I really wish this series would get a Scream Factory release as this show really could use some tender loving as far as a high-resolution Blu-Ray set. Or any set for that matter. Kind of crazy to me NO ONE has jumped at this yet.
Anyway, I’ve managed to locate the entire episode of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” over at Dailymotion, along with a few other Freddy’s Nightmares shows. In the meantime, can we just get this released as a legit DVD/ Blu-Ray set already?