Like most hardcore horror fans I have a big spot in my heart for bad, cheesy horror flicks. Movies that the occasional horror viewer wouldn’t waste 5 minutes on are often some of my favorites. Being a kid of the 80’s there were a lot of great cheesy horror films for me and my friends. On TV we had quite possibly the pinnacle of bad horror television called Freddy’s Nightmares.
By 1988 New Line Cinema was trying to squeeze out every drop of marketing blood they could out of the Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise. They had posters, games, toys and even a talking doll, which I still have. It was crazy how much they tried to make a child killer appeal to kids. So the next logical step was a tv series for Freddy. Thus was born Freddy’s Nightmares which saw Freddy acting as a crypt keeper of sorts presiding over 2 stories per episode that were loosely connected to each other.
For lovers of Cheese this series is gold. The acting is often over the top, the sets are the most cardboard you’ve ever seen and since its the late 80’s, everything seems to be layered in bright colors, bad fashion and big hair. The show literally looked like they spent about 10 bucks on the production design from week to week. The sequences with Freddy were lit in a bright red and green and usually heavily shadowed. These sequence were probably the most artistic moments of the show and that’s not saying much.
The first episode of the series “No More Mr. Nice Guy” was the best one. It basically tells the origin story of Freddy and has some decent production design behind it for a 80’s syndicated tv series. However from there it went downhill and fast. The show did see some stars pass through its dusty sets, including Brad Pitt, Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order SVU) and Lori Petty who enjoyed a brief career back in the 90’s.
I know I’ve said it before but the 80’s were weird. I don’t think I’ll ever see a serial killing crazy character like Freddy become a icon again in my lifetime. Today we live in a overly sensitive climate where people are offended by the dumbest things. Freddy was marketed to kids and I was one of them. When I was in 3rd and 4th grade I had posters of this guy, a toy glove and the films on VHS. I watched this crappy TV series every week not to watch the sub par stories but to see Freddy!
Freddy’s Nightmares isn’t available to watch online and I don’t look for it to ever be put on DVD. I’m sure this is a series that even the people involved would like to forget. The only release it ever saw was a few episodes being put on VHS back in the late 80’s and I imagine are pretty hard to find. I’m pretty sure I still have a couple at buried in boxes at my parents house. However you still can see some episodes on Youtube.com so seek them out and settle in for some classic 80’s cheese.