Written by John Edward Betancourt
I think it is safe to say that 1980's horror was simply a taste of things to come. For in the mid to late 80's horror was as it is now, everywhere, except instead of the entire genre infiltrating our lives, it was the slasher genre.
Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger were everywhere, except for the the fact that Freddy had better merchandising. There were Nightmare on Elm Street products all over the shelves in toy stores, including a talking Freddy doll you could bring home and yes, I had one. In fact Freddy was doing so well that it only made sense for him to make the next logical step in entertainment and get his own television show, and that's exactly what happened when Freddy's Nightmares: A Nightmare on Elm Street - The Series took to the airwaves in 1988.
Initially the show's pilot episode "No More Mr. Nice Guy" filled in the blanks of the Krueger mythos, and laid the groundwork for the future of the show by splitting the episode into two halves. The first half revolved around Freddy's days as the Springwood Slasher and his subsequent death by burning at the hands of the vigilante mob, after the officer who arrested Freddy screwed up the details, forcing a mistrial. The second half of the pilot took us into Freddy's early days as a dream stalker, as he begins his never ending vendetta against the people of Elm Street, starting with the cop who tried to put him away. Truth is it was a solid episode, directed by horror veteran Tobe Hooper and it was filled with some genuinely creepy moments. My personal favorite moment was the show displaying for us how Freddy sees the world. It was an eerie touch to go from traditional television to the jarring images and sounds of dead bodies and screams as we entered Krueger's mind and saw the world as only he sees it.
But after this awesome pilot episode, the show took on new life as the series progressed, becoming something of a hybrid of Tales From the Darkside and Tales From the Crypt. As since Freddy would always introduce the episode and if he wasn't involved directly, which was often the case, he would pop up here and there, often before commercial breaks and at the end as a weird and twisted show played out before us, always ending badly of course.
One awesome element that I always loved was how every episode connected itself. Each episode ran an hour on television and much like the pilot was split in two halves and just like the pilot, each half revolved around different characters who interacted with each other somehow in the first half.
Oddly enough, this show managed to feature a future house hold name, Mister Brad Pitt, while featuring horror legends such as Jeffrey Combs and Dick Miller. But alas, while the show was a blast to watch, it did suffer from a repetitive nature and after only two seasons we said goodbye to Freddy Krueger, at least on television. To make matters worse, the show is only available on DVD overseas, so for you out there who haven't seen it, finding it is a bit of a difficult task. In fact I only have the VHS of the pilot myself, but at the very least, here are a few video samples to get you an idea of how cool this show was at the time. Sweet dreams.