Who is Chris Notarile? Why should you care about him? Because he’s making some of, if not the absolute best A Nightmare on Elm Street fan films out there. Interesting stuff that offers something of a deeper look at Freddy Krueger. His Krueger series is an eerie blast, and you should probably take the time to watch it now!
Krueger: A Tale from Elm Street is an entertaining but not perfect fan film. The limited locations and unrefined imagery in the pic actually gift it a cool throwback feel. Upgrades, made from the sequel’s point forward have left this one the rare find in the lot that feels vintage. And it’s good. We see Krueger being grilled by a homicide detective with a lot more to lose than he initially thinks of. It ends on a big note, and leaves fans wanting a lot more, especially from Roberto Lombardi, because while his work feels just a bit rushed, it’s easy to see he’s got the capacity to pull off the impossible and impress big as Freddy Krueger.
Moving forward to the follow up in the series, Krueger: Another Tale from Elm Street, we see things escalate to an alarming degree. Krueger, who, still for the record is completely un-scarred. I’m assuming you caught that with the notation of the existence as a prequel, but it can’t hurt to drop a quick reminder. Anyhow, Krueger stalks and kidnaps a young girl in broad daylight. It’s intense and it’s disturbing as all hell.
The glove comes out, Krueger’s eyes come to life. He descends upon the poor young child, telling her “it’s playtime.” Though it occurs off screen, Krueger kills the girl. Straight up brutal. Also a fantastic building block in this story. We know we’re living in the past, but how far back do we travel? How long has the man been doing this?
All sorts of answers await, and that kickoff point is truly Another Tale from Elm Street. Terrific film.
Krueger: A Walk Through Elm Street – the third in the lineup – offers further human examination of Krueger. And Director Chris Notarile lets us all know how not safe this guy is, which is interesting because Krueger’s becoming so narcissistic and he believes he’s become so good at stalking and killing children without the threat of being caught, that it leaves you smiling, knowing the smug demeanor can’t last forever… in this world. He believes himself untouchable; he can’t be caught, naturally his bold offensive assault doesn’t exactly subside much through a few films now.
Notarile’s fourth Krueger piece, Krueger: The Slasher from Elm Street moves the action around, dropping us in a rural area that proves Notarile has some versatility to him as a filmmaker. Shooting interior and exterior are two different ballgames and Chris can do them both, very well.
As for the story it’s really just another example of Krueger’s cunning and ruthlessness. He offs a kid early, and then we get a head spinner when we soon realize the man’s got a daughter. Perhaps this was mentioned previously and I skipped over it. But whether it was or wasn’t, it’s something totally different to see the man as human. Especially when that footage is spliced with a scene in which he’s slicing a child to pieces. Emotional stuff. Must see film in the lineup!
Throughout this installment we just see a continued evolution of a man so far out of his mind he has no problem murdering other children of the same age as his own (holy heartless shit, Batman). It isn’t exactly comforting but it’s now got me eager to see where things head next.
Krueger: The Legend of Elm Street is, to my knowledge the most recently released film in this series. It’s also the one that brings an end to Freddy Krueger as a living, breathing human being. This is the transition point. Whatever Notarile does from here is either canon, likely filling the time between execution and the official introduction of Nancy, or perhaps an entirely new journey. Either way, Notarile is doing a hell of a job with these films, and I’d love to see him dabble with the franchise to a greater extent; to a feature length extent.
The closer of this film in particular piece leaves a door hanging open, a maze of possibilities beyond it. It makes you wonder. But, this episode is also important because it is the first time that we see Lombardi as Krueger in full-on burned and disfigured look. There’s room for improvement, but I’d be a liar if I told you this isn’t polished makeup application. It’s not work to be scoffed at, in the least bit.
This is an extremely entertaining series of films from a guy who seems destined to get “the call.” Personally, I’d love to see what Notarile does with a feature length project. It’s a big undertaking, but I’d like to see him give it a whirl. To be real with you, I’d love to see him direct the next – and inevitable – Nightmare movie. That could be mighty interesting!
If I were to rate the entire series as a whole, I’d hand out a generous but truly deserved four-to five star rating. When it comes to fan films, they don’t get much better than this. And as for the Nightmare series, and all the fan films this particular franchise has inspired, this is the magnum opus of the lot!
Kudos, Chris. You’re a legitimately talented guy, and I, as well as the crew here at ATHM, offer full support. You need a promotional push? You know how to get in contact with me!