Way back in 1988 a little anthological series known as Freddy’s Nightmares crept onto the boob tube to keep fans of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise feeling sated, full on their dose of Freddy Krueger. But if you checked out the first episode – No More Mr. Nice Guy – you know that Freddy looks a bit different in this piece. For the bulk of the episode (everything sans the final few moments) Krueger is still just as a man, as the episode retraces steps and attempts to tell the origin of Krueger in thorough fashion. It works pretty well, despite the obvious differential in the budget and general supporting talent.
It’s cool to see Krueger on trial, as is the case in the early goings of the episode. We don’t get much of Krueger’s life illuminated within the feature films of the franchise, but this episode does indeed provide just that, some backstory with actual focus placed in the right locations. And, if you’re concerned you won’t get a good look at Robert Englund in full makeup, well, don’t swat it, he shows up in the closing minutes of the episode to do what he does best.
Again, you’re going to really feel the lack of finances in this production, but there’s an old school charm to it all that really works quite well. Given the fact that this series was tapped for cable television we don’t get any particularly impressive gore, but it really isn’t needed. What this episode does is humanize Krueger. Make no mistake, the man is still a vile SOB, but at one point in time he was just a mere mortal, and it’s nice to be reminded of that.
If you find yourself in possession of season one of Freddy’s Nightmare, don’t hold your expectations too high, but don’t write off the episode without giving it a chance, either. Anyone who can call themselves a bona fide fan of A Nightmare on Elm Street can no doubt enjoy this little monster for what it is. The series, with this episode in particular, gets a big recommendation from me!