Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Celebrate the Freddy Krueger phenomenon with this 1987 promo reel

In the days before Redbox, Netflix, Hulu, and Crackle, video stores would have to purchase copies of new releases from distributors in order to rent them out. Storeowners would receive trade papers and promo reels advertising the newest releases (usually selling for around $100 a copy) and explaining to proprietors how much green they were going to make renting the films out to the public. In order to trumpet the home video release of A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Media Home Entertainment did a promo reel with some style: They had Freddy Krueger host it.

With Freddy Krueger, Wes Craven gave horror fans something that they’d never seen before and will most likely never see again. In 1984’s A Nightmare On Elm Street, the iconic bastard son of a hundred maniacs was born but the phenomenon that was Freddy Krueger didn’t fully materialize until 1987’s A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. By the late ’80s, the “filthy child murder” that Robert Englund brought to life was a full-blown sensation and as recognizable as Mickey Mouse, Michael Jackson, or Darth Vader. Even director and writer Craven—who intended the original film to be a one-shot deal—returned to pen a draft of Freddy’s third adventure. The promo reel available on YouTube via Nightmarecompanion features short clips of Englund hamming it up on Good Morning America and The Late Show With Joan Rivers. Meanwhile, Krueger—the Henny Youngman of horror—makes quips, acts a fool, and explains to viewers how many units of his previous films have sold.


To celebrate the release of A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in 1988, Krueger took on a gig as a guest VJ on MTV. Co-hosting The Freddy Krueger Hour with Kevin Seal, the boys introduce clips from the Elm Street series as well as nightmare themed videos from Dokken, Alice Cooper, and The Fat Boys. The clip seen here compiles all the Freddy Krueger host segments, but the full show is also available in five parts on YouTube thanks to Michael Phalin.

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