Fred, Old Boy – MTV Freddy Krueger Special (1988)

MTV’s support for 1998’s Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master was pretty intense. In addition to wallpapering their commercial breaks with movie ads, sponsorship tie-ins, and conveniently in-depth “MTV News” segments, the network also aired The Freddy Krueger Special, a one-hour block featuring Freddy himself.

A mixture of somewhat on-theme music videos, less on-theme music videos, clips from the movie, and original bumpers, The Freddy Krueger Special centers around VJ Kevin Seale going to Freddy’s lair to meet up with him and (spoiler) falling victim.

The music videos start out sensibly enough – it opens with Alice Cooper’s “Welcome To My Nightmare” and Dokken’s “Dream Warriors” from Nightmare on Elm Street 3 – and then takes a hard left turn into Yes’s “Owner of a Lonely Heart”. The song’s fine, but what’s it doing here? “Are You Ready for Freddy” by the Fat Boys and Vinie Vincent’s “Love Kills” get us back on track.

Kevin, equal parts trying to escape his nightmare and trying to find Freddy for his interview, runs across Vinie Vincent himself…who quickly gets killed by Freddy.

Kevin eventually catches up to Freddy, and gets killed. We then cut to “Shock the Monkey” for some reason, and we’re out.

This special is pretty terribly acted; even Robert Englund’s phoning it in here. Who’s expecting Shakespeare, though? It’s a lot of fun. The whole special drips with the late 1980s swagger of MTV’s influence on culture; they don’t need to be any better than they are, they just need to be there, to be fun, and to be in the moment. This special is that and then some.


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