On this day in 1991, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared it “Freddy Krueger Day”, much to the chagrin of LA residents. And citizens had a right to be upset; several of them had recently suffered attacks at the hands of a dream-bound maniac wearing a razor-glove and festive sweater, and celebrating these incidents was clearly in poor taste.
I’m kidding, of course.
But regardless of the reservations a few puritanical, moralistic, and holier-than-thou Angelinos may have had, there was a very good reason why Bradley proclaimed September 13th to be the day of the Springwood Slasher; it was the day New Line Cinema released Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare – the concluding installment of their A Nightmare on Elm Street series. All six films from the franchise had been filmed in Los Angeles, and now their resident boogeyman was dead (for now, at least); so clearly it was a time to commemorate.
But the City of Angels wasn’t the only one to get in on the party. Just a little over a month later, on October 25th, MTV aired their own Freddy’s Dead one-off to coincide with the release of the film. By 1991, Freddy Krueger had morphed from a frightening, shadowy figure to a Ray-Ban wearing, video-game playing jokester who hung with Dokken and rapped with The Fat Boys – so really there was no better channel to host the documentary.
Titled Slash & Burn: The Freddy Krueger Story, the 22-minute special acted not only as a Nightmare retrospective of sorts but also a “making-of” of Freddy’s Dead. As the title suggests, the episode features clips from the entire series, strung together to tell the (somewhat) linear tale of the idolized wise-cracking villain. And who better to host an episode on the dream stalker’s life than the man of the hour himself, Freddy Krueger? The beloved Robert Englund dons his charred latex mask and growls out one-liners while acting as host of his own little clip show.
Featuring snippets from the entire series, interviews with crew members, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, and Robert Englund reprising the iconic character (for what fans believed would be the last time), Slash & Burn is pretty much what any fervent Nightmare on Elm Street fan in 1991 could ask for, especially those looking for one last shot of ol’ Fred.
It remains a relatively obscure piece of the Nightmare history as it hasn’t been released on any home media formats. But thanks to Youtube, you can view this lost gem.
Happy Freddy Krueger Day!