The ’80s were a grand decade for the little plastic nightmare known as Chucky and I think it’s fair to say, this era belonged exclusively to the slasher. From Freddy, Jason, to Michael, the 1980’s coined the word slasher and turned it into an unstoppable phenomenon. Between brilliant marketing from all those inducing ass-whoopings from calling 1-900 numbers to every kid on your block dressed up as Freddy; sporting a plastic garbage bag Ben Cooper costume on Halloween. The era of the slasher was a glorious time to be alive for horror fans. And in 1988, a small but fierce force entered into that iconic fraternity of slasher legends in the form of what looked like, a My Buddy doll from the seventh layer of Hell.
When Child’s Play opened in theaters back ’88, no one expected the pint-sized Good Guy to launch the kind of fanfare Chucky brought to the horror game. The movie made on a less than stellar budget of only $9 million ended up pulling in almost four times that amount worldwide upon its theatrical release and ended up spawning seven sequels over the past 30 years, including an upcoming Child’s Play series in the works!
Back in the glory days of the Polaroid cassette videotape, studios such as MGM would send out promotional VHS screeners of new releases to mom and pop video stores in an effort to get that movie lined up on their shop shelves. On a side-note, I remember the first time seeing Chucky’s face at my local one-stop rental shop Action Video and my seven-year-old self, fresh off a viewing of Dolls, was immediately impulsed to rent the little sucker. Not knowing a thing about it, and so glad I did.
Anyway, these VHS screeners sent out apparently also contained some extra promotional material intended to fancy up the marketing. In this case, a six and half minute promo of a stiff as fuck Chucky salesman breaking into a rap about his movie and the cheese is so delicious my friends. Also, you gotta appreciate the gangster aspect of good ole’ Chucky taunting both Freddy and Jason in this promo.
“Jason? HA! He’s so scared of me, he’s gotta hide behind a mask.”
Beautiful. Check the video out below uploaded by YouTube channel DoctorSnowcone!
As a child of the ’80s, Freddy Krueger was a huge part of the era we embrace here at Nightmare Nostalgia. The iconic slasher portrayed by Robert Englund, had become a living entity all its own during the slasher decade and unregrettably marketed to kids in the form of talking dolls, lunch boxes, Halloween costumes, and that sweet, sweet little television program you may remember later in the decade that aired in my area right after dinner in my house at 6:00 PM, Freddy’s Nightmares. You can also bet your sweet ass I nearly choked on Mom’s meatloaf several times so as not to miss this week’s Springwood tale of terror. Call me an old nostalgic turd if you will, but there was really nothing like growing up in that time. A time where slashers ruled the decade with a mighty razor-sharp glove. A time whereas a horror-loving kid, an icon like Krueger becoming so mainstream and opening the genre door to new fans such as a few of my own friends, was truly a magical time as a horror Padawan.
Heather Lankenkamp said it best, “Every kid knows who Freddy is. He’s like Santa Claus or King Kong.”
So with me being such a Fred-Head, imagine my excitement when I came across this rare, vintage video from the set of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors where the legend himself Robert Englund is seen giving a hilariously fantastic interview as Freddy to HBO. Uploaded from Youtube account Nightmare Companion, this raw, unedited interview conducted seemingly for promotional purposes for Dream Warriors, touches on Freddy’s goals- one of which is to appear on the Joan Rivers show, whereas it so happens his alter ago Englund did appear later that year to promote the Nightmare film. Also, note that “Freddy” gives actual directions to the original 1428 Elm Street house when prompted as to where Elm Street actually was.
Classic Englund. Check it out in all its vintage glory below!
*This article (written by me-Patti Pauley) was originally written over at iHorror.com.
In my humble opinion, there really isn’t a horror franchise that bleeds the highest of importance to the genre quite like the classic Universal Monsters. Stories such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolf Man have been retold countless times over the past 100 years in film, starting firstly with 1910’s silent movie Frankenstein by J. Searle Dawley. However, nobody really pulled it off quite like Universal with its surge of successful flicks that put the fear of GOD into audiences back in the golden age of film. And MCA’s 1991 release of the classic Universal Monsters VHS collection was the ultimate spooktacular event that fans had been waiting to sink their teeth into!
I’ll admit, even though I was already a huge fan of the classics, the promos for the now coveted massive ensemble of VHS monster madness was what had me begging the parental units for $14.98 a week to nab one monster movie after another. Those flying VHS tapes towards your face before the beginning of each Universal monster flick in one of the original promos is the one I remember the most, and also served to hypnotize me into really expanding this ever-growing stack of VHS Universal goodness. And the list just seemed to grow every time we snagged a new cassette!
Slick move there MCA/ Universal Home Video. Mesmerizing the shit out of me with that enthusiastic voice-over urging me to visit my local retailer to ask for the Universal Studios Classic Monster Collection in a dark and serious tone like I meant fuckin’ business. I’m also going to tell you that I totally did that too. It was absolutely worth both the giggles and awkward stares from the guy behind the Video Rental counter.