Hello, I am Michael Margetis and I am a certified Fred-a-holic. I guess it started when I was seven and visiting my sister in Tampa, Florida. She let me rent A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, arguably the worst of the franchise, but the only Freddy Krueger movie that Blockbuster in Tampa, FL had back in ’97. When that dumb opening sex scene, shot in atrocious blue filters, began and Robert Englund started murdering one-dimensional teenagers while spiking the camera to make dumb puns, I felt I had died and gone to horror movie hell….in a good way. I was obsessed with this silly, rotten-toothed motherfucker and his Domino’s pizza melty face, and when I got back home I rented/bought the rest of the series, watching and re-watching, compulsively.
Now, twenty-five years later I own them all on blu ray, DVD and VHS. I love 80s horror icons – Chucky, Jason, Pinhead and Michael are great – but no one holds a candle to Freddy. He’s the most fleshed-out and dynamic villain of them all, with the most unsettling backstory, that rides the wave of the classic sins-of-the-parents-visited-on-the-children trope.
For as obsessed with Freddy as I was, there was one Krueger outing I was never able to see – the 1980s horror anthology TV series Freddy’s Nightmares. Premiering before I was even born and concluding when I twenty months old, I couldn’t catch it in its original run and the lack of TV on home video back then was the perfect recipe to land Freddy’s Nightmares in this critic’s blind spot. Now in 2022, the minor horror streaming platform Screambox has made all 44 episodes of this available and I thought what better way to experience them for the first time than writing about them for Margetis Movie Reviews.
Joining me for this article is one of my favorite collaborators, Godzilla charmer and Twitter duchess, Audrey Farnsworth. We decided to start with the first season, and chose six episodes more or less at random. This is the first of an as of yet, undetermined number of articles. Basically, we’ll watch and write until we get bored with it.
Let’s get started with the pilot about Freddy Krueger’s backstory…
“No More Mr. Nice Guy” (Season 1, Episode 1)
directed by: Tobe Hooper ; written by: Rhet Topham, Michael De Luca, David Erhman
cast: Robert Englund, Ian Patrick Williams, Anne E. Curry
original air date: October 9, 1988
MARGETIS = BLUE ; AUDREY = RED
The pilot of Freddy’s Nightmares has without question, the most cohesive story of the bunch. That’s because it’s a familiar tale to any Nightmare on Elm Street fan, Freddy’s backstory. Taking center stage for probably the only time in a Freddy’s Nightmares episode, it’s Freddy Krueger, in an anything but restrained performance by Robert Englund. Early in the film series, shit, even up to the third entry, Freddy was legit scary but by this point, he was a total dip shit. A cartoonish horror mascot armed to the teeth with dull, sometimes even nonsensical one-liners.
We open with Freddy’s mistrial, where he’s released on a technicality while the townspeople scream, cry and threaten mob justice. One woman is so over-the-top she’s almost as scary as Freddy, but really, they are all bad. Freddy’s Nightmares has some terrible acting in it, but the pilot really takes the cake. It’s like watching a bad skit fellow office workers put on over at your State Farm job…that lasts 46 minutes. Anyway, trying to calm down the mob is a D- John Saxon stand-in, Ian Patrick Williams as Lieutenant Timothy Blocker. He’s wildly tone-deaf in his modulations and not even close to being a sympathetic character, so we never really care about him. Apparently, one of his daughters was murdered by Freddy and the other is currently being harassed by a now released-from-prison Freddy.
Anyway, they assign a dumb cop to watch over the Lieutenant’s home but he gets distracted when the Lieutenant’s wife cooks him fried chicken and since he can’t eat a fucking chicken drumstick with one hand or put his paper plate down on the ground apparently, he’s left vulnerable and open to attack, distracted by eating a chicken drumstick with two fucking hands, and of course, Freddy kills him. Then something happens which I forgot because I watched this episode two weeks ago (as of this writing), but anyway, he ends up back at his boiler room and the townspeople, led by a local dentist, decide it’s time to kill Krueger. The Lieutenant finally gives in and regally announces, “Tonight, the law is on vacation!” before burning Freddy alive. Freddy screams while his body goes up in flames, and the townspeople rejoice at having taken a child killer off the street.
However, Freddy comes back to haunt the Lieutenant in his dreams, driving him slowly insane and prompting behavior that drives his friends away. The Lieutenant has to go to the dentist and to make clear he’s dreaming, the dental assistant strips down to her underwear while servicing his teeth. Freddy then attacks him and kills him. The end. There’s so many missed opportunities in this final sequence, it starts as a dream sequence where Freddy’s glove shoots out of a wrapped present to attack the Lieutenant. It’s shot in this low-budget art-house style, bathed in green and red lights and accompanied by a butt load of fog. The whole episode is way too visually ambitious for what they’re able to accomplish and for some reason Freddy’s POV is presented in Predator-style infrared vision, like Freddy is a prehistoric beast or something. As if, he’s just a dirty old perv.
Overall this was a somewhat successful pilot in terms of setting the tone for the rest of the series. It’s super campy, goofy, salacious and dumb, it’s hard to imagine lower stakes for a syndicated television drama. However, not a single story will make narrative sense after the pilot and the budget will continue to dwindle down. Tobe Hooper directed this episode and he was a fantastic director, one of the best horror cinema had or will ever have. He really struggles with the shoe-string budget and bad actors though, but occasionally you catch glimpses of what he was really aiming for and it’s pretty interesting. Audrey, what did you think of the pilot episode of Freddy’s Nightmares?
I mean, the way this show opens up pretty much says it all. Really gives you an exact feel for what’s to come for the rest of the entire series!! Freddy interrupts the intro with his little knife hands and at first it’s like, “Oh DAMN, IT’S FREDDY” and he says something cool and then he…stares at the camera for a little too long and makes a weird little hand wave? And it’s like, what are you doing Freddy? What was that, my friend?! What…hahaha WHAT are you doing? Do you know? Do you have any idea?”
Anyway, we’re at a trial. And everyone’s upset. And there’s two twin girls who are dressed alike and they look like ghosts. Everyone looks like they own a church in this courtroom. Everyone’s in button up shirts and long cotton skirts, hair up, and just losing their fucking MINDS about how the TOWN is going to DIE. Fun to see Freddy walk out of a big box in a courtroom though! He immediately goes into his little lair and puts his weird gloves on. Welcome home, buddy! I hope they give you some lines and you don’t have to improv too much!
This pilot episode seems like a play at a high school. There is a lot of meandering, camera just showing the floor for awhile, spinning around a room and showing us nothing, a car driving on a dark road and then a bunch of guys walking around. Lot of cops! And all of them are pretty fucking stupid! One of them is always like, “I know the law! Do you?” and then the other cop he’s talking to is like, “Of course I know the law, do YOU know the law, though?” and then that first cop is like, “I know the law better than you know your own mother, you SON of an ASS” and then they stare at each other until one of them says, “All of the parents of the town are going fully insane and they’re going to kill a man tonight,” and the other cop nods and walks out the door.
Honestly most of this is either cops talking or twin teenager girls who look like they live on a prairie to the soundtrack of that sound when you pick up a tea kettle and it goes bAOOO. The parents kill Freddy and he comes back and kills the main cop…at the dentist, lmao. The funniest thing about this is the fact that this cop goes to his dentist appointment, sits in the little dentist chair, and his friend walks in the room! Your friend doesn’t just show up at your dentist appointment to tell you everything is fine! But THIS friend does!
“It’s a Miserable Life” (Season 1, Episode 2)
directed by: Tom McLoughlin ; written by: Michael De Luca, Paul Rosselli
cast: Robert Englund, John Cameron Mitchell, Lar Park Lincoln, Peter Iacangelo, Nancy McLoughlin
original air date: October 16, 1988
MARGETIS = BLUE ; AUDREY = RED
We get an intro in this one! And honestly? It’s beautiful. Really gets you hyped to watch an episode of Freddy’s Nightmares. We are in Ohio, and it’s a wonderful time to be alive!
So, a teen works at his dad’s burger shop called Beefy Boy Burgers (lmao) and he fucking HATES it. This burger restaurant is open 24/7 for absolutely no reason, so, man, I get it! I’d be pissed off too. Something I ALSO would absolutely do is create little guys out of styrofoam boxes and make them talk to each other, which he does! The thing is, this guy’s characters are Beefy Boy Burger THEMED, which is very embarrassing—and, naturally, his friends pull up at the drive-thru window and see him do it! It’s 3am, so this is normal. Normal hour to be hanging out in a car. Anyway, he can’t hang out with them at 3am, or frankly at any time, because he is chained to the Beefy Boy Burger life, because his dad says so. No worries, though, because his fully-awake girlfriend calls and is going to “come hang out with him” at 3 am at the burger store. What is going on? Why is everyone regular at 3 am? It’s 3 am, you freaks!
Okay, but before she gets there a man on a motorcycle appears and wants to kill him for some reason! For absolutely no fucking reason known to man, a man on a motorcycle is here and simply wants to do murder at the Beefy Boy Burger store. He says he’s here to rob the place but…just shoots the kid? Without waiting? Um…but no worries, I guess it was a dream. Or was it? That is the mystery for this episode! The rest of the episode, the teen is haunted by people holding burgers at him, his mom trying to make out with him, and his dad literally GRILLING AND FRYING his college acceptance letters because his son’s life HAS to be burgers AND NOTHING ELSE. Also, blood keeps happening on his head. Really seeming like you are dead, my man! And…yep, okay, he IS dead.
Um, then the rest of the episode is just the dead teen’s girlfriend at the hospital as the surgeons take the top of her head off (??????) and the murdering motorcycle man is, for some reason, also a doctor now, but one with a gun. The doctors don’t want to help her, they just want to take her to the section of the hospital called the “limb bank” so they can…use her limbs….for something. You guys, what are you using her limbs for? Putting them on other people? I’m not a doctor but I don’t think that is useful. We do get a few pretty good Freddy cut scenes in this one, including Freddy rising up out of a grease fryer and saying, “Now,it’s the graveyard shift and I get hungry,” which, apparently, IS a sentence. Not sure what that means, dude, but okay! He also holds a burger and shows it to us, screaming, “Have it MY way!” which is pretty good. Michael, what did you think?
This was my favorite episode of the bunch because, while it was awful to be sure, it had a fun energy and pure zaniness many of the others didn’t have. First of all, it’s directed by Tom McLoughlin who Friday the 13th fans know from directing one of that series’ best and most comical entries Part VI – Jason Lives. It also doesn’t hurt that the lead actor in the first part of this story is Hedwig and the Angry Inch originator, John Cameron Mitchell. Even at this point it’s really easy to see he had a riveting screen presence, even if his character is paper thin with dumb motivations. The lead actor in the second half is Lar Park Lincoln, who played Tina the telekinetic teen in Friday the 13th Part VII: A New Blood. She’s just as terrible as she was in that movie, and ironically her love interest here is played by another gay actor.
Like Audrey said, this follows a bored Ohio teen boy (Mitchell) working in his family’s burger restaurant. He’s working the graveyard shift and some psychopath on a motorcycle blows his head off and shoots his girlfriend outside. We then dive into this weird fever dream the boy’s having, basically bizarre images rushing through his mind in the last few moments of his life. He imagines his home life as this perverted Leave It to Beaver-esque 50s sitcom where his mom is just breaking dishware and screaming while trying to make out with him. His dad is also there, trying to blow himself up in the oven. It’s all accompanied by circus music which is proving to be one of the major staples of Freddy’s Nightmares: A Nightmare on Elm Street Series. There’s a weird sequence where Mitchell is imagining himself as the killer motorcyclist, riding the motorcycle and shooting himself, which seems to be hinting that he’s actually the motorcyclist imagining what the life of the boy he killed was like. That would be heavy and significantly better, but that is wayyyyyyyyy too complicated for a show that’s basically cheap prosthetic makeup and soft core porn for tweenage horn dogs.
In classic Freddy Nightmare‘s fashion, the story jarringly shifts perspective to a second lead half-way through the episode. It’s Mitchell’s shitty girlfriend who is dying in a hospital while having bizarre dreams. There’s a sequence where the operating surgeons can’t figure out what’s going on with the electricity in the hospital and it cuts to Freddy Krueger in scrubs, slashing up the hospital breaker box with his claws and proudly proclaiming, “AN APPLE A DAY AIN’T GONNA KEEP ME AWAY!” One of the only Freddy one-liners in this show that makes even a modicum of sense.
The girlfriend has a weird encounter with a nurse who begins her scene by making out with/groping herself before launching into a one-minute screaming monologue about how she’s stuck working at a hospital and it’s just bed pans and rectal thermometers for life and how no one gives a shit about her because she’s a nurse. PREACH!!!! SISTER!!!!! She’s played by the energetic Nancy McLoughlin, director Tom McLoughlin’s wife, and it’s a delightful little bit. After that, the girlfriend dies or lives or something, it just ends and then we get more of Freddy as a surgeon delivering the the dumbest, most illogical closing line ever, “Remember…we make house calls.” What the fuck does that mean?! They’re in a hospital! Who is making house calls in this? There’s a dream sequence in the lead boy’s house, but all the major events happen either at a burger restaurant or a hospital. GET ROBERT ENGLUND A WRITER! Go back in time and start writing him jokes, Hannah Einbinder! He’s your Jean Smart, make him funny, ya crafty millennial!
Anyway, despite shitting on this for four paragraphs, it was the best episode we watched. So…yeah.
“Killer Instinct” (Season 1, Episode 3)
directed by: Mick Garris ; written by: Allen B. Ury
cast: Robert Englund, Lori Petty, Yvette Nipar, Robert Shaye
original air date: October 23, 1988
MARGETIS = BLUE ; AUDREY = RED
This is the first episode that really solidified in my brain that these things must be shot to be an hour long and then they just ice cream scoop out major plot points to cut it down to 42 minutes. How else would you explain going from a teen punching out another teen’s guts in a karate competition to that same teen quietly making out with his girlfriend in front of the entire school? I guess we’re supposed to assume it was a hallucination or something, but it never even gives us the snap back to reality scene that establishes that. Instead it seems like they needed more time for Robert Englund’s clearly ad-libbed shitty puns and whacky freeze frames.
So, Killer Instinct is about a high school track runner (Lori Petty) who is pushing herself to be a better track runner than her dead mom. Constantly, her asshole coach compares her to her dead mother and even threatens to throw her off the team cause she isn’t fast enough. Then, she pulls out, she doesn’t even find, she just pulls out like she’s always had it, a diamond pendant that allows her to manipulate the reality around her. She can make herself run faster with it or make a butt-head history teacher cough to death on cotton while talking about slavery. She abuses her crystal power too much though and ends up getting decapitated during a race by the finish line tape. Because her best friend/track competitor (Yvette Nipar) stole it from her and used it against her, to kill her. You know, like best friends tend to do.
The story then shifts, in classic Freddy’s Nightmares fashion, to that best friend and her awful parents who viciously and nonsensically emotionally abuse her for not being the best runner. “I’m working my ass off, you jerks!” she more or less says and her asshole parents are like “How could you ever say that to us? All we do is complain about how much money you cost to keep alive and every time we try to treat you like a prized material possession rather than a human being, you have the nerve to be honest with us about the pressure you’re under!” Parents who “just don’t understand us kids” have been staples in the teen/tween horror genre since forever, but this is just fucking loony tunes. Nobody in this show acts like human beings, especially tax payers.
The acting here is bad but not nearly as bad as the pilot. Lori Petty gives the only somewhat credible performance. The characters are uniquely weird and somehow still one-dimensional, and everything seems to be framed for horny twelve-year-old boys. There’s a weird scene where the hot best friend, opposite Lori Petty, is sensually rubbing the calves of her boyfriend and it’s like…”is this supposed to be arousing?” If this is what gets your tween hot, you should probably just buy them porn. Audrey, what did you think of this and did you ever run track in high school?
Ah, I remember the days of being a high school track runner who would take breaks from sprinting to grab the calves of my friend’s boyfriend. Not arousing, you say, hm? Are you completely insane? Everyone loves to have their leg hugged by a lady! Everyone on the planet Earth. When she tied his shoe and gave his little leg a hug, I was like, “That’s how you do it!” …I’m not sure if you could tell, but I was telling a big joke! Not only have I never felt a man’s leg, running in high school was the thing I did the least. Presently, it’s ALSO the thing I do the least because I have asthma and can’t figure out a way to wear my inhaler as a necklace. As an asthmatic teen, that track was my own personal hell. Dude, FUCK those tracks. They’re so fucking big and you gotta go around them so many times and you’re ALWAYS far behind everyone else. I spent most of high school not understanding how people run, generally.
Anyway, back to the girl rubbing the calf, who is ABSOLUTELY the MEANEST person on the planet. She walks up Lori Petty (love her) and is like, “You know why your dead mom quit her dream? BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN.” Jesus!!!! Seriously???? Um, okay! I couldn’t WAIT for Freddy to fuck this girl up, tbh! Was super depressed when Lori got her head chopped off (??) because I think I wanted her to win that race more than I’ve ever wanted a team to win a sports game in my life. I was rooting for her!! Luckily, she came back later in the episode as…a ghost having sex with an alive person (??????). I will say that Calf Rubbing Girl had the best line in the episode: She ran STRAIGHT INTO “David” and immediately said, “Just leave me alone, David!” Ma’am? You just ran AT him like a train.
The most confusing part of this episode was the teacher who coughed up a bunch of cotton and died in front of his class as…everyone laughed at him. Why are you guys laughing? This man is DYING! I mean, he was an asshole, for sure. When Lori wasn’t paying attention, this passive aggressive motherfucking ADULT MAN was like, “Uh, why don’t you fuck off and die since you APPARENTLY are too GOOD to LISTEN to MY LECTURE,” seriously, why do teachers talk like this? Do you think that’s going to fix anything? You’re sort of just embarrassing yourself. I mean, then you died in front of everyone as they laughed, so you know what? I think everybody is an asshole here. Just everybody. All bad. Get ’em, Freddy!!!!
As usual, the best parts of the episode were Freddy’s little poetic interludes. However, for this one, it really didn’t seem like he…had any lines written for him? He was sort of just hanging out and staring at the camera. Can somebody write Robert some lines, please?
“Saturday Night Special” (Season 1, Episode 6)
directed by: Lisa Gottlieb ; written by: James Nathan
cast: Robert Englund, Shari Shattuck, Scott Burkholder, Joyce Hyser, Molly Cleator, Stuart Charno
original air date: November 13, 1988
MARGETIS = BLUE ; AUDREY = RED
This episode was my choice and solidified the fact that I shouldn’t be allowed to choose anything ever again in my life!
It starts off with two guys watching a bunch of women ice-skating and talking about insurance. “I think we’re gonna be the best at insurance this year,” one insurance man says to the other. Not a great start! Anyway, one of these guys wants to go out with the ice skating woman but complains that, AND I QUOTE, “girls like her don’t want to go out with guys who work.” What? “Guys who work?” What the fuck does that mean, my man! I guess it means…that girls who ice-skate only date guys who also ice skate, and those guys CANNOT have jobs. Dear god. This is a two man play I do NOT want to watch.
Anyway, then this dude decides to go to Dating, the building. I’m serious, he pulls his car up to a building labeled “Dating.” Dating is a building now. And…FREDDY JUST ROSE OUT OF DATING THE BUILDING and DRANK IT. He drank it right up! HELLO to this episode! Okay, now the dude is talking to the owner of Dating The Building, which is an old house simply FILLED with smoke, and they film him lying about who he is for a dating tape. He scores a date with a beautiful woman, who lives with a pilgrim. The pilgrim answers the door and the man is REVOLTED! Who is this pilgrim? Where is my Hot Woman? Hot Woman arrives and says, “Sorry about my pilgrim who answered the door. That’s not me. It’s my pilgrim! She eats flowers.”
The couple goes to a restaurant where the waitresses walk around piercing meat with swords and dying, followed by going back to the ice skating rink. This lady just wants to skate…just kidding, she wants to become nude and sit on a Zamboni and RUN HIM OVER WITH IT! Bye! Now let’s switch gears, because now the main character of this episode is…THE PILGRIM WOMAN! Hell yes dude! Should be great!
And that’s where this episode becomes the Absolute Worst Thing I Could’ve Possibly Chosen. Why, you ask? Well, Michael and I watched this the night before I had a surgery on my fucking head, and the whole second half of the episode was about the Pilgrim Woman being taken to a surgeon and him chopping her face up. Really not a great time to be watching surgery horror! Fuck this! This guy is sucking the skin out of her whole body off with a a tube! No! No to this! I guess this is what surgery is! And tomorrow is the day I will die. Michael, are you good to finish this series of articles without me? Because I’m dying tomorrow, at a surgery center in Pasadena. Below is a photo of me. Sorry!
What a choice, Audrey! It’s awful, folks, truly one of the most incoherent, dumb, blatantly, almost violently sexist, and just all around distasteful episodes of literally anything I’ve ever seen. That being said, I laughed out loud probably a good five times throughout this episode mostly because of how insane it is this actually exists in a world where anybody can just flip on their TV, press a few buttons and watch it. Insane. Also, I was so nervous watching this knowing you had your sinus surgery the next day. I had a conversation in my mind about whether to ask you if you wanted to stop watching this but I was like, “No, she gets it’s fake and stupid as hell. She’s laughing on the Zoom call right now, she’s not bothered by this. Not even the same type of surgery…” Sorry Audrey, it must have been Freddy working through me. Speaking of Freddy:
“KNOCK KNOCK, FUCKERS!” is what I imagined he said as his upper body peered over the dating service office. It’s my favorite entrance by Freddy so far in this entire series and it just looks so cheesy and awful. This is the sixth episode of the show, surely the budget wasn’t completely slashed by this point?! Anyway, this one is about a couple of insurance men who like checking out babes at the ice rink. Since they think no hottie wants to date an insurance agent, the main goofball decides to lie about being an ice skater in a dating video. Before Tinder, people did this shit with VHS tapes. Just like MAGIC, he starts booking dates with the hottest babes in town but also having these violent premonitions of people dying. On one date, he imagines a waitress getting a champagne cork stuck in her eye as well as an Asian waitress doing kung-fu with beef skewers before accidentally getting stabbed to death with them. God, it’s so fucking cringe. Also, when she’s dying, with two giant meat skewers sticking into her back, she just says, ‘Ow!” and dies. After that, he goes to the hockey rink with his date and he exposes him for the fraud he is and murders his ass while in lingerie and a hockey mask. Yet another Friday the 13th nod in this series.
The story then shifts to the killer hot babe who killed the insurance guy and her weird roommate. They try to get across that her roommate is a real “Plain Jane” by making her dress like she’s Amish and be sad all the time. The story becomes about plastic surgery and enhancing your appearance so men will find you fuckable, and the Plain Jane gets transformed into a total babe! A classy, smart babe who is played by another actress. It ends with her looking in the mirror while she’s trying to boink this guy and then magically turning back into an ugly person. She beats the mirror into pieces and dies from the cuts? Anyway, she’s dead and the cops are coming. The officers on the scene are like, “Not much a looker, huh?” like that’s the first thing cops say when they discover a corpse — “Good God! I’d never let her fuck me! Arrest that corpse for not being a piece of ass!” Anyway, the story ends there and there isn’t even a check-back with the dating service insurance guy. I guess it’s just two stories about how superficial the dating world is? Or how superficial people are when it comes to sex? I don’t know, they really left a lot of plot strands undone.
The saddest thing is that this isn’t even the worst episode we watched. Later, we’ll uncover which awful episode we watched that was worse after the commercial break!
“Black Tickets” (Season 1, Episode 14)
directed by: George Kaczender ; written by: Jeff Freilich, Howard Lakin
cast: Robert Englund, Brad Pitt, Kerry Wall, Bill Moseley
original air date: February 5, 1989
MARGETIS = BLUE ; AUDREY = RED
Out of all six of the Freddy’s Nightmares shit-tastrophes we’ve bared witness to, this is the most confusing, nonsensical and bizarre. It makes Mulholland Drive seem straight forward and while some of the more ridiculous elements are compulsively watchable, it has just as many moments that move slower than molasses come January.
So, the plot(?) is basically Brad Pitt and Kerry Wall are runaway high school lovers, defying their parents’ wishes to go to law school or some shit to get married, do lotsa fuckin’ and have babies. It begins with Brad Pitt getting hit with a truck and dying and then the next scene he’s not dead cause that didn’t actually happen? and then they have a run-in with two senior citizens who pull guns on them when they tell them they’re running away from their parents. These old people think the acceptable punishment for defying your elders is to be put to death with a beretta. Anyway, these random geriatrics fuck off and Brad and Kerry end up at a sleazy motel with Bill Moseley from The Devil’s Rejects and a guy with a bad Southern accent obsessed with fishing and fish puns. They then go to bed and Brad Pitt gets attacked by a kid in a cupid costume and also, his hand melts off.
Kerry Wall, Pitt’s GF, meanwhile, gets pregnant and experiences all the bad shit associated with that. We flash forward to her losing her job at the Springwood, OH record label (cause every small town in the Midwest has a record label) because she’s pregnant and thus unfuckable and unfocused. She then goes crazy with her baby and Brad Pitt and a barbershop quartet have to sing her to sleep. It ends with her in a mental institution while a brassy, in-charge and definitely stereotyped as fiery Latina cop lectures her on motherhood. Then, it just ends. I guess this episode is about how if you aren’t ready for motherhood it will ruin your life? Glad it came from two male writers.
The Freddy wrap-around and back-from-commercial segments in this are off-the-chain bad, like thrillingly bad. Riveting. My dick moved. We get Freddy Krueger climbing out of a manhole to deliver a pun, emerging from under a car with a socket wrench while his head spins around Exorcist-style, a cuckoo clock with Freddy’s head glued on the bird and even, a Freddy Krueger night light. This episode was the craziest of the bunch and I’m here for it. Audrey, what did you think? Did it blow your mind?
You know what? It really did. This one had a TRAILER at the beginning FOR the episode we were about to watch! And it was GOOD! Really revved my ass up to watch the fuck out of this. Every time Brad Pitt showed up on screen, I straight up screamed. Can’t believe he’s here! Saying these little words! Getting hit by a car and then being alive for some reason! Singing in a dream a cappella group while wearing a TURTLENECK! Talking with his girlfriend about “escaping college” together. (???) Um, guys, one question, though: What is “escaping college?” What does that mean? You “escaped” college that you are paying for? Did you get your money back? I don’t think escaping college is a thing. Did you drop out? Or did you just…drive away from it?
The best part about this episode, in my opinion, was the merchandise. Freddy’s head was on a cuckoo clock! I would LOVE to own that! Marg, you and I both screamed when that little Freddy nightlight showed up. We’re both going to look for it on eBay, don’t even pretend you are not going to do this. You probably already have!!! Do you want to get it for each other for Christmas? What do you say? Actually, don’t worry, I’ll just buy one for both of us. I love shopping! What was I talking about? Right, the TV show we’re watching where Brad Pitt and his girlfriend escaped college only to get assaulted by an elderly man who gets FUCKING PISSED OFF AS HELL when kids don’t RESPECT THEIR FATHERS.
Another thing I loved about this episode? The fish-themed motel they stayed at. Fish. Were. EVERYWHERE. There was a fish statue with a woman’s hand coming out of it! The hotel owner greets you by shooting at you with a harpoon! I wanna go! The best line of this episode comes straight out of the mouth of the weird mechanic guy, who TRULY SAID THIS SENTENCE: “You got a car that sucks? I’ll save your ass.” You got a car that sucks? I’ll save your ass. YoU gOt A cAr ThAt SuCkS? I’LL sAvE yOuR aSs. Poetry. Wonderful.
“Safe Sex” (Season 1, Episode 22)
directed by: Jerry Olson ; written by: David J. Schow
cast: Robert Englund, Devon Pierce, Patrick Day
original air date: May 28, 1989
MARGETIS = BLUE ; AUDREY = RED
Everyone’s in therapy in this episode. In fact, the first full three minutes of his episodes actually just a PSA for therapy, and, hell yes dude, I support this. After these first pleasant moments, it gets weird as fuck REAL quick because it turns out this guy’s “problem” is that he “likes girls who aren’t straight-laced.” Hahahaha, okay dude. Yeah, that’s your problem. The object of this nerd’s affection turns out to be a Satan-liking woman who ALSO HAPPENS to be OBSESSED with Freddy Krueger! This episode we get a WONDERFUL Freddy cut scene in which he PUNCHES some books off a book shelf and tells you about girls and giggles. Love u Robert.
The therapist, who treats this nerd’s “I like weird girls!!!!” thing as an actual problem for some reason, digs deeper into this “fetish” of his. All this nerd does is dream about this beautiful grey bouffant haired woman screaming for him to save her from Freddy. Turn up the volume, the therapist says! Dream MORE of her, why don’t you! AND HE DOES! And in this dream, his mom points a gun at his dream woman’s face—but not so fast, the dream woman responds by INHALING THE MOM. Okay! So now they’re going to have dream sex, right? Wrong, she’s going to kill him in his dream with Freddy’s knife hand. Sorry!
Okay, he’s dead. Now let’s focus on his best friend who spent the entire first half of the episode hating on the woman of his friend’s dreams and calling her a freak. What’s he up to? BEING IN LOVE WITH THE WOMAN HE WAS BEING AN ASSHOLE TO THIS WHOLE TIME, OF COURSE. Pardon me as my eyes roll back into my head and into another dimension. The second half of this episode is the best friend negging the satanic woman into oblivion.
She’s also in therapy, with the same therapist. With the first guy, this therapist was a sweetheart. With this woman? He’s a raving lunatic that spends most of the session yelling at her. He’s like, actually angry at her problems. It’s honestly very unsettling and weird! He actually says the same thing to her as he does to the first guy (dream MORE of him!!!!) except instead of the encouraging tone he had with the dude, he’s literally screaming at this girl. Okay!!!!!!!
I mean, okay, this woman REALLY looks up to Freddy. She definitely sucks! BUT SO DO ALL OF THESE PEOPLE. Honestly, every single character in this episode is supremely and maddeningly annoying and horrible. The best friend who suddenly likes the Satan woman, the Satan woman thinking Freddy ISN’T going to murder her in a car as she tries to seduce him (???) in her dream later (spoiler!!!!), the fucking angry therapist…I hate them all. Michael, how did we watch this episode without throwing up?
Well, I have a bill for you from Decomposition Cleanup Services. I projectile-chunk vomited in every room of my house and had to have a crime scene clean-up company come over and sanitize the place. It’s looking like $1840 even.
But this way MY suggestion for what episode we should watch. It was the same week as your suggestion, Saturday Night Special, which was not quite as terrible as this episode, but easily the second worst thing we watched. I guess I wasn’t surprised with a title like Safe Sex, it just reeked of bad 80s cable sex scenes and a dumb “moral of the story” abstinence-leaning after school special…but with a bananarama of sex and violence.
It’s about a kid who is so horny he has to see a psychiatrist round the clock. The creepy shrink starts asking him all these hot and heavy questions about the kind of chicks he likes and when he professes he likes the bad chicks, Dr. Pervo encourages him to chase this urge and get kinky. The girl Horny Kid likes is a real baaaaad girl, she dresses like she’s in a hair band and has a crush on Freddy Krueger. He actually understands like life and things, he’s not like the other boys at school. Horny Kid wants to make a move but his best friend, Gaslight Gus, proceeds to tear her down and convince Horny Kid she’s bad news at 6:00 and 11:00. Of course, this is just so he can swoop in and try to fuck her in the second half of the episode, after Freddy kills Horny Kid during a sex dream involving his mother.
Everyone dies or something, I don’t remember, and the episode ends with Freddy Krueger coming out and limping his way through a dumb bit. I have nothing else to say about this episode other than:
Conclusions & Episode Rankings
MARGETIS = BLUE ; AUDREY = RED
Look, this isn’t good and I know that. I’m not trying to pretend this is unjustly forgotten classic American television. It’s pure garbage and a shameless cash grab to boot, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get a great deal of euphoria from watching this. The opening credit intro alone with human heads screaming in terror, the third guy sounding like he has a hernia. It had some really bizarre guest appearances from Brad Pitt to John Cameron Mitchell to Lori Petty, but for the most part it was actors I’ve never seen before in my life.
This is a huge mixed bag of episodes with some so off-the-wall they actually worked (It’s a Miserable Life, Black Tickets) and some that absolutely sucked shit (Saturday Night Special, Safe Sex). They’re all awful and cheap and just creatively bankrupt, but some are paced better than others. Here’s my stupid ranking, folks:
- “It’s a Miserable Life” (Season 1, Episode 2) – (7/10)
- “Black Tickets” (Season 1, Episode 14) – (6.5/10)
- “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (Season 1, Episode 1) – (5/10)
- “Killer Instinct” (Season 1, Episode 3) – (4/10)
- “Saturday Night Special” (Season 1, Episode 6) – (2/10)
- “Safe Sex” (Season 1, Episode 22) – (1.5/10)
The thing I believe above all other things in life is that something does not need to be good to be good. I honestly don’t know what “good” means anymore. I see the word “good” and I’m like, “What is that? What the fuck does that mean?” “Good.” I certainly don’t give a fuck! This show is terrible and fun and stupid and funny and some parts are bad and boring and some parts are great, and I had a fucking BLAST watching it, so, I DON’T KNOW MAN, what can I say OTHER THAN what I already told you: Something does not need to be good to be good. Watching a few episodes of this show was worth the $8 or whatever I paid. I definitely recommend watching it with a friend because you can yell about it together.
- “It’s a Miserable Life” – (8/10)
- “Black Tickets” – (8/10)
- “Killer Instinct” – (6/10)
- “No More Mr. Nice Guy” – (5/10)
- “Saturday Night Special” – (3/10)
- “Safe Sex” – (1/10)