Back in 2010, a documentary was released that would change the face of the way we would watch one of our favorite horror franchises. Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy was a labor of love written and produced by Thommy Hutson along with talented directors Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch. It was a comprehensive look at how each of the films came together and how Freddy Krueger became a pop culture phenomenon and a legend to fans of the genre.
I recently had the good fortune to meet Mr. Hutson at Texas Frightmare Weekend, and was surprised to find that there was even more to learn about America’s favorite wise cracking slasher and the movie that started it all. Hutson happily agreed to sit down with me and chat about his new book from Permuted Platinum, also titled Never Sleep Again, an in depth look at A Nightmare on Elm Street.
“I realized when we finished the documentary that there was so much information we couldn’t fit into the finished project because of time constraints. I also knew the anniversary of the first Elm Street was coming up. I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to really write the definitive book about the original movie in all its glory?’”
It was an exhaustive process for the writer who went back and conducted a second round of interviews with many cast and crew involved in the first film, in addition to people who worked with Wes Craven and Robert Shaye before the first Elm Street, and compiled the information from those interviews with information that did—and did not—make it into the documentary. Tireless work produced over 135,000 words and hundreds of incredible black and white photographs, all pieced together to create a book that is a masterpiece of its own.
“It was originally released as a limited edition, hardcover coffee table book, which is now out of print. However, I always wanted to find a way for the widest audience possible to get a chance to read about the incredible making of Craven’s original Elm Street, in addition to his career leading up to it. The trade paperback version does just that, and I’m excited to say there are some new interviews, expanded interviews, cool new information and some new photos as well,” Hutson stated as a smile lit up his face.
This is a man who is truly proud of his work, and he has every right to be.
I picked up a copy of the book that day and can attest that it is exactly what the author describes. Every turn of the page offers new insights and candid stories by the stars and production team that made Wes Craven’s nightmarish vision and villain a reality.
I devoured the book and started back from the beginning, taking special care to really examine each of the photos, images frozen in time, of everything from the cast hanging out and being goofy together to stolen moments of makeup touch ups and actors in quiet introspection before and after takes.
Did I mention it’s a masterpiece? Well, it is, and it’s a must own for fans of the franchise.
So, what’s next? Can we expect another in depth documentary or book offering a detailed look at another franchise, slasher, or monster?
The author, whose other credits as a writer and/or producer include Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, Scream: The Inside Story and More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead gives me a sheepish grin, and looks around to see who is listening.
“I’m definitely looking at another very, very popular, super fun movie that I like to think everyone loves, but I can’t tell you what it is just yet, even though I want to! I’m super excited about it. It’s a movie that I simply love, I know so many fans love, and is a lot of fun. What’s cool is it’s a film that crosses over genres a bit. I think, if I can make it happen, it will be really exciting for fans. And for me!”
All I can say, Mr. Hutson, is get to work. These projects are just the thing for super fans who can never know enough about their favorite films. You can find out more about Thommy Hutson’s work at his website. You can also follow the writer on Twitter @HutsonRanch.
If you’d like to pick up a copy of Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, you can order it from Amazon for only $10.35 and delve into the book yourself by clicking here!