Review Detail

9.7 2 10
FanFix June 28, 2012 5171
(Updated: September 08, 2012)
Overall rating
Audio/Video Quality
Audio Editing
Visual Editing
May 2, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

Of all the ELM STREET films it’s Part 2 which I’ve always had a love hate relationship with. For every effective scene where we see Fred Krueger at his evil best (still far from the wise cracking Freddy of latter sequels), there are clumsy dialogue scenes aplenty, a very wooden Kim Myers as the main female lead, not to mention the whole S&M subplot with Coach Schneider which always seemed a bit superfluous to me. I was therefore hopeful that Camp Blood Pictures could present a more focused and refined version for his first fanedit.

The intention as stated is to make the movie more intone with the rest of the series – in particular Craven’s original – or at least that’s how it feels whilst watching the edit. The choice to start the film with Jesse’s dream, seeing Krueger in the basement and then the excellent close up on Krueger’s eyes as he says “we’ve got special work to do here, you and me”, is a good one as it sets the dark tone effectively and gets the story moving right away. Plus, it’s probably the creepiest moment in the entire movie. Surprisingly I didn’t miss the “school bus dream” at all, which in the original cut is one of my favourite scenes. Here however, it just doesn’t seem necessary at all, so kudos to Camp Blood for that.

It becomes quickly apparent that nearly all the school scenes are missing and thereby means that Coach Schneider is also absent. Again, this is a plus and focuses the movie purely on Freddy’s attempts to possess Jesse and control what he does. The confusion as to when we’re in dreamland and when we’re not is still apparent. Whether that’s a good thing is purely subjective and sure enough the scene at the party still has me arguing both for and against it. I still see it as Freddy absorbing the strength through Jesse to enter our world and leave it as he wishes (or at least when he has the strength to). It breaks the rules of the first film, but I still kind of like the scene and am glad Camp Blood left it in this edit.

At 51 minutes long this is certainly a heavily truncated edit and there are a couple of moments when scenes don’t seem to flow as naturally as they might otherwise. I particularly thought that we kept going back to the breakfast table scenes with Jesse and his parents too much, but it’s not so distracting that it leaves any lasting damage to the effectiveness of telling the story.
I still find Kim Myers quite annoying as Lisa, and even Mark Patton as Jesse is a little bit too much of a wet blanket to have you truly rooting for him – sorry if that sounds harsh, but he’s less of a man than Nancy was! This does mean that as love conquers all in a fiery grand finale (which maintains the inconsistent ways of shooting Mark Shostrom’s bizarre puppet creatures from the netherworld), I still didn’t feel as emotionally involved as I thought I should be. A shame, as with a slightly better script and lead performers, this could quite seriously have been the Cronenberg of ELM STREET films.

On the technical front Camp Blood Pictures does pretty well all in all, particularly for a first fanedit. I could not notice any harsh audio edits at all, so I would give the audio 10/10. I know that there’s a 5.1 dolby track available to choose from, but to be honest that doesn’t bother me in the slightest – I am more concerned with audio levels in terms of balancing of dialogue and music etc, and on that front this is perfect.

The quality of the picture is good throughout, and I assume this is taken from the excellent R1 Nightmare Box set. It’s disappointing therefore that interlacing is riddled throughout. It’s not so bad on a normal TV, but I certainly noticed it whilst watching it on my PC. I would therefore score that 7/10.

The menu design is simple but adequate, but it would have been nice to have some details on the edit as I’m always interested in reading what went into an edit. Also, the custom credits are fine – I actually quite like the big comic sans font and it works well here. However, the decision to have a white background with black writing for the end credits is a strange one and doesn’t fit that well for me. 7/10.

Overall then this is a vast improvement on Sholder’s theatrical cut. Even at 51 minutes this will still be the version I would prefer to watch in the future. It certainly has a more focused and dark tone to the story and whilst I still believe it to be one of the weaker entries, Camp Blood Pictures should be congratulated on a very promising first edit and I would give this an overall score of 8/10.

Want to rediscover NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET II? This would be the perfect way to do so.
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