Friday, October 12, 2018

We Make House Calls.

“It’s a Miserable Life” is the second episode of the Freddy’s Nightmares television series and the first to feature Freddy (Robert Englund) as just the host. It also demonstrates the odd structure of the show where each episode is two stories, the second story is often centered on a supporting character from the first. In this case, our first story is about Bryan (John Cameron Mitchell) working overnight at a fast food restaurant at the insistence of his father. Bryan catches a bullet from a drive-by shooter and we are treated to all of his anxieties thrown at him in a series of scenarios that occur between the shot being fired and it killing him. His girlfriend Karyn (Lar Park Lincoln) gets shot too, but she is rushed to the hospital. We are treated to her various nightmares an hallucinations as she slips in and out of consciousness.

For a cheaply made anthology show based on a film series that was running out of steam by 1988, it’s an interesting choice to present what amounts to 45 minutes of avant-garde weirdness with barely anything resembling a plot. The first time I saw this episode, Freddy’s Nightmares didn’t air till midnights on the weekend, I think that only enhanced the floaty dream reality of the story. Upon review it still holds up pretty well, now having added an extra sheen of strangeness from the dated looking production. An oddly somber Freddy makes a good host, but I think leaving him so far removed from the story is a letdown. Even just establishing that his presence makes weird dream things happen to people would be enough to tie him into these stories.

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