Remembering Freddy Krueger’s MTV Takeover

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It’s kinda strange when you think about it through the lens of 2023, but the fictionalized malignant ghost of a child killer somehow became a pop culture darling for a solid decade straight. However, with the slasher film craze was running at full steam in the 1980s and MTV being the height of cool for the youth market, the opportunistic nightmare marriage made good sense at the time.

Freddy Mania was at its peak in 1988. Between three hit films and an upcoming syndicated TV series in the form of Freddy’s Nightmares, the sardonically wisecracking burn victim with the razor glove dominated the imagination of the public-at-large. When it came time to promote A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, a symbiotic partnership with MTV was inevitable.

On top of the network clogging up their commercial breaks with ads for the movie and sponsorship branding, MTV went as far as to partner up with Freddy himself.

Dubbed The Freddy Krueger Special, the hour-long block featured Freddy alongside thematically relevant music videos, thematically arbitrary music videos, and scenes from the movie. Of course, the special wouldn’t be complete without  Freddy playing a lighthearted game of cat and mouse with MTV VJ, Kevin Seale.

The curation of the music videos seems sensible enough at the beginning; opening up with Alice Cooper’s “Welcome To My Nightmare” and Dokken’s “Dream Warriors” from the previous A Nightmare On Elm Street film, but things take a surreal turn with Yes’s “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” Fortunately enough, some semblance of thematic order is quickly brought back into place with the inclusion of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon” and the infamous Fat Boys video, “Are You Ready For Freddy?” It could have ended there, but in one last disorienting move the powers-that-be saw closed out the special with Peter Gabriel’s “Shock The Monkey.”

For his part, VJ Kevin Seale equally tries to escape the nightmare while still managing to find Freddy for an interview. He runs across former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent, whose song “Love Kills” is featured on the film’s soundtrack, and the axeman is quickly dispatched by Freddy. In the end, Seale gets his interview with Krueger… for better or worse.

Check out the awkwardly horrifying wraparound segments right here