Never Sleep Again Part I and... Part II?

Never Sleep Again is without a doubt the ultimate documentary on the Nightmare On Elm St. films.  This is the 2010 film, not to be confused with the 2006 Nightmare On Elm St. documentary also titled Never Sleep Again.  That one's under an hour long and included as a special feature on most Nightmare 1 DVDs.  It's a good little doc about the first film, but this is a comprehensive, four hour marathon about the whole series.  And then when you add in the wealth of additional coverage from the DVD special features, you're really left wanting for nothing.  But then they made a sequel anyway.  Sort of, not really.  But there is a Nightmare doc that's been titled Never Sleep Again Part II, and it's on blu.

P.S.: I just added the Artisan DVD to the Lair Of the White Worm page, too.
Never Sleep Again is co-directed by Andrew Kasch and Daniel Farrands, the latter of whom would go on to direct the even grander Crystal Lake Memories (he also wrote Halloween 6 fifteen years earlier).  But really, this film dives just as deep.  It's a couple hours shorter, but it also had four films fewer to cover, having just missed the Nightmare remake that came out the same year.  The joy of this film, as with Crystal Lake, is that it gives equal time to each of the sequels, talking to all of the directors and nearly all the stars and major personal from every single Nightmare film, including Freddy Vs. Jason, and the syndicated Freddy's Nightmares TV series.  And the fact that it's all packed into one film, means we finally get to hear things like Wes Craven's feelings on the films he wasn't directly involved with.
Never Sleep Again arrived on DVD as a flush 2-disc special edition from CAV Distributing in May, 2010.  A few months later, that October, it was reissued as a 2-disc Collector's Edition, the differences essentially being that it had an exclusive audio commentary, a slipcover and a poster.  And in 2014, Image released it on blu (with the commentary).  Meanwhile, it's been released again and again in Germany, including expensive mediabook editions, limited edition covers, and multi-disc sets that pair it with Part 2, with a lot of exclusive special features.  The latest edition landed this June as a nicely priced 2-disc blu-ray set of both documentaries from Alive, with all of the extras.
2010 US CAV DVD top; 2019 DE Alive BD below.
Despite primarily being a talking heads movie, you really see the difference watching this movie in HD.  The film is presented in 1.78:1 in both cases, but the generally soft image of the DVD is smartened up with more photo-realistic skin and hair.  The DVD also some darker, slightly crushed colors and look at how jagged the on-screen text turns out - yuck.  Getting this on blu is a real improvement.  But that's not to say everything's perfect.  The BD demonstrates some unfortunate banding in the backgrounds, presumably because this disc tries to squeeze so much onto a single, dual-layered disc.  You've got the full four hour film, plus hours and hours (of admittedly mostly standard def) extras.  The blu is a big step up from the DVD, but it could definitely step higher still if they were willing to spread this across two discs.  ...Just to be clear, yes, there is a second blu-ray disc in this set, but that's reserved for Part 2.  All of Part 1 and it's extras are on this one BD.  So it's not ideal; but given that, it does fare better than you'd expect.

CAV's DVD presents the film's audio in a clean Dolby Digital AC3 stereo mix with optional English subtitles.  Alive's blu-ray bumps it up to DTS-HD and includes an alternative German dub (also in DTS-HD), though it loses the subtitles.
So what the heck is this Never Sleep Again, Part II already?  Well, you saw it advertised on the Part 1 release (every edition has the promo), but there it was called I Am Nancy.  In fact, star Heather Langenkamp has been selling it as a DV-R through her site under that title since Part 1 came out.  But in Germany, it's been released on DVD and BD as Never Sleep Again, Part II.  This is very different from the first Never Sleep Again, instead focusing just on Heather.  Ostensibly, it's asking the question how come the Nancy character isn't as famous or beloved as the Freddy character, despite her's being the protagonist and, you know, the non-child murderer.  But it's largely an excuse for her to use her footage at conventions and meeting her fans, very much along the lines of Jamie Lee Curtis's The Night She Came Home or Bruce Campbell's Fanalysis.  It's cute, and does include interviews with people like Craven and Robert Englund, but nothing essential like the first Never Sleep Again (or second, I guess, if we're counting that 2006 one).
2019 DE Alive BD.
This film's presented in 1.78:1, too, and despite being on a blu-ray disc, looks soft.  I've read speculation online that this is just an upconvert, which may well be true.  But it could just be the quality of the original footage, as this seems to have been largely shot on phones and/ or consumer cameras.  I don't have the US DV-R to compare it to, but my guess is this blu might just look ever so slightly better?  Because while it mostly looks like DVD quality footage (or less, in the case of some of the archival inserts, but that's to be expected with documentaries), it doesn't quite have all the fuzzy artifacts I'd expect to see on a DV-R.  At any rate, clicking through the screenshots above will at least show you how this particular edition comes across.

One plus, at least, is that the blu can give us uncompressed audio, and does, with both the original English track and a German dub presented in DTS-HD.  No subtitles.  Apparently, the version Langenkamp sells includes 14 minutes of deleted footage (extended interview clips and a music video).  Disappointingly, those did not find their way onto any of the German releases.  The only extra here is the teaser trailer for the first Never Sleep Again
The only I Am Nancy extra, that is.  Because like the US edition, the German Part 1 blu-ray is loaded with features.  In fact, it's got way more goodies, to an almost overwhelming degree.  So let's start with the US release, almost all of which was ported over the the German versions.

Like I said earlier, depending which US release you got, it may or may not have the audio commentary by the documentary filmmakers over the whole four hours.  Everything else, though, is on every US edition.  That includes roughly 90 minutes of additional interview footage, essentially extending the doc to five and a half hours.  Then there are several featurettes, including one on fan fascination with the Freddy glove, one on the Nightmare On Elm St. comic books, one on the movies' soundtracks, one on devoted fans of the franchise and one on the poster artist.  There's a great episode of Horror's Hallowed Grounds on the Elm St. films and even an interview with the Angry Video Game Nerd about the Elm St. Nintendo game.  There's an extensive promo (roughly 7 minutes worth) for I Am Nancy, a silly Nightmare In Elm St. in 10 Minutes featurette where the stars recite their most famous lines from the films, the documentary teaser and an easter egg of Charles Fleischer interview outtakes.
The German release has all of that except the commentary, the annoying 10 Minutes thing, and the easter egg.  Also, for some strange reason, their Fred Heads featurette, the one about the fans, is about seven minutes shorter than the US one.  But everything else, from the Hallowed Grounds episode to the most important, 90 minutes of additional interviews, is here.  And yes, this is all on the 2019 release, too (the back cover doesn't mention any extras, making it seem barebones, but it sure isn't).

And the German release also has an additional, oh... seven fricken' hours of additional, exclusive extras!  And almost all of it is archival Elm St.-related footage, mostly of VHS quality.  For example, there is almost 90 minutes of behind the scenes footage from one of the Freddy's Nightmares episodes discussed in the doc.  There's additional behind the scenes footage of most of the sequels, ranging in length from five seconds to over two and a half hours... it's crazy!  They have extended footage of Robert Englund making the Dokken music video, the full 23 minute gag reel for Nightmare 7, special effects test footage and the complete Slash & Burn MTV special with Englund in character as Freddy.
The depth of material on here will blow your mind when you finally try to watch it all.  There's roughly eleven hours packed onto the first disc, it's amazing it plays at all.  And then there's still a second disc with a whole other documentary on it.  If you're a completist, you might still want the US release for the commentary and other little odds and ends, but I can't honestly imagine very many people sitting through everything in this German release and still yearning for more.  It's nuts.  I love it.

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