While Freddy Krueger has spent a considerable amount of time away from the big screen, the fandom of the Nightmare on Elm Street series remains as loyal as ever.
In a brand new crowdfunded documentary, co-directors Paige Troxell and Kim Gunzinger are going to explore the fandom of Freddy in a brand new way, with their documentary ‘Fredheads’.
Bloody Flicks caught up with Paige and Kim, to tell us more about the project.
Can you tell us where the idea came from for this documentary?
Paige: I saw a documentary on Netflix about another film series fandom and it got me thinking of all the stories I have heard throughout the years from fans of Nightmare on Elm St. I have been very fortunate that I’ve gotten to travel to so many conventions and meet so many friends and hear their stories. These people are so amazing and this community has done so much for my life, that when I saw this documentary on Netflix I said. “Why do we not have one? Why do the FredHeads of the world not have one?” From there the idea launched.
Has seeing horror docs such as Never Sleep Again, Crystal Lake Memories and I am Nancy motivated you to make your own?
Kim: Absolutely, Never Sleep Again is one of the most comprehensive docs on a film series as a whole. However, they focused more on the films and we really wanted to focus on the community that the fandom created and why these films have such an impact on peoples lives.
Paige: We like to say our doc is a great companion piece to those.
What do you think is so special about the Nightmare fanbase?
Paige: I can’t speak for other genres but I just feel like our community really supports each other. I have friends from all around the world that we have connected in forums, at conventions, on twitter. Just through the love of Nightmare. To think that I have met my bestest friends in the entire world and my husband, because of my love for these films brought me to this community… it just blows my mind. These people are all walks of life, all different ages, its honestly one of the most accepting communities I have ever felt..
Kim: For me, its not just about Nightmare. My love for Nightmare brought me to the community, but my love for horror as a whole as grown the years. I have found this community to be extremely supportive, unjudgmental, and it is refreshing to know that there is a place where there are people just as weird as me and I can belong.
What was your first encounter of the character of Freddy Krueger?
Paige: You see I would love to let us tell you that but, you gotta watch the doc! You see we go….
Kim: (Cutting her off) … No spoilers! Ha Ha
What is the current status of Fredheads?
Kim: Hours and Hours and Hours of editing…
Paige: Yea sometimes we are editing for straight days in a row into the early hours. Even not stopping for COVID.
Kim: Thank god for facetime! I would say we are about 65% complete.
What is the process for fans to be involved in the project?
Kim: When we started it was very important to get the nightmare community involved. This community is a global phenomenon, so we decided to open submissions twice. This allowed fans to film their own stories, collections and allowed them to be in a comfortable “filming” environment. After all this documentary is theirs.
Paige: Now that the doc is almost over, I would say the best place to be involved is through social media. What we have done with our projects’ community has be so much fun. We have a really good social media team and I love to see all the fun things fans share with us. Some of it has actually influenced us on what we are doing with the doc. We get really inspired by the Nightmare community.
Tell us about the process of directing the documentary?
Paige: Stressful. Not the project but the overwhelming stress of wanting to make everyone proud. This is their story and I am so thankful that they are allowing me to tell it. It is a lot of weight to have on my shoulders, because I just want to show the world how much this community means to me and everyone else. So every decision I have made has been based on that thought. I think that is why it took us so long to get to the point we are at now, because I really want to do their story justice. It has been a lot of learning and humility on my end, but It is one of the most rewarding things I have done.. and if there is any advice I could give… always always always shoot twice.. ha more footage is better than no footage.
Kim: When we first started I was not a Co-Director, but Paige and I worked so well together with ideas it formulated into a team effort. I was beyond nervous to take control at first, specially working with a group of friends. Throughout the process, I have had so much personal growth and I am extremely thankful for our dedicated team and the dedication of the fans. Without that, this film wouldn’t be made.
Paige: Yea we soon realized after we started the project that neither one of us could do this without the other. And really we didn’t want to do this without each other. Once we got into a real groove, I feel like that is where the magic of our doc happened and everything fell into place. Its amazing what can happen when you have the dream team. I am so thankful for the team and thankful to have Kim as my partner to help lead this… it’s a huge undertaking and I trust her opinion more than anything.
Kim: … Ride or die.. ha ha ha
What is the overall message of Fredheads?
Paige: The message is really about acceptance, hope, and survival. A lot of the stories we share, including the ones from the main cast, speak about the community and how it has become a home for us. That is what I hope people get from this film when they see it.
Kim: Stay tuned…
We’ve seen that fandom can become toxic (Game of Thrones/The Last Jedi) in recent years, is Fredheads a celebration of everything great about horror fandom?
Kim: Yes, just as Freddy is the dark to Nancy’s light, there is always going to be negativity, but we are choosing to focus on the positive aspect of the fandom. Isn’t there enough hate in the world already?
Paige: Here here…
What is the most obscure piece of Nightmare on Elm Street merchandise you own?
Paige: I am more a Nancy fan and it is so hard to get her type of merch, so I have had to have customs and my favourite piece I own is a custom Nancy Thompson Funko Pop.
Kim: I have been attending cons and collecting autographs for years. I bought a beautiful Freddy piece by artist Ashley Thorpe which I then got signed by every nightmare cast that has attended a con in the past 5 years. I refuse to frame it until I get those last few signatures.
What is your favourite entry in the Nightmare series?
Kim and Paige: (in unison) Dream Warriors.. ha ha ha
Paige: I think we both have a mutual respect for Wes Cravens New Nightmare too. For me I don’t count it as a traditional Freddy film, its more of a stand-alone. So when I think Freddy I think Dream Warriors.
Do you prefer serious and scary or more goofy and jokey Freddy?
Paige: It depends on the mood I am in. There are some films that are so scary and creep me out. Part 2 and the burning body parts in the boiler room, come on that image is frightening, but films like Freddy’s Dead are just easy popcorn films to watch. So it really depends.
Kim: I agree, I love all the films it just depends on the mood I am in. Which is a great thing about this franchise.
Which film gave Freddy his best look?
Kim: Dream Warriors, but maybe I am biased cause its my favorite. However, I think it is brilliant what they did in New Nightmare and evolved his look because they were breaking the 4th wall.
Paige: I really love his look in Dream Warriors too. Its that perfect mix of his makeup. It was right on the verge of the cartoon style Freddy which I am not as much of a fan of that makeup.
Who was the most difficult to get hold of from the Nightmare films to ask to be a part of this project?
Paige: honestly nobody.
Kim: Everyone has been extremely supportive to the film.
The Nightmare remake turns 10 this year, what do you think of it?
Kim: There’s a remake?!?
Can you ever see the franchise being revived without Robert Englund?
Paige: Yes, I totally can. I think there is so much they can do with the character and even do a back story. Robert will always be Freddy, there is no doubt, he is Freddy, but if they do a back story or a prequel it really could work. I want a Netflix series like “The Springwood Slasher” or something.. Have Robert narrate it, but bring an actor who has the real presence of Freddy. I have personally witnessed many actors in fan films who could totally knock it out of the park.
Kim: Yes, because the real genius behind the concept comes from the great mind of Wes Craven and its timeless. However, I do not have faith in the studios ability to capture what the fans would really want to see.
When can fans expect to see a release of Fredheads?
Kim: Great things come in time, and we don’t want to rush through this and do an injustice to the fans and the community.
Paige: … But we for sure would like it out by fall. If we can keep our current momentum I can see it being out by Halloween season.
Keep up to date with Fredheads on IndieGoGo.