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I’m a big fan of the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. I’m also a huge fan of documentaries. The single greatest film documentary I’ve ever seen is Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy which was narrated by Nancy Thompson herself Heather Langenkamp. When I realized that Langenkamp was working on a documentary of her own I knew I’d watch it and I’ve finally gotten around to writing a review for the site.

I Am Nancy is a 2011 direct-to-DVD autobiography / documentary from Heather Langenkamp. In it, she goes into great detail about her role as Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street and the fandom that surrounds the films. She attempts to answer what is, in my opinion a rather silly question: Why folks gravitate toward Freddy rather than Nancy. That said, she puts together a very entertaining and well made documentary.

We start out here with nice little montage of Freddy / Nightmare appearances through history in pop culture. The whole documentary is Heather Langenkamp talking to fans, Wes Craven, Robert Englund, etc. about the movies, Nancy’s role in the films, etc. I have to say that Heather seems very “bitter” here. It’s as if she’ really stretching to find, or rather create, her place in movie history. She asks a tattoo artist how Nancy tattoos he’s done vs. how many Freddy tattoos. Is this really a question? She’s complaining about how Nancy wasn’t “sexy enough”, and thinking that she may have had a better career if she’d been more sexy, etc.

I have to ask… What are the chances of you getting a Nancy tattoo? Zippy.

I’m not going to go through the whole documentary but here are a couple of things from my notes that will give you a pretty good understanding of what you’ve got here.
  • Heather going through a Nightmare board game looking for the Nancy figure.
  • Heather asking fans,“Are you a fan of Nancy?”
  • Heather trying to compare herself (and her fame) to Robert. At one point in their discussion he throws her a sideways glance that she doesn’t see. It’s priceless.
  • At one point during her discussion with Wes she says, “I can’t think of a single scene where Nancy shows any fear.” Wes simply responds, “I think that’s a bit overblown.“

With those negatives out of the way I don’t want you to get the feeling that I didn’t enjoy this – I absolutely did. It’s a very well made documentary and is a must see for any fan of the Nightmare series. It doesn’t have near the depth that Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy does, but it’s not supposed to. What this really tells is the story of Heather Langenkamp and how closely associated she is with her iconic character of Nancy Thompson. And while you may never convince Heather that Nancy isn’t on par with Freddy as far as star power, there’s no denying that the character of Nancy is one of those characters that stands the test of time and can be put on a pedestal when it comes to movie heroines.

You can find more about I Am Nancy at the official site www.IAmNancy.net – though I’d give you a word of WARNING. The music auto-plays and it’ll blast your eardrums if you’re not careful.

Finally, if you want to get your hands on this documentary it’s available on Amazon I Am Nancy and if you’re a fan of NOES and for some reason HAVEN’T seen it, please for the love of God get Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.

For more info about the release of I Am Nancy, including special features and where to find it, visit ScareTissue.


★ ★ ★ ★

Written by Chewie from ScareTissue
Founded in 2012 by Pip and Chewie -- two college roommates, ScareTissue is "horror movie reviews... from folks who love them". Who better to weigh in on the genre then a pair of true horror fans? For a great source of horror news and reviews, check out ScareTissue.