“It was a series of articles in the LA Times; three small articles about men from South East Asia, who were from immigrant families and had died in the middle of nightmares — and the paper never correlated them, never said, ‘Hey, we’ve had another story like this.'”
— Wes Craven
Those newspaper articles in question were about Cambodian refugees, who had fled from Pol Pot’s bloody and devastating Khmer Rouge, which makes for an oddly fitting double-feature in these ads with A Nightmare on Elm Street being paired with Roland Joffé’s The Killing Fields. According to the stories, several men refused to sleep, citing overwhelming nightmares — and when they finally did, they apparently died in their sleep; the victims of acute heart failure. That’s right: they were literally scared to death by their dreams. Dubbed Asian Death Syndrome, this sudden, unexplained, and lethal phenomena were also attributed to a combination of Post-Traumatic Stress and a genetic disorder known as Brugada Syndrome, the leading cause of SUDS, kinda the adult version of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Combine that notion with a haunting pop song by Gary Wright and an old high school bully named Fred Krueger, and, well, here ya go.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Smart Egg Pictures :: Media Home Entertainment :: New Line Cinema / EP: Stanley Dudelson, Joseph Wolf / P: Robert Shaye, Sara Risher / AP: John H. Burrows / D: Wes Craven / W: Wes Craven / C: Jacques Haitkin / E: Pat McMahon, Rick Shaine / M: Charles Bernstein / S: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Robert Englund