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At the risk of stepping on Joseph Walker's toes, today's movie column is about television. But since it's about TV that spins off of movies, he won't mind.

Besides - and trust me on this one - I'm sure he hasn't seen any of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies.There's nothing new about TV series being adapted from popular movies, of course, but "A Nightmare on Elm Street - Freddy's Dreams" is one that I find particularly disturbing.

First off, let's note that this program, starting Saturday, is part of a new lineup of evening-long sci-fi/horror/fantasy on KSTU, Ch. 13, beginning at 6 p.m. with reruns of the old "Star Trek" series, followed by the new "War of the Worlds" series at 7 p.m. Then comes "Friday the 13th" at 8 p.m., followed at 9 p.m. by "A Nightmare on Elm Street." Then at 10 p.m. is "Monsters" (reruns of "Tales from the Darkside"), and the new "Twilight Zone" follows at 10:30.

Let me say up front that I am a fan of good horror, fantasy and sci-fi films. Regular readers know I feel modern-day horror has unfortunately shifted emphasis from scary to gory, but I enjoy the genre in general, especially short-story formats.

A TV series with Freddy Krueger as an Alfred Hitchcock-type host, however, bothers me.

You may recall last year when it was announced that "Friday the 13th" would become a syndicated series I expressed early reservations about a program that might have hockey-masked Jason creatively killing teens every week. But instead the TV series is an occult anthology that has nothing to do with the movies. In fact, why it took the title of the movie series is a bigger mystery than anything the shows have had to offer so far.

Similarly, "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is going to be an anthology horror series, with Freddy Krueger, the teen-killer of the movies, as host.

The first episode next week will be a prequel to the movie series, with Freddy's story being played out - except that Freddy will be more of a "victim" than a "villain," producers say. But thereafter Freddy will merely host a new story each week with different characters and situations.

Apparently it is hoped that Freddy's new status as victim will


1. DEAD RINGERS, $3 million (first week).

2. Die Hard, $21/2 million ($681/2 million, nine weeks).

3. A Fish Called Wanda, $21/2 million ($481/2 million, 11 weeks).

4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, $2 ($138 million, 14 weeks).

5. Cocktail, $11/2 million ($651/2 million, nine weeks)

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, $11/2 million ($431/2 million, five weeks).

7. Young Guns, $11/2 million ($37 million, seven weeks).

8. Moon Over Parador, $11/2 million ($9 million, three weeks).

9. Betrayed, $11/2 million ($22 million, five weeks).

10. Kansas, $11/2 million (first week).