SLASH’S SHITFACED SATURDAY
Holy shit, may the saints preserve us, old Slashman actually made a fucking deadline. Don’t worry, I will alert the media; Bacchus is still in a profound state of shock, but he’ll get over it the next time I take more than a week to prepare one of these gems.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS (1987)
Directed by Chuck Russell @ 96 minutes.
The movie was written, in part, & produced, in part, by Wes Craven, who changed his mind about staying involved with the franchise. He was assisted in writing the screenplay by Bruce Wagner, Frank Durabont, & Chuck Russell.
Director, Chuck Russell thinks of himself as more of a writer, and/or producer than a director. In 1986, New Line Cinema was uncertain about the future of this horror series. He convinced them that his vision of it could rejuvenate its value; which it did. This film grossed more money than the original movie & its first sequel combined. At the time of its release it was to become the highest grossing Independent film ever made. He is a good friend & business partner with Frank Durabont.
Russell has directed 7 films since 1987. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3 was his directorial debut; other films were often blockbusters too, including THE BLOB (1988), THE MASK (1994), ERASER (1996), BLESS THE CHILD (2000), THE SCORPION KING (2004). He has produced 10 films, including THE HEARSE (1980), HELL NIGHT (1981), DREAMSCAPE (1984), & BACK TO SCHOOL (1986).
TAGLINES: If you think that you can get out alive–you must be dreaming.
Freddy’s just around the corner.
Your dreams are worth fighting for.
If you think you’re ready for Freddy–think again.
A nurse seduces a young boy, shows him her breasts, & kisses him.
Some implied sex, but never seen.
There is a mild amount of profanity, (only 5 F-Words).
Freddy’s face may seriously scare some children.
The cinematography was done by Roy H. Wagner. He had been trained by greats like Harry Stradling, Sr., & James Wong Howe.
He has lensed 72 films since 1985, including WITCHBOARD (1986), RETURN TO HORROR HIGH (1987), MORTUARY ACADEMY (1988), NICK OF TIME (1995),.SKINWALKERS (2002), COYOTE AWAITS (2003), BLOOD & BONE (2009).
The musical score was done by the great Angelo Badalamenti, who has scored 78 films since 1973, including BLUE VELVET (1986), CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989), TWIN PEAKS (1990-92), NAKED IN NEW YORK (1993), LOST HIGHWAY (1997), THE STRAIGHT STORY (1999), MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001), A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (2OO4), & STALINGRAD (2013).
The theme song of the movie DREAM WARRIORS, was written & performed by the heavy metal band, Dokken. The success of this single led to all the sequels that followed included a heavy metal song in its soundtrack.
THE C A S T :
Robert Englund as Freddy Kreuger.
Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson
Craig Wasson as Dr. Neil Gordon.
Patricia Arquette as Kristin Parker.
Laurence Fishburne as Max.
Jennifer Rubin as Taryn.
John Saxon as Don Thompson.
Dick Cavett as Himself.
Zsa Zsa Gabor as Herself.
Stacey Alden as Marcie.
Penelope Sudrow as Jennifer.
Ken Sagoes as Kinkaid.
Rodney Eastman as Joey.
Bradley Gregg as Phillip.
Ira Heiden as Will.
Brooke Bundy as Elaine Peters.
Sally Piper as a Nurse.
Robert Englund returns for the third time to play Freddy Kreuger, which became his signature role, for better or for worse. He seems to have a bit more screen time in this film.
Heather Langenkamp returned for her second shot at Nancy Thompson. She is supposed to be “all grown up” in the role; I’ll let you be the judge of that when you view it.
She may not be much of an actress, but her tit-shots are first rate.
Craig Wasson was a box office name. He has 77 film credits since 1968, including A stint on ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1968), THE BOYS IN COMPANY C (1978), GO TELL THE SPARTANS (1978), SCHIZOID (1980), GHOST STORY (1981), BODY DOUBLE (1984), MALCOLM X (1992), & GHOST ROCK (2003).
Patricia Arquette, only 19 in her film debut in ANOES 3, she has gone on to a fabulous career, garnering 3 Golden Globe nominations. She has been in 54 films since 1987, including FAR NORTH (1988), THE INDIAN RUNNER (1991), TRUE ROMANCE (1993), ED WOOD (1994), LOST HIGHWAY (1997), GOOD-BYE LOVER (1998), STIGMATA (1999), & 7 episodes on BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO 2013).
She has done nude scenes in several of her films; here are a couple lovely tit-shots for our perusal.
Jennifer Rubin played Taryn, and ANOES 3 was her film debut as well. She has done 46 films since then, including BAD DREAMS (1988), THE DOORS (1991), THE CRUSH (1993), SCREAMERS (1995), ROAD KILL (1999), & AMAZONS & GLADIATORS (2001).
She was nice enough to provide us with some fine tit-shots from another film; thank-you Ms. Rubin.
Laurence Fishburne played Max, in one of his early roles; & he made a solid impression with his acting in this movie. He has been in 98 films since 1968, including CORNBREAD EARL & ME (1975), APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), A RUMOR OF WAR (1980), DEATH WISH II (1982), RUMBLE FISH (1983), THE COLOR PURPLE (1985), BAND OF THE HAND (1986), RED HEAT (1988), BOYZ IN THE HOOD (1991), WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? (1993), THE MUSKAGEE AIRMEN (1995), OTHELLO (1995), THE MATRIX (1999), THE MATRIX RELOADED(2003), THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (2003), MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006), PREDATORS (2010), 61 episodes of CSI (2008-2011), MAN OF STEEL (2013), & 26 episodes of HANNIBAL (2013-14).
John Saxon returned for his second shot at Don Thompson, doing a better job this time than in the original.
Stacey Alden as Marcie, had the distinction of doing the first nude scene for the series, in this, her film debut.
She did not stay in the Biz very long, getting 4 film credits, including GROTESQUE (1988), 1 episode on MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, & the documentary, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN; THE ELM STREET LEGACY.
Sally Piper played one of the nurses, & this was her film debut as well. She did not stay in the Biz long either. She has only 2 film credits, the other being SUMMER CAMP NIGHTMARE (1987).
She was considerate enough to provide us with one cheesecake shot.
Brooke Bundy played Mrs. Elaine Parker, & she survived to appear in a future sequel I hear. She is my age now, born in 1944. She garnered 112 film credits from 1962, when she & I got out of high school; most of them were TV roles; THE DONNA REED SHOW (1962), FIRECREEK (1968), THE GAY DECEIVERS (1969), EXPLORERS (1985), A NIGHTMARE ON ELMS STREET 4 (1988), NIGHT VISITOR (1989).
She did provide us with a vintage cheesecake shot for the HH archives.
Dick Cavett & Zsa Zsa Gabor did a flashy cameo as themselves.
Now, dearest razor-sharp Kreugerites, it is time to find out what this slasher epic was about–& discover for ourselves why this movie is regarded as the best of the sequels.
S Y N O P S I S:
TITLE CARD: Sleep, those little slices of Death. How I loathe them–Edgar Allen Poe.
The film open with a young blond teenager, making a paper mache house. She is playing loud rock music (which is a song by Dokken, Dream Warriors; played over the end credits, as well. )
The camera pulls back & we meet Kristin, an attractive teen ager who is valiantly trying to stay awake, drinking Coca Cola, and eating spoons full of coffee. Her mother, Elaine, bursts into the room, demands she turn the music off, & go to bed; it is 1:30 am
Kristin: I just wanted to wait up for you.
Elaine: That’s very sweet, but I’m home now (pulling down her panty-pink sheets), so it’s off to beddy-bye for you.
Kristin gets into bed: I‘m still having those terrible dreams, Mother.
Guy’s Voice: Elaine! Where the hell is the bourbon?
Elaine: I’ll be right there! (to Kristin) I have a guest.
Kristin: I just don’t want to be left alone tonight.
Elaine: I have to go, sweetheart.
Kristin: You wouldn’t want to disappoint your guest.
Elaine: No, I wouldn’t. (closing the door).
Kristin falls asleep immediately.
She finds herself standing in front of a life-size copy of her model paper mache house; it is the Thompson House, complete with the red door. There are three little girls in perfect white dresses skipping rope in the front yard, singing the now familiar Freddy Kreuger nursery rhyme. They scatter as Kristin approaches. That’s when she sees another little girl in a yellow dress, riding a tricycle on the front porch. Kristin tells her to leave.
Little Girl: I can’t he wants us to play with him.
Kristen follows the little girl into the Thompson House, beyond the red door, down into the basement; the little girl appears.
Little Girl: This is where he always takes us.
The furnace ignites & rages with fire; there is a loud noise upstairs; the sound of footsteps.
Little Girl: Freddy’s home.
Several things startle Kristin, & she screams off-cue, loud, dissident & disconnected. It becomes obvious, that at 19 years of age, Patricia Arquette has 1) a lot to learn about acting, & 2) her bra-less ample bosom is going to pull a lot of attention. She wanders about the Thompson house, finding a live pig on a haunted dining room table.
Freddy Kreuger makes his first appearance, & he attacks her immediately; no fucking around, no small talk. She fights him off, but he does rake her with his bladed–glove. She picks up the little girl & tries to escape, stumbling into a chamber where several other children have been hanged.
She wakes up in her own bed; gets up & goes to the bathroom. As she looks at herself in the mirror, her reflection becomes Freddy, who reaches out of the mirror & slices her arm again. He mother pushes her way into the room, & finds Kristin holding a bloody razor blade, & one of her wrists bleeding from a self-inflicted wound. ( which poses a question as to how the victims manifest dream wounds in the real world.)
Cut to a Mental Health Hospital. We meet some of the disturbed children who are in a study group for Uncontrollable fear of Nightmares. We meet Dr. Gordon, the medical leader of the group, & Dr. Simms, the supervisor for the group.
We hear a girl screaming.
Nurse: She’s a suicide attempt–just brought her down from County General.
Dr. Gordon: What’s her name?
Nurse: Kristin Parker.
They all rush into the exam room, where Kristin is acting all crazy & shit, screaming, keeping everyone at bay with a scalpel she picked up.
Kristin: Five, six–pick up your crucifix; seven-eight–better stay up late; nine-ten, never–never–.
Nancy Thompson: (in the doorway, the new Sleep Study intern) Never sleep again–where did you learn that rhyme?
Kristin: In my fucking dreams.
Nancy pushes past the other, & she & Kristin hug it out; all very sweet.
Dr. Gordon immediately, of course, gravitates to Nancy, introducing himself.
Dr. Gordon: What was that Nursery Rhyme all about?
Nancy: It was just something that the kids say around here–to keep the bogey-man away.
(Something starts nagging at me about the plot. It’s been three years since Nancy fought Freddy in the first film. We found out in ANOES 2 that Nancy had been locked into her room, & her mother had committed suicide in the living room; & afterward, Nancy had been sent to a mental hospital–nice recovery, Nance, & how quickly you managed to get an education in Sleep Therapy; just saying).
Sometime later, Nancy volunteers to go get Kristin’s suitcase at her home; it’s there that she notices the paper mache’ Thompson House model. The next morning, while visiting with the now docile Kristin:
Nancy: That model you made–I used to live in that house.
Kristin: It’s just a house I dream about. (pause). That man in my dreams; he is real, isn’t he?
Nancy: Yes, he’s very real.
Cut to the hospital corridor, where Dr. Gordon is walking with the orderly, Max
Max: Say, listen, Doc. I got a new theory about all these suicides, right?
Dr. Gordon: Don’t hold back on us, Max. We need all the help we can get.
Max: It’s all about fucked-up chromosomes, man. Think about it. All their parents dropped acid in the 60’s.
Dr. Gordon: Well, that sure beats Dr. Simm’s theory. She thinks the primary causes are Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘N Roll.
Max: Shit–that’s what keeps people alive.
(in this short introductory scene, Laurence Fishburne gave a Master’s Class in how to approach a small part in an Indie Horror Film–showing talent, intensity, focus, & back story–perhaps the best performance in the film, despite his brief appearances.).
Before the group therapy session, Max takes Nancy around & introduces her to the young patients.
Max: This lump over here–this is Kinkaid. Now I want you to take a good look, cuz see he gets himself thrown in the quiet room so often that you probably won’t see a whole lot of him; ain’t that right, Cool Breeze?
Kinkaid: Right, but I do it just so I don’t have to look at your ugly face all the time.
Max: Yeah, I love you too.
During the next Group Therapy meeting, she is introduced to the kids:
Phillip: A puppet maker, intellectual, & sleep walker.
Kinkaid: An inner-city toughie who rages at everything & everyone.
Taryn: A former junkie drug addict, trying to “Clean up my shit”.
Joey: An adolescent boy so traumatized, he chose not to speak at all.
Will: A nerd, board-gamer, bound to a wheelchair after a botched suicide attempt.
Jennifer: A confused, frightened young plain blond, who has big dreams.
I’m Jennifer, & as soon as I get out of here–I’m going to Los Angeles to be an actress; I’m going to be on TV.
Dr. Gordon is the facilitator, and Dr. Elizabeth Simms sits in as the Section Supervisor, a woman with such a huge ego & a tight ass attitude that her face cheeks are pulled back like a hundred dollar face lift, and sphincter life savers flop off her ass hole like fudge dandruff.
Phillip: Can I interject something just to save us some time.
Dr. Gordon: Sure, Phillip, go ahead.
Phillip: Well, according to you experts, our bad dreams are a group psychosis– sort of a mellow mass hysteria. The fact that we all dreamt about this guy before we ever met each other doesn’t seem to make a difference here. So we go in damn circles making minimal progress with maximum effort.
Dr. Simms: And you will not make any progress until you recognize your dreams for what they are.
Nancy: And what are they?
Dr. Simms: The negative by-products of guilt. Psychological scarring stemming from moral conflicts & overt sexuality.
Kinkaid: Oh, great–now it’s my dick that is killing me.
That night, Kristin has another nightmare while wandering about the Thompson House. She finds herself in a red bedroom, and the bed becomes a huge snake creature with Freddy’s face on it, & the snake begins gobbling up Kristin like a hungry Orca would gobble a blond sea lion; feet first; like watching Robert Shaw being eaten alive by the Great White in JAWS, as drawn by Robert Crumb.
Nancy is in her apartment, & suddenly she finds herself being pulled into Nancy’s dream. She attacks the Freddy Python huge maggot larva creature, stabbing it with a broken piece of furniture; which cause it to spit out Kristin’s legs. The Snake rears up, blinks, & of course, immediately recognizes Nancy. The girls flee to behind a locked door, & Nancy shakes Kristin awake.
Cut to Nancy & Dr. Gordon on a dinner date. She tries to talk him into using an experimental drug, Hypnocil, that might suppress the patient’s dreams. Gordon has already seen a bottle of this drug in Nancy’s purse. He declines her proposal. (These two bond, & Dr. Gordon becomes a quick convert to Nancy’s therapeutic methodology, implying that he is in a sexual relationship with her, & she is leading him around by his dick–but there are no specific scenes to substantiate this hypothesis.)
Cut to a repeat of the opening scene–Kristin is working on her stick & paper mache’ model of 1438 Elm Street, when her mother comes in. They repeat all their former conversation until the male guest yells:
Elaine–where the hell’s the bourbon?
Elaine: I’ll be right there.
Suddenly Elaine is snatched out of the doorway, out of sight. We hear Freddy Krueger saying: I said where the hell is the fucking bourbon?
We hear the deadly Freddy-blades slicing flesh.
Freddy appears dressed in a tuxedo, holding the decapitated head of Elaine.
Freddy: You should listen to your mother.
Elaine’s bloody head: God damn it, Kristin, you ruin everything! Every time I bring a man home you fucking spoil it! You know what your shrink says? You’re just trying to get more attention!
Cut to Will & Joey’s room, where Taryn is visiting, playing a game of WIZARD MASTER (a board game since this is 1987). Will is the Nerd who has psyched out the game, & the other kids only play in order to stay up as late as they can.
Will: Good, Taryn, you conquered the demon, but your horse is sinking in the bog. What do you do?
Taryn: I just go to bed, & buy a new horse in the morning.
Will: As she leaves: How do I score that, enchanted slumber or death?
Joey mimes a knife across his throat.
Later that night, in Phillip’s room, he is sleeping alongside Kinkaid. He has several finely crafted puppets hanging on the wall; one of them is Freddy Kruger–which, of course comes to life, using its tiny bladed-glove to cut the strings so that it can move around.
As the Fred Puppet moves, it is kind of fun to see it is stop-action hand-done animation; the kind of F/X that bought Ray Harryhausen a mansion in Bel Air in the 50’s.
It immediately becomes a full-sized Freddy Krueger, who approaches the bed, & with his evil invisible powers, he strips the blankets off of Phillip; who awakens to find Freddy slashing out his veins in his wrists & feet, & transforming them into giant puppet strings, effectively making him a human puppet.
Kinkaid wakes up & only sees Phillip sleepwalking in a stiff & artificial way; does not see Freddy, or the strings. (Jesus, I keep flashing on the guy in the DISH satellite commercial married to the blond puppet chick who is sensitive about her “strings”.)
Kinkaid: Hey, Phillip, wake up man–wake up, Phillip.
But Phillip is on his feet fighting his strings, being forced to walk out of the room. (He doesn’t scream much, even though he might still be asleep; which seems odd).
Kinkaid: Ah, hell, have a nice walk, Phil. as he goes back to sleep.
Cut to a Nurse’s desk, busy with paperwork (pre-iphone, ipad, internet), who fails to notice Phillip walking like a drugged out Pinnochio, across the foyer, & up the stairs.
Cut to Will & Joey’s room, where the WIZARD Game is put away, & Will is staring out of his window, with a good view of the old bell tower section. Suddenly he sees Will appear at an open arch, his arms & legs still pulsating with invisible strings, still asleep.
Will screams Phillip’s name, which wakes Joey–who takes a chair, and breaks the window glass, and Will keeps yelling out to Phillip; Joey would yell too, but he takes his mute act seriously while awake.
Joey rushes out of the room to the Nurse’s Station, where he does a lot of grunting & arm-waving, finally taking a pill tray & running down the hall banging on the other kid’s doors–they all appear & chase after him.
Cut to Freddy Kreuger, as huge as King Kong, hovering over the bell tower, working the puppet sticks, while Phillip does his puppet dance in the open tower arch. (Shit, with this kind of demi-god demonic ability, how in hell are we to believe some kid is going to waste him again at the end of the film?)
Cut to all the kids running into Will’s room just in time to see Phillip plunge four stories to his demise as the unseen Freddy cuts the puppet strings.
The next morning there is an emergency Group Session to discuss Phillip’s “suicide”.
On the way to the session, Dr. Gordon begins seeing a strange nun staring at him, wearing a white habit.
Kinkaid: He wasn’t strong enough–so he got wasted; that’s all!
Taryn: That’s all? Is that what you think?
Kinkaid: He couldn’t hack it, so he got nailed–period.
Taryn: Oh, yeah, you’re the big tough bad-ass–but how much longer are you going to last?
Kinkaid: Longer that any of you!
Dr. Simms announces that the whole group needs to work harder.
Kristin freaks out:
Kristin: You stupid bitch–you’re killing us, you’re killing us.
Dr. Simms: I’m not going to take any more of this. How much longer are you going to go on blaming your dreams for your own weaknesses?
Kinkaid: Lady, how much longer you gonna keep blowin’ smoke up our ass?
Dr. Gordon: That is enough, Roland!
Dr. Simms: There will be no repeat occurrences of last night’s events. From now on all of your doors will be locked during sleeping hours–and we are going to start a policy of evening sedation for everybody.
Kinkaid: jumping up: The fuck you will! Anybody who pushes drugs on me gets their ass kicked!
Dr. Simms: Well, you have just bought yourself a night in the Quiet Room, Mister. Now sit down!
Kinkaid: Fuck you! You sit the fuck down!
Later, alone in the solitary padded quiet room:
Kinkaid: chants: Ain’t gonna dream no more, no more–ain’t gonna dream no more; all night long gonna sing this song–ain’t gonna dream no more.
Cut to Phillip’s funeral, where Dr. Gordon, obsessed with guilt, standing off above the grave site. He is visited by the strange Nun.
Sister Mary Helena: There is only one thing that can save the children now. His unquiet spirit must be laid to rest.
Nancy walks up: Neil, what are you doing up here?
(I have to say that almost all of Nancy’s costumes, including this one for the funeral, where she is wearing a stupid-looking hat, are all like 40’s chic, like she is still a little girl playing dress up)
Dr. Gordon: Oh, I was just talking to….
(turns around, & of course, the nun is gone)
Nancy: To who?
That next night Max tries to coax Jennifer out of the TV room, where she is attempting to stay awake; very distraught over Phillip’s death.
Max: walking into the room; Girl, what are you doing?
Jennifer: Watching TV.
Max: I can see that, but why don’t you read a book. You watch too much damn TV.
Jennifer: Just research.
Max: Oh, right, I forgot, you’re going to be a TV star.
Jennifer: Wait & see.
Max: Well, if Simms catches you up here after lights out, she is going to chew my ass!
Jennifer: Please, Max, I gotta stay up.
Jennifer: Just tonight, please? I can’t handle the nightmare–not after losing Phillip–not tonight!
Max: OK, this one time, but I never saw you.
Jennifer: Thanks, Max.
Jennifer agrees as she nods off immediately, but seems to be awake watching the Dick Cavett Show, as Dick is interviewing Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Dick Cavett: May I ask you a personal question?
Zsa-Zsa Gabor: Of course, Dick.
Dick turns into Freddy Kruger, who leans over Zsa Zsa:
Freddy: Who the fuck cares what you think?
The picture goes off, & zig-zag lines & static prevail.
Jennifer walks up to it, looking up at it on its wall stand.
Suddenly Freddy’s head stretches out of the top of the TV, under the antenna,
while huge mechanical arms spring out of the sides of the TV, grabbing Jennifer, & lifting her up off the floor.
Freddy: This is it, Jennifer, your big break in television.
Freddy; Welcome to primetime, bitch!
He smashes her face into the TV, cutting her face off, & then electrocuting her.
The orderlies find her like that, six feet off the floor, he faced buried into the broken blackened TV screen, the soles of her feet blackened & smoking.
The next morning Nancy & Dr. Gordon arrange for another emergency Group Meeting, not inviting Dr. Simms. Dr. Gordon is now ready to order Hynocil for the group. (which makes no sense since they are now considering doing a group cluster dream, but what the hell…)
Taryn: Alright, who is he?
Nancy: His name is Freddy Kruger. He was a child molester & murderer before he died–and now he’s become something more. Our parents, all of them, got together, hunted him down & killed him; burned him to death. But he came back 3 years ago, & me & my friends started dreaming about him. He killed all of my friends. I thought I destroyed him; but he is back now, killing you. You are the last of the Elm Street children.
Will: But that’s crazy. My Mom & Dad never mentioned a thing about him.
Taryn: Oh, right, that’s just the sort of thing parents tell their kids; like “Good-night, darling; be sure to say your prayers–and oh, by the way your father & I tortured some sick fuck maniac last night.”
Kinkaid: Girl, you are so full of bull shit!
Kristin: Just go ahead & fight, because that’s what he wants.
Taryn: Who do you think? But what does he want?
Kristin: To turn us against each other, so that we’ll be weak; easy prey.
Nancy: No, she’s right.
Nancy explains further that Kristin has the ability to pull others into her dreams, & if they all go together, they can fight him & defeat him. She & Dr. Gordon explain how group hypnosis & group dreaming might work. He starts a metronome, & at first they think they are not dreaming, but soon it becomes evident that they are are dreaming, all there together. The kids begin to show their special dream abilities;
Kristen can do kung fu flips & acrobatic jumps.
Will can stand up & walk, becoming the Wizard Master, with a cape;
Taryn become a tough biker chick, armed with two switch blade knives.
Joey wanders off, & finds the pretty blond nurse, Marcie, in the hall; who motions for him to come & join her in his room; which he does. She explains that she has always had a crush on him, & that now that they are alone, she will show him how much she cares. She has him unzip her uniform, & she shows him her beautiful breasts.
Do you like my body, Joey?
She is only wearing a white thong. She pushes him back onto the bed, & they kiss passionately;
but suddenly her tongue becomes a foot long, & it chokes Joey.
Then pieces of the demon tongue leap out & tie Joey’s hands & feet to the bed. Freddy is standing over him now. Joey screams.
Freddy: What’s the matter, Joey, are you tongue-tied?
(At this point I get pissed off. I certainly enjoyed the fine tit-shots from actress Stacey Alden, but apparently the print I have has cut part of the scene. I found images of Marcie turning into Freddy, with his burned face & her fine tits;
& I was looking forward to being grossed out by it–probably on an extended version or Director’s cut somewhere. )
Then the dream the team rushes into Joey’s room, sees the situation, & Nancy yells: Let him go, you bastard!
Freddy: Your wish is my command.
A fiery pit opens up beneath him, & the mattress drops into the inferno.
As Joey screams, the orderlies, along with Dr. Simms, come into the therapy room, finding the whole group asleep. When they awaken they find that Joey has lapsed into a coma. Simms makes sure that both Dr. Gordon & Nancy are fired over this latest incident.
Cut to a medical ward, with Joey in bed, in his coma. Nancy is at the bed side, weeping, I will find some way to save you, Joey.
Suddenly a message is cut out on his child’s chest: COME AND GET HIM, BITCH.
Working late, clearing out his things from his office, Dr. Gordon looks up and sees the mystery nun in the bell tower. He breaks the lock & goes searching for her, & she does appear when he gets to the tower landing. (if this wing was locked down & abandoned, how in hell did Phillip get in so easily? Part of the Freddy Kreuger demonic magic, I guess).
Sister Mary Helena explains that this section of the hospital, during the 40’s housed the criminally insane. One night a young female staff member was locked in here by mistake. The inmates raped her several dozen times, impregnating her. Her name was Amanda Kreuger. The child was a boy she named Frederick, “the bastard son of a 100 maniacs”.
Then she disappeared again, & Neil let himself out.
Later Dr. Gordon, driving around with Nancy, told her about the nun, & of the need to find Freddy’s bones, & put them to rest in hallowed ground; he didn’t tell her that he had stolen some holy water & a crucifix from a church. He convinced her to find the one person who still knew where the parents hid the bones–her father.
They found him in a bar, getting shit-faced. Nancy explained what she wanted. At first, since he is in uniform, we think he is still a cop, but soon we see he is just a lowly security guard.
Thompson: Freddy Kreuger is dead.You’ve always had a hard time understanding that.
Nancy: You know what he did–well now he’s doing it again!
Dr. Gordon: She’s telling the truth, sir.
Thompson: I don’t think we’ve ever met, friend. This doesn’t concern you.
Nancy: I think we can stop him, Daddy–stop him for good this time, but we absolutely need to know where his bones were hidden.
Thompson: turning away from her, returning to his booze:
It was good seeing you again, Princess. Next time, don’t stay away so long.
Dr. Gordon receives a page from the hospital, & he goes to a pay phone ( how strange to see that pattern of communication); it’s Taryn; Kristin has acted out, & Simms has put her in the quiet room, & all the kids are freaked out.
Neil convinces Nancy to return to the hospital to help the kids while he stays behind & tries to convince Thompson to reconsider. Nancy agrees & exits.
Neil circles back & confronts Don Thompson.
Dr. Gordon: Hi, I’m Dr. Neil Gordon. There now we’ve met.
He grabs Thompson by the shirt and jerks him to his feet, slamming him against the wall.
Gordon: Now you listen to me! I don’t know if you really care whether Nancy lives or dies, but I do!
Thompson gives him a pugnacious look, then gives in.
Gordon: Ok, now we’re going on a little scavenger hunt.
(Two things jangle at my brain here; does Nancy even have a driver’s license? How will she get back to the hospital? What transportation will she use? A city bus, a taxi, hitch a ride, give a blow job to a lawyer in a Lamborghini to get there? & when she gets there, haven’t they stripped her of keys when they canned her, how will she gather the troops? & the other thing is when Craig Wasson gets tough with John Saxon, it is just laughable. Saxon is made of muscle, Wasson is a wily wimp; oh well, artistic license, I must accept the world of the screenplay, right?)
Cut to Nancy driving up to the hospital in Neil’s car–that answers that question. It is late at night, so the staff is few there; another thing in her favor. She is stopped by Max, who has strict orders not to let anyone visit Kristin in the quiet room, especially Nancy;
but, of course, Max is a soft touch, & Nancy is able to find the kids, & all visit with Kristin. Nancy takes them to the therapy room, & explains they must conduct another group dream in order to save Joey, and defeat Freddy.
Nancy: It’s now or never (that was an Elvis song wasn’t it?) I’m not going to kid you, this is as dangerous as it gets. If you die in this dream, it’s for real. So nobody has to go in or doesn’t want to.
Will: Shit, I’m in.
Taryn: Me too!
Kinkaid: OK, let’s kick this motherfucker’s ass all over Dreamland!
Nancy starts the metronome, & they all pop off to Slumber slums.
But bad luck, immediately they are all split up.
Taryn, dressed as the tough biker chick, finds herself in an alley near JAKE’S BAR (used in the rock video later). Freddy appears, she flashes her twin switch blades.
Freddy: Welcome home, Taryn. Does this place look familiar?
Taryn: knives at the ready: OK, asshole–let’s dance.
They have a knife fight, & she gives as good as she gets, being quite adept at darting under his glove, & stabbing him.
Freddy: Taryn, Taryn.
Taryn: What the fuck do you want?
Freddy: Why should we fight? We are old friends, you & I, remember?
Heroin needles form on all 8 of his fingers.
Freddy: Let’s get high!
Her needle tracks all begin to pulsate as he drives all 8 needles into her arms.
Freddy: What a fucking rush!!!
She rockets into Heroin Heaven & her heart & brain burst; kind of a humane way for nasty Freddy to dispatch a foe.
Cut to Dr. Gordon driving up in Thompson’s pick up to a huge old wrecking yard. Thompson tells him Freddy Kreuger’s bones are hidden deep within the acres of wrecked cars. Don gets out, using his Security keys, opens the gate (kind of weirdly convenient that Thompson ended up guarding the wrecking yard where Freddy’s remains are hidden.
Cut to Will, walking with the Wizard Master cape on, meets Freddy in a eerie blue alleyway, much like Tina met him in the original film. A lethal looking independently moving wheelchair, festooned with spear heads & knife blades appears beside Freddy.
Freddy: You look tired, Will. Have a seat.
Will: No, thanks. I’m doing fine right where I stand.
Freddy: For now, maybe–but when you wake up–it’s back in the saddle again! ( shit, I hear an echo of first Gene Autry, & then Steven Tyler).
I’m sorry, kid, but I’m afraid it’s the “Chair” for you.
The demonic wheel chair launches itself toward Will.
Will: I am the Wizard Master.
Lightning bolts zap out of his hands destroying the wheel chair. Then he starts to advance on the surprised Freddy.
Will: In the name of Lowrek, Prince of Elves–Demon, BE GONE!
The lightning bolts of greenish-yellow strike Freddy, who is being bent over by them, screaming in pain.
But as Will gets close to him, Freddy grabs him, halting the bolts.
Freddy: Sorry, kid, too bad I don’t believe in fairy tales; it’s dying time.
He lifts Will off the ground, presses him into a brick wall, & slashes him to pieces.
Cut back to the Wrecking Yard, deep into its bowels, where Thompson has forced open an old vehicle’s trunk, & handed over the gunny sack wrapped Kreuger bones. Neil pours them out on the ground, & begins digging a grave.
Cut to Nancy & Kristin, in their dream, entering a room, finding the wall beginning to disintegrate; cowering, they are pleased to see it is Kinkaid, jubilant that they are reunited.
Kinkaid: Yo, Freddy! Where you hiding at? You burnt-face pussy.
Nancy: Hey, we should find the others, first!
Kinkaid: Oh, you think you’re hot shit while taking on a mute kid, don’t ya? So, asshole, come & get a piece of me! Kreuger, where are you? I always knew in a showdown he would turn out to be a pussy!
A large red door appears behind them.
Nancy: It’s a door.
Kinkaid: seeing that it floated in the air: Yeah, but it don’t go anywhere.
Kristin: Yes, it does.
Nancy: This is it. Are you ready for this?
Kinkaid: Yeah, let’s fucking snuff the sucka’!
They enter the reddish-orange chamber, & they find Joey still lashed to the bed; but they find Freddy too. The four of them find themselves in a Hall of Mirrors, & they begin to fight Freddy, each of them attacking him. At a hectic moment, Joey screams like an electrocuted banshee. All the mirrors blow up, & are destroyed.
Joey: Wow. Did I say that?
Kinkaid: You found your Dream Power, man!
Kristin: You saved us, Joey.
Kinkaid: Jesus, Joey, you fucking blew him away.
Cut back to the Wrecking Yard where the spirit of Freddy reanimates his bones, & a demonic Skeleton rises up, complete with blade-glove.
Thompson rushes it, & his body is picked up & thrown 30 feet across the yard, landing & being impaled on a sharp shard of some old car, the metal spike protruding out of his chest.
Then the Freddy Skeleton attacks Dr. Gordon, slashing his chest, knocking him down & unconscious, then tumbling him into the new grave. It is mute as it begins to toss fresh dirt on top of Neil.
( This stop-action skeleton made me think of THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958), where the dashing Kerwin Matthews fought several skeletons in order to rescue his princess. )
Cut back to the Dream; Freddy reappears, attacking Kinkaid, choking him, lifting him off the ground.
Nancy: He’s so strong. He’s never been this strong!
Freddy: dropping the slain Kinkaid–
Yes, the souls of children–
he rips open his sweater and we see dozens of tiny faces wriggling in his chest–give me more strength.
Nancy & Kristin: OMG.
Freddy: Of course, there’s always room for more.
They do battle with him, and it appears that they defeat him, again.
Cut back to the Wrecking Yard; Dr. Gordon becomes conscious, shakes the dirt off himself, and begins to pull himself out of the grave. He sees that Freddy’s bones are lying inert in a pile. He kicks them into the grave.
Cut back to the Dream.
Suddenly, Kristin & Nancy & Joey see a bright twinkling light floating down to them. It slowly forms a face & figure; it’s Don Thompson.
Thompson: I’ve crossed over, Princess.
Nancy: Crossed over?
Thompson: Yes, but I couldn’t go without telling you how sorry I am for all the bad things I have done. I love you so much. I’ll always love you.
Nancy: Oh, Daddy,
She comes to him, & they have a very sweet hug; until Don turns into Freddy, & slashes open Nancy’s stomach with all four of his blades.
Freddy: Die, bitch!
Nancy drops to the ground, Kristin & Joey take on Freddy; lots of screaming & tussling.
But Nancy rouses herself, & leaps on his back, forcing him to stab himself with his own glove; he goes to his knees just as–
Cut back to the Wrecking Yard as Dr. Gordon pours the holy water on Freddy’s bones, and tosses in the stolen crucifix.
Cut back to the Dream. Freddy Kreuger screaming in agony dies; again. CU on Kristin cradling a dying Nancy in her arms.
Cut to Nancy’s funeral. Dr. Gordon sees the mysterious Nun, standing on a hill behind them. He leaves the service in order to talk to her. She is, of course, not to be found, but his eyes are drawn to a tombstone:
Amanda Kreuger; Her Name in Christ, Sister Mary Helena.
Dr. Gordon: My God–you were his mother!
Cut to Dr. Gordon asleep in his apartment. On a night stand near his head was Nancy’s Malaysian dream doll, and Kristin’s paper model of 1428 Elm Street. As he sleeps, within the model, the bedroom light comes on.
Perhaps Freddy will rise yet another day, or night, in yet another sequel.
Roll the End Credits.
The Freddy glove used in this film was stolen from the set, & it was found in another movie. It was hanging on the wall of a work shed in EVIL DEAD II (1987). This started a spirited controversy between Wes Craven & fellow director Sam Raimi.
The original UK cinema poster was withdrawn due to complaints regarding the image on it; showing the Freddy Snake eating a woman. It was replaced with a less “offensive” one.
For one week during filming, Robert Englund was working 24 hours a day. By day he was wrapping up filming of his TV series DOWNTOWN (1986) & then would would report to the ANOES 3 set at night. The scene in which Craig Wasson is tossed into an open grave & buried alive is a tribute to BODY DOUBLE (1984), in which his character in that film was buried in a similar manner.
The original premise for this film involved Freddy invading the real world & haunting the actors & crew responsible for the NIGHTMARE films. The idea was rejected by New Line Cinema, & Wes Craven had to wait for 3 more sequels to be shot, before 1994 when he did WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE.
This was the first writing credit for Oscar-nominated writer/director Frank Durabont. Robert Englund wrote a treatment for this film; it was not used either. When Taryn is first seen in the hallway of this film (Jennifer Rubin), she is wearing a DOKKEN rock T-shirt. Sally Kellerman was originally going to be the celebrity that Dick Cavett interviewed. Kreuger appears to have killed Kristin’s mother, Elaine, but he did not; she appears in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: The Dream Master (1988).
ROTTEN TOMATOES gave this a whopping 74% Critic’s Approval & a healthy 67% Audience Approval.
TIME OUT wrote: “ A creepy score & Russell’s sure grasp of the skewed logic of nightmares helps to sustain the ambiguity between the “real” & the “dream” worlds; while Englund’s Freddy now fits like a glove.”
Janet Maslin of the NEW YORK TIMES wrote: “ The film’s dream sequences are ingenious, & they feature some remarkable nightmare images & special effects.”
Roger Ebert wrote, bless his black heart: “ Sadly, this is filmmaking by the numbers, without soul.”
I don’t usually disagree with Sir Roger, Mr. I got a Pulitzer, what’a you got?–usually he and I are of one mind on movies; but not this time. For fuck’s sake, Rog’, all movies are made “by the numbers”, that is the nature of the business; a film feels like a huge mechanical technological monster that each of us making them, in any capacity, has no sense of the totality or the outcome; must have had a bad day, eh?
TV GUIDE wrote: “ Freddy is a vital killer who brings a sense of creepy fun to his demented work; & moviegoers actually like this guy, even cheer him. The imaginative nightmares themselves are another reason for the series’ success.”
Kim Newman of EMPIRE MAGAZINE wrote: “ Arguably, this is the most imaginative of the horror franchise, with a fair number of truly resonant scenes.”
It was pretty easy to see why this film was so popular, making up for the disappointing BO of ANOES 2 ( though even it made a ton of a cash), prompting producers to cough up 4.5 million for the budget on this movie; which grossed 44.78 million in the U.S.A.
This film sported more special effects, found more of a sense of humor for Freddy, had the return of both Nancy Thompson & Don Thompson from the original film, had a bitchin’ theme song by the legendary heavy metal band, Dokken, had cameos by both Dick Cavett & Zsa Zsa Gabor, & big kuhuana Wes Craven was back on board the production team both as Writer & Executive Producer; what the hell’s not to like about that?
My biggest criticism was about Heather Lagenkamp. In the two years since she filmed the original, somehow, her meager-but-promising acting talents diminished to horse-shit amateur-night. Her line readings could have been delivered more convincingly by some chick they might have snagged out of a LA dog walking park. As I mentioned previously, her costumes were strange, ill-fitting, & poorly conceived–it really did seem that Heather regressed to a ten-year old, and she was playing dress-up with her grandmother’s 40’s wardrobe. I would not hire Costume Designer, Camille Morris to design a doggy-sweater; she should be ashamed.
I did not expect any real depth of character for the cast, & I was not disappointed; lots of cardboard folks with predictable dialogue & uninspired actions–except for Laurence Fishburne, who really did shine in all his scenes; like James Earl Jones, he could make something out of reading the phone book aloud. Craig Wasson was OK as a sort of love interest, and co-Freddy-fighter, but I kept wishing they would have spent some money on getting Richard Thomas or Richard Dreyfuss; either of those Dicks would have dressed up the role.
I was very pleased that actress Stacey Alden did a bone fide nude scene, the first in the series so far, & that her tit-shots were memorable. It was fun to watch the film debuts of Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Rubin, Stacey Alden, & Sally Piper.
I know this is strange, but the voice used by Robert Englund kept sounding identical to several roles Adrian Sparks has done over his 40 year career; Adrian is the father of Bacchus, & one of my closest friends. Imagine my surprise when this revelation descended on me. I thought the musical score, once again, was excellent; kudos to the fantastic Angelo Badalamenti.
So in the final analysis, the Good outweighed the Bad, & I found myself smiling hard at the end of the film; it had been a fun Carnival ride; imaginative, inventive, & well executed for a 1987 technology. Using the HH rating system of 10 dancing procreating Stars, I would bestow 7 of those critters on this film.
I see that Renny Harlin directed the next sequel: THE DREAM MASTER; so it is off to spend some time with him next.