Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

Reviewed by JM

Just look at the picture. Really? Come on. This is a scene in a horror movie?

Actually, I have to say that this moment, early in the movie, is a pretty brave one. Outside of drag bars on Halloween, this is the only time I have ever seen a male dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West. Would Jason Vorhees dress this way to elicit laughter from his audience? No way. Would Michael Myers humiliate himself like this? Not a chance. Would Pinhead cackle like an old woman while riding a broomstick? Hard to say… Let’s put that in the “maybe” pile.

So, this is how we open the sixth installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. And, frankly, it says a lot about the health of the franchise. Watch the first two Elm Streets again. Freddy Kruger is a pretty effective character. He is creepy. He is gross. He is perverse. He absolutely lost a lot of these qualities in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors. But, part 3 is also the best one of these movies. The special effects are great. Patricia Arquette is…well… bizarre. Heather Langencamp returned as Nancy. Unfortunately, Freddy also uttered “…welcome to prime time, bitch!” in part 3 and changed the character and the direction of the series. From part four on, Freddy spends more time cracking jokes and uttering sophomoric one-liners than actually stalking anyone.

Part six, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare is really the zenith of this Freddy as gagman thing. As in The Dream Child, Freddy in this one looks less like a burn victim than he does a Boglin…you know, those foamy, rubbery little hand puppets… just look on Ebay. Yes sir, long gone are the days when kids would be scared of Freddy Kruger.

Anyway, early in this one we are introduced to the new kids on the chopping block… get it? These kids are at some sort of jail/clubhouse/halfway house/orphanage/rehab center or something. We find out right away that lazy cops just drop kids off there rather than fill out paperwork.

First, we get Shon Greenblatt as “John Doe”. I think he is supposed to be Alice’s kid from the The Dream Child as a teenager. And I think this movie is supposed to take place 10 years in the future. But, that would only make the character 12 years old. He looks like he is about 20. I am just not sure what is going on… maybe that 10 years in the future thing was just part of a dream? Nothing is made very clear. Why is this guy even in this movie?

Then, there is Spencer, played by Breckin Meyer. This is probably the prettiest girl in the movie. What? Breckin Meyer is a male? Okay… I guess Freddy is not the only one in drag on Elm Street.

Ricky Dean Logan is Carlos. This character needs a hearing aid. Really nothing more to say about him. That handicap will set up how Freddy tortures/kills him (“Oh, Carlos… Lend me your ear” is uttered while my eyes roll).

Lezlie Deane plays Tracy. She doesn’t like to be touched and she kickboxes. Any guesses where this is going?

Yaphet Kotto portays Doc. If the writers could not be bothered to come up with a real name for this guy, then I am not going to waste anymore time on him either.

Finally, there is Lisa Zane as Maggie Borroughs. This character actually gets a first and a last name. So, we already know that she is going to survive this picture. She is a counselor or something to the kids in this place. But, she calls Spencer’s dad a “jerk” in front of Spencer and she kind of shrugs off things when another counselor finds a pipe bomb in Spencer’s room. So, I really don’t think she is very good at her job.

Now, what this movie does, is it makes the same mistake that the Halloween franchise did in part 6, too (and did again in Rob Zombie’s remake). This movie really delves into its villain’s backstory. We find out all about Freddy’s childhood. We all get know why Freddy became who he is.

What is this, Dr. Phil? No one cares why Freddy became a serial killer. I couldn’t give a damn about his abusive childhood. All I want is teenagers being chased around by a guy with knives for fingers. That’s it. Stop making this harder than it is.

So for an hour and a half, we get Freddy yucking it up with jokey deaths and a lot of background information. And Rosanne and Tom Arnold. Good lord.
The really weird thing here, though, is that this movie was really advertised as being in 3D. And, the filming throughout it is seems to be intended as 3d. But, it is only a 3d movie for the last, like, 10 minutes. What is that all about?

I remember seeing this in the theater with my brother, Billy. Everyone was given 3D glasses. But, we were instructed not to wear them until a character in the movie puts on a pair. And, what to you know? One of the characters has to put on 3D glasses during the last 10 minutes of the movie because in her dream they would not be 3D glasses, they would be…. Aw, who cares?

So, is this the worst Nightmare on Elm Street movie? I suppose that depends on what you consider to be a Nightmare on Elm Street movie. In my opinion, it is the worst. But, that is only because I do not consider Freddy Vs. Jason to be a part of the series. That movie is completely, unwatchably terrible. Nothing redeeming about it.

I will give Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare one finger as a stand alone effort. I will give it an extra half a finger for being heads and shoulders above Freddy Vs. Jason.

One and a half fingers.

1 comment:

  1. Maggie turns out to be Freddy's daughter. Love the blog, but I see it's been a while for you guys.