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The Best and Worst of the Nightmare on Elm Street Series: Parts 4-6


Courtesy of New Line Cinema

Nightmare on Elm St. 4: Dream Master (1988)

Freddy's back in this fourth installment after the critical success of Nightmare 3. This time around, Freddy is thought to be dead by the local youngsters and so they finally can get a good night's sleep. Of course, Freddy isn't really dead and comes back to life in a junkyard after a dog urinates fire on his burial plot. Then funny guy Freddy starts back up silly routine and slowly picks off the kids one by one.

Alice (Lisa Wilcox) is the new protagonist, replacing Kristen, who was portrayed by Patricia Arquette and mysteriously recast by someone actually named Tuesday Knight. Although the dream warriors failed, Alice seems to have the impression that her special title as "dream master", will somehow be enough to stop Fred. Along the way, we learn how to deal with an emotionally abusive, alcoholic father and some pretty cool karate moves done to the tune of Dramarama. 

Nightmare 4, like the rest, may not live up to the original but it is kind of entertaining. For one thing, the special effects are of the best than any other film in the franchise and are comparable to any other in the genre. Many fans will immediately recall the infamous "roach motel" scene or the excellent makeup job on Englund in the final sequence. Of course, pretty visuals are not the main attraction to any film because it needs story too, which Dream Master does not. Sadly, plot-wise, this is one of the most boring and monotonous movies i have ever seen. Obviously a slasher flick, albeit one set way out of the realm of possibility, doesn't need much of a storyline but there still should be some semblance of a one to keep interest. Dream Master does follow a linear plot line, but it is so slopped together that it feels as though it was written by folks in a high school creative writing class.

Rating

2 / 5 "Kills"

Nightmare on Elm St. 5: Dream Child (1989)


Courtesy of New Line Cinema

At this point, Freddy has begun to overstay his welcome and becoming quite the nuisance. No longer was he this dark and frightening figure but rather like some annoying child that you wish would just shut up. Nothing personal against Robert Englund either, because he did do his best given the circumstances. 

Anyway, in this sequel, Alice is back from Nightmare 4 and she and her jock boyfriend, Dan, are expecting a child. Surely with a subtitle of Dream Child, that should come as no surprise. Everything seems to be going great and Freddy is nowhere to be found. This quickly changes and again silly deaths and lots of puns befall on Elm Street. Of course, it couldn't be a kooky Nightmare sequel without some weird and improbable plot. So, Alice begins to worry that her unborn kid is suffering from the same Freddy-related nightmares and so she seeks help from her cliched friends. 

Again, the series had turned from respectable to entertaining to just corny and unimaginative. Even the special effects, which were once the only saving grace for the previous entries, have become weakened and secondary to a storyline that wouldn't amuse a bucket of excrement. To prove just how passe this series has become, the final battle eerily resembles the previous films. It always takes place in a dream and the setting is some old, abandoned church or factory. 

Rating

1 / 5 "Kills"


Courtesy of New Line Cinema

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

Freddy's Dead aka Nightmare 6 is the worst of them all. It is an abomination to all that is horror-related and should everyone should shamefully act as though it had never happened.

The story takes place in 1999 Springwood, when there are no teenagers left because Freddy killed them all. This makes sense because the extinction of an entire age group in an American town would probably not raise any eyebrows. Then enters this kid, who is suffering from amnesia, and is called John Doe. John meets up with some hoodlums at a local teen shelter in another town. Freddy then lures John and his new pals into Springwood so that he can kill them and collect their souls. He does this because for some reason, there is a barrier that prevents Freddy from leaving Springwood. Anyway, Fred makes John believe that they are father and son and so the group goes on a road trip and lands at 1428 Elm Street.

Freddy's Dead makes absolutely no attempt to be the slightest entertaining. It is full of so many lame jokes and wisecracks that it resembles more of a bad comedy than bad horror film. For instance, it integrates 3D technology during the final scenes, a technology that lost interest about ten years prior to the release of this film. Another scene depicts Freddy killing a victim with a makeshift NES Powerglove that resembles his blade-glove. Again, another technology that went out of style long before the movie was released and it makes one wonder just how long it was sitting on a shelf collecting dust actually being shot. Of course, we cannot forget the scene where Freddy makes some guy's head explode by scratching his blades across a chalkboard. This movie features so much witticism that it puts Arnold Schwarzenegger's portrayal of Mr. Freeze to shame.

Even though the story is horrendous and the dialogue is so terrible that it makes you cringe, the special effects are, again, even worse. The effects are reminiscent of a bad Commodore 64 game or a Windows 3.1 screensaver. The film provides nothing except for a bad empty feeling afterward that never seems to go away. 

Of course, with every bad, has to come good and Freddy's Dead is no exception. There are some, very few, but some redeeming qualities. For one, the back stories and flashback scenes are very good and shed some new light onto the character. Alice Cooper portrays Freddy's father and the two share a great scene together that shows how he developed a fetish for pain from his father's excessive abuse. Another fun part of the film is actually the end credits, in which Iggy Pop does a catchy tune, "Why Was I Born?",  over a montage of clips from the previous films. 

Rating

1 / 5 "Kills"

Check out the reboot review!

Comments

  • slicker 4 years ago

    I agree with Tim on all 3.

  • Michael Moore 4 years ago

    Dream child was probably the worst.

  • Shia labouf 4 years ago

    Im in chicago and drunk, hope i dont get arrested

  • don 4 years ago

    doesnt freddy transform into a motorcycle in part 5? how'd they kill freddy? catch him on fire - they way they always do? come to think of it, is it the end of part 3 where they throw holy water on him and light starts shooting out of him? that was a cool ending.

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