A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child Preview

Jamie bursts through the door, running headlong into the giant box in the middle of their apartment. The corner connects directly with his testicles, which amuses Rachel and Patrick to no end. When Jamie is done writhing on the ground and cursing the obviously and unendingly useless box, he announces that he has gotten a toy for the big toy giveaway. “Tada,” he says as he reveals a Rich themed blanket and a Poe brand tea set. Apparently after the war toy submarine fiasco the Super Dope Toy company was looking for something a bit more lowkey and the blanket and tea set hit all the right notes. “The perfect combination,” Jamie explains, “Just like Rich & Poe are the perfect combination of bad guy stopping power.” Patrick holds up his hand in exasperation. While it wouldn’t exactly be the toy he would have chosen, it’ll have to do because he also has big news. The FMV VR Rich & Poe experience is done and he thinks it’s pretty great. No need to say more. Jamie quickly sends off the Rich & Poe Blanket & Tea set to WGRG, while Patrick sets the FMV release date for peak chart time. With their nerves on edge and 15 hours to kill before they see if their plan has worked, Jamie and Patrick contemplate what to do until then. “Should we watch Here on Earth?” Patrick suggests, breaking out their well-worn 4K copy with extra bonus features. But Jamie shakes his head. The white-hot tragic love story is a bit too intense for the moment. What they really need is some sleep. Suddenly it hits him like a ton of bricks. Duh, let’s take this blanket and tea set for a test drive and snooze away the time. Hopefully they don’t have any bad dreams. That’s right! We are transitioning out of the video games/song cycle and right into one of our favorites: franchises! We are going to hit up some beautiful sequels, please, and start it off hot with the two Nightmare on Elm entries that qualified for BMT (before the reboots started). Those are A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child and Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, which were five and six in the series. I really liked the first one, so I was excited to watch the whole original series. Let’s go!

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989) – BMeTric: 57.4; Notability: 55

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 2.0%; Notability: top 6.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 26.8% Higher BMeT: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Cyborg; Higher Notability: Troop Beverly Hills, Road House, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Lower RT: Wired, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, DeepStar Six, No Holds Barred, She’s Out of Control, Millennium, Winter People, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, The Karate Kid Part III, The Salute of the Jugger, Chattahoochee, Nightmare Vacation 3, The Lemon Sisters, Three Fugitives, Cookie, Her Alibi, Cyborg, Rude Awakening, Renegades, Harlem Nights and 18 more; Notes: Man what a year for bad horror sequels! I’m always astounded by how much people on IMDb hate bad horror films.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Fifth in the Nightmare series, with everyone except Englund just going through the paces. Here, scarred, dream-haunting Freddy Krueger (Englund) uses the unborn child of Wilcox to strike at her friends. As usual, special effects are a highlight but don’t save the film from being a bore. Followed by Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

(I’m pretty intrigued by the idea that the special effects are a highlight. It seems like this series in particular tends to have some pretty good special effects. I’m a bit surprised that Maltin, who seems to hate horror films, doesn’t mention how weirdly vulgar Kreuger is in the later sequels.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFm_jiI8RiA 

(The reveal of the subtitle, The Dream Child, almost seems like a joke. Pair that with the Beetlejuice-esque sets and “It’s a Boooooooooy” at the end and I kind of hate this trailer. I think it might have been different at the time, but knowing it is a bad movie makes the trailer seem merely a confirmation of that fact.)

Directors – Stephen Hopkins – (Known For: The Ghost and the Darkness; Race; Under Suspicion; The Life and Death of Peter Sellers; Tube Tales; Dangerous Game; Future BMT: The Reaping; Blown Away; Judgment Night; BMT: Lost in Space; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Predator 2; Notes: Won an Emmy for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, and also was lead director on the first season of 24. Was storyboarding commercials when he was 15 in Australia, originally born in Jamaica and raised in England.)

Writers – Wes Craven (characters) – (Known For: A Nightmare on Elm Street; The Hills Have Eyes; The Last House on the Left; Freddy vs. Jason; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare; The People Under the Stairs; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge; The Last House on the Left; The Hills Have Eyes; Deadly Blessing; Paris, je t’aime; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Swamp Thing; The Hills Have Eyes Part II; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Pulse; The Hills Have Eyes II; My Soul to Take; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Shocker; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: Well known for his genre defying horror films, including twice creating what could be construed as send-ups (and meta versions) of the Nightmare franchise in both New Nightmare and Scream. A quintessential voice in horror throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s.)

John Skipp (story) – (Known For: Class of 1999; Tales of Halloween; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: A musician with a band called Arcade. Him and Spector wrote several bestselling novels as well.)

Craig Spector (story) – (BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: Also a musician and writing partner with Skipp, they were a part of the “splatterpunk” horror fiction movement of the 80’s.)

Leslie Bohem (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Tracers; House III: The Horror Show; Twenty Bucks; Kid; Future BMT: Nowhere to Run; Dante’s Peak; The Alamo; BMT: The Darkest Hour; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Daylight; Notes: Also a musician with the Gleaming Spires in the 80s! She won an Emmy for the miniseries Taken.)

Actors – Robert Englund – (Known For: A Nightmare on Elm Street; Freddy vs. Jason; A Star Is Born; Hatchet; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare; Galaxy of Terror; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Dead and Buried; Strippers vs Werewolves; Stay Hungry; Zombie Strippers!; Death Trap; Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon; Big Wednesday; 2001 Maniacs; The Midnight Man; Red; Strangeland; Future BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; The Mangler; Meet the Deedles; Wishmaster; The Phantom of the Opera; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Urban Legend; Notes: Apparently he wrote a version of the third film that they didn’t use. He is going to be in a few episodes of the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things.)

Lisa Wilcox – (Known For: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Gimme an ‘F’; Men Seeking Women; Watchers Reborn; Clinger; The Church; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: Was mostly out of acting in the 2000s and running a costume jewelry company “Toe Brights” which she founded. She’s has a few small horror films in the works.)

Kelly Jo Minter – (Known For: The Lost Boys; Mask; House Party; The People Under the Stairs; New Jack City; Summer School; Doc Hollywood; The Principal; Miracle Mile; Cat Chaser; Sunset Grill; Future BMT: The Rich Man’s Wife; Out for Justice; Popcorn; BMT: A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Notes: Has three children and currently is designing handbags under the label KJO Los Angeles.)

Budget/Gross – $8 million / Domestic: $22,168,359 (Worldwide: $22,168,359)

(That’s pretty good. I really don’t understand how they make these films for so little! $8 million and you are paying for a returning actress from the fourth and Englund and special effects? That is pretty impressive.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (9/31): A Nightmare on Elm Street feels exhausted by this cheesy fifth entry, bogged down by a convoluted mythology while showing none of the chilling technique that kicked off the franchise.

(Man. If they think the mythology in Nightmare on Elm Street is convoluted they better not Halloween and the Cult of Thorn. Reviewer Highlight: Fifth edition of the hit Nightmare series is a poorly constructed special effects showcase. – Variety Staff)

Poster – Nightmare on Sklog Street 5: Dream Baby

(Wild, Just wild. Nightmare on Elm really got away with crazy posters and visuals throughout the series, becoming more and more late 80’s/early 90’s as it went along. This is the peak though. The poster is bonkers. It’s nuts that this hung in theaters and stuff next to a poster for, like, Uncle Buck or something. I’m gonna give it a B+ just for the chutzpah.)

Tagline(s) – Freddy delivers. (A-)

(They really missed a chance at using “You snooze, you lose” as a tagline for one of the films. This probably wouldn’t have been it. Probably the second one. Anyway, this is kind of a fun one so I appreciate it. Short, sweet, and clever. It’s good, if silly for a horror film.)

Keyword – nightmare

Top 10: The Passion of the Christ (2004), Midsommar (2019), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Wonder Woman (2017), Watchmen (2009), Interstellar (2014), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Captain Marvel (2019), Get Out (2017), Stardust (2007)

Future BMT: 92.7 Date Movie (2006), 87.9 BloodRayne (2005), 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 76.5 Junior (1994), 71.8 Bewitched (2005), 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 65.6 Pulse (2006), 61.0 Cursed (2005), 61.0 Legion (2010);

BMT: 2012 (2009), Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), Fifty Shades Freed (2018), Event Horizon (1997), Fifty Shades Darker (2017), Fantasy Island (2020), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), The Nun (2018), Rambo (2008), Vampire Academy (2014), Slender Man (2018), Replicas (2018), Flatliners (2017), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Nothing But Trouble (1991), Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), Red Riding Hood (2011), The Rite (2011), Perfect Stranger (2007), Rings (2017), Dracula 2001 (2000), The Number 23 (2007), New York Minute (2004), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), The Ring 2 (2005)

(What a bizarre keyword. Passion of the Christ? Was there a nightmare in that? Was there a nightmare in all of the MCU and DCU films? I guess we got over nightmares in the mid-2000s.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Robert Englund is No. 1 billed in A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child and No. 10 billed in Urban Legend, which also stars Alicia Witt (No. 1 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 2 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 10 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch The Phantom of the Opera, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 17.

Notes – According to director Stephen Hopkins, they “got lots of tarantulas, hand-painted them green and red, and on the floor of the stage placed a little wall up in the shape of an arm and had trainers come in and around the tarantulas.” The plan was to simply drop the wall and film the resulting scattering of the spiders. However, after they got the shot they were left with a studio full of around 200 angry tarantulas. Hopkins figures, “We probably carried on shooting on another set, I’m sure. I don’t think anyone ever found them again.” (That’s ecologically irresponsible)

The graduation sequence was cut down significantly to speed up the pacing of the film.

Stephen Hopkins was given just four weeks to shoot and a further four weeks to edit the film. This meant that he had to shoot on one stage while the crew dressed the other, so they could shoot almost continually. After he made it, the studio was so impressed, that he was given the task of directing Predator 2 (1990).

When Alice wakes up from her nightmare in the asylum, and one of the deranged Westin Hills patients, who’s portrayed by Robert Englund, appears beside her in bed and pins her down, originally he said, “There’s no such thing as safe sex.” The line was excised from the film.

Stephen King and comic book writer Frank Miller were offered the job of writing and directing this movie. (A Stephen King directed Nightmare film would have been wild)

Executive producer Sara Risher’s original pitch to New Line Cinema for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) was for Freddy to have a baby. Risher states, “I went in, one of the executives was pregnant at the time, and I said, ‘Picture Freddy clawing his way out of the womb.’ No one liked my idea. So then I got a call for Nightmare 5, and when they came to me they said, ‘Remember when you wanted Freddy to have a baby? Well, we like that idea now. What if Alice was the mom?'”

There was a nude body double that stood in for Lisa Wilcox during the scene where Alice’s dream morphs into a nightmare.

The film was the lowest-grossing film of the franchise.

Virtually nothing of the screenplay by John Skipp and Craig Spector made it into the film (according to Skipp, only the phrase “It’s a boy” was retained), while only around half of Leslie Bohem’s screenplay was kept. William Wisher and David J. Schow did further re-writes, and the final screenplay was put together just a few days before shooting by Michael De Luca.

The end credits song, “Let’s Go” by Kool Moe Dee was actually a diss track to LL Cool J. The two rappers were feuding at the time this film was being made.

The only ‘Nightmare on Elm Street” Film not to have any direct involvement from Rachel Talalay who had worked on Elm Streets 1 to 4 in various crew roles, though she is thanked in the end credits and miss it if you blink call out on the Doctors door in the Baby clinic to a DR Tala (obscured). Rachel Talalay would be reunited with Freddy Krueger in ‘Freddy’s Dead’ (1991) as Director.

Alice is the only person who has fought Freddy Krueger twice and survived. And she is one of only a handful of characters in the three major slasher franchises to survive their killer more than once. Halloween’s Dr. Loomis, Laurie Strode, Nurse Marion Chambers, Jamie Lloyd, Sheriff Brackett, and Tommy Doyle. And Tommy Jarvis of the Friday films.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Bruce Dickinson, 1990)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Kool Moe Dee, 1990)

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