Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare 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!

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) – BMeTric: 66.4; Notability: 42

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 0.4%; Notability: top 23.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 12.7% Higher BMeT: Cool as Ice; Higher Notability: Hook, Hudson Hawk, Mobsters, Switch, Flight of the Intruder, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Rock-A-Doodle, Life Stinks, Out for Justice, Necessary Roughness, The Marrying Man, The Five Heartbeats, Driving Me Crazy, Billy Bathgate, He Said, She Said, Oscar, Teen Agent, King Ralph; Lower RT: Cool as Ice, Mobsters, Problem Child 2, Pure Luck, The Marrying Man, Strictly Business, Drop Dead Fred, Another You, Oscar, Nothing But Trouble, The Hitman, Mannequin: On the Move, Curly Sue, One Good Cop, Suburban Commando, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, Ernest Scared Stupid, Driving Me Crazy, Life Stinks; Notes: Phew, at least it managed to get below 5.0. The film is rough, and the impressive BMeTric is well deserved.

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Don’t believe the title. This Nightmare on Elm Street entry has Freddy Krueger trying to break out of the town where he’s been slaughtering teens in their dreams. Now the stage is set for the end-all Freddy showdown – a 10-minute 3-D finales that didn’t even look good in theaters. A total yawner. Cameos by Alice Cooper, Raseanne and Tom Arnold, and Johnny Depp, whose film debut was in the first Nightmare. Followed by Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

(I think you can believe the title Leonard! This is the (sad) culmination of what is, in reality, a really solid slasher franchise with six films. New Nightmare is a meta reboot. Freddy v. Jason is something outside of both of those franchises (and I think would have been considered its own unique franchise is they had got to make a sequel). And then they had the remake. This is actually the conclusion of the first set of films.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGQP6PIXzyc/

(I swear to god the middle of that trailer is just a series of people hitting him and punching him in the face. Terrible trailer. Having seen it, I also think they should have played up that this is set 10 years in the future and that Springwood is a ghost town without any children … but then again that is ultra dumb and I hate it so ….)

Directors – Rachel Talalay – (Known For: A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting; Future BMT: Tank Girl; Ghost in the Machine; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Notes: Crazy life, she was a mathematician who worked as a programmer at Yale when she met John Waters which got her into movies. She was involved in the first four films in various ways which got her this job. She was the first American to direct a Doctor Who episode. And now she directs a ton of television shows.)

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: Pulse; The Hills Have Eyes II; My Soul to Take; A Nightmare on Elm Street; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Shocker; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Notes: His son is a horror film producer, and his daughter was an actress who had a bit part in this film as a nurse.)

Rachel Talalay (story) – (BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Notes: She wrote her first feature since this film last year, although I don’t think it is necessarily going to be released widely anywhere.)

Michael De Luca (screenplay) – (Known For: In the Mouth of Madness; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Judge Dredd; Notes: Ended up as Dreamworks’ President of Production and MGM’s Motion Picture Group Chairman. He also wrote seven of the Freddy’s Nightmares episodes.)

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: The Mangler; A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child; Meet the Deedles; Wishmaster; The Phantom of the Opera; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Urban Legend; Notes: I find it pretty interesting that he is top billed in all of these films except the first and third (where  Heather Langenkamp gets a higher billing). Out of all of the slasher franchises that must be a fairly unique thing, to have the slasher be top billed.)

Lisa Zane – (Known For: Bad Influence; Heart of Dixie; Floundering; Femme Fatale; The Girl from Nagasaki; Cruel But Necessary; Future BMT: Gross Anatomy; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Monkeybone; Notes: That’s right, the sister of BMT mega-star Billy Zane! Was a voice on Biker Mice from Mars, the cartoon.)

Shon Greenblatt – (Known For: The Last Days of Paradise; Luster; Chopper Chicks in Zombietown; Future BMT: Newsies; BMT: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare; Notes: Son of famous broadway producers, and the father of famous child actor Ariana Greenblatt who we haven’t seen in anything, but will presumably eventually see in Bad Mom’s Christmas.)

Budget/Gross – $11,000,000 / Domestic: $34,872,033 (Worldwide: $34,872,033)

(Yeah that is good. Slashers (and horror in general) were in a really bad place in the 90s, so it is a bit of good fortune they didn’t charge forward with trying to make this not the final nightmare. But it is a bit of a surprise that they didn’t start to think through how to continue with it. These franchises always seem like such easy money at the time.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (6/30): Reducing the once-terrifying Dream Reaper into a goofy caricature, this joyless climax will leave audiences hoping Freddy stays dead.

(Yup. It was inevitable though. Outside of three all of the sequels started giving Freddy more and more to do and say and … well, what can a child murderer say that is interesting except goofy puns that undermine the horror? Reviewer Highlight: The joke is on the filmmakers: By taking the finality out of death, they’ve already robbed the horror genre of its giddy sting. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly)

Poster – The Nightmare’s Over: Sklog Street Edition

(Went back to more traditional, which was a harbinger of things to come. Not sure why it’s tilted or why that bus is on there. But color scheme is nice and showing who the real star was at this point: Freddy. Somehow regressed on the font. C+)

Tagline(s) – They saved the best for last. (D)

(Ooooof, that’s an unfortunately inaccurate tagline. I generally do not like meta taglines and this is no different. Bad all around.)

Keyword – slasher

Top 10: Get Out (2017), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Seven (1995), American Psycho (2000), Jennifer’s Body (2009), Scream (1996), The Cabin in the Woods (2011), Urban Legend (1998), Scary Movie (2000), Wrong Turn (2003)

Future BMT: 82.8 Prom Night (2008), 82.5 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 72.6 Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017), 72.1 Black Christmas (2019), 69.3 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 68.8 Black Christmas (2006), 68.1 Seed of Chucky (2004), 67.0 Halloween II (2009), 64.3 Valentine (2001), 63.6 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995);

BMT: Urban Legend (1998), House of Wax (2005), Friday the 13th (2009), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Jason X (2001), Truth or Dare (2018), Cobra (1986), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990), Friday the 13th: Part III (1982), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), The Fog (2005), Deadly Friend (1986), Graveyard Shift (1990)

(Horror is an interesting franchise in that you can see in the last ten years how much it must have migrated to streaming (like Shudder) with the precipitous drop in notability. The big peak is around Scream I think and the newly minted big budget horror genre which swiftly died. I am excited to do the entirely Halloween franchise next. I’ve seen mot of those, but I have a lot more horror experiences to draw on now.)

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 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare 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 – This is the first film in the franchise that does not include the little jump rope girls singing Freddy’s rhyme.

Peter Jackson’s original screenplay for Freddy’s Dead saw Freddy aging and growing weak within the dream world. The teens of Springwood would have drug-fuelled slumber parties for kicks, and enter the dream world to beat him up. (HAHAHA)

A sixteen-year-old Jacob Johnson, the son that was born to Alice Johnson in the previous installment, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), was a major character in the original script written for the movie by Michael Almereyda. In this first draft of the film, Alice, now in her thirties, was killed by Freddy. Taryn, Joey, and Kincaid from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) also returned as the “Dream Police”. In the script, Taryn was the “Blade Cop”, Joey was the “Sound Cop”, and Kincaid was the “Power Cop”. Director Rachel Talalay has stated that she greatly disliked the original script, and that the replacement script by Michael De Luca “saved the day”. De Luca also said that he was surprised he wasn’t asked to write the screenplay in the first place, since he had done a similar last-minute re-write on A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989). (WHAT, I … kind of love that? I love the idea of the “Dream Police” would be an interesting idea of the Dream Masters getting recruited into a group to fight Freddy)

When shown theatrically, audience members were given one pair of red cardboard 3-D glasses with movie taglines printed on it. The inside arms had adhesives for attaching to standard glasses. An advertisement for House Party 2 (1991) was printed on the outside of one arm.

They re-used most of the crew from John Waters’ Cry-Baby (1990), including Traci Lords’ husband. (Right, because the director was good friends with John Waters)

The video game system that Freddy Krueger plays is similar to the NES which featured the A Nightmare on Elm Street (1989) video game.

Alice Cooper, who has an uncredited role as Freddy’s father, previously co-wrote and performed the theme song for Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986). Both that film and this film are the sixth films in their respective franchises.

When released to home video, the 3-D sequence was shown in standard format, excluding the UK rental version. However, the LaserDisc version had the full 3-D sequence, along with the regular version. Two pairs of 3-D glasses were included with the disc. The glasses were similar to the ones given out in theaters, minus the advertisements, adhesives, and taglines. They were also printed on a thinner cardstock. This was the only way to view the 3-D sequence prior to the DVD release in the U.S.

This is the first “A Nightmare On Elm Street” film not to have the words “Elm Street” in the title.

Part of the title was inspired by the hit song “Freddie’s Dead” by Curtis Mayfield from the almost 20-year old film “Super Fly” (1972).

Robert Englund has stated that his favorite kill in any of the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise, is Carlos’ death in this film. (It is my least favorite so …)

John Doe comes to think he may be Freddy’s son. As noted earlier, this film takes place ten years in the future, circa 1999. The “A Nightmare on Elm Street” official website’s time line notes that Freddy Krueger’s death at the hands of the Springwood parents, took place in 1968 (based on the fact that in A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), Freddy’s mother is said to have died soon after Freddy’s trial). This film notes that Freddy’s child was taken away from him in 1966 (see the chalkboard scene at Springwood High School). Therefore, John Doe would have to be in his thirties to be Freddy’s son, which he obviously was not. (This is some A+ movie timeline stuff and I love it)

The producers where planning a spin off film in which Freddy Kreuger’s spirit possesses the body of his daughter Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane) and she continue’s her father’s murderous killing spree but it never happened.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (Iggy Pop, 1992)

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