Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare Recap

Jamie

Freddy’s back, Jack! And for the final time (not really). This time Freddy had turned Springwood into a wasteland, having killed all the children across generations. Now, in order to escape to kill again, he must lure his child (!) back to the town. Can a new gang of dream warriors subdue Freddy for the final time? Find out in… Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

How?! When a kid with amnesia stumbles into town, the police quickly collect him and send him to a home for troubled children. The kids there are all battling demons from their past and using all kinds of therapy techniques to try to help. For example one of therapists is an expert in dreams, which I’m sure won’t come in handy. Anyway, one of the therapists, Maggie, notices that the new John Doe has a newspaper clipping from Springwood and decides to take him back there. Incidentally a few other kids stow away in the van and are discovered after arriving in town. Weirdly, Springwood is a ghost town and the teens are met with fear and curiosity. The stowaways are sent home, while Maggie and John investigate. In a nearby school they discover that Freddy had a child! This must be the key to what’s going on and John is convinced that he is that child. Meanwhile the teens can’t seem to escape Springwood, so settling into a recognizable house on Elm Street they try to get through the night. Not likely as one-by-one they are pulled into the dream world by Freddy. One of the teens, Tracy, escapes and gets Maggie and John to come help. John and Tracy enter into the dream world to help the other kids but it’s too late and they are almost killed. As they try to leave Springwood, Freddy corners John and tells him that he’s not the child, rather it’s a girl. As he is killed by Freddy, John awakens and tells this to Maggie. Back home, Maggie finds that she’s adopted and that she is actually Katherine Kreuger and has inadvertently brought Freddy with her to a new town. With the help of the dream therapist, Maggie enters the dream world and is able to get into his head and pull him into the real world. There they have a climactic battle which ends with him stabbed by his own glove and blown up with a pipe bomb, thus finally killing Freddy Kreuger. THE END (or is it? (no, not really)). 

Why?! I guess this is probably the most interesting motivation for Kreuger as he has turned Springwood into an isolated, crazy mess with no more kids to kill. So looking for a way to get to a new town he sends John Doe out for the express purpose of bringing Maggie back to him. With their connection, Freddy knows that he can use Maggie as a vessel to get out of Springwood.

Who?! There’s some weird shit in this one. Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold are credited as Mr. and Mrs. Tom Arnold, which is odd. Then Johnny Depp has a cameo and got credited as Oprah Noodlemantra. Finally, in a flashback we see Freddy kill his abusive adoptive father. Who’s his daddio? The musician Alice Cooper. The hits keep coming in these films.

What?! Oh man. One of the best product placements in a while as one of Freddy’s lamest kills of all time comes when he traps one of the kids in a video game. He’s playing it (poorly I might add) trying to kill the kid when John Doe and Tracy come and snatch the controls away. Not so fast says Freddy… cause he’s got dat sweet Nintendo Power Glove like a real video game Wizard. Unfortunately I don’t think there is an unironic entry in a Power Glove Trilogy, so it’ll have to remain a Power Glove Duology. As for the MacGuffin-ish way of killing Freddy? They go for a classic with bringing him out of the dream world and into the real world to make him mortal.

Where?! This opened with a map and on it appears Springwood, Ohio as the location where the action is taking place. I audibly gasped when it showed up on the screen. As I mentioned in the 5th film’s recap I had firmly settled into Nightmare being the Westcoast entry in the horror franchise canon. All of a sudden it joined Halloween in the midwest set. They claim they had it as Ohio from the jump, having changed parts of the first film’s original script to remove mention of California, but I don’t totally buy it. Still this is a solid B.

When?! This is a funny one where they also put on the screen that the action of the film takes place “ten years in the future” when Freddy has destroyed Springwood. Apparently ten years from the end of the fifth film. This would place it in 1999 and makes parts of the film totally incomprehensible. John Doe thinks he’s Freddy’s kid who was taken from him 33 years before… So you’re almost 40, kid? Really? B.

Boy oh boy, this movie is terrible. Really an ignominious final entry in the main series. You’re much better off just jumping straight to the reboot New Nightmare rather than suffer through the straight-to-video level trash that they ended up making here. God, it’s a real shame given how surprisingly solid and mostly fresh and interesting the first and then third through fifth films are. You can’t blame them for a little stumble on the second, but you can definitely blame them for this one. Not only is the entire film a big step backwards in production, with only a couple visually pleasing scenes, but Freddy Kreuger enters full self-parody as he comes off like a lame old man constantly spouting terrible one-liners and calling everyone a bitch. At one point he’s getting ready to fight and is all like “check this out,” and proceeds to do a super lame-o cartwheel and immediately gets kicked in the face like a dumbo. What a dumb, terrible idiot Freddy has become. And what dumb terrible idiots we are for watching this dumb terrible entry in an otherwise fun horror franchise. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! The big 600 babyyyyy! That’s right, 600 films watched for BMT. And what better way than with the only truly dire Nightmare film? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – The director of this film has a wild story. She was a mathematician who worked at Johns Hopkins when she met John Waters. She then, through that connection, ended up doing various jobs on all but the fifth Nightmare film. And then she was asked to direct the last one (and ended up using a bunch of people from John Waters’ regular film crew to do it). Apparently, in the writers’ room she was known for coming up with truly outlanding dream kills for Freddy to do. What were my expectations? I knew in my heart that the film must be bad, but I also hoped that at the very least you would get some really cool kills out of it.

The Good – Not much. I would say I can kind of see the allure of some of the kills for some people. Someone involved in production said their favorite kill in the entire franchise is the Q-tip kill with Carlos which is in this film. I can appreciate how long and elaborate the nightmarish torture scene is … but it still seems a bit too silly to me. The idea of Springwood being a ghost town is interesting. The idea of Freddy being able to branch out to the wider world is a little interesting. There are tiny bits of interesting stuff, that’s probably the best thing you can say about it. Best Bit: Some practical kills.

The Bad – This movie is the one genuine trash film of the bunch. It is dog poo in my face. It completes the transition of Freddy into a complete joke, adds an unnecessary (or at least sub-par) lore element of the Dream Worms into the mythos, and adds in a confounding aspect to Freddy himself which shows up in none of the other movies. Even the idea of Springwood being a ghost town, which I guess is kind of cool if you ignore some of the elements of earlier films, is completely wasted by making that a joke too. It goes too far, the movie slips too far into irony, and its only saing grace is that it was intended as a finale so it didn’t leave any handing threads that needed to be resolved by further sequels and retconning. Fatal Flaw: Freddy, and the series, fully becomes a joke.

The BMT – And there it is, the first six films of the Nightmare franchise are kind of their own thing so that is now cemented into the BMT record. There will be a few more to do (New Nightmare doesn’t qualify, but will be done alongside the 2010 remake), but like with Friday the 13th that is another mega-franchise for the books! Did it meet my expectations? Yes, this film is the only in the entire series where it is completely confounding as to how it was made. It just smashes the lore apart with no regard for human life. So yeah, definitely an amusingly bad film in context.

Roast-radamus – Really good Product Placement (What?) for Nintendo in what is bar none the worst kill of the entire franchise. Decent Setting as a Character (Where?)  for Springwood, Ohio, where the entire franchise takes place, although I think they only really make it explicit in this one for the first time. Borderline MacGuffin (Why?) for Freddy’s daughter, a mystery that everyone is desperately trying to solve throughout the film. And speaking of which, Worst Twist (How?) for the reveal that Freddy’s kid isn’t, in fact, the young man whom Freddy would have had to father after his death, but instead it is the older woman who is juuuuust the right age. This is a quintessential bad slasher sequel, and thus has to be a BMT contender.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – I can’t help myself, I have to go with Remake here because I think there is a decently obvious path from the fifth film to what should have been the conclusion to the series. Borrow the Krueger as Dream Master idea from the comic book (see below) and like in this film smash cut to the future, about 17 years, to focus on Alice’s son Jacob. With no Elm Street children left to kill, and no Dream Masters to use, Freddy has been locked away in the dream world. Alice has trained her son in the art of the Dream Master, but due to Hypnocil abuse is now confined to an asylum. While trying to communicate with his mother in the dream world, a slip up by Jacob gives Freddy a chance. He uses his Dream Master ability to commit a string of dream murders with the ultimate plan to use Jacob to get pulled out of the dream world and back into the real world. He will be mortal again, but will instigate a new group of vigilantes to kill him once more, generating a fresh set of Springwood children to haunt and give him power for another generation. Ultimately, Jacob goes into the dream world and pulls Freddy in, Alice kills Freddy during a nightmare severing Freddy’s connection to the dream world, killing him in real life, and condemning him to hell. The end … or is it? It is, much like what happened with the actual sixth film Freddy v Jason and other sequels would occur in the time between the fifth (1990) and sixth (2007 in this case) films.

You Just Got Schooled – There is a ton of extra stuff with Nightmare on Elm Street. There was a NES game, A Nightmare on Elm Street. I didn’t play it, it seems like a straightforward platformer, instead I watched the Games Done Quick co-op speedrun which is quick and pretty entertaining, B+ for the GDQ run, but I would guess a C- for the platformer itself. There was also a series of comics. I read the two Marvel comics released as Freddy Krueger’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. There was supposed to be four, but Marvel got skittish about protests about violence in the media and they cut it off. B+, the second one is quite good especially for a black and white comic book. I wish they had gone with the idea of Freddy Krueger being a Dream Master instead of the dream worms or whatever, but c’est la vie. Finally there was a television show called Freddy’s Nightmares which was direct to syndication. This ended up causing a lot of problems (specifically, due to syndication a show involving a child murderer haunting people’s dreams and killing them would be on at like 3PM in some places), but despite that it got two seasons. Only eight episodes feature Freddy himself out of the 44 that were produced. I watched the pilot and it was awful. So bad, in fact, that I didn’t even end up finishing the second episode I tried to watch (episode 4 featuring a very young Mariska Hargitay). Reminded me very much of The Highlander television show (which was also direct to syndication, and also awful). D. If this was done today it would have definitely been four two-part episodes per season focusing on Freddy versus a single person, but that isn’t how they rolled in 1988.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare Quiz

Oh boy, so last time I said that I hadn’t slept in 10 days. Well, now it has been 11 days and I set a new world record for staying up. Go me, but also my brain is dying and despite just watching it I don’t remember anything that happened in this film. Do you remember what happened in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Who is John Doe, a fact that even he doesn’t know in the beginning of the film?

2) Along for the ride are Tracy, Carlos, and Spenser. Why are they all in the juvenile center?

3) Who is Freddy’s child?

4) Why, is it revealed, can’t Freddy be killed?

5) In the final confrontation how do they, in fact, kill Freddy?

Bonus Questions: So, what happens to Springwood, Ohio?

Answers

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child Quiz

Oh boy, so here’s the thing. I live in a town which is haunted by a Dream Master who is killing all the teenagers. No problem, I just started to not sleep. Well, it’s been 10 days and I’m feeling a bit loopy, and honestly … I don’t remember anything, not even my name. I think I’m going insane. So, uh … do you remember what happened in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) It’s graduation time for Alice, the star of the fourth Nightmare film and bonafide Dream Master, and her and her boyfriend, Dan, are gearing up for their big trip! Where are they going?

2) That night Dan gets a call from Alice to come over quick. Where was Dan, where was Alice, and ultimately what happens to Dan?

3) How is Freddy killing these kids considering none of them are the progeny of the Springwood residents who originally torched him?

4) Why is unborn Jacob helping Freddy?

5) What is the key (a plan implemented by Yvonne in the end) to defeating Freddy and once again condemning him to hell?

Bonus Question: What did Jacob end up doing once he grew up?

Answers

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)

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)

Dangerous Minds Recap

Jamie

Louanne Johnson is recently divorced and looking for work. She finds it teaching a class of low-income students. Through teaching poetry and boosting their confidence in themselves, she helps them find a voice. But can she help them in the classroom and get them off the streets before it’s too late? Find out in… Dangerous Minds.

How?! Louanne Johnson is fresh off a divorce and looking for a new start. Through a friend she gets hooked up with a job at Parkmont. Little does she know that she got the full time position mostly because they were having trouble filling it due to the low-income students in the class. But Louanne Johnson, former marine, doesn’t back down from the challenge and slowly earns the attention of the students by first teaching them karate, then rewarding them with treats, and finally speaking to them in the language of music and poetry. Soon she is building their confidence with new methods of grading and positive feedback and is reaping the rewards of finding some truly talented students amongst the group. However, all is not well. Her star student Callie is pregnant and is being pressured by the school to leave in order to attend a school geared more towards raising kids than schoolwork. Two other students are pulled out of school when their grandmother finds out they are studying poetry instead of learning something that might help them make money. Finally, Emelio, a troubled student, is threatened by a drug dealer and hides out with Louanne before trying to tell the principal of the school what’s happening. But when the principal turns him away he ends up getting shot and this sends Louanne into a tailspin. She decides to quit, but on the last day of school all the students band together and tell her how much she means to them. She ends up deciding to stay and everyone is happy. Hip hip hooray. THE END.

Why?! I mean… it’s not really a cynical movie, so that’s a positive. The motivation is teaching children and trying to make sure they have opportunities in life. While the focus is on the white teacher to the film’s detriment, it at least dispenses with any personal issues and all her thought, motivation, and strife comes from wanting to help the students.

Who?! This one is easy. Raymond and Richard Grant play Durrell and Lionel Benton, star pupils who are pulled out of school much to the dismay of LouAnne. They are actually twins (Twin Film Alert) and comprise the rap duo DJ Twinz. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, yeah. That sound you hear is me listening to some DJ Twinz right now.

What?! Besides being a stellar advertisement for education and love (awww) it’s also got a pretty good advertisement for butterfingers as that is the candy of choice that LouAnne throws around as a reward for correct answers. Although I prefer the sweet taste of karate and expensive French dinners, the other rewards she uses in the film.

Where?! This is very much an LA film, which is fine, but also not necessarily always the most exciting since so many films are set there. This at least seems to have a reason. The real LouAnne Johnson taught in the LA area and more specifically there is an underlying commentary about the fact that the kids are being bussed in from a lower income neighborhood, only to be shuttled into a class where they are ignored (that is until LouAnne shows up). B+.

When?! This takes place over a school year more or less. We don’t really get much holiday  talk or anything like that, and LouAnne is clearly a replacement teacher, so it’s possible that she took over in the new year and we see from Jan-June or something. Doesn’t really matter, this is basically a road trip through time. No specific timing. C.

It is perfectly possible to make an entertaining and engaging tale of helping high risk youths and still totally miss the mark. Beyond being just a cliche of the white savior trope, I think there is a real fundamental lack of familiarity with the world that is being portrayed that hamstrings the film from the jump. I would assume LouAnne Johnson’s book probably does a better job (I couldn’t get my hands on a copy in time to read it), but the film completely glosses over some of the most poignant and heartbreaking aspects of the children’s stories in favor of surface level stereotypes and instead spends an inordinate amount of time on the trials and tribulations of the white teacher. It’s hard to say anything more than that. Despite the good songs, engaging filmmaking, and good acting by Pfeiffer… this is not a good film. Just not in the typical BMT way of being a bad film. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! This week it was Louanne Johnson’s Dangerous Minds versus the Bad movie Twins beautiful minds. Friday night fights! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – We’ve just been living in a gangster’s paradise. I think the legacy of the film is entirely tied up with maybe the most successful song-movie tie-in in history? Maybe a Will Smith song or The Bodyguard narrowly beats it out, but the Coolio track is basically I know (or need to know) about this movie. What were my expectations? Well, Ebert spelled it out in his review: white savior nonsense. If that is the biggest complaint I fear there won’t be much to like in the film.

The Good – Fear not, there were quite a few good things with this film. Like with Rising Sun it feels pretty gross to be like “well, besides the racism, the film was pretty good!” … but I guess here goes? The film is basically that classic Stand and Deliver or Lean on Me story. The visionary teacher comes in and gets these kids to learn (and learns a thing or two him/herself!), everyone cheers or the teacher gets fired, it depends on how cynical they want to be about the American education system. And you can do worse, Pfeiffer is solid in the lead role and it does a good job avoiding an unnecessary romance angle for her character. Best Bit: Pfeiffer.

The Bad – The biggest issue is probably Courtney B. Vance’s character. I’m not sure if it was his choice or explicitly laid out in the script or what, but his character might as well be named Feckless Principal. He ends up being some sort of cartoon metaphor for how “rules” and a lack of compassion have poisoned the American education system … or something. We’ll get to the issue with the portrayal of the education system i.e. “if only teachers cared more”. But then, yeah, this film is top-to-bottom a white savior tale. That really shouldn’t be dismissed. Fatal Flaw: White savior tale.

The BMT – This is a classic addition to the BMT Discography (not a section on the website …. yet) with Coolio’s jamming tune remaining a highlight of the trailer for this film. I choose to remember this film within the lens of Coolio’s track alone. Would I watch it again? I would, especially in some bizarre “Badass Teacher”-mersion podcast me and Jamie are now definitely starting. Did it meet my expectations? It was actually a bit better than I expected. I think, outside of the Vance character and the white savior nonsense, the film is pretty entertaining and an easy watch. I was kind of expecting The Substitute, but it was basically just Lean on Me.

Roast-radamus – A minor Product Placement (What?) for Louanne tossing around Butterfingers (as Bob Dylan once said: No one better lay a finger on my Butterfinger) among other candy bars. And Setting as a Character (Where?) for the explicit setting in Palo Alto. Definitely closest to Good, although I hope that something better crops up.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Easy, a sequel. This is about Louanne’s daughter, who herself has just gotten out of the Marines and is going back to her mother’s old stomping grounds in Palo Alto. And hooooooooooooooooo doggy she has a whole other crop of issues to deal with with her children. Cyberbullying, sexting, like … I don’t know, like meeting people on the internet? My point is that this ain’t her momma’s high school, she now has techmologies to deal with, and she is ill-prepared. So when an elite North Korean hacker starts trying to hack the election via the school’s servers, she has to assemble her ragtag group of students together to unleash their viruses, hack the Gibson, and take down Ellingson Mineral. HACK THE PLANET! We can workshop the ending, but rest assured, right at that 80 minute mark Michelle Pfeiffer busts that door down and says “Miss me boys and girls?” and the whole theater cheers. Dangerous Minds 2: Cyberwar.

You Just Got Schooled – We’re back baby! A real BMT Homework section because Dangerous Minds was also a television show! Starring Annie Potts, the first episode kind of follows the storyline from the movie, except the students in the television show are far less disruptive, and the things Louanne is teaching are just normal high school English curriculum. The first episode mainly focuses on Of Mice and Men for example. The show got cancelled after a season, which isn’t too surprising since it wasn’t very good. The biggest issue I had with it was it really cranked up that “if only American educators cared you know?” attitude to 11. Louanne is buying people books, paying for a nursery for another student, letting people stay in her enormous house … in the first episode she probably spends like $1000 of her own money on her students. And the other teachers are like “yeah, if we can all just chip in we can really make a difference!” No! These are the things the school and local government should be dealing with, not rogue teachers with, evidently, a fortune to distribute to the needy. It feels like it ends up with the moral being “yeah, the issue with the education system isn’t class sizes or underfunding … it is probably that most of the teachers don’t give a shit!” D. An interesting watch, but the movie is better and, against all odds, less preachy.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Dangerous Minds Quiz

Oh man, so here I was trying to teach these beautiful minds in a high school in Bad News U.S.A. when a fight breaks out! I got in the middle, natch, but I got sucker punched in the head and now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Dangerous Minds?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What does Louanne want to be a teacher in Palo Alto?

2) What is the first thing she teaches her young students?

3) Hal is helping Louanne out with teaching and got her the job. How did Hal know her before the start of the movie?

4) Why is Louanne getting a divorce?

5) Why did Emilio get shot?

Bonus Question: What Coolio song is most like a Bob Dylan song? Whoever gives me the right answer gets a free ice cream cone.

Answers

Dangerous Minds Preview

As they sit and watch the beautiful sunset, Patrick and Jamie wonder about the plans of their cyborg doppelgangers. Perhaps there never was a plan, just random clues they followed to a dead end. Sipping their delicious mimosas, they aren’t sure they cared. When a *ding* rings out from the direction of the elevator all three of their heads swing that way. Beads of sweat form on their brows as they hear the soft sobbing from Rachel. Saboteur! But anger softens to sympathy as Rachel explains that her family was kidnapped by the cyborg fiends. Her family will live in exchange for luring them here. The final *ding* from the elevator sounds and the doors swing open. They gasp. It’s… it’s them. Aside from the glowing red eyes and robot limbs they are the Bad Movie Twins. “Bad Movie Twins,” they chuckle in deep robot voices, “at last, you have returned. And to what? Failure? Despair? To witness the deaths of your beloved Rich & Poe,” they spit out in disgust. Jamie and Patrick quake in fear. Death is surely next, but as the robots approach a smirk appears on their cyborg lips. “No… no, we won’t kill you.” they say, still smiling. Then with lightning fast robot speed they search Patrick and snatch the Obsidian Dongle from his pocket. “Not before you witness our grand plan come to fruition. You will watch Rich & Poe die, then you shall die. Bwahahahahaha,” they laugh violently as they stagger out of the apartment. “All a trap and we fell into it,” mumbles Jamie softly, but Patrick shakes his head firmly. It can’t be over. Not when they still live. “Come on,” Patrick says, “they may have taken the Dongle, but they left us with our most dangerous weapon… our minds.” That’s right! We are transitioning to the next cycle of the year: Cross Promotion Mania. Originally conceived as a hit song tie in cycle, we ended up expanding it to video games when we realized that that would make for a better overall cycle. But it didn’t change our first pick: Dangerous Minds, featuring Gangsta’s Paradise. Based on the book My Posse Don’t Do Homework by LouAnne Johnson. Let’s go!

Dangerous Minds (1995) – BMeTric: 15.8; Notability: 40 

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 43.2%; Notability: top 28.4%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.8% Higher BMeT: Showgirls, Vampire in Brooklyn, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Fair Game, Batman Forever, Congo, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Tank Girl, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, The Babysitter, Judge Dredd, Nine Months, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Operation Dumbo Drop, Jade, The Scarlet Letter, Johnny Mnemonic, Man of the House, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, and 33 more; Higher Notability: Batman Forever, Congo, Judge Dredd, Virtuosity, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Showgirls, Four Rooms, Stuart Saves His Family, Assassins, Panther, Money Train, Tank Girl, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, Jade, Jefferson in Paris, Hackers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Canadian Bacon, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Nine Months, and 4 more; Lower RT: A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, It Takes Two, The Hunted, The Tie That Binds, Vampire in Brooklyn, Bushwhacked, The Pebble and the Penguin, Fair Game, Johnny Mnemonic, The Scarlet Letter, Four Rooms, Three Wishes, Jade, Canadian Bacon, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Houseguest, Man of the House, Reckless, Two Much and 22 more; Notes: That is a shockingly high IMDb rating … I guess maybe that’s what you get when the only thing really notable about a film is the incredible rap single used in its advertisements.

RogerEbert.com – 1.5 stars – “Dangerous Minds” tells another one of those uplifting parables in which the dedicated teacher takes on a schoolroom full of rebellious malcontents, and wins them over with an unorthodox approach. Movies like this are inevitably “based on a real story.” Maybe they tell you that because otherwise you’d think they were pure fantasy.

(This review is really really worth reading. The end of it speaks to why critics, I think, wholesale rejected the film. The film is made about an urban school, but for a suburban audience. It is a really good review that succinctly explains why the film fails the book and the audience.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA-5nLQCmW8/

(Oh shit, the goddamn song kicking in got me amped! And then I just remembered this is a run of the mill white savior “these kids just need a fair shot!” type drama. But I haven’t seem many of those, so bring it on.)

Directors – John N. Smith – (Known For: A Cool, Dry Place; Love & Savagery; Train of Dreams; Geraldine’s Fortune; Sitting in Limbo; Welcome to Canada; The Masculine Mystique; BMT: Dangerous Minds; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for the short First Winter. Canadian, seemed to have retired in 2009.)

Writers – LouAnne Johnson (book) – (BMT: Dangerous Minds; Notes: Basically her only other credit is the Dangerous Minds television show which came out in 1996 and ran for 17 episodes.)

Ronald Bass (screenplay) – (Known For: Rain Man; My Best Friend’s Wedding; What Dreams May Come; Stepmom; Before We Go; When a Man Loves a Woman; Waiting to Exhale; The Joy Luck Club; How Stella Got Her Groove Back; Black Widow; Gardens of Stone; Snow Flower and the Secret Fan; Passion of Mind; Mozart and the Whale; La boda de mi mejor amigo; Space Warriors; Code Name: Emerald; The Lazarus Child; Future BMT: Amelia; Entrapment; Snow Falling on Cedars; BMT: Sleeping with the Enemy; Dangerous Minds; Notes: Won an Oscar for Rain Man. He appeared to have done a ton of uncredited rewrites in the 90s (including things like a Spielberg film), and was also a creator on the aforementioned Dangerous Minds television show.)

Actors – Michelle Pfeiffer – (Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Ant-Man and the Wasp; Scarface; Stardust; Mother!; Murder on the Orient Express; French Exit; Batman Returns; Hairspray; The Age of Innocence; The Prince of Egypt; What Lies Beneath; Dangerous Liaisons; One Fine Day; The Witches of Eastwick; Wolf; Tequila Sunrise; Ladyhawke; White Oleander; Amazon Women on the Moon; Future BMT: Grease 2; The Story of Us; Dark Shadows; The Family; To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday; Up Close & Personal; Maleficent: Mistress of Evil; Into the Night; I Am Sam; BMT: New Year’s Eve; A Thousand Acres; Dangerous Minds; Notes: Nominated three times for an Oscar, for Love Field, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Dangerous Liasons. Her sister Dedee Pfeiffer is also an actress.)

George Dzundza – (Known For: Basic Instinct; The Deer Hunter; Crimson Tide; No Way Out; The Beast of War; White Hunter Black Heart; City by the Sea; No Man’s Land; The Happy Hooker; Adam and Eve; Streamers; Impulse; The Chosen One; Trading Favors; Massage Parlor Murders!; Honor Bound; Future BMT: That Darn Cat; The Butcher’s Wife; Instinct; BMT: Species II; No Mercy; Dangerous Minds; Notes: I know him mostly for one of his rare television roles, he was one of the two main cops during the first season or two of Law & Order. He’s very much a “that guy” in that he’s almost exclusively known for character parts, not starring roles.)

Courtney B. Vance – (Known For: Project Power; Isle of Dogs; The Hunt for Red October; Holy Matrimony; Final Destination 5; The Photograph; Space Cowboys; Office Christmas Party; Ben Is Back; The Divide; Hamburger Hill; D-Tox; Uncorked; Nothing But the Truth; The Preacher’s Wife; The Adventures of Huck Finn; The Last Supper; Beyond the Law; Hurricane Season; Cookie’s Fortune; Future BMT: Joyful Noise; Terminator Genisys; Extraordinary Measures; Panther; BMT: The Mummy; Dangerous Minds; Notes: Blew up a few years ago for his performance as Johnnie Cochran in American Crime Story (which he won an Emmy for). Went to Harvard.)

Budget/Gross – $23 million / Domestic: $84,919,401 (Worldwide: $179,519,401)

(Huuuuuge success. According to the notes, it was released under Pfeiffer’s production company which ended up giving her the ability to start producing her own projects afterwards. So that’s nice.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (12/41): Rife with stereotypes that undermine its good intentions, Dangerous Minds is too blind to see that the ones it hurts are the audience.

(Yep, that is basically what Ebert said. Again, read his review, it is well worth it. Reviewer Highlight: The tale screenwriter Ronald Bass came up with, and the way director John N. Smith tells it, is stereotypical, predictable and simplified to the point of meaninglessness. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)

Poster – Dangerous Sklogs

(Overall, I don’t mind this, mostly because if I saw it in a theater I’d be interested in it, which is the point. Doesn’t tell me much, though, and the color scheme isn’t cohesive. So merely not the worst. C.)

Tagline(s) – She Broke The Rules… And Changed Their Lives. ()

(Looks like the main poster didn’t have a tagline, so this must be an alternate. You can tell as the poster is better off without it. The cadence is OK and does sum up the film in a way. But not clever or short enough to break out from the middle. C+.)

Keyword – urban setting

Top 10: Coming to America (1988), Birds of Prey (2020), Inception (2010), Joker (2019), The Dark Knight (2008), Black Panther (2018), Seven (1995), Back to the Future (1985), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Future BMT: 78.6 Superhero Movie (2008), 68.7 Supergirl (1984), 63.9 Underdog (2007), 63.7 The Crow: City of Angels (1996), 61.9 Poltergeist III (1988), 54.3 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005), 50.6 My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), 50.2 The Wild (2006), 44.1 B*A*P*S (1997), 43.0 I Love Trouble (1994);

BMT: RoboCop 2 (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Predator 2 (1990), The Happening (2008), Shaft (2019), Death Wish (2018), Battle Los Angeles (2011), Catwoman (2004), Superman III (1983), RoboCop 3 (1993), Red Dawn (2012), Dangerous Minds (1995), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Punisher: War Zone (2008), The Specialist (1994), Alex Cross (2012), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), New York Minute (2004), Max Payne (2008), Daylight (1996), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), Exit Wounds (2001), Dragon Wars (2007), Knock Off (1998), Never Die Alone (2004)

(Not very many good keywords here, so I kind of wanted to see if there was any rise in big films set in cities during the crime panic of the late-80s / early-90s … there wasn’t. Even the Future BMT list is pretty lame. Sorry, this one is one me, I blew it.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 19) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: John Neville is No. 5 billed in Dangerous Minds and No. 7 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) => 5 + 7 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 = 19. If we were to watch The Story of Us, Last Man Standing, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – Michelle Pfeiffer was pregnant during production. Although shot out of sequence like most films, it becomes apparent when methods are used to hide the actress’ stomach. Methods such as long skirts and bulky sweaters along with scenes where Pfeiffer is shown carrying large objects were used.

Originally entitled “My Posse Don’t Do Homework”, the name of the book from which this true story was taken. (Huh, terrible name)

Released under Michelle Pfeiffer’s production company, the movie’s success bolstered Pfeiffer’s reputation as an actress/producer.

Andy Garcia’s scenes as Louanne’s love interest were filmed but cut.

A running gag involves confusion between two lyrical men of words: Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan. The similarity between the two names is not coincidental, as the latter adopted his performance name as a tribute to the former.

The actor who played Emelio, Wade Dominguez, died 3 years after the 1995 film was released ( in 1998 ) of respiratory failure.

One of the last films worked on by producer Don Simpson. He helped pick songs for the film soundtrack.

“This Is The Life”, is a song that features on the film’s original soundtrack, and is performed by ‘Wendy And Lisa’ In the 1980’s, both of these artists were from Prince’s band ‘The Revolution’, and even acted alongside him, in his movie, “Purple Rain”. If you listen carefully to the music for “This is The Life” and “Purple Rain”, you will notice, that they both have exactly the same music in their intro.

The real Emilio Ramírez wasn’t murdered, he graduated high school spent four years in the Marine Corps and is alive and well living in California with his wife and two children.

Graveyard Shift Recap

Jamie

John Hall is a drifter just a-driftin’ along in Maine when he gets a graveyard shift job cleaning out the subbasement of a dilapidated textile mill. He and the crew of misfits are forced to go deeper and deeper by the eeeevil factory owner until untold horrors surround them. Can they escape from the true horror (hint: it’s themselves) before it’s too late? Find out in… Graveyard Shift.

How?! In a small town in Maine a local textile mill run by a sadistic foreman, Warwick, is desperate to get rid of all the rats that may or may not be killing some of the employees (but shhhh, that’s a bit of a secret). Taking advantage of the upcoming July 4th holiday, Warwick hopes to get a band of the most desperate workers together to work under the table to clean out the subbasement(s) where the infestation is assumed to be worst. Enter John Hall, a drifter who lost his family and *looks wistfully into the distance* now just drifts. He has a bit of a rivalry with Warwick, who decides he is definitely going to be one of the guys sent into rat hell along with Jane, the object of Warwick’s interest who instead more-than-brefriends Hall. Together with a bunch of other local riff-raff and misfits they clean out the whole basement but then ooops! Hall discovers a trapdoor. Warwick is like, uh duh, get down there and soon they are in the nest of a giant rat king/bat king/something king creature that is totally gross. They scramble in total horror all over the place, most of them getting ripped to shreds in short order. Warwick immediately descends into insanity and pounces on John and Jane just when they are about to escape the abomination, leading to the death of Jane. Distraught, John pursues Warwick only to see him eaten no prob by the giant bat creature. John is like “you know what, nevermind” and tries to escape but ends up having to do battle with the bat/rat creature in hand-to-claw combat. Using the power of Diet Pepsi he is able to blast the creature into the mill machinery and kill it. THE END.

Why?! Warwick is obviously eeevil and turns to all kinds of underhanded methods to keep his mill open despite being so horrifically disgusting that it has produced a giant rat/bat king of immense proportions that routinely kills the drifters he has working there. He has no motivation besides that and getting rid of anyone, like John, who he considers even a remote rival for his romantic pursuits. John is just a drifter looking for some honest pay so he can *looks wistfully into the distance* just keep a-driftin’. The rat/bat? Probably just to eat. But who knows, perhaps it harbors some deep desire to be accepted by society above so it can spread its gross translucent wings and soar majestically through the night stopping crime in its tracks.

Who?! There is an extremely Maine cameo in the film in the form of Joe Perham, who plays a Mill Inspector. He is a Maine specific humorist who was popular at the time. I’m starting to suspect this may actually be the most Maine film of all time. 

What?! Only through the power of Diet Pepsi is our hero able to subdue the giant bat rat. Using a slingshot he is able to shoot an empty Diet Pepsi can and hit the big red button that starts the murder machine that munches the creature up. And before you claim that any ol’ can would have done the job, we even see him try a Diet Slice can to no avail and then very pointedly eye the Diet Pepsi as his only savior… cause he knows only a Diet Pepsi can will fly true like a heat seeking missile of refreshment.

Where?! Maine for days. If it was a bigger film and not an exploitation horror then it could even be the definitive Maine film. But alas. Dreamcatcher probably gets that crown. But watch this movie for the Maine accent alone. It is both horrible and yet also actually is a clear attempt at a Maine accent… just like in a cartoonish way. A

When?! Secret holiday film alert! Pretty solid one too as Warwick takes advantage of July 4th weekend to get some of the misfits to take extra pay under the table and clean the hell basement. What else does our boy John Hall have to do… other than, you know… *stares wistfully into the distance, a tear traces a path through the dust on his cheek* just keep a-driftin’. A-. Actually plays a role in the plot. 

Stephen King is notoriously negative about most of the adaptations of his work. Usually the reason is just that they weren’t faithful enough to the source material. He’ll be like ‘by cutting out the giant bug creature at the end you totally ruined the metaphor on writers block’ or something. This is one example where I do totally agree though. I really enjoyed the short story this was based on and instead of attempting to make a psychological horror film where the group descends into insanity as they descend further into hell, they made just another exploitation film. It’s cheap and it’s looking for some cheap thrills. That’s not to say it’s not enjoyable in that way, it just is no more than what it is: a cheap horror. Although it does have one of the absolutely nuttiest accents I’ve ever heard put the screen. Warwick totally mangles an over the top Maine accent and it’s pretty amazing. Ayuh. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Giant bat/rats and eeeeeeeeevil factory owners. ‘Nuff said. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – So I hadn’t really ever heard of the film or the book prior to reading it. It actually compelled me to buy Night Shift, the short story collection it was later included in by Stephen King (it was originally a magazine story). So I well and truly went into the film blind, which was fun. The notable thing in the preview is that this is the only feature by the director. The direction is often singled out in reviews at the worst bit as well. What were my expectations? Looking at the trailer, I was looking forward to some campy 80s/90s creature feature horror, which is always a bit of fun.

The Good – In the end if you have the proper expectations and pretend the film was made five years before it was and for television instead of a theatrical release … it is a load of silly fun. It feels a lot like ‘Salem’s Lot, which was made for television and I think maybe gets a bit of a pass for the slow cheesiness of the affair because it was made a decade prior and for television. Decent creature design as well, although it is just a guy in a bad suit most of the time. Best Bit: Cheesiness.

The Bad – As far as a theatrical film is concerned it is really poor quality. It comes across a bit like the Corman films of the 80s, except somehow this film cost $10 million to produce which is just bizarre. I have to think that filming on location in Maine was a massive mistake given the entire film could have been filmed on a soundstage for pennies on the dollar. And, of course, you can’t not mention Stephen Macht’s bizarre Maine accent. That is what it is supposed to be, a straight Maine accent (for a while I thought he was supposed to be a Scottish person putting on an affected Maine accent), and it is bonkers. It is very very similar to the accents on Murder She Wrote (especially by Sheriff Jake Tupper), and was just a bad decision. Fatal Flaw: Maine accent.

The BMT – I like collecting smaller BMT films like this whenever possible. It seems weird, but I think something like Graveyard Shift is a lot more palatable and understandable from a bad movie perspective than even something like Here on Earth which would probably mostly be perplexing to a general audience. The reasons why this film is bad is understandable: cheap looking effects, exploitation feel, bad accents. Bing bang boom. Always good to knock off a Stephen King adaptation as well. Did it meet my expectations? One hundred percent, I actually kind of liked watching this film because I like creature features. They are not-scary horror films, and as you know, I get spooky scared by normal horror films.

Roast-radamus – I definitely think we have a Planchet (Who?) in the case of Ippelton. Sure, he seems affable in his ability to imitate Warwick (although somehow his Maine accent is better in the impression …), but he also exists only to run away and get dunked on by Warwick. I’m loving the Setting as a Character (Where?) for Maine, complete with terrible Maine accent, and Secret Holiday Film (When?) for Fourth of Juuuuuly, since that is when they decide they have to clear out the factory basement. And I think the film is closest to a Good film, it all depends on just how low you can get your expectations.

StreetCreditReport.com – This week was actually an interesting assessment because we were deciding between this film and The Mangler, both Stephen King short story adaptations. Here’s a few stats for both of them. Both are tops in BMeTric, both are around the top 3% of their respective years. But Graveyard Shift is significantly better as far as Rotten Tomatoes is concerned, being top 5% of its year whereas The Mangler is top 20%. Neither are major films though being one of the lower films are far as notability is concerned. So obviously most of the cred comes from it being a Stephen King adaptation, but Graveyard Shift is a particularly impressive critical failure for 1990. It got #7 in both the worst and the least accurate Stephen King adaptations according to IMDb as well.

You Just Got Schooled – Obviously whenever possible (which for me is not often) I do like to read the books of the films we watch for BMT. Well, this week it was possible since the book is a short story and easily readable given a half hour. Also called Graveyard Shift the short story is markedly different from the film. The premise is the same: a gang of factory workers are enlisted to clear out a factory basement of clutter on a July 4th weekend. In the short story though there is a classic “mysterious connection” between Warwick, the unlikeable factory owner, and the main character Hall. As the gang discovers a trapdoor in the factory basement, Hal is compelled to lead Warwick down into the basement to both of their dooms at the hands of a giant blind legless rat and its minions. A, I very much enjoyed the short story. Usually I find short story collections to mostly be boring, but I think I’ll return to Night Shift because the short format lends itself well to horror in general.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Graveyard Shift Quiz

Oh man, so I was just hired on to exterminate some rats in this old factory when lo and behold a giant rat/bat thing pops out and bops me on the head. Now I can’t remember a thing! Do you remember what happened in Graveyard Shift?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) We meet our hero, John Hall, as he applies for a position at Warwick’s insane Maine cloth (?) factory. Why is this position open and why does he get it?

2) Meanwhile an equally insane exterminator has arrived to take care of the rats in the factory. Why is it so very urgent for Warwick to whip his factory basement into shape?

3) In the end how many people are conscripted to battle the rats in the basement?

4) What is the final death toll for the film?

5) And how does John Hall destroy the giant rat/bat that lives in the sunken cemetery below the factory?

Answers