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

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child Recap

Jamie

Freddy’s back, Jack! And boy howdy does he still like to kill teenagers. In this entry Alice is still the dream master, but uh oh! So is her unborn child! And he’s now helping Freddy bring people into his dream domain. Can Alice stop Freddy and save her unborn child before it’s too late? Find out in… A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.

How?! After subduing Freddy in the fourth film through her combined dream powers as the Dream Master, Alice and her beau Dan are living it up. They plan to travel the world after graduation, much to the dismay of Dan’s parents, but they don’t care! They’re young and alive… well, that is until Freddy returns to kill Dan by turning him into a motorcycle (this is real). But that doesn’t make sense. Alice wasn’t asleep to bring Dan into the dream world, although she did seem to have a premonition when she dreamt of Freddy’s birth (rebirth?) just prior. She soon gets news that starts to clarify things when it’s revealed that she’s pregnant. Uh oh! Alice’s friends are mostly supportive, even if they think she’s a little crazy. One of her friends soon dies in a very Freddy-esque way and Alice figures out that Freddy is using her child’s dreams to bring new souls to him. Jacob is a future dream master and Freddy is feeding him souls to try to corrupt him. Her friend Mark helps discover a possible way to fight Freddy by finding and helping his mother Amanda who is trapped in the asylum where Freddy was conceived. But when they go to the asylum in the dream world, Freddy uses their friend Yvonne to distract them and ultimately kills Mark. Now fully convinced Yvonne goes to the asylum while Alice battles Freddy and finds and frees Amanda. Amanda comes to Alice’s aid just in time and helps her and Jacob escape. With Freddy safely locked away Alice settles into a life raising Jacob. THE END… or is it? (it never is). 

Why?! In many genres the motivations of the bad guys are more interesting and/or nonsensical, while the good guys just kinda want love and justice (not necessarily in that order). In horror they often throw out the antagonist’s motivations as well, particularly as the series goes on. Freddy is and always was just an insane maniac. It’s a little vague exactly why or who he is in the first film but by the fifth entry he’s the progeny of a hundred maniacs and he lives forever in the dream world. An immortal killing machine. The protagonists just want to survive, mostly to no avail, although in this one Alice also wants to save the soul of her unborn child. So that’s a little wrinkle.

Who?! Very very very briefly there is a cameo by a conservative talk show host named Wally George who shows up on Mark’s TV with his show Hot Seat. On it there is a band which consists of Ted Nugent, Rudy Sarzo, Eric Singer, and Ron Armstrong… the first three are very famous musicians. I don’t know who Ron Armstrong is. Interesting factoid is that Wally George is the father of Rebecca De Mornay. Also interesting given the setting of the Nightmare franchise because Hot Seat was a local broadcast only available in Southern California… hmmmmm.

What?! In some ways the Nightmare films are always playing with some form of MacGuffin, mostly because they are always coming up with a new reason that Freddy is still alive in the dream world and how they can finally (and likely unsuccessfully) kill him once and for all. In this one it turns out that Freddy was able to be reborn because his mom wasn’t there to keep him in check since she wasn’t properly buried. By releasing her from her prison within the asylum she is able to absorb and imprison Freddy.

Where?! Up until the sixth entry in the film I assumed the whole series took place in LA. The first film has palm trees and California license plates and just feels very LA suburbs. After that it gets hazy and I guess they decided to switch more to an anywhere USA vibe with an Ohio setting. So this is set in Ohio, but not super up front about it. In fact online sources suggest it really wasn’t made explicit until the sixth film, so I wasn’t wrong in assuming it continued to be LA. D-. 

When?! This is one of the clearer time frames of any of the entries as it coincides with Alice’s graduation from high school. Almost certainly starts in May or June and then proceeds quickly through the plot in a matter of what feels like is a few weeks. Not really sure why it needed to be set at the end of the school year other than to ratchet up the tension between Dan and his parents at the start of the film. B.

After four relatively highly rated films in the franchise (which are actually somewhat hit or miss), the first entry that qualified for BMT is a little confusing. Definitely not my least favorite of the first five (that would be the second one), this one might even be slightly higher on my list than the fourth one. Although really, I thought the 3rd, 4th, and 5th were all pretty solid entries in a genre that often goes off the rails pretty quickly when it comes to franchises. The first is still my favorite mostly because Freddy is still a serious character at that point and it’s genuinely creepy. By the fifth, Freddy is already a bit too much of a chatterbox and starting in on the sexist “Bitch” gag that comes to define parodies of the character. The films also become borderline fantasy films more than horror films as the scares start to wane. But the entry is still consistent with the series and the visuals continued to be mostly effective and interesting. Just from a pure artistry point of view the middle three films are pretty interesting to look at. The sixth? Well… I guess just go to that recap for that one to see what I think, but it’ll just say that you may as well stop here. The mere fact that I would recommend watching the fifth one as part of the series, though, probably means it’s not as bad as the reviews suggest. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! In the run up to the big 600 in BMT we set out to finish a full horror mega-franchise. Amazingly the first Nightmare film to qualify is the fifth. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – It is indeed quite shocking to realize the first four Nightmare films were all at least reasonably well received. Given that I hated the second film, it does make me wonder about the quality of this film. Then again, critics tend to be quite hard on horror films, so maybe this was actually secretly good. What were my expectations? A ridiculously vulgar Freddy, and nonsensical and non-scary thrills and kills. You know, all I care about is some sweet dream kills though and practical effects, so I hoped it would have that in spades.

The Good – The lore in A Nightmare on Elm Street is, by far in my opinion, the best of the three big 80s horror franchises. Halloween had the dumb Cult of Thorn. And Friday the 13th … well it was a mess and zombie Jason is fun, but I wouldn’t call it good. This is the culmination of that lore, with the Dream Child born of a Dream Master with characters who at least knew genuine Elm Street kids. The effects are okay, not as good as some of the previous films, but still they are decent practical effects. And the main actress was quite a good actress. Best Bit: Practical effects.

The Bad – Borrows heavily from the third film as far as “we must find someone’s body and consecrate it, it is the only way to stop Freddy!” Spoiler alert, it didn’t actually stop him in either case. The overeating kill looks bad and is gross and I didn’t like it. And, as usual with the later sequels, the main character is Freddy Krueger (a gross child murderer) who talks way too much, says “bitch” multiple times for no reason, and is starting to just come across as silly this time around. Fatal Flaw: Silly Freddy Krueger.

The BMT – Just the Halloween franchise to go no really. Interesting to watch a full franchise basically straight out, and especially in the context of Friday the 13th. Both Jason and Freddy become silly as their franchises wear one, but Jason in in an amusing tongue-in-cheek way, and Freddy in an annoying way. Michael Myers is just flat nothing and becomes boring eventually. An interesting trichotomy. Did it meet my expectations? I had heard of the motorcycle kill prior to the film and it didn’t disappoint. Freddy, though, was as unpleasant as expected … so yeah, it met my expectations.

Roast-radamus – Not much, as usually a decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Springwood, Ohio, although I’m not sure you really explicitly know that until the sixth film really. And an okay MacGuffin (Why?) for Freddy’s mother’s bones which I guess need to be consecrated and buried to put them to rest to help lock Freddy away? Definitely closest to Good in my opinion, I think this is about on par with the fourth film which was also quite good for a late-series sequel to an 80s horror franchise. 

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – In the end I think I would like to Remake the lore of the franchise as a whole. It is pretty good, especially compared to Halloween or Friday the 13th. But still it feels like that drop the ball a bit with the Dream Master idea later on. The first, third, and fourth to an extent concern the systematic murder of all of the children of the vigilantes who killed Freddy (and the numbers kind of make sense). The second I think I would change only slightly to make Freddy’s goal to get Jesse killed by a vigilante mob after possessing him and forcing him to murder people, thus bringing in more children to kill. The fourth and fifth, with the Dream Master, I would make it far clearer that Freddy is a Dream Master, and due to abuse as a child he retreated so far into the Dream World that he was able to construct a form of immortality whereby when he died his soul survived there, but that he can only kill the children of his murderers, or people connected to other Dream Masters. The sixth I would change completely, but I’ll get into that during that recap. I guess the main problem is that Freddy is immortal, and also his power limitless. I think they didn’t do a good job explaining a good weakness, and the good Dream Masters were a perfect opportunity.

You Just Got Schooled – There is obviously a ton of stuff with this so between the two recaps I’ll try and hit the main series, and then extracurriculars separately. I naturally had to watch the four original films. A Nightmare on Elm Street: Amazing film with some really cool technical achievements as well. I can tell I’m quite close to being acclimated to the genre because this movie freaked me out when I first saw it ten years ago, but now I just stare at it and wonder how they did the effects and grade each kill. A, solidly. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge: quite bad with almost no dream kills which defeats the entire purpose, if not for the sixth film this would be my least favourite. C-, not horrendous, but a below average slasher. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: The best of the sequels. Despite not being a super great actress, bringing back the lead from the first was a good idea, and the idea of the Dream Warriors is great and rightfully carried through the bulk of the sequels. B+, enjoyable with probably the best lore building of the major three slasher franchises. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master: Loved how the story carries through from three to four. Some weak kills and poorer effects, but, again, maybe the best core background given for a slasher killer. B-. The main issue you can see carrying through all of the sequels is that slowly but surely Freddy becomes the main character, he starts talking more and more, he becomes more vulgar, and finally he becomes a parody of himself because guess what? A child murderer doesn’t have much to say beyond “bitch”, who would have thought. Overall the best series as far as slashers go and very painless to get through. The lore was shockingly good, usually long running horror franchises cult-of-thorn it quickly, but these were pretty okay.

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)

Xanadu Recap

Jamie

Sonny is an artist with a little painter’s block. He’s lost his inspiration and sadly heads back to his dead-end advertising job. That is until a beautiful muse (literally) comes along and inspires him to the true heights of artistic achievement: teaming up with an old man to open a roller disco. Can he achieve his dreams (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Xanadu.

How?! Sonny is a pure artist. Unfortunately he’s lost his inspiration and in a fit of despair throws his work out the window. This work blows over to a painting of the Greek muses, which breathes life into them and brings them into the world. One of the muses, Kira, heads Sonny’s way and just as he is about to return to his dead-end advertising job she kisses him. Struck by this beautiful woman who randomly kissed him, Sonny is even more perplexed when the first advertisement he is asked to paint has her picture on it! He begins to try to track down who she is, but no one seems to remember. During his search he befriends a former big band musician, Danny, who has made a fortune in construction and the two artists strike up a friendship, recognizing in each other similar artistic qualities. Eventually Sonny catches up to Kira at the rundown Pan-Pacific Auditorium where they fall in love, but Kira still resists telling him anything about her. They have a magical time together, eventually inspiring Sonny to quit his job and go into business with Danny to try to revamp the auditorium into a roller disco club. With her job done Kira reveals that she’s a muse and they can’t be together and leaves Earth. However, through the power of love Sonny follows her to her home where she reveals to her father that despite the rules, she has indeed fallen in love with Sonny and wishes to go to Earth to be with him. Initially she is refused and Sonny sadly returns to Earth to open the club, but he’s soon delighted to find Kira has returned for the big night and they probably smooch and shit. THE END.

Why?! Art and love, duh. It is a literal metaphor for the power of love to inspire artistic greatness. Kira is Sonny’s muse, literally, and through her he is able to achieve the pinnacle of artistic achievement… a roller disco… which obviously is the pinnacle of artistic achievement. Goes without saying.

Who?! This is a fun one. The Tubes were the band that showed up in a dream sequence for this film. Still active. There is also a film-within-a-film which starred David Tress and Madison Arnold. A classic 40’s gangster film, which seems to be a trend when people make fake film-within-films. Then, while he isn’t credited as Zeus, I believe Wilfred Hyde-White voiced him. Best known for My Fair Lady.

What?! Like all films of the late 70’s into the 80’s, this could be perceived as an advertisement for rollerskating. Everyone is quite into it. Because this does hold some cult attraction it’s not surprising that legit memorabilia shows up on ebay here and there. Like these original wardrobe drawings. You’d actually think more would be around, but probably the failure at the time got most of the props trashed. Who would think they’d eventually have value?

Where?! Kind of an incredible LA film. You got the beach, you got the boardwalk, and the big time roller disco they open up is in the old Pan-Pacific Auditorium. At the time it was just declared a historic building and so seemed to have some local standing as a place of note. I’m sure the idea of it being transformed into something shiny and new was appealing to the filmmakers. Alas, nine years later it was destroyed in a fire. A.

When?! Patrick helped with this one. At one point in a dinner you can see a calendar. The exact year and month is not discernable (until I purchase the original print and get it remastered), but it seems likely that the film is portraying events in July 1980, approximately when the film was released. Not solid, but interesting possibility. C-.

There is a joy to this film where I believe if you open yourself up to it (and ignore some obvious shortcomings) you can honestly have a ball. It reminds me a little of Cats. Obviously the crazy cat monsters and ridididiculous everything about that film can’t possibly translate into it being actually, unironically good. But… doesn’t mean I wasn’t watching Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat prance about with a smile on my face. I enjoyed the pure enthusiasm for rollerskating and dance that I was seeing. I enjoyed Olivia Newton-John singing nicely and looking beautiful. I even enjoyed weirdo Gene Kelly trying on a series of crazy 80’s outfits in his Pretty Woman turn. It’s a fun bad movie that is weird enough that I could imagine pretty confidently showing the film off at a bad movie screening. Few will have seen it, many will be bewildered by what they are seeing, while most will still get some laughs and enjoyment out of it. Overall I was surprised by Xanadu. Particularly since Xanadu was one of the films that inspired the Razzies. The other? Can’t Stop the Music, another weird musical from 1980. But that one is terrible. This is not. As for Punmpkinhead II: Blood Wings, what is there to say about a cheap sequel to a pretty fun original horror film. Not much. It’s cheap and filled with actors that scream “this is a direct-to-video movie so maybe the presence of Bill Clinton’s half-brother will be juuuust enough for you to watch this.” At times it feels like they didn’t even really understand (or even possibly watch) the original film before embarking on the sequel, which is a shame. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are on a streak of good films, so Xanadu will obviously break that cycle … or will it? Did I secretly love Xanadu? You’ll have to read the recap to find out! Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Ever since watching Can’t Stop the Music the next big BMT musical sensation was obviously going to be … Cats, and it still is Cats actually because Cats is the greatest film ever made. But before Cats it was supposed to be Xanadu! An absolute classic in bad movie circles, not least of which because it was one of the original films that inspired the Razzie awards. What were my expectations? Disco singing sensation? I assumed it would be like Can’t Stop the Music which was a ludicrous barely-movie that I don’t even really remember. So … that.

The Good – Wait for it … I kind of dug this film. It isn’t a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but with Gene Kelly and the whole story about big band nightclubs, all mixed together with 80s disco and rollerskating, something about it was maybe the most unique film I’ve seen in a long long time. Unlike Can’t Stop the Music I would happily watch this film again some time. This is a bad film, but it is also an interesting and mostly harmless film. Best Bit: The wild 15 minute long musical sequence that ends the film incoherently.

The Bad – The reviews naturally nail it. The direction was rough, the film looked cheap, the actors weren’t very good (although I liked Olivia Newton-John), and the musical numbers couldn’t save it. The films ends like seventeen times near the end, there is a whole story about Greek muses. And then three words: sexy animated animals. Somehow, among the madness that is this film, the two main characters become cartoon characters and then transform into two fish and two birds, and Olivia Newton-John is, for lack of a better description, a sexy fish and a sexy bird. What is with animators and the insistence on drawing sexy animals. It is so weird. Fatal Flaw: Sexy animals as usual … naw I’m joking, it is a crap special effects that undermine the actual decent music.

The BMT – Out of all of the 80s musicals this is by far the most interesting for BMT, and I just can’t see how any other film takes that crown from Xanadu. Do I dare? Do I dare call this film a good movie? No. I mustn’t. But it is darn close, and that is a shock! I would have never imagined Xanadu would be anything by a catastrophe. Did it meet my expectations? It wildly exceeded them. I expected Can’t Stop the Music, but instead kind of got like … Newsies maybe? Like Newsies but with ELO, bad effects, and a dumb Greek muse story.

Roast-radamus – A decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles, where Gene Kelly plays jazz clarinet on the beach, natch. And a borderline Exact Date (When?) for maybe like … July 1980? There was a calendar and you can see that the month has 31 days and the 13th is a Sunday, so I assume it is July. Maybe it is Fourth of July and this is a holiday film? I think the weird mix of good and bad from the film makes this a decent BMT in the end.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Definitely a Sequel. Bring back Olivia Newton John and Michael Beck and now they are the ones in the Gene Kelly role. Retired long ago and living happily together, Xanadu was sold off, replaced, and forgotten, its place in the world lost along with the 80s … that is until 80s nostalgia hits hard! The old site of Xanadu becomes an ironic pilgrimage site for those rad hipsters who love all things Stranger Things. Olivia Newton-John, aka Terpsichore, is invariably drawn to Xanadu. There’s dancing, and signing, and eventually Michael Beck and Olivia Newton-John team up with Twitch star LolXanadu4Life (played by a real like Twitch streamer who I’m not going to name since I don’t know any of them) to create a cross between an arcade and microbrewery all wrapped up in a Twitch themes ESPN Zone situation. It’s super sweet, and super ironic, and all the rad hipsters love it. It ends with a 45 minute 80s themes song and dance number. Xana2: Legacy.

Bring a Friend Analysis – Naturally for Xanadu we brought along … Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings? Obviously I had to watch both of the Pumpkinhead films for this bit. The first? Is quite good. It is a really cool contained story about witch’s curses and the regret a good man has for unleashing the demon Pumpkinhead on a group of mostly innocent teenagers. The practical effects are incredibly impressive, and as a self-contained story it is really cool. And then they made a pointless direct-to-video sequel. The sequel looks like absolute trash. It stars the star of Hellraiser, and has multiple cameos by horror villains (e.g. Kane Hodder, the best Jason), but eventually as the creature starts really killing people it just goes over a cliff and all of the characters go insane and … I didn’t know what was happening anymore. Apparently filmed in 23 days with a director hired the day before shooting essentially, I have a feeling they realized they were doomed from the start and just decided to have fun with it. Guess who didn’t have fun with it? This guy. D. Much like the sequels to Basket Case this just couldn’t capture the charm and raison d’etre of the first to make it worth my while.

You Just Got Schooled – And now to reveal why Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings is the friend for Xanadu … it’s because Pumpkinhead II has a video game tie-in! Against all odds they made Blood Wings: Pumkinhead’s Revenge, a PC game which, first, barely works, and second, appears to just be a rip-off of Doom? It is a really weird game that I couldn’t quite figure out. Like, you are fighting skeletons (not in the film) and then travelling to the Netherworld (not in the film) to capture crystals (not in the film), which then allow you to I guess watch FMV video from the movie? I wouldn’t know about the last bit because the game basically doesn’t work and I couldn’t figure out how to capture the crystals. Unfortunately, the one video I could find of someone playing they had about as much luck getting crystals as I did … how do I keep playing the worst games ever made for this section? How is Little Nicky by far the best movie tie-in for a BMT film we could find? F.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Xanadu Quiz

Oh man, so I was roller skating along the beach and saw this mural of a bunch of ladies. And I got all excited and smashed right into the wall thinking I could enter the glorious world of those ladies. Instead I got a massive concussion and now don’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in Xanadu?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Where does Michael Beck first see the magical dreamgirl Olivia Newton-John?

2) Where does Michael meet the wizened (and very rich) Gene Kelly, and what is his connection to music?

3) The club, which is to be called Xanadu, has competing visions manifest as a battle of imaginary bandstands. What are the two visions?

4) In a very weird animated sequence our two protagonists become two different animals, which?

5) Who is Olivia Newton John really?

Bonus Question: How long did Xanadu stay open?

Answers

Xanadu Preview

Jamie completes a perfect jetski backflip, narrowly avoiding the torpedoes shot by the toy-sized submarine. Suddenly the engine of the jetski begins to sputter and Jamie knows that drastic times calls for drastic measures. He takes a tiny hammer and breaks the emergency glass on the jetski’s Mello Yello store. Breaking out the well known catchphrase, “Time to say hello to Mello Yello, fellow,” Jamie pours the contents into the gas tank. What Jamie loves about speed is controlling it, you know? But while the Dew is doable, Mello Yello is an uncontrollable beast and soon he’s swerving wildly about the unexpectedly large pool housed within the toy factory. He careens off the submarine’s sail, puncturing and ultimately sinking the drone, but that doesn’t solve all of Jamie’s problems. He’s still on a Mello Yello powered death machine and it’s heading right for the wall of the tank. Gulp. He throws up his hands to shield his face from irreparably sexy scars and bursts through the wall into a stuffy board meeting of the toy company’s executives. The head of the company shifts nervously as sweat beads on his forehead. No one was meant to know about his submarine antics and yet here it is on full display. Thinking fast, Jamie puts an arm around the CEOs shoulder and loudly exclaims, “and that’s what this noble man thinks of war toys! Instead he’s going to be teaming up with the latest Rich & Poe release to show how this company is all about justice and friendship, just like Rich & Poe, who will continue to be very much alive.” The room breaks out in applause as the executive wipes sweat from his brow and whispers, “Welcome to the Super Dope Toys family…. Or as we call it: Xanadu.” That’s right! We are going full 80’s magic for real with the Olivia Newton-John masterpiece Xanadu. And by masterpiece I mean that it was partially responsible for the creation of the Razzies and also legit had one of the biggest soundtracks of that year. Let’s go!

The mastermind of the deaths of Rich and Poe stares daggers at the Bad Movie Twins cyborgs from the shadows. “You pumpkinheads, they are getting too close. The buzz around this FMV music video game is growing. Something must be done…” And with that he lets out a terrifying cackle. That’s right! We’re teaming up Xanadu with Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings. Why? Because we can and also it’s one of the few direct-to-video films we found that had a video game release, which seems insane. That being said, the original Pumpkinhead is great. Let’s go!

Xanadu (1980) – BMeTric: 44.2; Notability: 66

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 6.5%; Notability: top 2.3%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 17.2% Higher BMeT: Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Lower RT: Can’t Stop the Music, The Blue Lagoon, Hardly Working, Roadie, Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again, The Hollywood Knights, Wholly Moses!, Galaxina, The Boogey Man, The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, The Nude Bomb, Where the Buffalo Roam, Heart Beat, The Apple, He Knows You’re Alone; Notes: 1980 as a BMT film year is pretty sparse, almost non-existent. It is the last year that one could argue there isn’t particularly good box office data, and so on occasion we have to “cheat” to get the actual bad 1980 films into BMT. A notability of 66 though? That ain’t cheating brotha! That legitimately might be the biggest film of the year. How?!

RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – “Xanadu” is a mushy and limp musical fantasy, so insubstantial it keeps evaporating before our eyes. It’s one of those rare movies in which every scene seems to be the final scene; it’s all ends and no beginnings, right up to its actual end, which is a cheat.

(I don’t even really know what that means. I guess I should be prepared for it to end, like, seven times like Return of the King or something? And how does that review snippet equal two stars? Ebert in the 80s was a complex critical animal.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT0wRGBhNwE/

(What is the deal with roller skating in musicals in 1980 specifically. Steve Guttenberg was also roller skating all over the place in Can’t Stop the Music. A very matter of fact trailer. You like Olivia Newton-John right? Awesome, you’ll like this film with roller skating. She sings in it.)

Directors – Robert Greenwald – (Known For: Breaking Up; Steal This Movie; Sweet Hearts Dance; Future BMT: Hear No Evil; BMT: Xanadu; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Director for Xanadu in 1981; Notes: Nominated for three Emmys most recently for the mini-series A Woman of Independent Means. Was a huge television movie director in the 80s and 90s and then founded Brave New Films in 2001 and has been a huge documentarian since.)

Writers – Richard Christian Danus (written by) – (BMT: Xanadu; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Xanadu in 1981; Notes: Wrote a bit for television including two episode of Crime Story which was produced by Michael Mann.)

Marc Reid Rubel (written by) – (Known For: Big Business; Almost Summer; BMT: Xanadu; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Xanadu in 1981; Notes: Also wrote Prince of Bel Air starring Mark Harmon. Not much about him, not even in the trades.)

Actors – Olivia Newton-John – (Known For: Grease; The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee; She’s Having a Baby; A Few Best Men; Sordid Lives; It’s My Party; Score: A Hockey Musical; Toomorrow; Funny Things Happen Down Under; Future BMT: Two of a Kind; BMT: Xanadu; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 1981 for Xanadu; and in 1984 for Two of a Kind; Notes: Had five songs go to #1 on the US Billboard charts. Her father was a medical doctor who invented a portable iron lung.)

Gene Kelly – (Known For: Singin’ in the Rain; An American in Paris; Anchors Aweigh; Inherit the Wind; Cover Girl; Brigadoon; On the Town; Take Me Out to the Ball Game; What a Way to Go!; The Pirate; Les Demoiselles de Rochefort; A Guide for the Married Man; The Three Musketeers; Let’s Make Love; 40 Carats; Ziegfeld Follies; Du Barry Was a Lady; Marjorie Morningstar; Summer Stock; BMT: Xanadu; Notes: His last on screen film role. He was nominated for one Academy Award (for Anchors Aweigh) and received an honorary Oscar in 1952.)

Michael Beck – (Known For: The Warriors; Blackout; The Hard Ride; Warlords of the 21st Century; Forest Warrior; Triumphs of a Man Called Horse; The Golden Seal; Future BMT: Megaforce; BMT: Xanadu; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor for Xanadu in 1981; and Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Megaforce in 1983; Notes: Grew up in Arkansas and went to school in Mississippi. The funniest note on his IMDb I think is that he was the voice for the book-on-tape version of Runaway Jury by John Grisham.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $22,762,571 (Worldwide: $22,762,571)

(Yeah, a financial disaster. In its defense, according to the notes, it was supposed to cost $5 million, but then they overran. If they had come in on budget it would have probably been fine.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 29% (12/42): Not even spandex and over-the-top musical numbers can save Xanadu from questionable acting, unimpressive effects, and a story unencumbered by logic.

(I’m just here for the music, man. I’m not looking for nonsense like “logic” and “acting”. Reviewer Highlight: An experience so vacuous it’s almost frightening. – Ian Birch, Time Out.)

Poster – Xana-Don’t!!

(Uh… I don’t really know what to think about this. I guess I like that it’s kind of like a painting and the font is obviously one of the best of all time. But it’s not eye catching other than in a ‘WTF is that?’ kind of way and the white background is a mistake. Seems more like a joke than a real poster, but it’s not all that bad. C+.)

Tagline(s) – A Fantasy, A Musical, A Place Where Dreams Come True. (C-)

(While the poster is a bit mysterious and odd, this is just a bad tagline. They try to go for the rule of 3, but I don’t think they go together and then they end up with something far too long.)

Keyword – disco

Top 10: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Ready Player One (2018), Fatal Attraction (1987), Scarface (1983), Boogie Nights (1997), EuroTrip (2004), American Hustle (2013), Dark Shadows (2012), Ted (2012), Carlito’s Way (1993)

Future BMT: 70.0 The Unborn (2009), 64.9 In the Mix (2005), 63.7 Boat Trip (2002), 59.8 Staying Alive (1983), 51.7 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008), 42.0 Virtuosity (1995), 41.3 The Kitchen (2019), 33.9 Shark Tale (2004), 33.6 Along Came Polly (2004), 33.3 54 (1998);

BMT: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009), Romeo Must Die (2000), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009)

(The 90s really didn’t like disco very much huh? Well, we have probably the last true blue BMT disco film left after this in Staying Alive in 1983. So that’s something to look forward to.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 25) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Sandahl Bergman is No. 9 billed in Xanadu and No. 3 billed in Red Sonja, which also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 4 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 9 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 25. If we were to watch Two of a Kind, and Shout we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – After Kira tells Sonny she is one of the Greek muses, she starts to say, “My real name is Terp” but Sonny shushes her and she never reveals her real name. She is there to help him open a dance club, and she is obviously a dancer, so her name is most likely Terpsichore, after the Greek muse of dance–although in the stage adaption of the film she was Clio, muse of history.

According to Olivia Newton-John, the script was written during filming.

The soundtrack was an enormous success. The song “Magic” went to #1 on the US pop singles chart. In the UK the soundtrack album peaked at #2, and the single “Xanadu” was #1 for two weeks in July 1980.

The Pan Pacific Auditorium, on Beverly Boulevard in Hollywood near CBS’ Television City, was used for exterior shots of the Xanadu Club. It was built in 1935 and destroyed by a fire in 1989. A community center now sits on the site, featuring a single version of the Pan Pacific’s four curved art-deco spires.

Olympic skater Peggy Fleming helped plan the skating scenes.

The choreography in the Gene Kelly-choreographed “Whenever You’re Away From Me” is nearly identical to the choreography in the title number from For Me and My Girl (1942), in which starred Kelly with Judy Garland.

Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John’s dance number was shot after filming had finished. Kelly choreographed it. His conditions included a closed stage with only himself, Newton-John, a cameraman, a choreographer he had befriended and two others.

Gene Kelly took the part of Danny McGuire because filming was a short drive from his Beverly Hills home.

Olivia Newton-John met Matt Lattanzi, who had a minor role, during filming. Afterward Lattanzi accompanied her to Australia on a promotional visit for the film and met her parents. Lattanzi and John married in 1984, had one child, Chloe Lattanzi, and divorced in 1995.

Famously received the one sentence review: “In a word, Xana-don’t”. (I thought I had invented that!!!)

This film, playing as a 99-cent double-feature with Can’t Stop the Music (1980), inspired John Wilson to create the Golden Raspberry Awards (a.k.a. Razzies), honoring the worst achievements in film. Robert Greenwald later won the first Worst Director Razzie Award.

The film was adapted into a Broadway musical, which caused a lot of controversy due to the poor reception of the film. However, the musical was actually a satire of the film, and was therefore praised for its humor. It opened in 2007, starring Kerry Butler as Kira and Cheyenne Jackson as Sonny. The show ran for over 500 performances and was nominated for the Best Musical and Best Book Tony’s.

According to the two-page booklet included with the DVD, the film was originally conceived as a low-budget roller-disco movie. The imminent release of Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979) and Roller Boogie (1979) prompted many changes, like blending 1940s and 1980s styles.

The original budget was $4 million, but costs rose to $13 million. Universal head Ned Tanen fired Joel Silver, who immediately went to work for his friend and mentor Lawrence Gordon, who was also a producer on the film, and put Silver back on the project.

This film is one of three disco musicals released in 1980. The others were The Apple (1980) and Can’t Stop the Music (1980). (We’ll have watched two of three then!)

Despite the film’s poor reputation, the soundtrack peaked at #4 on the US Billboard Charts and it was awarded double platinum.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst ‘Musical’ of Our First 25 Years (2005)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Robert Greenwald, 1981)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Lawrence Gordon, 1981)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Michael Beck, 1981)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Olivia Newton-John, 1981)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Richard Christian Danus, Marc Reid Rubel, 1981)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Original Song (John Farrar, 1981)

Days of Thunder Recap

Jamie

Cole Trickle is a race car driver you just wants to win. Just when he figures everything out he gets in a terrible wreck and finds himself fighting for his job against a young upstart trying to take his place. Add in a new love interest and things are getting complicated. Can he win the big race (and get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… Days of Thunder.

How?! Cole Trickle is a race car driver with a lot of promise. Unfortunately he just can’t listen to advice (or even really understand the sport of NASCAR) and keeps burning out his cars by pushing too hard. After his pit chief Harry Hogge puts him through some training, Cole becomes the darling of NASCAR and a big time rivalry with hot shot racer Rowdy Burns starts up. This culminates in a contentious race where both Rowdy and Cole are seriously injured in a crash. As Cole recovers, he develops a romantic relationship with his neurosurgeon Dr. Claire Lewicki and patches things up with Rowdy as they become super best friends forever. But all is not well on the race track as Russ Wheeler, a young upstart who has taken over Cole’s car after the crash, is making waves. Instead of giving Cole his car back after he recovers, the owner expands to two cars and a bitter rivalry between Cole and Russ develops. This eventually results in Cole being let go by the team. However, Rowdy needs brain surgery and to pay for it he needs Cole to drive his car in the Daytona 500. What luck! With a new team assembled, a little help from his old team, and some fancy moves on the racetrack, Cole and Russ find themselves neck and neck at the finish line. It looks like Russ has the whole thing wrapped up, but Cole tricks Russ by switching up his patented slingshot move at the finish and wins Daytona and everyone is super excited and Claire is like hooray (even though she’s like a way more impressive brain surgeon) and it’s great. THE END. 

Why?! Fame and fortune I think. Although Cole also has all kinds of other stuff that factor into his passion for driving that I don’t totally remember. I know that part of the attraction to NASCAR was that the cars are the same so that it’s all about dem skillz. And boy howdy does he have the skillz. I mean, I think that’s it. He wants to win Daytona… it’s not complicated.

Who?! Obviously there are some cameos in this guy. Richard Petty and Rusty Wallace are a couple. Sometimes I even discover a new entry for these categories and this is an interesting case of a “based on a true story” that really isn’t (but kind of is in a winking way). Cole Trickle is mostly based on Tim Richmond, who was a larger than life driver with a tragic story. They made a 30 for 30 about him. A lot of the events from the film are anecdotal about a variety of drivers. So almost based on actual people… but it’s not.

What?! The whole thing is kinda like an advertisement for NASCAR. Wouldn’t be surprised if NASCAR recruiters set up shop outside the cineplex to rope unsuspecting teens into NASCAR boot camp. And of course with NASCAR comes Mello Yello racecars and with Mello Yello racecars follows the inevitable sex scene featuring Sweet’N Low. I even think I remember that on the SATs back in the day. Autumn:Winter::Mello Yello Racecar:________. The answer was obviously Sweet’N Low Sex Scene. I believe the only question in history where everyone who took the test got it right.

Where?! In my mind this is a Florida film. Not just because that’s where the climactic race of the film takes place, but really because that’s where Cole recovers with Claire. So in my mind I see Cole driving around Florida and falling in love to the tune of a Daytona sunset (awww). On the other hand it’s a pretty good out-of-the-box road trip movie. It even has a scene where Cole is racing at the Dover International Speedway… let me say that again: there is a scene in this film in Dover… Delaware. B+.

When?! There are some clear dates here just in terms of the races that are explicitly names. At the very least you know that Cole was injured in July and then the climactic Dayton 500 would occur the following February. Really all the events seem to take place in just under a year, which seems odd. Like Cole is a rookie, becomes a rival with the top driver, is injured, starts another rivalry, gets fired from his team, and then wins the Daytona 500 on a different team in like… 10 months or so. Road trip through time as well. B+.

We’re on a bit of a streak of pretty good films. Or at least not entirely bad films. I found this one to be downright watchable and really not that bad (It’s not that bad! It’s not that bad!). Though, I can understand why it’s not in the Top Gun level of nostalgia at this point. The bromance is just not at the same level, the rival comes in too late to hit Iceman potential, the love interest is barely written, and fighter jets are cooler than race cars. But… but… it’s got all that adrenaline pumping fun and sports movie juice to get me through a sitting no prob. My biggest gripe is Nicole Kidman’s neurosurgeon character who falls in love with Cole (an immature race car driver who kinda sucks) for no apparent reason… she’s a beautiful neurosurgeon and she’s going to fall in love with one of her patients who has a death wish? That’s unlikely. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We get to dust off another borderline BMT and play a sweet NES game with Days of Thunder. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This film has always been kicking around as a sports film for BMT, a sub-genre we don’t often get to do. I don’t know why that is. I looked it up once, I think there are actually plenty of films to do (Mighty Ducks, D2: The Mighty Ducks, D3: The Mighty Ducks, to name three), so it is just something about them that we avoid. Probably because they don’t really fit into any genre. Is this an action film? A romance? Mighty Ducks I suppose is a comedy. The other notable things about this film is it is the only feature film Cruise has a writing credit on, and it is also where he met Nicole Kidman. Truly a landmark in film history. What were my expectations? Heart pounding NASCAR action! No seriously, I pretty much fully expected it to be an okay actioner, all the reviews just seem to complain about the romance and how inaccurate the film is about racing.

The Good – And an okay actioner is it! The final race in particular is quite good I thought, with enough vulnerability shown by Cruise to get me rooting for him to win, and enough action to keep you entertained. It didn’t really matter that you knew who was going to win. The whole story works quite well and I think the credit might lie with Cruise there. He knew that having some prodigy young hot shot as the lead wouldn’t work well and was willing to play a character who admitted he just didn’t know a thing about cars. You know if that was late-career Vin Diesel he’d be like “I can’t lose a race, it is in my contract. Fambly.” Best bit: Final race

The Bad – Definitely sags a bit in the middle when they are just mostly winning races / recovering from injuries and moping about. I could have used a bit more of the classic redemption arc of “we were rivals, and I hate you Cole Trickle … but goddamn if I respect you!” from Rooker. You can tell everything concerning racing is nonsense (albeit a necessary and forgivable flaw). I think the only unforgivable sin is that Duvall lives on a farm with a barn, but Tom Cruise never punches a big sack of hay while recovering from injury in there a la Youngblood. A travesty. Fatal flaw: Tom Cruise didn’t punch a big sack of hay … just joking, it is probably just the slowness of the middle of the film.

The BMT – We’ve watched quite a few racing films over the years, although mostly (outside of maybe only Driven?) they are about illegal street racing. This still, weirdly, isn’t the best BMT about sanctioned racing, that is surely Driven with Sly Stallone. It gets your blood pumping, though. I can definitely see myself settling in to watch just the final race if I saw it randomly on television. Also it is surprising just how much of a parody Talladega Nights is. Watching those two films back-to-back would be great fun … yeah I’m just going to pencil that in for some lazy Sunday in the future. Did it meet my expectations? Amazingly, it exceeded them. I think I expected it to be even more nonsensical than it was, but it does an okay job of balancing competition, rivalry, and the romance story, and ends up being pretty fun.

Roast-radamus – Two incredible Product Placements (What?) with the quote “ESPN … their coverage is excellent, you’d be surprised how much you can pick up” being used to explain Cole Trickle’s inherent abilities in stock car racing, and also Cole guzzling Budweiser throughout the film, and ultimately being sponsored by Mello Yello at the end of the film. A decent Setting as a Character (Where?) for North Carolina in particular, I think they ended up just bouncing back and forth between the two headquarter cities (Daytona and Charlotte) for NASCAR throughout the film. And I’m declaring it, this is a Super Secret Holiday Film (When?), because everyone knows the Daytona 500 (which bookends the film) always takes place on Presidents’ Day weekend, at least that was true in the 80s and 90s. Definitely closest to Good for me.

Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Prequel baby! You know when they throw out tantalizing nuggets like “my father owned my IndyCar team and was a fraud and bankrupted and embarrassed me so badly I had to move to NASCAR” in a film I just need to see that as a prequel story. And guess what? Tom Cruise is going to play that father! That’s right, it has been long enough that we recast Cole Trickle (easy, Timothée Chalamet) and Tom Cruise plays his own character’s father in the film. Pretty straightforward, I mean … they explained the whole concept in Days of Thunder. I think the key though is that the characters will be following NASCAR during the film (ESPN has great coverage) and will see Bretherton’s crash and Harry Hogge get drummed out of the series at the same time. Draw that connection. We also need an IndyCar rivalry to revive in the sequel (after Trickle triumphantly returns to IndyCar after the events of the original film), I’m going to call him … Kyle Frisk and he’s played by Jaden Smith. Days of Thunder: Grand Prix.

You Just Got Schooled – This is a two-fer! This film had several singles from its soundtrack album, most notably a cover of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Guns N’ Roses which peaked at #2 on the UK charts, and Show Me Heaven by Maria McKee which spent four weeks at the top of the UK charts in 1990. Additionally, there was a PC and NES game also called Days of Thunder. I played the NES version and hoooooooo doggy, it is basically impossible. I’m not even joking, there is a race in the game which even the best runners say is impossible to win given the pitting mechanics. I played for an hour or two and started to get the hang of it to some degree, but you should at the very least watch a speed run just to see how insane the pitting mechanics are, you have to manually do them!

By the end of the movie tie-in cycle I think I’m going to end up playing every single type of game ever made, you have to love it.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs