FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Jan 25, 2016

The Nightmare-ening Day 6: FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE (1991)

Since A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 ends with Super Dream Master Alice and her Super Dream Unborn Child emerging victorious from battle with Freddy Krueger, it's not crazy to think that the sixth film in the series, Freddy's Dead, might involve these characters in some capacity. But no! It is not to be. Instead, this film does whatever it wants to, beginning with this:

Oh. Okay.

So...wait. It's been ten years since The Dream Child? Is that what "now" refers to? And in that time, the entire under-18 population of Springwood is wiped out save one teenager and all the adults have completely flipped out? And we're just going to...skip out on all of that? And there's no police involvement or anything? What a strange foot to start on, Freddy's Dead. What a very strange foot. You've sure got moxie, kid!

But moxie is all you've got because good GRAVY this is a bad movie. I'm not sure where to begin, and quite frankly I want to purge the memory of this film and everything associated with it from my brain as quickly as I can. I want to peruse the Final Girl archives in, say, 2019 and come across this entry and think...huh. The screencaps kind of ring a bell a bit, but I don't remember much about this movie. Did I actually watch it?

And hey, Future Me: if you are getting it in your head to give Freddy's Dead another try in the interests of science or horror movies or remembering or whatever the reason is: STOP. Stop yourself right now. Cut off your own head if you have to, just stay as far away from this film as you can. See? It's bad. You had a bad, bad time watching this.

Aw, but baby Breckin Meyer! And Yaphet Kotto! What if I watch it in 3D this time? Maybe I'll find something worthwhile to it! It's the year 2019, after all. Freddy's Dead is the very rare horror film in which no women are killed...shouldn't I watch it again to see if it's subversive in other ways? Maybe there's meaning in--

NO! No, Future Me. It is not worth another 90 minutes of your life, I promise. Time is running out for you as it is!

Is that a threat?

Not at all, I am just saying. You've already spent 90 minutes with this film. Rather than doubling that, you should spend those 90 minutes watching something you love. Or something you've never seen. You should watch anything else. Why, you could stare at the wall, even! That would be 90 minutes better spent.

Yeah, but this:

I know. Even with that.

Look everybody, I'm not really sure what to say here. Freddy's Dead doesn't make much sense in the ways it plays with the logic of the preceding films in the series (yeah, they had their own logic). People can pull each other into dreams all willy-nilly, rendering Kristen's specialness decidedly unspecial. No one is particularly scared about Freddy, or scared by him when they confront him. If anything, The Final Nightmare seems to want to be a horror-comedy–man, Roseanne is one of the greatest TV shows of all time, but I really didn't need Roseanne and Tom Arnold in this movie–and ultimately fails at both.

Huge amounts of backstory are given to Freddy Krueger. We see glimpses of his childhood, where he is teased for being the product of a gang rape, and his adulthood where oh, hey, he was married and had a kid. This is substantial development for a horror movie icon, and yet it's all waved away quickly. Freddy's child doesn't have any qualms about being the child of a child killer. None of this means anything at all, and when Freddy finally dies after six fucking movies, Freddy's child quips "Freddy's dead!" and everyone laughs and I'm surprised it didn't end on a GD freeze frame. That's it. That's the wrap up for the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Are you kidding me?

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to figure out how to bleach my brain so I can forget about this movie and get on with my life. See you in 2019*!

*tomorrow, when I post about the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street


CashBailey said...

I remember seeing this in the cinema and the 3D was utter shit, much like the rest of the movie.

Lisa Zane was very beautiful, though, I had quite a schoolboy crush on her after that movie.

Nicholas Kaufmann said...

"Freddy's Dead is the very rare horror film in which no women are killed"

Holy crap, I never realized that! That *is* something noteworthy, even if the rest of the movie is not.

Stacie Ponder said...

It's pretty cool. Two women and the black guy survive...kicking those tropes in the nards!

Nicholas Kaufmann said...

It's so rare! I remember being equally wowed when the "gay best friend" character survives in SINGLE WHITE FEMALE!

Anonymous said...

Freddy's Dead and the remake are the only NoES installments that I haven't seen. I was thinking I should catch Freddy's Dead just for completeness, but after your review I might change my mind.

Stacie Ponder said...

I know that completionist feeling! In that regard, I would recommend it JUST to see how they decided to end all this. But oh my goodness, it is EXCRUCIATING.

Rob K. said...

A dreadful movie, listen to Stacie, everybody. Do not, under any circumstances, watch or rewatch this steaming pile.

matango said...

I can't remember whether they used the Curtis Mayfield song in the movie. I doubt they did, but it would have vastly improved the film.