7 Days Of Freddy, Day 4: Dream Master 7 Days Of Freddy, Day 4: Dream Master
Renny Harlin did for the Nightmare series with Dream Master, what his Cutthroat Island did for pirate movies.  The fourth movie in the series... 7 Days Of Freddy, Day 4: Dream Master

Renny Harlin did for the Nightmare series with Dream Master, what his Cutthroat Island did for pirate movies.  The fourth movie in the series is the worst of the bunch by a mile, and Renny Harlin needs to not make another movie. Ever.  To say I dislike Dream Master is an understatement. I loathe it with the intensity of a thousand burning suns. However, I can’t pin all the blame on Renny, he was a hired gun after all, and there’s enough blame to go around, namely the screenwriters, whose names won’t sully my article. Why the rabid dislike? Come down the rabbit hole, and we’ll explore it all.  Dream Master opens with an homage or rip off if you like, of the previous movie. Instead of Kristen making a house from papier-mâché, we see a little girl drawing the house on the sidewalk in chalk.   It is a nice little bit of bringing things full circle I suppose, and to be honest, the opening scene is my favorite part of the movie. It’s spooky, creepy, has the village of the damned kids rejects, and a dilapidated Elm St. house. Caught in a nightmare, she somehow summons Kincaid and Joey, the only other survivors from Dream Warriors.

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Understandably, they’re not very happy being drawn into her dream and ignore her warning that Freddy’s coming back. The next morning we meet her friends (ie: the next ones to die), and again like the previous sequel they’re all pretty much stereotypes. There’s her martial arts-loving boyfriend (and Alice’s brother), Rick, her best friend Alice, an asthmatic black girl, and a leather-tough girl who hates bugs.  Oh, and then there’s Dan, the football player who Alice lusts after.

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The next day not heeding her premonition, both Kincaid and Joey die. Kincaid dreams he’s in the auto yard where Krueger’s bones were buried, and his dog pisses fire on the grave which brings Freddy back. Yeah, let that sink in for a bit.  Well not long after he’s resurrected (in a bit of special effects that was done much better in Hellraiser), Kincaid gets a glove to the pudgy tummy, and then it’s Joey’s turn.

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Kristen panics at school the next day when neither friend is there. She passes out and is taken to the nurse’s office where she is tended to by Freddy in disguise (and a nurse’s uniform).  She then goes home, only to be drugged by her mother so she could sleep. At first she’s on a beach but the pleasant dream doesn’t last long as Freddy shows up in Jaws fashion, and then it’s back into the nightmare house again. She brings Alice into her dream for help, but it’s too late and Freddy throws Kristen into the boiler.

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Who’s next to die? Who survives? Will Dan and Alice get together? Will Rick use some bomb ass moves on Freddy? Will anyone care? I suppose it all depends: if what I’ve mentioned thus far sounds interesting, you might care, but probably not very much.

 

Tuesday Knight replaces Patricia Arquette as Kristen, and while she does a fine job, let’s face it, she’s not in the same league as Arquette. There’s a real darkness to Tuesday’s portrayal that seems against character and really makes her a different person. Given that, however, I can’t fault her performance, and is really one of the highlights of the movie.

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Rodney Eastman and Ken Saggoes reprising their roles as Joey and Kincaid, do a fine job, for the very short time they’re even in the movie. You almost wonder why they even bothered having them in, in the first place. Eastman having had a growth spurt now sports long hair, and talks, though he’s not given much, or anything important to say. Saggoes seems to have the opposite problem and is as loud and crude as ever. When Freddy finally sinks his blades into Kincaid you almost do a little cheer.

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Much like his near death in Dream Warriors, Joey’s problem starts with a buxom blonde, who he sees trapped inside his waterbed.  And yes, Krueger utters the inevitable wet dream line.

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The one real adult in the movie, or the one who gets the most screen time, is Alice’s father, a raging alcoholic, who is mostly unsympathetic, and I really couldn’t care less about.  Yet, he gives a good performance, it’s just wasted on an unlikable character.

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On the other hand, Andras Jones as Alice’s brother is genuinely likable, and a more interesting character than Alice. He brings a true warmth and an honest humor to the proceedings that the corny one-liners can’t even hide.  Lisa Wilcox as Alice is a surprisingly strong character and think she would have made a better Kristen. Her relationship with her brother seems quite genuine and when the two of them are onscreen together, you can almost forget, they’re surrounded by crap.

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Robert Englund, by this point, seems to be phoning it in, or really couldn’t be bothered, because it was a rather uninspired performance. I can attribute some of that to Englund, but much has to be blamed on the writers who gave him some of the most ludicrous, cheesy lines in any of the films. Dream Master is where the series jumped the shark, and Freddy became a caricature and not the scary villain of the first two.  It’s a shame Englund didn’t have any say in the script because Freddy is simply embarrassing here.

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It’s really hard to say what’s worse, the Freddy nurse, the Freddy Jaws, Freddy in the sunglasses, the invisible Freddy vs Rick fight, or the godawful one-liners. All of that is enough to make me want to pluck out my eyes and jab sharpened pencils in my ears. I suppose if there’s one good thing to come from this, it’s that, it doesn’t get any worse from here.

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It doesn’t get much better, either, but hey, those are the breaks.

3/10 gloves

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Scott Colbert

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  • I admittedly don’t think this is the worst one- that one comes tomorrow. Dream Master has a bit of a cheese factor enjoyment value, but some scenes are outright horrible, as you stated. I hate the cockroach scene- it’s totally half-assed. And it’s definitely the “jump the shark” moment, with Englund going full Roger Moore.

  • Full Roger Moore, I love that. Moonraker no doubt.

  • Script problems can be explained by the fact that there was no script. Writers strike started after first draft was submitted.

  • Yeah, in “Never Sleep Again” you can see that Harlin had zero time for prep.

  • True, unfortunately when I have to write something up faster than what I used to, a lot of stuff gets skipped.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    “Renny Harlin did for the Nightmare series with Dream Master, what his Cutthroat Island did for pirate movies”

    Not really. Cutthorat Island was a disaster that nixed the pirate genre for twenty years, while Dream Master was the commercial apogee of its respective series.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Freddy: The MTV Years. Nevertheless, apart from New Nightmare, this was the last watchable entry in the series, so I cannot agree with the review. The movie contains little horror to speak of, but it’s fast-paced, slickly directed and energetic, and despite script problems it hangs together pretty well (unlike the next sequel). Therefore, it was entertaining at least.

  • Toruk_Makto

    How many gloves did this get?

  • Toruk_Makto

    As a lover of horror I can’t help but to think how lucky the Freddy generation was. We are also a little spoiled because of it. We got so many cool things through the 80’s and 90’s.
    As bad as this flick is (by our standards) it is light years ahead of 99% of the horror produced today.
    What modern horror today has so many unique and iconic elements as the Freddy series?
    The glove.
    The sweater.
    The children’s rhyme
    The house
    the scraping claw sound
    the dream concept.
    And on, and on, and on.
    I feel bad for these kids today when the best they can get is our leftovers.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I agree. This one sucks soooooooooooo bad, it really isn’t worth the time to review it!

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Doesn’t matter if Harlin had all the time in the world, he would have still fucked it up!

  • I am thankful that there are still so many old horror movies to discover for me. But sadly I never saw one of the classics in the theatre.

  • I don’t hate the guy. He made a handful decent movies.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Not really. Name them? Prison was ok, Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger, both ok, then it’s shit city from there. I don’t hate him either, just never thought of him as a good director.

  • Toruk_Makto

    It was a magical time. Looking back I’m shocked I took it for granted. Now I go through at least a hundred flicks before I stumble across a gem.

  • I understand. I do like Long Kiss Goodnight and Mindhunters is a guilty pleasure.

  • Of course you took it as granted, you were young.

  • I’m afraid we won’t agree on 5 either lol.

  • All my opinion. For me this is the movie where the franchise jumped the shark.

  • Hindsight is always 20/20 my friend.

  • That’s a point I made on the podcast this week. Pick any year from 80 to 89 and you can name a dozen kick ass horror flicks. Now I can’t pick a dozen since the Millennium.

  • That’s why it’s the shortest so far lol.

  • Ooh I forgot about that. 3 gloves. I’ll add that in

  • Mr Nick Nightly

    I have a soft spot for this one because its the first horror movie that I called my favorite (I was 9 and it was also my first Freddy movie). Part 5 is a mix of great and awful moments. Freddy’s Dead is like Lynch-Lite.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I don’t mind those two either

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    I disagree. This one is booboo

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    If I’m not misinterpreting the hints you’ve previously given, we’ll at least be in agreement that it’s shitty. It just depends on what degree of shittiness we’re talking about!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Do you think it’s worse than Freddy’s Dead?

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    His run of movies from Prison to Long Kiss Goodnight – sans Cutthroat Island – was solid.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    “Freddy’s Dead is like Lynch-Lite.”

    Lol, that’s an interesting way of putting it. Maybe if Lynch had a lobotomy.

  • CoolHandJuke

    i call this one, the one with girl Urkel…

  • CoolHandJuke

    you’re forgetting the Saw and Paranormal Activity series. there’s like 10,000 movies between them…

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    No, but they both are bad. To tell you the truth, Dream Warriors was the start to the decline of the series. As good as it was, nostalgia and all, it felt to me, as if now they film makers were going to cash in on the name and commercialize it more, make it more funny than scary. All the sudden it became the “Arnold” of horror films, everyone waiting for the one-liner to zing by and then off to the launch pad again in anticipation of another zinger. The first two were the best, Pt3 was “fun” and a guilty pleasure, but after that…..no Bueno. Once Freddy became a cartoon character, I was out, like the Astros from the playoffs.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Shitty is as shitty does

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    True, none are horrible, but none are above mediocre/good either. You are right

  • That’s who she reminded me of! It’s been annoying me that I couldn’t think of who it was.

  • S_D_M_F

    Damn! I forgot about the nurse. Stacey Alden! (And, yes, after reading the entire article that is what I took away from it! lol)

  • That’s interesting, I’m going to re-watch Freddy’s Dead again with Lynch lite in mind.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Agreed. Probably a great horror movie every month back then. It was a great time to go to the movies.I saw so many horror movies in the theater from 86-90 I cant even count.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Youth is wasted on the young.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Deep Blue Sea was fun, as well. However, the horrible cgi sharks really hurt it. The animatronic stuff was good, I thought. That Sam Jackson scene is pathetic because the shark looks so bad. I always get a kick outta people who rip the shark from JAWS. 43 years old an d that mofo still looks better than anything they have produced since.

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  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Yeah, I’d rank Deep Blue Sea as a guilty pleasure. It’s incredibly stupid on many levels, but the lure of giant sea creatures can never be underestimated.

  • Stalkeye

    DH2,Cliffhanger annnd The Long Kiss Goodnight were more than just “OK”.

    These were solid action flicks and not your typical “you killed my brother, mother, sister, wife, mistress,etc” movie, each had a standout plot within their own and the execution although, not flawless was entertaining nonetheless.

    But Motherfuck Cutthroat Island!

  • Stalkeye

    Mindhunters is another good one.

  • Stalkeye

    Yeah, but this scene is what made the Movie, meng!!

  • Stalkeye

    The “Arnold” of horror films.

    http://i.imgur.com//1ONCpFg.gif