7 Days Of Freddy, Day 6: Freddy’s Dead 7 Days Of Freddy, Day 6: Freddy’s Dead
This is the way the world end: not with a bang but a whimper. T.S. Eliot   Good old Mr. Eliot must have seen... 7 Days Of Freddy, Day 6: Freddy’s Dead

This is the way the world end: not with a bang but a whimper.

T.S. Eliot

 

Good old Mr. Eliot must have seen Freddy’s Dead when he penned that classic line, for nothing seems to fit the final sequel (and I don’t consider A New Nightmare an actual sequel), better than that. It’s not that Freddy’s Dead is a bad movie, it isn’t. Nor is it especially good. I guess my feeling can be summed up with, it really has no reason to exist.  In spite of seeing the jump rope kids at the very end of five, I thought it wrapped things up as well as you could expect, and would have been perfectly fine leaving it that way.

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Long time producer on the series Rachel Talalay takes the helm this time out, and she makes it clear why cross training in different jobs isn’t always a god idea. The screenplay by Michael DeLuca doesn’t help her, and one can only imagine what the original script could have been, had it been used. Hell, even the script that Peter Jackson wrote, would have been a step up.  For those unfamiliar with either, here are the bare bones of the stories for both as taken from Wikipedia: In the original script of the film, 15-year-old Jacob Johnson (son of the previous installment‘s main character, Alice Johnson) was the major character while many of the “Dream Warriors” would return to aid Jacob in defeating Freddy after he kills Alice.[2] This idea was later trashed and rewritten into the final script. Peter Jackson also wrote a screenplay, but it was not used; his screenplay was about how Freddy had become seen as such of a low threat that teenagers were now taking sleeping pills just so they could mess with him. A police officer then was to go into a comatose state, thus permanently being in Freddy’s realm.[3]Jackson’s script was said to be called A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Lover and the supposed concept was that Freddy had become so weak in the dream world that teens made a game out of going into the dream world and beating up Freddy. But when Freddy regains enough power to take a boy’s father hostage in the dream world, the boy must go there one last time to save his dad. In the final draft of the film, Alice and Jacob are seen briefly moving away from Springwood during the montage at the end of the film.

 

Here’s what we got instead. Freddy’s Dead is set 10 years in the future from the last movie, where all but one of the children from Springwood have been killed. We start out in an airplane going through some bad turbulence. When one of the passengers (one of the oldest looking teens seen in the series yet), gets ejected and lands/wakes up in a house across from the infamous 1428 Elm St. He tries to escape the house and town, but is hit by a bus driven by Freddy and knocked through the barrier of Springwood and reality. He comes to with amnesia  (after a ridiculous tumble down a hill, where you can see him throwing himself down it several times to keep the momentum going), and is taken to a shelter for troubled teens.

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We’re then introduced to the head doctor, obviously slumming it for a paycheck, Yaphet Koto, and his assistant, Maggie Burroughs.  We also get to see this film’s victims, the partially deaf Carlos, the stoner Spencer, and the tough as nails with a heart of gold—scratch that, she’s just a bitch, Tracy. I know she was sexually abused by her father, but they don’t even try to make her sympathetic, and she just comes across as unlikeable.

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In an effort to help John recover his memories, Maggie takes him to Springwood and when he freaks out on the way, they discover that the other three teens stowed away in the van in an attempt to escape. The group breaks up, with John and Maggie going into town, and the others stopping at a town fair of sorts. There are no children, only adults who have apparently gone insane. Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold make an unwelcome cameo, and the teens wisely get away from them as fast as possible. AS they try to leave town, they get stuck in a loop that prevents them from actually leaving, and they decide to shack up for the night at the old house on Elm Street. Meanwhile, John and Maggie explore an old school house and then an orphanage where they uncover some clues to Freddy’s background though little to nothing about John.

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Back at the house, Carlos decides to sack out for the night and is awakened by Tracy calling for him. As he wanders looking for her, he ends up in his old neighborhood, with Freddy disguising himself as his abusive mother. There’s a grisly q-tip scene, an ear cut off and finally Carlos’ head explodes.

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Tracy decides to go looking for Carlos and takes the van to search. Spencer smokes a joint, falls asleep, and becomes a character in a video game that Freddy is playing. Tracy runs into Maggie and John, and they race back to the house to save Spencer who’s bouncing and jumping around in a Mario type game being played by Freddy.  Needless to say, poor Spencer runs out of lives, and it’s game over.

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From here the three try to escape town, and in the process John is killed by Freddy. He tells Maggie that Freddy’s child was a girl and not a boy (going against everything that happened in Dream Child), and then he dies. We never find out who he was, why he was there, and what connection he had with Freddy. In spite of identifying and rooting for him for ¾ of the movie, we get no resolution to his story. It’s as if they couldn’t think of anything, so ignored it and hoped everyone else did as well.  But no, the one surviving teen is the least likable of them all, and the final fight with Freddy (in 3D! no less) is so anticlimactic, you’ll fall asleep before Maggie can utter the last line, “Freddy’s Dead.”

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There are things that work in Freddy’s Dead, such as the time loop (which was also done in #4), the acting and some of the effects, but that’s not nearly enough to save the rest of the movie. Shon Greenblatt is terrific as John Doe (even if he’s not quite believable as a teen), and I still feel pissed off that his story line never really gets resolved.

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Yaphet Koto does little more than sleepwalk through his role, but he’s still fun to watch because…well, he’s Yaphet Koto. Lisa Zane as Maggie also does a good job given the material she has to work with, and her scenes with Shon are probably some of the best.

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Ricky Dean Logan as Carlos isn’t bad, but you never think he’s partially deaf from his speech and actions. Lezlie Deane is appropriately annoying as Tracy, and the best of them is Breckin Meyer as the stoner. His laid back, don’t give a shit attitude about anything serves him well, and it’s something he’d hone to perfection in his later career. Still, that pony tail, though. Yikes.

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As for Mr. Englund, I really get the feeling he simply showed up, performed like a trained seal, got his fish treat and left. There was no fire in him, nothing close to his other performances. Given the script, however, it’s no surprise he had little enthusiasm.

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While not the worst of the franchise, it’s a bitter and disappointing ending to a series that had such potential. That the studios had to milk it and churn out a Nightmare movie almost every year since the first release, truly buried any chance it had of being a timeless franchise.

 

4/10 gloves+

 

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Scott Colbert

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  • This is actually the only “Elm Street”-film I’ve seen in a theater. With the fucky cardboard 3D glasses and all

  • The “dream” glasses, yup. I have the 3D version on the DVD.

  • I still have those glasses somewhere

  • Bop

    Same here. And it was interesting to see 3D for the first time.
    But fuck the 3D of the last 10 years or so.

  • Bop

    Ha, ha. I might have them too.

  • Well, to it’s defence – the technology of the recent 3D may work better than that red/blue-stuff….XD

  • Bop

    3D annoys me to no end. It’s all over the place I can never really focus on the screen with it. And I have 20/20 eyesight.

  • I have to rig the 3D glasses on top of my actual glasses. But the newest glasses that they had at the “Fury Road”-screening were pretty good. I hope they become a trend. Really spacious and light.

  • Not to mention the colors seem very washed out, and its really a crap picture.

  • The image looked pretty well lit in “Fury Road”, but then again that takes mostly place in daylight.

  • Bop

    I agree. It totally kills the movie experience for me.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Dreadful movie. Freddy controlling the teen in a Nintendo game was the exact point where the franchise hit rock-bottom. The plot, concerning all the youngsters of Springwood dying out, was implausible. Weird cameos form Tom Arnold, Roseanne, and Alice Cooper. Contrived backstory for Freddy. Cheesy 3D gimmick, complete with overt instructions to the audience of when to put the anaglyph specs on. “Dream demons” laughably offering Freddy a chance to be reborn and take his revenge. The only element I like is the inclusion of the underrated Yaphet Kotto.

    Peter Jackon’s concept/script sounds like the root of a good idea, and a subversive reversal of the series’ fundamentals. I wish they’d gone with that, instead.

  • I kinda dig that weird little movie, more than 4&5, so sue me. It’s wonderfully bizarre, agree with Nick about the Lynch Lite feeling.

  • Rachel Talalay also did “Ghost in the Machine”, which I saw again recently- it held up pretty well.

  • I saw that. But I really don’t remember anything about it

  • I think it’s the best “comic Freddy”-film. Except maybe the “Power Glove”-scene.

  • KilliK

    what was PJ’s idea?

  • Freddy surfs on things.

  • KilliK

    Freddy Krueger meets Freddy Mercury?

  • Seriously though: I’d actually take a PJ version of Elm Street at this point over whateverthefuck thay have planned for the next “reboot”

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    That, after a long period of team has passed, Freddy has come to be considered a joke and now he’s the one who fears the teens going to sleep, as they come into the dream world and beat him up.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    PJ definitely should consider directing a low budget splatter horror as a palate cleanser. Probably sees himself as too “respectable” to do an Elm Street movie these days, though.

  • KilliK

    ah, yes, now I remember. it remains a retarded idea.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Sounds good to me. I like the idea of being forced to sympathize with the villain.

  • KilliK

    so no different that giving Freddy a freudian origin in part 5, which you werent fan of. contradiction.

  • That scene makes it a time capsule.

  • It’s fun. The computer stuff is not as half stupid as one might expect.

  • I think that would have only worked back then, as an immediate reaction to the Freddy craze. Nowadays, in a reboot, not so much. There was another story circling around based on the subplot of the comatose guy fighting Freddy, if I remember correctly.

  • Abe

    I’m getting deja vu.

  • 😀

  • heh. Let’s start over again!

  • oh-uh, dream time loop

  • Yeah but you know…”Drag me to Hell”…never forget!

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    No, it isn’t. They’re not even remotely the same thing. Jackson’s idea has nothing to do with giving Freddy motivations or a backstory.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    I didn’t mind that movie.

  • KilliK

    but it is to make him more likeable.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Well, it was supposed to be used during the (tail-end) of the Freddy craze. It may have kept the franchise chugging along for a little while longer, too.Perhaps now it wouldn’t be such a good idea, but who knows?

    Although, without reading the script, I’m not a fan of the “father being kidnapped” aspect – the two plot points don’t seem to have much to do with each other. And why was it titled “The Dream Lover?” Did Freddy get a girlfriend in it (Bride of Freddy), or have sex with the teens in their dreams? lol

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Only because of the immediate depiction of the kids cruelly torturing him and ganging up on him. He might be the same old monster, unchanged, which you find out later once it’s too late and he’s suckered you in.

    I just think of the concept as a horror version of T2 – a clever reversal with a lot of potential for subverting the by-then tired expectations of the series. Maybe that’s not what the script is in reality.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Haha! We’ve been here before, all right…

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Let’s do the time-warp agaaaaiiiinnnn……

  • It was not really a return to Raimi’s “wild days” in any case, as I hoped.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Admittedly, it was Evil Dead-lite, but I found it a decent horror-comedy on its own terms.

    The man who made Spider-Man 3 was never going to return to the anarchy of his younger days, despite the hype or whatever he may have said. He even regrets putting the tree rape in the first ED now; his balls were neutered by middle age and family.

  • Is Lisa Zane Cary Anne Moss’ half-sister?

  • well, that’s weird

  • I know, right? I just googled both of their names together and that’s what came up

  • I liked the cameo from elinor Donahue, the oldest daughter from father knows best.

  • All over again.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    I didn’t even register it (or any sly joke evinced thereby). Before my time! (actually, I expect, before everyone here’s time).

  • I’m an old fuck, what can I say. I remember it from reruns.

  • Breckin Meyer must be one of the most ridiculous names in Hollywood besides Cobie Smulders.

  • Oh – just wait as the current baby-making Hollywood generation’s kids begin to take the limelight. THEN we’ll see some truly fucked-up names…

  • “his balls were neutered by middle age and family.”

    That seems to be a common theme among filmmakers.

  • Then again, I’ve seen it happen in all walks of life too. That’s why I’ll never walk that path

  • Damn hippies.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    You won’t get married or have children in case that happens (assuming you wanted to in the first place, of course)? That’s a pretty big sacrifice to make for the sake of artistic integrity.

  • You know: “Caesar’s Palace’s Janitor’s Closet So-and so” and whatnot….

  • It’s actually a simple equation: I can’t stand kids and women only want me as a friend. Pretty clear math there.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Get out of that friend zone, man. It’s a horrible place to be. Try some of Creepy’s lines; they might help you! ;p

  • Nah, I’ve accepted this as FACT almost 20 years ago

  • I thought being married and having children is the sacrifice…

  • CoolHandJuke

    the problem with that cover is my dick isn’t in Heather Graham’s mouth…

  • CoolHandJuke

    i like that you were supposed to put the 3d glasses on when the character in the movie does. it’s layers upon layers…

  • jim83

    I always thought this was a good idea for a Freddy film, it’s a shame they never moved forward with this, it would have been a definite step up from what we got.

  • Stalkeye

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

    Best thing about this Movie was Iggy’s…

    Great seven part series, Scotty! I commend you on your hard work to bang out all these articles.
    Props!

  • Stalkeye

    (;’