There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun. Today we discuss The Dream Master!
Today’s Key Movie:
One year after the events of The Dream Warriors, Freddy has returned to take revenge on the kids who defeated him in the last film. Facing Kristen (now played by Tuesday Knight) and the remaining survivors, Freddy is determined to find a way into other kids dreams to continue his murderous rampage. He finds that through a new young woman named Alice (Lisa Wilcox), who can pull people into her own dreams.
Starring Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, Lisa Wilcox, Rodney Eastman, Danny Hassel, Andras Jones and Tuesday Knight, this is the insane third sequel in the Nightmare on Elmstreet (NOES) franchise.
Why this movie?
Growing up, Freddy Krueger was one of my all time favorite horror villains. Here was a modern myth that was just as scary as any of the legendary monsters of old. The thing that separated him from the likes of werewolves, Vampires and the like was that he could get you in your most vulnerable state, when you slept, in your very dreams. So when the original became a franchise of it’s own, it soon became one that I would stop at nothing to see.
While I never got to see the original two in theaters, it was the previous one that was my first theatrical experience of the Freddy Franchise and I desperately wanted to see the followup to that one as well…however it was not to be so. You see, Freddy had become the bane of parents with news and such claiming that this franchise was a danger to kids and so it was not something I was going to get to see upon release. However, when it hit VHS, all bets were off. Since other parents were not so determined to hide these films I, of course, found a way to watch it. This was rather silly and ironic as my parents never had any issues with Horror, in fact we watched horror films every chance we got, but for some reason this film in particular was taboo. What made this even stranger is that we watched the tv series Freddy’s Nightmares and I even owned the cassette tape Freddy’s Greatest Hits which featured Englund singing some classic songs. I am not kidding, that actually existed. Thankfully, this banishment of Freddy lasted only a short time but still it was annoying
So, it may have taken a while but I finally saw The Dream Master and I was not dissapointed.
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
As a followup to The Dream Warriors, this sequel works perfectly. Freddy is hellbent on getting revenge for being defeated in the previous entry while also showing his determination to find a way to move past the Elm Street Kids. Seeing that his vengeance is limited to the children of the Elm Street Parents, unless you count part 2, it only makes sense that Freddy would want to branch out in order to keep killing. Come to think of it, In a way, with a major part of the plot involving Freddy finding a way to invade non- Elm Street Kid’s dreams, I kinda wonder if Part 2 doesn’t actually take place after this film. It makes sense as in that film Freddy is not limited to the kids of the people who killed him. So, yeah, that’s part of my mind canon now.
This entry keeps to the NOES formula firmly established in Part 3 and, while that might be annoying to some, it manages to only reinforce what makes this franchise work so well. It is a complete product of the 80’s, fully embracing its campy nature while diving deeply into it’s horror origins at every turn. Much like it’s predecessors, the special effects are outstanding in every way. In fact, the producers of this entry really up the anti in the most inventive and clever deaths you can imagine. From being drowned in a waterbed to literally having the air sucked out of your body, this one has it all and each death is visually impressive in every way.
One cool thing I noticed watching this entry was the subtle nod to the creator of Freddy Krueger, Wes Craven himself. While this movie was not written or directed by Craven, director Renny Harlin made it a point to ensure his legacy was still there in subtle ways. If you watch carefully, the inn that Alice works at is called Crave Inn which, happens to sound just like the last name of Wes himself. Pretty neat huh?
Robert Englund really dives into his role in this one, fully embracing the dark humorous side of Freddy giving us the version of this creature we have come to know and love. Starting in the previous film but only enhanced in this one, Freddy is quick with the one liners and murderous puns providing some of the most iconic phrases in the franchise including the ever classic, ‘ How sweet, Fresh Meat’. This would continue for the remainder of the franchise giving this demonic derelict a very recognizable style to match his well know look.
All in all, this is a fantastic sequel in the ongoing franchise and one that works at every level. While the cast is primary unknowns at the time each of them do a great job owning their roles. In Fact, Lisa Wilcox, who plays Alice takes the ‘Final Girl’ role to new heights as she gains powers enough to finally take down Freddy. However, the story that built off of Dream Warriors, is far from over as it continues in The Dream Child, which we will discuss next week.
OK, where do I get this movie?
You can get this one and the previous film in a nifty double feature set or just splurge and get all of them for just a little more. Take it from me, just buy the full series, they are totally worth your time.
Late To The Game 12/17/2020
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
For more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here. and, If you dig Music, I have a semi regular series called Stand Out Albums that covers some of my favorite records I have come across in life.
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