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. It’s the last day of 2020 so what a better title to discuss than the ‘final nightmare’ itself. Today we discuss Freddy’s Dead The Final Nightmare.
Today’s Key Movie:
While The Dream Child was not a bad film, it seemed that Freddy Krueger had become dull. The audience didn’t resonate with Freddy as they once had, but then again, maybe it was just a bad case of Freddy Fatigue. You have to realize, that by this point in history, Freddy Krueger had become more than just a house hold name, this Bladed Bastard had become an Icon. He not only had Five films behind him but also a television series, an actual record album (I’m not kidding), Dolls, Chewing Gum, Board games, Video games and more. So, it’s no wonder that people had finally gotten tired of the Springwood Slasher. However, Hollywood had one more film up their sleeve, a film that was to finish the story and finally put Freddy to rest. That film? Freddy’s Dead The Final Nightmare.
The plot? Ten years the events of The Dream Child, almost every child and teen in Springwood has finally been killed. Seriously, there is even a computer screen at the beginning confirming this fact. One last teen (Shon Greenblatt) faces off against Freddy but soon finds himself without his memory. Freddy sends him into the ‘real world’ where he finds three runaway teens and a Doctor (Lisa Zane) who is determined to figure out where this John Doe came from. They all eventually find themselves in Springwood where the Doctor discovers a terrible secret about herself…she is in fact Freddy Krueger’s Daughter!!! Dum dum duuuuuuuum! Not only that, it was in 3D! Yeah, this was Freddy in all his glory done so he could jump out of the screen and kill the audience as well as his targeted teens.
Why this movie?
Well, if it’s not clear by now with my previous reviews, I really dig the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. There is something both nightmarish and fun about the Scarred Scourge, whether he is haunting the teens of Elmstreet or cracking stupid puns, this character somehow went from a terrifying creature to a pop culture icon. By the time this film was released, I had become a fan of the Fedora Wearing Killer so of course, and as it was billed as the final chapter in the saga of Freddy Krueger, I had to go see this film in the theaters. Plus, as I mentioned above, it was in 3D so, yeah, this was bound to be a winner.
So, with a date, because by the time this one came out I was old enough to do that rite of passage, I went to see what could only be the best of the Krueger franchise…but…
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
There are bad sequels and there are BAD SEQUELS and this one is just terrible. Basically the producers took the fun dark humor of the Dream Trilogy and, knowing this was to be the last of the films, turned it up to eleven going for the most ultimately insane film they could make with no regard for anything that came before. Filled with strange revelations and cameos from everyone like Rosanne Barr, Alice Cooper and even Johnny Depp (credited as Oprah Noodlemantra) this entry is a total parody of itself bringing Freddy into a nightmare Loony Tunes world filled with random references and pure absurdity. I mean, it’s so bad not even Breckin Meyer could save it…oh yeah, he’s in this too.
This film makes the misguided attempt at expanding on the Freddy Mythos attempting to explain the logic behind Freddy’s nightmare powers by making Freddy nothing more than a vessel for Dream Demons. I wish I was kidding here. While I normally don’t go into spoiler territory, there is really no way around this one. The big reveal, outside of Freddy having a daughter, is that Freddy was given the power to be immortal by dream demons because of how evil he was and this has lead him to being able to practically destroy everyone in Springwood. He seeks out his daughter because it is the only way he can…wait for it….leave the confines of Springwood so he can continue killing in every city via the dream world. There is even a segment where we see the dream demons whisk him away moments before his firey death which makes no sense seeing that he….burned to death causing his scars and such. Well, I guess I shouldn’t expect any logic here…
Sadly, this premise would have been a pretty solid, had it been done in a different way or even as a non-Freddy film. There are demons who seek out the most evil being on the planet and allow that person to invade peoples dreams and kill them. It’s a cool premise but one that completely ignores the established reason for Freddy’s murderous rampage, revenge. Pure and simple revenge. Even adding in a secret daughter works in a way because it would give Freddy even more of a reason to want to kill the children of his own killers. Not just because they killed him, but because they took his own child away in the process. They don’t do that, no, they have to go over the top and include really wonky talking dream demons and even a strange bit where they attempt to humanize Freddy by showing his abusive upbringing at the hands of an step father. Then, for some reason, Freddy is pulled into the ‘real world’ where he somehow manages to maintain his mystical powers despite being bound to mortal rules. Seriously, this film…ugh.
Even bad films can be good but what really makes this already bad movie worse is the blatant and silly attempts to use 3D. There are moments where the characters stop and purposefully reach out and pose for the effect which only serve to take the audience out of the film breaking the fourth wall even more than it already has been broken. Freddy’s daughter even puts on 3D glasses indicating to the audience that they need to do the same, and then proceeds to wriggle her fingers for the audience showing that the film is now in 3D. Even his death involves a hamfisted 3D image of Freddy’s disembodied head flying toward the screen. This terrible choice is even more apparent when the film is viewed in 2D. Seriously, this is some schlock to the Nth degree.
Bottom line, any franchise that runs too long finally hits it’s rock bottom. This is a prime example of that leaving fans of the series with a bad taste in their mouths. To add insult to injury, the end credits feature a review of the previous films giving us a reminder of how far this franchise had finally fallen. How could the incredible Nightmare on Elmstreet devolve into a cartoon inspired schlock fest? How could it ever redeem itself after this atrocity? Well…that would be when Wes Craven comes back to the franchise…for one last time but we will talk about that next week.
OK, where do I get this movie?
The only way I could ever recommend getting this one is if you buy the boxed set. Seriously, it is not worth your money. It’s bad, in every way possible so don’t even bother. Here, maybe this will give you an idea…
Late To The Game 12/31/2020
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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