Monday, August 11, 2008

Freddy's Dead - The Final Nightmare (1991)

Oh, early 90s. You brought us NKOTB, slouch socks, walkmans, and Saturday morning cartoons. You also brought us the presumed "death" of Freddy Krueger, which was followed by two sequels where he not surprisingly continued to live.

Wes Craven bailed out on this franchise long before "Freddy's Dead", and this particular installment was directed by Rachel Talalay, the first female to ever direct a NOES film. In "Dead", we're introduced to a young man who is having crazy nightmares (surprise) and then finds himself wandering around a strange town suffering from amnesia. He's picked up by the local police and brought over to the youth shelter. There are some serious characters living in this place, including Breckin Meyer in his first role (as Spencer), Ricky Dean Logan as Carlos, and Lezlie Deane as Tracy. They're all pretty desparate to get out of this hole and are devising an escape plan.

Meanwhile, Maggie, one of the counselors, probes deeper into "John Doe"'s life, and she suspects he's from neighboring Springwood, due to some article he's toting around. She decides to take him for a little stroll around Springwood to see if it jogs any memories -- little does she know that the delinquents from the shelter are stowing away in the back of the van she is driving.

They all arrive in Springwood at some demented carnival where there's no kids and roaches are crawling all over everything. This part of the movie was actually sort of creepy. Then Tom and Roseanne appear -- why?! It seems as if everyone in this childless town is experiencing some sort of mass psychosis. It also appears as if John Doe is the "last child of Elm Street" (I think there's already been three or four of those)

Maggie discovers the stowaways and orders them back to the shelter. Instead they get lost and crash in an old house. They all (of course) fall asleep (dun dun dun) and start getting picked off one by one. By this point in the series, Freddy is more comedian than killer and although the death scenes are good for a few laughs, there's no real scares. Further investigation begets that someone is Freddy's child, and we delve into Freddy's childhood, adult life and how he became the dreammaster.

The final dream showdown of this movie was actually shown at the theaters in 3D. It made my TV screen look a little weird, so I assume if I had 3D glasses, they might work with the DVD. Anyway, 3D was so badass in the 90s. They should bring it back. Anyway, the "Freddy's Dead" portion was actually pretty anticlimatic since he's "died" a whole bunch of times already. This might be worth a watch if you've seen all the others, or if you're looking for some cheesy laughs. For serious scares, look elsewhere.

Grade: D+ (Leprechaun - makes you nostalgic for the fun horror characters of the 80s/early 1990s, but you gotta accept it's really a pretty crappy movie)