Friday, April 21, 2017

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors is the greatest movie of all time

Three Nightmare on Elm Street movies in and this one is my favorite thus far. Wes Craven returns as writer, which is obviously a positive, and they more or less ignore the previous movie, which is also for the best. Just missed the 30 year anniversary for this solid piece of horror kitsch.

In this NOES iteration we have good old Fredrick Krueger going after the last of the kids whose parents murdered him all of whom are staying at this mental hospital for reasons. Nancy is there in an official capacity, she must have been a real go getter at school to already be some sort of psychologist three years after the original NOES so just roll with it, to teach the children how to lucid dream. As such, each of these kids basically develop some sort of superpower that they use whilst in dreamland to combat Freddy scissor hand.

Heather Langenkamp returns as survivor girl Nancy from the first one. Her pops, the ever cool John Saxon, he back as well. Also features a very young Patricia Arquette. Others making appearances that you would know are Lawrence Fishburne and the guy from Body Double who looks exactly like Bill Maher, Craig Wasson. And of course Robert Englund. A lot to like about this one. After Freddy's Revenge this was sincerely welcomed.

Interesting piece of trivia about this film.Sam Raimi stole Freddy's glove and used it as a prop piece in Evil Dead II, my all time favorite flick, which came out that same year. Wes Craven and Raimi had this thing where they would have little nods to one another in their movies throughout the decade as a way of saying "my movie is scarier than yours." It all started with Craven putting a Jaws poster in The Hills Have Eyes. Raimi, thinking that was cool, decided to do the same thing when in The Evil Dead he featured a scene with a torn The Hills Have Eyes poster to basically say the same thing. Next, Craven had Nancy's character in A Nightmare on Elm Street trying to stay up while watching The Evil Dead It then culminated with stealing the glove which you can see in the shed above the door.

Should have been flipping the bird

Pros: Cast is fucking dope and surprisingly well acted for a NOES flick. Effects are also solid. Fantastic kills. Dream sequences are eerie and cool.

Cons: Freddy's backstory is pretty weak. A few of the effects don't age very well (the fighting Freddy bones). Also, Freddy at one point coexists both as a physical skeleton and an ethereal dream killer which is sort of problematic (like, is the skeleton on autopilot while fights with kids or what?).

Disclaimer: My notes pretty much always contain some spoilers but I rarely give away the ending.

Notes: Movie opens with Arquette. Good call more or less building the movie around the young starlet who looks like an adorable child at this point in her career. Dreams that Freddy is chasing her about in some shitty house. He comes at and slices her wrists before she comes to. Her mother, a real Mommy Dearest type, thinks she tried to eliminate her own map and sticks her in an institution where Nancy is on staff as some sort of intern or something. Her methods are not conventional.

Is she not adorable? Also, Feddy totally looks like a phallus
A couple of really fucking cool early deaths. Probably the two best in the franchise and they run back-to-back. The first is this sleepwalker dude. With this poor bastard Freddy basically pulls out the tendons on his arms and legs and fucking walks him around like a puppet. He then takes him to the ledge of the building and cuts the "strings" which causes him to splat below. In the second, the other blonde one that is not Arquette earns a spectacular death that ushers in the era of Freddy dropping one-liners before every kill. She starts the scene by watching TV in the common room. The Dick Cavett Show is this evening's chosen entertainment. How they got Cavett to do this cameo is beyond me. That night he was interviewing Zsa Zsa Gabor. She was an actress at one time, of course, but by this point, and the way I remember her, she was little more than a socialite, sort of like Paris Hilton, whom she was actually related to by marriage. He was supposed to interview Sally Kellerman for the bit, I always thought she was really pretty, but she didn't end up doing it for whatever reason. Cavett was then allowed to choose the person who he'd interview. He picked Zsa Zsa saying "she was the dumbest person" he'd ever met in his life, he'd never have her on his show IRL, and if there was one person he'd want to see killed by Freddy it would be her. Their back and forth is ridiculous. She is wearing this feathery boa thing. Cavett asks her how many animals died for that thing. Zsa Zsa is like, "I don't know. Is it real? I don't know where it comes from." Cavett is like, "Oh, it probably came from an artificial bird." They drone on about how to succeed as an actress and such, ironically, when he turns to her and says, "can I ask you something?" Zsa Zsa, "uh, ok." Then Cavett says, "who gives a fuck what you think," turns into Freddy, and fucking kills her. The girl is like, "what the fuck am I watching," which leads to the best of all of Freddy's one-liners, "welcome to primetime, bitch," and then this happens.

Led by Nancy, around here the group starts more or less getting superhero powers in their dreams. Arquette, for example, can pull people into her dreams and do gymnastics (which is next to worthless). The others include the black dude who is like a pudgy strongman, the wheel chair wizard kid shoots the infamous 80s blue lightning and dies, and the punk, drug addict chick who is “beautiful and bad” who looks fucking awesome with a ginormous mohawk.

Look at what we missed out on?
Other things of note in the movie are this horny idiot Joey who by some miracle makes it to the end to the movie. Freddy pulls ye olde pose a hot, big breasted blonde way out of the dude's league. Here he starts hooking up with this nurse that matches the above, gets literally "tongue tied", and held captive for most the rest of the movie. You'd think he would have learned something from this experience. No, he does not as we see in NOES 4: The Dream Warriors when the same fucking thing happens only this time the chick is on some beer poster and instead of getting tied to the bed by a rope, tongue obvious Bob Shaye addition, he gets pulled into and drowned in his waterbed. Also, the blonde in this one almost turned into Freddy with boobs which was just too much for everyone.

Lastly, the flick features Freddy's birth story which was a weird addition. Basically his mother returns to this hospital where she worked as a nun/nurse and Fredrick was conceived during a 100+ psychiatric patient gang rape. No one wants to hear that shit. Other than that and some 80s cheese, pretty solid. Would recommend.

No comments: