Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

I owe an apology to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. I was too hard on it. I realize this after watching Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), which does more to tarnish Freddy Krueger's legacy than any dog piss could ever do.

Where do I even begin? In his first appearance of the movie, Freddy (Robert England) is flying on a broomstick and wearing a witch's cowl and hat. He looks at a doomed teen through a window and says, "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little soul, too!" Freddy might as well be Bugs Bunny.

The plot ... I don't care. I just don't care. It's not worth the effort summarizing. None of the characters are interesting, none of the acting is good, none of the special effects are especially imaginative (even Freddy's burn makeup looks half-assed), and almost none of the jokes are funny. I admit I did laugh when the stoner watches the anti-drug commercial with Johnny Depp and Freddy turns up to smash Johnny Depp in the face with a frying pan. The only reason it's funny is because that really is Johnny Depp; I'm amazed he turned up for a cameo.

What else is there to talk about? Tom Arnold and Roseanne Barr show up for one scene, and Alice Cooper plays Freddy's abusive stepfather, again for one scene. Freddy drags a young Breckin Meyer into a video game and cracks a joke about using the Power Glove to control him; meanwhile, in the real world, Meyer bounces around the house and flies through walls, complete with cartoon, bouncing sound effects. Can you believe this is the same killer who dragged a girl across the ceiling and cut her to pieces in front of her boyfriend's horrified eyes? This goofy shit is just goofy shit.

We learn some more about Monsieur Krueger's backstory. As a kid, he was teased for being the bastard son of a hundred maniacs, enjoyed smashing gerbils with hammers, practiced self-mutiliation with a razor blade, and murdered his stepfather. Before he was caught, Freddy had a wife and young daughter. They lived in a nice little house with a nice green lawn and backyard fence, and then the wife had to go and ruin it by discovering her husband was a child killer. Spouses can be no intrusive.

Since this was touted as being the movie that would finally kill Freddy off for good, you'd think the filmmakers would have tried to build to something momentous, something that would really stand out. Instead, the continuity and characters from the previous entries are ignored, and Freddy is done in when his grown daughter (Lisa Zane) pulls him into the real world, stabs him with his own glove, and blows him up with dynamite.

Robert Englund deserved better.

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