Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)


A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (USA, 1989) - Color, Director(s): Stephen Hopkins
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 98 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 4 stars out of 5

After the fourth film, New Line Cinemas attempted to launch a syndicated TV series around the franchise called Freddy's Nightmares. The series was supposed to be a horror anthology show similar to The Twilight Zone with Freddy introducing each episode like the Crypt-Keeper. Celebrities like Brad Pitt would guest star and directors like Tom McLoughlin (One Dark Night, Friday the 13th Part VI), Mick Garris (Critters 2, Sleepwalkers), and Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist) would direct individual episodes. Tobe Hooper actually directed the pilot, which was the origin story for Freddy Krueger that followed the trial and death sentence at the hands of the Elm Street parents. The series ran for two seasons for a total of 44 episodes. The following year, we'd also get two video games based on the franchise. The most popular of the two being the one released on the NES but there was another game for the Commodore 64, both of which were loosely based on Dream Warriors.

That same year, we'd also get another another sequel to the franchise. What better way to follow up Dream Warriors and Dream Master than with... Dream Child? I guess that makes sense. When you follow the legacy of a Warrior who becomes a Master, the next step would be to pass it onto a child. This movie starts in the shower, which is always the best place to start any kind of movie. Alice (Lisa Wilcox) is suddenly transported back to the psychiatric ward in 1940's. She's reliving the nightmare as Amanda Krueger, the night she was raped by 100 maniacs. Robert Englund appears without his Freddy make-up during this sequence as one of the maniacs.

Freddy resurrects in another one of the dreams, where Alice watches on as Amanda Krueger is pregnant and gives birth to an ugly baby Freddy. Like something out of It's Alive, the baby hops to the ground and scurries out the door. The baby grows into Freddy after he crawls into the clothes, hat, and glove remaining from the last film where he was defeated. Alice wonders how all this happens while she's awake. Freddy immediately starts going after Dan and three of the new friends that Alice has made since the last film. Alice feels each of their deaths and realizes that Freddy can come to her while she's awake because Alice is pregnant. The baby is the one that's dreaming, Freddy is feeding it the souls of those he kills in an attempt to turn it to the darkside. In the end, Alice must fight Freddy to protect her unborn child and keep Freddy from corrupting it.

Nudity: Aside from small flashes of nudity during Alice's shower scene, there really isn't much else in this movie.

Gore: There is much in terms of gore, in fact, one of the characters faints at the sight of blood. Though, being a Freddy movie, there are some gross kills like a girl being force-fed until she dies. Not much blood and guts, it comes off more like a Nickelodeon gag. 

Awesome: Very. The scene where Dan is riding a motorcycle and it fuses with his body is insanely bad ass. I hear that some of it was edited out but I wouldn't mind seeing an entire movie about a character that's some twisted fusion of man and machine. In the Never Sleep Again documentary, the special effects guys cite H.R. Giger as an influence on the design. Something about this movie just screamed MTV to me. One of the characters is really into comics and the animation of him being sucked into a comic book totally reminded me of A-ha's "Take On Me" video. In the scene where Alice looks into her refrigerator and sees everything rotting away, the special effects looked like something out of an early 90's rock video on MTV. Overall, a fun entry into the series despite not performing as well in box offices due to an oversaturation of Nightmare on Elm Street films