Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (USA, 1991) - Color, Director(s): Rachel Talalay
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 89 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Cheese Factor: 5 stars out of 5

First time director Rachel Talalay would bring us the most cartoonish entry into the franchise. Sure, the last one had comic book characters like Super Freddy (who was faster than a bastard maniac!) but this one has some Wile E. Coyote gags straight out of Looney Tunes. I remember renting this and Jason Goes to Hell for one of my birthday parties as a kid (yeah, I had some weird parties). There's a scene at the beginning of the movie where a kid on a flight asks to change seats because he's afraid of heights. The fat lady sitting next to him says, "Don't be a pussy!" then suddenly gets sucked out through the roof of the plane. To a room full of elementary school kids, that was the funniest thing in the world! We sat there rewinding it so many times that we never made it to the second movie. From my understanding, Divine (of Pink Flamingos fame) was originally cast to be the large woman sitting next to the kid but he tragically passed away before filming began.

So the story goes that 10 years in the future, Freddy has killed all the teenagers in Springwood, Ohio. As a result, all the parents are experience mass hysteria. There is supposedly one teenager left (the kid on the plane) and he's trying to skip town. Freddy stops him a couple times, with some Wizard of Oz gags, before finally cutting him loose and using him as a connection to the outside world. Unfortunately, the kid hits his head the moment Freddy pushes him out of Springwood and loses his memory. After wandering around the city for a bit, the cops take him to a youth shelter. A case worker named Maggie (Lisa Zane) thinks that it'd be a good idea to bring him back to Springwood in order to jog his memory. So the two are headed back in a van but three of the kids from the shelter snuck on board and are along for the ride. Once the gang arrives in Springwood, there's no escape for any of them.

Just like they did with Jason in Jason Goes to Hell, a bunch of stuff was added to Freddy's backstory that was never there before. Freddy just got through trying to steal Alice's kid from her because he "wanted to be a father" but now it turns out that he already had a child when he was still alive. This is also the first time we're hearing about "ancient dream demons" that roam the dreams of the living looking for the most evil, twisted human imaginable and give him the power to cross the line to turn nightmares into reality. And wouldn't you know it, these are the exact dream demons that originally gave Freddy his power! What a coincidence!

This was the first movie from New Line Cinemas to ever have 3D, but it's only a segment at the very end. We get a tour through Freddy's twisted mind and the final battle is in 3D. Now, I'm going to spoil the end a little bit here so if you haven't seen the movie yourself, skip to the nudity portion of this review. In Dream Warriors, they buried his bones in hallowed ground and dumped holy water on him. In Dream Master, Alice uses his own reflection to cause the souls he's collected to tear him apart. In Dream Child, Alice's son spits souls out that pulls baby Freddy out and back into the womb of his mother. So in the "final" movie where Freddy was going to be killed for good, they bring him into the real world and blow him up with a homemade pipebomb! That's.... kind of a lackluster ending to one of the greatest horror movie icons of all time. To really drive the point home that Freddy was indeed dead, they actually held a funeral for Freddy that some of the stars from the previous films attended.

I was half expecting it to have "ACME" written on the side of it

Nudity: None.

Gore: There really isn't much blood and gore in this movie either. A kid's head explodes and we barely get any of the red stuff. This one might even have the lowest body count of all the movies!

I love the Power Glove, it's so bad!

Awesome: This is the silliest entry into the franchise but you can tell everyone was having a great time making the movie though. There are a bunch of cameos in this movie. Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold are parents in Springwood. Alice Cooper plays Freddy's drunk, abusive father in a flashback. Even Johnny Depp makes a quick cameo in an anti-drug commercial before the stoner kid is dragged into the TV by Freddy. After the stoner is sucked into the TV, Freddy plays with him like a video game. They attempted to get the rights from Nintendo to use their Power Glove but even after they said no, the filmmakers gave Freddy his own version of the Power Glove. Freddy even says the line, "Now I'm playing with power!" in reference to Nintendo's motto. Speaking of video games, that same kid is playing a Tiger Electronics handheld version of Ninja Gaiden when we first see him in the movie.