Friday, December 9, 2011

Film #86: Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

One, Two… Baby’s coming for you.
Three, Four… Better lock your bedroom door. (Don’t want to traumatize baby during mommy daddy time!)
Five, Six… Cover your electrical sockets.
Seven, Eight… time to change/feed/worship baby, better stay up late.
Nine, Ten… never sleep again!

That’s right; Alice and Dan are never going to sleep again. But it’s not due to dream-slasher Freddy, who usually is the cause of their sleepless nights and terrified door locking.
A night of whoopee making with her new boyfriend and fellow past Freddy battler Dan has got Alice and all knocked up – and baby is on the way to torment!

As if the horror of surviving Freddy’s razor fingers wasn’t bad enough for Alice and Dan in Part 4 of the horror series, in Nightmare on Elm Street 5 the teens now face the equally terrifying responsibility of childbirth and unwed parenting.
That is scary enough for a horror movie, but olde burn victim Freddy ups the ante when he is conquered from the Netherlands and decides to use Alice’s unborn tyke to torment his old foes.

Though vanquished in Part 4, Freddy is back and using Alice’s unborn baby’s dreams to pull her into his boiler-room hellhole for some slicing and dicing. Every time Alice’s bean-of-a-baby dreams, which is often and without warning,
Freddy can pull baby bean and Alice into his playground. The same goes for anyone who Alice loves; boyfriend Dan, model-in-training Greta, comic book geek Mark, and nurse/Olympic future diver Yvonne.

As her loved ones get picked off by the prickly Freddy, Alice realizes the key to stopping the fedora’ed predator may lie in the perv’s own mother, Amanda Krueger. Yes, even Freddy’s gots a mom.

Amanda Krueger was a nun working in an insane asylum when one day she was accidently locked overnight in a holding cell with 10,000 raving maniacs. They brutally attacked and raped her, and the result was mutant freak boy Freddy who would grow up to be a school janitor with a Penn State Football complex. Not really the “meet cute” story a mother would like to share about her son’s conception.

Well, seems after Freddy’s birth Amanda lost a few marbles and the asylum staff decided to fake her suicide and lock her away in one of the prison towers. We are assuming  this was done to keep her from pressing charges or going to the police and creating a scandal, though the story doesn’t really say (what!? Plot holes in a Part 5?)

During one of Freddy’s dream sessions, Amanda’s ghost appears and says if Alice can find her hidden body and release her spirit, she can help the Juno jilt Freddy once and for all.
Each nightmare offers clues to Amanda’s body’s whereabouts, but time is of the essence. Each dream allows Freddy to proceed with the  offing a friend. Even worse, Freddy is also corrupting Alice’s fetus with each dream session – feeding it stolen souls, our “soul food,” and teaching it his evil ways! What’s wrong with good old fashioned spanking and breast milk?

Can Amanda release Freddy’s mom before her friends face the big sleep?
Will Freddy obey the commands of his mummy?
When you sleep, where do your fingers go?  
Find out, in the 1989 sleeper horror, “Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.”

RDHP Ratings and Reviews

C-Rating: 2.0
Chris Dimick dreams:
“I’m in love with Jason Voorhees. Sorry Freddy, you are just not the man of my dreams.

The 80s brought us a multitude of infamous, terrifying monsters; Phantasm’s The Tall Man, Halloween’s Michael Meyers, Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees, and the Republican Party’s Ronald Reagan. Burrrrr, I get chills just thinking about them.

Seems there is a different slasher icon for each horror fan’s taste, and choosing your favorite 80s monster icon is like choosing a significant other. You have to love their style, their personality, and their context (back-story, environment, upbringing, murder style, etc).

Personally, I’m a Jason Voorhees/Friday the 13th kind of gal. Different machete strokes for different folks, but to me the silent, machine like unstoppable murdering that Jason exhibits on the screen, paired with his creepy woods setting and familiar repetition of each film, makes this horror junkie swoon.

Freddy is by far the most animated of the 80s slasher icons. He delivers one-liners with his kills, sets up humorous yet horrifying dream situations for his victims, and seems to take the most personal delight in his kills. I get why someone would fall in love with the Nightmare on Elm Street/Freddy series, but for me it just never clicked. Sure a good sense of humor is important in a man, but the chemistry wasn’t there.

There are Cubs fans and Sox fans, there are Elvis people and there are Beatles people. And never the twain shall meet. 
Same goes for Freddy and Jason. Horror fans can’t love both equally… hell, they refuse.
Fans must pick a side, and side with the villain they most enjoy to see hacking away on screen. While I respect the Nightmare series and applaud its elaborate sets and jokey scripts, the pure slasher horror of Friday the 13 just seems more interesting.

Yeah, Freddy does have some great lines, but Jason expresses himself in the inventive and increasingly strange ways that he kills his camp councilor victims throughout the series. Without ever uttering a single word.
Jason just seems like more of a badass too, like he could mop the floor with Freddy. (Which in my opinion he did in the fan favorite Freddy vs. Jason; though that is open to debate.)

Nightmare on Elm Street actually tries to have a new plot each go around, which would be admirable if the plot didn’t always fail to make sense. Friday the 13th didn’t make this “plot” mistake until Part 8 – before that it was the same formula of sexy teens, rampant Jason, and lots of creative kills. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! 

I enjoy the dumb-dumb horror of Friday over the increasingly complex plot lines of Nightmare (in Part 5 it is a dreaming fetus that can pull its mother into Freddy’s dream world? Huh?).

Nightmare on Elm Street 5 was interesting in a few aspects, even for this Friday fan. You got to see Freddy’s conception, which was fittingly awful. You also got to see some creative dream sequences, like when comic book geek Mark falls asleep and is pulled into a Freddy controlled comic world of terror.
And then there was the disgusting and enthralling way that Freddy actually grew out of Alice one limb at a time during the third act – an abstract hint at the pure horror of child-birth.

But this being a Part 5, the premise had worn a little thin. It always unnerved me how Freddy always comes back from defeat at the end of each movie, which happens again in this one. 
What is the fun in fighting something you know you can’t destroy? 

Also, at this point Freddy’s one-liners have grown staler than Alan Shemper. In some instances he just adds the words “you bitch” at the end of his rants… supposedly in an attempt to gain laughs. Yeah, not that funny, Freddy.

The movie was confusing and muddled, and just not fun – which is what a Nightmare film should be, FUN!
But what would a horror project be without one 80s slasher included?! Not a very good one, which is why this week we snuck one venerable 1980s horror icon, Freddy Krueger, in Nightmare on Elm Street 5. And we paid the price for waiting so long.

Space Jason? Really?
I’m not saying all of the Friday the 13/Jason movies are masterpieces – I’m looking at you Part 10; Jason in a futuristic space station? Really? 

But as I’ve written about in the past, I first fell in love with horror during a Friday the 13th film (Part 2). And we all know our first love is our most affecting love.

Freddy, you are good for a one night(mare) stand now and again. But this horror fiend is all but married to the man in the hockey mask. Let’s keep it a civil union though Jason, you goofy murdering half retard… I can only imagine what you would do to me on our wedding night.”

N-Rating: 1.0
Nick Rich dreams:
"Wow. Just wow.
Hopefully, you've never wondered to yourself ' just how bad can a Freddy movie be?' And if by chance you have... then The Dream Child is the answer you're looking for! Of course by saying it's the answer you're looking for I mean it's horribly bad. Like the answer to Michael Jackson's over asked question in his infamous self-titled single from the self-titled album...

We finally found out who's bad...

In case you haven't gathered it yet: I am not a fan of this film.
I must admit it feels strange to be so blunt about my feeling towards this movie... usually I'll try to find the good in a flick or at least relate it to a time/experience in my life that holds some fond memory... but I just really didn't vibe on this one. During our tenure on the project we've seen way worse films, but at least those films elicited some kind of strong feeling from me. Freddy and his dream child just left me wondering why I was watching at all - I wasn't bored, I wasn't fully entertained, I was just... watching.

Is Revelation talking about Nightmare on Elm Street 5?

In my opinion, that's really the worst state you can be in watching a film: it's not entertaining you properly, it's not challenging you, it's not irking you... shucks, it's not even putting you to sleep! (Which may have made this film more interesting given the villain's stomping ground.) That's just downright annoying! But what else is Freddy if not annoying? I suppose I can't get to bothered by him being so, it would be akin to blaming a dog for drooling... but dagnabbit if I don't like slobber on my pants!

Why do you drool on my eyes Freddy?!?

I think the thing that gets to me most is that the premise to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is so good. A killer who can stalk you in your dreams. You're never safe, but when you are victimized at least you have a chance to fight back as it is in your dream. Want to be a super hero? Flex your slumbering brain matter and suddenly you can leap over buildings in a single bound... of course Freddy cheats and ends up killing you anyway (we all have our kryptonite after all) but at least we're given a fighting chance - that's more than you can say for the majority of victims in supernatural slasher films.

Her odds of survival bite!

You can do anything in dreams! Thereby the Nightmare on Elm Street films can go anywhere and do anything! Without limit! Given this potential, it makes the whole franchise perpetually disappointing to me. I always want the promise of the premise to wow me, but more often than not it falls short (confession: I do have a small place in my heart for Part 3: The Dream Warriors) and I'm left even more disappointed given what I hoped it would be.

Freddy = Fail

Unfortunately for me and the world at large, the Dream Child was no different. It left me longing for sleep in hopes that I would slip into a proper nightmare.

The Skinny: Check this flick out if you're three weeks away from having your first child (like me at present) or if you are nearing the end of a horror project and want to mess with your viewing partner who is expecting a child.

Things We Learned from Nightmare on Elm Street 5:
-You can be “just a little pregnant.”
-All jocks want to go to Paris.
-We diet so we can eat in front of guest and not upset them.
-All 1980s high school graduates had zany outfits and props.
-If there is any movie Chris and Nick shouldn’t fall asleep to, it is Nightmare on Elm Street.
-Men just want to cuddle after whoopee. But ladies just want to peace out.
-Pushy parents are bad enough.
-A jock, a model, a comic nerd and a brain can be friends, and not just in The Breakfast Club.
-You can’t be creepy by yourself.
-Nothing is more dangerous than a building not up to code.
-AA meetings are sobering.
-Men love action plans.
-Surprisingly, Freddy was not a cute newborn.
-Pepsi was the 1980s cola of choice:

RDHP Presents:
Other Part Fives
It takes a special movie series to hit a 5th part. In our opinion, a fifth installment is a huge milestone – a step that turns a movie series into an official movie franchise worthy of comic books, action figures, and even pop culture spoofs. 

Your main character has to be intriguing enough to come back not a second, or third, or even fourth, but a fifth go round. The movie premise has to be recyclable in a new, but familiar rendition.

And most important, the audience has to be gullible enough to plop down cold hard specolla for another helping of usual crap-pie.
Below, we present other series Part 5s and what we thought an audience member was thinking as they walked into their first viewing of the film.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Meyers (1989)
Tagline: Michael Lives, And This Time They're Ready!
Plot: It's one year later after the events of Halloween 4. Michael survives the shootings and on October 31st he returns with a vengeance. Lurking and stalking Jamie, Rachel, and Rachel's friends, Michael forms a plan to lure Jamie out of the children's hospital where events lead up to the confrontation at the Myers house.
Audience Thought: “This time for sure Dr. Loomis will stop Michael! Or not. Probably not. Yeah, he won’t.”

Friday the 13 Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)
Tagline: The mindless, murderous fury that was buried with Jason has been reborn. And suddenly, terror has become child's play!
Plot: Ten years after killing the goalie hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees, Tommy Jarvis has grown up in various mental hospitals unable to get over the nightmares about Jason's return. 
When Tommy is sent to a rural halfway house in California for mentally disturbed teenagers, a series of grisly murders begin anew as another hockey-masked killer begins killing off all people at and around the residence. Has Jason returned from the dead to re-start his killing spree? 
Has Tommy decided to take over the reign of Jason, or has someone else?
Audience Thought: “Wasn’t the last Friday movie called ‘The Final Chapter’? What the hell, Hollywood? Eh, what else do I have to do tonight.”

Saw 5 (2008)
Tagline: You won't believe how it ends.
Plot: Jigsaw and his young apprentice, Amanda, are dead. But the grisly games continue. Five supposed strangers find themselves in the midst of the big game, and believe they are in a survival of the fittest competition. 
Via his now infamous video linked doll, Jigsaw conveys the message that they should ignore their instincts, and ignore his advice at their peril. 
Meanwhile, agent Strahm wants to prove that Hoffman is an apprentice to Jigsaw, and pursues him as he continues his twisted games. What Strahm does not realize is that Hoffman is testing him all along, and must pass his test in order to stay alive.
Audience Thought: “Why am I paying another $10 to puke popcorn on my theater neighbor? Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, sorry about that ma’am.”

Final Destination 5 (2011)
Tagline: This Summer, death decides how... fate decides when.
Plot: Survivors of a suspension-bridge collapse learn there's no way you can cheat Death.
Audience Thought: “I hope the movie trailer didn’t give away all the good parts! You know, like the last three films. Damn it!”

Rocky V (1990)
Tagline: Go for it!
Plot: Rocky Balboa is forced to retire after having permanent damage inflicted on him in the ring by the Russian boxer Ivan Drago. 
Returning home after the Drago bout, Balboa discovers that the fortune that he had acquired as heavyweight champ has been stolen and lost on the stock market by his accountant. His boxing days over, Rocky begins to coach an up-and-coming fighter named Tommy Gunn. 
Rocky cannot compete, however, with the high salaries and glittering prizes being offered to Gunn by other managers in town.
Audience Thought: “For a guy nicknamed the Italian Stallion, Stallone sure does love to abuse animals. As in beat a dead horse.”

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 5: Mom Jeans (2015)
Tagline: High waist, even higher dreams.
Plot: Ten years after the first film the sisters have grown into adults, with multiple children, worthless husbands, and soul-crushing jobs. Looking to regain their youth, the five women weepily reconnect via Facebook and join up to abandon their families and set out on a cross country trip to find that perfect fitting pair of high-wasted, penis-shrinking, unsexy mom jeans.
Audience Thought: “Make it stop! This shotgun tastes rusty. I regret nothing. BAM!”


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