Take a Drink: for every line reading that sounds like it’s the actor’s third or fourth language (careful… please be careful)
Take a Drink: for each dream sequence of course
Take a Drink: for each murder
Take a Drink: for big boy and girl curses
Take a Drink: for the stupid dog
Do a Shot: for the whitest Spanish you ever done heard
Do a Shot: for Freddy shark
Do a Shot: Don’t forget to buy Pepsi, kids!
By: Henry J. Fromage (Five Beers) –
Time for the fourth installment of a beloved horror franchise. That always works out, right?
Predictably, this is where the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise fell off the cliff. Let me riddle you the reasons why.
Directly picking up where part three left off, with the surviving Dream Warriors doing Dream Warrior stuff, until, *gasp*, Freddy resurrects himself Ray Harryhausen-style. As he picks them off one by one, Alice (Lisa Wilcox) discovers that she inherits each of their powers… so you know a showdown is a-comin’.
Robert Englund is an icon for a reason, and even picked up a Saturn Award for his performance here, which is just as good as always (with bonus majorly creepy cross-dressing action).
Well, you knew nightmares were part of the package…
I also liked the gender-flipping damsel in distress (mamsel in distress?) element and Wilcox’s general badassery. Finally, Renny Harlin of Die Hard 2 fame and plenty of other infamousness directs, and it’s clear he knows his way around a setpiece. Most are excellent (particularly the movie theater sequence)…
… but it’s equally clear that Harlin’s completely unable to direct dialogue. It’s not so much that the dialogue is bad (although it ain’t great), but more so that just about everyone delivers lines like bad Italian overdubbers. It’s almost glaring enough to make you wonder if Harlin was going for this on purpose.
Tuesday Knight is no Patricia Arquette, which is a bit of a problem considering she’s literally supposed to be Patricia Arquette’s character from the last movie. Even her mom is the same actress. In the first half hour or so, when the film’s treating her like the main character, the difference is glaring.
“Huhhiee, mah nameb’s Tooevfsday”
For the first five minutes of this movie, I thought I was watching Flashdance. Blondie, Divinyls, Sea Hags, Vigil… bubblegum 80s pop is not exactly what comes to mind when thinking of Freddy Krueger.
The biggest problem of the film, though, is the fact that it rebuffs original ideas like a body rejects pig organs- violently enough to kill the whole organism. What the script didn’t steal from Dream Warriors it papers over with David Cronenberg-lite body horror (instead of The Fly… The Roach!), The Karate Kid everything, and, apparently, Olivia Newton-John’s makeover.
I’d say this is a prime example of how you run a franchise into the ground, but this was the most financially successful of the canon Nightmare on Elm Street films, so whadda I know?
“Wanna suck face?”