“Freddy’s Dead” is what you would call absolute zero for the franchise and god help me if it isn’t one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures. This is the film that my dad took my brother and I to decades ago and we experienced it in its full 3D glory, loving every single solitary second of it. This is the moment when Freddy Krueger finally dropped all pretense and became a demonic Scud Farkus, a clown prince of the dream world who resorted to cartoon tricks and treats to murder his victims rather than revel in the evil of it all. It’s a shame too because this is technically the final entry in the series and rather than play to the Craven crowds and deliver us a helping of frightening Freddy, we’re instead given funny Freddy. I use the term funny loosely, of course.
As a person who has taken part in lucid dreams, it’s refreshing to see a sequel strive to turn the premise of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” completely on its head. With states of dreaming and forms of the sub-conscious there is so much one can do with the premise that it’s a dream come true to see folks like Frank Darabont and Wes Craven re-visit the material and figure out a new way to deliver it to fans. Considered arguably the best of the “Nightmare” films, “Dream Warriors” takes a look at what would happen if the kids in Freddy’s dream world decided to finally start fighting back once and for all.
With “Dream Warriors” there was a purpose for its premise. It was the last of the Elm Street children and they had a score to settle with Freddy. With this Renny Harlin installment there isn’t much that can be done beyond the visual and Harlin brings it to the forefront with all sorts of surrealism that audiences will appreciate. Sadly, the cause for Freddy’s revival isn’t too creative, nor is the reason for the continuation of this narrative. There could have been a lot more to do with the concept of the dream warriors, and “Dream Master” is sadly just a vague reflection of the creativity brought to the aforementioned.
Ever since the remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” rather than looking back at the original film, many movie buffs around the web have been examining the infamous follow-up to Wes Craven’s sequel entitled “Freddy’s Revenge.” And after seeing it in its entirety for the first time ever, I’ll just say what everyone has examined from the get go: “Freddy’s Revenge” is one big metaphor for repressed homosexuality and its main hero’s confrontation with his demonizing and acceptance of his true sexuality.
Whenever someone purports to make the ultimate of anything, there’s a good chance that nine times out of ten, there will not be anything remotely resembling ultimate about the product. The makers behind “Never Sleep Again” thankfully live up to their promise that “Never Sleep Again” is “The Ultimate Nightmare Documentary” not only because it is undoubtedly one of the best horror movie documentaries ever made, but it surely is the definitive look in to the Nightmare series that is not just the chronicling of the evolution of a bonafide horror icon, but of a studio that began as an independent film studio and worked its way in to becoming a corporate juggernaut that in a sense worked against what filmmaking was originally all for in the first place.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” remains Wes Craven’s master opus, a film that is his most creative and most visually appealing. There aren’t many horror films that dabble in the iconology and symbolism of dreams and end up being truly horrifying, but Wes Craven’s film continues to be something of a crowd pleaser to this day. While it hasn’t aged too well since its initial release (which is the case with all of Craven’s films, I’ve found), it remains one of the most influential films of all time considering its primary character is a dream demon who plays more of a supporting role than taking center stage.
Toys can mean a lot of things to popular culture and fiction. They can be props, they can be used to sell things, they can entertain, they can impress, they can exploit, and they can become symbols for greater things. The sled in “Citizen Kane” was a toy but a huge symbol for something key to the development of its main character, in “Winnie the Pooh” they were characters facing the blossoming adolescence of their keeper Christopher Robbins, in “Inherit the Wind” Henry Drummond likened religion to a toy rocking horse with a gold coating and a rotten center, in “Poltergeist” a clown doll became an instrument for evil, in “Wall-E” our robotic hero collected toys and mementos that reflected on a world he was never a part of but wishes he would have been, and even in cult classics like “Monster Squad” protagonist Phoebe’s teddy bear became a last gift to her friend Frankenstein as he was doomed to a life in Limbo and torment.
Toys can do so much for the world, and they’ve become a link for our nostalgia and our childhood reminding us a childhood we wish we had and a childhood that we had that we enjoyed until we had to grow up and move on to bigger more mature things and responsibilities. In honor of “Toy Story 3,” we count down the “Our Favorite Movie Toys” from all of cinema and describe why we love these fragments of film that made us laugh out loud, cry our eyes out, and shiver in fright.
What are some of your favorite Movie Toys? Let us know in the comments!
For me, “Going to Pieces” was like a wet dream, it was a pastiche of all the aspect of horror that I love and hate, and for ninety minutes, I was enjoying the hell out of myself. It’s true, the horror genre, and horror fans get a bad rap, and both are often demonized by the religious, the media, and any self-righteous parent with a desire to be a celebrity, and “Going to Pieces,” tackles those aspects of the genre along with paying homage to the sub-genre I hold dear to my ripped heart.