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    REVISITING THE NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET FILMS

    It's been ages since I watched these movies. Time for a marathon!

    RE: BUZZFEED APPLICATION

    I recently made my way back through the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series (thanks to a pal for lending me the box set). I hadn't watched these in over 20 years, but it was a delight to rediscover these seminal horror films.

    I've always been fascinated by dreams, and I recall picking up a book on interpreting them at the local library when I was a kid. I struggled with nightmares just like every child, and ended up able to defeat them only about half the time.

    Coincidentally, my 7 year-old daughter and I recently had a talk about controlling your dreams before she entered slumber. We spoke about happy thoughts, and recognizing that you are never alone against evil, especially when equipped with the powers of love and imagination.

    Thanks, Freddy!

    1. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

    New Line / Via facebook.com

    -Written and Directed by the brilliant Wes Craven, how can you lose?

    -I can't remember how, but I snuck a copy of this into my home when I was seven or eight. Is it weird that my daughter is seven? Yes. Yes it is.

    -I watched the films all the time, though I don't recall inflicting them upon my younger brothers. I do remember stylish suspense, an intriguing villain in Freddy Krueger, and a blood geyser out of a bed.

    -The thing I loved about these movies was that in a dream, anything you imagined could be real. FRIDAY THE 13TH was repetitive; the NIGHTMARE series was only limited by the machinations of its creators (and their budgets). In contrast to late 70s/early 80s horror flicks, the first installment actually fleshes out a semi-plausible backstory involving a cover-up by the film's adults. It also boasts creative, and practical, special effects.

    -Many fun appearances, including Charles Fleischer (pal of Robert Zemeckis, also appearing in Back to the Future II, Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, and voice of Roger Rabbit), John Saxon (to me, forever Roper from Bruce Lee's ENTER THE DRAGON), and of course "introducing" Johnny Depp pre-PLATOON and 21 JUMP STREET.

    Get a load of that Matthew Joseph Peak nightmare-inducing poster. Gorgeous.

    2. FREDDY'S REVENGE

    New Line / Via facebook.com

    -Fun bookends of the school bus, and some nifty matte/miniature work. I love the girl who looks like Sherie Rene Scott circa TMNT: Coming Out of Their Shells Tour- she has giant, fluffy 80s hair, and even sounds like Sherie Rene.

    -All I could think about while characters guzzled coke and stay-awake pills was the internet video of Coke removing rust off a car's bumper.

    -There are some nifty actors in this one, including legend Clu Galager and Verhoeven favorite Marshall Bell as Coach Schneider (who gets naked-whipped in the locker room). Bell has been in everything- he's Kuato in TOTAL RECALL and the guy who gets slapped by Michael Ironside in STARSHIP TROOPERS.

    -Overall, quite fun and original. I like that they chose not to rehash the first film.

    Still, the movie can't manage to muster the menace of Matthew Joseph Peak's beautiful poster. 2 for 2, Mr. Peak.

    3. DREAM WARRIORS

    New Line / Via facebook.com

    -Very little "dream warrior"ing happens. Wizard dude shoots rotoscoped bolts at Freddy. Once. Kincaid gets super strong and runs through a wall. Edgy girl gets a mohawk and a knife. I read that Wes Craven had written a massive-budgeted script where all the kids have insane powers. That would've been nifty.

    -I love that nerdy wizard guy is the hot dog bun grocery stocker in Father of the Bride.

    -Dick Cavett turns into Freddy and kills Zsa Zsa Gabor. Digest that for a minute.

    -So many writers on this one, 2 story and 4 screenplay. Who's in there? Frank Darabont (everything good in this world including Shawshank and the Walking Dead pilot) and Chuck Russell (well, Dreamscape and the Blob remake are okay).

    -I love that this was back in the day when the "Executive in Charge of Production" got a credit. Nowadays, they just take a producer credit and call it a day.

    -Speaking of credits, this was Rachel Talalay's first producer credit, this one for line producer. She did many different jobs, above and below the line. I have a soft spot in my heart for her much-maligned (much of it justifiably so) adapation of the Tank Girl comic.

    Another great Matthew Peak poster, though parts one and five are my favorites of his.

    4. THE DREAM MASTER

    New Line / Via facebook.com

    -Good old Renny Harlin directs, and it feels like his movie through and through. It also feels like the most "80s" of the series.

    - I love that it stars Tuesday Knight- I'm changing my name.

    -Great mechanical effects and nonsense, like fire urination from the dog. Wheee!

    -Brian Helgeland shares a writing credit, and Rachel Talalay is now a full blown producer.

    -Nunchaku power! I love the terrible wig on Alice's stuntwoman.

    -You get a double whammy of 80s pop/rap awesome at the end. "Put Your Hands On Me", then closing with the Fat Boys. It doesn't get any better.

    -I think this is the movie my friend and I saw, while my Dad took my pal's little brother to Weekend at Bernie's. I think.

    As usual, we get another wicked Matthew Joseph Peak poster.

    5. THE DREAM CHILD

    New Line / Via facebook.com

    -The classic, steamy "is it a butt, a boob, or an elbow?" random shots during the opening reminiscent of so many of these late 80s/early 90s movies.

    -It was directed by Stephen Hopkins, whose Predator 2 didn't let me down at all.

    -Speaking of the 80s, you can tell we're at the tail end by the guy with Jon Cryer hair.

    -The effect of Dan fusing with the motorcycle was awesome then, and still holds up. Fun practical effects.

    -Jacob! The little kid in this film grows up to utter "that looks like a six-foot turkey!" in Jurassic Park.

    -Creepy fetus sequence.

    -Lots of fun stop motion

    -As always, the production design and optical effects in the dream world are the most fun parts of the series.

    Sadly, it's the final Matthew Joseph Peak poster in the series (except for the documentary).

    6. FREDDY'S DEAD!

    New Line Cinema / Via facebook.com

    -Tada! Freddy had a great death at the end of 5, but we're back!

    -Rachel Talalay watch- she's now the director!

    -I wish that all the kids in the world, not just the town, were dead except John Doe. That could've been a killer movie.

    -Freddy as the Wicked Witch and the Night on Bald Mountain homage/ripoff are just bizarre. Definitely a different direction for a once-scary franchise.

    -I've always loved overly "stunt" rolling down hill sequences. This one has them!

    -Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold cameo as a couple in town. Weird.

    -I do enjoy the sequence with the muffled/no sound then insanely loud later.

    -Breckin Meyer- as annoying in this as he would be later in onscreen.

    -A Johnny Depp cameo!

    -The video game sequence is insane. Again, this once scary franchise has moved into the realm of comedy.

    -Time and time again I kept thinking "gee, this could've been such an interesting movie."

    -We do get Freddy's origin, and the introduction of "the Dream People", who I seem to remember from the comics.

    -Alice Cooper cameo- the cameos keep coming!

    -The end sequence is in 3D... because!

    Unfortunately Matthew Joseph Peak's last Nightmare poster was part 5 (not counting the special one he did for the documentary), so all I will share is the attack of the "Dream People" terrible 3D demons!

    7. WES CRAVEN'S NEW NIGHTMARE

    New Line / Via facebook.com

    -I'm fairly certain my pal and I saw this at the Cinemark discount theatre. We might have ditched golf class, unless I'm thinking of the time we saw THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS there. Either way, we paid a buck.

    -The opening is amazing. Smithing the new glove, then pull back to reveal a set and Wes Craven as himself!

    -This definitely set the stage for SCREAM in its analysis of horror tropes.

    -"State of the art animatronics enhanced with bio-organic grafting" is an amazing line, Wes.

    -Heather Langencamp, Bob Shaye, and the actors as themselves was a nifty way to reimagine the series.

    -The film is a bit dated, of course, but a huge step up from the previous entry and a nice outside-the-box approach.

    -I find it hilarious and fun in movies when somebody walks around a studio lot and there are people just walking around in outrageous costumes juggling, as if this is what really happens on a lot.

    -John Saxon is in it! As both himself and his character! Roper from ENTER THE DRAGON, being badass.

    -Freddy's new glove design is quite cool, integrating bone with the blades.

    -I desperately want that to have been Wes Craven's actual pad. Sweet!

    -I dig the highway scene now as much as I did the first time. Nice tension and well shot to mask bluescreen/stunts.

    -I also love the transition when Heather accepts her fate and transitions into the movie world to become Nancy.

    -And reading the script as it happens is a Twilight Zone-esque hoot.

    Alas, we have no cool Matthew Joseph Peak poster for the movie, but I'll include what I think is the teaser poster for the film.

    8. BONUS DOCUMENTARY- NEVER SLEEP AGAIN

    Camelot Entertainment / Via nightmareonelmstreetfilms.com

    -This excellent documentary is currently streaming on Netflix and it's well done. Interviews, behind-the-scenes videos, and crazy stories. This definitely is a fair documentary, showcasing the good and bad behind making this successful series.

    -They showcase the original films, and include a look at the tv series and FREDDY VS. JASON.

    -If you're a fan of makeup and prosthetics, they take you through the evolution of Freddy's look film-to-film, and show you the construction of the incredible special effects.

    -It's four hours, but I broke it up into chunks. It's easy to do, as they progress chronologically through the series.

    Finally, Matthew Joseph Peak is back with another gorgeous poster!

    *Side note- Peak is the son of the incredible poster artist for EXCALIBUR, SUPERMAN:THE MOVIE, and APOCALYPSE NOW, Bob Peak. Cool!

    Entertainment Earth / Via entertainmentearth.com

    I really enjoyed going back through these. I marvel at what a pop culture phenomenon it was, and how children especially embraced it.

    I'll show it to my kids...

    ... when they're sixteen. Maybe.

    I leave you with the Fat Boys and their amazing video/short film.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com / Via youtube.com
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