Friday, October 22, 2010

Series Killers: Nightmare on Elm Street 6

After five films and a TV series, what was left for Freddy to prove?  This sixth and *allegedly* final film in the series turned a corner and made a series that was once dark, but fun into a comedy.  Of course, it's one of those non-committal comedies where violent deaths still occur and people are sad...but you still laugh at certain points.  Let's just take a moment and thank our Creator that Saw VI did not go in this direction!  So is this the last hurrah of a once-great series or the dying whimper of a sad, decrepit one?  Get out your (supernatural) Power Glove for my review of...
Before we even hear the story, we see a bit of text explaining that every teen in Freddy's city is dead and the parents went crazy.  Oh good, I wouldn't want you to actually SHOW any of that, movie.  That flat, dull text was enough for me!  The film proper begins with a teen already in a nightmare.  Who needs real set-up or exposition?  The dream goes in odd directions, starting out as a parody of 'Terror at 20,000 Feet' (just without the comedy) and turning into The Wizard of Oz.  Hey guys, pick a freaking topic!  Eventually, the kid falls some more and...gets hit by a bus.  Of course, none of this kills him.  No, instead, it launches him out of the town and through a tarp of some sorts.  Evidently, Freddy is stuck in that town and needs a way out, hence the act of setting the kid free.  He wanders into the nearby town which is pretty 'ghetto' and full of wayward teens.  Naturally, the disheveled kid popping caffeine pills looks like a junkie, so he ends up at a clinic.  We meet a cynical aid worker and our heroine, a serious one.  We also meet our victims...I mean, main characters.  They include a tough girl, a stoner and a deaf kid.  Well, that's a little unique.  We see that the stoner kid's dad is a prick and he makes weapons, which end up in the basement.  Is that a Chekhov's Gun I see there?  Eventually, they all go to the nearby town, since that's both logical and safe.
We get some weird nightmares and hints of crazy stuff in town.  Apparently, Freddy is very powerful there, more-so than ever.  This sets up some silly kills for our victims.  These include...
* The deaf kid getting his hearing aid pulled out and replaced with a magic, super one.  Freddy kills him by dropping pins on the ground and blowing his head up.  Why would you question this?
* The stoner kid is pulled into a video game and beaten up by Freddy.  He eventually fights back, but Freddy replaces his old glove with a Power Glove- no, really- and wins the fight.
* He kills the lead kid with the same dream from before, only he parachutes away.  Freddy shows up and cuts the cord, revealing the truth- he used the kid to pull the therapist there.  Um, duh!  The guy falls onto a board of nails that Freddy placed.
Let's stop for a moment to discuss the film's two pointless cameos.
* Johnny Depp has a three-second cameo in a 'This is Your Brain on Drugs' PSA before Freddy hits him with a frying pan.
* Alice Cooper appears in a flashback as Freddy's dad.  This scene adds nothing, so...yeah, that was fun.
The final battle is drawn between Freddy and the film's remaining heroes.  Now free in a new town, the monster attacks the tough girl, who fights back...only to learn that he is too powerful.  She escapes her dream and warns the other.  Yaphet Kotto makes the most of his small role by beating up Freddy with a bat...only to learn that he's too powerful.  Oh good, that wasn't repetitive repetitive.  Freddy pulls the therapist- who is his never-before-mentioned daughter- into a flashback of his life.  We learn that Freddy made a pact with some demons, which explains how he came back.  While that makes sense- kind of- it comes out of left field.  This film came a bit before Jason Goes to Hell, clearly showing the inspiration for that questionable call.  After a long battle, the daughter faces off with the dad and just starts throwing weapons at him.  He tries to turn her into his heir, but she stabs him and puts one of the explosives from earlier into his chest, blowing him up.  The End.
This movie sucks, although some people will disagree.  Conceptually, I get it.  Freddy is popular for his silly humor and punch-lines.  I guess it made sense to make the film into a comedy after five films where people didn't give a shit about the actual leads.  However, this movie still likes to throw in some very violent deaths.  If you really wanted to be comedic, you could have gone goofier.  For example, why impale a guy when you could have dropped an anvil on him?  In most films, this would be a dumb move, but it would have worked here.  Make a comedy or make a serious film- you can't do both!  In addition, I didn't find it to be that funny. Mind you, I've never been a 'Freddy fan' all that much, so take that for what you will.  I just didn't get the appeal of laughing at the guy who violently-murders people!  Ha ha- it's funny because he has committed genocide!  Like Prom Night 3, this movie just could not commit to its comedic nature.  For that reason, it fails as a film.  There are five other films, plus a follow-up and a remake.  In other words, you have so many more options than this!  Get the hint?
Next up, The Asylum tries to make some money off of the back of a surprise hit.  Will their low-budget ghost movie break the mold or just prove my point?  Stay tuned...

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