Why an episode of Freddy's Nightmares should have been a sequel in the Elm Street film franchise.
It was the 1980's and one of the most popular slasher franchise were at it's height of it's popularity. The Nightmare On Elm Street films all ready had four highly successful entries. Wes Craven's story of Freddy Krueger, the horribly burnt child molester/murderer who was killed back in the 1970's when the parents of all the children he had killed found his workshop and set fire to it, resulting in his vengeful spirit returning to make the people who took his life to pay the ultimate price...
To murder their youngest children. But not just murder them, to kill them in horrible ways in their dreams. If they fell asleep, he would come, murdering them one by one, and making sure they never woke up again. It was simple. If they fell asleep...they die. In the film's first wildly popular film, the teenagers of the small town of Springwood begin to die one by one, and finally it's up to one girl to fight not only the impossible urge to sleep, but to prove to everyone she isn't crazy. That there is a monster waiting for her the second she shuts her eyes. After witnessing her friends get killed, and no answers in sight, she decides to fall asleep and fight this evil unstoppable force once and for all. By the time the film's sequel was released, Freddy mania was in full swing. This sweater wearing, razor clawing villain was everywhere. Two more very successful films later, Freddy was featured on talk shows, TV spots, lunch boxes, toys, posters, music videos, and even a talking doll. It seemed as if Mr. Krueger was just as popular as the other big slasher villain Jason who was not only stacking up sequels, but his bodycount as well. After The Dream Master, released in 1988...Freddy went down with a bang. This colorful MTV like sequel showed more of Freddy's personality, as well as his creative kills. Due to the popularity, of course New Line wanting to milk the cow for all it was worth, decided to make a weekly TV series with Freddy as the host. The show's first episode showed his background on how he was originally murdered and came to be. The rest of the episodes were divided into two separate stories, all surrounding teenagers who live in Springwood and have strange things happen to them, connecting both stories at the end. The show had a low budget, laughable moments, and some truly horrible acting. Still, some episodes were better than others. With memorable guest stars and directors, some of the stories were actually really decent, mostly the ones that featured Freddy. I for one have always really loved the setting of Springwood, and thought these two seasons worth of episodes showed a pretty interesting insight on what was going on in this curled town between each film. It didn't bother me that a good number of the episodes didn't have anything to do with Freddy. In fact, this is coming from a MASSIVE fan of Friday the 13th the series, which had nothing to do with Jason for the Friday the 13th films. One episode that truly stands out was the 11th episode in the first series.
Do Dreams Bleed.
The episode was simple enough, yet packed a major punch. Taking place in Springwood shortly after a young star football player named John discovered the latest victim of a series of brutal murders that have plagued Springwood for months. All of these victims were young women, who were dismembered by a killer the town has named The Springwood Chopper.
The worst killer since the famous Springwood Slasher.
John has been suffering from vivid nightmares of that night, and feels the pressure setting in. It starts off with his lack of sleep while his parents are away on vacation. Then his grades begin to suffer, causing his coach and girlfriend Roni to worry. John starts wondering why these dreams seem to get more and more realistic, and why the police haven't caught the killer yet.
Night after night the dreams get worse and worse. Finally, one night John invites Roni to spend the night at his house while her own mother is away on business, worrying that she might become the Chopper's next victim. That night once they fall asleep, he dreams of the Chopper breaking into his house, running after him with an ax, and yelling "It's time to take your medicine!" before breaking down his bedroom door. Suddenly, John sees that he isn't dreaming. He's wide awake and struggling with the killer who's trying to get to Roni. There's a struggle, he gets knocked out. Just in time for Roni to turn on a light and see the coach on top of John, knocked out, and holding an ax. That night when his parents arrive, calling for a private ambulance, the coach admits after having a few talks with John, he suspected he might actually be the chopper, and had completely blocked out what he was doing. He found the front door unlocked, and found John just in time before he broke his bedroom door down. (Yeah okay!) Roni and the police believe this story, and decide instead of having the police involved to just send John to a mental hospital. (Again, okay!)
The second half of the episode follows Roni, trying to get over what's happened to both her and her boyfriend who's currently being heavily sedated at the hospital. Knowing there's more to the story, Roni begins to suffer from vivid nightmares herself. All showing John, who's trying to warn her about something. Meanwhile the coach (who's actually the real Chopper) keeps visiting John who's in a very confused and dazed state. Here he's making sure there's no way possible that John remembers anything from what happened that night, making sure he's heavily medicated, and continues trying to convince him that he's in fact the real Chopper. It isn't long before John stops taking his pills, and slowly remembers, trying to figure out a way to escape, and save Roni. Well tragically, fate strikes again and just before the coach breaks down Roni's door, John comes in, tackling him, and killing him with his own ax. Well it doesn't look good AGAIN. With blood on his hands, John tries to tell Roni everything is okay. That he's saved her. Well the police arrive just in time, only to drag John away.
Sounds like a shitty story? Well, it was low budget, and there were some issues with the script, but overall this was one of the strongest episodes of Freddy's Nightmares due to the fact Springwood has a new killer in town.
What also makes me adore this episode is the character of John. The perfect football star who slowly begins to crack under the pressure, played wonderfully by Damon Martin (Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Ghoulies II, and Amityville 1992) also Staystillreview's very own up coming mascot. Damon was a great actor, who sadly only appeared in a handful of movies. Freddy's Nightmares was one of his few TV appearances, and as always he owned it like a complete boss.
I feel instead of getting The Dream Child. Yes, I know tons of people love part 5. I for one...didn't. Was it visually stunning? Yes. Was it a great movie following part 4? No. In fact, for years I always liked to think that there was 1, 2, 3, 4, and then 7. I mean who could beat the way Freddy died in part 4?! I think if there just HAD to be another movie, it should have taken the basic overall story of Do Dreams Bleed? Take the character of John, and have him maybe be Nancy Thomson's half brother. Maybe Lt. Thomson from part 1, and 3 had a brief affair while separated from Nancy's mother, and Nancy never knew about him. Maybe he was raised by his mother, and step-father. Sounds like bullshit back story for a 5th entry in a slasher series? Maybe, but could have been interesting. John should have kept being the perfect star student and football player, but is plagued by horrible nightmares. Not only is he a long lost Elm Street kid, but I would have that he did in fact discover the latest victim of the Springwood Chopper. Really play up how this is the first maniac since the Springwood Slasher's murders. I would show that all has been peaceful since the events of part 4 that was maybe a year ago. Hell, I would even have a cameo or even a role for Alice. I would have there be two killers. The Chopper, and Freddy. Maybe have the Chopper be the high school coach, but have him obsessed with the murders surrounding Freddy and tries to summon his spirit. Maybe he becomes possessed by Freddy, or pull a Friday the 13th part 5 or Halloween 3 and have you think the whole movie this is Freddy, but really it's the Chopper posing as Freddy with the series of murders now plaguing the town.
The idea is loose and not that great, but I think having a teenage boy battle the killer, let it be the Chopper and Freddy, or just the Chopper and you could actually have a decent movie. Whatever the outcome is, keep Freddy to a minimum. Don't have him as the wise cracking joker he became. If shown, or mentioned, have him like how he was in part 1 and 2. Keep him dark and scary, maybe if he is shown, wait until the end, maybe the chopper who's worshiped him finally gets what he's wanted and has Freddy come to kill him and bring him to Hell. I think that would totally rock as well as some really brutal kills, posed to look like Freddy. Yeah we might have been lacking on the dream stuff, but to make this the oddball sequel would be very interesting, maybe even keep John going insane with whatever happens and is sent to the mental hospital at the end, showing that the hero doesn't always win. Hell, I would even have maybe Alice team up with John to defeat the Chopper and Freddy.
Sounds like I'm rambling, but I think they had the chance to actually think outside the box with part 5 and kinda missed their chance. I may be alone here, but every time I watch this episode of Freddy's Nightmares I roll my eyes and think "Man, what could have been..."
Hey at least part 5 wasn't as bad as Freddy's Dead. Holyyyyy shit.