Monday 4 May 2009

Slasher flick revisiting, and Nightmare on Elm Street 4,5,6,7...

So I've been into a right old slasher flick rampage of late - what with the Friday 13th and My Bloody Valentine remakes coming out, it got me thinking about revisiting some of the slasher flicks I'd only seen once or twice on DVDs that were otherwise collecting dust on my DVD shelves - I'll point out that I saw Friday 13th 2009 in the cinema back in February, which is when this slasher revisiting rampage started.

I'll also point out that back in my teenage years, and then again during my time at uni when DVD exploded big time, I was frequently watching slasher flicks ... and that last year I had a whole Halloween franchise revisit ... but you know how it is, there's so many movies out there, that you just happen to stop watching certain flicks or certain sub-genres for a while through no actual intention, it's just how it goes.

Anyway - I started off, after the Friday 13th remake, with My Bloody Valentine (the original), then there was (in no particular order), Madman, Nightmare In A Damaged Brain, The Burning, and Maniac ... then I fished out Friday 13th Part 5 as I'd only seen it once on the DVD that had otherwise been sat around for a few years not getting watched at this point ... then I got the His Name Was Jason DVD, which in itself was great, and in a wider context got me all hot and bothered to rewatch some of the Friday 13th flicks again - I ended up doing all of them (but not in full chronological order, oddly enough).

Then a poll on Homepage of the Dead - about picking your favourite slasher icon (Jason, Freddy, Michael or Leatherface) got me intrigued in going back to Nightmare on Elm Street 4 through 7 - movies I'd only seen once-a-piece many years ago (the first three I've seen more than once each though), so, without further delay, some thoughts...

Nightmare 4: The Dream Master - it's pretty tame, the kids are annoying, they're poorly written, Freddy is miles away from being scary or intimidating, and I just couldn't help but be continually annoyed (for this and the two following movies) by the lead telling all their friends about Freddy - if they didn't do so, their friends wouldn't have a clue about Freddy, so therefore the lead is murdering their chums by proxy ... silly bastards. Also - Freddy raps in the credits ... oh dear lord.

Nightmare 5: The Dream Child - thoroughly sick of "Dream" sub-titles now, plus it's a direct follow-on from #4, which was naff anyway - plus, it's decidedly NOT scary ... while the dream elements are creative, I don't find them scary, nor especially interesting ... also, how come everybody falls asleep in the blink of an eye? I wish I could do that, but no, it always takes at least ten or twenty minutes to actually drift off. Plus, Freddy is far from scary or intimidating - he's just stupid, but still the best part of the movie ... then, once again, more end credits rapping - geeeeeeeez.

Nightmare 6 ... or rather Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare - oh my fuckbeans, this is bad ... I mean really, really bad. It's not scary (again), the dream sequences have gotten more ludicrous and downright shit (such as the videogame sequence with a horrendous Power Glove advert-cum-spoof), Freddy is a complete joke, the script is awful, the acting is pish - especially by that black-haired woman who turns out to be *sigh* Freddy's daughter from when he tried to 'be a family man' (with added childhood abuse flashbacks for extra cheese) ... she is really shit - "aaaaaaaarrrrggghhhh ... oh wait, my hair's flopped over my right eye, let me break the moment completely and move it out of the way ... ahem ... aaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh" ... I mean for fuck sake ... then there's that bullshit with the 3D glasses.

Oh, and the bullshit about killing Freddy - with a few knives and a pipe bomb - WHAT THE FUCK?! That's how you kill him? If you can't kill him by burying his bones in sacred ground, or by that weird shit in the church in #4, or whatever it was in #5, how is a few knives and a pipe bomb gonna do it?

Nightmare 7 ... or rather Wes Craven's New Nightmare - a pre-cursor to Scream in many ways, it's actually quite interesting, but sadly it takes too long to really get moving. I feel it could have been 15 minutes tighter with ease, or how about putting a bit more Freddy into it - who, while only really there in the second half, is finally scary again - no more Power Glove gags, no more rapping, no more "oh just forget he was a child killing kiddy fiddler as we sell soft toys of him to children far too young to watch these movies" - no - he's bad ass once again, rocking a kick ass trench coat and boots and sporting a genuinely fucked up face (the make up in 4 through 6 was crap) ... the dude's scary again.

Now - as is the trend - A Nightmare On Elm Street is getting remade. Is this necessary? Of course not, but it's happening, and at least they've got the dude that played the decidedly messed-in-the-head Rorschach filling the sharp-fingered one's boots. Let's hope they at least make it scary, and make Freddy a dark and disturbing figure.

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