Tuesday, October 13, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 13 - Movie

"A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors" (1987) was a vast improvement over the previous entry. For one thing it had better writers, and while the direction was pretty no frills, that was enough to make a difference. This movie is set at a mental hospital where a ward full of teenagers who attempted suicide because of nightmares they've been having are being treated. Well, not exactly treated, more like simply watched. No one finds it odd that these kids are all in for the same thing, or that their dreams are similar in nature, until Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), a recent college graduate specializing in nightmares joins the staff. Still, it takes more suicides before Nancy can convince one colleague (Craig Wasson) to let her try to do things her way. We discover that one of the teens (Patricia Arquette) can pull other dreaming people into her own dreams. Nancy has her pull all of the teens, and her, into her dream so that they can fight Freddy Krueger together.

Parallel to this, Craig Wasson learns Freddy's origin story and that his unquiet spirit can only be put to rest by his remains being buried in hallowed ground. This leads to getting Nancy's dad (John Saxon) to reveal Freddy's current resting place, and a battle with Freddy's reanimated skeleton.

Both Langenkamp's and Saxon's characters are reintroduced into the series in a natural way. The rest of the cast involves a nasty, clueless doctor, a mysterious nun, a bunch of uninteresting one-note teens, Dick Cavett and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and a kind, but strict orderly played by Laurence Fishburne. The special effects are a vast improvement over the last movie, and are much more imaginative as well. Plus, you get to see John Saxon fight a stop motion animated skeleton. Intuition tells me that this is probably the high point of the series, and that I won't be finding the same level of satisfaction for the next few nights.


Azathoth said...

You forgot to mention this one had "Dream Warriors", one of the best Dokken songs of all time as the theme song.

The VHS tape I owned of this movie back in the good old days was kind of cursed too. It had the video for the Dokken song on it after the movie and it was only there sometimes.

A group of friends and I used to stay up all night and watch all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies in a row every once in awhile and about 2 out of 3 times that we watched this, the video wasn't on the tape. We'd rewind and fast forward looking for it in the space between where the movie ended and the end of the tape and there would be nothing. Then the next time we'd watch it the video would appear.

John Rozum said...

I think I remember hearing that they replaced the song for the tv and video prints. This sort of thing happened a lot with movies where no one bothered to secure the rights to the music for other formats since things like home video were still pretty new.

Shawn Robare said...

I think the broadening of Freddy's back story in this one was a bit much (thought it does hearken back to Hammer's Curse of the Werewolf a bit.) I did love the concept of taking control in your dreams and becoming a dream warrior (especially as a kid.)

The nursing track marks scene still grosses me out to this day.

Jay Amabile said...

Dream Warriors kicks ass. I watched it incessantly as a kid.