Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days Of 80's Movie Slashers: 10/6 - A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Day Six:

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
A New Line Cinema Release
Original Theatrical Release Date: February 27th 1986
DVD: Yes

Plot: Freddy returns once again, this time targeting "The last of the Elm Street children" who are now all current residents at a psychiatric hospital. Also returning is Freddy's first nemesis, Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp). Sleeping and slashing ensues.

With A Nightmare On Elm Street 3, New Line Cinema gets the opportunity to further expand on it's franchise, and thankfully part 3 does it well. The Dream Warriors is a blend of good storytelling with likable characters and a visual panache. Writer/Director Chuck Russell had previously tackled the screenplay for the similar Nightmare movie, Dreamscape. That film was also inventive and fun, and that carried over here as well into Russell's next film after this, an exciting remake of The Blob (1988). He has since abandoned making Horror Films and that's a real shame. He has a real knack for them.

Part 3's focus is largely on these kids with disparate personalities and who are unified by the common bond of dealing with the man of their nightmares. The film's young cast, led by a young Patricia Arquette, really makes you miss films of the era. These teenagers are not the typical stock, overly attractive, sexed up versions of today. These kids felt real, and it made their struggle all the more relatable. And when original Final Girl Nancy enters the picture, you suddenly have the recipe for a really fun movie that becomes a nice companion to the first film. She confirms all these kids fears, serves as their mentor and mother figure (making up for her own lousy drunk mom) and gets to face off with Freddy once again.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 is the rare Horror film in a franchise that retains a focus on characterization while delivering the thrills. One wonders how it would have turned out if Wes Craven at the time would have tackled the project himself (He wrote the original first draft of the Screenplay, and didn't except New Line's deal to direct the film himself) As it stands, the film is very enjoyable, and a lot better than it has any right to be considering it is part number 3---which historically hasn't always been the best number for a film in a series. Besides some of the effects feeling a tad dated, Dream Warriors surprisingly still manages to rock after all these years.

I am the Wizard Harry Potter?

She's beautiful... And bad!

Video Trailer:

And a little Dokken action:

Poor Joey. His sexy nurse isn't what she appears to be. Such is life.


The Film Connoisseur said...

My favorite (and many horror fans favorite) of all the NOES films! The special make up and visual effects on this one were really something. I love that scene where Freddy grabs Joey by his vains and walks him around like a puppet. Still a very chilling sequence in my book!

MrJeffery said...

This one is fun. I just watched it the other day. I love the grouchy head doctor and Freddy's mother's ghost.

Cinema Du Meep said...

Film Con- The puppet scene is a standout. I agree.

Jeffery-- I love the grouchy head doctor! I almost mentioned her in this post. I think of all the horror in the film, she's probably the most terrifying. Imagine having her for a doctor!

Liam Underwood said...

I have so much love for this film. There's just an inherent charm to it, which horror seems to be lacking these days.

Pussy Goes Grrr said...

I have to echo the other commenters' sentiments: Dream Warriors is not only a very good slasher movie in its own right; it's also better than the original.

Like you said, having the teens be a quirky bunch of misfits who aren't Hollywood Pretty really helps it stand out. It just offers more, in a better and more humanistic package, than almost any other slasher sequel out there.

And who can argue with that super-'80s theme song?

(My thoughts on it from earlier this year:

Direct to Video Connoisseur said...

Not only do I love this movie, but I love even more that you included the Dokken video. I haven't seen the new one, but it's hard to recapture the perfect storm that was horror in the 80s and insert it in 2011-- it's better to watch these ones and look back at how things were then.

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