Saturday, April 24, 2010

Long Week On Elm St.: Part 2: A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

Hooboy. I reviewed Nightmare On Elm Street 2 once before and it was not pretty. Look maybe I’m being to hard on this film but its tough to find anything nice to say about a movie that plays like the ultimate horror movie, if the thing that scares you most is that you might be gay.

There’s just something intrinsically distasteful about a horror movie that uses a burnt demonic child molester as a metaphor for homosexuality.

But when I revisit a series I revisit it, warts an all. So with a bit of patience and a lot of alchol, I’m going to make it through Nightmare On Elm Street 2. Even if God help me I can’t quite stomach the idea of constructing an articulate review. Hopefully this stream of conscienceness post will more accurately reflect my annoyance.

So without further review lets start, Freddy’s Revenge, or as the great Outlaw Vern pointed out.

Technically Freddy already got his revenge in part 1 by going after the children of the people who burned him alive. In this one he’s just messing with a new kid who moves into the same house. It really is not revenge when you do it to a stranger who never did anything to you before and is not related to anyone who did anything to you before. Not to be pedantic but, come on dude, titles are important. Make ‘em count.

So things are off to a auspicious start then.

0:00:21: I’ve always wondered if the demonic Freddy school bus that begins the film was meant to reflect on the Freddymobile of the first film’s infamously inconclusive ending. I can’t help but feel that this would be giving the makers of Freddy’s Revenge way to much credit for the thought they put into it. Aside from the obivious thought which was “Bob Shaye will parade around the New Line Offices wearing our skin if we don’t get this out fast enough.”

0:02:55: Somehow I doubt Freddy has the proper Class A licensce to drive that thing. And my isn’t it funny how Midwestern Elm Street is surrounded by Californian desert. Look I know it’s a dream but give me a fucking break.

0:03:02: One of the things I love about horror films is how even the worst of them are able to document their time period with pretty startling precision. I mean holy Christ do you remember fucking Body Glove? Freddy's Revenge does! Bet you we see some sweet No Fear Gear in Freddy’s Dead.

0:04:05: Bet you wish the last act of your life wasn’t being such a snooty bitch now don’t you.

0:04:45: You know how I usually talk about how model work and practical FX no matter how corny has something CGI doesn’t? This will not be one of those times.

0:05:00: Just realized they really did just immediately stop trying to have the dreams mirror real dreams didn’t they? I mean Christ don’t you hate those dreams where you’re on a school bus and then the school bus is on a pinnacle, and there’s a burnt child molestor with knives for hands menacing you and two snooty girls? I hate that one.

0:06:00: Is it just me or has Jesse’s family always seemed like a refuge from a John Waters movie.

0:06:10: Enjoy that shot of oiled supple young man flesh! It’s the first of many!

0:07:10: Truth In Criticism Part 1!: "Fu Man Chews", heh OK that’s a genuinely good gag.

0:09:20: Just your usual pants and grappling by virile young men. Nothing to see here folks.

0:10:17: “Assume The Position” Jesus Christ, I can’t add anything if I wanted to.

(Second Beer + Shot Of Jameson)

0:11:04: Note The movie doesn’t even try to explain just what happened at the end of Nightmare On Elm St.

0:13:55: Whelp nothing to see here.

0:15:22: Truth in Criticism part 2. Freddy ripping out his brain is a pretty good gore gag. Nice of him to complement Jesse’s body like that. I mean whatever could he mean?

0:17:22: Yep just a giant phallic snake wrapping around our young protagonists body. No subtext here.

0:19:38: Yep just a completely surperfulous shot of our heroes ass gyrating to “All Night Long.” While he wears Elton John Glasses and plays with a minature baseball bat he’s pretending is his dick… Its like an outtake from The Rules Of Attraction here.

0:25:55: At this point they're still trying to treat Freddy seriously, but I honestly don't know what's worse. Failing to make him serious or succeeding in making him harmless.

0:29:33: The fucking exploding bird. Do I need to add anything? Can I add anything?

Did anyone think this would be scary? I mean really. I can take a joke, but this just a has an ugly whiff of desperation to it. "Animals Don't Expode Into Flames for no reason. You set this all up!" God his dad is an asshole. I mean Jesus Christ.

0:31:55:I never understood this scene. I mean in his grief over his exploding bird he seeks out his sadistic Coach, to um… er… teach him a thing or two? Honestly this scene makes no sense except to say “Remember Kids Homosexuality is frightening, and practiced by sick deviants.”

I mean fuck its not even subtext anymore. Its just plain fucking text.

0:33:17: And the world’s worst time cut. Ending the scene before anything resembling reason has been established. How this ended up in the final cut is astounding.

0:33:20: This does make me realize that in addition to its other sins, Freddy's Revenge is a SLOW moving horror movie. Aside from its opening scene, and a few that could best be described as "Freddy Kruger shoots the shit." Nothing approaching a horror scene has happened.

0:35:07: Oh No! The coach is taking so many balls to the face!

0:35:20: Oh no! Now the coach is getting all tied up while Jesse rubs himself in the shower!

0:36:32: And lets pile voyeurism, sadomasochism, and bondage on top of some implied anal rape, because there's nothing too unsavory for this movie.

0:37:00: Man Jesse screams like a girl.

0:38:50: My whatever is bothering Jesse he seems to think his parents just won't understand. Oh yeah and if there's one thing I know its that psychiatrists are for pussies.

0:39:00: You called it Pop, the thing Jesse needs is Anal Punishment.

0:41:20: Yeah silly woman what’s a legacy of madness and murder compared to good deals on real estate? Jesse's Dad is an Asshole.

0:46:46: Memo from New Line: Yes. Yes we have devolved to threatened child molestation and incest in order to scare you desensitized sons of bitches. No No we really have no shame at all.

Beer #4



53:53:" Nope just running away from my "girlfriend" to the place where I really feel comfortable. The bed of my "best friend" which he is in. Naked."

Honestly what subtext?

54:42: Please Jesse tell us about this feeling inside of you that you just can't control. You know, that thing that wants to get inside your body.

0:58:04: Truth In Criticism: Okay, fairs fair. The scene where Freddy grows out of Jesse is a pretty decent scene, with some pretty interesting practical FX and Englund gets to be scary for his one (1) time in the movie. Again though I have to point out that its too little too late. I mean this is the second scare scene. Almost an hour into the movie. THE SECOND! Who the fuck directed this Monte Helleman?

1:02:14: Yes Jesse tell us again about this thing that’s inside you that you’re scared of.

1:06:40: Is it just me or does Krueger seem kind of pitiful and pathetic in the real world. Particuarly at a pool party. He looks like the nerd who helped tutor the jock to a passing grade, but looks miserable the entire time, as though he is constantly expecting someone to throw him in the pool.

1:09:00: And it's time for New Lines Un Authorized Remake of Horror At Party Beach!

Beer Five

1:09:40: I love this kid who tries to fucking talk Freddy down. I mean how optimistic can you be?

1:11:53: Ok Doberman’s with weird fucked up Brazil Baby faces? Genuinely creepy. There’s something intrinsically wrong about a dog with a human face. It also provided The Unborn with its one genuinely frightening moment. (And that's right I found three (3) good things to say about this film).

Beer Six

1:16:38: Don’t worry Jesse Heterosexual love will drive the demon from your body. After all its not like you where born this way.

1:21:14: That's right Jesse remember its always healthier to repress things. With the help of your girlfriend it should be easy!

1:22:18: DUN DUN DUN!!!!

In the final analysis A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 is a boring, hateful, ugly little movie. One I won’t waste my time on again. I’m only sorry that it took a second viewing to convince me of this.
God I hate this fucking movie.


Simon said...

It's much less boring when you think of it as the first gay slasher.

Bryce Wilson said...

Yes... because that's some subtext I certainly missed.

AK said...

Er...quiet embarrassment. First time I saw this(as an idiotically Gay-enthusiastic young Gay boy)I thought about this movie super-deeply.I mean,yes,it's AWFUL.But is it homophobic? Or inclusive? Not that I really care. My ears always prick up whenever Coach is onscreen. Which I guess is my review...
(Incidentally, the WV is "hoshnoon", which sounds a lot like what I'm doing right now...)

Bryce Wilson said...

@ Rob: That's an interesting point Rob. I'll admit, I'm not gay. But I can't see how any movie that posits that finding out your gay is just like finding out that a burned demonic child molester wants to possess your body isn't homophobic.

To me its not that the on coming of sexuality. gay or straight, isn't potent fodder for a horror film. I mean hell David Cronenberg has built a career out of the fact that it is. I can definitely see an effective movie being built out of the fact that finding out you're gay is scary. Particularly in a gay unfriendly time and place like Reagan era eighties at the advent of AIDS.

What I think ulitmately keeps the film from being read that way is it goes out of its way to make Gay sexuality seem repulsive. The coach is a monster, the club scene looks like an out take from Cruising.

And perhaps most damning of all it ends not with acceptance, but with a woman coming in and restoring the heterosexual status quo.

I can't read the films message any other way then "Gays are scary and gross!"

Unknown said...

I can't agree with this review. I think this movie, while deeply flawed, bucked the trend by trying something daringly new. It opened a whole other window into the Freddy-verse. Ok - there's some pointless, contradictory rubbish - Freddy jumping through a glass door and disappearing, the stupid dogs, the pool party... But there are scenes in this movie as good as ANYthing in the others - the bus dream scene is magnificent, the entire sequence leading up to "You've got the body...", the transformation scene, THAT score, Freddy's make-up and voice. You can't seriously tell me Parts 5 and 6 are better? Those movies are true 80's embarrassments. This stayed dark, was violent as hell, and tried something totally left-of-field, even if it didn't completely work. The performances are great, the 'sub-text' gives one lots to think about. 5 and 6 are cartoonish, unscary, total rubbish that ruined Freddy forever. The power glove?? The Super-Freddy?? Freddy riding a broom-stick?? Ugh. So SO bad.