The WTF? Worst Films Extravaganza Presents: Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

Rachel Talaly

Robert Englund - Freddy Krueger
Lisa Zane - Maggie Burroughs
Shon Gleenblatt - John Doe
Lezlie Deane - Tracy
Yaphet Kotto - Doc
Breckin Meyer - Spencer
Ricky Dean Logan - Carlos

Year - 1991

Score - 0.5 Howls Outta 4

Don't ever believe the word "Final" is a horror movie's title. The word is not in a horror franchise's vocabulary and should not be taken seriously. You can't kill off a horror icon, no matter how hard you try. Jason Voorhees had two "Final" films. Michael Myers died more times than I can count. And Freddy Krueger had his chance in DREAM WARRIORS, but was unfortunately resurrected in order to star in three films that only tarnished his legend rather than make it shine brighter.

While THE DREAM MASTER was a huge success, it turned the once-scary Freddy into a comic one-liner machine. While people enjoyed that for a while, Freddy got overexposed and lost his lustre. That was no more evident in the box office failure that was THE DREAM CHILD. Freddy lost his appeal, as he was no longer cool or scary anymore. New Line, knowing that the cow they were milking was drying up, decided to finally get rid of Freddy once and for all. You'd think they would have enough respect to ask Wes Craven to come back and let him finish his creation once and for all.


Instead, New Line hired the NIGHTMARE's franchise production manager to direct the film and screenwriters that probably couldn't even pen a 22-minute POWER RANGERS episode to end the franchise by closing the Krueger mythos. And that's how FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE was born. As far as I'm concerned, this is the one time where an abortion would have been greatly appreciated.

Apparently, Freddy Krueger murdered all the Springwood children within 10 years [it's actually 18, but who's counting?] but one (Shon Gleenblatt). This teenager is on a plane trying to escape Springwood, but ends up falling asleep and getting sucked out of the plane. He wakes up at his house, only to look out the window and see Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) flying on a broom dressed like the Wicked Witch of the West and even spouting lines like her. Freddy somehow manages to teleport this kid into a horrible neighborhood so he can bring more souls to him. The kid wakes up with amnesia and is taken to a teen shelter.

He meets his psychiatrist Maggie (Lisa Zane), who tries to help the cleverly named "John Doe" [note sarcasm], realizing that they both share the same dream about some water tower. Maggie decides to take John Doe to Springwood, along with three other teenagers who were hiding in the back seat of their van, since she realizes that's where the water tower is. They end up stranded at a fair where only crazy adults [and Tom Arnold and Roseanne Barr] are having fun. Maggie takes John Doe around Springfield, realizing that Freddy had a child that was taken away from him, becoming the catalyst for the Springwood Murders that Freddy fried like bacon on a Saturday morning. While they do that, the other teenagers end up at an abandoned house that happens to be the same house Nancy Thompson used to live in. The two male teens (Breckin Meyer and Ricky Dean Logan) fall asleep and succumb to Freddy in two of the idiotic dreams ever.

Maggie takes the surviving teens back to the shelter, where she teams up with Dream Guru, Doc (Yaphet Kotto), to destroy Freddy once and for all. But Doc reminds Maggie that she can only defeat Freddy in reality and she must use 3-D glasses to lure him out of dream-land. In the biggest 3-D confrontation of all time, Maggie and Freddy battle each other to the death as three serpent-like dream demons root Freddy on.

If this makes sense to you, can I have whatever you're smoking?


I hated this film when I last saw it in 1991, but watching it again 17 years later almost made me want to stop reviewing horror movies! This film is TERRIBLE. What was the point of this film? Is this really the way you wanted your most bankable star [until THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, that is] to go out, New Line? This wasn't serious. This couldn't be serious. Not only is FREDDY'S DE

AD a big F you to Wes Craven and anyone who was involved in this franchise previously, but a big F you to the fans as well. Someone get a body bag, because this film is D.O.A.

I honestly don't know where to start with this film. There are so many horrible things about it that I'm honestly not sure what was the worst thing about FREDDY'S DEAD. I guess if I had to pick one, it would be the words typed onto paper that New Line called a screenplay/script. I refuse to call it one. I don't believe a bunch of grown-ups came together to write whatever this was and believe it was actually good. They would have to be crazy. Nothing about the film's narrative makes any lick of sense. The characters are all terrible. The dialogue is worse than the dialogue in most adult movies. It's an abomination to all the hard work Wes Craven excelled at in the original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. What a slap in the face if I ever saw one. The fact that I would rather watch HALLOWEEN 5 [at least the story makes sense THERE] than this just disgusts me.

You wanna know how bad the story to this film is? There's no continuity in this film whatsoever. Freddy can only kill kids in Springwood? He can't branch out without his daughter? Then what was the point of the Alice Johnson character in THE DREAM MASTER and THE DREAM CHILD? Also, how in the hell does Freddy have the power to teleport people into different towns while they're dreaming? I don't remember Freddy ever doing that. And really...it took TEN years for Freddy to kill all the Springwood teens? Um, it's 18 dumbass. Parts 1 and 2 are a 5 year stretch. Add 1 each for Parts 3-5 and then add 10 for this one. That's EIGHTEEN! Great job doing your research there, writers!

I also have a problem with Freddy's motivations. Every film claimed that Freddy murdered all the Springwood teens as revenge for their parents killing him. Now it's because they took his daughter from him!? And he's killing to make them lose their children as well!? Now I have no problem with Freddy having family or even this second motivation. But when you tell us something else for five films, I think it's a good idea to stick with what worked! Sure, horror movies change their continuity all the time. But they had good reasons for it. HALLOWEEN H20 deleted the Jamie Lloyd storyline because it got to the point where it didn't even make sense anymore. Plus people wanted to forget about it anyway so it actually benefited H20. JASON GOES TO HELL had no choice. Paramount owned the rights to the earlier films and mythos. New Line had to recreate the franchise from scratch. But this...this is no excuse. You only confuse your main audience by doing stuff like this. And boy, not only was I confused, but bored as well. Another family member is the key to destroying the monster. How original. I've never seen THAT one before...

And the characters...oh, the characters...how I wanted ALL of them to die horrible, painful demises. None of them were appealing whatsoever. Again, we get stereotypes that are not even GOOD stereotypes. We get the authority figure. We get the stoner. We get the deaf Latino kid. We get the tough chick. We get the kid with amnesia [Harry Osborn he ain't]. And we get the token black dude. Except for the somewhat likeable deaf kid, the rest of them were a waste of my time. Especially that tough chick. She's the worst teen ever in any NIGHTMARE film. And since I wanted Freddy to slash her to bits, she lived to see another day. Of course.

And then there's Freddy Krueger himself. My, how the mighty have fallen. You remember when Freddy was scary in the original? Or when Freddy was cool in THE DREAM WARRIORS? Or when Freddy was funny in THE DREAM MASTER? Well none of those Freddy's are here. But his broken shell is! What was once a beloved horror icon is nothing but a pathetic joke and spoof of himself in FREDDY'S DEAD. I don't know how Robert Englund manages to keep a straight face through it all. Either he's a fantastic actor, or that paycheck was so large that it would make anyone believe this film is the bomb! Oh believe me, it's a bomb alright! But seriously, Freddy is, like the title says, dead here. He does cartwheels. He rides brooms. He plays video games. He trips out on drugs. He spouts one-liners that not even Carrot Top would touch. It's really sad what New Line did to this character when Craven wasn't around to make sure he was handled properly. It actually pisses me off because it's such a sign of disrespect for everyone involved and the people paying to see Freddy do his thing. How it got this far, I'll never know.

I think the only good parts of the story are the origin scenes for Freddy. They're actually quite interesting to watch and it makes you wish that this film would have been just a prequel. I think many Krueger fans would like to know more about Freddy's history as a child and what led him to become a child molester and killer. I know Englund wanted to really badly produce an origin film, but the reboot was issued instead. Sad, we may never get to see what Freddy was like in the past. I think it would make a much better film than this one for sure.

The direction by Rachel Talaly, who was the production manager on most of the NIGHTMARE films, should have known better than to direct this. She's not horrible but nothing about the visuals stand out either. Instead of directing this film as a horror movie, she treats it like it's a Saturday Morning cartoon. People bouncing all over the place. Cartoonish cutouts like those Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner cartoons when Freddy tosses John Doe back into Springwood. Bad acting and people acting like they don't know what they're really doing in front of the camera. It's total camp, which is what the NIGHTMARE franchise isn't supposed to be! How do you take serious issues like incest, child abuse, being deaf, drugs, and murder and have the balls to make these issues comical? I'm supposed to laugh when a father wants his daughter to please him? Or when Freddy messes with the deaf kid because he can't hear? It's terrible. Talaly should not be handling subject matter of this level at all. Even FRIDAY THE 13TH films had more respect for their disabled characters, and that's saying something!

And the SFX by Dream Quest are really bad. The video game dream sequence was not good, I'm sorry. I pretty much shake my head in disappointment the entire length of the damn thing. THE WIZARD OF OZ tribute also makes my eyes roll. Just a really dumb dream. And that 3-D sequence just reeks of desperation. The fact that most of it doesn't even work is pretty sad. Did the final confrontation really need to be in three dimensions? I'll give New Line credit for actually keeping the sequence in tact for their DVD releases [thank God for that box set]. If only Paramount would do the same for the much better FRIDAY THE 13TH 3-D, I'd be very happy. I did enjoy the deaf kid's head exploding though. While cruel, the dream was still pretty cool in my book. Considering the rest of the film, it was obviously a fluke moment.

The acting is terrible here. Robert Englund is the star and he deserves all the credit in the world for trying all he can with what New Line gave the Krueger character in this shitfest. He is Freddy Krueger, in good times and in bad, until a remake does them part. Lisa Zane as Maggie was just horrible to the point where I actually started to laugh whenever she would say or do something. She had like one single face the entire time, and then go on screaming fits that we neither believable or well-portrayed. I think my favorite part is actually when Spencer dies after the video game dream and she tries to act like she's concerned, when it really looks like she's constipated. What a big step down from Heather Langenkamp and Lisa Wilcox. Breckin Meyer was okay in his first film role as Spencer. He's done much better and funnier stuff than this, especially if compare CLUELESS and ROAD TRIP to this film. Lezlie Deane as Tracy is not good here. I really disliked her character and how she played it. What a grating performance. Shon Gleenblatt and Yaphet Kotto were just there for me. And the cameos by Roseanne, Tom Arnold, Johnny Depp, and Alice Cooper weren't really needed and I'm sure none of them put this film on their resumes. Well, maybe Tom Arnold. He could use a job. Nice seeing Alice Cooper though.

The best part of the film is the actual end credits, where you see clips of all the memorable moments in the first six parts of the NIGHTMARE franchise. It just makes you wish you were watching those other films again rather than this crap. If I had seen only the end credits, I would have definitely given FREDDY'S DEAD a perfect rating. Too bad it was surrounded by liquid poop. And that kind of poop is impossible to scoop up.

After reading a quote by Nietzsche at the beginning, followed by Freddy's "Welcome To Prime Time, Bitch!" quote a second later, I knew I was in for some WTF? torture with FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE. This film is an embarassment to every other NIGHTMARE film that came before it and came after it. No imaginative dream sequences. No scary villains. Bad actors saying even worse dialogue. Not even a decent plot that makes sense. You sure this isn't a comedy? Because this film doesn't deserve the distinction of calling itself "horror". Thankfully, Wes Craven would come back and save Freddy from this piece of celluoid crap three years later with the light years better, NEW NIGHTMARE.

1 comment:

  1. As Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather would say HATED IT!

    I mean I had a hard time when they decided to turn freddy into a funny horror show because the subject matter was suppose to be deep, my god he was a child raper and a killer, but thats hollywood for you. great review.


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