Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, or, Dylan!!

Normally, I don’t like it when directors add their name to the title of a movie. John Carpenter did that all the time. Peruse this site, however, and one will find a review of John Carpenter’s Vampires listed as Vampires. The official title of the movie featured in this review is Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. That’s a different kind of conceit on the part of writer/director Wes Craven than what directors like Carpenter have done. For, that’s a literal title. In this movie, Wes Craven plays a character named Wes Craven, he is having a new nightmare, and that nightmare is causing trouble for the other characters. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, or, Dylan!!”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

I may have been slightly concussed while writing the review for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. But, there is no confusion or fogginess in regards to this travesty of a movie. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare is a terrible film. It’s quite possibly the worst movie I’ve seen this year, and that’s saying something, considering I seek out bad movies. Billed as having “Saved the Best for Last,” this was the film meant to send the character of Freddy Krueger out with a bang — a grand finale that audiences would remember for all time. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

The consensus is that A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, the 1989 entry in the franchise, stinks. It has a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes in both critical and audience scores. Rarely does a film find so much agreement between the proles and the pros. But, I’m going to be different. I’m going to be that guy that defends this flick. Because, while it seemed viewers were searching for a film that was just like the first Elm Street, they missed the wild fun house ride they were actually on.

Don’t think this means I feel this is a great horror film. It is not. But it was creative, and very entertaining. What more do people want out of a supernatural slasher flick, anyway? Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

The first Nightmare on Elm Street film was an original supernatural slasher flick. The second film had some crazy subtext going on (which, to my everlasting regret, I missed). And the third flick continued to shake things up, giving Freddy Krueger’s potential victims the ability to fight back. Every entry in the franchise through the third film had enough unique characteristics to stave off franchise fatigue, but then producers Robert Shaye and Sara Risher decided to play it safe, assembling a paint by numbers movie with a screenplay by committee, and hiring an early-career Renny Harlin to direct. This flick was doomed to mediocrity before the first frame was shot. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Horror franchises have a lifespan. And all horror franchises exceed that lifespan, shuffling along like zombies, mere imitations of the life they once had. The third entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise still has life — a shitload, in fact — but the signs of franchise decline are also very apparent.

Wes Craven returns to write after sitting out the previous film, alongside Bruce Wagner, Frank Darabont, and Chuck Russell. Russell also directed. Craven’s participation means the return of the murderous and sadistic Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) to the realm of dreams, rather than wandering around in the waking world — the expansion of Freddy’s supernatural abilities from the previous film retconned. In fact, this film makes no mention of the previous entry, instead serving as a sequel to the first film in the franchise. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors”

October Horrorshow: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This film is a horror classic. It’s the most significant film from a director, Wes Craven, who made many significant contributions to the genre. It introduced audiences to an iconic horror villain in Freddy Krueger, and spawned a film franchise that chugged along nicely for about a decade until the wheels fell off. There’s not much more that Missile Test can add, other than to urge any horror fan who has not seen this movie, to do so when the chance arises. Still, I’ll try to get 600 words out of this review. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)”

October Horrorshow: Eaten Alive, or, Avant-Garde Horror à la Texas

Tobe Hooper established his bona fides, and his place in film history, with his 1974 film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That film is such an icon of the genre that sequels and remakes are sometimes produced concurrently. People just can’t seem to get enough Leatherface. But, Hooper did find time to take part in other projects. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Eaten Alive, or, Avant-Garde Horror à la Texas”

October Horrorshow: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

I love it when a sequel plays around with its original idea...with caveats, of course. Tweaks are good. Wholesale re-imaginings can be taking things too far. Take The Highlander, for instance. That film lays out some neat ground rules for both protagonist and antagonist. For some supernatural reason, seemingly random people throughout history have been rendered immortal, their purpose in life to track each other down and cut each other’s heads off, all to earn a mysterious prize which will be given to the last man standing. The film spent a substantial amount of time on its hero’s origin story in the Scottish Highlands. The film wrapped up the story so completely that the filmmakers may as well have put a bow on it. But, when it was time to make a sequel, all that backstory was retconned, and the immortals turned into fricking aliens. ALIENS. Audiences hated it. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge”

October Horrorshow: Galaxy of Terror

Roger Corman is a Hollywood legend. Some of the biggest names in the business went through his gristmill. Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, and more, all spent early portions of their careers under Corman. But, I’m not convinced that Corman is a visionary. His flicks represent the basest elements of filmmaking, crafted to make a quick buck, and not much else. Because of that, I would say that I find more Corman influence in films by The Asylum and their ilk, rather than Oscar winners like The Godfather. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Galaxy of Terror”