Retro Review: A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

I have written about the Nightmare series a lot in my time as a…blogger, I hate that word.  But, this is the horror franchise that started it all for me and overall, possibly my favorite of all.  Yeah, I know, I am totally main stream.  But I love Freddy, I grew up with the characters and for some reason I can watch them any time.  Dream Master is my go to horror movie and I don’t know why.  Is it the childhood crush on Lisa Wilcox?  Is the the story?  Maybe it is just Robert Englund who keeps bringing me back.

My favorite of the series?  Yep that’s right, this is my favorite of the series.  While I do believe the first is the best, I love this one.  I forgot to mention the soundtrack by Tuesday Knight, you know the girl who plays Kristin the film.  Yeah, the title song is sung by her, how wonderful.  “And I’m runnin’ from his nightmares, I turn around and there’s no one there.  I’m runnin’…”  Yeah I sing along, Yikes.

Anyway, I remember back when I was younger and saw the first previews for this film, my imagination went wild.  I had all of these different theories playing out in my head.  For some reason I was overly excited about the junkyard scene from the trailer and previews.  It was very different from how I built it up in my head.  For some reason I thought there were gonna be dinosaurs.  Hey, a lot of the movie takes place in the dream land, anything can happen.


What I did see, it was terrific and it became one of my favorites of the series fast.  I remember the following year, I found out about the fifth film(Dream Child) and actually saw it at the drive inn and it was awful, well not up to my Nightmare standards.  One of these days I will end up having a review for each movie in the series.  I did one for Freddy’s Revenge and a Worst to Best post.

The things I like about this one mostly Freddy and Alice, rather Freddy vs Alice.  I always felt Alice was finally Freddy’s match, she survived two films after all.  Strange how in 1988 Freddy met his match and Jason did as well in Friday the 13th part VII: the New Blood.  The kills were some of the best, Joey in the waterbed, Debbie the cockroach, Rick in his karate dream or when his a little meatball and who can forget about Shelia, “wanna suck face?”  Lets not forget the final showdown Freddy vs Alice in the chapel.  It was one of the better ending of the series.  Some may say the ending of Dream Warriors may be the best, maybe.  I like the end of Dream Master a lot.


I said before, it seems like Dream Master was the peak of the Nightmare series.  But it fell apart after, and fast.  I really consider Dream Child to be the last of the original timeline and series.  Freddy’s Dead is its own thing entirely, as is Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.  Really, I think the end of the 1980s killed the Nightmare franchise, alone with Friday the 13th.  Seeing these movies rebooted or remade is rough, they don’t belong.  If remade again, do a period piece or as I have said, give me A Nightmare on Elm Street 6.  Since Freddy’s Dead is not technically part 6.

I will never get my way and I understand.  I also want a direct sequel to Jason Takes Manhattan.  There is another remake coming, at some point.  But there is no way to match the original and I do not think I will ever call another Nightmare my favorite.


A running joke with my brother is the soundtrack, well Tuesday Knights music, it makes the movie, not to mention the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Love Kills.  Good stuff, totally 80s.  Runnin from this Nightmare…need I say more, opening credits, just enjoy that.  But nothing is as good as Dokken’s Dream Warriors.

Thanks for reading and I nearly forgot to mention, Dream Master was released 28 years ago today!  I was 8 and couldn’t wait to see it, and I will watch it again tonight. has a rating of 5.7, higher than expected.

I rate Dream Master way higher with a 7.8


About Ray Marek III 261 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.