Retro Review: Freddy’s Dead the Final Nightmare (1991)

Where in the hell has the time gone.  Time and time again these anniversaries come across my desk and I think, “has it really been that long?”

25 years since Rachel Talalay shit all over the Nightmare franchise that gave her, her start.

1991, I was an 11 year old Freddy fan who at the time, held the series to a certain standard.  It had been two years since the Dream Child and I was ready to see Lisa Wilcox return as Alice and watch her send Freddy back to hell for good.  When I heard about the movie, it was before I saw a cast list or trailer.  I already had my ideas.  I remember thinking, “Freddy’s Revenge wasn’t great, two years later, Dream Warriors came out.  Now, Dream Child wasn’t that great, so Freddy’s Dead should be awesome, right?

When I finally saw the trailer, I was stoked and there was going to be 3D…damn.  Well, I missed it in the theater and had to wait for home video.  I went to the video store, Saturday Matinee and pre-ordered a copy.  I put my hard earned five dollars down and the guy told me my balance was $96.  I pulled my pre-order and ended up renting it when it was released.  I remember looking at the case for, at least 5 minutes without blinking.  I was holding the last Freddy movie.

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I got home and I made a big deal out of it, started from A Nightmare on Elm Street and did my first ever marathon.  It did not disappoint, I loved every minute of the movie.  My 11 year-old mind loved the humor and the new cast.  Sure I was disappointed in the direction, as it seemed to really be set in a different time.  As an adult it is a little different.  The movie is probably the weakest of the series and the humor is, well, cartoon humor.  Freddy played Nintendo and had his own “power glove”.

For those who have never watch Freddy’s Dead, here are a few mistakes the movie made.

  1. It picks in the year 1999 and doesn’t follow a single character from past movies.
  2. This one is about family, the town of Springwood has no children, Freddy needs to move, he finds his Daughter.
  3. Too many jokes, like I said, cartoon Freddy.  Even his make-up was cartoony
  4. Turning down Peter Jackson’s script for the Dream Lovers.
  5. Letting Rachel Talalay direct.
  6. The score was unlike the others, only playing a familiar part of the series once.
  7. Freddy does not use his glove to kill.
  8. No jump roping kids, only Nightmare film without the kids jumping rope.
  9. Not using A Nightmare on Elm Street in the title.
  10. Killing Freddy.

Like I said, the movie follows a “John Doe” who will not sleep, his dreams are crazy and fears dying.  Eventually he meets Maggie who works at a shelter for troubled teens and they try to go back to the place from his dreams, Springwood.  In the van they find some stowaways, Spencer, Carlos and Tracy.  Maggie orders the stowaways to go back to the shelter, but they get trapped in this loop and end up staying the night in a certain house on Elm Street.  Two of the kids, Spencer and Carlos die, Spencer in a tripped out, video game and Carlos with a hearing aid…no glove.  Freddy never uses his glove to kill anyone in the entire movie, it is used mostly to hurt himself.

Maggie and John end up at a orphanage and they find a child named K. Krueger was there.  John thinks it is him and he is Freddy’s kid…nope.  John dies and Maggie goes back to the shelter.  Everyone forgets about John, Carlos and Spencer.  Maggie realizes in a dream that she is Freddy’s daughter and he tells her, she has led him to more children and that, “Every town has an Elm Street.”  But she decides to fight back, by the way, Freddy kills no one the rest of the movie.  One of Maggie’s co-workers helps her and she goes into his brain somehow with 3D glasses and we see what made Freddy crazy.

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They pull Freddy out of the dream and kill him, the end.

Freddy’s Dead, I am not sure why they killed him off.  New Line is the house that Freddy built and eventually they were sold to Warner.  To me this movie was the official end of the 1980s horror films.  Sure Jason Goes to Hell came after, but this one put the nail in the coffin.  I think Freddy and the Nightmare movies belong in the 1980s, Jason films can survive now more than Freddy.  But please prove me wrong.

I like Freddy’s Dead.  It is not the best, it is the worst, but it is fun and entertaining, even 25 years later.

IMDB.com has a rating of 4.9

I do have a higher score of 5.6

I miss Freddy movies and they will never be the same, if we get more.

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 you...my 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.