Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
AKA: A Nightmare on Elm Street 6: The Final Nightmare
Set vaguely ten years in the future, Freddy Krueger has once again returned, but this time he’s been far more successful in his murderous endeavors. Deciding that just killing the children of Elm Street wasn’t revenge enough, Freddy has spent the last decade systematically killing all of the kids of Springwood. The only survivor left is John, but the poor boy has had his head hit one too many times by dream debris, so he can’t remember anything about his past. The people at the shelter for troubled youth that he’s sent to want to help, and Dr. Maggie Burroughs, who uses the one clue they have to John’s identity, schedules a little field trip back to Springwood, in the hopes of helping him remember. Unbeknownst to them, some of the other kids at the shelter, Tracy, Spencer and Carlos, decide this is a great chance to run away, and they quickly attempt to ditch the doctor and her new charge by stealing the company van. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to find their way out of Springwood, and are forced to make a stop on good old Elm Street, which Freddy quickly takes advantage of.
Meanwhile, Burroughs and John are learning more about Freddy, mainly that he had a child. The two of them deduce that they must find the child in order to stop the fiend, but John is killed before they discover an answer. It now rests on Tracy, Maggie, and her friend Doc, to discover the secret of Freddy’s power and take out the killer, once and for all.
In what was originally supposed to be the end of the series, Final Nightmare shifts the series focus yet again, from a tale about how the decedents of Elm Street are trying to survive the wrath of a dream raping homicidal maniac, into what can only be described as: The Freddy Show. I really don’t think there’s a more apt way to put it. This movie is 100% focused on Freddy, his quips, and his many, many elaborate death sequences. But as ingenious and complex as some of them might be, many of the deaths mostly end up also being rather predictable: The stoner gets himself killed after being pulled into a psychedelic dream, the girl with the abusive father has to face him, because of the plot everything is blatantly focused on the kids fighting their abusive parents….you get the idea. In this installment the real world and dream world confusion that is a mainstay of the series is used at a bare minimum, and all of the nightmares are focused more on eliciting laughs and dark humor, rather than being something that’s meant to be viewed as scary.
Though you gotta admire that when the dude does a bit he really commits to it.
Somewhere between the 5th and 6th movies, Freddy must have been really hitting those comedy clubs hard, because in this film he often skirts the edge of breaking the Fourth Wall by making jokes to the viewer and playing his murderous antics up to the camera. At several points it almost feels like the filmmakers should have just given up the farce and adhered an ACME patch to his sweater.
Maybe there are a lot of Wile-e Coyote cartoons in the afterlife?
This is by no means a bad thing, especially for those of us who like a little comedy with our slasher, and as far as humorous horrors go, this one goes all out for the dark undertones. What other slasher can you watch where the villain plays his own video game…
…with his own, hand made “power glove”?
Suck on that Nintendo!
…That he then uses to crush his hapless victims? I know I can’t think of any.
Final Nightmare also follows the tried-and-true plot route of the series, by giving the audience the added bonus of even more background information about Freddy, this time including more information about his crimes and family life before being caught by the police and subsequently murdered.
Some of Freddy’s glove collection. Not pictured, their uses.
And, highlighting the extreme popularity of the series at this point in time, the film also contains several cameos by people like Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold and Alice Cooper. Johnny Depp makes a quick, blink and you’ll miss him, return appearance in a TV commercial, and Iggy Pop even contributed by singing the title song, which plays over a montage of death scenes throughout the series during the closing credits.
Now you see Johnny Depp…
Now you don’t.
As far as humorous slashers go, this one is up there near the top. This is the point in the series where Freddy had gone super-duper kitschy, surpassed mere horror film popularity and transcended to a higher plane of existence as a pop culture icon. On the downside, of course, that means that if you’re looking for fewer jokes and the original, scarier Springwood Slasher of old, then odds are you might end up walking away feeling profoundly disappointed. But if you’re in the right mood for it, Final Nightmare can be a lot of fun, especially for slasher fans. So, if you’re looking for a less intense slasher with a good sense of humor, and a lot of blood, than this is going to be a good fit. But if you’re hoping for this sequel to be similar in tone to the first, well then…
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare is available on a variety of streaming services.
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare is also available on DVD and Bluray.
2 thoughts on “Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)”
The ending to this post gets an A+
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Ha! Thank you, I try.
(The movie doesn’t always cooperate with me of course, but I try.)
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