A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by deceased child murderer Freddy Krueger, who is out to possess him in order to continue his reign of terror in the real world.A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by deceased child murderer Freddy Krueger, who is out to possess him in order to continue his reign of terror in the real world.A teenage boy is haunted in his dreams by deceased child murderer Freddy Krueger, who is out to possess him in order to continue his reign of terror in the real world.
But culture, and particularly youth culture, in the 1980s was considerably different, certainly far less conservative and anti-creative. In those days, The Cure were a big thing, and even the most basic of pop sludge was far more creative than what we have today. Not to mention that it was far easier to make dodgy films and get them released theatrically.
A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2 picks up five years after the original, although it was a rush-job filmed less than a year after said original was out of the theatre. The film company, at that time the independent startup known as New Line, saw a quick and easy meal ticket that only required them to convince Robert Englund to submerge himself in what looks like three tons of multi-coloured latex. So the idea of a decent script, decent actors, or decent photography, went right out the window.
Which is kind of sad, really, when you consider that this is the only Freddy film in which an original premise is used. You might want to skip the rest of this paragraph if you have yet to see it. In it, a young man (whose behaviour is consistent with repressed homosexuality, in one of those hilarious plot coincidences) has just moved into the house from which Nancy originally dealt with Freddy. With the help of the sort of girlfriend any other male (and even some females) of this age would want to climb atop of at every opportunity, our hero attempts to fight off Freddy (and his own gayness), which in turn creates some very interesting plot devices. The moment when our heroine is holding up a carving knife at Freddy, who gives her a graphic and terrifying demonstration of the fact that she'll kill her (confused) lover if she kills Freddy, could have been one of the most horrific moments in the entire series. I am not quite convinced that it isn't, given that the only other episode in the series that was vaugely adult after this point was Part 3.
Unfortunately, the actors hired for these roles cannot act their way out of a wet paper bag. The only cast member with acting skills that even compare to Robert Englund's would be Marshall Bell. I am convinced that his turn here as the (gay) gym teacher was what got him hired to be in Total Recall and StarShip Troopers. Mark Patton (no relation to the Mike Patton who leads Mr. Bungle or the Mike Patton who was an early cast member in You Can't Do That On Television) is terrible - his only talent, as such, is to scream like a seventy-year-old woman. The actors who play his family look as if they belong on a cheap knock-off of Family Ties. The best actor in the whole piece was the budgie, who seemed to decide he would rather explode than be in this idiotic film a second longer.
When all is said and done, Robert Louis Stevenson said it much better in The Frightening Tale Of Doctor Jekyll And Mister Hyde (although there are no shortage of adaptations to that work which suck more than this). Normally, I would give this effort a three out of ten, but it gets two bonus points because it is like no other episode in the Nightmare canon, and that is a damned good thing when you put it alongside episodes four through seven.
- Apr 23, 2003