Every Town Has an Elm Street Part 6 (Freddy’s Dead: the Final Nightmare, 1991)
You know…the movie poster claims they saved the best for last. I am not sure in what weird coked up world this would qualify as the best. You see apparently, the sixth and final movie in the seven movie (eight if you count Freddy Vs Jason) series originally carried on from the fifth film. It would focus on Alice’s son Jacob (now sixteen) and would have seen the return of Kincaid, Joey and Taryn (from the Dream Warriors) as Dream Police. According to director Rachel Talalay, this was not a good script and the new script that gave us the final product “saved the day.” Seriously, that original script had to be incredibly bad for this movie to have “saved the day.”
Oh, I’m sorry; I may have tainted your view of the film a bit unfairly. The film we got begins with the Last Kid in Springwood, called (rather creatively) John Doe (Shon Greenblatt) trying to outwit Freddy Krueger in a series of nightmares. In the end, Freddy hits him with a bus, which does not kill the kid, it just shoots him out of Springwood. This leaves him an amnesiac that ends up in a youth shelter run by Dr. Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane) and Doc (Yaphet Kotto).
Maggie discovers some clippings referring to Springwood, and thinks it might help John if they visit. On their way, they discover three stowaways trying to ditch the youth shelter. Spencer (Breckin Meyer) who would rather sit around smoking weed and playing video games than live up to his dad’s yuppie lifestyle, Tracy (Lezlie Deane) who was molested by her father and Carlos (Rickie Dean Logan) whose parents beat him severely enough that he was left deaf. Yeah, which one of the three is not like the others?
Once they get to Springwood, they run into its scary citizenry…such as Tom & Roseanne Arnold. There are no children, just adults in a Freddy obsessed psychosis. Little known fact, in 1492, Freddy Krueger discovered America. Anyways, unable to leave Springwood, the kids enter an abandoned house. Guess whose?
Once in the house (yes, Freddy and Nancy Thompson’s old home), the kids start falling asleep. The dreams are so over the top in this one, they kind of make the previous films look like they lacked imagination. You have Spencer killed in an old school video game (almost like a lame version of Donkey Kong) and Carlos killed via blades scraping a chalkboard. While this is happening, John and Maggie have been doing some research. Apparently, Freddy had a kid who was taken away from him. John suddenly realizes he is Freddy’s. I mean, Freddy has not actually killed him, it must be true. Freddy would not have any other motive to let John live…right?
Oh, you are so wrong…as John finds out when he tries to save Spencer. John finds out he was merely a pawn to get Freddy’s real kid back to Springwood…his daughter. Guess who his daughter is…go on…guess! Yup! It’s Doc! Okay, just kidding. It’s Maggie (since she is the only woman in the movie long enough to qualify as a central character who is remotely close to being of age to be Freddy’s kid)! And as she and Tracy drive home, they shatter the barrier and set Freddy free.
Freddy, it turns out, is almost as powerful as God. When Maggie and Tracy return, no one can remember Spencer, Carlos or John Doe. Freddy has wiped all memory of them from existence. Except for one other person; that other person would be Doc. See, Doc is in touch with his dreams, see, and he can, like, totally control them. This will come in handy, and makes it much easier to convince him that there is mad man killing persons in their dreams.
Freddy comes to Maggie in a dream and reveals he is her father. Freddy then thanks her for helping him get out of the boundaries of Springwood. Yeah, total thanks, Maggie…thanks for loosing the crazed dream killer on the world!
In the meantime, Doc has done some research into mythology. Apparently that did not work, so he makes up mythology about Dream Demons who keep helping bring Freddy back. They devise a plan that includes Maggie pulling Freddy from the dream world into the real world (that again?!). But first she has to find Freddy-which involved entering his mind. Yeah, it makes as much sense while you are watching it. This sequence occurred in 3-D, which just never worked when I watched the DVD with the 3-D glasses at home. I should try it with the hi-def TV. But I digress, this was a good nine to ten years after the 3-D fad had died out. I mean, Jaws 3-D, Friday the 13th 3-D and Amityville 3-D were all between 1982 and 1983. I thought New Line was a bit more forward thinking.
So, we get to see Freddy’s sad pathetic life. Like when the kids teased him as the son of a hundred maniacs. It’s not like he did anything wrong, well, other than bludgeoning the class pet to death. And then there is Alice Cooper. I am a fan, so I will give the abusive step father memory a pass. Then Maggie has all sorts of happy family memories flood back to her, for instance, that one time? When her dad Freddy totally killed her mom because she found out Fred was killing little kids? I mean, look at it from Freddy’s side, folks. She totally was being nosy and not letting him have his guy time!
Freddy tries to win Maggie over, which can’t be that hard for a murdering sociopath, but she stays strong and pulls Freddy into the real world. Fred dukes it out with Maggie, Tracy and Doc. Maggie manages to stab Freddy in the gut with his own claw, which I guess is supposed to be poetic. Then she jams a lit pipe bomb in Freddy’s chest. She gives him a kiss and runs away. Freddy’s last words? “Kids…” Okay, that is really just a “last word”.
OK, I will grant that this is a nice inversion of the franchise rules. If Freddy dies in the waking world, he is dead in the dream world. So, the film has a brief moment of clever success. And it has one of my favorite lines of the series. After Freddy gets free from Springwood, he says to Maggie, “Every town has an Elm Street.” The film might-and I repeat- might make for good “get together with friends and mock without mercy” movie night… but that may also be overly generous.