Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bechtloff Movie Night: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge

Man check out that poster. I miss when movies used to get great painted movie posters like that. They were often great pieces of art especially for horror movies. You just don't see that anymore, not even for horror movies, but then who wants to create an original painting for the latest piece of unimaginative torture porn farted out by hacks like Eli Roth or Rob Zombie. Anyways enough about that, let's take a look at the second film in my favorite horror franchise, A Nightmare on Elm St 2: Freddy's Revenge.
Our story follows Jesse and his best friend/love interest Lisa, both seen here. It's 5 years after the events of the first film and Jesse and his family have recently moved to Springwood and are living in Nancy's old house from the first movie. Jesse has a problem. He is being tormented by nightmares of Freddy. He finds Nancy's old diary and him and Lisa begin reading about Freddy. It becomes apparent that Freddy is taking over Jesse's body through his dreams causing Jesse to sometimes transform into Freddy.
During his transformations into Freddy he kills his sadistic asshole of a gym coach. Then one of his friends and then he attacks a pool party Lisa is throwing in her backyard. Jesse's affections for Lisa allow him to stop Freddy from killing her and Freddy flees to the power plant Freddy apparently worked at. Lisa follow him and manages to help Jesse regain control and cast out Freddy by professing her love for him.

I didn't realize this until I did a little research on Wikipedia but this film is considered to have major homosexual undertones. There is a scene where Jesse is sorta sleep walking and he goes into a gay bar for a drink and his gym teacher catches him there. Next scene we have his gym teacher making him run laps in the gym in the middle of the night. This is apparently to punish Jesse for underage drinking but you would think the gym teacher would have been more concerned with Jesse telling everyone about his proclivities. Anyways it's at this point that Jesse transforms into Freddy and kills him. Also there is a scene where Jesse is starting to get it on with Lisa and feels himself starting to transform so he goes to his friends bedroom and tells him to watch him sleep and don't let him leave. This of course goes badly and Jesse transforms into Freddy and kills this kid. This is suppose to represent him wanting to sleep with his male friend. I guess I can see where people are coming from with that interpretation, but Freddy is ultimately defeated by Jesse's love for Lisa, so how gay could Jesse be?

Even that aside this is still an interesting chapter in the Nightmare series if for nothing else then the change in Freddy's M.O. and powers. Rather then his standard shtick of killing people through their dreams he possesses someone through his dream and kills through him. No explanation is given for the change in Freddy's powers and method, and in part 3 he's back to his old ways. Makes sense for Freddy to switch back, after all this way didn't work too well for him, he's defeated by a boys love for the girl next door, plus when he's attacking people in the real world he's not invulnerable like in the dream realm. But how did he switch powers and M.O. in this first place?

The special effects were pretty damn good for the time, and really practical effects tend to be better then modern CGI anyways. Also I thought Lisa looked pretty damn fine in a girl next door way, but then I've always had a soft spot for redheads. A few things that stood out for me was a gag at the beginning, Jesse's little sister is eating a cereal called Fu Man Chew. A pointless throw away gag sure but it made me chuckle.

There was a scene where Jesse was screaming mid transformation and we see Freddy's eye in his mouth, that was a pretty cool visual.

And when Lisa chases Freddy to the old abandoned power plant she sees two guard dogs with really creepy human faces.

I don't know why but those things creeped the shit out of me. They didn't even attack her they just growled but still.

This movie certainly had it's flaws, for one Freddy isn't all that intimidating or scary in this. This is barely a horror movie, it's almost a teen romance with horror movie elements. Also I know it's kinda nitpicking but I hate the title. Freddy's Revenge? Revenge on who? And for what? Nobody in this movie had anything to do with the events of the first movie. These are just random people who happen to live in this town, what could Freddy possibly be getting 'revenge' for? All and all though this is a solid enough slasher movie and is worth checking out. It's certainly not the worst Nightmare sequel that's for sure.

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