A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
The man of your dreams is back.
Year of Release: 1985
Running Time: 87 minutes (1:27)
Director: Jack Sholder
Mark Patton ... Jesse Walsh
Kim Myers ... Lisa Webber
Robert Rusler ... Ron Grady
Clu Gulager ... Ken Walsh
Hope Lange ... Cheryl Walsh
Marshall Bell ... Coach Schneider
Robert Englund ... Freddy Krueger
Five years have passed since Freddy Krueger was sent howling back to hell. But now, a new kid on Elm Street is being haunted every night by gruesome visions of the deadly dream stalker. And if his twisted soul takes possession of the boy's body, Freddy will return from the dead to wreak bloody murder and mayhem upon the entire town.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, the movie that reminds us that even if your male lead is rather feminine, it's just not the same as having a woman. That's also an important safety tip for you club hoppers. Ask for ID before you go home with her, lest you get Bailey Jay'd. Homophobes hate this movie. Ha, just kidding. Well, they do, but what I meant was, I'm not gonna take the lazy way out. You know who really hates this movie, and perhaps more importantly, who feels downright betrayed by this movie? Wimpy high school nerds. Think about it, the sissified Jesse shows up at this new school and not only does a pretty decent lookin' girl take notice of 'im, the JOCK wants to be his friend. People wanna talk about the homosexual undertones as what's "wrong" with this movie, I think they're missin' the real problem. And a few chromosomes. This kinda disinformation makes the poor little brainy pariahs think that once they hit highschool everything is gonna be a-okay an they don't need to worry about bein' ostracized no more. They'll have cute, rich girls for each arm an the jocks'll suddenly start appreciatin' 'em for their minds an... oh, so that's what the inside of a trashcan looks like. New friends, little help? I seem to have become trapped in the waste bin... guys? They're not coming back. *sigh* Not cool, New Line. Not cool at all toyin' with their emotions like that. I think this movie is probably why Steve Jobs ended up bein' such an asshole. But anyhow, as the best Nightmare on Elm Street movie to feature a male protagonist, this one should have a lot to offer; at least in terms of things you just shouldn't do. Like stickin' your wang in a toaster, but a little more painful. First of all, a key difference between baseball and hockey. In hockey when something you don't like happens, you jerk your adversary's shirt down an pound the bejezus out of 'em. In baseball, you jerk their pants down an jump on 'em. This is why Canadians get all the chicks an our women start takin' regular vacations on the Isle of Lesbos. Second, the natural reaction to rollin' around in the dirt with a guy that jerked your pants off is to become best buds. At least I think that's what they are. An third, just cause it's 130 degrees in the house is no reason to call the AC repairman. Just put some frozen peas in your shorts an man up.
But the thing that continues to confuse me is why women are always tryin' to turn gay men straight. Is it a conquest thing? I thought only men engaged in that kinda nonsense, an even then we don't try to turn lesbians straight cause it's just too hard to stay in the mood with their mustaches rubbin' you the wrong way. Not that there's really a right way. But anyhow, I thought women were supposed to be above this kinda behavior? I get that they can at least lure 'em in with the knockers cause it's a well known fact that even gay men love gazongas. But what's their plan beyond that point? This kinda bait'n switch'll never work, it's almost as terrible a form of deception as the MySpace photo. Cause even if you can get the blood outta his brain temporarily, you've got nothin' south of the mason dickin' line he wants. He don't know what to do down there an what's more, he don't wanna know. He don't understand how straight men can find that thing erotic, an is it supposed to smell like that? Then he starts gettin' scared cause he knows your intentions aren't the least bit honorable an has to start lookin' around the room for things to defend himself with in case he can't convince you to take no for an answer. The poor bastard knows he can't overpower you on account of the most exercise he's ever gotten with that hand is the force necessary to raise his pinky while he sips Starbucks coffee. This nonsense needs to stop right now, I'm puttin' my foot down here. You women need to learn to respect these men's wishes an quit tryin' to pressure 'em into things they've got no interest in. Why can't you just keep score with how many happy marriages you're able to break up like the rest of us? There's no need to go around makin' people uncomfortable for cryin' out loud. I don't wanna have to bring this up again an I'm gettin' real tired of gay guys askin' my advice on how to make women not want 'em. It's startin' to cause irreparable self esteem issues.
The movie begins with a school bus droppin' off a bunch of rotten kids til the driver decides he's had just about enough of that preachy route supervisor tellin' 'im where to go, how fast he needs to go, an how it'd be wrong to cut all the seat belts outta there an slam on the brakes anytime one of 'em gets outta line. So the driver heads out into the Sierra Desert an pretty quick the ground starts crumblin' out from under 'em an pretty quick they're teeterin' rather precariously on a couple of them rock pillar dealies you see in paintins at truck stops in New Mexico. Then it gets all dark an the fog machine starts spittin' out more smoke than John Candy's 1975 Mercury Marquis in Uncle Buck an Fred makes his big entrance. But just as Fred swings his Ginsu glove towards this awkward geek's face the wimp wakes up screamin' like one of them white trash women on COPS when the law starts haulin' off her abusive husband. The kid's also sweatin' like Nixon during the watergate proceedings an when his Mom asks if he's okay he tells her he just caught himself in his zipper so he won't have to be embarrassed. Shortly thereafter Jesse takes his female friend (Lisa) to school cause she don't realize that her family's rich enough to not only buy her a fleet of cars, but that the only breasts Jesse's interested in are Lou Ferrigno's. Then all the boys go out to play baseball only Jesse gets distracted lookin' at Lisa tryin' to figure out where she got those cute shoes an pretty quick he takes a pop fly right in the coconut. Once he gets over havin' all those cute guys checkin' on 'im he gets what's left of his mind back on the game, only the jock strap that hit 'im with the ball (Grady) starts makin' fun of 'im an so when Jesse tags the chunkhead out on the next play the brute pantses Jesse an then rolls around in the dirt with 'im. Oh yeah, that'll REALLY upset 'im. Gee... I sure hope that no big beefy men take my jeans off an roll around with me cause that'd sure get me angry... yeah that's enough of that. So anyway, the coach separates 'em an makes 'em do push ups in the dirt til they sweat blood. Grady's really an alright guy, sometimes he just gets so mad he has to beat up on guys that're half his size til he gets to feelin' better. So after they've kissed an made up Grady starts askin' 'im about where he lives an fills 'im in on the details of the first movie, but Jesse would prefer to think Grady's just a big liarface cause it's a pretty scary story. But later that evening Jesse can't sleep again on account of it bein' approximately 216 degrees so he heads outside where it's a brisk 87 an spots Fred roastin' marshmallows downstairs in their basement furnace.
He thinks about goin' down there but Fred grabs ahold of 'im an tells 'im he's got some work he needs Jesse's help for. I'd assume it's some interior decoratin' advice to help spiff up Fred's boiler room but we'll never know because before he can go into detail Jesse wakes up again squealin' like a 1978 Trans Am with a loose fan belt. The next day, Jesse goes to school so he can scream like a woman some more when the boa constrictor starts crawlin' on 'im in science class after he falls asleep. Which is odd cause you'd think he'd dream about snakes with some regularity. But anyway, when school's over he tries to go over to Lisa's house so they can do each other's hair but his Dad won't let 'im go til he goes upstairs an puts on dark shades an dances around awkwardly to "Touch Me" by Fonda Rae. Then he starts usin' some phallic object like an extention of his schlong til his Mom an Lisa walk in an he has to pretend like he was havin' a seizure to save face. You've really gotta feel bad for Lisa, she's barkin' up the wrong wood an has absolutely no idea. But she helps 'em organize his Liberace records for awhile til she finds an old diary in the closet. Turns out it belonged to Heather Langenkamp from the first movie and although she's able to get the diary outta the closet with relative ease, there's just no getting Jesse outta there. So they start readin' Heather's inner most thoughts with complete disregard for her personal privacy until things start gettin' real familiar for Jesse an he starts thinkin' maybe Grady was right an that he aughta go hide at his house where he'll be safe, and aroused. Later that night the house is so hot that things start meltin' like the room's in one of them Salvador Dali paintings. So Jesse goes into the basement again an finds Fred's Ginsu glove in the furnace an then Fred pops out an tries to get Jesse to put the glove on. It's not exactly the "put the glasses on" scene from They Live, but it'll do. The next evening it's hot enough that even Dad finally notices when his black horn rims start meltin' an fusing to his face, only before he can look into the issue the bird cage starts rattlin' like a used car lot in an earthquake an pretty quick the bird gets free an goes all Hitchcock on Dad til it bursts into flames like a Buddhist Monk. Dad thinks Jesse attached a bomb to the bird like a common terrorist an Jesse's so flustered he has to get outta there an go down to the S&M club to cool off. It's rainin' pretty bad outside, but once he goes inside it's rainin' men an he can finally start to relax a little, so he gets Marilyn Manson to pour 'im a beer when the coach grabs 'im an makes 'im go back to school to run laps around the gym for not complimenting his assless chaps.
Once he's gone around the block more times than Jasmin St. Claire, the coach finally lets 'em go shower, only while that's happenin' the coach starts gettin' pounded by strange balls of every size an color. Which he'd normally consider a good time, but there's some serious paranormal shit goin' on in this locker room an pretty quick the jump ropes tie 'im up an drag 'im into the shower so he can get 30 lashes with a wet towel. He must be the S in his S&M relationship cause he don't like it one bit an pretty quick Fred shows up an slices 'em up into Oscar Meyer singles. Then we pan back an it's Jesse wearin' the glove an when he realizes the coach is nekkid an he doesn't know where he's been for the last half hour he shrieks like he just woke up next to Madonna. Not long afterwards the cops bring Jesse home, sans pants, but he don't wanna talk about it an goes to pour lighter fluid all over himself an burn the coach offa him. Even though he ain't totally sure what happened, better safe than skanky. The next morning Mom tries to get Jesse to talk to her about the incident, but he don't wanna an then June an Ward get worried about the Beaver. By which I mean, the fact that Jesse's just not interested in it at all an they're afraid the neighbors might find out. When Jesse gets to school the cops're there an Grady tells 'im somebody was in the shower with the coach an things got outta hand when he couldn't remember the safe word. A while later, Jesse starts givin' Dad the third degree about buyin' the House Where Evil Dwells an while Dad's tryin' to explain that the house is fine the toaster ignites. Then Lisa takes Jesse out to where Fred used to bring his victims to see if he can "feel anything". He can't. He also isn't gettin' any vibes from the boiler. Later that night, there's a point of view villain walkin' around the house lookin' for hapless victims til he comes across the sister's room an Fred starts talkin' to her about her wake up call until Jesse regains control of himself an tells her he's got the wrong room an to go back to sleep. The next day, Jesse's startin' to get a little concerned, what with havin' nearly drawn a wire frame all over his little sister, so when Grady tries to cheer 'im up he just gets his feelers hurt an has to leave before he remembers he could snap Jesse like a twig. Later that night, it's finally time for Lisa's big party. Only it's about as excitin' as playin' bridge with your grandparents an Lisa's Mom has to show a little leg to get her Dad off chaperone duty so all the kids can start fornicatin' in the pool. Jesse's there too but he's hidin' in the can cause he's afraid a conga line might break out an he won't be able to control himself. Well, that an there's a good chance Fred might just take 'im over an massacre everybody, but mostly the conga line thing.
Then Lisa promises to protect Jesse an he gets really confused. He's really attracted to her ability to stop the mean man from hurtin' 'im, an on the other, she doesn't have the right equipment at all. But he's really sleep deprived an not thinkin' clearly so he decides to go for the groceries. Only once he starts motor boatin' her his tongue turns black an gets almost as big as Gene Simmons' an he has to get outta there an go talk to Grady cause he's more confused than a Miss America contestant tryin' to do Trigonometry. If he'd just startin' USIN' that tongue he'd have been home free, but whatever. So he heads over to Grady's place an tells 'im he needs a place to stay cause his girlfriend won't quit tryin' to have sex with 'im an he really needs some sleep so he can get his head together an prevent that from happenin'. This is where Grady comes in. Jesse needs 'im to stay awake an watch 'im sleep so that if he tries to do anything weird, like enjoy sex with women, he can wake 'im up. So Grady agrees to keep an eye on 'im, but much like Johnny Depp in the first movie, Grady's about as useless as tits on a hog an once he nods off Jesse wakes up an gets indigestion like he just ate a shrimp enchilada from the Conoco station an pretty quick he starts growin' nine inch nails an Fred starts pokin' his face outta Jesse's chest until he uses the tragic fingers to C-section himself outta Jesse. Unfortunately, Grady can't seem to operate the door an if you thought he was in good shape before, he's *really* ripped to shreds once Fred gets done with 'em. Then Jesse regains control an realizes he's killed the only man he ever loved an gets serious sad face 'til he hears the police sirens an has to make like a bakery truck an haul buns outta there, cause while there's a lot of real strong guys in prison, the outfits they have to wear are just hideous. Then he goes over to Lisa's place an by now he looks like Sissy Spacek at the climax of Carrie an tells her he killed the coach an Grady an that Fred's inside 'im in a way that is not the least bit sexy an pretty quick the pool outside starts boilin' stupid teenagers like crawdads in a stewin' pot. About that time Fred takes over Jesse again cause he's no match for the cast of Glee, let alone Fred, an Lisa has to light up Fred's life with a lamp to the gourd. Then the fish tank explodes like the colon of a Taco Bell patron an Lisa wrestles with Fred for awhile til he starts usin' foreign objects an then tells her there is no Jesse, only Zuul. Once he's confident her spirit is broken to a level equivelant to that of a Wal-Mart employee, he busts out the patio door, lights the pool on fire an digs for buried treasure in the stomachs of a few cretinous party patrons. Then Dad finally looks outside an realizes he's about to have more lawsuits filed against him than Enron an starts shootin' at Fred with his scattergun, only that don't do no good an Fred figures this party's just about petered out anyhow an exits the hedges in a blaze of glory. Lisa's still convinced she can change Jesse, so when Fred leaves she hops in the car an heads for the boiler room. I think the possibility of a happy ending has pretty well been ruled out by now, but I'm still not gonna spoil whether or not Lisa can pull Jesse's buns outta the fire.
Alrighty, well, this one's generally considered the black sheep, or the gay sheep, by the culturally elite, of the Elm Street series. It's definitely different. Casting a male in the lead role of a slasher movie is generally about as good an idea as asking Rush Limbaugh an Nancy Pelosi to sit down an hash out their differences. Thankfully, it doesn't happen very often. I say thankfully for two reasons. One, it's just a bad idea. And two, if it happened more often the movies that did it would undoubtably get dog piled on with greater severity than they really deserve. The IMDB actually shows it as having a rating above both part V: The Dream Child, and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. Here's the weird part, that may very well be the truth. I'd inclined to say part V is better than part 2, ever so slightly. But I would agree with the Freddy's Dead assessment and it's close enough that I'm not likely to argue with anyone when rating it against part V. So the fact that it's so different from the other movies doesn't make it garbage, it just makes it different. That said, there is undoubtedly a big drop off in quality from the first movie, but that's a pretty high bar. I think the bottom line here is, that much like the homosexuality thing in general (And lets be clear, some people say this movie has homosexual undertones, those people are being pretty generous cause they seem pretty obvious to me), people that're slackin' behind the rest of society in general on the issue find this kind of subject matter uncomfortable at best and upsetting at worst. So the movie gets dumped on more than it should, because people are insecure. That said, the movie does deserve the dumping it gets for changing the rules when it comes to the Freddy character. That's actually why Wes Craven wanted nothing to do with it. Cause now all the sudden, Freddy can take over people's bodies and eventually get enough control over them to enter the real world, rather than just the dream world. And I agree with Craven on this point, cause this was a foolish venture. You've got a first class villain and a first class plotline. They did this, of course, to try to make Freddy scarier and more dangerous, and it backfired like Marlon Brando after six bowls of five alarm Texas chili. It was an ill-conceived concept to try to take things up a notch. They realized it, learned from it, put Wes back in charge for at least the next sequel to try to regain their credibility and never did it again. People make mistakes, and New Line was always one of the most horror friendly studios back when movies didn't reek like the tent village of the Tulsa branch of the Occupy Wall Street movement. So I think it's only fair to overlook their little screw up and take a moment to acknowledge the genuinely good things they did with this movie.
Okay, lets Ginsu glove this sombitch open an try to figure out what the writers were thinking. As I mentioned, the plot tweaking should never have happened. Period. No changing the rules once they've been solidified by a hit movie. So while the plot is still interesting, there's gonna be some dingage for that lapse in judgement. The acting is pretty decent. There are probably those that might think Mark Patton's screaming is a little comedic because he's kinda feminine. Was kinda feminine, I mean, he's way feminine now, but anyway, my point is, it's DIFFERENT. And it's authentic. So I don't agree with that line of reasoning at all. And I really don't see any problems with any of the other actors in the movie either. It's probably even fair to say that the acting improved slightly over the first movie. Whether you like the *way* some of the acting comes across or not, I don't really care. It's believable, which is what matters. So, to follow the usual formula, here are the people that matter and why: Kim Myers (Hellraiser: Bloodline), Robert Rusler (Amityville: A New Generation, Sometimes they Come Back, Vamp) Clu Gulager (Piranha 3DD, Feast 1 - 3, Puppet Master V, The Willies, Uninvited 1988, Teen Vamp, The Hidden, The Offspring, Hunter's Blood, The Return of the Living Dead), Marshall Bell (Room 6, The Vagrant, Total Recall, Cherry 2000, Manhunter), Melinda O. Fee (The Aliens are Coming), Tom McFadden (976-EVIL, Warning Sign, Prophecy), Edward Blackoff (Chiller), Christie Clark (Children of the Corn II), Lyman Ward (Independance Day, Serial Killer, Sleepwalkers, Mikey, Creature), Allison Barron (The Haunted, Fear, Night of the Demons), Steve Eastin (When a Stranger Calls 2006, Shallow Ground, The Hidden 1 & 2, Robot Wars, Nightmare on the 13th Floor, Night Warning), Brian Wimmer (House of Fears, Attack of the Sabertooth, Beneath Loch Ness), Kerry Remsen (Ghoulies II, Pumpkinhead), Steven Smith (Bad Taste), Tom Tangen (Mansion of Blood, Unknowns). Clu Gulager is one of "those guys" that you generally can't name, but that's in a lot of good genre stuff. Robert Englund, of course, doesn't need me to sing his praises, he's pro. Also, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and John Stamos all auditioned for the part of Jesse, now why do you suppose they picked Hatton? Tee hee. So the acting is pretty good, and I stand by that statement.
The special effects are pretty damn good as well, particularly the scene where Freddy C-sections himself outta Mark Patton. The scene where Fred scalps himself an shows off his grey matter is pretty great too, as is the scene where his head melts into a pile of Bush's Baked Beans. There's a few others, but they're less memorable. Real good special effects, though. The shooting locations are pretty good as well. Big props for using the same house as the original movie, that's nice to see. Other than that though, the only really interesting structure is the abandoned boiler room, which plotwise probably shouldn't exist considering the Elm Street parents burned Fred alive in there. But it's not all that definitive so it's no big deal. It's a nice on scene location, probably not the best boiler room set they've used over the course of the series, but pretty good. They seem to change it every movie, you'd think that with the prospect of always having another sequel in mind they'd have just built one and kept it intact, but it's not too important. The soundtrack isn't too bad, but nor is it all that memorable. I think the reason for that is that it's the only movie in the series to not utilize Charles Bernstein's original theme music, which of course, is the iconic simple little tune that not only stands out, but that is synonomous with the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I suppose that's another thing they wanted to do differently, that was a poor decision. But overall the soundtrack is still a good one that suceeds at building atmosphere at crucial moments and never proves a detriment to what the director was trying to accomplish. So in the end, it's better than most people say it is, but do be advised that much of what people find wrong about it, is accurate. New Line tried something new and it just doesn't go over as well as the movie that precedes it in the series, or many of the sequels that follow. What we've really got here is another one of those instances where people judge too harshly because the original was so good, and they're disappointed. Nothing more, so don't believe everything that you read about it, besides what I tell you.