31 Days of Horror Cinema

31 Days of Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3

a nightmare on elm street 3

31+ Days of Horror. 33 Horror Movies. 33 Reviews. Hooptober Challenges and Bonus Tasks.
View my 2016 Cinema Shame/Hoop-Tober Watch Pile Shame-a-thon Statement here.

Nature of Shame:
Unseen sequel

Hoop-tober Challenge Checklist:
Decade – 1980’s


#24. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors


a nightmare on elm street 3 poster


Clearly my complaints about A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 have been heard. Action has been taken. Dream Warriors forces Freddy back into the proper dreamscapes. A certain logic about the fear of sleep / the little death of nighttime slumber! Huzzah! I’m an influential bl-gger!

Wes Craven returns as a writer after being absent for Freddy’s Revenge, and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 does indeed correct the most egregious wrongs about Part 2. I’m not saying the two are connected, but the two are connected. Freddy’s playful menace comes back (viagra?) along with some legitimate, earned tension. Robert England appears to have fun here and abstains from knocking over any China cabinets or setting parakeets on fire.

Tormented girl from the original Nightmare Heather Langenkamp returns as some variety of psychoanalyst to help an institution full of “insane” kids who all happen to be having Freddy Kreuger-brand nightmares. Heather and the gang assemble an army of “dream warriors” to unite their dreams and go after Freddy together. They form like Sandman Voltron. A killer high-concept premise with terrific practical effects spoiled by a few minor issues.

a nightmare on elm street 3
Even Zsa Zsa Gabor gets it.

Okay. Maybe not sooooo minor… but it’s not a flaming hot dog. Chuck Russell (The Blob, The Mask) made his directorial debut here with A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and it’s quite clear he couldn’t help an actor find the craft services table, let alone their motivation. Heather Langenkamp, who proved capable of carrying a film in A Nightmare on Elm Street, delivers line readings that wouldn’t seem out of place in a low-budget pornographic film.

So maybe Heather and Chuck didn’t gel. Whatever. It happens. Except it also happened with everyone else in the film, including Patricia Arquette, John Saxon, and on down the line until you’ve got wheelchair-bound Will screaming at Freddy Kreuger about being a “Wizard Master.” Only Laurence Fishburne survives because Laurence Fishburn doesn’t give a damn about your direction, Chuck; he’s going to read lines like Laurence goddamn Fishburne.

a nightmare on elm street 3 skeleton
I needed more stop-motion skeleton.

So the acting gets dodgy and distracting, and John Saxon goes non-sequitur tinkerbell, but overall A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors delivers what we want out of a fun and freakyish Nightmare movie.

Freddy holds court. Slick special effects, including a stop-motion Freddy skeleton that could have made Harryhausen nod in silent appreciation. Don’t underestimate the importance of consistent dream logic and reasonable guidelines for Freddy’s ability to reach into the real world.

Final Thought: Entertaining but hugely flawed is marked improvement over dumb and dumber.


30Hz Movie Rating:

a nightmare on elm streetAvailability: The A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection is available everywhere.


Earlier 2016 31 Days of Horror entries: #1. Vampyros Lesbos / #2. A Chinese Ghost Story / #3. The Haunting of Morella / #4. Delirium (1972) / #5. A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin / #6. She-Wolf of London / #7. Son of Frankenstein / #8. Killerfish / #9. The Bride of Re-Animator / #10. A Bay of Blood / #11. The Seventh Victim / #12. The Fly (1958) / #13. The Fly (1986) / #14. Deep Red / #15. Dracula’s Daughter / #16. Day of the Animals / #17. The Unknown / #18. Kuroneko / #19. Komodo / #20. Tremors / #21. Tremors 2 / #22. A Nightmare on Elm Street / #23. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge