Monday, May 16, 2011

Freddy's Nightmares Review: Part Three

Well folks, it’s been a little while since we took a trip to good ‘ol Springwood. What do you say we drop in and find out what Freddy’s up to. This time around we’ve got Brad Pitt, some nice muscle cars, Springwoods second serial killer, gratuitous melting Gumby, and Krueger doing the most ridiculous stuff we’ve seen yet, and that includes the Wicked Witch scene in Freddy’s Dead! Intrigued? I knew you would be. By the way, if you go to youtube, some of these episodes can be viewed in their entirety.

Episode 9: Rebel Without a Car

Alex is a young boy. He just wants to leave this town, but he works at Beefy Boy and has no car to get around. He finds a car abandoned. He fixes it up real sweet, but this car has a secret and he just might be dead meat. Ok, now go back and read those 4 sentences to the tune of “18 and Life” by Skid Row. How many of you actually just did it? Those who did are the coolest readers EVER! Anyway, the second half of the episode involves Connie, Alex’s girlfriend, going off to college. She pledges a snobby sorority, and is abused by the other sisters. Will a horrible fate befall them? This is Springwood. What do you think? This is a pretty good episode. The acting is decent. We get a lot of funny as hell 80’s rocker hair and some damn cool muscle cars. We also get the awesome line “Yeah, but I give good burger.” Said with a straight face no less. Katie Barberi, who plays Connie, reminded me of a mix between Heather Lagencamp and Lisa Wilcox for some reason. I think she kinda looks like Heather with Lisa’s eyes. Either way, she gives the best performance of the episode. In addition to this being one of the more coherent episodes, it features Freddy popping out of an underwear drawer. The sight of Freddy with a pair of granny panties hanging off of his burned visage is just plain classic. Good stuff. As an added bonus, I tracked down the original commercial for this episode. Enjoy.

Episode 10: The Bride Wore Red

Gavin is getting married, but he’s getting cold feet. His friends take him out to a bar for his bachelor party. In one scene the three buddies are sitting at a table doing shots. One shot later the three buddies and a random skeleton are sitting at the table doing shots. No one ever addresses the fact that the skeleton is there and no one is dreaming yet. Um…ok. He dreams of a stripper who puts him in an iron maiden and calls him out on his fears. A mysterious woman in red appears at his wedding, and he fantasizes about a night with her which does not go as expected. The second half involves the new bride, who is melting down over her parents’ upcoming divorce. She gets her jollies by seducing married men, tying him down, taking Polaroids, and then calling their wives. Why? Because her daddy cheated and keeping his secret drove her crazy, of course. Has one of these man tracked her down for revenge, or is it only a dream? The first half of this episode is boring. BORING!!! I kept waiting for something interesting to happen and it finally did, in the second half. The second half was actually pretty entertaining, with an especially effective childhood themed dream sequence. The saving grace of this episode is Freddy’s off the wall antics. We get a Krueger-in-the-box. We have Freddy and the flaming bouquet. There’s Freddy chained to a bed talking about the “ties that bind, the chains of love.” Funny, I always pictured Freddy as a Dom. We also get Krueger, clad in huge plastic 80’s shades and a RunDMC chain, scratching on a turntable and calling himself “Rapmaster Freddy.” I tried hard to find a picture of that for you folks. I’ll keep trying. It’s great. Half of this episode is awful, half is pretty good, but the whole thing pales in comparison to the funniest Freddy moments this side of “Put that in your VCR and suck on it.”

Episode 11: Do Dreams Bleed?

What the hell are they putting in the water over there in Springwood? First Freddy, now there’s The Springwood Chopper, the city’s resident axe murderer. This town just can’t catch a break. John, the star of Springwood High’s football team, found the Chopper’s last victim, and now he’s unraveling mentally and having dreams about the Chopper killing his parents and Roni, his girlfriend. The football coach catches him trying to chop his girlfriend up, exposing that John is the Chopper…or is he? Institutionalized now, John starts calling to Roni in her dreams, telling her that he’s innocent. Could someone have set John up? Sounds like a good premise, huh? Well, it’s completely wasted. The twist is obvious from the first 5 minutes, and then they even screw that up in the end. There are long periods of time where absolutely nothing happens, and there are a couple of scenes that happen over and over. They beat you over the head with an obvious twist, and then don’t pay it off. The only thing that stops this episode from being boring is when it’s irritating. It’s a pity too, the story had potential. Feel free to skip this episode.

Episode 12: The End of the World

Amy’s mother had a terrible accident and died when Amy was just a little girl. Her best friend may or may not have been paralyzed in the same accident. That’s the world of Freddy’s Nightmares folks. Things don’t ever just happen, they “may or may not” happen. Screw logic. Anyway, she discovers that by saving her mother and friend in her dream, she can alter history and save them in real life. Has she never seen any time travel movie? Her altering of history has unexpected tragic effects. Imagine that! In the second half, Amy dreams about a nuclear disaster, even discovering a classified launch code in the dream. She tells her doctor, played by George Lazenby, who is apparently no longer on Her Majesty’s secret service. He calls some buddies in the CIA, and pretty soon they want Amy to work for them, using her psychic abilities to avert a nuclear disaster. This is one of the few episodes to follow the same character throughout both halves. I guess they chose the right gal for a freaked out psychic, ‘cause Mary Kohnert, who plays Amy, is creepy. She has those psycho eyes. The kind that freak even me out. She’s a pretty good actress though. Everyone else in the second half, with the exception of Lazenby, is awful however. Especially the guys playing the CIA operatives; they may be the worst actors in the series so far, and that’s saying something. The nuclear war storyline comes off as dated and a little hokey today, but in 1987 at the height of The Cold War, it was probably timely and poignant. The episode doesn’t actually make much sense, but at this time anything involving nukes and Russia would sell. I thought it was a nice touch and nod to the cinefiles watching to cast a former James Bond in the international political intrigue episode. We also get a couple of fun cold war moments with our favorite bastard son of 100 maniacs, with a mushroom cloud coming out of Freddy’s head and Freddy riding a missile towards earth Dr. Strangelove style. Oh, let’s not forget the gratuitous random, melting, screaming Gumby I mentioned earlier. This one’s a fun episode and a good 80’s time capsule.

Episode 14: Black Tickets

I still have absolutely no idea what that title is supposed to mean. It has nothing to do with the story at all. Anyway, Rick and Miranda are having a horrible wedding night. First their car breaks down in the redneck side of Springwood. Did you know Springwood had a redneck side? Neither did I. As they walk to a pay phone, they get robbed at gunpoint by the rapping granny from The Wedding Singer and her husband. Yes, it really is her. They can’t pay the tow truck, because their parents have cut their credit cards off for eloping. The wedding night seems saved when a couple of creepy rednecks give them the honeymoon suite at their equally creepy hotel free of charge. I won’t give away the rest of the story, but it involves a Jacuzzi full of piranhas, cupid, a conveniently abandoned van, saunas, axes, and the following classic exchange…

Rick: “I killed two cops!”

Miranda: “But you were only gone 20 minutes!”

The second half involves Miranda having nightmares stemming from her fears that she may be pregnant. Her dreams include a WWII era Japanese “Post Partum Sleep Deprivation Camp for Unprepared Mothers” and a completely out of nowhere barbershop quartet number. This is definitely one of the more energetically weird and goofy episodes. Rick is played by a young Brad Pitt. This was even before Cutting Class. This episode also includes one of the worst cover-ups for a budget constraint ever. They obviously didn’t have the money to blow up a car, so it drives behind a hill and suddenly smoke rises from behind said hill. No sound effect or anything. We only know the car blew up by the black smudges on the surviving character’s face. Gotta love it. In the second half, they show two items that I believe were made especially for the show, being a cool Freddy nightlight and a Freddy coo-coo clock. If they merchandised either one of those, especially the clock, I would buy them in a heartbeat. Hint Hint New Line! This is not a technically great episode, but for the cheese lovers it doesn’t get any better. Did I mention Freddy with feathers sticking out of his head? Good stuff.

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