Robin Pierce OnLine
Addressing the Geek Nation......
Friday the 13th Pt VIII - Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Friday the 13th Pt VII - The New Blood (1988)
Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
Friday the 13th Pt VI - Jason Lives (1986)
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
Friday the 13th Pt V - A New Beginning (1985)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 - The Dream Child (1989)
Sleepaway Camp III - Teenage Wasteland (1989)
Friday the 13th Part IV - The Final Chapter (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 - The Dream Master (1988)
Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers (1988)
Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - Dream Warriors (1987)
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
The Burning (1981)
Friday the 13th (1980)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
April Fool's Day (1986)
Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 - Freddy's Revenge (1985)

“You are all my children now!” – Freddy Krueger

The 80s - A Nightmare on Elm Street Series #12 - The man of your dreams! -  Fan Forum

As I recall, the original Nightmare didn’t exactly break any box office records on its cinema release, it made its money via word of mouth on its home video release, home video rentals being the big new revolution in the early to mid-eighties. But it made enough for New Line to greenlight a sequel.

Writer/director Wes Craven wasn’t involved, the studio wanted to cast a cheaper, unknown and anonymous actor in the role of Freddy literally believing that anyone in a mask would do and a whole new direction would be taken for the character.

Taken in order, Craven was wise to keep his distance, the new actor didn’t work out and only one shot of him remains in the film, Robert Englund returned, and the new direction turned out to be a largely confusing and messy entry in the series that Englund did his best with.

But the film isn’t a total write-off, it’s weak, but watchable and if you don’t start examining, questioning and prodding it’s fun. The trouble is, as soon as you start delving in it’s hard to stop and the film falls apart.

Let’s kick off with points of trivia. Here in the sequel, we have the first mention of Elm Street other than in the title. The street isn’t actually mentioned by any cast member in the first film. Another bit of trivia, the title is nonsensical. Freddy doesn’t take revenge on anybody. He’s just…there. None of the characters in this film bear any relation to any from the first film. So, he’s not retaliating to anything anybody has done to him in the past, he’s never met this lot before - he’s just finding new victims. And his means of attack differs as we’ll see. And incidentally, it’s the first time he’s referred to as “Freddy” – he was only called “Fred” in the previous film.

The film starts off serenely enough in a suburban setting as a yellow school bus is taking students home from their day at school. (Eagle eyed viewers might notice a “blink and you’ll miss” it long shot of Robert Englund minus make-up as the bus driver, which is an awesome touch given what happens next.) The lone student at the back seems in a zombie state, dark circles under his eyes, and he’s the subject of giggling to the two girls remaining on the bus – until the bus gathers speed, drives off into a desert, it immediately becomes night as the bus stops, the earth falls away around it and supported by a column of rocks, the vehicle appeared balance precariously above hell. The driver reveals himself to be Freddy Krueger. Stalking his cowering prey, he lunges and….

It's breakfast time. We have the Walsh family – the epitome of suburban normality, their meal disturbed by the shrill scream of their eldest child, Jesse (Mark Patton) as he wakes up from his nightmare, soaked in sweat. Going downstairs, he sees his kid sister wearing claw-like novelty fingers from her breakfast cereal which remind him of his dream.

At this point in the film, we’re on familiar territory – sort of. Freddy is infesting a young person’s dreams. His motive is unknown – BUT the family have just moved into 1428 Elm Street, the Thompson’s old house. And we’re told that this film takes place five years after the first.  Nancy Thompson’s diary is found, detailing some of the events of the original movie, including Glen’s murder and her dreams involving Freddy.

But then we get a little derailed and the line between what’s happening in the real world and the dream work becomes a little blurry. Things happen around the house, the boiler comes alight by itself, Jesse discovers Freddy’s glove, and meets Freddy himself who says they have important work to do. One of their pet parakeets spontaneously combusts (I’ve never had a parakeet, but I’m assuming the bursting into flames unexpectedly isn’t part of their normal behaviour)

But dream-like as it seems, all these events all seem to have happened in real-life. Along with a weird incident in class, where during a biology lesson, Jesse falls asleep, and finds himself in the coils of a boa constrictor. But he wakes up, and he’s still in its coils. Somehow – this snake, which appears to be around seven feet long, got out of its vivarium, made its was through the classroom to Jesse and wrapped itself around him without ANYBODY, including the teacher, noticing. (Come ON, guys – that’s pushing it!)

Jesse’s father’s exasperation is set to high when one rainy night, Jesse is brought home by the police, naked apart from the blanket he’s wrapped in. Now, this sequence starts as a dream, with Jesse walking to an S&M bar and encountering his sadistic sports teacher there. The teacher, Schneider (Marshall Bell) takes Jesse back to the school gym and makes him run some laps before sending him to the shower. Then as the lone teen is showering, Schneider is attacked by sports equipment and dragged by some skipping ropes to the showers, where he’s stripped and towel whipped by an invisible force, until Freddy arrives and gouges the Coach’s back with his blade glove. This scene incidentally - shown below - is the one clip remaining of the other, un-named actor who was originally cast as Freddy. 

Virgin Media Store | A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge

The As the steam clears, it’s Jesse wearing the glove. Nothing else, just the glove. And the police presumably find him wandering along the road later. (No idea where he’s hidden the glove at this point).next morning, Coach Schneider is found dead in the gym, tied up and slashed. Incidentally, there seems to be ongoing police investigation – the whole Schneider thing ends with this scene. (Even the clueless father doesn’t seem to catch on that there might be a link between the son’s curious behaviour, being delivered home naked and his son’s sports coach being slaughtered in a similar state of undress on the same night. The police don’t follow it up either.)

Jesse’s would-be girlfriend Lisa (Kim Myers) is holding a pool party at her parents’ house. Jesse leaves after a bizarre make-out session with Lisa, where his tongue seems to extend to about two feet long. (Other than being a weird echo of the phone scene from the original film, I just didn’t understand it – it’s actually more comedic than horrifying.) He goes to his friend Grady’s house, and asks Grady, who has been grounded by his parents for some reason, to watch him while he sleeps. Grady agrees – but soon falls asleep himself, waking up to find Jesse’s body being torn apart as Freddy steps out of it. Literally steps out of a torn apart body. So, this has been a possession movie all along, and now Freddy is in complete control.

A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge 1985 – My Own Personal  Hell

Grady screams for his life as Freddy slashes him, while Grady’s parents knock frantically at the door, unable to get in. (Seriously? They didn’t notice Jesse walk in through their house and go to their sleeping son’s bedroom? They didn’t hear the shouting argument both boys have just had before Freddy came along?) They call the police, who arrive – but somehow fail to make sure there’s nobody watching the window that Freddy (who turns back in to Jesse despite having torn the guy’s body in two) escapes easily through.

Freddy of course crashes the pool party… um…. But didn’t he turn back into Jesse somehow?

Anyhow, Freddy makes an impact, flames everywhere – teens slashed and killed, Lisa’s father tries to shoot him with a shotgun, multiple casualties and fatalities and…er… no police. Fire, screams, gunfire and not one neighbour thought to call the cops.

Lisa decides to confront Krueger…or Jesse at the site of the factory where Freddy killed his twenty or so victims in the boiler room years ago. Cornered by Freddy, she professes her love for Jesse and kisses Krueger on the fetid lips, and he starts to bleed before bursting into flames, leaving Jesse in his ashes. (And that, honestly is what happens – Freddy Krueger is defeated with a kiss. Where he suddenly got the ability to possess people, I don’t know.)

But the horror isn’t over yet, and neither is the confusion.

Next scene, Jesse is going to school, catching the bus and joins his friends (including the recently slaughtered Grady so it might be a dream) and they talk about what a GREAT party it was (you mean the one where all your friends got butchered, you airhead?) when Freddy’s gloved hand appears suddenly, the bus gathers speed and they’re out in the desert again and that’s where the film ends.

Jesse doesn’t seem to be under arrest for the murders of Schneider or Grady – and nothing is made of the mass murder at the party. It’s a hollow ending for a hollow film. Some of the effects are pretty good, but as I said, it doesn’t stand up to any examination.

But as we’ll find out, the third time was the charm and Freddy would return to his normal modus operandi to find and torment his victims. Until then, sweet dreams. 

Robert England Story': Doc About Freddy Krueger Actor Wraps Shoot – Deadline

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