A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
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Five more reasons to see Dream Warriors, below!
Joey, the silent kid with the random teardrop tattoo that for some reason only appears in one scene, suffers from the same nightmares as everyone else. But the bad dreams didn’t stop him from having good ones, and when he gets the chance to nail Impossibly Attractive Nurse, he goes for it.
Of course, Impossibly Attractive Nurses aren’t typically fond of psychopathic teenage mutes, so Joey may be in for more than he bargained for…
The scene is hilarious. Impossibly Attractive Nurse invites Joey to unzip her uniform, and as he does, he looks like Ralphie unwrapping the goddamned Red Ryder BB gun. Then they make out, and I must confess – as a eleven-year-old watching this crazy movie late at night in my bedroom – I thought this was all pretty hawt.
Of course, the nurse is actually Freddy in disguise, who merges “her” tongue with Joey’s, and then uses more tongues to chain the kid up. Joey would then spend a fair portion of the movie helplessly hovering over the fiery pits of hell. Active libidos and horror movies do not mix.
(Fun fact: Originally, the nurse was supposed to morph into Freddy much more gradually. They killed that concept after realizing that the sight of Freddy Krueger’s head on a bare-chested woman was simply too much, even for an Elm Street movie.)
Will Stanton is the best. There are a lot of likeable characters in Dream Warriors, but Will’s the most likably likeable of all.
Prior to the movie’s events, a suicidal leap left Will in a wheelchair. But in his dreams, not only can he walk, but Will can also perform magic! Influenced by the roleplaying games he loves so much, Will becomes THE WIZARD MASTER – a tall, sturdy mage who turns marbles to moths and shoots green lightning from his hands!
Okay, so Will’s new powers weren’t much of a match for Freddy. He only succeeded in stunning him, and destroying a spiky wheelchair. Still, for a moment, we really believed that he was going to be okay.
Will is also the least-deserving of all of Freddy’s victims. Even the snarkiest of the snarky don’t cheer when Will dies.
Will may have been the film’s most likeable character, but Taryn was my personal favorite. A former drug addict with a heart of gold, Taryn was cute, weird, and bursting at the seams with awesomely ridiculous lines that adhered to no common rules regarding pitch or cadence. (“It was MURDER! DON’T you understand? THAT bastard murdered HIM!”)
Sadly for Taryn, her dream power was pretty weak. I mean, Will got to shoot lightning. Kincaid could bend steel. Even stupid Joey eventually figured out that he could scream loud enough to shatter glass.
But what did Taryn get? A mohawk and a pair of switchblades. And that’s IT.
Taryn barely lasted a minute against Freddy, who used her past against her by turning old track marks into hungry little mouths. Then he injected Taryn with what I’m guessing was super mega nightmare poison, since it instantly made her face extra veiny.
Keep in mind, Will and Taryn’s deaths happen one right after another. Those are a rough few minutes for me! Will and Taryn should have survived, man. Ira Friedman and Jennifer Rubin should have been in every Elm Street film since 1987. Maybe that can be my dream power? In my dreams, Will and Taryn will spend A Nightmare on Elm Street 17 on Christmas Island, catching crabs and playing air hockey. There will be no Freddy in sight. Just rum punch and good times for 90 minutes straight.
Hah, this scene. I understand its place in the movie (long story, but it leads to Freddy’s death), but it still feels so incredibly superfluous. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to write “superfluous.”
While Freddy is tormenting the kids in their dreams, Dr. Neil Gordon and Donald Thompson mess around with his real life remains. This summons Freddy’s attention, whose bones form together and attack. This ends with one of the best little moments in movie history:
After knocking out Dr. Gordon, the Freddy skeleton grabs a shovel and begins to bury him. Even though Dr. Gordon is nowhere near thoroughly buried, the Freddy skeleton stops short, celebrates his grand victory, and falls to pieces all over again.
The skeleton’s “arms in the air” gesture of triumph is absolutely bitchin’. Granted, Freddy had other business to attend to, but had his bones spent even one more minute tossing dirt on the guy, he would’ve won the final battle!
(Or maybe I misread the scene, and the skeleton was actually frustrated about having to end the burial early. I’d prefer to think that he was doing a happy dance. Just let me have this, okay?)
Freddy’s “Chest of Souls” wasn’t just some cool effect. It helped us understand why being killed by Freddy was such a raw deal. As if being murdered wasn’t enough, the souls of the kids Freddy kills actually become parts of him, feeding Freddy energy with their eternal torment. It’s a fate way worse than death.
I love how casual Freddy is about it. “Oh by the way guys… I have heads on my chest.” Freddy’s “Chest of Souls” would play an even bigger part in the Elm Street series after Dream Warriors, and was such a memorable visual that someone eventually got the idea to turn it into a Halloween costume. I can’t believe I don’t own that. 🙁
There. Now you have ten reasons to see Dream Warriors. If you want eleven, I’ll mention that Laurence Fishburne is hiding somewhere in the film, too.
It’s the ultimate ‘80s horror movie, and still one of the first films I seek out whenever I’m in the mood for one of “those nights.” You know the kind. Dark and stormy. A chance to pretend I’m thirteen-and-loving-it. Blankets, dimmed lights and popcorn.
And hey, speaking of popcorn!
If this review inspired you to spend a night with Dream Warriors, I’ve done my job. Why not make some Freddy Krueger popcorn to go along with it?
Enjoy the movie, enjoy the weird popcorn, and enjoy the part where Kincaid opines that it’s time to “kick the motherfucker’s ass all over dreamland.”
Many of the Elm Street movies are great, but Dream Warriors is the only one that would motivate me to spend two full days building an online tribute. Te amo, Fred Krueger!