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Declaring Shenanigans on Elm Street

post #1 of 184
Thread Starter 
SPOILERS AHEAD!



Alright, let me preface this by saying that I understand internal logic is not a primary goal of any slasher series. It's enough that the killer is back in each sequel and hacking up as many nubile teens as possible.* Still, I can't help but attempt to fill in the gaps, build my own fan-wank, if you will.

With that being said, I've recently been working my way through the later day Elm Street movies and it's left me fairly puzzled. In the first and second films, it's pretty evident that, while our protagonists (Nancy and the bedroom-dancing clown) have beaten Freddy back, he's still out there and prepared to menace. In the third, Freddy appears to meet his ultimate demise insofar as his bones are buried in consecrated soil. Now, of course we know this can't be the end... there's simply too much crap--action figures, board games, candy treats, television series, breakfast cereals--that New Line needs to sell the kiddies.

So, along comes The Dream Master. Can someone explain Freddy's resurrection in this film?!? Was the fact that Kristen dreamed about Freddy enough to resurrect him? Was it the dog's napalm urine that did the trick? Anyone have any theories? Regardless, at the climax, we see Freddy again meet his ultimate demise as Alice (imbued with Kristen's dream powers) strips Freddy of all the souls he's taken and they, in turn, tear him to shreds.

Nevertheless, come 1989, we have The Dream Child. This time it appears as though either Freddy (hmmm, isn't he gone and incapable of doing stuff like this) or Alice causes Freddy's ghost mom to give rebirth to him. How, exactly does that work, was it the dream of Ghost Mom that did the trick? Or actual Ghost Mom? Is it because--as we discover at the very end--Freddy's been hiding in Alice all along? Regardless, at the climax, we have Sister Ghost Mom resorb Freddy into her Ghostly Womb like a mother rabbit in an overcrowded warren (What? Go read "Watership Down" if you don't believe me, chowderhead).

And then, as of 1991, we have the final kick to the nuts when we discover that, not only has Freddy continued making bad puns and killing teens, but he's decimated the entire teenybopper population of Springwood. The film doesn't even attempt to explain his return here.

So, what gives? Is there something I'm missing about these films? Is it simply that it's enough to dream of Freddy to resurrect him? Again, I'm not looking for deep meaning or brilliant narrative devices in a slasher flick, but I thought it might be an interesting topic here. Thoughts? Opinions?



*Although I'd argue that, no matter how crudely done, both the Halloween series and the Friday the 13th series attempt to explain the many returns of their respective boogeymen.
post #2 of 184
post #3 of 184
The Winchester Boys didn't fill his guts full of rock salt? Ash didn't banish him into oblivion with the Necronomicon? Ray, Egon, Peter, and Winston couldn't fit him in the containment unit?
post #4 of 184
Absorbing as those theories might be, I think I agree with mattioli's tentative hypothesis, that dreaming of Freddy gives him his power, and is probably what he needs to return. I read & reviewed a piece of fanfic called 'Nightmare on Elm Street: Perchance to Dream" this past fall, and that was the logic there. By the time the novel begins, Freddy's memory is all but gone in the current crop of teens, as no one in town will speak his name, and the adults have done their best to eliminate all trace of him. Any kids that are still around from those times are dosed to their eyeballs in hypnocil (remamber the dream killing drug?) & locked away in an asylum. A shrink reading one of those kids' case files, which mentions his elaborate paranoid delusion about Freddy is enough to bring him back.

But I'm still at a loss to explain how Ghost Mama fits into that scheme.
post #5 of 184
I think that Freddy VS Jason dealt with this rather cleverly (considering). Freddy is basically a god, but he's powerless if people aren't fearing him. He can be sent back to hell, but he'll always find a way back into dreams. He only disappeared after all his victims were dead and the adults stopped talking about the problem.

I also have no explination for his ghost mother, though.
post #6 of 184
Were I to make an Elm Street movie right now, what Iggy's talking about would more or less be my premise. All these ways people come up with to destroy him once and for all are basically meaningless, because in the end, he's a piece of primal mythology. His physical being in the real world is ultimately unimportant. He is, above all, a dream. As long as people dream, he will always find a way back. Any contention that something we've done in the real world has destroyed him is just wishful thinking. Of course, they're going to keep trying anyway.
post #7 of 184
The way I always imagined it, if you piece together the bits of mythology introduced in parts 4 and 6, is that Freddy was given a job by the dream demons and he's actually disobeying orders.

4 introduces the idea that there are two gates in dreams, the nightmare and happy dream gates. Freddy "I've been guarding my gate a long time bitch" Krueger is supposed to guard the nightmare gate, and the dream master is maybe a more abstract concept that inhabits people (Nancy, Kristen, Alice, Freddy's mom) when necessary. I imagine Kristen had somehow tapped into the dream master in part 3, and then maybe sent Nancy's soul to be the guardian of the happy gate at the end of the movie. This is all fanwank, considering actresses wouldn't come back and everything.

So Freddy is only supposed to be a guard dog, but he finds a way to start killing the children of his murderers. The rule seems to be, in parts 1-4, that he is only allowed to kill the "Elm Street kids", because Kristen is the last Elm Street kid (in part 4) and from that point on he has to use someone (Alice, Alice's baby, his daughter Katherine) as a means to get new kills. From that point on he relies on fear alone, rather than a curse against the Elm Street kids, making him more vulnerable. So when he dies in the real world in part 6, only three people (daughter, Yaphet Koto, blond chick) still know he exists and they don't fear him.

Considering Spring Wood was in ruins at the end of Freddy's Dead, but is doing fine in Freddy vs. Jason, we must imagine that the majority of people in town are new citizens. Possibly the government gave people incentives to move there?

Thought about this way too much.
post #8 of 184
Declaring Shenanigans on Elm Street would be a great name for a sequel/remake.
post #9 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misfit View Post
Declaring Shenanigans on Elm Street would be a great name for a sequel/remake.
Sounds like someone has just volunteered to make a fake poster.
post #10 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattioli View Post
Sounds like someone has just volunteered to make a fake poster.
I would, but a kindly art teacher once described my graphic design skills as "a fuckin' catastrophe."
post #11 of 184
ATTENTION FANWANKERY AHEAD

I always imagined the Freddy & Jason chronology to go like this:

Friday the 13th (1-3)
A Nightmare on Elm Street / Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge / Friday the 13th: A New Beginning
Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master / Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood
A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child / Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan

and here's where I deviate from regular release chronology (aka here's where I stop thinking like a normal person)

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
Freddy vs. Jason
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Jason X

FREDDY VS. JASON starts out with Freddy in some sort of limbo with a measure of control over Jason. Jason's mask in pulled in hell by Freddy at the end of JGTH which could explain that. VS ends with Jason brought back to "life" and Freddy back to the minds of the kids of Springwood. This could lead to Springwood being decimated at the start of FD, and Jason being in custody at the start of JX.
post #12 of 184
I like that kind of over analysis, and I think your chronology is sound. If I had the patience I'd actually watch the films in that order some day. I think Jason Goes to Hell is the only one I don't own.

Everyone agrees that New Nightmare takes place in an entirely different universe, right?
post #13 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Powers View Post
Everyone agrees that New Nightmare takes place in an entirely different universe, right?
Oh yes. That much is certain.
post #14 of 184
New Nightmare deals with the same premise, in reverse. Keeping the memory of the boogyman alive in the public concious keeps him at bay. Once Wes Craven (casting himself as the storytelling protector of the world was a nice egotistical touch) stopped making Nightmare movies, the boogyman came back to life. It's too bad the Boogyman doesn't understand the studio system. Instead of attacking the studio executives who have the power to greenlight these films, he attacks the creative teams behind them. As if they weren't utterly replacable. Again, this is just another example of Wes Craven's ego.

The only noble thing for the heroes of the Nightmare movies to do would be to kill Freddy, and then kill themselves, so as to ensure that he wouldn't be dreamt of again. It's like T2, they have that last remnent of Skynet insid themselves. They gotta be slowly lowered into lava.
post #15 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
They gotta be slowly lowered into lava.
I picture Patricia Arquette giving a big ole' sentimental thumbs up as this happens and then I just laugh and laugh.


And Luca, fan-wank or not, your chronology, especially with the later films, makes a ton of sense. It actually explains the unexplained decimation of Springwood nicely. Well done.
post #16 of 184
Yeah, that's some nice work there, Luca.

Why do we have such endless goodwill towards these series? Most of the movies are, let's face it, terrible. But I was genuinely interested in the timeline Luca worked out and I'm really close to hopping over to Amazon to get that Friday the 13th coffee table book. So weird how these movies cross all taste lines.
post #17 of 184
Thanks, dudes. One thing I actually noticed by typing that timeline down is that human Jason dies (in 4) when Freddy first manifests himself as his nightmare self (in 1).
post #18 of 184
That's nice work, but I thought Jason X wasn't supposed to be canon. Or is that not really a concern?
post #19 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by neoolong View Post
That's nice work, but I thought Jason X wasn't supposed to be canon.
Jason X should be shot out of a cannon, into the heart of the sun.
post #20 of 184
As far as The Dream Master is concerned what my foggy brain remembers is that Kristen was obsessed with the idea of Freddy returning, that obsession turned into dreams of the house and the boiler room, which produced fear which empowered Freddy to break out and return.


You could say, technically, Freddy was still around because at the end of Dream Warriors the light in the house clicks on.

Like has been postulated earlier Freddy is never truly dead but can only affect the real world by a. being remembered and b. being fueled by fear.
post #21 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Jim Slade View Post
Jason X should be shot out of a cannon, into the heart of the sun.
I'll take Jason X over Jason Goes to Hell anytime.
post #22 of 184
Exactly.

Jason X was fun and campy as hell.

JGTH would have been decent if the whole movie was as awesome as the beginning. And if they would have had the budget to do the things they wanted to do.

Although it does get points for the vagworm.
post #23 of 184
What did they want to do with Jason Goes to Hell that they weren't able to?

Count me in the "Jason X is fun" camp.
post #24 of 184
The ending was shot to shit and instead of having some sweet stop motion animation and a more epic finale, they had to use the foam rock hands and the shitty ending. There is more, but I haven't read Crystal Lake Memories in awhile and I'm a bit fuzzy.
post #25 of 184
Cool. I need to get that book.
post #26 of 184
It is pretty fantastic, and it makes me yearn for some "non fucked by the MPAA" cuts of the movies. Even if they are just workprints.
post #27 of 184
Thread Starter 
Bumping because I don't think it's necessary to start a new thread for this: what are the rules regarding Freddy's ability to manipulate the real world? Are they consistent? Do they make the remotest bit of sense? I only ask because I rewatched Part 3 last night and was struck by the junkyard scene. In every other instance, Freddy's ability to interface with reality comes as a consequence of his victim being asleep (even Jesse, in Part 2, can only be possessed when he dozes off). In Part 3, however, he leaves the heroes' collective dream to jump into his decayed bones and beat on John Saxon (for shame, Freddy, for shame). What's up with that? Is it because, as he says, the childrens' souls have made him powerful? I mean, why doesn't he just possess his bones more often?!?

Eh, not really looking for any response. Just thought it was kind of curious.
post #28 of 184
He made a parakeet explode in part 2!!!

HOW???



and WHY???
post #29 of 184
No, the gay kid did it with fire crackers.
post #30 of 184
There was about a 17 year gap from NOES 5 to Freddy's dead. Joe Doe in FD was to have been Jacob Alice's son. That's enough time to have the town try to get rid of dreams and fail
post #31 of 184
I have a question about part 2. Who thinks dancing to the song "Touch me (All night Long)" is a proper form of rebellion against Clu Gulager? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=977jBCk5qBM

Also, I haven't watched part two in forever but the repressed homosexuality stuff makes the movie much more interesting to watch now that I've gotten older.
post #32 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Long View Post
Also, I haven't watched part two in forever but the repressed homosexuality stuff makes the movie much more interesting to watch now that I've gotten older.
By "repressed", do you mean "blowing a load right in your face"? Because there's nothing latent about the homosexuality in Part 2.
post #33 of 184
And thank God, because without it Freddy's Revenge would be pretty dull.
post #34 of 184
I was referring more toward the character of Jesse's repressed sexuality, and Freddy being the force trying to bring it out of him. The film itself is obviously here, queer, and telling us to get used to it. I find it very hard to believe the director when he says that he had no idea his film could be read that way, but I agree that it's pretty much the only thing the film has going for it.

One more question that the first post touches on: I know that character resurrection is never a slasher films strong suit, but is the fiery dog piss in The Dream Master the most inexplicable way to bring back the main character in a major slasher series?
post #35 of 184
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter has absolutely no explanation at all. Up to that point, Jason wasn't undead. So when he just wakes up in the morgue and starts killing folks again, there's absolutely no explanation.

I think that's the winner.
post #36 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter has absolutely no explanation at all. Up to that point, Jason wasn't undead. So when he just wakes up in the morgue and starts killing folks again, there's absolutely no explanation.

I think that's the winner.
So he never drowned (till he was dead) as a kid? I'm not as versed in FRIDAY mythology as I am in NOES.
post #37 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8 View Post
So he never drowned (till he was dead) as a kid? I'm not as versed in FRIDAY mythology as I am in NOES.
Nope! He was just a survivalist retard living in the woods surrounding Camp Crystal Lake. In Part II, this is explained via campfire scary story.

And my vote for oddest resurrection goes to the whole Cult of Thorn (or whatever the hell it was) in the Halloween series. I think that's entirely self-explanatory.
post #38 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8 View Post
So he never drowned (till he was dead) as a kid? I'm not as versed in FRIDAY mythology as I am in NOES.
F13: Jason drowned as a kid, mother gets revenge, then gets decapitated.
F13 P2: Wait a second, what if he never actually drowned? And what if he saw his mom's head get chopped off? This installment's ending is very incoherent, but Jason isn't killed at the end of it.
F13 P3: Jason hunts unrelated group of teenagers not connected with any kind of camp, they don't know who he is, what he's doing, etc. He gets an axe to the head for his troubles.
F13 P4: Opens on the aftermath of part 3, Jason is taken away to the morgue, which means paramedics checked his vital signs and he was determined dead as disco. Then he gets up and starts killing again. No bolt of lightning, no druid curse, nothing.

I actually really appreciate it because it's basically the screenwriters going "You know he's coming back, you don't care how he comes back, we're not going to waste your time." Thus, Undead Jason was born.

As for NoES 4, I always assumed that it was the dream of the junkyard that revived him, and the dog piss was just a weird way he decided to present himself. I never thought the piss itself revived him.
post #39 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8 View Post
So he never drowned (till he was dead) as a kid? I'm not as versed in FRIDAY mythology as I am in NOES.
Not to move away from the real subject of the thread, but he did drown, but then he didn't, but not really, because he did and he was resurrected, but he's not really supernatural (until part 6). Hope that cleared everything up.

What part 2 does is have Ginny (Amy Steel) opining about the legend of Jason and sort of half-ass suggesting that he was resurrected the night his mother was killed but it's clear that the filmmakers didn't want to commit to anything overtly supernatural. In other words, the answer is, and has always been, bad screenwriting.
post #40 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll View Post
As for NoES 4, I always assumed that it was the dream of the junkyard that revived him, and the dog piss was just a weird way he decided to present himself. I never thought the piss itself revived him.
And, thus, the cycle is complete. See Post No. 1 and subsequent discussion (and that's not meant to sound dickish, by the way).
post #41 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post
Not to move away from the real subject of the thread, but he did drown, but then he didn't, but not really, because he did and he was resurrected, but he's not really supernatural (until part 6). Hope that cleared everything up.


I'm Freddy. The basketball is logic.
post #42 of 184
It's all about the journey, not the destination.
post #43 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post
Not to move away from the real subject of the thread, but he did drown, but then he didn't, but not really, because he did and he was resurrected, but he's not really supernatural (until part 6). Hope that cleared everything up.

What part 2 does is have Ginny (Amy Steel) opining about the legend of Jason and sort of half-ass suggesting that he was resurrected the night his mother was killed but it's clear that the filmmakers didn't want to commit to anything overtly supernatural. In other words, the answer is, and has always been, bad screenwriting.
One way I was wondering if they'd go in the new F13 (which they didn't) is to explore Crystal Lake itself. Maybe Jason is resurrected because of some Indian mojo that was in the lake, that brings back the dead if they are wronged, or their family was wronged, etc. Like the lake was created over an ancient burial ground and had like some quasi-Pet Semetary effect.
post #44 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Powers View Post
No, the gay kid did it with fire crackers.
Methinks you remember incorrectly...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR7WW6200mg

It was clearly bird rabies. Must have been that bird seed.
post #45 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martianman View Post
One way I was wondering if they'd go in the new F13 (which they didn't) is to explore Crystal Lake itself. Maybe Jason is resurrected because of some Indian mojo that was in the lake, that brings back the dead if they are wronged, or their family was wronged, etc. Like the lake was created over an ancient burial ground and had like some quasi-Pet Semetary effect.
If you read Wildstorm's Friday the 13th (yeah, I picked up the first trade...sigh), that's pretty much exactly what happens.

Also, DM8, Jesse's delivery of the line "My God, it is hot as an oven in here!" is perfection. It never fails to get a laugh out of me.
post #46 of 184
Jason's not undead in part 4. Crystal Lake just has incompetent medics. That one dude was watching aerobics the whole time.
post #47 of 184
Doesn't Hatchet-head Jason disappear like a ninja while the Final Girl has her back turned at the end of 3? I figured the paramedics at the beginning of The Final Friday pick him up after he's simply passed out from blood loss, like a deer that runs another 5 miles after getting hit with a car.
post #48 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post
Doesn't Hatchet-head Jason disappear like a ninja while the Final Girl has her back turned at the end of 3? I figured the paramedics at the beginning of The Final Friday pick him up after he's simply passed out from blood loss, like a deer that runs another 5 miles after getting hit with a car.
You are mixing up Ninja III: The Domination, Pray For Death, and Friday the 13th Part 3...

Jason stayed where he was "slayed". In the barn. Until the paramedics pick him up at the beginning of The Final Chapter.
post #49 of 184
I just noticed this: in the horrible videogame in FREDDY'S DEAD Breckin Meyer is slapped with a wet towel. A reference to FREDDY'S REVENGE?

Also: in the opening of FREDDY'S DEAD Freddy is a witch. In NEW NIGHTMARE Nancy reads a witch story to her son and kills Freddy just like the witch is killed in said book.
post #50 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Myers View Post
Also: in the opening of FREDDY'S DEAD Freddy is a witch. In NEW NIGHTMARE Nancy reads a witch story to her son and kills Freddy just like the witch is killed in said book.
I've read that they wanted Freddy to be very "witchlike" since part two. Not just thematically, but also physically. Exaggerating the nose, etc.
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