Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Nightmare on Elm Street

It's funny when a movie you used to love from your childhood is re-made so quickly in your lifetime. A Nightmare on Elm Street came out in 1984. It spawned 8 movies and a short-lived tv series, Freddy's Nightmares which came on the same night as Friday the 13th - The Series (which I loved). I was heavily into the supernatural horror movies then -- even writing horror at the time. Poltergeist, starring my favorite actress, Jobeth Williams, was my favorite movie of all time. And, still is. (More on that later.) I don't know what got me into the theater in 1984, but I instantly fell in love with the Elm Street series. Looking back, it was a low budget horror movie with a twist: the villain, Freddy Krueger, could kill you in your dreams! If he killed you in your dreams, then you were dead FOREAL!!!! Bwha-ha-ha-ha! It wasn't the burned face, red and green sweater/fedora wearing, Freddy Krueger who wore knives as fingers and delivered badly timed, gut-wrenching and sometimes gut-splitting, puns that enthralled me. It was its heroine, Nancy Thompson, played by the beautiful, Heather Langenkamp. The first movie's catch phrase was a sputtered, defiant warning from Nancy to a verrrrry young Johnny Depp, "Whatever you do --- don't-fall-asleep!" And, some of us didn't.

I was into the heroines fighting the good fight. (Like Kirsty Cotton [Ashley Laurence] from the Hellraiser movies.) It was never about the villains. Not the bastards who would try to kill them or destroy the world. It was always about saving the day. Bloodied, battered, sliced up and nearly defeated, they would battle through hell in their tattered,horrible 80s fashions to an even worse, blaring 80s soundtrack and save the world. I never cheered on Freddy's witty banter as he "creatively" sliced up dreaming teens. It was always about Nancy's courage. It was always about her saving the day. When she returned in the third movie, "Dream Warriors," I nearly fainted. Nancy was back! Then, there was Kristen (originally played by Patricia Arquette, then Tuesday Knight) who had the uber-cool ability to pull people into her dreams. And finally, Alice (Lisa Wilcox) who rivaled Nancy in the bravery department.

The other night, I found out about the new movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street for 2010. I won't say I cringed. I think I just sighed heavily. Is nothing scared?!? Is NOTHING?!? (Fist raised skyward, shaking in rage.) But then, I decided --- Hmph. Okay. Rooney Mara plays my beloved Nancy Thompson. Some things look the same, so it's definitely a remake. I think it incorporates some things from the other movies. Whatever the case, I'm onboard. I don't have any general comments to make about the trailer. I'll have to let go some things and open my mind, as always, and just enjoy.

1984. 2009. (Doing the math here ....) Shit. It's been --- 25 years!!! Damn. (Getting old.) I guess it might be time for a new generation to discover Freddy Krueger. Hope I'm this understanding when it comes to the Poltergeist remake. Speaking of which --- it's actually happening!!!! Once again, reserving judgment. It will be interesting to see what they do with it. Especially with today's special effects. The corpses will probably be climbing out of their coffins. Tobe Hooper & Steven Speilberg's Poltergeist (1982) was a movie which really changed my life. I took it waaaay seriously. For the remake, I'm just hoping for a good movie. Who knows, maybe it will reboot the franchise. I always wondered what a grown up Carol Ann (played by child star Heather O'Rourke) would have been like in a sequel. Oh, come on. If you grew up in the 80s like me, you would have seen that one coming, too had the poor girl not died as a child.

4 comments:

.::RoCkii*BoXxE::. said...

Im just soooooooo tired of remakes....just tired.....ugh!

Victor Hodge said...

Sighing with you. I'm there, too. I think I just gave in on Nightmare. I bought The Amityville Horror (2005) and no disrespect to its stars, but it was absolutely horrible. Hollywood acts like it's out of ideas, but won't allow audiences anything new. The standards have shifted. Everything has to be an instant mega hit.

Dallas Goodbar said...

Hollyweird is a fucked-up town. The studios will not invest in a movie unless it has a big star attached or a remake. There are actors and writers looking to change that at the grass roots level. As for Poltergeist: any idea if they'll be using actual human remains like the last films?

Victor Hodge said...

Hollywood is fucked up because it realizes that American audiences have a verrrry short attention span and like being re-fed the same regurgitated crap. It's shameful. Hollywood needs to change what it considers to be a success and actually deal with pushing and promoting the right movies. It was like the Federal Government pass/fail system. Blockbuster/flop. It's too bad. As for Poltergeist --- OMG - I had completely forgotten about that little factoid. I'm sure nobody would get away with that again.