Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 073: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) — Franchise Review Part 4 of 5

Nightmare 6 and 7 Artwork

As October wears on, so does our coverage of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET FRANCHISE on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… This is Episode 073. During this show, you’ll hear in-depth reviews of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), with special guests Ron Martin of The Resurrection of Zombie 7 horror podcast and Willis Wheeler of the Terror Troop horror podcast. Don’t miss it!

If you’re unfamiliar with HMP’s franchise reviews, you can hear our approach to previous franchises, as well, including our reviews of the Halloween films back in October 2014, the Friday the 13th films back in February of 2015, and the Scream films last month.

Horror Movie Podcast is a weekly show that’s released every Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voice mails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


I. Introduction
— Welcome guests Ron Martin and Willis Wheeler
— Check out The Resurrection of Zombie 7 for more Halloween coverage this month
— Check out Terror Troop for more Halloween coverage this month
— And Jay says check out Killer Flicks: Horror Movie Review Podcast

[ 00:09:22 ] II. Feature Review: FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE (1991) with guests Ron Martin and Willis Wheeler
Jay of the Dead = 3.5 ( Avoid )
Ron Martin = 5 ( Rental / Stream it )
Willis Wheeler = 6 ( Buy it! )

[ 00:56:16 ] III. Feature Review: WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (1991) with guests Ron Martin and Willis Wheeler
Jay of the Dead = 7 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 5.5 ( Rental )
Ron Martin = 3.5 ( Avoid )
Willis Wheeler = 8 ( Buy it! )

IV. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

JOIN US NEXT FRIDAY ON HMP: Episode 074: Freddy vs. Jason, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) remake, Never Sleep Again and listener feedback / franchise overview!

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com


Jay of the Dead says to check out friend-of-the-show Marknado’s Killer Flicks: Horror Movie Review Podcast

Links for Ron Martin:
Listen to The Resurrection of Zombie 7 horror podcast
Ron Martin on Facebook
On Twitter: @ResZombie7
The Resurrection of Zombie 7 on iTunes

Willis Wheeler’s links:
Two-Drink Commentaries
NFW Commentaries Podcast
The Wild Man’s YouTube Channel
Willis Wheeler on TV’s Toy Hunter
Willis on the Terror Troop horror podcast
Willis on the Cinema Beef Podcast
Willis on Twitter: @NastyWillDC
Willis on Facebook

Hear Joel Robertson’s Spooky Flix Fest coverage for Halloween!

And don’t miss Ron Martin’s The Resurrection of Zombie 7 podcast’s Halloween coverage!

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming online movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Follow MSC on Twitter: @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on: Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

If you like Horror Movie Podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. If you want to support the show, we have PayPal buttons on our sister site, Movie Podcast Weekly.com, in the right-hand sidebar where you can make a one-time donation or you can become a recurring donor for just $2 per month. (Every little bit helps!)

Thanks for listening, and join us again next Friday for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

19 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 073: Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994) — Franchise Review Part 4 of 5

  1. I watched FREDDY’S DEAD last night. Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I remembered (or feared). It wasn’t great, but I enjoyed it well enough. My wife actually surprised me near the end of the film – she said the movie actually wasn’t that bad in the beginning, but it kept going and going and the ending sequence was pretty awful.

    I was falling in and out of sleep, though, so I’ll probably need to go back and watch it again to form any cogent thoughts. I plan on watching NEW NIGHTMARE tonight. My memory of that film is not very favorable, but looking forward to it nonetheless.

    • Same here, it was very entertaining at least. I remember rewinding the scene of Spencer’s death when he’s punching through the wall and it shows Freddy with the controller just going at it, and laughing until I hurt. It’s got a lot of funny moments, not like Army of Darkness “haha this is so cool” funny, more like “what?! I can’t believe they made him say/do that!”

  2. Various thoughts on the two movies and the podcast:

    Bummed that Wolfman Josh wasn’t a part of the show. Due to all of his negative comments about the Nightmare series, I was looking forward to him suffering through Freddy’s Dead.

    Freddy’s Dead is the absolute worst movie in the series. The worst part of it all is that it wasn’t even necessary. Freddy was seemingly killed at the end of Dream Child, this one didn’t involve any characters from the previous Nightmare films (Unless you want to believe Johnny Depp was Glen in this), and this didn’t influence any of the subsequent films. To me, there’s only two possible explanations for why this was made. Either A) New Line found that they weren’t making any money with their horror movies after Freddy’s Dead that it seemed silly to let their hit 80’s series die when there’s still money to be made or B) New Line had just gained the rights to Friday the 13th, and Freddy’s Dead was just thrown together for the sake of keeping Freddy Krueger fresh on people’s minds until as they prepare for the first New Line Jason movie, which would then lead into a Freddy Vs. Jason flick.

    As far as the over usage of “Final” sequels like Freddy’s Dead, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter or Jason Goes to Hell, there’s another way to look at it rather than just a cheap attempt to draw a little bit of money from those that may have moved away from the series. Most of these final movies tend to be the end of a chapter in the series. It’s not the “Final” movie in the series, but rather the final version of a type of horror icon. Friday the 13th Part 4 represented the death of a somewhat realistic Jason Voorhees before he became a full fledged supernatural figure. Freddy’s Dead was the end of the Nightmare series, but perhaps beginning of a series with Freddy vs Jason.

    New Nightmare is a film I find to be fairly brilliant. From the people I’ve interacted with, everyone tends to have very high opinions of this movie. More than anything, it’s a Nightmare sequel that tries to be something different. Technically speaking, it’s not a true sequel. You don’t need to watch this film if you’re having a Nightmare marathon. Likewise, I don’t believe you need to watch the other Nightmares to enjoy this one. Naturally, if you have seen the others, you’ll appreciate this one more, but that’s a bonus.

    I disagree that New Nightmare only referenced the original Nightmare. Even though the original is the movie they have the most nods to, there are several nods to the sequels. Nancy falls into a pool of water similarly to Alice in Dream Child. Dylan is nearly swallowed whole by Freddy like Kristen was in Dream Warriors. Freddy uses his tongue to tie Heather/Nancy just as he did to Joey in Dream Warriors. The most prominent death in New Nightmare is done in a very similar fashion as a popular one from Dream Child.

    Even though Willis did a great job of bringing up the fact that this is a demon and not Freddy to counter the issues with Freddy being beaten up too easily, it’s also important to remember that this is not a Nightmare sequel. This is set in the “Real world”. As a result, this “Real world” Freddy is not the same one seen in the Nightmare series. So I can’t find fault with Freddy acting differently in this film than he would in the others as the other Nightmares involved a fictional Freddy, not this “Real” one.

    For Jay’s minor issue with Heather calling John Saxon instead of a family member or friend, I can believe it. In that context, a fellow actor is likely going to be able to relate or understand what you’re going through better than someone who isn’t in the business.

    Scare wise, New Nightmare is likely the most believable in terms of scares. The scares in this one doesn’t just come from the supernatural, but rather real events. For example, Nancy deals with a stalker, something that unfortunately plenty of actors and non-celebs have had to deal with. There’s also something interesting at play when it comes to the actors and filmmakers that have their lives still influenced and affected by Freddy after all of these years. This little film made a decade ago likely exceeded all of their expectations for creating a legacy. Chances are there’s actors in various movies that later aren’t so proud of their work or wish they had never been a part of it. For Nancy, it was gaining some mild fame that caused her to get a stalker, to create a film that she doesn’t want her son to see, and to keep getting hounded to talk about the films rather than being allowed to move on. Maybe all of that isn’t scary, but it does shine a light on the fact that what you do today in your life can stick with you for years to come.

    I know technically this wasn’t a successful film since it brought in the least amount of money out of the entire series, but it was the sort of change that was really nice. This was a Freddy sequel that managed to be something of it’s own instead of just another by the numbers Nightmare sequel. It’s my third favorite of the series behind 1 and 3.

    • Hard to add anything more, you’ve nailed it for me. The only thing I have to mention is the morgue scene. I’ve been present when relatives have passed away, and something about that scene is all too real. The woman screaming and crying in the background, the funeral scene. That’s something I love about the Nightmare movies. It makes it seem so much more serious to me when I actually saw Rods parents at the funeral in part 1, and to see Alice at Ricks in part IV. Every other slasher is “oh no there’s my dead friend, better keep running”. I know I’ve said this in other posts but I can’t drive this point home enough. A great example is in Friday the 13th 3. “You guys…Shellys dead!” And then POW. No one shows much emotion other than screaming.that is one thing I did like about Rob Zombies Halloween was the scene where Laurie found Annie’s body and was weeping over it. If people I knew and loved were being killed, it’s much more realistic to have a moment of devastation and sadness as opposed to just screaming at a dead body and running away as if you never even knew them.
      I Hope I’m making sense with the this rant, but that is DEFINITELY something that makes me feel a sense of urgency and helplessness.Final Destination is another good example.

      • Fritz – There is a big difference to consider between a NOES film and most slashers, though, and that’s time. The Nightmare movies generally take place over a longer period of time, whereas many other slashers (namely, F13 movies, since you mentioned it) occur in a very concentrated amount of time. You won’t be able to have a morgue or funeral scene in a movie like FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 since the killings essentially happen over the course of a few hours.

        And I disagree with what you said about the “running away” reaction in slashers not being realistic. It might not have the same emotional impact as someone sobbing over their fallen friend. But, honestly, if I happened across someone (even a friend) who was laying on the floor hacked up, I would probably get the heck out of there as quickly as possible. And, yes, I would probably be screaming.

        • True and that’s exactly my point. Every slasher is, for the most part, the same. High body count that takes place over a night or two. That’s why I love NoES so much, it takes the time to make it personal, and much more serious to me. Yes if I were being chased that’s one thing, but when that same thing happens throughout the majority of slashers, it’s done so cinematically that it take away from the seriousness of the situation.

          Don’t get me wrong, and maybe I’m not really articulating this as much as I’d like, but I LOVE the Friday the 13th series and Halloween 1,2 and 4 (haven’t seen 3) but they’re very similar in that regard.

          That’s why I love that Nightmare films run at a slower cinematic time frame. I’ve never been chased by a serial killer while running into everyone’s corpses so I can’t really relate. All I can do is watch and enjoy the ride. I have been to many funerals, as I know we all have, and have been on the scene of death, and that’s a whole different feeling of loss and devastation that I’m glad at least one franchise decided to play off of.

          I hope this is coming out the way it sounds in my head lol. I have a bad feeling I’m coming off as someone who disregards other slashers and that’s really not the case. Childs Play has a lot of the same scenes I’m talking about, but of course the reason is because Chucky can’t let himself be known for a while, unlike Jason and Michael who are just all out killing machines.

          The scene in Child’s Play when Andys mother comes home to see police officers all over her apartment, as a parent alone is a terrifying feeling. A few moments later she learns of Maggie’s death, and it takes on a whole new level of “woah this is real”.

  3. 31 Days of Halloween day 24

    56. Suburban Gothic (***) – This is probably what it looks like right before they call the Ghostbusters. The funniest I’ve ever seen Ray Wise be in a movie

    57. Cub (****) – The best ‘death by beehive’ scene since My Girl.

  4. I really wanted to be on this one. Especially since ‘d already watched the damn movies when I had to cancel. I just had SO much on my plate, it got to crazy for even me to handle and I think I would have had a nervous breakdown if I hadn’t taken a break. Something had to give! But, luckily, I had scheduled two great guests, so I think it should be really good still. I actually had a lot of things to say about both flicks and I’m excited to give this episode a listen and comment along with the other listeners.

    • Well, let’s hear it, Wolfie!

      I still haven’t had a chance to revisit NEW NIGHTMARE or listen to this podcast. Super-bummed for falling behind…

      From what I remember, I was not a huge fan of NEW NIGHTMARE the first time I saw it way back when. I’m interested to see if my opinion has changed, especially given how beloved the film seems to be in the community.

      Also, generally speaking, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by my re-watch of the NOES franchise. Sure, some of the films were sub-par and suffered in their over-the-topness… sure, Freddy becomes a caricature of himself in the later films… sure, the series seemed to stray away from the dark, serious tones that made the original so effective… but these series has a lot going for it. I think Freddy’s origin story is among the best – if not THE best – of any modern horror figure. The general premise the series is based on, as we all discussed at length after the original film, is very strong. And it feels like there’s more to these films than most other slashers… more layers of context and social commentary to peel back.

      I would love if there was a talented filmmaker who happened to be a NOES fan, and wanted to take on a reboot of the NIGHTMARE franchise as his/her passion project. A solid 3+ film run with quality writing, cinematography, effects, acting, direction, etc, using the Freddy monster and the original film’s strong premise would be sublime. Like Juan suggested a week or so ago, having Guillermo del Toro’s visual flair attached to the dreamscapes would be amazing.

      I can hope for it, but that hope will probably just die in my dreams.

  5. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare

    This movie was gadawful- but it was so strange and it was SUCH a time capsule that I have to recommend it to just about anyone who may be curious about the franchise. It has such a strange vibe to it. Everything about this movie just felt like a marketing gimmick- giving Freddy a daughter, the retcon to his origin story, the 3D, the cameo appearances, the title, and all the little pop culture references just swarmed up together to build a hot mess of a film. An odd aspect to the making of the film is that the original script was tossed out by the director and they had to rewrite a bunch of it to abide by her “vision” of how the story would play out. We were originally going to have Freddy kill Alice and would then be following the character of Jacob through much of the film. And if “John Doe” had been Jacob, that might have worked to build an interesting point in the franchise. But we didn’t get that film and we instead wound up with this film, which makes me wonder what the director thought she was going to bring to the table.

    Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

    Full disclosure- I hated this film when it came out. I also graduated the year it came out- but I absolutely hated the movie and have not seen it since it’s theatrical release and did all I could to avoid it since then. But, as Wheeler was quick to mention, you buy one and you likely wind up buying them all- which was extremely true in my case. (A little side note- I literally only bought the first film and wound up with digital copies of the entire series through the VUDU system. (Similar situation with the Friday the 13th series in that I bought a 4 pack and wound up with all the movies EXCEPT part five… which may have been a secret blessing.))

    I watched this movie only because I wanted to be able to fire with both barrels on the podcast- I was going to rip this movie a new one. And then- I found myself being afraid. I was scared- throughout the run of this movie I forgot about the “franchise” and focused only on the film itself, which works as a stand-alone film in a way I didn’t remember. Frankly, I was flat out terrified and asked my wife to come into the room so she could hold my hand- not even kidding about that. The movie was really upsetting to me- there were points I didn’t like, but the movie really worked for me and I was seriously impressed.

    I thought “Freddy” himself was the least effective part of the film. I’d even go far enough to say that this isn’t really the “Freddy” from the other movies in the franchise and that it’s as different as having an EMT driver put on a Hockey Mask. Sure, Robert Englund is still the same- but the mannerisms are different, the costume is WAY different, and the whole execution of the character is even meant to be something else. But the atmosphere of the film, the presence of this “entity” haunting the people who made the first film, the sense of how this film would intrude on their lives, the questions from the press, the whole thing just snowballing and that performance from the child actor really just nailed it home for me.

    But, while I thought Freddy wasn’t the best part of the film- the scene where he kills the babysitter is absolutely AMAZING!!! Englund was purely vicious in this scene- purely horrifying and much closer to what he was in the rest of the franchise. He was taunting that child- doing what he was doing to tease and cajole the child into running off. Very well done.

  6. I enjoyed A New Nightmare. The fear from many horror movies don’t last with me. Cabin in the woods? I don’t camp. Hostel? Nope-at least a 3 star hotel for me. Nightmare? Nope-not a teen and don’t live on Elm Street. But the New Nightmare left that place. I followed the actors to their “real” lives. They had just been doing their job when they became part of it. What have I done-or will do that might unknowingly open me up to a situation. Same thing with Jaws-I’ve swam in the ocean. The Exorcist-I have a daughter. The more mundane and normal the people and situation-the longer it will stay with me.

  7. Freddy’s Dead is not one of my favorites. It’s a little too oddball for me. I’ve only watched it a handful of times in my life, mostly because, like Willis has pointed out repeatedly, it’s a part of the collection I own.

    I’m with Jay on this one! New Nightmare deserves some major props because it is one of the darker incarnations of Freddy in this series, and I find it to be more watchable than some of the other ones.

    Usually if I’m going to pick a few Freddy movies to revisit, it’ll be the original, the third one, and New Nightmare.

    I’ll wait for the final episode of the franchise overview to express my intense, severe distaste for the 2010 re-make.

  8. Finally finished this episode. I was 4 years old when New Nightmare came out. It was the FIRST horror film I ever saw. I’ll never forget turning on TNT answering the hospital scene. I always enjoyed it but never really loved it until I got older. It’s like Disneys The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I enjoyed the visuals, the atmosphere, etc as a kid, it wasn’t until I became an adult that I truly understood the whole story. Now that’s my favorite Disney film.

    I kind of agree with Jay on one thing. A horror movie “can” have evil in it. I’m also a Christian horror fan, and while most horror movies are simply made to frighten us and tap into evils that we shy away from in every day life. Some movies, I agree, have strong evil presences. The Excorcist or The Omen come to my mind.

    I actually don’t mind the trench coat on Freddy. The make up is definitely different but, something about him seems bigger. If you compare him to the Freddy of part 3 or 4, that version just seemed smaller. Something about this one just seems to tower over everyone around him. That definitely scares me.

    I love the fact that the new glove ha a claw on the thumb. Just makes it seem like he’s so much more in control you know what I mean? Also, I don’t mind one bit that a “woman and a child” beat him. (Ahem, Trish and Tommy Jarvis anyone??). The fact that he is bested in the dream world is so much more organic to me. He still has powers like the stretching arm, the mouth, the tongue, but that doesn’t mean he HAS to be invincible. While it would be cool to have him be all “I am..eternal”, that sort of thing just wouldn’t fit in this film to me. If I have to explain it more critically, Nancy was the “first to defeat him, humiliate him” so it’s fitting that her, and her child, would be the ones strong enough to defeat him.

    Robert disappearing midway through…I’ve heard the argument, that I tend to agree with, that as the film goes on, Robert BECOMES Freddy. Much like how John Saxon physically becomes Donald Thompson, and Heather becomes Nancy, Robert no longer exists in this time frame and has become Freddy.

    I don’t understand the hate on Heather in part one. Even in part 3 I don’t consider her acting bad, just some pretty crappy dialogue she has to say. “He’s strong, he’s never been this strong!” And especially to “her dad” towards the end, “I’ll always love you!” was just kinda bleh to me. I will say if I have to point out a weak spot for her it’s definitely part 3. I loved her in the first though and think she does exceptionally well in New Nightmare. As far as her not “looking” like an actress, I really like that aspect. One MAJOR flaw with the remake is the fact that the “high school” girls looks way to much like Abercrombie and Fitch models. Heather looked just like someone I would actually see in my high school. Yeah there were a lot of very pretty girls in my school, even some that did end up doing some modeling, but I prefer them to look real in a film. The Final Destination is a great example to me.

    I agree that the main protagonist of the SERIES is Alice. Lisa Wilcox is very Easy to look at (we’re all thinking it) and Alice is the ONLY one that flat out BEAT Freddy. That being said, I always get those excited chills whenever they throw back to the original. When Freddy’s laying on top of her and says “Nancy… ” I just wanna go YEAH!!! Same way when Michael and Laurie come face to face in the window in H20, and when Chucky says “Hello Andy”. Yeah I’m a nerd I know.

  9. I finally re-watched NEW NIGHTMARE last night and then listened to this episode earlier today. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good episode. Both Ron and Willis brought a lot to the show.

    JOTD, you completely surprised me with your opening to the NEW NIGHTMARE review. When you said you were about to say something surprising that might be controversial, I thought for sure you were going to say you hated NEW NIGHTMARE. I don’t remember the film’s critical reception when it came out, but I feel like the film is almost universally beloved in the horror community nowadays.

    I WILL say something that may be controversial, at least on these boards: My re-watch last night pretty much confirmed my initial impression of NEW NIGHTMARE when I first watched it several years ago. I’m still not a huge fan of the film. Ron’s comments on the show are pretty much spot on with how I feel about the movie (although, my rating of the film is a little higher than his), so I won’t rehash those thoughts here. I will say that I recognize that what the movie is trying to do is, in some ways, very interesting. Interesting, but I kind of hated it at times, too.

    And that’s how this movie went for me… I generally wasn’t too into it, but then there would be moments where I thought “hey, this is pretty good.” Then it would come crashing back down for me. I do agree that the kill in the hospital scene was great. I really liked the idea of this monster coming up from the foot of the bed, and how they had to go down through the sheets to get to this alternate universe. I also dug how reality and the dream world started to blend together towards the second half of the film. There certainly were a lot of good, clever things in this movie. But, overall, it just didn’t feel right to me.

    I’m glad Ron made the distinction between the self-referentiality in NEW NIGHTMARE compared to SCREAM. Namely, that NIGHTMARE literally referenced itself while SCREAM referenced the genre as a whole. Largely because of this, SCREAM felt like a love letter to horror fans, while NEW NIGHTMARE felt like something closer to a “Scary Movie.”

    Something bad from NEW NIGHTMARE that I want to specifically mention is Heather Langenkamp. I thought her performance was awful. Seriously, very bad. The best performances in my opinion were by Robert Englund and the boy, Miko Hughes. Heather, though… honestly, I am a fan of her’s in the original and DREAM WARRIORS. I love her as Nancy, even if she wasn’t a great actor in those films, either. But, as herself in NEW NIGHTMARE, I thought she was cringe-worthy.

    • I also wasn’t a huge fan of “Freddy’s” look. I get that it isn’t Freddy, the character, but rather a demon taking on Freddy’s form. But his seemingly larger frame and burn makeup just didn’t look right. And I kind of hated the “claw-hand” (especially the blade on his thumb).

      Performance-wise, though, I thought he was solid. Definitely darker and more menacing than several of the prior films, which I appreciated.

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