THE UNITED STATES OF GEEKDOM
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Nine Days of Nightmares Day 3: Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

What's the flick?: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Who Directed it?: Chuck Russell

Who's it got?: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Ken Sagoes, John Saxon, Rodney Eastman, Craig Wasson, Laurence Fishburn, Dick Cavett, and Zsa Zsa Gabor

What's it about?: Freddy Krueger continues to stalk the last of the Elm Street children.  The remaining handfull have been sent to a mental institution where they continue to be hunted down and systematically killed off.  Their newest inductee, Kristen, has the ability to pull people into the dreams with her.  Nancy, the first person to beat Freddy, is now working as a therapist at the mental institution specializing in patterened nightmares.  Together, they must beat Freddy at his game or die trying.

What's Good?: This is easily my favorite of the entire series.  The story, (written by Wes Craven) is exceedingly well paced and a lot of fun.  The action is also really good with some really trippy dream sequences that allow the filmmakers to really play with some really neat ideas.  Freddy, while still menacing, is given some really nasty (but funny) one liners that allow Robert Englund have some fun as the character.  And fun he has.  Englund is absolutely having a blast playing Freddy and it shows, and the movie benefits from this. 

The kids are excellent as well.  Patricia Arquette is excellent as Kristen and really makes the character work.  Heather Langenkamp makes a welcome return to the series as Nancy and again, the movie benefits from this.  Having someone who had previously fought Freddy there to mentor the kids on how to defeat him was a brilliat idea.  The concept of burying Freddy's remains and blessing them with holy water and a crucifix was also interesting.

Oh, and the deaths.  The kills in this flick are especially creative.  From using a guy's tendons as a marionette, to stuffing a poor girl's head into a TV, this movie has them all.  The dreamscape is really well exploited to create some really fun roller coaster style thrills all throughout the flick. I can honestly say that this movie is just fun.  That's the most iportant thing with the proceedings.  This one has some really fun spooky house thrills and is a nice second chapter to the battle between Freddy and Nancy.

What's Not so Good?  John Saxon I am sorry to say chews the scenery in every bit that he is in.  It was almost as if he was compensating for not being in the movie enough.  Also the concept of Amanda Krueger.  Amanda Krueger was added into the cannon of the series.  Spoilers here: She is Freddy's mother and this movie explains that a young nun was accidentally locked up with the looneys in the basement of the mental institution.  The looneys raped her for weeks on end while keeping her hidden from the hospital staff.  The end result was Freddy who was the son of 100 maniacs. Talk about your daddy issues.  Amanda is not misused in this movie.  The fact that they bring her in part 5 and just make the character just awful is why I mention her in this review.  Also the fact that Nancy gets killed off.  According to interviews with Wes Craven, Nancy was never supposed to die in part 3.  I have to say that Nancy is my favorite non Freddy character in the series and to see her die in this movie and in such a way that it was almost too convenient. End Spoiler  For every good performance in this movie, there are three that are awful.  I will leave you to see the movie to judge for yourself. 

Final Verdict?: A very solid 4 razor gloves out of 4.  Definitely one of the best of the series.
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