Plot: Jesse (Mark Patton) has recently moved to a new town, but aside from sweating his ass off, he doesn’t done much. His stuff remains in boxes all over his room, which is a source of great frustration for his father (Clu Gulager). He has made some friends and has a beautiful girlfriend named Lisa (Kim Myers), but he is haunted by vivid dreams that involve a man with knives for fingers. When he learns that his new house was once home to a girl who lost her mind after her boyfriend was butchered, he wonders if those events are tied to his nightmares. Soon the odd events move out his dreams into the real world, as pet birds explode into flames, toasters burst into flames, and a naked man is whipped to death with towels. Jesse feels as if he is being possessed by this dark figure from his dreams, driven to kill and unleash chaos, but he tries to resist and even enlists a friend to watch him sleep. Is Jesse just stressed from his house being 97 degrees or are his nightmares starting to become a reality?
Entertainment Value: This is the strangest installment in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, but in my opinion, it is also one of the most fun to watch. The movie takes the series in some new directions, mixing together elements of horror, gay porn, and bad sitcoms to conjure up this one of a kind experience. The homoerotic elements are so heavy handed and much discussed, adding a unique twist to the series and some wild, outlandish moments. Jesse ditching his hot girlfriend just before they have sex to let his male friend watch him sleep is a personal highlight in this area, but the movie is loaded with homoerotic elements. But this movie also feels like a wacky sitcom at times, thanks to ridiculous scenes that involve Jesse’s family. Clu Gulaher fighting a pet bird, then trying to explain away why it burst into flames is hilarious, but Gulager is fantastic throughout in this one. He plays the role like a cheesy sitcom father and it works so well, such a fun performance. Despite these unexpected aspects of the movie, it also hits on the horror beats and gives Freddy time to shine. I know the offbeat tone and out of place elements might alienate those looking for a more traditional Freddy experience, but to me, this is a colorful, insanely entertaining movie on all fronts. I’d recommend this to anyone interested in horror or off the wall cinema.
Unless you count frequent, close up shots of male bulges in tight underwear, this one has no nakedness. Oh, there is one scene where Jesse’s ass is partially exposed, but at least he is wearing a jock strap. Safety first and all that. The movie packs in some fun bloodshed, including a wonderful scene where Freddy tears the flesh off his skull and exposes his pulsating brain. Another immense highlight is when Freddy is birthed out of Jesse, tearing his way out and leaving behind a gross, mutilated shell. We also have the usual slashes and slices, as well as a death scene that involves supernatural jump ropes, a naked gym teacher, and some possessed towels. A true masterwork when it comes to death scenes, without question. Most of the effects hold up too, so kudos to the team for some creative, effective kills. The dialogue is quite fun in this one, with Gulager’s outlandish father skills, Jesse’s sad sack existence, and tons of 80s lingo driven exchanges that are just super fun to watch. In terms of craziness, we have the massive homoerotic slant, bondage loving gym teacher, creative kill scenes, outlandish dialogue, Jesse’s pathetic presence, Gulager’s sitcom dad, and epic man vs. bird showdown, plus so much more. This one earns its keep, no doubt.
Overall Insanity: 8/10