Tag Archives: A Nightmare On Elm Street 3

35 Years of Terror! Top 10 Horror Movies of 1987

1987: A year of historic events indeed. The first “The Simpsons” cartoon short is shown on The Tracey Ullman Show. President Ronald Reagan delivered his famous speech at the Berlin Wall. And Freddy Krueger delivered his most infamous line of the Nightmare franchise for the first time, “Welcome to Prime Time Bitch!” Also yes, I consider a Krueger one-liner as significant as the Berlin Wall speech- don’t judge me.

That being said, 1987 was a monumental year for horror. Considering the previous year 1986 and one hell of a year to follow, ’87 did a pretty bang-up job of another year full of horror flicks that we would cherish for years to come. So let’s just get right to it, but not before we give one honorary mention. There were so many damn good horror films out of this year it pains me to leave this one out so a big shout to…

The Stepfather

No one can play a psychopath step-parent like Terry O’ Quinn and that’s just how it is. Jerry Blake wants the perfect family, and he’ll kill to get it; which he does again and again as it seems like the perfect family doesn’t exist- shocker. Preying on widows and divorcees, Jerry/Henry/Bill whatever his name is that day is every bit as intimidating and sus even when trying not to be; so I find it a little insulting being a woman that these ladies aren’t tuning into that ol’ women’s intuition.

Although it would be extremely difficult today in a tech-social-media society for a homicidal maniac to be able to get away with these kinds of shenanigans, in 1987, it’s a fun ride and a gentle reminder of what once was in a pre-internet era: A bountiful time for serial killers.

Also, I like to fantasize that Terry O’ Quinn’s character of Sheriff Haller in Silver Bullet is in fact Jerry Blake gone mad with brain damage after that werewolf beating. Disappeared and began a new life as a serial killer unbeknownst of his life before. Watch them back to back and give that theory a try. Makes it that much more fun.

10. The Gate

The Gate is nothing short of bonkers nostalgia full of good old-fashioned Canadian charm and that’s exactly why we love it.

Kind of like Stranger Things meets The Goonies for a visual reference, The Gate takes that nostalgic 80s’ kids’ in danger hullabaloo and dials it into B-Movie madness with little satanic panic demons running around everywhere trying to take over the Earth thanks to a couple of curious kids digging up a portal of Hell in a suburban backyard. Because, that’s where all portals to Hell lie dormant, am I right? For context, one of the kids coincidentally finds a heavy metal LP that comes with a demonic bible of sorts that gives the kids all the information they might need should they want to open a portal to the dark realms and summon demonic forces.

That’s pretty much all you need to know to know this movie rules.

9. Prince Of Darkness

He might be best known for Halloween and The Thing, but John Carpenter’s Prince Of Darkness might be the creepiest and underrated of all his horror film entries. The score alone is overwhelmingly sadistic and unnerving and it damn well better be if you got the likes of Alice Cooper cast in your movie.

Horror genius Carpenter mixes faith, fear, and science into a delicious cocktail of horror movie cosmo when an old abandoned church a priest finds an old relic, a key, an old book, and a mysterious vat of green liquid. Mix in a group of scientists lobbying it up in the church along with a group of vagrants gathering outside the church, and the unthinkable happens: the green liquid attacks and it is the unholiest of Nickelodeon green gak you’ll see this side of Double Dare.

8. The Lost Boys

I feel like I might get a massive amount of shit from die-hard Lost Boys fans for putting this so low on the list. But, it is what it is folks. Also, I still believe the sax man in chains needed more screen time in an encore song, thanks very much.

Santa Carla is a hell of a place to live- if you’re a vampire that is. But it also makes for one hell of a movie, especially with not one, BUT TWO Coreys’ involved in trying to take down a gang of punk-rock teenage vampires. What I love most about The Lost Boys is that is a nostalgic 80s time capsule caught on film. Everything wonderful about northern Cali in the 80s’ is captured perfectly in a movie we can revisit time and again. From the mentality of teenage minds right down to the aesthetics. It’s a damn treasure for sure.

7. DOLLS

Stuart Gordon’s DOLLS was one of the first films I REALLY embraced as a kid on my own with zero influence from anyone else. Based solely on the VHS cover art alone, a rental happened and I was delighted every time I rented that movie- and it was legitimately about 98 times.

DOLLS is a creepy concept that marriages a kids’ fantasy that your toys come to life (it ain’t Toy Story folks) and the horror genre. With the visions of both Charles Band and Stuart Gordon, we get DOLLS. A movie that on the surface looks like another B-horror flick, but runs so much deeper, and scarier than that. Definitely, one of the greatest films to come out in the 80s under the radar and hold such a loyal cult following today. I mean, fans are loyal, and that’s a fact.

6. Monster Squad

The film that proved that not only the wolfman does indeed, have nards, but that also you can blow up a fuckin’ werewolf only for him to piece himself back together comes in at number five. And I feel almost sad about that but damn, 1987 was such a great year where other important films were laid on the table alongside the Squad that it just edges it out.

Monster Squad is like The Goonies on a whole ‘nother level of awesomeness with all the monsters we know from the golden age of horror, coming back and wreaking havoc on a small town with Dracula at the helm looking for his amulet so that he may obtain world domination and then destroy it. And only a small group of horror movie fans that call themselves the Monster Squad, can stop them. Also worth noting that Dracula has NEVER been more terrifying. He grabs a little girl by her chin, lifts her up, and calls her a bitch. That’s some balls I couldn’t even wrap my head around as a 5-year-old watching this; the same age as Phoebe in the film. That sort of fucked me up a little.

It’s pretty much every kid horror fan’s dream to meet a real-life monster and then become the hero to stop them to boot. Much like with The Lost Boys and The Gate, the nostalgic aesthetics of this movie pleases our senses but on a level way higher than the aforementioned. It rocks me until I drop.

5. Predator

Predator is a goddamn glorious spectacle full of the manliest of testosterone and honestly, I’ve always been here for it. The mash-up between a steroid-induced action film and a slasher movie deserves some kind of award- but I guess the best I can do is put it in the top five here of 1987.

With a cast like Carl Weathers, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a hunting match with a technologically advanced lone alien in the jungles of the fictional Central American country of Val Verde, ( the same made-up country used for Arnold’s 1985 action gala Commando) it’s hard to not fuckin’ love everything about this movie. From the “chef’s kiss” one-liners, gory kills, and ARNOLD VS an ALIEN thirty-minute finale, Predator is everything an 80s’ action/horror film should be and more.

Now “GET TO THA’ CHOPPA, MYAHHHHHH!”

4. Creepshow 2

On rare occasion, a sequel is right on par with the original, notwithstanding a shorter version but just as good as the 1982 anthology we all love and adore.

With three stories in the horror anthology that just seems to get better as the film rolls along with a frame story of little Billy on the run from some asshole bullies in animated form, Creepshow 2 is a goddamn good time for everyone of all ages. With a screenplay by George Romero and stories by Stephen King, Creepshow has always seemed to me to be the kind of fun, and silly horror anthology that 10-year-olds would try and smugly rent under their parents’ noses at the local video shop. As a witness to this in my youth with friends who didn’t have quite as cool parents as I did, I always associated the anthology series as a youthful gateway into the horror world. To my surprise, a lot of fans don’t seem to like this installment in comparison with the original. My answer to that is simply putting it at number 4 and offering them a one-way ticket to Lake Sludge.

3. Evil Dead 2

And sometimes when a sequel is on par with the original, then there are others that even surpass their predecessor. That is mother fuckin’ Evil Dead 2.

Honestly, there’s no evidence to the contrary that Bruce Campbell is the second coming of Christ because who else can we call when the deadites are on the loose? When Ash saws off his own hand while screaming manically, I’ve never felt closer to God. Evil Dead 2 is heavy metal horror on steroids with a low budget and is better, faster, and more gnarly in every single way all while being unapologetic for what the movie actually is. Self-parodying isn’t uncommon in horror franchises, but the fact that Evil Dead 2 did it to the point that it BECAME the franchise and the most beloved, is fucking wild.

Now, swallow this.

2. Hellraiser

Jesus wept only because there was ONE other horror film that could beat out Clive Barker’s masterpiece- Hellraiser.

I can distinctly remember the time when my little brother was 9 and my parents had to pick him up from a sleepover in the middle of the night because he was scared shitless after watching a little horror movie with a friend. Can we all take a guess on what film that was? Mmmhmm. That being said, I had never seen Hellraiser myself so after this debacle, I dived right into it and never looked at a Rubix cube the same way again.

Hellraiser is beautifully chaotic in its energy to terrify and turn your stomach acid upside-down-or if you prefer, inside-out. Doug Bradley, in his very minimal screen-time, managed to make a monster of an icon out of Pinhead and has become the Robert Englund of his own character; as in, there’s just no replacing the guy. Yes, I’m well aware of the upcoming reboot with the casting of a female; which in actuality, is a lot closer to the literary version of the descriptions of the cenobites not having a binary gender identity. In fact, Pinhead is described as having a feminine-sounding voice, but I don’t care about any of that. Give me Doug, or give me death.

Yep. This is my hell.

1. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors

Yep, I have crowned a sequel to be the Horror Champ of 1987. Wes Craven’s ANOES gave birth to one of the greatest horror icons and franchises to come out of the 20th century, and Dream Warriors is like The Godfather II to that film; continuing directly from the source at the same steady beat while expanding it much deeper than one could ever dream of, ironically. As an advocate for mental illness, Nightmare 3 is a film I hold near and dear to me; and one I can dissect and pick apart for hours with all the metaphors I’ve found in the film regarding the subject.

The film has a great story, memorable kills, and really was the birthing point of when Freddy really came into his own as a sadistic villain, that somehow you loved?! That’s some genius shit right there. Sort of how Vince Gilligan shaped Walter White in Breaking Bad, no matter how malevolent he made the character, the audiences embraced him even more. Not to mention, it coincides with the time Freddy Mania really got momentum and brought the horror phenom to the mainstream, enticing the youth of our generation to indulge in our curiosities of the horror genre. When a film and a goddamn sequel for that matter can make that kind of impact, it has to be acknowledged and respected.

Bless the Prime Time, Bitch.

Obligatory Honorary Non-Horror Mention

Robocop

Listen, I can’t even talk about films of 1987 without at the very least, giving a shout-out to part man-part machine, Robocop.

While the film itself isn’t horror per se, Robocop harbors some elemental terror in the fact that man is playing GOD over another man’s life and death. Even though the cops of Detroit signed a waiver with OCP gaining them access to their remains in the event of a tragedy, selling your soul to big corp while giving them too much power is just as relevant as is today in this terrifying age that we all live in where the monopoly of greedy corporations take away the average joes’ livelihoods all for the sake of a buck and some extra power. Pretty sick and twisted metaphors inside a badass movie that I’ve seen about 200 times and never get sick of it.

Also, seeing this guy melt as a kid and then explode into a pool of sludge was definitely one of the scariest fuckin’ things I’ve ever seen. Don’t you deny it.

So let’s make like Clarence Boddicker, sniff some wine off our fingers, and raise our glasses to a wonderful year of terror- 1987.

Welcome To Prime Time With The VHS Retailer’s Promo For A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors

WELCOME TO PRIME TIME WITH THE VHS RETAILER'S PROMO FOR A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: THE DREAM WARRIORS

In case you’re new here to Nightmare Nostalgia, one of my oddball favorite things in this world is finding old VHS retailer promos. If this is your sort of kink as well, there’s plenty on the site here if you look around! However, one in particular I haven’t been able to track down until very recently. And it is of course A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors– my personal favorite of the franchise. So you can bet your sweet dreams I was as giddy as Freddy seems to be promoting the shit out of his new film back in 1987.

If you need a refresher, or are just plain asking what the hell a VHS retailer promo is, it’s basically a special media kit made for VHS stores and chains across the country persuading buyers to get said movie into stores. These days, they are obviously hard to come by unless you had family in the industry that owned one of these Mom and Pop shops. However, thank the glorious VHS gods for Youtube. As we can find some real treasures uploaded on there.

Anyways, as Freddy proclaims in the promo, Dream Warriors “isn’t your average Drive-In movie schlop we got here.” As the film ranked in twenty-five million bones in the first two-week run throughout the theater release. Going on to make over 44 million in theater revenue, making it not only, the most profitable horror sequel to date at the time; but the biggest rake in for an independent film! So why the hell is Freddy hawking the film like a sleazy salesmen you ask?

The answer is WHO CARES. He did the same for Dream Master and Dream Child and it’s easy to see he loved every second of hamming himself up as Freddy. And he can do it forever as far as I’m concerned.

From A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warrior (1987) -Your wish is my  command! - #1987 #3 #8… | Dream warriors, A nightmare on elm street,  Nightmare on elm street

In the promo, Freddy and the narrator walk us through the accomplishments the Nightmare franchise to date via critic praising, talk show spots, and of course a dash of Dokken to get the beats dropping! Then we get to the bribery part, (honestly do we really need it?) Where if retailers but a set amount of video tapes for the store, you get some cool swag to help promote the movie inside the store as well. I’m still looking for that glorious poster light box if anyone has it collecting dust in that storage unit- just throwing that out there, hah! And the kicker here, a shout-out to the back-in-the-day-all-the-rage “Be In My Nightmare” sweepstakes which you could only enter through your local participating video store via a mail-in or drop-off slip. I still don’t know who won to this day, but I must have entered at least fifteen times. Not even sure if that was against the rules but as a kid, like I cared.

Credit: American History Card, display. ‘Freddy’s Be in My Nightmare Sweepstakes’. 1987.0421.019.

Well anyway, here you are my Nostalgic Nuggets, with special thanks to this upload via YouTuber Beyond Sour Grounds, the long-lost VHS Retailer Promo for A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors in its entirety!

A Nightmare on Elm Street 1-7 Blu Ray Series

Much More Than A Nightmare: “Dream Warriors” and the Mental Illness Stigma

Real talk: My horror blogging journey began about seven years ago, quite by accident. Was it fate? I think so. It was also around the time shortly before my internet rambling escapades that I was officially diagnosed with  Generalized Anxiety/ Panic Disorder along with PTSD/Depression. Not that I didn’t know I had it all my life anyway. In any regard, through an opportunity presented by a dear friend who suffers as well, I gave it a shot and turns out I have a little knack for it. For the past several years, I’ve written on this subject a few times for different, popular outlets. And now, in a very stern Neil voice, it’s long overdue that I hit the lights here on this very dear to my heart subject here at NN in a very anxiety-induced state as I’m writing this.

How goddamn appropriate!

Much More Than A Nightmare:

It began in my teens with a horrific bout of Anorexia/ Bulimia. Which was on and off again until my late twenties with a suicide attempt in-between. *I’m recovered now with support from my family and using my own inner strength. However, after this, and a long conclusion to some other traumatic events, it manifested itself into a giant monster that made me worse off than I ever was. I was in and out of the hospital. I would hyperventilate to the point of paralysis. And of course, every doctor I saw wanted to shove zombie antidepressants down my throat. Not that I don’t have a thing against zombies, but you get the idea.

Alas, none of this was the answer. Now mind you, I realize they work for some people. Everyone is unique. But I am not “some people”, as I also have a hypersensitivity to a good portion of medications. That being the case, I have to rely on simply breathing through it all. This sounds easy- but sometimes it can be hell when you’re having an attack. And for those who don’t understand why I, and possibly others, who choose to get through this naturally, I’m making an example of one my favorite films that doesn’t shy away from some real mental illness issues that kids and adults alike face with a lot of misunderstanding.

Let’s take a “nice stroll” through Westin Hills Dream Warriors.

Much More Than A Nightmare:

Much like Freddy’s Revenge held a ton of sexual metaphors, Dream Warriors repeats the pattern with struggling within our own brains- mental illness. Dream Warriors does a really magnificent job, even if unintentional, of bringing some very real issues about mental health to light that might make someone mull over any previous conceptions about it. Mental illness does not discriminate- as we see in the film all walks of life are affected. Various types of disorders are addressed ranging from self-harm, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and of course, suicide.

At the time of the film’s release, there hadn’t been too many on-screen interpretations of mental illness that painted the disorder in any type of positive light. Well, none that I had seen anyway. Everything I had seen prior or even after, depicts sufferers as crazies in an asylum. Something dirty and to be feared. Dream Warriors gave us very real characters for people who suffer from similar ailments we could associate with. They came across as real kids. Normal kids. Smart as hell kids. With some problems that doctors still to this day can’t seem to figure out entirely. Or for that matter, care to really dive into and just like to throw the dice, prescribing an antidepressant that may or may not make you feel better, or worse even. As science can’t be argued, we are each unique and hold different DNA than the person standing next to us. What works for one, does not for another. And no two anxiety disorders seem to act the same. Everyone seems to have individual symptoms that vary from one patient to another. It would be nice if one magic cure exists for all. But it unfairly isn’t so. And just as art imitates life, the Dream Warriors’ fears and concerns about the one thing they have in common, Freddy, are swept under the rug as “crazy talk”. But here- let’s roll the dice on this non-approved drug Hypnocil and see what happens!

Sound familiar? Talk about feeling like the walls are coming down on you… and then you’re halfway devoured by a giant snake.

giphy (5)

Anyways, I can’t completely nail Neil Gordon to the wall for that- even if it did put Joey in a goddamn coma. Good intentions were there and were used in the hope to understand the tormented teens. After all, he does redeem himself later in a gutter match with Bone Daddy Freddy. Which brings us full circle to the grandmaster of fears and anxiety himself.

tumblr_n90vqbbRB51rp0vkjo1_500

Freddy is the manifestation of depression and everything the Warriors’ are afraid of. Much like anxiety and panic, he works off each of their greatest fears driving them to the breaking point; and in some instances, certain death. That theme would continue throughout the franchise but in the second and arguably greatest sequel, would remain the most relevant and alarmingly accurate. For instance, Taryn is a recovering addict. her fears are the drugs that once conquered her life. She secretly loves them but is determined to stay clean. Krueger plays on this of course and drives it home. Freddy is that little shithead voice in the back of our minds that alarms our senses driving us into panic mode. Kind of like Will going all out Wizard Master on Freddy, stepping out of his chair and using all of his mental powers to blast that bullshit into dust,  he is that voice we all know: “You are not enough.”

However, the ultimate metaphor in this installment is that support is needed. The Dream Warriors realized this, and so did Freddy. Which is why when they all entered the dream state together, he made a point to separate them. Fighting the monster of depression and anxiety alone can be quite an uphill battle. And sadly, statistics show that never ends up well for the sufferer.  No matter how tough one might think they are, a good support system is your ultimate weapon against the beast.

I hear the bullshit term all the time about older horror films about how the content doesn’t hold up decades later. In A Nightmare On Elm Street 3, the movie remains maybe even more relevant now than ever before. As we’re hearing of suicide hitting children even before they reach double-digits.

Look. Listen. Be supportive. And if you’re someone who is in dire need of that, I’m opening the lines of communication, free of judgment, for you to contact me. Everyone needs someone. Even an understanding ear can make all the difference. In the meantime…

Rock on Warriors.