Freddy Krueger: What can be said about the quintessential 80’s man-specter that hasn’t been said a thousands different times by a thousand different nerds? Who am I to pretend like I’ve got some groundbreaking shit to drop on you? I’m no one, and I don’t, so I won’t. I’m simply another nerd with a foolishly myopic blog, so I’ll just stick to the script.
Freddy (whether I’ve said this before or not I can’t recall) is the reigning champ of horror tunes. He owns the 80’s pop-music-via-monster-icon scene. The guy even cut his own album. He’s all over it.
Jason comes close, but the Friday people didn’t fully climb aboard this particular train until part 6, and they never really bought a ticket. Freddy was shoveling coal in it’s boiler room.
And from jump too, as even his first outing got its own little referentially inclusive tune in the form of 213’sNightmare.
Well, who the fuck is 213? Apparently they’re no ones, as no one seems to have any information on these guys. Well, aside from the painfully obviously “they were some local LA band that provided this track” or the goofier and obviously nonsensical “they were Johnny Deep’s band” theory.
Whoever they were, they’ll go down in the Shindig’s book as they guys who churned out that thoroughly apropos end credit song from the original Nightmare On Elm Street, and baby, that’s enough.
So, up yours with a twirling lawnmower,…whatever the hell that even means.
Fred Krueger the myth or Fred Krueger the man? It doesn’t matter cause they’re still rappin’ bout him, understand?
The lesser heralded of the 2 Freddy rap songs, I feel Are You Ready For Freddy is superior to Nightmare on My Street for several good reasons:
It’s The Fat Boys and they’re cooler than Will Smith any day of the week.
It’s offically from a Freddy movie (Part 4: The Dream Master)
It actually features Robert England rapping as Freddy, as opposed to whoever the hell is rapping on the DJ Jazzy Jeff track.
It’s less generic about it’s Freddydom, as multiple Elm Street films are referenced and sampled.
And if that wasn’t enough, lines like
“With a hat like a vagabond
Standin’ like a flasher
It’s Mr. Big Time, Fred Krueger
make all the difference in the world.
Freddymania is in full swing here in 1988 and the series has finally degraded into pure schillery. Freddy is a tradable commodity now, hitting the talk show circuit, making more music video appearences and hanging out in the windshield of cars.
I actually own this and it’s fucking awesome
A double-edged sword no doubt, as it’s exactly this kind of boardroom buffoonery that gives us such an awesome track as Are You Ready for Freddy (and my equally awesome sunshield.)
But in terms of the movie, well viewers paid the price. Freddy’s crackin’ wise, sportin’ sunglasses and eatin’ pizza like some damned Ninja Turtle. Ceasing to be at all frightening and with the cleanest sweater I think he’s ever worn, Freddy’s less your dirty old dream diddler and more your pal. Hell, he’s brought back from his “grave” by the fiery urine of Kincaid’s dog Jason. Yeah, it sets up its jackassery early and securely.
But I enjoy The Dream Master for much the same reason I enjoy Freddy’s Dead: I love Freddy as a character (either scary or silly) and it’s just a ridiculous piece of horror filmmaking.
Plus it has this song.
Which, interestingly enough, has an alternate version. There was a second, longer version of the track cut for the 12″ single. What? Now that’s the kinda shit The Shindig lives for.
So why isn’t that the featured track? Well, to be honest, I don’t like it as much. It’s a bit slower, the beats a little different and there’s a bunch of extra incidental sounds tossed all over it. It’s kinda weird. Plus, it cuts out Freddy’s original rap at the end! What?! You get an alternate, almost spoken-word outro from The Dream Crasher, which is fun but just isn’t quite the same.
However, it does feature some pretty fantastic extra verses in the middle where The Boys detail the plot from the original Elm Street and talk about Freddy more. And there’s more samples from the original Elm Street thrown in for good measure. Bonus.
With perhaps the exception of Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters, no Title Track has as much standing as a legitimate hit than Dokken’s Dream Warriors.
And why not? It was a great tune featured in a popular franchise hitting the height of its popularity, played by a popular band at the height of their popularity. Sounds like a formula for a hit to me.
It isn’t so overly explicit as to put-off non-Freddy fans or become regulated only to annual Halloween airplay. By that same token, it isn’t so vague as to be completely unrelated to the action onscreen. Perfect pop balance? Marketing genius? Lucky strike? Either way, whoever’s idea it was probably got a raise.
It’s also from arguably one of Freddy’s finest outting. While I’m inclined to side with original in almost every case (including the Nightmare series), many fans cite Part 3 as the best Elm Street installment, or at least their favorite. I’ll agree so far as to say this is Freddy’s best sequel, without question. I may love me some Freddy’s Revenge but I think Dream Warriors is legitimately his best numbered go-round.
Cooler than 4, livelier than 5, more coherent than 2 and less stupid than 6, Dream Warriors hits the right wave of scary and goofy Freddy. He’s not quite the running joke he becomes from The Dream Master on. You see it brewing here, but he still has some shred of his former menacing self.
Also with more ambitious effects, wilder sets and more imaginative dreams sequences than the previous installments, Dream Warriors is where the Freddy becomes Freddy; not just the horror icon, but the cultural icon. And Dokken has its hand in that too, no doubt.
After Dream Warriors, all bets are off; Late Night appearances, hit songs, window clings, his own television series, his own album – Freddymania is on.
Initially, Craven (back on board after his complete absence from the completely absent Freddy’s Revenge) intended this film to wrap up the entire saga. However, New Line made way too much bank on this outing to let Freddy rest quietly in his junkyard grave and proceeded to milk every last drop out of blood from the dream demon.
Interestingly enough, for this installment Craven also pitched the idea of Freddy coming out of the screen to torment the Elm Street actors in real life. New Line rejected that nonsense altogether. At least for another 6 years or so, until Craven got the go ahead to realize this plot in his true return to the series in the form of New Nightmare.
While it may have been interesting to see all of that played out earlier, Dream Warriors stands up just fine in its presented form.
So, come Weeners, we are bound together by our love of Halloween, Horror and Horrific Halloween Music. The Shindig is waiting for you. Listen now, cause maybe tonight you’ll be gone.
Here’s Dokken’s power ballad battle cry for the children on Elm Street.
Whisper To A Screamby Bobby Orlando & Claudja Barry
Lets get a Freddy two-fer going, cause your guests are still pissed…
“How the fuck am I supposed to dance to some bullshit like ‘Down In The Boiler Room’….seriously?!”
And fair enough. I’m not sure that song’s palatable, much less danceable. So let’s look to Freddy’s soundtrack offerings for some relief. And what better place to go for a dose of danceable 80’s synth-pop than Freddy’s Revenge.
Certainly the black sheep of the series (and with good cause), A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2 is probably the worst way you could have followed-up the highly original and groundbreaking hit.
Every franchise has its Oddball Entry. Ya know, that one that doesn’t quite jive for whatever reason; be it overtly non-canon (Halloween 3), lacking its main character (Friday 5) or plays fast and loose with the primary mythos, as is the case with Freddy’s Revenge.
While not so out of place at the time, just a little curve ball for the sequel, the fact that subsequent Elm Streets have totally ignored this entry, its characters and its logic, makes it all the more strange an outing.
Basically, Freddy attempts to possess Jesse, the new teenager living in Nancy’s old room at 1428 Elm., choosing to work through the boy in the material world, as opposed to terrorizing all the children in their sleep. Granted, he does possess Jesse through his dreams, but all the kills are carried out by Jesse in the waking world, as he slowly transforms into a flesh and blood Freddy Krueger.
Needless to say, that pissed off a lot of fans at the time, and still continues to do so today. Coupled with its generalized shortcomings (acting, writing, direction, etc), its bizarre homo-eroticism, and its overall weirdness, Freddy’s Revenge is not a fan favorite, and is offend cited as the series’ low-point: a rushed and lazy attempt to cash-in on the success of the original, with Dream Warriors being a much more creative and fitting sequel. True enough.
However, I have a soft spot for Elm Street 2, cause well…
I’m a sucker for bad movies, and this one delivers.
Clu Gulager is awesome. I don’t care what movie he’s in, he’s always on point.
Grady is the man (as played by Ron Rusler of The Daggers….fuck yeah Thrashin’)
Freddy still retains a bit of his creep-factor before plunging into total buffoonery as per 3, 4 et al.
Jesse is such a little wiener, it’s hard not to love him. Horror’s first male Scream Queen.
And I appreciate the attempt to do something different. Though its failure does lead to subsequent films treading back (and back again) into more familiar waters, it’s still nice to see people trying something different.
That being said (and long-windedly at that) let’s get to Bobby Orlando’s funky beats, as heard during the pool party sequence of Freddy’s Revenge.
Segueing nicely out of our Horror Host block is this oddity that only the 80’s could have produced, featuring a man whom himself was briefly a Horror Host, Mr. Big Time…Fred Krueger.
Between Dream Warriors and The Dream Master, Freddy-Mania was nearing its peak, and some producer (bless their soul) thought it made perfectly sound financial sense to green-light Freddy’s Greatest Hits.
Beyond the costumes and suction-cupped window dolls was this album. This beautiful album, aimed at God knows who. I doubt it sold more than a few thousand copies, but then, maybe no more than a few thousand copies were produced to begin with.
It’s a bizarre thing with no clear audience. Too sophisticated for kids, too stupid for adults. Too much like show tunes for the horror crowd, too much like scary bloody horror for anyone else.
A mix of covers and original songs, Freddy Krueger is all over the album, but only rarely does he actually “sing.” Usually, he just tacks one-liners onto the verses. The actual music-making was done by the “Elm Street Group,” who I’m guessing were regular studio musicians gathered to make two months’ rent with the weirdest work they’d ever do.
Naturally, there’s a couple of these gems on Shindig, starting out with this particularly strange number concerning Freddy’s boiler room.
Led-in with a clip from Freddy’s Nightmares – Mr. Krueger’s own personal horror anthology television show that first aired the following year. The program had Freddy playing Rod Serling to all manner of neutered Elm Street-style tales where Freddy fucked with the protagonists for any number of ridiculous reasons.