Into The Fire

TRACK #207:

Into the Fire by Dokken

Dokken may be best known around these parts for their Elm Street power ballad Dream Warriors, but not only was this “B-Side” cut first, it appears first in Dream Warriors (during the opening credit sequence) and it reached a slot higher on the modern rock charts. That technically makes this their more popular hit. B-Side my ass.

For Freddy nerds however, the plot thickens.

When it came time to release the film on VHS, producer and New Line exec Bob Shaye didn’t really feel like paying royalties on Into the Fire, with which the theatrical prints of the film were screened.

Perhaps being a standing hit unrelated to the film it had a different deal than the Title Track did. Maybe it was just gonna cost too much to keep it in the film. I’m not sure exactly.

What I do know is that Bob had it replaced with an instrumental version of the Joe Lamont (a shindigger himself) track Quiet Cool (a title track even!) from the film Quiet Cool, which New Line also owned. Problem solved, right?

I guess.

That is until Digital Video Discs became a thing and everyone scrambled to re-release everything everyone already owned. When it came time for The Elm Street franchise to get the digital treatment, New Line opted to keep it real and release the theatrical version of the film, Into The Fire and all.

By then however, a generation of Freddy fans, who may not have ever seen the theatrical version (much less remember it) had now grown up watching their worn out VHS copies of Dream Warriors not hearing Into The Fire during the credits at all.

They were a little upset.

A glance through some Elm Street message boards or even YouTube comments will greet you with plenty of fans that actually prefer the Quiet Cool version. Some fans even think they replaced the original song with Into the Fire just for the DVD, not knowing that was the original track. Those fans tend to be even more upset.

That’s what familiarity and nostalgia will get you, because anyone who thinks the Quiet Cool version is superior is outta their mind, you ask me. I can see that making you miss the VHS version, but that’s where I’ll have to draw the line, because Into the Fire rules. Yeah, maybe it’s a little on the intense side for a sequence where Patricia Arquette is just mocking up 1428 Elm in paper mache, but when her mom busts in and tells her she’ll wake up the neighborhood, it seems a bit strange that she’s referring to a mellow instrumental.

Whichever version of Dream Warriors you prefer, there’s no denying that Dokken’s Into the Fire is a certified Shindigger.

So grab a spoonful of Maxwell house instant coffee, chase that shit with a shot of Diet Coke and crank this tune, cause Freddy’s waiting for you on the other side of that pillow, and he’s still pretty pissed about that whole “your parents burnt him alive” thing.



Dream Warriors

TRACK #103:

Dream Warriors by Dokken

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 this, 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.