Directed by Chuck Russell Written by Wes Craven, Bruce Wagner
Starring Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Craig Wasson
1h 36min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller - Release date: 27 February 1987
A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is, by far, the best sequel in the Nightmare franchise. Some fans may claim that 1994’s New Nightmare is better, and I must admit, it is a “deeper” film. But as a piece of entertainment, that movie could be used to euthanize dogs, with the credits playing to lull hysterical former pet-owners into slumber. It’s about as boring as watching a child learn to divide, and though it might have more thematic depth, it can’t stand up to Dream Warriors. Because Dream Warriors has “kickass” on its side, and when the chips are down, “kickass” beats “film school terms” every time.
Dream Warriors concerns a mental hospital full of teens, all on suicide watch. Apparently a few kids have killed themselves and people are, understandably, freaking out. Among the teens in the hospital are Kristen (Patricia Arquette), the main protagonist, Roland, the mute Joey, Jennifer, and Phillip. The latter two, Jennifer and Phillip, will be expanded upon later. These teens all have recurring nightmares involving the same man, revealed to be Freddy Krueger. Heather Langenkamp returns to the series as Nancy Thompson, now a hot-shot grad student studying psychology. Also returning to the series is John Saxon, as Nancy’s father, Donald. In the opening credits they list John Saxon as a “Special Appearance.”
Let me get something straight – John Saxon, whenever he appears in a film, is a special appearance. Other than the Nightmare series, John “Fuck Yeah” Saxon is best known for his role in Enter The Dragon, which cemented him as certifiably awesome in nearly every regard. Though John “Let’s Rock This Mutha” Saxon’s time in this film is limited, he does get to reenact Jason And The Argonauts and fights a sweet Freddy skeleton in a junk yard. I’m surprised that Frank Darabont, one of the writers of the film, still had enough fingers to type The Shawshank Redemption after his computer almost certainly exploded when he tried to type up that sequence.
Also in the film is fellow “Damn dude, he’s the man” Laurence Fishburne, and if you’re like me, you spend some of the film hoping that the whole Freddy plot gets dropped and that John “Your Wife Was Once Yours, But Now She Is Mine” Saxon and Fishburne will karate fight for the fate of the galaxy. Also, Saxon dies in this film, which proves that it’s a fantasy feature. Forget all the dream world antics. When John “Let’s Boogie, Satan” Saxon dies, you know that it’s nowhere near being a documentary.
Read the verdict after the jump…