Greatest Movie Series
Nightmare on Elm Street Films
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) | A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) | A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) | Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
(Wes Craven's) New Nightmare (1994) | Freddy vs. Jason (2003) | A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
|A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
d. Jack Sholder, 87 minutes
Film Plot Summary
The film opened, under the credits, in the town of Springwood (Ohio), as a yellow school bus delivered students home after school. Soon, there were only two teenaged girls and a nerdy, effeminate guy (the sequence's dreamer, it was revealed) in the back of the vehicle.
The scene shifted away from the nightmare. The next scene was in the kitchen of the Walsh household, where a tomato was being sliced on a cutting board.
At the breakfast table was the all-American Walsh family:
Angela was eating Fu Man Chews cereal, and reaching for the box's prize - five extra-long plastic fingernail tips. Upstairs, Jesse was heard screaming and waking up from the school-bus "bad dream" - he was recognizable as the nerdy effeminate boy on the bus. Almost every morning, bare-chested Jesse woke up covered in sweat after another nightmare (symbolic of AIDS-related nightsweats?).
The family had moved into the house only a few weeks earlier, and Jesse still hadn't fully unpacked. The new kid in town, Jesse drove his prospective red-headed 'girlfriend' Lisa Webber (Kim Myers) to school in his beat-up car.
During an intramural softball game in gym class, athletic student Ron Grady (Robert Rusler) hit a line drive double that struck Jesse in the head and knocked him to the ground, while he was not paying attention and looking over at Lisa and her friend Kerry (Sydney Walsh) during archery instruction. As the ball-game progressed, Jesse tagged Grady out, and Grady retaliated by depantsing his gym pants (revealing his bare-ass and jockstrap), and they wrestled on the ground. Coach Schneider (Marshall Bell) disciplined both of them, ordering them to "assume the position." The two were forced to do multiple push-ups side-by-side, when Grady mentioned that the Coach was known to "hang around queer S & M joints downtown - He likes pretty boys like you." And then Grady asked Jesse about his sexual relationship with Lisa: "Are you mounting her nightly, or what?"
In the shower room after their punishment, Jesse explained how he had moved into the Thompson home from the first film [after it had been on the market for five years]. The house at 1428 Elm Street was recognizable with bars on the window. Grady revealed some past history about one of its occupants:
That night, Jesse had trouble sleeping (although he experienced the following nightmare):
Jesse awoke with a blood-curtling scream from another "bad dream."
During his high school Biology class, Jesse verged on napping to catch up on his sleep deprivation. As he leaned on his arm and appeared to fall asleep, he 'dreamed' that a snake was wrapping itself around his neck - in reality, Grady had played a prank on him.
Later in the day, Jesse called his friend Lisa and interrupted her swimming in the backyard pool of her luxurious home, but when he attempted to leave the house to see her and join her in the pool, Jesse's father demanded that he first thoroughly unpack his bedroom. [Jesse's bedroom door had a prominent warning sign: "NO OUT OF TOWN CHICKS" that at first glance read: "NO CHICKS."] While cleaning up his room to the Fonda Rae tune: "Touch Me (All Night Long)," Jesse put on Elton John style- gold-glittering sunglasses, closed his full dresser drawer with butt jabs, grabbed a pop-gun, jumped on his bed, and made swiveling pelvic thrusts as he thrust the phallic-like pop-gun into his crotch area, in a masturbatory pose.
He was embarrassed when interrupted by his mother and Lisa who had been invited over to the house to help him unpack. She asked him about the best place to store his "jock itch" spray powder, and stashed one of his sweaters in a closet, where the board game PROBE was conspicuously hidden.
In the back of one of the closet shelves, Lisa discovered a tattered, five-year old red diary with latched strap on the front. They opened it, finding that it belonged to Nancy Thompson, 1428 Elm Street, the previous occupant of the house - and room. [Note: There was no indication that Nancy kept a written diary in the previous film.] She read outloud portions of the diary, of Nancy's normal teenaged lustful sexual fantasies about her across-the-street neighbor-boyfriend Glen: "His body is slim and smooth and I know I shouldn't watch him, but that part of me that wants him forces me to. That's when I weaken. That's when I want to go to him."
Jesse sat down next to Lisa, turned a few pages, and began reading another segment of the diary that equated teenage sexuality with horror. Another entry told about how she had an encounter with a different more monstrous male - Freddy:
Nancy's nightmarish experiences and ordeals sounded chillingly familiar to Jesse, who appeared stunned and frozen, realizing that the same stalker named Fred was also visiting him in his ongoing nightmares. Lisa read another troubling entry: "Tina is dead." Jesse recalled how Grady had told him about the previous occupant of the house, Nancy, who went crazy when she saw her boyfriend Glen murdered across the street.
That night, Jesse tossed and turned as he began to experience another bad dream:
When Jesse told Lisa about his dream at school the next day, she suggested he was having a premonition. On the high school practice field as they jogged together, Jesse asked Grady if he remembered his dreams. He replied: "Only the wet ones." In the locker room afterwards, the coach heard them as they criticized him, concurring that he had "a stick up his ass" - the two were again punished by their coach with more push-ups.
That night in the Walsh house, roasting at about 97 degrees, the covered parakeet cage in the living room began shaking, as one of the birds ripped into the neck of a second bird and killed it. When Jesse opened the cage door, the bird flew into the room, circled around the ceiling, and dove at Mr. Walsh's left cheek - and put a gash in it. As they tried to strike it down with a broom, the angry parakeet suddenly burst into flames in mid-air. Mr. Walsh attempted to determine the rational cause of the aberration, either a gas leak or cheap bird seed, or even suspected sabotage by Jesse (with a planted cherry bomb).
During another disturbed night of sleep, Jesse experienced another frightening occurrence, in which Freddy took over his body:
Two police officers returned Jesse (naked and wrapped in a blanket) to his home at 12:30 am, where his parents were told that Jesse was wandering around on the highway without clothes. His father suspected drug use. The next morning as he departed for school, Jesse told his mother: "It's a problem I have to work out on my own." His mother feared Jesse was crazy, certain that he needed professional help from a psychiatrist, although his father thought he was a drug-user who needed more discipline: "What that boy needs is a goddamn kick in the butt...He needs a methadone clinic."
At school where officers had cordoned off the gym area, Jesse learned: "Schneider got wasted last night...Some maniac came in and sliced him up like a kilebasa. Hacked him in the shower, got bloody footprints all over the place." That night in his dresser drawer, Jesse found the glove with the fingers moving and a voice summoning him to again be possessed and kill for Freddy: "Kill for me." He opened the door to his sister Angela's bedroom, where he saw her in a white dress skipping rope in the middle of the room, and singing the familiar jingle: "One, Two, Freddy's coming for you..."
At breakfast the next morning, Jesse asked his father why it took five years for the house to sell that they were living in, and then added:
His father denied any problems: "There's absolutely nothing, I mean, nothing wrong with this house." At that moment, the unplugged kitchen toaster was consumed in flames.
Lisa encouraged Jesse to not be anxious about the recent events, and Coach Schneider's death:
They drove together to an old abandoned power plant, the location where Fred Krueger had been employed, and where he had brought his preyed-upon victims to a boiler room. She had done some research in the library, learning that the "Springwood Slasher" (Krueger) had been arrested, but then freed on a technicality. He had kidnapped twenty kids, brought them to the factory, and killed them. Lisa asked Jesse to concentrate and see if he felt any "connection" to the derelict facility, but there was none.
Again that night in the Walsh home, the camera (following an intruder from his POV) traveled from the basement furnace to Angela's upstairs bedroom, where Freddy's voice told her: "Wake up, little girl." In the next view when she awoke, a perspiring Jesse was standing above her bed. After telling her to go back to sleep, he adjusted her covers - noticing Freddy's right-handed talon-glove on his own hand. Anxious about what he might do to his sister and fearing his own increasing insanity, Jesse (although bereft of sleep) took Sta-Up pills and drank caffeinated Coke to keep awake.
At Lisa's house, she held a pool party to which she had invited all her teenaged friends, with her insistent father's only restriction - a 12:30 am end time. In the pool house cabana, a worried and detached Jesse told Lisa that he wasn't "into" the party and was planning to leave. She insisted on helping him with his problems - he was afraid of going to sleep, and concerned that he was falling apart. Lisa assured him: "I'm not gonna let anything happen to you."
Outside, the pool party became more raucous, as beer was brought out in a wagon, the music was changed, and a few bikini tops were shed. After gently kissing a few times, Jesse and Lisa became more passionate - but as he was kissing her between her breasts, Freddy's thick, green snake-like tongue protruded six inches out of his mouth into her cleavage. Startled, he quickly protracted the phallic object, covered his mouth, and ceased heterosexual love-making. He scrambled to put on his clothes to leave, perplexing Lisa by his sudden exit.
Jesse proceeded to Grady's house, where he found his friend sleeping in his bedroom (with a Limahl poster). Jesse asked: "I need you to let me stay here tonight." Scared and "all messed up," Jesse admitted to 'killing' Coach Schneider. He explained how he had been possessed recently (when becoming sexual with Lisa) by "something inside of me...Something is trying to get inside my body." Grady implied that Jesse was heterosexually dysfunctional, and fancied him instead: "Yeah, and she's female, and she's waiting for you in the cabana, and you wanna sleep with me."
Jesse asked for help - enlisting Grady to watch over him as he slept: "Just watch me. If anything starts to happen, if I start to act weird, or start dreaming weird or try to walk out of here, you gotta stop me." As Jesse slept, Grady also fell asleep (although warned not to), allowing Freddy to inhabit Jesse's body.
He fled from the house and ran back to Lisa's pool party, where he told her: "I killed Grady," while she attempted to comfort her scared friend. He also added: "I killed Schneider." He explained how Freddy had taken control of his body: "He's inside me and he wants to take me again." She tried to rationalize away everything: "It's gotta be everything you've taken in -- Schneider and the diary, the glove -- only it's all mixed up." He argued how he had also almost killed his sister: "I got blood on my hands. He owns me."
Freddy's demonic spirit began to invade the party:
In the study of Lisa's house, she read the last entry in Nancy's diary to Jesse: "He is evil itself. I know now that I brought him into my world. We all did. Gave him all the energy he needed. Our screams were all he needed." Although Jesse feared: "Oh God, he's coming back," Lisa urged him to fight back: "You created him. You can destroy him...He is living off of your fear...He doesn't even exist."
Freddy emerged in the study, vowing that he was Jesse: "He's can't fight me. I'm him," and attacked Lisa. As she scrambled away, he grabbed her leg and bit her bare calf. When she threatened Freddy with a large butcher knife, she heard Jesse's voice pleading from within the monstrous creature: "Kill me, Lisa. Please kill me." She plunged the knife into the shoulder of the mocking character, as she heard Jesse tell her: "I love you, Lisa" - Freddy stopped before killing her, but threw her against the wall.
Freddy dove through the patio doors and crashed up through the concrete surrounding the pool area. The pool water was now bubbling and boiling, as he randomly slashed the face of one of the male teens by the pool (# 3 death). The metal fence enclosing the pool was heated to scorching temperatures, cornering the fleeing teens. Two unnamed pool party guests fell into the boiling pool in the chaotic stampede to escape Freddy, after which the surface of the pool burst into flames (# 4-5 deaths). While climbing a fence to escape, another unidentified female was blocked by a wall of flames and fell into some bushes, where she was engulfed in flames (# 6 death). A male guest in a red tank top was trampled to death by the crowd, when his neck was stepped on and snapped (# 7 death). Another male was stabbed in the chest by Freddy and bled to death (# 8 death). And finally, one brave 'do-gooder' male tried to talk Freddy Krueger down by asking him to be calm and relax, promising: "Nobody's gonna hurt you" - he was thrown across the pool deck and smashed into the gas grill (# 9 death).
In front of a huge column of fire, Freddy extended his arms and exclaimed: "You are all my children now!" Lisa's father aimed his shotgun at Freddy, but his first shot missed - and Lisa pushed down the gun barrel to save Jesse from being killed with the second shot. Freddy/Jesse vanished into a wall of fire at the backyard fence.
For the final showdown against Freddy/Jesse, and to help rescue Jesse, Lisa drove in his car to the abandoned, haunted factory, where she had to first pass, showing no fear, by a pair of growling, threatening wild dogs with mutant, slimy, unnatural faces/heads. She cautiously walked in, and noticed that black ants had momentarily invaded the wound on her leg caused by Freddy's bite. Proceeding along the catwalks and on ladders, she was confronted by Freddy/Jesse, who raised his taloned hand at her: "Come to me, Lisa." She spoke directly to Jesse inside of him: "Jesse, I know you're in there. Stop him!"
When she was grabbed and he threatened to kill her, she vowed: "I love you, Jesse," to weaken Freddy's power and cause his wounds to drip real blood. While ignoring Freddy's maniacal threats and assertions that Jesse was dead, she thwarted Freddy with a firm and angry statement:
To help Jesse fight off Freddy from the inside, through the power of love, she strengthened Jesse as Freddy lost control: "He can't hold you, Jesse. He's losing his grip. You can get out."
She grabbed Freddy, removed his hat, stroked his head, pressed her lips toward him and kissed him, even as Freddy asserted: "He'll die with both of us." Freddy pushed her away, as the pipes and railings in the factory caught on fire, and he was consumed in the flames, melting his flesh and causing his demise. After Freddy died in a smoldering mass, the flames around him slowly extinguished. The charred corpse suddenly moved -- Jesse emerged from Freddy's blackened and singed ashes. Lisa tenderly cradled Jesse in her arms.
Soon after, Jesse (with bandaged arms) kissed his mother goodbye and cheerfully left his house to return to school. He was picked up at the curb by a yellow school bus. He sat with Lisa, and told her: "I can't believe it's actually all over." The bus began to speed up, and Jesse was the only one who agitatedly sensed there might be a problem. He yelled at the driver to stop, although nothing was wrong as they came to their next stop.
After he apologized to Lisa for his fear, and Lisa's friend Kerry in the seat behind him assured: "It's OK, it's all over," Freddy's clawed razor glove-hand burst from Kerry's chest (# 10 death), with the sound of his maniacal laugh. The runaway bus careened off the main road into an open desert landscape, as in Jesse's opening nightmare.
Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)
With a production budget of $3 million, and box-office gross receipts of $30 million (domestic).
With the tagline: "The Man of Your Dreams Is Back."
Extensive evidence existed regarding the film's homosexual subtext, i.e., the sexually-repressed homosexual character of Jesse, Jesse's high-pitched screaming, the depantsing wrestling scene, the multiple male locker room scenes, the S&M references, the phallic snake wrapped around Jesse's neck in Biology class, the sign on Jesse's bedroom door that at first glance read: "NO CHICKS," the pelvic thrusting dance scene with a phallic popgun thrust into his crotch as he cleaned his room wearing Elton John-style gold-glittering sunglasses, the board-game PROBE hidden in his closet, the scene at the gay leather bar, the unusual bondage-murder of the leather-tank-topped gym coach - after being assaulted by sports balls and whipped by towels on his naked butt, Jesse's lack of libido and performance anxiety, the exploding hot dogs at the pool party, and more.
This low-budget film was received fairly negatively by fans and critics, for its vague connection and lack of continuity of characters from the first film, and for the lack of delineation between the 'real' and 'dream' worlds, especially in the concluding pool-party slaughter sequence.
Body Count: 10 (mostly committed by either Freddy or the 'possessed' body of Jesse Walsh). Many of the deaths of unidentified teens occurred in the pool party scene, and were the result of Freddy's mayhem.
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