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review added: 9/28/99



A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:
Freddy's Revenge


review by Todd Doogan, special to The Digital Bits

The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection


A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2:
Freddy's Revenge

New Line Platinum Series - 1985 (1999) - New Line

Film Rating: D

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/B/B+

Specs and Features:

87 mins, R, widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, cast and crew info circa 1985, DVD-ROM features (Script-To-Screen screenplay access, Dream World trivia game #2, up-to-the-minute cast and crew information, Freddy's Portal website access), film-themed menu screens with animation and music, scene access (26 chapters), language: English (DD 5.1) and (DD mono), subtitles: English, Close Captioned

In this unimpressive sequel to the original, Freddy comes back from the dead again, to take over the body and soul of a young man named Jesse (Mark Patton). Jesse just moved into the Elm Street house, and is having trouble sleeping. His room is too hot at night, he has dreams of a dark man in a dirty red and green sweater, and as if that weren't bad enough, everybody at his new school is making fun of him. Everyone, that is, except Lisa (Kim Myers). Lisa is a cute redhead (and Meryl Streep look-alike) who seems to really dig him. There's love in the air for Jesse and Lisa, but there's also the smell of blood. People are starting to turn up dead, carved up like last year's turkey. It looks like Freddy's work, but he's dead - who could be doing it (Jesse)? I mean, who would be capable of doing such horrible things (Jesse)? What? You think it's Jessie? Well, go right up to the front aof the line, 'cause it is Jesse. Only Jesse doesn't know he's doing it -- he's possessed by Freddy. Can Lisa save Jesse before Freddy takes him over for good? Is the power of love that strong? Should I have eaten that Philly cheesesteak last night - the one that's giving me heartburn now?

Freddy's Revenge is a joke to true fans of Freddy. The only thing it's good for is that it made Freddy livelier - cracking jokes and such (the body/brains sequence is a scream - literally). It also introduced us to make-up master Kevin Yagher. Yagher's effects for the film are wonderful, and a huge step up from the make-up in the first film. Freddy just looks cooler in this one.

What makes the film NOT really work, is the fact that it does nothing to further the mythos of Freddy. It's wasted because it doesn't explain anything - and it's overall confusing. Can Freddy simply take new bodies? Does he want to? What's the point of him taking revenge against the people who killed him (i.e. the original Elm Street families), if he's just going to move on to killing gay/sadist gym teachers, greased-up teens who don't even live on Elm, or hot-to-trot redheads? Answer: there isn't any point. It's just an opportunist remake, that should have never been done in the first place. But it's really too late to say anything about it now - about 14 years too late.

This new DVD is only available in the truly remarkable box set. It's anamorphic widescreen only, and it comes with two soundtracks: the original mono and Dolby Digital 5.1. Both are good - actually, the original mono is really good. The 5.1 track is better, but it shows a few moments of fall-through, mainly in the dialogue sequences, when you can hear the echo of the original mono. It's only slightly audible, but it's there (listen closely when the teen at the pool tries to talk Freddy "down"). The picture quality is in line with the first film, which is to say, it's an awesome picture. The new 16x9 transfer really captures the wonderful use of color in this film. The melting Freddy, the blood-splattered walls, and all that fire looks really nice here. You can even see the detail in Freddy's brain during the first meeting between Jesse and Freddy - yuck (but cool). It's a great looking DVD version of a tired sequel, but you need it if you're into collecting all the films.

The special edition material is more ROM-based, with access to the second level of trivia questions (that will give you hints to complete the Encyclopedia Labyrinth), and the script-to-screen feature, which lets you watch the film while following along in the screenplay. You also get weblinks, etc. - these are standard extras here, that are available on all the discs. Along with the ROM stuff, are film-specific menu screens, and cast and crew bios compiled from the film's original press kits. It's fun, it's cool and it's on the disc. Additional stuff for this film can be found on the Encyclopedia disc (such as the trailer) - it's very interesting, and worth a look.

If you like your horror films with a little bit of a homoerotic bend, then look no further than Freddy's Revenge. There are a few moments of scares, but ultimately the film is pretty much laughable. if you need a reason to watch it, do so because the makeup is cool. But if you skip it, no one will blame you.

Todd Doogan
todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com


The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2


The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection


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