Wednesday, October 31, 2012

F This Movie! - The Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise

Patrick and Mike close out Scary Movie Month with their annual franchise retrospective, this time turning their attention to the man with burns on his face, knives for fingers and hundreds of horrible, horrible jokes.

Last day to take part in the Scary Movie Challenge III!! Help us break 1,000 posts!

Download this episode here. (39.3 MB)

Email F This Movie! at fthismoviepodcast(at)

Subscribe to F This Movie! in iTunes

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Also discussed this episode: Swamp Thing, Black Sunday, The Innkeepers

Thanks for an incredible Scary Movie Month, everyone! Best one yet BY FAR. We love you all in very, very different ways, and we hope you'll stay with us going forward!


  1. I hate to start these comments on a negative and be the bearer of bad news, and no offense to the author of the comment, but "this is the gayest horror movie ever made" = 8 words. :-\ Just trying to keep your own game fair.

    But anyway, great send-off to Scary Movie Month! I'll be watching the original Nightmare on Elm Street this afternoon as one of my final SMM movies, as well as maybe 2 and 5, since I recorded them both, even though I know they are both pretty awful.

  2. The podcast makes me look forward to diving into the series which I don't think is what you're shooting for..

    I've only seen the original, part 3, 6, 7, Freddy vs. Jason and the remake. I feel the same way Patrick feels about Halloween (78) about the original Nightmare. Part 3 is probably my favorite right now because it gives the characters a chance to fight back which is make or break for me with slasher movies. I have an odd feeling toward Freddy's Dead because it was my introduction to the series and I went to see Suburban Commando and kept leaving the theater to peek in on Freddy's Dead so it was like a forbidden movie for me. New Nightmare is good but I admire it more than I enjoy it. Freddy Vs. Jason stinks and the remake is AWFUL (but I love micronaps and have been taking a lot of them during Scary Movie Month).

    Where do you come down on People Under the Stairs? I think it's good Craven but it sort of underappreciated in my opinion.

    1. I would definitely put People Under the Stairs in the "Good" half of Wes Craven's filmography, but, like New Nightmare, I think there's a gulf between what he wants to say and how it's executed. At least People Under the Stairs is a lot more fun to watch.

    2. Now we know who will co-host with me when we do a SUBURBAN COMMANDO podcast.

    3. More like the definitive Suburban Commando podcast! I'll call Shelley's people..I want set stories.

      Just curious, what do you think Craven wants to say in People Under the Stairs? I saw it a lot when I was young but probably not in the past 10+ years. Any message went over my head.

    4. I think Wes Craven is trying to say a lot of things about race and class in the movie -- that the couple played by Everett McGill and Wendie Robie (who some critics have suggested are stand-ins for Ronald and Nancy Reagan) are the 1%, hoarding the wealth and keeping their boots on the necks of everyone else (in this case, it's the inner-city African Americans). That they're horrible murderers isn't very subtle. It's another example of a movie with some interesting politics in which the execution doesn't always work, but it's crazy enough to be very entertaining.

  3. Wow, only the original "NOES" and "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" (sort-of) are good? Patrick's a tough crowd to please. I agree (and disagree with Mike) that "NOES 3" is guilty of establishing the pattern of flaws (comedian Freddy, one-dimensional characters whose personality trait dictates their death, etc.) that the sequels would keep rehashing to death. I see these flaws as a necessary evil though, something Craven/Russell/New Line had to do in "NOES3" to re-focus the series back on the "NOES" wagon and away from where "NOES2" took the series.

    I personally dig (besides the classic "NOES" and the good portions of "Wes Craven's New Nightmare") "NOES4" as the sequel that, while flawed (and also engaged in the killing of the hero from the previous movie for no reason whatsoever that "NOES3" did with Nancy and her dad... FUCK THAT!) recaptures a sense of fun about itself while retaining the smidgen of 'dreamy class' that characterized the first "NOES." I agree it does look like an 80's MTV music video but that's the charm of "NOES4" to me: 80's cheese mixed with gruesome, gory and dreamy comedian Freddy that's occasionally funny.

    Love that Mike has become the 'horror franchise' guy for "Scary Movie Month." Saw, Halloween, NOES... what franchise will be tackled next year? The "Hellraiser" conga line to shit? "Re-Animator" trilogy"? Romero's "Dead" sixology? "Friday the 13th"/"Jason" (to tie-up with "NOES" via "Freddy vs. Jason")? :-)

    On a personal note, thanks for the "SMM" challenge when I found myself with a lot of unexpected free time. I wasn't planning on participating much and ended up doing a ton of 'em (most of them flicks that I had already watched to make it easy to rewatch them in bulk). Then Hurricane Sandy hit over the past few days and haven't been able to go anywhere (but at least had power and no major damage). Couldn't get to my midtown office until today, and then it was ony to stare at a blacked out building w/o power. So the past couple of days/nights (including today and this evening) I've watched a ton of horror flicks I wasn't planning to, half to get a few extra entries into the "SMM III" challenge but also to distract myself from the total disruption of my (and a lot of North Eastener's) daily schedule/routine. So, again, thanks for the much needed distraction.

    Expect some data/numbers about "Scary Movie Challenge III" after the month ends to be posted here... WHEN NUMBERS ATTACK! :-)

    1. I didn't mean to give the impression that I felt NIGHTMARE 3 didn't establish the pattern of flaws that took over the series. I just meant that in NIGHTMARE 3 it doesn't bother me like it does in the others.

    2. I hear you, and most "NOES" fans side with you in liking 3 the best of all the "NOES" sequels. I just plan like 4 more than 3, it's totally a personal call because 'it's like a heart attack one a one way street.' :-)

  4. Great Podcast, guys and thanks for the Scary Movie month. Tried my best during the challenge, but that shit is hard.

    Anyhow... I watched the original Nightmare on Sunday with a couple of young soldiers, while we were working the duty desk. They had never seen it, and it had been a while for me too, but we were still scared, and that stupid tongue on the phone gag still made me jump a little.

    I had to pause it for a moment and run back to my office to check something, and there was a clip on YAHOO! about how Heather Langenkamp and her husband own a creature F/X house that did all the practical stuff in CABIN IN THE WOODS and will be doing the stuff for the new STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS movie, and her IMDB page said she was going to have a small part in STAR TREK aswell.

    I'm going to rewatch Nightmare 2 again because that's where I started, (I think I was in 6th grade when that came out) but I never noticed the gayness of it.

    I also bought Halloween III last night and could not stop thinking about "Robot Vagina" from last year's podcast.

    Keep up the good work! Looking forward to watching other kinds of movies again.

    1. I can never stop thinking about robot vaginas. It's become a problem.

      Thanks for giving the SMC your all! Every bit helps, and we're glad you were with us this month.

      I'm crazy excited that Heather Langenkamp is going to have a part in the new Star Trek. Two of my favorite things coming together.

      If you watch Nightmare 2 now, I promise you won't be able to see anything BUT the gayness. It's what makes the movie worth watching.

  5. Can we decide that the sign of a bad horror movie is an appearance by Alice Cooper?

  6. Great episode. Due to my appreciation for world/mythology building I should probably bite the bullet and watch the Saw franchise, but I just know i'll be covering my eyes for most of it that i'll miss too much. I am such a little bitch.

    A couple comments on the Nightmare on Elm Street topics.
    If Elm Street 2 is an analogy for homosexuality, repressed sexual urges and denying your true self etc etc (intended or not), then because Jesse and Co beat Freddy at the end is the moral of the story to repress and deny and kill your inner homosexual? It has a kind of "One of Us" vibe when looking at it in that way. "If you repress who you really are it can become a darkness that will destroy you from the inside....Sooooo, you need to repress it better so it cant even be a darkness. Then you can be just like us, with a girlfriend and everything"

    I think the intention of killing off the survivor of the previous films is a cheap way of upping the ante. It seems to be short hand for "This girl beat Freddy/Jason/Your Mum last time, but now she is easily disposed of because He's back and he's badder than ever, Bwahahaha!"
    Not a good reason at all, but I think thats what they are driving at.

    After having sat through all the Nightmares and the Fridays I have to disagree with your decision that Fridays are better. I found the Fridays became inanely dull and almost boring due to their simplicity and repetitiveness. They are so formulaic and there are more instalments that just conform to the formula making the overall franchise all the same.
    With Nightmare I give major points to the novelty it finds post Part 3. And while it is cheesy and bad, it does break up the monotony of the franchise overall. And I kind of like that once they start on the slippery slop in part 3 that they just dive on down until they reach the dregs at the bottom of Freddy's Dead.
    This is not to say that they are good movies or anything, they clearly become cheap bad imitations of themselves, But I would much rather sit through another Nightmare marathon over a Fiday marathon.

    Also, whats up with the ways Freddy gets killed?
    "when evil shall see itself then evil shall die"?!?!? The unknown second verse of the Freddy nursery rhyme comes out of nowhere only at the end when she needs it! WTF?!? In new NIghtmare he burns? really! Thats it!
    I know its not the point of the films, but they tend to be major anticlimaxes


    Total number of posts with reviews: 1,000 even (there's 1,003 posts total but three are comments)

    Total number of reviews: 1,005 (couple of jokers doubled-up)

    Total number of individual movies reviewed (no repeats): 479

    Movies with just a single review each: 307

    Movies with the most reviews (individual):

    Cabin in the Woods: 15
    Frankenstein '31: 15
    Dracula '31: 11
    Friday the 13th Part III: 11
    The Innkeepers: 11
    Nightmare on Elm Street '84: 11
    Nightmare on Elm Street 3: 11
    Bride of Frankenstein: 10
    Witchfinder General: 10
    Return of the Living Dead: 9
    Spider Baby: 9
    Halloween '78: 8
    Curse of the Werewolf: 8
    V/H/S: 7
    Creepshow: 7
    Evil Dead 2: 7
    Nightmare on Elm Street 2: 7
    Creature from the Black Lagoon: 6
    The Descent: 6
    The Mummy '32: 6
    Fright Night '85: 6
    Friday the 13th The Final Chapter: 6
    The Invisible Man '33: 6
    Hausu: 6
    House of 1,000 Corpses: 6
    The Others: 6
    Prometheus: 6
    The Shining: 6
    The Woman in Black: 6
    Carrie '76: 5
    The Burning: 5
    Friday the 13th '80: 5
    Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare: 5
    Hellraiser: 5
    Halloween II '81: 5
    The Lost Boys: 5
    Jason X: 5
    Nosferatu '22: 5
    Phantasm II: 5
    The Thing '82: 5

    (all the remaining movies got 4 votes or less each)

    Franchise totals (including modern-day remakes):

    Nightmare on Elm Street: 45*
    Friday the 13th/Jason: 42*
    Halloween: 26
    "Evil Dead" Trilogy: 14
    Hellraiser: 13
    Paranormal Activity: 11
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre: 10
    Hatchet: 8
    Phantasm: 6
    The Howling: 6

    (*=does not include Freddy vs. Jason which got three reviews; feel free to add/subtract from the tally).

    Reviews by decade:

    20's: 17
    30's: 65
    40's: 22
    50's: 37
    60's: 64
    70's: 96
    80's: 276
    90's: 87
    2000's: 173
    2010's: 135

    Ran out of space. More statistics later after I catch some ZZZ's. :-)

    1. Excellent work! The fact that '80s horror got represented the most warms my heart. Such a (simultaneously) great and awful decade for horror. Congrats to the F This Movie crew and fans on reaching 1000 posts, as well! Time for celebration!

    2. Nice job, Vargas, I was thinking it would be interesting to see some stats like these.

  8. Yo Mike - my bastard brother from another 100 maniacs - thanks for reading one of my reviews - awesome that we made it to 1000 and with so much high-quality shit - we're a pretty clever bunch!

    I concur on The Innkeepers - I watched it in September so didn't "review" it but it's up there with one of the best movies I saw this year period.

    I fucking loved the first NOES rewatching it (for the first time in many years) a few days ago - a bona fide horror masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. And I actually felt a little chill when Mike mentioned the friend in the bodybag - one of several great scenes. I watched the original Halloween last night (another movie I hadn't watched in many years) and now I'm torn between which gets the title of Best Franchise Opener because they're both awesome (and obviously kick the shit out of the first Ft13th).

    NOES movies were very popular rentals for sleepovers growing up and even at a young age we all kinda knew the second one sucked - I think I only ever watched it once before - so I went in with low expectations and was kinda pleasantly surprised. It's not good, but it was bad in that so-bad-it's-good kinda way - lots of stuff to make fun of and as Mike said, pretty WATCHABLE.

    Nothing much specifically to say about Parts 3-6 other than that, in spite of the many flaws and Freddy's transformation into a comedian, I would again say they are very watchable. I was going to try to watch all of the Friday the 13th movies and after a couple attempts at the earlier ones I couldn't be bothered to do the whole thing (I did enjoy Jason X - yeah, it's got that low-budget Canadian production feel and some cheese but I was at least interested to see where it was going) - they just don't entertain me like they used to. Parts 3-5 of NOES are strangely entertaining to me at least and I will happily watch them all again next Scary Movie Month. It will be years before I watch a Friday the 13th movie again and I could not disagree more with the assertion that it's the more watchable franchise. And come on, quit bellyaching about previous movies' survivors getting killed in subsequent entries - I find the movies playful enough that it doesn't come across as mean-spirited as it does in say Zombie's Halloween II - out with the old, in with the new I say!

    Finished up the series last night and really enjoyed New Nightmare - totally agree with you guys that Heather came a long way as an actress (I actually thought she was worse in 3 than the first). I can't figure out why I find her so damn cute, but she is in fine form for this. The Freddy design kinda blows and the movie does revert to formula but I think the new concept PLUS some familiarity was a good way to go.

    All in all another great franchise-covering podcast of what has become my favourite franchise, and a great way to cap off what has been an awesome Scary Movie Month. Looking forward to next year already!

    1. Thanks, Sol! The original Nightmare is great. It's been interesting to reevaluate it in recent years, since I think I always catalogued it in my head as just being a piece of this overall '80s thing (it was so tied in with the sequels that I couldn't consider it as its own thing). Divorced from the rest of the franchise, it really is a masterpiece. I love it more every time I see it.

      Maybe the sequels can still be fun. Maybe watching them all back to back wasn't a good idea, or watching them in the back half of an already-demanding SMM. They got to be a drag. I don't know.

      AND I'll take issue with your (good-natured) line about "bellyaching" when characters are killed off. I really do think it's a problem, because it serves no dramatic purpose. Aren't we supposed to invest in and like these characters? That's what makes the first movie great. So when they are killed for no real reason, I think it hurts the movie.

      You could also argue that, no, we're not really supposed to care about them, because it's the Freddy show. That speaks to an ever bigger problem with the series -- and one that it has in common with the Friday the 13th series.

      Again, I'm not really that upset about it (except Nancy in Dream Warriors), because who really cares about replacement Patricia Arquette? It just speaks to a larger complaint I have about movies in general, and it's most prevalent in horror movies.

    2. I definitely agree with you in theory and probably can't put forth a real logical defense of NOEM's survivor-killing (and other problems) - for some reason, at a gut-level, it just worked for me within the context of what the franchise became (i.e. the Freddy Show), which did not necessarily live up to what it could have been given how great the first one was. I guess I'm choosing to "love the one I'm with" when it comes to the NOEM Franchise - it's possible that could change the next time I watch them!


    Oldest movies reviewed:

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
    The Golem (1920)
    Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
    Nosferatu (1922)

    Newest movies reviewed:

    Sinister (10/12/12)
    Rifftrax presents: Birdemic (10/24/12)

    Movie reviews by genre (IMHO):

    Slasher: 211
    Psychological/Thriller/Comedy: 205
    Supernatural: 163
    Classic Horror: 130
    Creature/Monster (excluding Classic Horror): 85
    "Hammer" movies: 31
    J-Horror: 17
    Documentary: 8
    Stop-motion/animation: 5

    (I was keeping track of foreign movies but lost count; my estimatee is about 30-40 total)

    Movie reviews alphabetically (movies/reviews):

    A: 20/25
    B: 28/58
    C: 22/59
    D: 33/66
    E: 16/27
    F: 41/104
    G: 11/13
    H: 51/101
    I: 17/41
    J: 5/10
    K: 4/6
    L: 18/28
    M: 24/44
    N: 16/56
    O: 6/12
    P: 24/57
    R: 25/39
    S: 48/76
    T: 33/53
    U, V: 14/24
    W, X: 15/38
    Y, Z: 4/7
    #'s: 4/6

    One more statistics post later today and I'M DONE WITH OCTOBER! :-)

  10. Think you missed Paranormal Activity 4.

    It was reviewed a couple of times and is newer than Sinister (it came out on the 19th)

    Not that it was much of a movie.

    1. You're right, totally forgot "Paranormal Activity 4" opened the weekend after "Sinister." My bad. :-P

  11. I have a lot of affection for the concept of the NOES (heretofore to be referred to as NOSE because it's more fun) series, but it's way better as a concept than actual for the first one. I remember sitting in class in second grade listening to this kid go over all the details of Part 4 and about how Freddie killed his victims and thinking it sounded like the most terrifying thing ever. I think I had nightmares about Freddie long before I actually saw the full movies. But outside that first movie, I think they're forever grounded in the time that they were made in (much like The Lost Boys) and don't have as much to offer outside nostalgia. If you didn't live through Freddie in the 80s, I'm not sure there's much there. But I do also agree that the first movie is fantastic and does seem to get better with age, as the way movies are made get father and farther away from that. It's interesting and takes time to care about these kids when a lot of other horror movies don't. So I do still love the NOSE series, but I think at least half of it is nostalgia. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    Meanwhile, I'm so glad October is over. I'm worn out...that was rough toward the end. I feel so burned out on horror right now, and I didn't even make it through my "watch list." I'm also glad to see that there's a lot of Bond on the horizon, because I just got all those movies on blu-ray and am going to watch as many of them as I can this month. Bring on Skyfall! I can't wait.

    Thanks for all you guys did in October, it was a hell of a month.

    1. I just noticed your new handle. WELL DONE SIR!

  12. Okay, I just realized I've misspelled Freddy's name about 12 times, so my bad. But I also wanted to ask what everyone's thoughts are on the Jackie Earl Haley remake from a few years back. I thought it was alright. Certainly not a winner, but while being kind of boring, I thought it did a really good job of making Freddy menacing and truly evil and representing the real scary danger he was in the classic original film. What do you guys think?

    1. I thought it was miserable and the only reason I went to see it is because the establishing shot of the high school and pool scene were shot at my high school featuring people I know. Besides that, I was thoroughly unimpressed. Like the Halloween remake, explaining things makes them make sense and things that make sense aren't scary. Especially when the explanations are shitty.

      As for October, it's over, that's for sure. I'm glad because I surely watched more horror this October than any other, but now I don't know what to watch. What is there to watch?

    2. I'm not a fan of the remake, even though I think it does a few interesting things. I agree with you, HH, that there was at least an attempt to get Freddy back to being scary instead of jokey and stupid. And there's a weird sex abuse angle that's introduced late in the movie that almost makes the whole thing about something totally different. It's not explored at all, though, and so mentioning it and then dropping it makes it even ickier. But there's something there. Mostly, though, it's hollow and boring, with very little understanding of what made the first movie so good. Pretty standard for remakes.


    No. of people contributing at least one review: 103 (102 if 'Doug' and 'Dracu-Doug' are the same guy :-P)

    No. of people contributing just one review: 39

    Participants with the most reviews:

    J.M. Vargas: 79(*)
    Adam: 51
    Brad L: 50
    Patrick Bromley: 42
    macmcentire: 40
    'Hollywood' Heath Holland: 40
    Sol O.: 37
    Luke Ciancio: 34
    Kathy: 33
    J.B.: 32
    Erich: 32
    Steve K.: 30
    Greg_Talbot: 30
    Michael Pomaro: 29
    Michael Piccoli: 28
    John Murphy: 28
    Clint J.: 24
    Doug/Dracu-Doug: 23
    Michael Carey: 21
    Darren Reid: 19
    Cameron Cloutier: 13
    Grey Weirdo: 11
    Sadia Schultz: 10
    Joseph Finn: 10
    Corbin Foster: 10
    Ross Reader: 10
    J.P.: 10
    Shannong Briggs: 9
    C. Burke: 9
    Michael Shaw: 8
    Brett Cullum: 8
    anonymous: 8
    J Godsey: 7
    Christy Pomaro: 7
    Dina D.: 7
    Dawn: 6
    Jessica: 6
    David Knottnerus: 6
    Tom Snail: 5
    Jake B.: 5
    Gordon Broogan: 5
    Michael Kidd: 5

    (everyone else contributed 4 reviews or less)

    (*) copy/paste link below to see all of your truly's 79 reviews and the formats in which I watched them: ).

    'F This Movie' staff/friends contributions:

    Adam: 51
    Patrick Bromley: 42
    J.B.: 32
    Erich: 32
    Michael Pomaro: 29
    Doug/Dracu-Doug: 23
    Christy Pomaro: 7
    janbotting: 3
    Erika: 3
    Mark Ahn: 1
    Michael Angel Sanchez: 1
    Michael Stailey: 1

    1. I still have yet to listen to this podcast but it's my favorite franchise ever! Also, I watched way more movies than I reviewed..I'm just really not very funny sometimes and can't come up with good reviews :p I'll do better next year, I promise.

    2. 50!! Goddamn. I feel both embarrassed and proud at the same time.

      Well done everyone. This was a super fun community event. Felt great to be part of it and the F-Head group as a whole.

      Thanks Patrick and Co.

    3. It doesn't feel like we watched that many movies, does it Brad L? Once you get into the groove it kind-of becomes 2nd nature. At least you got how many horror franchises out of the way, five?

    4. I had a few too many nights where Id watch a double feature then be half awake when I think " more wont be too bad".

      I managed to cover all of the Texas Chainsaw Massacres, Nightmare on Elm Streets, Friday the 13ths, Evil Deads, and Hatchets (if two films counts). I started down the Howling path and the Children in the Corns, but I stopped after the the fourth and third respectively.

    5. Just heard on "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" that there was a study in Germany that says you burn more calories if you're watching a horror movie. They also said that you burn more watching The Shining that you do Saw (?)

      So how many of you are ready for bikini season after the Movie Challenge? :-)

  14. Heh, wow. I'm closer to the middle than I thought, and yet, it feels like I watched 1,000 movies this month. It was exausting just to do as much as I did. But still, it was fun at the same time!

  15. Conversation me and my fiancée just had:

    Me: "Scary Movie Month is over"

    Her: "YESSS! That means I wont have to go to sleep to the sound of screams and chainsaws, and you squealing like a girl."

  16. This is the first episode I ever listened to back in 2012 and it is the reason I found your amazing podcast to begin with. I remember listening to different movie podcasts to fill the time at work as I was doing a lot of driving at the time and I searched for a movie podcast about Nightmare on Elm Street.

    I downloaded, listened, got a bit upset about your opinions of Nightmare 3, but I loved it. You guys left me wanting more, more of your opinions on movies and the delightful back and forth conversation. I haven't missed an episode since. Scary Movie Month is less than 2 hours away!!