Tag Archives: one two Freddy’s coming for you…

The 13 best Elm Street characters

Having done this for Friday the 13th some while ago, it’s now Freddy’s turn (then Michael, don’t get panicky). So mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the awesome-est of them all…?

Of course, Freddy is the best character in the franchise, but that’s predictable, so he – like Jason and Mrs Voorhees in the previous countdown – won’t feature here.

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Kincaid // Dream Warriors & The Dream Master

“Big tough bad ass” Kincaid says motherfucker a lot and tells a fellow ward inmates in Elm Street 3 that’s he’ll outlast them all – and he’s nearly right. Breaking the ‘black guys always die first’ trope in that film, he is one of three survivors, only to die first in the next film! Given with one hand, taken away with the other. Whatever, he’s proof that Elm Street was a franchise toying with the usual conventions: In any other 80s slasher film, he’d have likely been done in.

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Hall Monitor // The Original

Who is this girl? Is she even real? Why would she buy that sweater? I like her bunches. Hall Monitor girl only appears for a few precious seconds but she’s awesome for each of them, and she leads in Nancy’s excellent line: “Screw your pass!”

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Lisa // Freddy’s Revenge

Proto-Tiffany suburban high school queen Lisa (Kim Myers) has a bit of a Streep look to her, don’tcha think? While balancing popularity n’ stuff, Lisa befriends and attempts to heterosexualise new boy Jesse, who is being tormented by ‘the monster who wants to come out of him’ – Freddy. Only a kiss from Lisa can save the day!

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 Creepy Child // Dream Warriors

Irrespective of whether or not he was a kiddie-fiddler, Krueger murdered children before he was killed, and in turn, they crop up in the dreams of the Last of the Elm Street Children, such as this sweet little blonde girl, who says cryptic and spooky things to Patricia Arquette as she runs through a scary dream. Creepy Child is probably the best of the Creepy Children.

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Philip // Dream Warriors

Sensible Phil is possibly the most intelligent of the psyche ward kids in Elm Street 3, he makes a valid point to the doctors, which they ignore. But his predilection for sleep walking and puppet-craft is capitlised upon by Freddy, who turns him into a human marionette, using his veins for strings, and then drops him off the top of a tower.

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Dokken // Dream Warriors (sort of)

Elm Street stans should doubtlessly be familiar with the high camp video for the title song Dream Warriors, by spandex metal band Dokken, who, in the said video, save Patricia Arquette and defeat Freddy with the high-pitched squealings and frankly amazing facial expressions of lead vocalist Don Dokken. If you’ve not seen it, go to YouTube this very minute!

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Elaine Parker // The Dream Master

Kristen’s socialite mom first turns up in Dream Warriors, but comes back for more in the fourth movie, where she’s even more outrageously overbearing and hilarious. A real symbol of the cruelty of Freddy: the guilty adults are (usually) allowed to live and suffer the deaths of their children for their crime. Played by Brooke Bundy, mother of Tiffany Helm, the supreme Violet from Friday the 13th Part V, this still is my favourite Elaine moment: “Kristen! Get away from that house! Andale!”

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Marge Thompson // The Original

From one guilty mama to another, Nancy’s alcoholic mom is one of the most camptastic characters in horror history. The first adult to finally cave in and ‘fess up to what they all did to Freddy Krueger, this only happens after Nancy’s friends start dropping like flies and Nancy begins telling mom uncanny details about her recurring dreams… Plus she smokes in a hospital. Rebel.

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Coach Schneider // Freddy’s Revenge

Nasty, pervy, gum-chewin’ high school gym teacher Schneider (Marshall Bell) likes to punish the twinks in his classes, and takes a particular liking/dislike to Jesse, Freddy’s chosen conduit for carnage in Elm Street 2. The psychosexual undercurrent operating in the film has Jesse ‘coincidentally’ end up in some odd S&M bar ordering a drink, only to be caught by leather harness-wearing Schneider, who takes him back to school for a midnight detention, where he is bound, whipped, and slashed to death just as the shower heads spurt foamy water in the most unsubtle reference to ejaculation you could hope to find…

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Kristen // Dream Warriors

Although she returns for the next film, Patricia Arquette is the definitive Kristen, the successor to Nancy’s mantle who has the power to suck other sleeping people into one combined dream, thus allowing them to team up against Freddy. Tuesday Knight did a good job of carrying on the torch (Arquette was pregnant and couldn’t return). Best moment: Flipping out at Dr Simms, “You stupid bitch! You’re killing us!”

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Sheila // The Dream Master

Sweet nerdy Sheila is, like Debbie, on the periphery of the nightmare-plagued group in Elm Street 4, not really that concerned with the deaths of the friends-of-a-friend until weepy heroine Alice inherits Kristen’s dream-suck power (ooh-err) and practically serves her up to Freddy, who, ahem, “sucks” her to death during a science exam. Her Janet Jackson-lite vibe and oversized glasses make her the type of final girl I’d prefer for a change…

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Taryn // Dream Warriors

Recovering junkie Taryn is “beautiful and bad” in her dreams. Alas, that’s not enough to save her from Freddy, though she does put up a good fight before succumbing to his modified finger knives: Druggie filled needles . Fortunately for actress Jennifer Rubin, she got to don the heroine role in the following year’s Bad Dreams, in which she plays a girl who is stalked in her slumber by a psycho who wants to kill her. Uhh…

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Nancy Thompson // The Original & Dream Warriors

Well, it should surprise nobody really that Freddy’s ultimate nemesis is the numero uno non-undead character from the series. From her humble beginnnings as nightmare-plagued teenager with exponentially big, dry hair, to leading the Dream Warriors, and then even coming back as Heather Langenkamp for the fourth-wall busting New Nightmare. Nancy, you’re the best!

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So nobody from The Dream Child, Freddy’s DeadNew Nightmare (excluding Heather, sort of), Freddy vs Jason or the remake make the cut. Quelle surprise.

And it’s certainly all girl power isn’t it? C’mon guys, Glenn almost made it, but Dr Gordon/Rick/Dan etc? Zzzzzz. The chicks certainly rule this dream.

What joy?

KILLJOY

1.5 Stars  2000/18/72m

“He’s not clowning around!”

Director: Craig Ross / Writer: Carl Washington / Cast: Angel Vargas, Vera Yell, Lee Marks, D Austin, Jamal Grimes, William L. Johnson, Corey Hampton, Rano Goulant.

Body Count: 4

Laughter Lines: “That is why I’m here – to tell you all that you are in grave danger from the evil that calls itself…Killjoy!”


With a score of 2.4 on IMDb, this should really suck. In a lot of ways, it does, but I can at least say I wasn’t suicidally bored watching Killjoy – something that can’t be said for several other films I’ve endured recently.

Archetypal dork Michael (Grimes) loves Jada (Yell), but gets beaten up by her violent ex-boyfriend Lorenzo (Johnson) at every available opportunity. He tries to summon Killjoy, a sub-Beetlejuice murderous clown, to exact revenge, but is kidnapped and shot dead by Lorenzo and his homeys beforehand.

Soon after, each member of the gang is coerced by Killjoy in his ice-cream van, which serves as a portal to a nether realm where he imprisons them. Think Freddy in the Hood.

The ghost of a random homeless guy appears to Jada’s friend Monique and tells her that only Jada can defeat Killjoy by breaking Michael’s heart and destroying the doll. But Killjoy won’t go that easily.

Highlights include:

  • (without validation) “We should split up.” / “What?” / “It’s the only way!”
  • A booming off-camera voice from the sky to remind Jada about the doll (but sounds like the actor is stood beside the cameraman).
  • Monique, upon realising that Killjoy is undefeated and has minions to do his bidding, says “oh no” as if she’s broken a nail.
  • Watch the eyebrows of ‘the girlfriend’ in the scene at the club near the end.

Dreadful in almost every way, but kinda funny at times, and at least Vargas really throws his all into the title role.

Showin’ out – VeVo chats to Phil Hawkins

Vegan Voorhees ventured a little bit outside of its comfort zone this week by using that NCTJ qualification and conducting an actual interview!

The subject of my horror-inquisition was Phil Hawkins, director of about-to-drop Robert Englund-starring Brit horror The Last Showing, which enjoys it’s European premiere on August 22nd at FrightFest, and features that unsung head-bands and cannibals Craven-shamer, The Hills Have Eyes Part II. My life’s mission to up its rep from ‘absolute shite’ to ‘mediocre’ was on.

Read, and be excited…

VeVo: Hey Phil, how’s it going?

PH: I’m very good thanks.

VeVo: For the benefit of anybody who doesn’t know, can you give a summary of what The Last Showing is about from your perspective?

PH: It’s about a life-long projectionist (Englund) who is made redundant at a multiplex that he’s given his life to and decides to exact his revenge on a generation that seems to no longer require his skills. Because we know everything’s gone digital in multiplexes now, and it’s a shame all these very talented projectionists have effectively become extinct. A lot have given their lives to the craft, in some cases it’s been a skill handed down through generations, so that was the inspiration behind that character of Stuart, but given a nice psychological horror twist.

VeVo: What caught my eye when I was scanning the FrightFest line-up was the inclusion in the film of The Hills Have Eyes Part II, which is a film I am genuinely quite fond of, despite it’s ornate naffness…

PH: [Laughs] Wow! One of few I imagine… I think even Wes Craven disowned it.

VeVo tries – and fails – to justify strange love for awful movie: What are your thoughts on it?

PH: I have to say I’m probably not in the same camp as you, though I’ve obviously watched it a number of times. The thinking behind it was that as The Last Showing is a sort of meta-horror, so it’s allowed me a kind of canvas to sort of air my frustrations on what modern day horror has become. You’ll see a lot in the film of Robert Englund’s character ranting about the modern day movies, and that’s effectively my voice really. What I wanted to do was highlight the difference between horror on film and the “real horror” of what the couple is about to go through. So I wanted the most ridiculous, over the top horror movie that could be found. Given our budget we couldn’t have had the pick of anything, and also because it’s Wes Craven, and he’s a legend of horror, and we’re able to reference him in the movie, which is fun because of the connection between him and Robert. I hadn’t actually seen it beforehand, I’d heard of it because of what you hear about it, but it made me smile.

My favourite horror movies are things like Rosemary’s Baby, Carrie, The Exorcist, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, films with a bit more of a psychological slant on horror. Any film that affects your perception of reality or your own mind, that’s ultimately scarier than torture porn for me. So The Hills Have Eyes Part II was useful to show the sort of slapstick of horror, and contrast that with the couple watching it. I also like that Allie (played by Emily Berrington) is the one who is the horror nut and convinces Martin (Finn Jones) to attend a midnight screening. It does exactly what we needed it to.

VeVo: What do you hope The Last Showing will be able to bring to horror that’s kind of absent from recent output?

PH: Hopefully just that people enjoy it as a movie, but it gave me the opportunity to kind of comment on horror as a whole. I could take the tick-boxes that horror audiences enjoy and slightly twist them, because we have Robert Englund as a movie maker creating his own horror, so we’re almost able to have those cliched moments with the film-within-a-film aspect.

[We take a couple of minutes to correctly sing the praises of The Orphanage]

It’s certainly not to say that all modern horror is awful, because that’s not the case, but for my personal tastes I wanted to air a few frustrations through hopefully what is a fun and entertaining horror thriller. I wrote the kind of film I would want to see, and it’s good that it’s been embraced by horror fans and got it’s slot at FrightFest.

VeVo:  I’m sure you’re sick of being asked, but considering his legendary status, how was it working with Robert Englund?

PH: The thought of it was more nerve-wracking than the practice, but he read the script very quickly and we had a two hour phone conversation talking about the script and his character, and he had so many ideas about it and he responded so well to it. He has this encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema, he got all the little references I’d written in. It’s also a whole arc for his character, he’s not just a cameo, and he saw the fun in it. I never thought we’d get him in a million years. He has an amazing commitment and dedication on set, because he genuinely cared about the project, so it was a pleasure working with him. He has a real respect for the fans and the genre.

VeVo: So, comparably, how did the young actors (Berrington and Jones) cope as the protagonists, with the weight of acting against Robert Englund?

PH: Both are rising stars in their own rights, Finn was in Game of Thrones and Emily in The White Queen, 24, and The Inbetweeners 2, so it was an amazing crop of talent with a horror legend and the ‘fresh blood’, as it were. They brought so many ideas and different ways of approaching a scene that you might not have thought of, which is always fascinating for me as a director. The amazing energy of someone like Finn against the old-school energy of Robert creates a really interesting dynamic in their scenes together.

VeVo: I saw Finn in Wrong Turn 5 a couple of years ago.

PH: I’ve not seen that one, but I think Finn probably had some fun with that. He has a speech in The Last Showing about Hollywood photocopying something over and over against with diminishing quality, so it kind of ties in nicely. If they do so many wrong turns, do they eventually make it back around to the beginning?

VeVo: Well, Wrong Turn 6 is playing at FrightFest, so there’s a chance…

We talk for a bit about production quality (95% of The Last Showing was shot via a crane to avoid the handheld shakiness the plagues British cinema), the ‘up north’ cinema where it was shot, and return to my love of The Hills Have Eyes Part II. Phil is still not convinced.

VeVo: What’s next for you?

PH: I run a production company, so we have a slate of film we’re producing. A film called Baptism, shot on the London Underground with a slightly bigger budget than we had here. It’s a really exciting time at the moment and hopefully the horror fans at FrightFest and beyond will enjoy the film.

Phil Hawkins (centre) with the cast of The Last Showing

There we have it, British non-zombie horror is far from DOA after all. Catch The Last Showing at FrightFest on August 22nd, where Phil – and Robert Englund – will be taking some Q&A and then on DVD from the 25th.

Then return here where it will totally be reviewed in the near future… possibly as part of a double bill with HHE II. Which I still think is awesome.

Thanks to Paul Bradshaw for the tips.

Sequel Showdown: 7s, 8s, 9s, and 10s

As there are so few entries left (prequels will come next time), I decided to group the final ten titles into one globular post: A piece of discarded gum with various hockey masks, knives, razor-gloves, and creepy children stuck to it.

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The Sevens: Children of the Corn: Revelation; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood; Halloween H20: 20 Years Later; Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

A fairly decent group here… The Corn movies were getting stranger and stranger, but the producers of this seventh outing at least managed to inject a small vial of… let’s call it ‘dis-settlement’ rather than creepiness. Jason’s seventh stomp through the woods (fifth, if we’re going to be really pedantic about it) pit him against a Carrie-lite chick with telekinetic powers. Halloween H20 reunited Jamie Lee Curtis with her psychotic big-bro as a reaction to Scream. And Wes Craven had the final laugh by making a Freddy film about Freddy films.

It’s actually difficult to choose… Corn can get the boot first, naturally, but between the three mainstays, we’ve got a naff-but-fun soggy sequel, a reboot that harshly ignored all the work people did in previous films, and an inventively scary but kinda draggy chiller with little-to-no slashing at all. Hmmm…

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The Eights: Children of the Corn: Genesis; Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan; Halloween: Resurrection; Freddy vs. Jason (I know, I know, it’s both an 8 and an 11, but I’m tired and hungry).

Genesis is so bad it hurts. Goodbye. Followed swifty by the worst of the original Paramount Fridays. Even a non-gorehound like me needed a little claret on show to liven this one up… Halloween: Resurrection not only concocted the most stupid fucking way of bringing back Michael Myers, it also has Busta Rhymes in it. BUT… as a cheesy standalone slasher movie, I do like it. Then there’s the WWE smackdown of the other two slasher movie heavyweights.

More hmmm-ing required…

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Nine and Ten: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday; Jason X

With only two films this should be easy. Both suck in terms of their franchise, but which sucks more? Hell went all Hidden with this demon-spirit of J-man but had an awesome opening few minutes and that camping scene. X, on the other hand, tried to do something different. It failed, but at least they tried. There were a couple of chuckles too

The Finalists:

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Not a great pot to choose from, really… New Nightmare is technically the best made, but how often do I want to sit down and watch it? Almost never. So Halloween: H20 succeeds it. On the basis I didn’t want to be Halloweened out, I plumped for Freddy vs Jason, and the good scenes in Jason Goes to Hell just beat out the good scenes from Jason X, so the former takes the glory. Albeit as short lived as a visitor to Camp Crystal Lake, because it’s not gonna win.

The Winner:

Best of a bad bunch, it might be. Halloween H20 is decent fare, but the whole “3 to 6 never happened” stuff is unforgivable. Jamie Lee’s return buoys it, the low body count tips it in the opposite direction again, so does Josh Hartnett, but it’s way better than Jason Goes to Hell and just about pips Freddy vs Jason in qualitative terms.

Bit of a dull winner, but a winner nonetheless.

Acid reflux

PLEDGE NIGHT

2 Stars  1988/82m

“Brothers to the end… the very end.”

A.k.a. A Hazing in Hell; Death Night

Director: Paul Ziller / Writer: Joyce Snyder / Cast: Todd Eastland, Shannon McMahon, Will Kempe, James Davies, Lawton Paseka, Dennis Sullivan, Michael T. Henderson, Arthur Lundquist, Steven Christopher Young, Craig Derrick, David Neal Evans, Robert Lentini, Joey Balladonna.

Body Count: 14

Laughter Lines: “Two of my friends are dead and you’re telling me to ‘sleep on it’!?”


Fraternity dickheads initiating six pledges at the same house where a hippie died in a bath of acid during Hell Week in the sixties, stir up his vengeful spirit and soon find membership in a rapid decline before next semester.

Our Freddy-lite killer, Acid Sid, is an archetypal hippie, complete with headband, slurred speech, and was the boyfriend of one of the new pledge’s mothers, setting things up for a howlingly obvious twist when we’re down to the last two kids left alive.

Not a decisively bad film, but with a forty minute wait before the killing begins, the build needs to be decent, and it’s not. Instead, it’s pumped out with frat boy antics and a five minute flashback to explain the demise of Acid Sid.

In true post-Elm Street style, Sid has a naff one-liner for each kill, while the off-the-shelf victims bring new depths to the meaning of stupid (“No, I’ll stay here – you go for help”), or jockey themselves into inescapable situations caused by much aimless wandering about the closer we get to the finale.

Some good FX work and no shortage of grue – including a cherry bomb up the ass for the spiteful ringleader – but slack pacing and understated characters who are clearly a lot older than the roles they’re playing foil any hope of making an impression.

Blurb-of-interest: Shannon McMahon was in the strikingly similar hazing-gone-wrong flick, Blood Sisters.

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