11.15.2009

Thanksgiving on Elm Street Part 2



As I’ve said before, out of all the major horror franchises, I’m definitely the least familiar with Freddy and his films. I’ve only seen most of the movies once and I have a difficult time keeping them straight in my memory. Some of them I have just forgotten about completely. Usually when I can’t remember anything from a movie, it means I didn’t like it. My brain has this way of pushing out bad information so that it can save room for the important things like memorizing every single line of Army of Darkness. That said, I had almost zero memory of the next entry for Thanksgiving on Elm Street.
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Given my background in easily forgetting bad movies, does that mean I didn’t enjoy Part 2? As the movie continued, I kept saying “How could I NOT remember THIS?” Perhaps my inaugural viewing of Freddy’s Revenge wasn’t so pleasant and I wiped it from my brain. Now, however, I am sure to remember it forever. Why? Because I actually liked it…a lot. I know I’m making the boys over at Tower Farms very happy when I say this. Despite the forced drama, the weirdness of its characters, the ridiculous scenarios, the unpolished Freddy metaphysics, and the wacked-out plotline, I thoroughly enjoyed the second installment. It has all the awkwardness of Sleepaway Camp and all twisted insanity of Silent Night, Deadly Night, all while somehow taking itself seriously. For this post, I’m going to give you a bunch of reasons why you should like Part 2. This list may confuse you. In fact, it may contain all the reasons that you hate this movie, but it just might give you a newfound purpose when returning to this ill-received sequel.



10 Reasons You Should Like Freddy’s Revenge
#1: Jesse screams like a girl
It’s not like Jesse only lets out girly blood-curdling screams once or twice. It happens on at least four distinct occasions and it’s pretty amazing. It’s not every day that you get a Final Guy, let alone a Final Guy that might as well be a Final Girl.


#2: Jesse’s Dance
There’s this incredible dance scene conducted by our hero Jesse to “Touch Me.” It’s highly sexualized, completely unnecessary, and will make you cringe. The best part is when he closes his dresser drawer with his butt, which is shown in close up.


#3: Jesse walks around everywhere with an exposed chest
I get that he is being taken over by Freddy and all, but does that somehow prevent him from buttoning up his shirt? The filmmakers just want you to see the glimmering sweat from his pectoral muscles...or lack thereof.


#4: Marshall Bell as Coach Schneider
Marshall Bell always plays a jerk. And he’s pretty good at it. What really makes this movie special is that the kids joke about Schneider being a masochistic guy that hangs out at S&M bars…and it turns out to be true.


#5: Homoerotic subtext
If you weren’t getting the hint from the previous three reasons, then let me explain it to you. Jesse constantly complains about Freddy “taking him” and getting “inside him.” When he is about to score with Lisa, he leaves to jump in bed with his pal, Ron. The homoerotic suggestiveness is even on the Wikipedia page for this movie.


#6: The snake
So the movie pulls this trick on you: Jesse is asleep in class and suddenly a snake starts slithering around his neck. You assume it’s occurring in Freddy’s dream world, but nope! It’s real. Somehow his buddies snuck across the entire classroom, retrieved the pet snake, and put it around Jesse without the teacher noticing. When Jesse wakes up screaming like a girl, the teacher says, “If you want to play with animals, Mr. Walsh, join the circus.”

#7: The Exploding Parakeet
Do I need to explain this anymore? Anytime animals explode for no reason in front of a family, including a little girl, it is funny. I love animals, but it’s still amazing.

#8: The Walsh Family
These people have the best reactions to all the bizarre occurrences. In very beginning of the film, they are having breakfast and suddenly they hear a woman—I mean Jesse—scream the most horrendous scream upstairs and they just kind of shrug. The little sis says, “Why can’t Jesse wake up like normal people?” This is great because the next time Jesse screams from a nightmare, they rush into his room like a SWAT team. And the father’s reaction to the Parakeet scenario is equally golden, blaming Jesse, saying that he put a cherry bomb in the bird. HA!

#9: People get all dramatic and stuff
Both Jesse and Lisa scream and cry like they’re working for an Oscar nomination. It’s incredible. There is no sense of humor about them, just blatant drama that isn't felt on the other side of the screen.


#10: The Pool Party
So Lisa throws this cool pool party, where everyone is dressed respectably and listening to jazz music. Yet, the moment her parents go to bed and the lights turn off, the party gets wild! And I’m not joking when I say the moment the light goes off. Suddenly, rock music is screaming from the radio and beer is flowing. Mingling turns into making out. And what’s they pay off for this? Are all the kids going to get horribly mutilated at the party? Well, no…not really. Only a few. This disappointment is all part of the charm.


So....Wait, you’re still not convinced? Did I actually make you hate the movie more? Let’s just agree to disagree.

11 comments:

  1. I haven't seen this one in a long, long time, either. I will have to pop the DVD in and rewatch it. Sounds fun!

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  2. excellent, this is one of my favorite installments. I love the dance sequence. Pure '80s shlock!

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  3. I love the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The movies always provide satisfactory amounts of whacked out entertainment. You nailed some of #2's best scenes. Woohoo!

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  4. I'm pretty sure the whole thing is just one long metaphor for a gay boy trying to fight off the fact he's gay.

    Notice he runs away from a girl who wants him and runs right into a guy's bedroom...

    There's hints of this inner battle throughout the film!

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  5. I loved the little details of this movie. Especially in the kitchen scenes, with the message board that changes every day and the Fu Man Chu flakes.

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  6. I looooove #2, Beck - the school bus scene at the beginning, in particular, and the pool scene and the human-headed dogs... all classic shit.

    And you're right, Marshall Bell does always play a fuckin' jerk. I like him a lot in that Jamie Lee Curtis/Donald Sutherland vehicle VIRUS. :)

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  7. This was the 1st Elm St I ever watched. I had no idea about the gay undertones until watching it again years later.

    This one is a lot better than most people give it credit for. Freddy bursting out of Jesse's chest was prety amazing for its time. The pool party scene is awesome, as is the finale. This one gets way overlooked.

    And yeah, the dance scene is classic. It's amazing how many moments you could get away with like that in the 80's that would never fly in any other decade.

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  8. The gay stuff aside, the ending of this film kills me. I wrote up a What's the worst Freddy demise out of all the moviespost.

    So disappointing. This has gotta be the first franchise where the sequel was worst than the original.

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  9. jaded-I'll see your NOES being worse than the original and raise you a Halloween 2

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  10. DUDE, exploding parakeet is enough, though all of the other points are complete bonuses. I cant say I hate this one, even though most fans despise the fact that it strayed so far from the source material. I thought it was fun, but I get over it towards the end after the pool party.

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  11. Your list is decent lol I still hate the movie. I love the exploding bird and homoerotic stuff the most lol

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