Once a writer, always a writer, I suppose. That's the conclusion I've come to after having gone through piles and piles of stuff that had been previously cluttering my basement for years, and coming across a mother lode of scribblings from my youth. Not only was it proof positive that the writing bug had bitten me very early in my existence, but I also found further proof that my fixation on horror is certainly nothing new.
Case in point: Printed out in dot matrix fashion from my Commodore 64, I found a homemade "movie magazine" entitled "CINEMAG"--created by yours truly in the summer of 1988, at the tender age of 13. Even then, I was driven to share my opinions on motion pictures in printed form--go figure. To scan through the pages of CINEMAG (there was only one issue ever made) is to peer into the adolescent mind of a developing cinephile, with articles on Tucker: A Man and His Dream, A Fish Called Wanda, Young Guns and Clean and Sober.
But what caught my attention in particular was my review of A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master. NOES 4 was the first R-rated flick I had ever seen in a movie theater, and one of my earliest experiences with modern horror. I can remember having very well-defined opinions on it, and it was quite something to find those opinions preserved in this way. It inspired me to share those opinions with you--and so, without further ado, I bring you the transcript of that very article, taken from the stapled pages of CINEMAG...
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 - Are You Ready for Freddy?
He has been the most commonly known movie monster since Dracula. A classic cult figure since he first appeared on the screen almost a half decade ago. He is the villain of three high-budget horror films, the fourth of the series just released. The character is Freddy Krueger. The movie series--A Nightmare on Elm Street.
When one thinks of a slasher film, one thinks of a low-budget, blood and guts, no-plot, piece of garbage film, as the Friday the 13th series has proven [Ed. note: Even then, I hated Friday the 13th!]. But one notices a definite difference in these films. First of all, these films are considered by most to be genuinely scary, and not just bloodfests. They even border on the realm of science fiction, for the special effects are highly acclaimed. Overall the past three (the original, Freddy's Revenge, and Dream Warriors) got pretty satisfactory reviews from major critics. And the public obviously likes them, for they have a combined gross of close to $200 million.
But most horror film series have a tendency to become repetitious after a while. Can this happen even with such a successful series as Elm Street, especially upon the current release of the latest episode, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Master? One redeeming factor is the fact that the special effects become more common and more spectacular in each film, since Freddy becomes more powerful with the more children he kills. I mean, in the beginning, the extent of his powers would be to pull someone into a bed, where now he actually turns a kid into a roach (upon trapping her in a roach motel, he sneers, "You can check in, but you can't check out!") The acing, as usual, is far from top-notch, so we may see Freddy as a movie critic back from the grave for revenge. Most critics share my view that the series is becoming tiresome, and the suspense and fear element is almost completely gone in this film, giving way to pure gore.
This movie, though, is presently the number-one movie in America, but this is almost certainly because of the popularity of the last three films, and so it may not be top for very long.
Personally, though, having seen the film, I see it simply as a rush job made to tie up any loose ends presented in the last sequel. But you don't have to take mine or anybody's word for it--go to the theater, buy some popcorn, cuddle up to your girlfriend, and get ready for Freddy...
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