Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (A Nightmare on Elm Street 6) (1991)
Release Date: September 13th, 1991 MPAA Rating: R
Director: Rachel Talalay Actors: Robert Englund, Lisa Zane, Shon Greenblatt, Lezlie Deane, Ricky Dean Logan, Breckin Meyer, Yaphet Kotto, Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr, Elinor Donahue
quote by both Nietzsche and Freddy Krueger himself opens this sixth entry into the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise, but it gives the picture no more or less gravity. In fact, this is the first time the title no longer includes the bedeviled address, beginning notably with the antagonist’s name instead. And, with certain uncertainty, this latest adventure boldly claims to be the very last one.
Ten years from now, Springwood, Ohio is utterly depleted of its children through murders and disappearances, while all the remaining adults suffer from mass psychosis. Clearly, it’s the work of Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). So when a boy (Shon Greenblatt) realizes that his plane ride is actually governed by the hideously burned, dreamland butcher, targeting him as the last of the Springwood kids, he attempts to flee (despite being inside a nightmare). Somehow, he breaches the dreamscape to land in the past (or, the present day), though he hits his head and can’t remember who he is or what he’s running from.
Maggie Burroughs (Lisa Zane), working as an evaluator at a shelter, is assigned to look after the unnamed new arrival. But with crippling amnesia, John Doe is of little help – until the resident dream therapist (Yaphet Kotto) suggests that Maggie take the boy back to Springwood to jog his memories. Stowing away (for no real reason) on their ride are three other misfits: Spencer (Breckin Meyer), Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan), and Tracy (Lezlie Deane), each contending with the effects of child abuse. Though Maggie insists they return to the shelter, Freddy has other ideas – keeping them driving in circles until they’re primed for a grisly undoing in that significantly damned property on Elm Street.
Since Freddy’s first appearance, about five minutes in, is as the Wicked Witch from Oz riding on a broomstick, it’s evident that this umpteenth follow-up is designed to be just as insincere and comical as its predecessor. Even the addition of Freddy’s backstory becomes ludicrous, what with the details of his adoptive father, his wife and daughter, and his recruitment into the role of afterlife tormentor by snake demons. The storytelling here is a real stretch, sure to disappoint even hardcore fans hoping for extra details on Freddy’s origins, childhood, and murderous motivations.
Some of the sets and a bit of the violence hark back to a time – long ago – when Freddy’s hauntings were genuinely frightening affairs. But, for the most part, his torturous shenanigans are wholeheartedly goofy – including a downright hilarious nails-on-a-chalkboard routine (like something out of “The Mask”), and Freddy playing video games in a not-so-subtle anti-pot-smoking message (complete with animation, like a twisted “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”). In many ways, this is the episode in which Freddy and his victims have turned into the stuff of cartoons. It’s an incredibly poor way to end the series, unfaithful in its storytelling and tone, pervaded by rock music segues for modernity, and utterly amateurish in its execution. At times, it doesn’t even resemble a real movie.
– Mike Massie