3 Feb 2015

SLASHER RULES - A Nightmare on Elm St 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  Are the slasher film rules true?

"Fred Krueger! He's inside me, and he wants to take me again!" ~ Jesse Walsh, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge 

A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2 - Freddy's Revenge (1985) is a sequel to A Nightmare on Elm  Street (the title is a give away) but is it, too, going to follow the slasher film rules?

The following may include spoilers for
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2:
Freddy's Revenge (1985)

Rule #1 - There Will Be A Warning...

Are Freddy dreams warnings or is it too late by that stage?  They certainly have the essence of a slasher film warning - "spooky" but easily dismissed by the warned.
After they shower Ron Grady tells Jesse Walsh that the Nancy went mad in his new house, but Jesse thinks Grady is full of shit.
Nancy's diary appears, I'd count a mad girl's diary as a warning.
Creepy girl skipping and singing the Freddy nursery rhyme appears, but it's halfway through the film and after the first murder so it's not much of a warning.  Lisa Webber finds press clippings, again after the first murder.

Rule #2 - There Will Be T&A

Grady pulls Jesse's pants down revealing his "nice ass."  Coach Schnieder's butt is also seen when he's tied up naked in the shower and murdered. Lisa top is unbuttoned at one point and there are a number of girls in bikini.  So really just guy's bums.

Rule #3 - Death Will Be A Punishment For...

In the original film Freddy was targeting the children of those who killed him (although that worked out to be Nancy and her circle of friends.)  So although this film is subtitled Freddy's Revenge, his revenge seems to be lacking.

A:  SEX - Coach Schneider hangs around S&M clubs and likes handsome young boys, he's tied up naked in the boy's showers and killed.  Can it be any more obvious?  The party-goers were pairing off, although no sex was shown.
B:  NUDITY - Schneider is made nude in the process of being killed.
C:  DRINKING -  There was a lot of beer at the party, three or four (possibly more) party-goers were killed...
G:  BEING AN ANNOYING/BEING A COWARD/BEING A SLEEZY GUY - Barely makes "annoying" probably sleezy 
H:  BYSTANDER - No bystander deaths, unless you count the party-goers (although A & G may apply.)

Rule #4 - Never Go...

... and move into a house from a previous slasher movie.

A:  THE BASEMENT - Freddy is there in a dream, Jesse eventually goes down anyway.
B:  UPSTAIRS - Still has bars on the windows.
C:  FOR A SHOWER - Coach Schneider is killed while Jesse is showering,

Rule #5 - Order of Death...

Only three victims this film.  I know, we're all disappointed.
A:  THE FIRST PERSON ON SCREEN - The first person to appear on screen (besides a distance pair of legs in some trees) is the bus driver who turns into Freddy (both played by Robert Englund).  Killer partially shown (Alternate Pass).
D:  THE BIMBO - No female characters were killed, and that includes Lisa's friend Kerry who mostly has lines about sex and likes to were bikinis to poll parties - and school.  Also a whole lot of females in bikinis  (Fail).
F:  MACHO JERKCoach Schneider is a gym teacher, so stereotypically (in film and television) a macho jerk.  He is the first killed (after the exploding bird.)  Ron Grady is also a stereotypical joke and dies next.  First two killed (Pass)
I:  THE SENSITIVE GUY - Either Jesse Walsh is the sensitive guy or he's the final girl and Lisa Webber is the sensitive guy.  Both survive. (Pass)
J:  ANIMALS & CHILDREN - Their pet bird is the first to die, exploding after going mad.  First. (Fail).
K:  THE FINAL GIRL - See I (above). Both survive. (Pass)

Order of Death:

0.  The Birds [J]
1.  (5) Coach Schneider [F]
2.  (6) Ron Grady [D]
3.  (7) Random Male Party-goer #1 [?]
4.  Trampled Party-goer. [?]
5.  (8) Random Male Party-goer #2 [?]

Rule #6 - Especially When They Are Most Needed, The Following Things Cannot Be Relied On…

None of the (now) usual things became an issue.

C:  VEHICULAR TRANSPORT - Seems fine.  Except buses in dreams.
E:  THE AUTHORITIES – They find Jesse naked, wet, and wandering the streets and take him home to his parents.  There's no suggestion they link him to the death of his gym teacher who was found naked and tied up in the school showers.
G:  ESCAPE ROUTES - Doors, windows and gates lock themselves (well, Freddy locks them) and causes them to be unable to be opened.

Rule #7 - The Final Girl

Jesee Walsh vs Lisa Webber

Jesse Walsh. - the main character for the bulk of the film.

A:  FINAL - Yes.
B:  GIRL - No.
C:  MASCULINE - Male, slightly feminine at times.  Does have a unisex or ambiguous name, and a very girly scream.
D:  WELL DRAWN - He has the most plot.  Pretty much all of it.
E:  VIRGINAL & INNOCENT - May be virginal, he tries to have sex with a woman but stops because he doesn't know what to do with his tongue.  Innocent, mostly, but he has Freddy inside him and does bad things.
F:  WILL BE REBORN - Almost literally.

Lisa Webber - the one who has the final showdown with Freddy.

A:  FINAL - Yes.
B:  GIRL - Yes.
C:  MASCULINE - Usually dresses in unisex clothes - shorts and a loose shirt.  Her friend Kerry shows off her boobs a lot more, but that could be over compensating.
D:  WELL DRAWN - She has a bunch of silly theories, but does the research and finds out about Freddy.
E:  VIRGINAL & INNOCENT - Virginity status unknown, but certainly was trying not to be doing the sex.  Besides the sex thing, mostly innocent, but throws a non-innocent party.
F:  WILL BE REBORN - She's the one who does the final showdown and talks Freddy to death.

Rule #8 - The Killer has a connection to...

A:  LOCATION - Freddy has a connection to Nancy's house where Jesse now lives, and used to work at the old power plant.
B:  THE FINAL GIRL - Freddy gets inside Jesse and uses his body.
D:  OTHER VICTIMS - No known connection.  In the first film Freddy was killing the teenage children of those who murdered him.  In this film no such connection is made.
E:  FEMININITY - Freddy shows no real side of it, but Jesse does.
F & G:  SPECIFIC LOOK & WEAPON - Freddy has a very specific weapon (knife glove), although he kills a number of ways and a very specific look, a fedora, red and green striped jumper and a burnt visage.

Rule #9 - Evil Never Dies...

B:  THE BAD GUY LIVES ON - Lisa's victory over Freddy is short-lived as the film ends with her seemingly captured by him again.
C:  EVIL IS IMMORTAL - As noted previously, it's the initial premise.

Rule #10 - The Sequel Will Be Bigger/More Formulaic

This is a sequel.  Made a year after the original, it is set 5 years later.

A:  THEY WILL FOLLOW THE RULES MORE - On a simplistic scale, it does, barely, based on the fact that it showed guy's rears and the first didn't.  But that's only a rough guide.

B:  THEY WILL BE MORE FORMULAIC - This one moves away from the rules established in the first: no one dies in dreams, the murders aren't revenge, there's much less wise cracking by Freddy.
C:  THERE WILL BE MORE T&A - More guys naked behinds, if possible even less female nudity than the first film.
D:  MORE AND BIGGER DEATHS - There's one more and they tend to be a little bigger.


OK, at times (especially rules #5 and #7) it's a little forced, there's certainly signs that future rules apply to some extent, even in this film that isn't part of the genre.

The following rules were followed:  1, 3 8, 9.
The following rules were partially followed:  2, 5, 6, 7, 10.
The following rules were not followed: 4, 8.

~ DUG.

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