Nov 2, 2018

The Beefcake Curse of "Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors"

I was never much of a fan of 1980s psycho-slasher movies, especially the Nightmare on Elm Street series.  Freddy Krueger was arrested for killing 30 kids, but got released because "someone didn't sign the dotted line."  That's idiotic. So a group of concerned parents lynched him and burned him alive.  That's uncomfortably close to the various real-life threatened kids scares of the 1980s.  And now he has a vendetta against the kids, coming at them in dreams.  Wouldn't he come after the parents?

I also hated the song the tormented kids sang "Grab your crucifix."  There are other religions besides Roman Catholicism, you know.

But when I was in South Carolina, I watched Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, and it wasn't awful.  The surviving girl from the first group of Freddy's victims, atrociously wooden Nancy (Heather Langencamp), is now a sleep-disorder specialist working at a psychiatric institution, where she and the hunky Neil (Craig Wasson, left) help a new group of kids being tormented in their dreams. They will do anything to avoid falling asleep, including committing suicide.

1.  The sarcastic and very hunky Philip (Bradley Gregg, top photo)
2. The kick-ass black kid Kincaid (Ken Sagoes, left)
3. Mousy Jennifer
4. Belligerent street kid Taryn

5. Extremely cute Dungeons and Dragons nerd Will, who is confined to a wheelchair (Ira Helden, left)

6. Extremely cute Joey (Rodney Eastman), who is too traumatized to speak 

The special effects are ludicrous.  Freddy as a giant snake swallowing somebody?  

Freddy's back story is ludicrous: his mother was accidentally locked in an asylum for the criminally insane over the holiday weekend, and was raped repeatedly.  She gave birth to  "the bastard son of 100 maniacs."  Well, I guess she wasn't married, but was that really the main problem?  And you can't be the son of 100 people.  And criminality is not inherited.  

But I liked how the dream warriors came together, each using their special skills to defeat Freddy.

How "the bait," the person they're trying to save,is a boy not a girl.

How there's only the tiniest bit of hetero-desire, in the scene where Joey is accosted by a hot nurse who ludicrously strips ("do you like my body, Joey?"), kisses him, and turns out to be Freddy.   Also a moment of sexual harassment.  Otherwise no one hooks up, not even Nancy and Neil.

And the beefcake.  Other than the naked nurse, there's no female pulchritude.  But the boys (actually actors in their 20s) get underwear scenes and shirtless shots, or they're so extraordinarily cute that who cares if they take their shirts off?  

I checked to see if they've retained their incredible hunkiness after 30 years.

1. Bradley Gregg as Philip.  Yikes.

2. Ken Sagoes as Kincaid.  He's got a sort of Uncle Fester vibe going on.

5. Ira Helden as Will.  Wow.  I don't get it.  Many guys in their 50s are attractive.  Is the cast of Dream Warriors cursed?

6. Rodney Eastman as Joey.  OMG, the years have not been kind.

Come on, Craig Wasson, you're my last hope.

I give up.  He's naked in this shot, but believe me, you don't want to see it.

The curse of Dream Warriors strikes again.


  1. Eastman doesn't look so bad. Just clean up that acne. (Really, acne?)

    There was also the fact that Freddy Krueger was a pedophile. And they bait him with a boy. "Gay villain whose motive is entirely sexual" trope strikes again? Along with some unfortunate corollaries. Also, I find it funny that Freddy's backstory is basically the Willie Horton ad.

    Funny thing is, I like the movies, and I don't remember the kids having sex or committing some other capital offense per the Rules of Slasher Movies the way victims in Halloween and Friday the 13th did, but as an adult, knowing just how conservative Hollywood can be, especially how in the 80s and 90s Hollywood managed that conservatism in movies that were sex-obsessed, things do start to bug me.

    1. I didn't see Freddie as gay in this movie -- maybe in others. He seems to torment the kids in ways relevant to their greatest desires. Philip wants to be in control of his situation, so he becomes a puppet. Jennifer, who wants to be an actress,is killed by a tv set. Joey wants sex, so he kisses a woman who turns out to be Freddie.

  2. I never saw Freddy as gay or a pedophile- he is serial killer nightmare who murders children


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