About Sex, But Not – ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors’ (1987)

25 Apr

ON THE SURFACE – The last of the Elm Street children, under the control of oppressive medical staff, are terrorized by serial killer Freddy Krueger.

SCRAPING THE BARREL – The last of the Elm Street children, under the control of oppressive and prudish medical staff, are terrorized by their burgeoning sexualities and fetishes. So… Am I going to read sexual analogies and themes into the whole A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise? Yes. Why? Because it’s easy, obvious and not just dripping with blood. The first film dealt with the anxieties surrounding losing your virginity and the second film showed a young guy coming to terms with his sexual orientation so it’s logical that the third film shows sexually awakened (being exposed to and hunted down by Krueger) teenagers finding out what makes them tick. Cue young, naive Jennifer finding out a little too early in her life that you really can over-use a vibrator during a sex session (death by electrocution via a television) and not all cyber sex experiences are good ones (changing the television channels until she finds the one she wants, that fateful channel…). Shes not the only one. Phillip likes to be told what to do (Freddy’s vein-strung puppet), Joey likes dressing up (Nurse? Check.) and Will likes role play (I’m sure that someone out there would like him to be their ‘Wizard Master’…). But those poor kids, standing in their way are a bunch of oppressive adults who refuse to believe that their innocent children could be sexually active and interested (the Doctor’s disbelief that Krueger really exists and the desire to put them on medication to change their behaviour). They’re even kept locked away in different rooms so they can’t corrupt each other! Enter Nancy Thompson. She’s been there, she knows it all. She was scared by her awakening sexuality (see A Nightmare on Elm Street) but she got over it, she embraced it, she survived. Quite literally. Sometimes it takes that young adult to bridge the gap between the youth and the older adults, and make them both realise that every boat floats differently depending on the tide. Hell, once Dr Gordon begins his teacher/student fantasy with Nancy he calms down and takes the side of the Elm Street children! So whether it’s feet, leather, food, role play, breasts, bondage, costumes, pain, embrace it. Elm Street did.

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