Nightmare on Elm Street 3, A: Dream Warriors (1987)

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Released 6-Oct-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Fantasy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Train
Theatrical Trailer
Featurette-Fan Mail
Featurette-Snakes And Ladders
Featurette-The HouseThat Freddy Built
Featurette-Onward Christian Soldiers
Featurette-That's Showbiz
Featurette-Training 8's
Featurette-Burn Out
Music Video-"Dream Warrior" - Dokken
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 92:31 (Case: 82)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Chuck Russell
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Heather Langenkamp
Craig Wasson
Patricia Arquette
Robert Englund
Ken Sagoes
Rodney Eastman
Jennifer Rubin
Bradley Gregg
Ira Heiden
Laurence Fishburne
Penelope Sudrow
John Saxon
Priscilla Pointer
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Angelo Badalamenti
Wild Mick Brown
Don Dokken


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    After a disappointing sequel the third instalment of the Nightmare on Elm Street series brings things back on track with the return and writing of Wes Craven, the creator and director of the original movie. Principles and rules set up in the original movie, but ignored by the second, are back in force in this third instalment.

    Also back in this third movie is Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), the central character from the first film, who has now grown up and has accepted a position as a research scientist at a psychiatric institution. There she finds that a number of the adolescent patients are the children of the group of parents who murdered Freddy Kruegar (Robert Englund) and that he is now plaguing their nightmares.

    The first patient she meets is Kristen (Patricia Arquette) who has just been admitted, presumed suicidal, after having had her wrists slashed during a nightmare encounter with Freddy. On a ward tour with orderly Max (Laurence Fishburne) she meets the rest of the young patients being terrorised while they sleep. Joey (Rodney Eastman) is a mute who lusts after one of the ward nurses. Taryn (Jennifer Rubin) is a tough young woman who would be in juvenile hall if she wasn’t in the hospital. Phillip (Bradley Gregg) is a sleepwalker and his room mate Kincaid (Ken Sagoes) is constantly getting thrown into the quiet room. Rounding out this motley bunch are nerdy paraplegic Will (Ira Heiden) and aspiring actress Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow).

    In order to help these kids Nancy will need to convince her colleagues (Craig Wasson and Priscilla Pointer) that Freddy is not just a figment of their patient’s imagination but that he poses a real threat to their wellbeing. She’ll also have to enlist the help of her father (John Saxon) who since the first film has lost his job as a cop, hit the bottle and is now working as a security guard.

    This third film in the franchise marked the beginnings of Freddy Kruegar as the joker character and he now takes centre stage instead of being the shadowy menace he was in the previous films. While this film does rely somewhat on gore like the second film, psychological suspense is also used effectively here, reminiscent of the first film. This film also creates a nice story arc for the character of Nancy and the first film viewed in conjunction with this movie can be considered a good double bill. (The second film can be safely ignored).

    While I feel it doesn’t quite live up to the quality of the first film, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a good fun horror film that partners nicely with the first film. It establishes the role of Freddy as the joker figure and provides further information regarding the origins of the character. This is the film where Freddy Kruegar became the true star of the series. It’s an enjoyable horror film that fans of the genre will enjoy.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is probably the best transfer of the first three Nightmare on Elm Street DVDs to be released. It is both sharp and clear with a nice film-like quality.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 which matches the original theatrical aspect ratio of the film. This DVD is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is reasonably sharp with good levels of fine image detail. Some edge enhancement can be observed such as at the edges of a building at 9:10 and a door frame at 16:48 but these are very minor and never distracting. Black levels and shadow detail are both excellent.

    Colours were generally well saturated and free of colour bleed although, like the second film, reds seemed to have been boosted a little which occasionally gives skin tones a slightly over-ripe appearance.

    MPEG artefacts are kept well under control and the film print used is very clean and free of obvious marks, dirt or damage.

    Only English subtitles are available on the disc. These are white, fairly easy to read and match the on-screen dialogue quite well.

    The film is presented on a dual layered disc and like the previous two films the actual movie fits entirely onto one layer of the disc with the bonus features on the other.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Two English soundtracks are provided; a Dolby Digital 5.1 Soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in its entirety and sampled the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The Dolby Digital 5.1 is by far the more dynamic of the two. Both are of reasonable quality although the Dolby Digital 2.0 sounds a bit thin compared with the 5.1 soundtrack.

    Interestingly there are differences in the music on the two soundtracks such as at around 3 minutes and again at 68 minutes where the 5.1 track features the song “Into the Fire” while the 2.0 soundtrack features instrumental music.

    Dialogue was easy to understand and audio sync was generally fine, although there were a few instances where the sync wasn’t quite perfect such as at 11:02. This may well be due to the dialogue being looped-in subsequent to the scene being shot.

    The original music by Angelo Badalamenti is quite heavily reliant on synthesiser music which dates the soundtrack somewhat, but it is still fairly effective at heightening the tension.

    The surround channels are used very well on the 5.1 soundtrack to carry sound effects, music and atmosphere which creates a very effective overall sound field. For a horror movie I was surprised by how little the subwoofer was used as it was utilised only very sparingly.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer (1:28)

    This is more of a teaser trailer than a full theatrical trailer which shows a girl on a bed cradling a model house. Eventually Freddy’s bladed hand bursts out through the roof of the model house. It is presented 16x9 enhanced.

Fan Mail (0:34)

    Talk show host Dick Cavett talks about his increased popularity after making a cameo appearance in the movie. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Onwards Christian Soldier (9:01)

    This featurette discusses the pre-production of the film and the development of the script. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Snakes and Ladders (6:04)

    Discusses some of the special effects puppets used in the film including the barking pig and the Freddy snake. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

That’s Showbiz (2:01)

    Robert Englund talks about some of the more unglamorous aspects of shooting the movie. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Training 8’s (4:09)

    Looks at how closely the shooting followed the script, where small changes were made and where small improvisations were done. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

The House that Freddy Built (3:04)

    This featurette reveals how the Nightmare on Elm Street movies were pivotal to the financial success of New Line Cinema in the 1980s. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Burn Out (1:13)

    John Saxon who played Nancy’s father talks about the burn-out of the production crew towards the end of filming. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Music Video – Dokken “Dream Warrior” (4:52)

    Pop Music Video Clip that was tied in with the movie. It features clips from the film and footage of the band performing. Freddy makes an interesting appearance at the end. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Nightmare on Elm Street films are available on individual barebone Region 1 DVDs featuring only the films or they are available as part of an 8 disc box set featuring the 7 movies and an 8th disc titled “The Nightmare Series Encyclopedia”. I was unable to find reliable information about the exact contents of this 8th disc but I think it’s a fair assumption that the bonus features on our Region 4 discs are the appropriate material for each film from that DVD. Therefore, if you wish to buy one of the films separately then the Region 4 versions are by far the best of choice. If, however, you want to buy the whole series then the 8 disc Box Set from Region 1 is the only way to go.

Summary

    After a disappointing sequel, the third instalment of the Nightmare on Elm Street series brings things back on track with the return and writing of Wes Craven, the creator and director of the original movie. I quite enjoyed this film and when viewed in conjunction with the first movie it makes a good double bill. The video and audio transfers are excellent and the extras package is very interesting too.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Gauntlett (read my bio if you're bored.)
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS575-S Progressive Scan, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE900E HD LCD Projector onto 90" 16x9 Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationLogitech 5500 THX
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

Other Reviews NONE
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