Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare is a 1991 American slasher film and the sixth installment in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. It is the sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child and was originally supposed to be the concluding chapter of the series; Wes Craven's New Nightmare was released after The Final Nightmare but takes place outside the series canon. A canonical sequel, Freddy vs. Jason, was released later. This was New Line Cinema's first 3D film release. Critical reception to the film was very negative upon release. The film was released on September 13, 1991, and grossed $34.9 million on a budget of $11 million, surpassing its predecessor's gross.[2]

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Theatrical release poster by Matthew Peak
Directed byRachel Talalay
Produced by
Screenplay byMichael De Luca
Story byRachel Talalay
Based onCharacters
by Wes Craven
Music byBrian May
CinematographyDeclan Quinn
Edited byJanice Hampton
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • September 13, 1991 (1991-09-13)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$11 million[1]
Box office$34.9 million[1]

Robert Englund reprises his role as Freddy Krueger. The film stars Lisa Zane, Yaphet Kotto, Breckin Meyer, Shon Greenblatt, Ricky Dean Logan, Lezlie Deane, and Tobe Sexton. Additionally, several well-known actors make cameo appearances in the film, including Johnny Depp (whose screen debut was in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street), Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold, and Alice Cooper. Iggy Pop sings the title song, which plays during the end credits over a montage of scenes from the previous Nightmare films.


Many years after the previous film, Freddy Krueger has returned and killed nearly every child and teenager in the town of Springwood, Ohio. The only surviving teenager, John Doe, is confronted by Freddy in a dream. John wakes up just outside the Springwood city limits but, due to a head injury, does not remember who he is or why he is there.

At a shelter for troubled youth, three of the residents—Spencer, Carlos, and Tracy—plot to run away to California. The police find John and take him to the shelter, where he becomes a patient of Dr. Maggie Burroughs. Burroughs notices a newspaper clipping from Springwood in John's pocket. To attempt to cure John's amnesia, she plans a road trip to Springwood. In an attempt to run away, Tracy, Carlos, and Spencer stow away in the van, but they are discovered when John has a hallucination and almost wrecks the van just outside Springwood.

Tracy, Spencer, and Carlos try to leave Springwood but first rest at a nearby abandoned house. The house is 1428 Elm Street, Freddy Krueger's former home. John and Maggie visit the Springwood orphanage and discover that Freddy had a child. John believes he is that child, because Freddy allowed him to live. Back on Elm Street, Carlos and Spencer fall asleep and are killed by Freddy. Tracy is almost killed, but is awakened by Burroughs. John, who went into the dream world with Tracy to try to help Spencer, is still asleep. Burroughs and Tracy take John back to the shelter. On their way back, Krueger attacks John in his dream. Before killing John, Krueger reveals that his child is a girl; as John dies, he tells this to Burroughs. Tracy and Burroughs return to the shelter, but they find that no one remembers John, Spencer, or Carlos except for Doc, who has learned to control his dreams. Burroughs finds her adoption papers and realizes that she is Freddy's daughter. Her birth name was Katherine Krueger. Her name was changed to Maggie Burroughs when her father was arrested and subsequently murdered.

Doc discovers that Freddy's power comes from dream demons who continually revive him, and that Freddy can be killed if he is pulled into the real world. Burroughs decides that she will be the one to enter Freddy's mind and pull him into the real world. Once in the dream world, she puts on a pair of 3D glasses and enters Freddy's mind. In his mind, she learns that Freddy was teased as a child, was abused by his foster father, inflicted self-abuse as a teenager (portrayed by Tobe Sexton), and murdered his wife. Freddy was given the power to become immortal by fiery demons. Burroughs struggles to pull Freddy into the real world but eventually succeeds.

Burroughs and Freddy end up in hand-to-hand combat against one another; she uses several weapons confiscated from patients at the shelter. Enraged by the knowledge of what he has done, Burroughs tears off Freddy's clawed glove and stabs him through the stomach with it, embedding the glove's claws into a steel support beam and leaving Freddy suspended above the ground. Tracy tosses Maggie a pipe bomb which Burroughs throws into Freddy's chest. She says "Happy Father's Day", kisses him, and runs. The three dream demons fly out of Freddy after the pipe bomb kills him. Burroughs smiles at Tracy and Doc; she is confident that her father is dead.




In the original script, 15-year-old Jacob Johnson (son of the previous installment's main character Alice Johnson) is the major character, and many of the dream warriors from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors return to aid Jacob in defeating Freddy after he kills Alice.[4] This idea was later discarded. Peter Jackson also wrote a screenplay that was not used; his story was about teenagers who did not see Freddy as a threat and took sleeping pills to enter Freddy's world. Jackson's script also included a police officer put into a comatose state to permanently be in Freddy's realm.[5]

John Carl Buechler was the chief special make-up effects artist for the film, returning to the series after serving the same role in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. He also contributed to the film's 3-D "Freddyvision" climax.[6]

The last ten minutes of the film are in 3D. To cue the audience to put on their 3D glasses, Maggie is seen to put on her 3D glasses in the film. The effect was eliminated for the VHS and television releases, with the exception of the UK and French rental version and the US Laserdisc version. The DVD box set released in 1999 reinstated the 3D effect and included two pairs of 3D glasses.


As a publicity stunt for both Freddy's Dead and the comic storylines that were still being released around the film's cinematic release, New Line Cinema held a mock funeral for Freddy Krueger at Hollywood Forever Cemetery[5] in Los Angeles, including attendants from the film series such as Alice Cooper, Lezlie Deane, Shon Greenblatt, Ricky Dean Logan, Breckin Meyer, Tobe Sexton, Lisa Zane, Lisa Wilcox and Whit Hertford. Andy Mangels and Rachel Talalay were among others present.[7] On encouragement by New Line Cinema, the Los Angeles mayor at the time, Tom Bradley, declared September 13 to be 'Freddy Krueger Day', but this move was heavily criticized by for glorifying a mass murderer, with Robert Englund adding that "we have to separate crime reality from movie escapism".[2]


Box office

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare made $12,966,525 in its opening weekend,[1] which was the highest opening weekend of the series until the release of Freddy vs. Jason.[8] After its initial run, the film grossed a total of $34,872,033 in the United States, making it the fifth-highest-grossing film in the series.[9]

Critical response

Reviews for the film were generally negative and some critics named it one of the "worst films of 1991." It currently holds a 20% positive rating on film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 30 reviews.[10] Austin Chronicle wrote, "Freddy Krueger ... has devolved from the horrific, ill-defined phantasm posited in the original film, into a bland and annoyingly predictable boogeyman loved by kids everywhere."[11]

The song "Why Was I Born? (Freddy's Dead)", written for the film, was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song.


The soundtrack for the film was released on September 24, 1991, by Warner Bros. Records. Although not included on the soundtrack, the song "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly is featured in the film.

  1. Goo Goo Dolls – "I'm Awake Now"
  2. Junk Monkeys – "Everything Remains the Same"
  3. Goo Goo Dolls – "You Know What I Mean"
  4. Johnny Law – "Remember the Night"
  5. Chubb Rock – "Treat 'em Right"
  6. Iggy Pop – "Why Was I Born? (Freddy's Dead)"
  7. Johnny Law – "Hold Me Down"
  8. Goo Goo Dolls – "Two Days in February"
  9. Young Lords – "Give Me a Beat"
  10. Fates Warning – "Nothing Left to Say"

On September 3, 1991, Varèse Sarabande released an album of Brian May's score.

Comic spin-off

Innovation Comics published a three-issue comic adaptation of the film. An alternate version of the third issue was published in 3D to recreate the effect used in the film. The series was also published in the trade paperback format. Innovation followed the adaptation with A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Beginning, which served as a direct sequel to Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. In the sequel, Maggie Burroughs continues to have nightmares of her father, Freddy Krueger. Burroughs travels back to Springwood with Tracy, another survivor from the film, to research Freddy's life leading up to his death at the hands of the Springwood parents. Only the first two issues of the series were released before Innovation Comics declared bankruptcy—the third issue went unpublished, and the story remains incomplete. Series writer Andy Mangels made the original script for the third issue available on his website.[12]

See also


  1. "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  2. Bob Pool (September 13, 1991). "Sharp Edge : Mayor Proclaims 'Freddy Krueger Day' but Not Everyone Is Celebrating". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015.
  3. Seibold, Whitney (October 12, 2012). "The Series Project: Freddy & Jason (Part 4)". CraveOnline. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  4. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (Original script). Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  5. Farrands, Daniel and Kasch, Andrew (Directors) (May 4, 2010). Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (DVD). 1428 Films.
  6. Shapiro, Marc (October 1991). "Freddy's Dead No Kidding!". Fangoria (107): 40–47.
  7. "Innovation Previews, Vol. 1, No. 21". Innovation Publishing. 1991. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  8. Dutka, Elaine (September 17, 1991). "'Freddy's Dead' Wakes Up Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
  9. "Nightmare on Elm Street Movies at the Box Office - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  10. "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  11. Savlov, Mark (September 20, 1991). "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  12. "Nightmares on Elm Street". Retrieved September 30, 2017.
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