Despite a movie poster that promised, “They saved the best for last,” 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare was not, in fact, the final Nightmare. There would be two more installments of the beloved Nightmare on Elm Street series in the years to come — the 1994 reboot Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and the 2003 slasher clash Freddy vs. Jason.
But franchise star Robert Englund insists they really did approach the sixth installment — which was released 30 years ago, on Sept. 13, 1991 — as the swan song for Freddy Krueger.
“We did set out to make a kind of over-the-top popular culture film with Freddy’s Dead,” Englund tells Yahoo Entertainment during a 2014 Role Recall interview (watch above, with Part 6 starting at 0:40). “And we thought that was going to be a way to end the franchise.”
Directed by Rachel Talalay from a script by future three-time Oscar nominee and MGM Chairman Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Moneyball, Captain Phillips), Freddy’s Dead found its iconic fedora-wearing, razor-clawed killer returning to Spingwood, Ohio to take out the tortured town’s last remaining teenager. And it certainly swings over the top, even for a Nightmare film, with action at 35,000 feet, a Wicked Witch impersonation and fiery dream demons.
There are also cameos from some bold-faced names, including Johnny Depp (whose first movie was the 1984 original), Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold, and Alice Cooper.
But one of Englund’s favorite moments comes when Freddy goes after Carlos Rodriguez (Ricky Dean Logan), a teen left deaf in one ear after being physically abused by his mother.
“One of my favorite kills is in Part 6, with the boy who wears a hearing aid,” he remembers about Carlos, whom Freddy taunts with deranged puns like "lend me your ear" and "nice hearing from you" before ultimately making his head explode.
“Freddy’s an equal-opportunity killer — that’s fun and fair, and as politically incorrect as it is, I think it’s also right. And it’s funny and it’s dark and it’s mean and it’s cruel, but it’s also real indicative of just how low Freddy will go.”
Stream Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare on Amazon Prime.
Watch Part I of our Robert Englund Role Recall interview: