On a return-on-investments-basis, The Dream Master, number four in the Nightmare On Elm Street series (five if you count the TV version) is claiming to be the most profitable independent movie of all time.
It certainly relies heavily on the audience's familiarity with the previous exploits of the child molester-cum-teen-pin-up Freddy Krueger, the man with the deliquescent complexion who hounds his victim through their dreams.
No explanations are forthcoming as to why this guy who never changes his pullover or hat is so sadistic, so powerful and yet so clearly dead. Yes, he and his four-razor glove are still hunting down the progeny of the folks who torched him and laid him to rest years ago.
Now that only three of the original Elm Street kids remain, Freddy takes a final shining to a few of their teenage pals. As the friends peg out only mousey little Alice is left, but she, thankfully, turns out to have hidden depths. Like Sissy Spacek in Carrie, Newcomer Lisa Wilcox as Alice lends credibility to a rather easily anticipated narrative.
Despite its general predictability, The Dream Master is surprisingly inventive; the scare tactics work well (special mention to the cheesy Pizza with screaming heads of the dead for Pepperoni) and obvious plot contradictions are eliminated by a logical script. Robert England is in good form yet again as the man who, wrested from the grave by a dog urinating fire, wisecracks and slashes his way to the bank. And almost certainly another sequel.