THS Fright-A-Thon: A Completely Serious Analysis of the “Dream Warriors” Music Video

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By the time A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors rolled around in 1987, two things were on top of the goddamn world. Heavy metal and Freddy. So what did New Line Cinemas decide to do? Put the two together. Dokken is an American heavy metal band featuring Don Dokken and George Lynch. Both are legends in the field of heavy metal music, with Lynch being a member of multiple successful bands. Freddy Krueger on the other hand, took over cinemas with the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Even though the second film in the franchise was maligned critically, it was a huge success financially. It single handedly pulled New Line Cinema out of a certain death.

We got part three, and it was a confluence of everything about the series that is great. You had the return of Wes Craven to the franchise and you had Heather Langenkamp’s return as the character of Nancy. You can read more about A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors right here.

But this article isn’t about the movie Dream Warriors. It’s about the music video for the song “Dream Warriors” by Dokken. You can check out the music video below, so you can follow along with me.

Heavy Metal And Horror Go Hand In Hand

The first thing you can see with this combo only made in hell, is that heavy metal and horror movies, certainly go together. Like the music of King Diamond, horror and heavy metal are perfect storytelling tools. It just took partnering Dokken with Freddy Krueger. Not only does this video use clips from the movie, it has original scenes with both Patricia Arquette and Robert Englund. Where do you see that ever happening in a music video for a movie soundtrack?

Not only are the parts with Patricia and Robert movie quality, the physical effects on the video are pretty top notch. So let’s go over the story of the video, because it differs from the movie.

“Dream Warriors” Doesn’t Follow The Movie

Dream Warriors

Like the film, Kristin is making a scrapbook/newspaper house. It’s the same one from the movie of the original Elm Street house, but this time it’s plastered with pictures of Dokken. You get the slow intro to the song that leads into the main riff. It cuts to Kristen waking up in front of the dilapidated house from the first film. Complete with creepy little girls playing jump rope. It’s intercut with cool shots of Dokken playing and Don Dokken singing. One of the little girls rides a tricycle into the front door of the house as it slowly opens up.

We get our first shot of Freddy at around the 1:13 mark. And I have to say, for this being a music video, they didn’t cut any corners. They could have phoned in the makeup for him and done a crap job like the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street did. But they didn’t.

We continue with Kristen as she goes into the basement that turns into Freddy’s boiler room. This is again intercut with cool shots of Dokken being badass. The little girl rides up to Kristen and we see the creepy boiler with Dokken drummer Mick Brown playing in the fiery inferno with like a half Freddy face.

Kristen grabs the little girl to haul ass out of there, but she turns into a skeleton as she moves into another room. Jeff Pilson (bassist) and Don Dokken approach Kristen down the hallway. She’s not sure if they’re going to hurt her or not.

The Music Video Continued

Dream Warriors

Kristen wakes up and is in another room. As the Lynch solo starts shredding, the room breaks apart around her. As she’s screaming and probably facing her untimely doom, George Lynch busts out of the wall and plays the rest of the guitar solo while she smiles. At the end of it, though, he’s grabbed by Freddy and dragged into a cavern.

She follows after to save the guitar god. The cavern is a weird series of sewer tunnels. Kristen looks up and sees Freddy as he’s about to attack. At the last minute Dokken shows up and he’s distracted. It’s a showdown between Freddy and the band. Don Dokken turns his vocal prowess on Freddy and hits an insane high note as Freddy puts his hands over his ears.

The power of heavy metal defeats Freddy and it’s him who wakes up from a bad dream. Freddy tosses his dolly and rubs his head.

What a nightmare! Who were those guys?

Freddy Krueger in the “Dream Warriors” music video.

This Just In, To Defeat Freddy Krueger, You Don’t Need To Blow Him Up, Just Get Some Heavy Metal

You read that right, unlike the ending of A Nightmare On Elm Street: Freddy’s Dead, you don’t need some convoluted series of events to blow his ass to kingdom come. You just need the power of heavy metal. If there’s anything to show you that the spirts of evil or the armies of darkness are powerless, it’s that heavy metal can defeat them. Sure, there’s plenty of heavy metal songs and bands that sing about Satan and the evil of mankind. But the majority of the so-called “hair metal” (I hate this term with a passion) bands, sing about partying, girls, and having fun. What’s the antithesis of evil? Uhhhh, all those things.

So if you’re in the market for defeating the evil in the world, turn to heavy metal. No matter what Tipper Gore and all the dumb-dumbs in the 80’s or now try to tell you, heavy metal is the cure for most things. It’s not evil, it’s not dangerous. Heavy metal is about having fun, and maybe, depending on the sub-genre, Satan. But that’s not the long and the short of it.

So this Halloween season, make sure to crank up some of that heavy metal, to ward off the evil spirits.

All Joking Aside, This Video Is A Technical And Storytelling Achievement

The video, like I said, combined two of the biggest pop culture items in the world at the time. This would be like BTS doing a video with the MCU or something. Can you imagine that happening? Probably not. But in 1987, Dokken and Freddy Krueger teamed up for a hugely successful music video. After all, music videos, at that time, were like mini movies. So it makes perfect sense. It might seem like a dated concept nowadays, but this was a huge deal.

“Dream Warriors” has gone on to be one of Dokken’s most successful and lasting songs. It graces nearly every set-list that they play. “Dream Warriors” might be one of their most successful songs, and Dream Warriors might be the best that the A Nightmare on Elm Street series has to offer.

Also, RIP To Eddie Van Halen.

For more on horror, Fright-A-Thon, or any other general pop culture, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.

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