On February 27th, 1987 a journey began... my journey... into HORROR!
This was the release date of "Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors"! Also known as the first horror movie I ever successfully watched all the way through. Before even viewing, I had become obsessed with the movie having seen posters for it at the movie theater, and creeped on articles about it in Fangoria Magazine when we were at the grocery store. It looked SO COOL.
I never dared to ask to rent it though, because I had never asked to rent a horror movie, knowing the idea would most likely be shot down. I was known for browsing the horror section and looking at the various VHS case art, imagining what kind of amazingly scary and grotesque encounters were to be seen. Titles like "Basket Case", "Chopping Mall", "Ghoulies"... all looked so intriguing, but none looked as mesmerizing to me as Dream Warriors. I mean, just look at the poster:
My comic loving heart went nuts... are these super-powered teens taking on Freddy?! Here's a little fact about this poster for those unfamiliar with the movie: None of the characters (outside of the girl in the middle with the white streak in her hair) actually look like this in the movie, and there is no mace-wielding ANYWHERE to be found. It would have been a bummer, had the movie not been so spectacular to me. And I guess if they put the really cool elements/scenes on the poster, it would ruin the surprise!
Back on track though, to how I came about seeing this. My mom's friend had rented it, unbeknownst to me, and was about to watch it. She was going to watch it in another room, so she didn't scare us kids. When I found out, I BEGGED my mom to let me watch this with her. She reluctantly agreed on the condition that I could NEVER wake her or my dad up in the middle of the night talking about how scared I was. Remember when I said this is the first horror movie I had watched the whole way through? Well, that's because I had gotten a sneak peek at "Halloween" once, and saw a few scenes from "Poltergeist" that maaaaaaay have resulted in some nights sleeping with Mom and Dad. But I was rejoicing that I was able to watch this movie, and it did not disappoint. I'm not sure if it was the parental threat of not being allowed to be scared, or the fact that the movie isn't what many would call "scary", but I was HOOKED. The creativity, story, and characters were so enthralling to me. And not to mention there was that FANTASTIC "Dream Warriors" song by Dokken, that fulfilled my other obsession of the time... hair metal.
After viewing this movie I immediately went on to view the two "Elm Street" movies that preceded and eventually moved on to other slasher franchises and horror movies. Horror movies no longer scared me and were the bulk of what I began renting at the video store. I also began drawing my own Nightmare on Elm Street comics (which were terrible) and making up my own Nightmare on Elm Street stories (also terrible).
For this special 30th anniversary, I've been inspired to add to my fan art collection by doing a tribute illustration of one of my favorite characters from the film, Taryn. Taryn's dream power allows her to be a bad-a$$, mohawk sporting, leather goddess with switchblades. So 80s. So Good. She is known for her line "In my dreams I'm beautiful... and BAD."
Without further ado, here is my illustration celebrating 30 years of DREAM WARRIORS!!
If you have a specific fandom you'd like to see me do an illustration for, or blog suggestions, please don't hesitate to leave those in the comments, or email me! I am also available for commissions.