If this last final battle wasn’t the most voted upon (of all battles in the competition) – then it has to be a close second. Both Danielle Harris and Barbara Crampton were sharing the heck out of the battle on their social media, and the votes just kept pouring in!
Honestly, thanks to both ladies for being so competitive and so involved in the fun! Amazing sports, both of you!
However, even with so many votes, and each lady taking the lead from the other – numerous times back and forth – only one competitor could come out on top, and take their place in the Sudden Death round – thus joining Day of the Dead’s Lori Cardille and Nightmare 4’s Lisa Wilcox.
And the winner of the third Final Battle: Danielle Harris of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.
Which means, we must bid adieu to Barbara Crampton and her amazing performance in Re-Animator. She fought well – through her prelim, semi-final and this latest final battle. We shall miss you, but with the proper amount of green re-animation fluid, you’ll go on forever! Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
And now, drum roll please. The final vote tallies:
Total votes: 1740 (WOW!)
For Harris: 1096
For Crampton: 644
Thanks again for weighing in, loyal followers/voters. And with that… another drum roll please…
VOTING IS NOW CLOSED.
Our final two contestants; who will battle for the FINAL spot in the TOP FOUR LADIES and a chance to face-off in the SUDDEN DEATH round, are:
Nancy Thompson; aka Heather Langenkamp of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street and the most beloved DJ in Antonio Bay, Stevie Wayne; aka Adrienne Barbeau of The Fog. Both ladies have made it this far, and now must put up their dukes and work to gain your votes, and move onto the final leg of the entire competition.
Up first, Ms. Langenkamp created an iconic protagonist in horror history, reappearing twice more in the Nightmare franchise. But we’re looking solely at her work in the original. In this competition, she first battled with Lois Chiles of Creepshow 2, and then in her semi-final round, took on (and beat) the legendary Betsy Palmer of Friday the 13th. So with that, let’s take a gander at her so-called “Greatest Hits”, pulled from her prelim battle!
“To start things off, there are several lovely moments which not only confirm Nancy’s youth, but also her fragility before she takes back control of her life and her dreams. First is the early sequence where Nancy, Tina and Glenn discuss how Glenn planned to convince his mother that he was at a cousin’s house. Her giggling with Tina (Amanda Wyss) is authentically young (Langenkamp was barely 20 when they shot the film) and effective – setting up the friendship and the fact that we’re dealing with regular (if somewhat damaged) teenagers. It’s key in establishing sympathy and realism for a very unreal situation. And then later there’s the brilliantly snarky teenage remark – so perfectly delivered – as Nancy relaxes in the tub and her mother (Ronee Blakeley) tells her, “I’ve heated up some warm milk for you, honey”, to which Nancy replies, “Warm milk? Gross.” To establish Nancy’s fragility early on, we can take a look at the aftermath of Tina’s death. Her father (the great John Saxon) talks to her in the police station. Nancy’s distraught and confused and we see that she’s just a regular girl. Her delivery here of “How can you say I don’t take her death seriously?” and “She just didn’t want to sleep alone” are perfect examples of this “regular girl”, uncertain of what’s about to come her way. Poor Nancy.”
“I am also fond of the many deliveries Langenkamp has throughout – when Nancy has moments of disbelief. It’s always a surprised whisper. When she ends up at the sleep clinic, at the urging of her mother, we know that she ends up taking Freddy’s hat in the dream, and when she wakes, she reveals the souvenir to her mother and the doctor, saying, “I grabbed it off his head.” It’s a nice moment where we see Nancy’s desperation, along with triumph and some genuine fear that what she has begun to believe is actually true. It seems Langenkamp (especially when Nancy’s falling further into the abyss) must hit several emotional notes within each scene.”
“And for subtle moments, there are a bevy of notable accomplishments. There’s no dialogue when Nancy first sees Tina’s bloodied and dead body – just after she and Glenn break through the bedroom door. The shock and disbelief Langenkamp gives us here is really quite delicious and authentic.”
“Another little moment to call attention to – just for Langenkamp’s awesome reaction. Okay, it’s not a little scene. It’s the moment where Nancy goes to Rod (Nick Corri) in his prison cell, to gain more insight into what happened to Tina. After Rod describes everything that he’s seen in his dreams – further confirming Nancy’s fears, he tearfully asks her, “Do you think I did it?” Nancy replies (and it’s one of Langenkamp’s most true moments as Nancy), with a cracked voice and wide eyes, “No.” Oh my. Such a juicy and telling moment.”
“Let it be known that the original A Nightmare on Elm Street is my #4 favorite film of all time, and I’ve seen it a bajillion times over the past 30+ years, but this recent viewing (obviously watching it more to focus on Langenkamp’s work) made me marvel at Nancy’s (and Langenkamp’s) downward spiral. As she becomes more sleep-deprived, she becomes crabby, with numerous mood swings. Of particular note, is Nancy’s awesome fight with her mother in the kitchen. Marge (Nancy’s mother) confirms to Nancy that she knows who Fred Krueger is. There is a heated argument, and it ends with the exhausted delivery from Langenkamp, replying to her mother’s, “For Godssake, Nancy – it’s just a nightmare!” Nancy pointedly says, “That’s enough.” Langenkamp gives us a clear insight into Nancy’s state of mind with this line delivery. She’s had it.”
“And then there comes the aforementioned mood swing. The very next scene finds her on a bridge with Glenn, lovingly talking about dream skills. It’s a reminder that no one other than Glenn can understand what she’s going through. And on this recent screening, I was impressed with how much is shown in this scene, confirming their love and the strengthening of their connection in this crisis. It’s actually a very sweet scene.”
“Right after, she returns home to find the bars on her home’s windows. And she comes inside, screaming to her mother about the bars. Her mother tells her they’re for “security”. To which Nancy replies, “Security? Security from what?” And she yells it. By this point, you can see that Nancy’s emotions and mental state are all over the place. Langenkamp (and there should be some kudos to the continuity people) deserves plenty of praise for the realistic journey she takes Nancy (and the audience) on. Well done!”
“And Langenkamp obviously excels at being a scream queen (this as well as her great performance overall – certainly identify her name next to the title, “for-real, legit horror legend”), through the many battles with Freddy, and during one of my other favorite moments (yes, I know I have lots of favorite moments – I LOVE the film) when she has just set Freddy on fire and locked him in the basement. She breaks the windows in the house to scream for her father’s help. When he and his men finally arrive at the front door, smoke billowing through the smashed windows, she desperately screams, “Daddy! Daddy! Open the door!” The men then break down the door and it’s then important to watch Langenkamp’s physicality here – she jumps up on the stairs, grabs her dad, looks at him in the eyes and then drags them to the basement door. It’s one of those moments which perfectly illustrate Langenkamp’s surrender to the role. It seems these moments would have been out-of-body for the actress – since it is so flawlessly delivered and perfectly believable.”
“And to end our time with Ms. Langenkamp, a few random call-outs for other favorite line deliveries: 1) “Because he was scary, that’s why!” 2) “Glen, oh Glen!” 3) “Get my Dad, you asshole!” 4) “It’s only a dream!”
And now entering the ring, to take on Nancy Thompson – Adrienne Barbeau, as she channels Stevie Wayne of Carpenter’s The Fog. In her prelim battle, she took on none other than her Ms. Jamie Lee Curtis of Terror Train, and then – Elvira herself for her performance in Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. But Ms. Barbeau conquered both of these horror legends, and now she’s sitting mighty pretty and up for a spot in the TOP FOUR LADIES. So here are her “Greatest Hits” taken from her prelim battle.
“And what discussion of Barbeau’s performance would be complete without mention of that sensual voice she puts out over the radio – specifically how she delivers her many double entendres. Barbeau’s certainly got a good career in radio, if this acting thing doesn’t work out. Hardy-har-har. But what I most loved about her performance, I truly only realized during this latest revisit to prepare for this battle – was how she would go from terrified one moment, and then quickly return to that patented smooth Stevie Wayne delivery when she would go back on the air. What’s great about this, is that it shows how deftly Stevie (and in turn, Barbeau) can change gears.”
“Her first glimpse of the ghostly fog also garners a primo reaction from Barbeau. She’s on the phone with weather man Dan (Charles Cyphers) discussing how fog can move against the wind, when she sees a brief glow on the horizon. It’s her first inkling that something’s wrong. I love this moment ‘cause it captures Stevie’s exhaustion, her innocent flirtations with Dan and also that she knows her stuff (radio and weather). She is running a radio station on her own, so she can’t defer to a weather man or a sports expert. This perfectly sets up that Stevie’s smart, on the ball and a multi-tasker. And without Barbeau’s on-screen charisma, would we love her as much? Just take a look at Selma Blair in the same role in the lackluster remake. I rest my case.”
“Following the creepy explosion of son Andy’s driftwood in the station, Stevie calls home to get some information from her son. The brilliance Barbeau brings to this phone call, is that we see within Stevie – true concern. But there’s something deeper – confusion. Sure, the driftwood and accompanying dark omen were frightening, but after all is said and done, nothing actually happened. Is Stevie just tired and overworked? Perhaps. But what I enjoy here is again, that concern. She’s upset, but she doesn’t really know why. She’s going off of her gut that something’s not right. After all, it’s just a piece of wood. But Barbeau gives us so many layers in that phone call. You can see that she believes she probably is over-reacting, but being a single mom, possibly she automatically goes to that extreme. Bottom line, Barbeau delivers a great deal of Stevie’s personality in these brief moments. And directly following the call, she looks at the driftwood, clicks the “on the air” switch, and exactly that, she’s “on”. There’s that awesome professional shift!”
“Barbeau’s crowning moments come when Andy is in danger. She helplessly looks on from her high vantage point as the fog covers Antonio Bay. The fog has knocked out power, so she rushes downstairs to desperately engage the generator. Once it turns over, she rushes upstairs and screams into the microphone for Andy and his baby-sitter (Mrs. Kobritz) to run. She then begs that any of her listeners who are near enough (she repeats the address over and over), to please rescue Andy. Stevie’s in full-on “mother” mode. She then pleads for Andy’s forgiveness, “I have to stay here”. It’s a nice change of pace to see such a strong female character. Sure she gets upset, but she doesn’t break down into hysterics – and eventually attempting the impossible by leaving her post and rushing back into town to save him. She’s smart enough to know that with that aforementioned awesome view, she needs to keep everyone informed. Barbeau sells Stevie’s decision to take into account “the needs of the many, rather than the needs of the few”. And not long after Andy is rescued (Stevie doesn’t know this), she returns to “all business” as she describes the fog’s movements into town. Dammit, Stevie’s a professional.”
“And being that Barbeau is a scream queen, let’s examine her final moments in the lighthouse. She sees the fog rolling down the impossibly long staircase (one of the best shots in the whole film) to the station, and Barbeau’s silent reaction is priceless. From there on out, things get pretty dire for Stevie. Barbeau has to scream, fight off the wormy ghouls and try not to slip off of the top of that lighthouse. It’s a very physical scene (Barbeau said in an interview that she was black and blue the day after they shot the sequence), and like all good beat-up scream queens, we love Barbeau even more for her tough-as-nails commitment to the role and the scene.”
“Finally, what’s most interesting about Barbeau’s performance, is the fact that Stevie’s going off of little to no information. During the course of the film, she never gains the insights of the other characters – that these are ghosts from the shipwrecked Elizabeth Dane – returning for their gold and their revenge. All she ever knows is that there are some gnarly creatures coming at her via the dense and glowing fog! So she’s going on survival instinct alone. Even if you were able to reason with these water-logged ghouls (Father Malone sort of does), she wouldn’t even know that this would be an option – she doesn’t know who they are or why they’re there! And despite her injuries and exhaustion, note that Stevie still returns to the microphone to inform her listeners of what’s happened. That’s commitment, not only from Stevie, but from Adrienne – who makes us love Stevie and believe that no matter what, she’s gonna keep that station afloat and continue to inform her audience.”
And there you have it, loyal and voracious voters! The cases have been made for our final FINAL battle. Will you cast your vote for the long-suffering and resourceful Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare on Elm Street) or will you vote for DJ Stevie Wayne – the worried mother and Antonio Bay towns-person, caught up in the terror of ghostly pirates (Adrienne Barbeau of The Fog) – in a battle I am officially christening, “A Foggy Night on Elm Street”.
As always, cast your vote right here on the site, spread the word to your fellow horror freaks, and keep your fingers crossed for your personal favorite.
Remember – this is the very last battle pitting two ladies together. Once the winner here is announced, the FOUR TOP LADIES will take to the ring for one grand finale – a “Sudden Death” round which is going to be – shall we say – EPIC?!