A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER (1988) is in no way shape or form the best in this “knives for fingers” franchise. In fact, it Mastered very little for fans of Freddy as it began to rely more on the punchy one-liners more than all the previous installments as well as the ridiculously silly kills that these Elm Street teens go through. However, financially it was one of the most successful films coming in after what many consider to be one of the best in the series, PART 3’s DREAM WARRIORS. I personally hold a soft spot for Part 4 for a few reasons, one of which is the hottie with the body Brooke Theiss who tragically checks into the “roach motel.”
Brooke had the massive Eighties hair, the body and the attitude and she was able to stand out even with the silly script behind THE DREAM MASTER. Much like her fellow fodder in this Elm Street installment, Brooke was subject to some serious damage thanks to a newly reborn Freddy Krueger. Sure, he was brought back thanks to a dog named Jason with demonic piss, but still there was fun to be had. While lifting weights, tough chick Debbie (Theiss) comes face to face with the child murderer Krueger. Much to her dismay he uses her fear of bugs in the worst of ways, by turning her into a cockroach. One thing you can say for this particular sequel, the special effects were mostly top-notch and her death scene is probably the highlight of the film for many a fan.
Early on in Brooke’s career, it was clear that television was her thing. She had guest appearances on the sitcom “Growing Pains” as well as “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” and “Doctor Doctor.” Of course it was her work with another Elm Street kid that earned her a little bit more fame. In “Just the Ten of Us” – a “Growing Pains” spin-off – Theiss starred alongside Heather Langenkamp as members of the lovable Lubbock family presided over by dear old dad, Coach Lubbock (Bill Kirchenbauer). In fact, in the first episode Langenkamp’s character Marie made a reference to A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET which was a wonderful thing for all her horror fans. The series itself only lasted from 1988 until 1990 but at least it gave audiences Theiss, Langenkamp and the outstandingly gorgeous Jamie Lunar to ogle for three seasons.
Throughout Brooke’s career, she has appeared in a number of television shows that didn’t quite make the grade including “Good & Evil” in 1991 with Teri Garr and Seth Green. That particular show only made it to six episodes, while “Home Free” was another one that fared slightly better with thirteen episodes in 1993. There she starred opposite Matthew Perry before he became one of America’s favorites “Friends” the following year. However, Brooke did find herself at a very famous zip code as Leslie Sumner in 1993-1995 at “Beverly Hills, 90210.” According to her IMDB page, she was credited as ‘Brooke Theiss Genesse’ for that and a few other shows that followed. But in the year 2000, she lost that third name when she appeared in the less-than-stellar flick called THE ALTERNATE - she is still with her husband Bryan who she married in 1994.
NOW: With only a small handful of roles from 2000 until now – her last credit’s for a short film called OPEN 24 HOURS in 2010 – it seems the actress has taken to motherhood. With her husband Bryan Genesse, two children and Freddy far behind her she has stayed away from this beloved genre for most of her career. That being said, if you take a look at her official Facebook page it seems that she is enjoying the loyal fan base that being in a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET movie can bring. She created the page for the fans that she has, and yes I am one… I am hoping that she will answer my friend request soon. While she may not be returning to horror anytime soon, I for one wish for this lovely lady the sweetest of dreams.
There is something about the ladies of Elm Street that keeps me coming back to this crazily enjoyable horror franchise. Which of Freddy’s gals would you like to know ‘where in the horror are they now?’