Today we’re looking at Nightmare on Elm Street, the film that launched the career of the guy of your dreams, Freddy Krueger.
Growing up in the vibrant backdrop of 1980s and 1990s South Africa, one couldn’t help but be captivated by the eerie allure of vintage horror movie posters. These spine-tingling images lined the walls of VHS rental stores, casting a spell on anyone who dared to venture close. As I strolled past those dimly lit aisles, I couldn’t resist stealing glances at the posters that sent shivers down my spine.
Classics like “Friday the 13th” and “Jason Goes to Hell” beckoned to me with their macabre artwork, but one poster, in particular, stood out, relentlessly fuelling my curiosity – “Nightmare on Elm Street.”
Even though I didn’t indulge in movies during my childhood, I vividly recall the nervous excitement of lifting up a VHS cassette and inspecting the enigmatic back of the box, wondering what horrors lay within.
“Nightmare on Elm Street” held a special place in that gallery of terror. It was a movie that had always eluded me, and its mystique only grew over time.
Unlike those who grew up watching Freddy Krueger’s nocturnal horrors, I didn’t cower under the couch with my friends or wrestle with sleepless nights haunted by the fear of his sinister visits.
It wasn’t until my late twenties that I finally braved watching “Nightmare on Elm Street.” As a result, my perspective on this iconic brand and its enduring series is quite distinct, shaped by the anticipation and mystery that surrounded it for so many years.
The story of Nightmare on Elm Street tells the tale of Nancy Thompson, played by Heather Langenkamp, who along with her friends are being tormented by a murderer wearing a red jumper and a fedora for a hat, and as always, that killer right arm of his. Not many people know this but Johnny Depp actually stars in this movie and made a cameo for the ‘last’ entry in the series Freddy’s Dead: The Nightmare on Elm Street Part 6. His death in the movie is actually one of the most memorable. On the Never Sleep Again documentary they tell the story of the Nightmare on Elm Street series and tell how the effects were done – which is quite cool (they built an upside down set of the room and pumped a giant hose filled with fake blood through the bed to get the effect where Johnny Depp’s character is killed).
The movie hasn’t aged particularly well – especially if you’re a fan of how modern day horror films are made – but still it’s a must see for any self professed horror fan. So in the word of the little girls singing in the movie:
1, 2 Freddy’s coming for you..
6 Fun facts about Nightmare on Elm Street
(1) Freddy Krueger, the horror legend, makes a chilling impact with less than 7 minutes of precious screen time.
(2) Believe it or not, “Nightmare on Elm Street” marked Johnny Depp’s debut in the world of cinema. He started his career right in the middle of a nightmare!
(3) When it comes to fake blood, this film takes the gore crown, unleashing over 500 gallons of the sticky stuff! That’s enough to fill a terrifying swimming pool.
(4) The iconic glove that haunts our dreams was born out of practicality. Wes Craven wanted a unique, budget-friendly weapon that wouldn’t give him sleepless nights. Talk about DIY horror!
(5) This cinematic masterpiece was created on a shoestring budget of around $1.8 million, and it laughed all the way to the bank, recouping its cost during its opening weekend.
(6) Ever wondered how Freddy’s arms got all stretchy? Well, it’s a puppet show behind the scenes, with men using fishing poles to manoeuvre puppet arms attached to the wickedly talented Robert Englund. Puppetry meets horror, and the result is nightmare-inducing!