Friday, October 14, 2011

80s Movie Night - Spotlight on A NIghtmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
With October drawing in and Halloween fast approaching I thought it was time to look at 80s horror movies and what better 80s horror movie was there than A Nightmare on Elm Street?

I'm sure some would disagree, but this movie kept me awake far more than any other movie I have ever seen so I'm going to call it the 80s horror movie!

The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection consists of 7 Nightmare on Elm Street films and a bonus disc and is a great gift idea for any Freddy Krueger fan.   It was the first movie in 1984 that kept me awake however, I wasn't as impressed with some of the subsequent movies and I certainly haven't seen all seven of them.

Wes Craven's idea of teenagers being killed in their dreams was, in my mind, a really cool concept.   I thought it was a very original idea, but since the 80s I've learned that he actually read about a little boy who had been having nightmares and one night just died in his sleep ......... maybe Freddy is real??

Robert Englund did a fantastic job in making Freddy Krueger a character that could still scare the #@@# out of any child of the 80s if we should bump into him over Halloween.

Of course if you were planning to go to an 80s party dressing up as the 80s boogeyman himself would certainly bring any 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' style dancing to a halt!

Freddy Krueger and the whole collection of Nightmare on Elm Street movies have gained quite a cult following over the years which is quite amazing considering how much trouble Wes Craven went to to try and get someone to make the movie.   You see back when Wes Craven was shopping the script around he was met with a lot of resistance - slasher movies are on their way out - was comment and the other was - who would believe people could be murdered in their sleep.   Luckily for us (and the coffee industry) Wes Craven persevered and this cult movie franchise took on a life of it's own.

I was reading some Nightmare on Elm Street trivia the other day and they claimed that over 500 gallons of fake blood was used during the making of the original film.   That's a lot of blood, although when you think of some of the scenes it makes sense.

The first time I saw Nightmare on Elm Street I went with a friend of mine - I forget what we were supposed to be seeing because we weren't technically old enough to go to the movie, but being young and foolish..........

I was terrified!

I'm sure I did sleep, but it felt like weeks before I was sleeping, I'd catch myself nodding off and quickly turn on my bedside light (Turn your light off Lou!) to keep me awake.

The first thing that scared me was my lovely best friend of the time, Allison. She saw that I was engrossed in the movie and so she carefully put her arm around the back of the seat and just as Freddy emerged (I forget which scene) she stuck her nails into my shoulder - I screamed so loud the whole cinema turned around to frown! And yet we remained friends.....

The next thing that scared the bejesus out of me was getting outside the cinema to discover it was raining and I'd left my umbrella behind - doesn't sound too scary does it? Well there was an old guy that was the usher at the cinema and hand on heart I have to tell you he could have been Freddy Krueger's twin!

Anyway my friend refused to go back into the cinema with me (she was too scared as well.......I'm starting to wonder why we remained friends!!!) and I had to walk into a darkened room with Freddy Krueger!!!!! I swear I've never run back down the stairs of the cinema building so quickly in my life.

Anyway let's talk about the movie, but first here's another interesting nugget of info -

An interesting piece of trivia that I only discovered in recent years is that the iconic Freddy sweater wasn't supposed to be red and green, but Wes Craven read an article that said the two most contrasting colors to the human retina were red and green and so decided that those were the colors that the sweater should be.   

A Nightmare on Elm Street - The Movie

A Nightmare on Elm Street is about Freddy Krueger who was a child murderer, unfortunately he escapes going to prison on a technicality and walks out of court a free man. A group of people in his town decide that they will put an end to his crimes and murdered him by setting him on fire.

Nightmare On Elm Street - Movie Poster
The movie starts years later when somehow Freddy Krueger has found a way to come back for revenge - in dreams. He haunts the dreams of the children of the people who murdered him and manages to kill them while they are sleeping.

Wes Craven had a lot of problems convincing a studio to make this movie as they purported that no one would believe in a villain killing people in their sleep.....well they were wrong. This movie kept millions of people awake after they watched it.

Where Did the Idea for 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' Come From?

Exploring Wes Craven's mind

Where on earth did Wes Craven come up with the idea of people being killed in their sleep? From the news! The scary thing is that there have actually been cases where people have died in their sleep for no known reason. In one case a little boy had been having nightmares and didn't want to go to sleep.....when he finally did sleep his family heard him scream, but by the time they had reached his side he was dead. I am so glad that I didn't know about this at the time that I watched the movie - maybe Freddy is real!

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The Stars

The main characters in the movie are Nancy, her boyfriend Rod, Nancy's best friend Tina and her boyfriend Glen. As Nancy's friends start dying in their sleep Nancy tries desperately to get her parents to believe what's really happening..........................of course they don't which really helps to sell this movie to a younger audience. Teenagers taking on demons by themselves is a classic movie grab.

Original Cast of A Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare on Elm Street's Infamous Villain

A Nightmare on Elm Street could not have been successful without Freddy Krueger, he has become a cult movie anti-hero with his own huge following. Every Halloween fancy dress stores sell Freddy Krueger costumes, but where did he come from?

Freddy Krueger
Copyrighted by Louanne Cox, Aug 2014
Apparently Freddy Krueger was inspired by a grown man Wes Craven saw as a child. Wes Craven describes this person (who he didn't know) as being the source of one of the scariest moments of his life. As an 11 year old Wes was looking out of his apartment window and saw a man (who in later interviews he has described as homeless), the man spots him looking and stares back at him which for some reason scared him. In later interviews he expands more on the story, but I think at that age we do see people who we view as scary for no real reason don't we?

Freddy Krueger is still considered a scary character which is why you sometimes see him immortalized at 'horror houses' and the like as you can see opposite.

Do you think A Nightmare on Elm Street was the best horror movie of the 80s?

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