31 Days of Horror: Day 29 Movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

October 30, 2010

31 Days of Horror, Robert Forto

Every year we have a tradition in the Forto house where we celebrate the greatest month of the year, October, with scare your socks off, hide under the covers, turn on all the lights, sleep with one eye open, fright fest, movie marathon every night of the month! We call it 31 Days of Horror.

31 Days of Horror: A Nightmare of Elm Street

Day 28 Movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street

The movie that started one the most successful horror franchises in modern history. It brought a new level to the horror genre by taking combining the typical generic, non-speaking slasher roll (Friday the 13th, Halloween, etc.) and bringing back the monsters of the past (think Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman). But NIghtmare was different it brought a monster so terrifying to all of us because it could be REAL. He was in our DREAMS. Think about it. everybody has a nightmare every now and then and many times they don’t make sense do they? Sometimes we are even afraid to fall back asleep.

Directed and written by Wes Craven, it brought to the screen a new breed of horror. Made on a shoestring budget and literally the execs mortgaged everything and bet the farm to make this picture it was not without its hiccups. But it worked and it paid off.

Interesting Facts:

Wes Craven first came up with the basic idea for the movie from several newspaper articles printed in the LA Times over a three year period about a group of Cambodian refugees from the Hmong tribe, several of whom died in the throes of horrific nightmares. The group had come to America to escape the reign of Pol Pot, and within a year of arriving, three men had died, with the situation the same in each cases; the young, otherwise healthy, man would have a nightmare, then refuse to sleep for as long as possible. Upon finally falling asleep from exhaustion, the man awoke screaming, then died. Autopsy results revealed that they had not died because of heart failure, they had simply died. It was this lack of cause which intrigued Craven so much. Medical authorities have since called the phenomenon Asian Death Syndrome, a variant of Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (SUDS) and Brugada Syndrome.

According to Robert Englund, he based the physicality of Freddy on Klaus Kinski’s performance in Nosteratu the Vampyre (1979). Englund also says on his DVD commentary that in his mind, the back-story for Freddy was based on something from his own childhood. On Valentine’s Day when Englund was in school, everyone in the class made Valentine cards for one another, but there was one boy who received no cards from anyone. Englund theorized that this boy went on to become Freddy.

This was the first roll for Johnny Depp (probably one of the biggest actors in the world). He was casted to play Glen who was supposed to be a “big jock” type but if you have seen the film it was far from it!

The role of Nancy was supposed to be the perfect example of the “girl next door” with a little “kick butt” prowess. Heather Langenkamp beat over 200 actresses for the role of Nancy Thompson, some of the other actresses who auditioned for the role of Nancy were Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing), Demi Moore (Ghost) Courtney Cox (Friends) and Tracey Gold (Growing Pains).

An omen that Johnny Depp’s character is about to die occurs as he is laying in bed listening to his radio. The broadcaster announces, “It’s midnight and you’re listening to station KRGR.” KRGR is “Krueger” without the vowels

The red and green sweater that Freddy Kruger is wearing is not supposed to represent Christmas but the two colors together is said to add confusion to the eyes and make the film more disturbing.

The characteristic posture that Robert Englund gave to Freddy was because the knife glove was so heavy that it dropped his shoulder to one side.

The inspiration for the character of Freddy came from several sources in Wes Craven’s childhood. Fred Krueger was a schoolmate of Craven with whom he had shared a paper route, and who had bullied him for several years. In The Last House of the Left (1972), Craven also used this experience as inspiration, calling the villain Krug. Freddy’s appearance (especially the dirty clothes and hat) was inspired by a hobo who Craven saw staring at him through his window one day when he was ten.

Over 500 gallons of fake blood were used during the making of the film

Plot: On Elm Street, Nancy Thompson and a group of her friends including Tina Gray, Rod Lane and Glen Lantz are being tormented by a clawed killer in their dreams named Freddy Krueger. Nancy must think quickly, as Freddy tries to pick off his victims one by one. When he has you in your sleep, who is there to save you?

What is your favorite scary and/or Halloween movie? I would love to hear from you!

Day 1 Movie: Trick ‘r Treat

Day 2 Movie: The Exorcist

Day 3 Movie: Nosferatu

Day 4 Movie: White Zombie

Day 5 Movie: The Serpent and the Rainbow

Day 6 Movie: Creepshow 2

Day 7 Movie: The House of 1000 Corpses

Day 8 Movie: The Blob

Day 9 Movie: The Devils Rejects

Day 10 Movie: The Shinning

Day 11 Movie: The Omen

Day 12 Movie: The Thing

Day 13 Movie: Embrace of the Vampire

Day 14 Movie: (Stephen King’s) Desperation

Day 15 Movie: Dracula (1931)

Day 16 Movie: The Wolfman (1941)

Day 17 Movie: The Amityville Horror

Day 18 Movie: Frankenstein (1931)

Day 19 Movie:  Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Day 20 Movie: Halloween (1978)

Day 21 Movie: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Day 22 Movie: The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Day 23 Movie: ‘Salem’s Lot

Day 24: Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)

Day 25 Movie: Dracula (1992)

Day 26 Movie: Stephen King’s Needful Things

Day 27 Movie: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Day 28 Movie: Rob Zombie’s Halloween II

Day 29 Movie: Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works


Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and The Dog Doctor Radio Show

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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5 Comments on “31 Days of Horror: Day 29 Movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)”

  1. Michele Forto Says:

    I’ve got to say; Horror flicks of our generation, late 70’s and 80’s were so much better than what they come up with today. Exception: Rob Zombie – but then he’s from our era and gets it!



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