Nightmare On Elm Street Facts That'll Keep You Awake
Nightmare on Elm Street is Based On a True Story
The Nightmare On Elm Street is an American horror film classic that continues to be one of the most popular horror films of all time. Freddy Krueger is THE ultimate bad guy as he can follow you into your dreams, giving you no place to run or hide. Here is 20 secrets from the film that will haunt you in your dreams.
A group of refugees from Southeast Asia fled to America to escape persecution. Three of them experienced terrifying nightmares, in three separate instances, where they were forced to try to keep themselves awake as long as they could. Of course, one can only do this for so long before your body just shuts down and they eventually fell asleep. Each of them ended up waking up and dying, screaming from the nightmares, and there was no medical reason for their deaths. Pretty creepy eh?
The character of Freddy Krueger is actually a combination of fears that director Wes Craven experienced as a child. The hat that Krueger wears is based off of one of the same style worn by the neighborhood drunk in Craven's hometown, who scared him when he was young. The name "Freddy" has significance as well. Craven was bullied by a boy of the same name while in elementary school.
In another scene in the movie, Nancy Thompson is watching a movie to try to stay awake, so she is not killed by Freddy Krueger. The movie she is watching is actually Evil Dead, directed by Sam Raimi. Craven did this intentionally, as a subtle nod to Raimi because Raimi had included a poster of Craven's film The Hills Have Eyes, in one of the scene's in Evil Dead. Raimi sent Craven back his own little thank you in the film Evil Dead II, where Freddy's glove can be seen hiding in a toolshed in one scene.
There is actually a science behind Freddy Krueger's sweater. Craven read an article in Scientific American magazine stating that the human eye had a difficult time with distinguishing between the two exact shades of red and green that are found in the sweater when placed next to each other. And thus, the sweater in itself is meant to confuse your brain and stress you.
John Saxon now
Since playing Lt. Thompson in Nightmare on Elm Street, Saxon has appeared in almost 200 different movie and television roles. He began acting in the 1950s and is still acting to this day. He is currently in production for two films, a comedy and a sci-fi action flick, scheduled to release next year.
In one particular scene, Johnny Depp is sucked into his bed and a huge geyser of blood shoots out from the mattress. The scene was filmed using a rotated set, a mounted camera and a pump that shot 500 gallons of fake blood out. In one of the takes for this scene, there was a malfunction and the room was rotated improperly, causing the blood to shoot all over the cameras, equipment and electrical sockets throughout the room. Thankfully, no one was hurt but it did cause quite a power outage.
Nightmare on Elm Street is Johnny's Depp's Debut Film
At the casting for Nightmare on Elm Street, the role of Glen came down to two actors, one of whom was Johnny Depp. Depp was just 21 years old at the time. Wes Craven, who directed the film, left the decision on who received the role up to his teenage daughter. Of course, with Depp being the devilshly handsome guy that he is, Craven's daughter chose him over the other actor. Good decision, right?
Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the shortest produced films in history. The entire film was set and shot within just 32 days. They began their initial photography in June of 1984 and by July, the film was completed.
Freddy Krueger's weapon was also not an accident. Craven was looking to do something more original than just a knife, as in other horror films such as Halloween. He drew off his own fears once again and designed the glove with knives like cat claws. He found the idea based on late night infomercials of kitchen knives and combined it with his fear of cat claws to create a weapon unlike any seen before or since.
In the film, there are scenes of people being killed in a boiler room. Those scenes were filmed in an actual boiler room in the basement of a building in Lincoln Heights in Los Angeles. After shooting had been completed, the building was actually condemned due to the presence of asbestos.
Originally, the character of Freddy Krueger was intended to be silent, similar to that of Jason Voorhees and Mike Myers. As a result, in the original film, he has much fewer lines than in the subsequent films. After the success of the original film, the character was able to be developed as a king of one-liners.
The makeup and prosthetics needed to produce the tell-tale face of Freddy Krueger was a drawn out process. Each day, Robert Englund was forced to sit for three hours to apply the makeup and three hours to take it all off. There are 11 pieces of prosthetics used between the chest pieces and facial pieces in order to complete the full look of the horrific killer.
Did you know that the part of Freddy Kreuger was actually supposed to be played by British actor David Warner? Robert Englund was the second choice. Warner was forced to drop out of the film because his schedule conflicted with filming and thus the part was handed off to Robert Englund. I don't think we could have imagined a better casting!
The original ending to the film did not hint at any sort of sequel, which is exactly how director Wes Craven intended. Craven did not want to hint at any future endeavors with Freddy, but the studio head, Bob Shaye, insisted that Freddy be in the final shot, possibly as the driver of the car. Craven compromised with Shaye, using the sweater top on the convertible and Mom being pulled through the car window.
The original film only gave Freddy Krueger 7 minutes of actual screen time. The reason for this was to build up the fear of the reality, because we know that fear of the unseen is far worse than fear of things seen. This idea was taken from Steven Spielberg and because of it, the sequels to Nightmare on Elm Street were able to show more of the character without having to work as hard to create the terror.
Here's some interesting trivia for you. Remember Roger Rabbit? Well, the voice of Roger Rabbit was played by actor Charles Fleischer. Fleischer is the same actor who plays the sleep doctor in Nightmare on Elm Street, who comes to cure Nancy Thompson of her nightmares.....but of course, fails.
The blood in the geyser scene was made up of 80 gallons of water mixed with paint. The scene was inspired by a scene in another classic horror movie, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, with Jack Nicholson. In The Shining, blood pours down the sides of the elevator. Craven took this idea and modified it to his own liking to create the "blood geyser" in Nightmare on Elm Street.
In one scene, the character of Nancy Thompson is running away from Freddy up a staircase to try to escape. She is stopped by a sticky substance on the stairs. It was designed to look like the stairs were melting away, trapping her. The ingredients used to make these "melting stairs" were actually oatmeal and pancake batter and through some creative lighting, they achieve their full effect.
Robert Englund, who plays Freddy Krueger, gained his inspiration for the part through other horror films, most notably, the remake of Nosferatu in 1979, where the monster was played by Klaus Klinski. Englund also used influences from actor James Cagney to develop the character.
Wes Craven used other films to influence his own Nightmare on Elm Street. Director Roman Polanski's work in The Tenant and Repulsion helped create the flow of dream sequences seen in Nightmare on Elm Street. Craven was also directly influenced by another filmmaker, Luis Bunuel, known for his works in surrealism.