20 Fun Facts about A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
A Nightmare on Elm Street was such a fun and entertaining horror movie. The amazing concept of a monstrous character who haunts and kills teenagers in their dreams has scared audiences for years! I don't know why, but this is a movie that never really scared me, even though I saw it at such a young age. I might have been 9 or 10 when I first saw it, and I thought it was the coolest horror flick ever. It holds a special place in my heart. This is one of the horror movies that I enjoy revisiting during the Halloween season, and I've put together a list of 20 fun facts about the movie that you might not know.
- The first time Robert Englund put on the iconic Freddy glove, he cut himself.
- Johnny Depp went with his friend Jackie Earle Haley who was auditioning for the film. Depp was spotted by director Wes Craven, and he asked Depp if he would like to read for a role. Depp did and he landed the part. I wonder if that put a kink in Depp and Haley's relationship. It's ok though because Haley went on to play Freddy in the remake 26 years later.
- The movie's success saved New Line Cinema from bankruptcy, and that's how the studio got the nickname "the house that Freddy built".
- The film was shot in 30 days.
- Over 500 gallons of fake blood was used during the making of the feature. Most of it was probably used in Depp's epic death scene!
- Craven is the guy who came up with the idea of the glove. He wanted the character to have a unique killing tool, but also wanted something that could be made on the cheap, and wouldn't be hard for the character to carry around. The director was studying primal fears embedded in the subconscious of people of all cultures and discovered that one of those fears was being attacked by animal claws. Apparently around the same time, he saw his cat unsheathe its claws, and the two concepts merged.
- In the original script, the blades on the gloves were fishing knives, but they ended up being stake knives in the finished film.
- 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. They were 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."
- The movie playing on Nancy's TV when she falls asleep in her bedroom is Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead.
- Jennifer Grey, Demi Moore, Courteney Cox, and Tracey Gold all auditioned for the role of Nancy in the film before it was given to Heather Langenkamp.
- The very first time we are introduced to Freddy in the first scene, he's not being played by Englund. Instead he's being played by special-effects artist Charles Belardinelli, because he was the only one who knew exactly how to cut the glove and insert the blades.
- Freddy Krueger has under 7 minutes of screen time.
- In the original draft of the script, Freddy was a child molester. It was changed into him being a child murderer to avoid accusations of exploiting a series of child molestations in California during the time of production.
- Langenkamp spent 12 hours in the bath while filming the the scene in which she's attacked by Freddy.
- Englund said that he based the physicality of Freddy on Klaus Kinski's performance in Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre. The actor also says that in his mind, the back-story for Freddy was based on a childhood experience. Apparently Englund went to elementary school with a boy who didn't get any Valentines Day cards from any of the other kids on Valentines day. He theorized that this boy went on to become Freddy.
- Charlie Sheen, John Cusack, Brad Pitt, Kiefer Sutherland, Nicolas Cage and C. Thomas Howell were considered for the role of Glen.
- The sparking glove effect was achieved by attaching the glove to a car battery. These days they'd just use digital effects. As for the famous scraping noise, it was created by scratching a steak knife on the underside of a metal chair.
- According to Langenkamp, the melting staircase scene was shot using pancake mix. But according to Craven, it was oatmeal and glue. The fact track on the DVD says that it was Bisquick. So two out of three says it's pancake mix… lets go with that. It sounds more effective and cheaper than oatmeal and glue. Craven didn't even direct that scene. It was actually directed by Robert Shaye, who was a producer on the film.
- There's an omen given when Depp's character is about to die. It 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 movie ended on a happy note in the original script. "Nancy kills Krueger by ceasing to believe in him, then awakes to discover that everything that happened in the movie was an elongated nightmare. She then says goodbye to her mother and drives to school with her friends. However, producer Robert Shaye wanted a twist ending which would leave the way open for sequels. He suggested fooling the audience into thinking Krueger has been defeated, only to reveal that the final scene itself is actually a nightmare, and then end the film with Freddy driving the car away from the house and the kids screaming. Wes Craven hated this ending, and ultimately four endings were filmed; Craven's happy ending, Shaye's 'Freddy ending', and two versions of a compromise ending Craven and Shaye had reached in which Nancy's mother is pulled back into the house, but it is left slightly ambiguous as to what is going on. Craven has always maintained that the film should have had the happy ending he originally wrote."
I've also included ten minutes of deleted scenes from the movie for you to watch below:
Thanks to IMDB for the information.