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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

20 Interesting Facts About The Original A Nightmare On Elm Street

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With only a little over a week until the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street hits theaters, I thought I would post a lot of interesting facts about the original.

1. The movie Nancy watches to stay awake is The Evil Dead. She isn't watching a random clip, but rather the theatrical trailer.

2. Wes Craven's original concept for Freddy Krueger was considerably more gruesome, with teeth showing through the flesh over the jaw, pus running from the sores, and a part of the skull showing through the head. Make-up artist David B. Miller argued that an actor couldn't be convincingly made up that way and a puppet would be hard to film and wouldn't blend well with live actors, so these ideas were eventually abandoned.

3. Johnny Depp accompanied friend Jackie Earle Haley to the auditions, where he was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he'd like to read for the part. Interestingly enough, Haley will be playing Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street

4. Wes Craven cast Joseph Whipp, who plays the inept sidekick of John Saxon's Lt. Thompson in this film, as the sheriff who endures David Arquette's inept Deputy Dewey in Scream.

5. The scene where Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) is attacked by Freddy in her bathtub was shot using a bottomless tub, which was put in a bathroom set that had been built over a swimming pool. During the underwater sequence, Langenkamp was replaced with stuntwoman Christina Johnson. Langenkamp spent 12 hours in the bath during filming.

6. This was the second movie produced by New Line Cinema. The first was Alone in the Dark, directed by Jack Sholder and starring Jack Palance. However the film was given a very limited theatrical release, and when it performed poorly and received bad reviews, it was released straight to video. As such, 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' was New Line's first genuine mainstream cinematic venture.

7. Freddy Kruger was designed by Wes Craven to be the typical "silent" serial killer such as Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers. But in the sequels Freddy developed a cheeky persona that enabled him to be the black humored villain.

8. The original glove was used in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge, and was also seen in Evil Dead II. However, when Wes Craven loaned the glove to the A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors' set, it was lost, and has never been located since.

9. The only times you see the words "Elm Street" are during the opening and closing credits. The words "Elm Street" are not mentioned at all during the movie.

10. The scene were Freddy's arms elongate were achieved by having men with fishing poles on each side of the alley marionetting a set of puppet arms attached to actor Robert Englund.

11. In a deleted scene featured on the Laser Disc and VHS from Anchor Bay we learn that Nancy and many of her friends from the neighborhood weren't always only children, but had a brother or sister before they were killed by Freddy (during the scene in the basement just before Nancy's mother reveals she has Freddy's glove.)

12. Wes Craven had helped Sean S. Cunningham by working on a few shots for Friday the 13th, in turn, near the end of the production of this movie, Cunningham directed a few shots when several units were working at once.

13. 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, Demi Moore, Courteney Cox and Tracey Gold.

14. In "Just the Ten of Us" (1988), Heather Langenkamp makes reference to a rusty knife stuck in a cutting board "looking like something from 'A Nightmare on Elm Street.'"

15. When Nancy's dreams are "examined", when her hair turns white, the nurse is played by Wes Craven's ex-wife, Mimi Craven.

16. 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 can be interpreted as meaning "Krueger." 

17. John F. Kennedy was killed while traveling on Elm Street in Dallas.

18. Charlie Sheen was interested in the role of Glen, but according to producer Robert Shaye, he wanted more money than the production could afford.

19. The very first time we see Freddy in the movie, he isn't being played by Robert Englund, but by special-effects man Charles Belardinelli, as Belardinelli was the only one who knew exactly how to cut the glove and insert the blades.

20. The sparking glove effect seen throughout the movie was achieved by attaching the glove to a car battery. The famous scraping noise was created by scratching a steak knife on the underside of a metal chair.