Halloween Horror Celebration--Part 8...Freddy Kruger
Robert Englund as Freddy
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Continuing my theme of Halloween film beasties, this one is about everyone's favorite wise cracking Dream Demon Freddy Kruger of "A Nightmare On Elm Street" fame..
A twisted take on the Sandman myth, Freddy was brought to cinematic life by popular horror film director Wes Craven (Great name for a guy who makes horror films) in "A Nightmare On Elm Street" (1984). This cult favorite tells the story of a sick and evil child murderer named Freddy Kruger who haunts the town of Springfield. He hides in his boiler room lair plotting his next atrocity. But when the parents of Springfield find him out, they burn the place down and Freddy is killed in the fire. But that's not the last of him. Nope, its just the beginning. Freddy returns as an evil spirit, a dream demon, who haunts the dreams of teenagers on Elm Street, torturing and mutilating them in their dreams. But Freddy's special power is that whatever he does to them in their dreams happens to their physical bodies too. When Freddy savages and slays someone in their sleep they really die. How do you stop a killer that stalks your dreams?
The original "Nightmare on Elm Street" became a surprise hit, partly due to the eerily evil performance of Robert Englund, who's played Freddy in every single 'Nightmare' film, and there have been many. Part of the popularity of Freddy is his macabre sense of dark humor. He toys with his prey in humiliating ways, all the while cracking cruel jokes. Fans also love the gruesome special effects.
The success of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" naturally led to a sequel. Englund returned as Freddy in "A Nightmare on Elm Street-Part 2: Freddy's Revenge". (1985) The second film was basically a reworking of the first, set 5 years later, when a teenage boy is plagued by dreams of the sinister Freddy, who is intent on taking over both the kid's mind and body, so he can kill all the neighborhood kids personally, in the flesh. (And blood).
The profitable series continued in a series of sequels. They were, "A Nightmare on Elm Street-Part 3: Dream Warriors" (1987); "A Nightmare on Elm Street-Part 4; The Dream Master" (1988); "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child" (1989); "Freddy's Dead: the Final Nightmare" (1991); And the clever final film in the series "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" (1994).This unique outing blended the line between film and filmmaking, as the actors of the previous films played themselves in a story where they discover that the "Nightmare" movies were actually protecting the world from the deadly Dream Demon. Wes Craven made his directorial return to the series in this witty installment.
Robert Englund appeared as Freddy Kruger in a "Nightmare on Elm Street" TV series, althoughFreddy was not the focus of the show. He was mearly a host (Much like the Crypt Keeper) for this weekly horror anthology.
Englund and Kruger returned to the screen in an ambitious instalment meant to re-energize two fading horror franchises. The film was "Freddy vs. Jason" (2003) wherein Freddy battles the star of a rival horror franchise, Jason Voorhees from the "Friday the 13th" franchise. This crown pleasing bit of mayhem was reminiscent of the old Universal monster-mashes, such as "Frankenstein meets the Wolfman". Although Freddy came out on the losing end of this particular demon brawl, the ending indicates that, as usual, we haven't seen the last of our favorite dream demon.
A revamped version of the franchise came out in 2010 when director Samuel Bayer decided to remake the original 'Nightmare' film, this time starring Jackie Earle Haley as the disfigured dream demon. Although Haley is an excellent actor, fans just couldn't forget the excellent performance of Robert England. Englund has put his stamp on the role and there are just no substitutes. The movie itself was less entertaining than the original version.
Well, that's all for now. More monster matters on my next hub.
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