Section headingEdit"he was the bastard son of a 1000 maniacs" Amanda Krueger
Freddy Krueger is a fictional character from the A Nightmare on Elm Street series of horror films. He first appears in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) as a disfigured dream stalker who uses a glove armed with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, which ultimately results in their death in the real world. However, whenever he is put into the real world, he has normal human strength and vulnerability. He was created by Wes Craven, and has been consistently portrayed by Robert Englund since his first appearance. In the remake, however, Krueger is now portrayed by Academy Award-nominee Jackie Earle Haley.===
Krueger is undead, and can attack his victims from within their own dreams. He is commonly identified by his burned, disfigured face, red and dark green striped sweater, brown fedora, and trademark metal-clawed brown leather glove. Wizard magazine rated him the 14th greatest villain, the British television channel Sky2 listed him 8th, and the American Film Institute ranked him 40th on its "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains" list.
Robert Englund has said many times that he feels that the character represents neglect, particularly that which is suffered by children.
- 1.1 Films
- 1.2 Television
- 2 Characterization
- 2.1 Appearance
- 2.2 Glove
- 3 Cultural references
- 4 References
- 5 External links
[[[Freddy Krueger|edit]]] AppearancesEdit
Freddy Krueger is the primary antagonist in all the Nightmare on Elm Street films, and was officially killed off in part six, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. The character was brought back in Wes Craven's New Nightmare by Wes Craven, who had not worked on the film series since the third film. The silver screen is not the only place Freddy Krueger has appeared; there are literary sources that have expanded the universe of Freddy, as well as adapted the films and adjusted various aspects of Krueger's backstory. The character has also hosted his own television show, Freddy's Nightmares, which was an anthology series similar to The Twilight Zone. Freddy also made several guest appearances on the syndicated puppet show DC Follies in 1988. In 2003, Freddy battled fellow horror icon Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th film series in the theatrical release Freddy vs. Jason, a film which officially resurrected both characters from their respective deaths and subsequently being sent to Hell in their respective 'last films'. The ending of the film is left ambiguous as to whether or not Freddy is actually dead at the end of the film, for despite being decapitated, he winks at the viewers, which may have been intended as a hint at a sequel, though this never materialized. Freddy and Jason were later joined by Ash from the Evil Dead franchise in comic book form in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, which followed the events of Freddy vs. Jason.
[[[Freddy Krueger|edit]]] FilmsEdit
Freddy Krueger's first appearance was in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) (as Fred Krueger). The story focused on Krueger attacking Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and her friends in their dreams, successfully killing all but Nancy. Krueger’s back-story is revealed by Nancy’s mother, who explains he was a child murderer whom the parents of Springwood killed after Krueger was acquitted of police charges on a technicality. Nancy defeats Krueger by pulling him from the dream world into the real world, and setting up a series of booby traps, finally stripping him of his powers when she stops being afraid of him.
Freddy returned in the sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985), terrorizing the Walsh family, who had moved into Nancy’s old home. Krueger possesses the body of Jesse Walsh (Mark Patton), using his body to kill. Jesse is saved by his girlfriend Lisa (Kim Myers), who helps Jesse fight Krueger's spirit.
Wes Craven returned to give Krueger life for a third time in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987). In the second sequel, Krueger is systematically killing the last of the Elm Street children. The few remaining children have been placed in the Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital, for reasons of attempted suicide. Nancy Thompson arrives at Westin Hills as a new intern, and realizes the children are being killed by Krueger. With the help of Dr. Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson), Nancy helps Kristen (Patricia Arquette), Joey (Rodney Eastman), Taryn (Jennifer Rubin), Kincaid (Ken Sagoes), and Will (Ira Heiden) find their dream powers, so they can kill Krueger once and for all. Neil, unknowingly until the end, meets the spirit of Krueger’s mother, Amanda Krueger (Nan Martin), who instructs him to bury Krueger’s remains in hallowed ground in order to stop him for good. Neil completes his task, but not before Freddy kills Nancy.
The character’s fourth appearance in film came with A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988). This time, Kristen (Tuesday Knight) unwittingly releases Krueger, who immediately kills Kincaid and Joey. Before Kristen is killed she transfers her dream power to pull others into her dreams to her friend Alice (Lisa Wilcox), who begins inadvertently providing victims for Krueger. Alice, who has taken on the traits of the friends who were murdered, confronts Krueger and uses the power of the Dream Master to release all the souls Krueger has taken; they subsequently rip themselves from Krueger’s body, killing him in the process.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) picks up shortly after the events of The Dream Master. It involves Krueger using Alice’s unborn child, Jacob (Whitby Hertford), to resurrect himself and find new victims. The spirit of Amanda Krueger (Beatrice Boepple) returns, revealing that Krueger was conceived when she, a nun working in a mental asylum, was accidentally locked in a room and raped hundreds of times. Amanda Krueger convinces Jacob to use the powers he was given by Krueger against him, which gives her the chance to subdue Krueger long enough for Alice and Jacob to escape the dream world.
Krueger made his sixth appearance in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991). The film reveals that Krueger has a daughter, Kathryn (Cassandra Rachel Friel), who was taken away from him during his trial. Krueger sends the sole surviving teenager of Springwood to bring his daughter back to him. Krueger needs Maggie (Lisa Zane), who is unaware that she is his daughter, so that he can leave Springwood and create new "Elm Streets" to begin his killing spree again. Maggie, utilizing new dream techniques, uncovers Krueger’s past—child abuse, cruelty to animals, murdering his own wife, the moment the Dream Demons offer him eternal life—and eventually pulls Krueger out of the dream world. She uses a pipe bomb, embedded in his chest, to blow him up, leaving the Dream Demons unable to resurrect him in reality.
Freddy's clawed hand appears at the end of the film Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, the ninth installment of the Friday the 13th film series. His hand is seen bursting from the ground to drag Jason Vorhees' iconic hockey mask into Hell, setting the motion for the events in Freddy vs. Jason.
Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) focuses on a real life setting, where Craven, Langenkamp, and Englund all play themselves, and where the character of Freddy Krueger is an evil entity that has been trapped in the realm of fiction by all the Nightmare films. When the films are stopped, the entity, which enjoys the form of Freddy Krueger, tries to escape into the real world. The only person in its way is Heather Langenkamp, whom the entity sees as "Nancy" (despite the character being killed off in the third movie), the first person who defeated him. Langenkamp pursues "Freddy", who has kidnapped her son (Miko Hughes), into the dream world as "Nancy". There, she and her son trap Freddy in a furnace until he is finally destroyed.
|"Jackie is not big, and I think that Jackie’s size is gonna really work [...] One of the metaphors [...] I’ve used for Freddy is a little rabid dog that just bites your ankle and holds on. [...] And I think Jackie brings that, with his own physicality, to the role, without ever having to work it a little bit. [...] He brings that naturally with who he is, which I think is really part of the way I see it."|
|— Robert Englund on Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger.|
Krueger's next appearance was in Freddy vs. Jason (2003), in which Freddy battles Friday the 13th's villain Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger), an undead serial killer who uses a hockey mask to hide his facial deformities. In the film, Krueger has grown weak, as people in Springwood have suppressed their fear of him. Impersonating Pamela Voorhees, the mother of Jason Voorhees, Krueger resurrects Jason and sends him to Springwood to cause panic and fear. Jason accomplishes this, but refuses to stop killing. A battle ensues in both the dream-world and Crystal Lake. The winner is left ambiguous, as Jason surfaces from the lake holding Krueger's severed head, which winks and laughs.¨
Krueger appears in a 2010 remake of the original film, with Jackie Earle Haley taking over the role in Robert Englund's stead. In this film instead of a power plant worker who was a child murderer, Krueger was the groundskeeper at Badham Preschool and a child molester (a recycled idea that was abandoned by director Craven himself while making the 1984 original) and he had a more personal connection with the protagonist Nancy Holbrook (Rooney Mara), as he molested her and some of her friends and she being his "favourite". Though Freddy initially appears to have been wrongly accused and seemingly looked like a friendly gardener around the children, the parents, after hearing about the abuse from their children and observing slashes on their skin and clothes consistent with his trademark glove, burn him to death rather than turn him into the police to spare their children the trauma of having to testify against him in open court. During the climax, Nancy pulls Freddy into reality and apparently kills him by severing his gloved-hand and slashing his throat with a broken paper cutter blade. Though at the end of the movie, after Nancy and her mother return home, Freddy appears in a mirror and stabs her mother through the face and pulls her through the mirror while Nancy watches and screams in horror.
[[[Freddy Krueger|edit]]] TelevisionEdit
Robert Englund continued his role as Freddy Krueger in the 1988 television series, entitled Freddy's Nightmares. Beginning on October 9, 1988, Freddy's Nightmares was an anthology series, in the vein of The Twilight Zone, which featured different horror stories each week. The show was hosted by Freddy Krueger, who did not take direct part in most of the episodes, but he did show up occasionally to influence the plot of particular episodes. The series ran for two seasons, 44 episodes, ending March 10, 1990. Although most of the episodes did not feature Freddy taking a major role in the plot, the pilot episode "No More Mr. Nice Guy" depicts the events of Krueger's trial, and his subsequent death at the hands of the parents of Elm Street after his acquittal. In "No More Mr. Nice Guy", Freddy's acquittal is based on the arresting officer, Lt. Tim Blocker, not reading him his Miranda rights, which is different from the original Nightmare that stated he was acquitted because someone forgot to sign a search warrant in the right place. The episode also reveals that Krueger used an ice cream van to lure children close enough so that he could kidnap and kill them. After the town's parents burn Freddy to death he returns to haunt Blocker in his dreams. Freddy gets his revenge when Blocker is put to sleep at the dentist's office, and Freddy shows up and kills him. The episode "Sister's Keeper" was a "sequel" to this episode, even though it was the seventh episode of the series. The episode follows Krueger as he stalks the Blocker twins, the identical twin daughters of Lt. Tim Blocker, and frames one of them for one of the sisters' murder. Season two's "It's My Party and You'll Die If I Want You To" featured Freddy attacking a high school prom date who wronged him twenty years earlier.
[[[Freddy Krueger|edit]]] CharacterizationEdit
EnlargeIn New Nightmare, Freddy was depicted closer to how Wes Craven had originally intended, less comical and with more of an "organic" style to his claw.Wes Craven says his inspiration for the basis of Krueger's power stemmed from several stories in the Los Angeles Times about a series of mysterious deaths: All the victims had reported recurring nightmares beforehand, and died in their sleep. Additionally, Craven's original script detailed Krueger as a child molester, which Craven said was the "worst thing" he could think of (this idea was later recycled for the character's background in the 2010 remake). The decision was made to instead make Krueger a child murderer in order to avoid being accused of exploiting the spate of highly publicized child molestation cases in California around the time A Nightmare on Elm Street went into production. Craven's inspirations for the character included a bully from his school during his youth, a homeless man who had frightened him when he was eleven, and the 1970s pop song "Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright. In an interview, he says that (after hearing some noise): "When I looked down there was a man very much like Freddy walking along the sidewalk. He must have sensed that someone was looking at him and stopped and looked right into my face. He scared the living daylights out of me, so I jumped back into the shadows. I waited and waited to hear him walk away. Finally I thought he must have gone, so I stepped back to the window. The guy was not only still looking at me but he thrust his head forward as if to say, 'Yes, I'm still looking at you.' The man walked towards the apartment building's entrance. I ran through the apartment to our front door as he was walking into our building on the lower floor. I heard him starting up the stairs. My brother, who is ten years older than me, got a baseball bat and went out to the corridor but he was gone."
In Wes Craven's New Nightmare, Freddy was more a symbol of something more powerful and ancient, and was given more stature and muscles. Unlike the six movies before it, New Nightmare shows Freddy as closer to what Wes Craven originally intended, toning down his comedic side while strengthening the more menacing aspects of his character.
Throughout the series, Freddy's potential victims often experience dreams of young children, jumping rope and chanting a rhyme to the tune of "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" with the lyrics changed to "One, Two, Freddy's coming for you", often as an omen to Freddy's presence or a precursor to his attacks.
[[[Freddy Krueger|edit]]] AppearanceEdit
EnlargeHaley wore prosthetic appliances on his face that were blended together to appear seamless and designed to look close to an actual burn victim. CGI was used on portions of his face—like his cheek—that had to appear open.Freddy's physical appearance has remained largely consistent throughout the film series, although minor changes were made in subsequent films. He wears a striped red and green sweater (with solid red sleeves in the original film, and striped sleeves from the second film onwards), a dark brown fedora, his bladed glove (see below), loose brown trousers (blue jeans in the original film), and worn working boots, keeping with his blue collar background. His skin is scarred and burned as a result of being burned alive by the parents of Springwood, and he has no hair at all on his head as it was presumably all burned off; in the original film, only Freddy's face was burned, while they have spread to the rest of his body from the second film onwards. Additionally, his teeth are in rather poor shape; in the first three films, they are simply filthy and brown, but from the fourth film onwards, he is missing a lot of them. For reasons never elaborated on, his blood is occasionally a dark, oily color, or greenish in hue. In the original film, Freddy remains in the shadows and under lower light much longer than he does in the later pictures. In the second film, there are some scenes where Freddy is shown without his glove, and instead with the blades protruding from the tips of his fingers. As the films began to emphasize the comedic, wise cracking aspect of the character, he began to don various costumes and take on other forms, such as dressing as a waiter or wearing a Superman inspired version of his sweater with a cape (The Dream Child), appearing as a video game sprite (Freddy's Dead), or a giant snake like creature (Dream Warriors and Freddy vs. Jason).
In New Nightmare, Freddy's appearance is updated considerably, giving him a green fedora that matched his sweater stripes, skintight leather pants, knee-high black boots, a turtleneck version of his trademark sweater, a dark blue trench coat, and a fifth claw on his glove, which also has a far more organic appearance (see below). Freddy also has fewer burns on his face, though these are more severe, with his muscle tissue exposed in numerous places.
In the remake, Freddy retains his iconic attire, but his burns are even more disfiguring than his 1984 counterpart, with misshapen facial features and portions of his face missing, including a sizable portion of flesh on his left cheek. Compared to his other incarnations, Freddy's injuries are more like those of an actual burn victim.
[[[Freddy Krueger|edit]]] GloveEdit
Wes Craven claims that part inspiration for Freddy's infamous glove was from his cat, as he watched it claw the side of his couch one night.
In an interview he said, "Part of it was an objective goal to make the character memorable, since it seems that every character that has been successful has had some kind of unique weapon, whether it be a chain saw or a machete, etc. I was also looking for a primal fear which is embedded in the subconscious of people of all cultures. One of those is the fear of teeth being broken, which I used in my first film. Another is the claw of an animal, like a saber-toothed tiger reaching with its tremendous hooks. I transposed this into a human hand. The original script had the blades being fishing knives."
When Jim Doyle, the creator of Freddy's claw asked Craven what he wanted, Craven responded, "It's kind of like really long fingernails, I want the glove to look like something that someone could make who has the skills of a boilermaker." Doyle exclaimed, "Then we hunted around for knives. We picked out this bizarre-looking steak knife, we thought that this looked really cool, we thought it would look even cooler if we turned it over and used it upside down, we had to remove the back edge and put another edge on it, because we were actually using the knife upside down." Later Doyle had three duplicates of the glove made, two of which were used as stunt gloves in long shots.
For New Nightmare, Lou Carlucci, the effects coordinator, remodeled Freddy's glove for a more "organic look." He says, "I did the original glove on the first Nightmare and we deliberately made that rough and primitive looking, like something that would be constructed in somebody's home workshop. Since this is supposed to be a new look for Freddy, Wes and everybody involved decided that the glove should be different. This hand has more muscle and bone texture to it, the blades are shinier and in one case, are retractable. Everything about this glove has a much cleaner look to it, it's more a natural part of his hand than a glove." The new glove has five claws. In the 2010 remake, the glove maintain its original look, but was metal brown and have four finger bars.
[[[Freddy Krueger|edit]]] Cultural referencesEdit
References to Freddy have occurred on three of The Simpsons' non-canon Treehouse of Horror episodes. These include Treehouse of Horror VI: In a Nightmare on Elm Street parody, Groundskeeper Willie has become Krueger; Treehouse of Horror IX: during the couch gag, Freddy and Jason sit on the couch wondering where the family is (Robert Englund supplying the voice), and Treehouse of Horror V: after Homer makes a pact with Moe (now a ghost) he attempts to kill the family and Marge locks him in a pantry where an un-happy Moe and his ghoul friends come in and attack him, among the group was Freddy, Jason and Pinhead.
Other references include the last episode of The Plucky Duck Show, Plucky is seen watching a horror movie containing the villain "Eddy Cougar". Cougar then recites the line "how sweet, fresh meat" as heard in The Dream Master. In the end of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, Freddy sets up Freddy vs. Jason (released a decade later) by grabbing Jason's mask and dragging it underground to hell laughing manically, where Freddy currently is (portrayed by Kane Hodder, who had also portrayed Jason in the film). In the South Park episode Imaginationland Episode II, he is seen with a group of evil imaginary characters, each one claiming to be the most evil imaginary character of them all, in episode 70 of Robot Chicken Freddy (voiced by Seth Green) where he appears alongside Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Ghostface, Pinhead, and Leatherface in the Big Brother show, where his sweater is shrunk by Ghostface, and he is later stabbed by Michael, which doesn't damage him but annoys him. And another episode where it is shown that Freddy made the claw glove to scratch an itchy sweater his daughter bought for him (a clear spoof of his origin), in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will scares Carlton dressed up as Freddy Krueger while in the back seat of a car., a game show from CBS in 2005 that ended up never airing called A Nightmare on Elm Street: Real Nightmares. As Freddy hosts, he makes contestants come face to face with their nightmares in an attempt to help them overcome their fears. In the Supernatural episode "Dream a Little Dream of Me", a killer is using dream root to invade people's dreams and kill them. Sam states "You take enough of it (dream root), with enough practice, you can become a regular Freddy Krueger". In the Nickelodeon cartoon Danny Phantom, there was a female movie monster called Nightmarica, who's appearance and name were obvious parodies of Freddy. Freddy also appeares in the movie Stan Helsing as an antagonist. His appearance is changed, as he does not have the red and green sweater, and his face is even more burned than in his series. He does have his clawed glove, equipped with a toothbrush, and still invades people's dreams. He is renamed Fweddy. He is the first to be defeated; Stan uses a whip to take his clawed glove away, leaving him powerless, and he runs off.
Krueger is also the topic of four songs. In 1985, Freddy Krueger by Stormtroopers of Death, 1988, Are You Ready for Freddy by The Fat Boys (the video actually features Robert Englund dressed up like Freddy chasing the band around in his house), Nightmare on My Street by Fresh Prince, and in 2004, Freddy Kreuger [sic] by the band Reuben.
In 2010, NECA plans to release a 10" puppet of Freddy from Phillip's death scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, a metal replica of his glove, and two action figures: Freddy before he was burned and the other being him after the burning which will include two interchangeable heads.