Was Freddy Krueger Inspired by a True Story?

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Scary Movies and Series

Is the Nightmare On Elm Street Series Based Upon a Real Story?

The Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise was not based on a real story directly, however, had small tidbits of real-life inspiration which drove Wes Craven’s idea of a nightmare in a normal looking house on Elm Street, dreamworld-based horror slasher.  The idea of a nightmare killer spawned from the popular 70s hit “Dream Weaver” (Gary Wright). However, the idea for Freddy himself was a bit more terrifying…and emanated from a rather intense and psychologically damaging event from Wes Craven’s childhood.  Wes Craven successfully reinvented this fearful experience as a cinematic thriller which would haunt America for decades to come and still to this very day. A quick dive into Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger history and origin reveals the true birthplace of the first nightmare (and Freddy Krueger himself)!

Freddy Krueger’s Inspiration: Where Did Freddy Krueger Come From?

Freddy Kruger in a sweater with knife hands.

Wes Craven once had a sincerely scary encounter while walking home one day as a kid.  As he walked along the sidewalk he began to approach a terrifying figure, a disfigured homeless man, tattered in clothing walking along the path in front of him…along his path home.  As the man heard Wes approaching, he stopped moving and slowly turned around, making eye contact with Wes, who scurried into the bushes to escape the piercing eyes.  After believing the man had continued along, Wes peeked out from the bushes to find that the man was still staring him down, and in fact seemed angry.  Darting to his apartment building, the man followed Wes home.  As Wes ran up the staircase where the man would follow him to the stairwell.  Wes reports hearing the man come up the stairs, where his older brother lay waiting with a baseball bat…however, the man seemingly disappeared. And thus Freddy Krueger was born!

Robert Englund was the perfect pick for Freddy Krueger and made sure Wes saw him this way from the moment he stepped in for an interview.  Robert wore cigarette ash under his eyes to make him look more evil, dirty and uncaring.  He also wore automobile oil from his own car in his hair (done in the parking lot before the interview) for additional grunge-effect.  What a pro!

Final Words About Freddy Krueger

Almost all of us have known or have a memory of a threat like Freddy Krueger. This homeless bully scared a childhood Wes so deeply that the fear would follow him throughout his life, until he spawned one of the scariest, most ruthless horror movie slashers to ever grace the screen!  And now Freddy Krueger reaps the benefit of world-renown fame, allowing him to scare forever and remain immortal for as long as the horror genre may live. Wes Craven’s amazing ability to tap into a generalized memory of horror, that almost all of us have experienced at one point in our lives, is the real power of Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise!

Was the Chainsaw Used in Texas Chainsaw Massacre Real?

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Scary Movies and Series

About The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Chainsaw

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies are some of the scariest slasher movies to grace the horror genre.  Leatherface is a scary killer by himself, but with the chainsaw, he is truly terrifying.  The chainsaw is shiny, it is sharp and it is loud! It creates a natural inspiration to run unlike any other horror movie killer weapon.  Texas Chainsaw and Leatherface fans want to know…is the horror slasher weapon from the movies actually real or just a fake prop?

Leatherface Chainsaw Facts

Horror Enthusiast has scoured interviews, director’s cuts, trivia and behind the scenes archives to discover the truth behind the chainsaw.

Authentic From The Start

The original movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) featured a very real chainsaw.  They selected a Poulan 306a.  Although Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface) makes it look like it weighs nothing, the Poulan 306a actually weighed almost 13 pounds (at the end of it’s production in 1980, it may have weighed even more when yielded by Leatherface)! It was very common in the 70s and is now considered an official collector’s item…and that’s mostly just because it was an awesome chainsaw!

American Built

Ditching the Poulan 306a, the first sequel in the franchise chose to employ the Craftsman 4300. Ironically, this model was still manufactured by Poulan FOR Craftsman.

Lefty’s shiny silver chainsaw was an unknown model made by Dolmar (German chainsaw company).

Additionally, Grandma’s Saw was a Poulan 361.

Going Custom

Leatherface III (1991) used an awesome, custom-built Stihl 066 Magnum.  The chainsaw was also chromed out (custom job in done in California) and even had a custom 36” bar. These were made in the late eighties and early nineties.

Back to the Basics

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1997) chose to return to the basics and outfitted Leatherface Robert Jacks with a simpler chainsaw.  The McCulloch 700 was a super average chainsaw and is very commonly mistook for being the same model as used in the original (1974) Texas Chainsaw movie.

Versatile and Reliable

Marketed as one of the more versatile chainsaws, the Husqvarna 359 is carried by Andrew Bryniarski as Leatherface in the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and the 2006 prequel. This chainsaw featured a custom bar, just like the chainsaw used by an earlier, 1991 Leatherface.

Final Notes About Leatherface’s Chainsaw

In conclusion, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre appears to create authentic fear in the on-screen victims…and it most certainly creates fear in the audience. A lot of that fear is broken down into the good mechanics of a loud, working chainsaw…and many times, the chainsaw was indeed real! As many of the actors and actresses who have actually participated in a Texas Chainsaw film: it feels really dangerous and is truly terrifying to experience, even when it is all fake and for a movie!

Was the Inspiration for the Scream Movies & Ghostface Killer Real?

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Featured Scary Movies and Series

Is Scream Based On a Real Story?

“What’s your favorite scary movie?” Ghostface can be heard around the world by countless fans mimicking his famous catchphrase. Ghostface taunts his victims by telephone and with a voice changing device to help hide his identity (which ultimately changes every movie).  He then stalks and chases them with a scary looking dagger to ensure a violent death.  Ghostface is certainly one of the horror genre’s favorite slashers.

The Scream franchise did very well, with the first movie raking in more than $103 million in the United States alone (that’s great for an estimated budget of only $14,000,000)!  But where did the story get its start? What is the Scream movie origin and is Ghostface based upon a real life killer? Horror Enthusiast has dove deep to untangle some wires and figure the true origin of the Ghostface killer and Scream movies.

The Real Story that Inspired Ghostface & Scream

The Real Life Unnerving Murders

The writer of Scream, Kevin Williamson, created the story line surrounding his fascination with the Gainesville Ripper.  While watching a news story about the terror, he realized his very own window was open, and that he could be susceptible to the same horrible fate that had already befallen a number of people.  The horror script was born that very day as Kevin completed the first 18 page draft of what would be Scream. 

The initial script featured a young woman who was alone at home (where she should be safe), being taunted by a killer over the phone.  The woman would then be chased by the slasher, who would be a scary-masked villain with a knife. Shortly, Kevin had completed a full-length script for the movie. He even planned the concept of Scream becoming a franchise right away.  In addition to his full-length script, Kevin provided suggestions that outlined two possible sequels. 

The Gainesville Ripper

Danny Harold Rolling is the Gainesville Ripper, a serial killer responsible for murdering 5 students in the Gainesville, Florida area, as well as 3 others in Louisiana.  Rolling is the initial inspiration  (although somewhat loosely fit) for the plot horror enthusiasts all know as the Scream movie today.  Rolling was a gruesome killer, mutilating his victims after raping them and even decapitating one body. He would also pose his victims in sexually provocative positions before leaving the scene. Hardly Ghostface, however, nonetheless the Gainesville Ripper would scare Kevin Williamson so bad he’d come up with the basis for a truly scary plot with a real-life feel. 

Rolling was put to death by legal injection in 2006.

Where Did the Ghostface Mask Come From?

ghostface masked killed from the movie scream

The Ghostface mask was discovered by Wes Craven himself as he were hunting for filming locations.  He noticed the mask hanging on the wall of one of the rooms within a possible film house and knew it was a perfect fit.  The mask could not be exactly similar as he could not obtain the rights and so he had one made to resemble the mask as closely as possible based upon a photo he took.

Where Did the Ghostface Cloak Come From?

Ghostface was designed, originally, to be cloaked in a white robe, not a black robe.  The costume only changed to a black robe after the crew realized he resembled a member of the Ku Klux Klan when wearing white.

Where Did the Title “Scream” Come From?

Scream was originally going to be called “Scary Movie.” This is super ironic, as that title would later be used for a parody that pretty much featured the Scream franchise. The (now more famous than ever before in light of their sexual harassment scandles) Weinstein Brothers decided to rename the film to Scream towards the end of filming.

What Made Scream More Interesting?

Scream was (basically) the first horror movie that featured characters who understood horror movies existed and even referenced real-life horror movies throughout the film.  With characters that understood how people die in horror movies and the common mistakes to avoid…it made the audience feel as though anything could happen.

Additional Inspirations

There is a lot of inspiration behind Scream that appears under the surface, as well.  Scream script writer, Kevin Williamson, had been a huge horror movie fan his entire life before beginning the Scream script. He loved popular horror franchises Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Prom Night, and many others.  His passion for these films is evident via a number of references and obvious homage throughout the Scream movies.

Scream Still Scares Even Today

painting of ghostface from scream

Ghostface today is still a very popular slasher horror icon.  He makes several appearances throughout popular media (other movies included, even comedies like ‘Scary Movie’).  And almost everyone knows who Ghostface is, or has seen at least one Scream movie.  He is even a very popular Halloween mask choice more than 20 years after his first cinematic appearance (the original Scream being released in 1996).  And very recently, more interest slasher favorite, Ghostface, has spawned a rebooted Scream franchise in form of a TV series. The TV series first aired in June of 2015, but is currently three seasons strong.  The third season has yet to air (begins in March of 2018). 

Whether on the big screen or on TV, one thing is clear: Ghostface is here to stay and wants to know what is your favorite scary movie?

Was the Second Nightmare On Elm Street About Gay Rights?

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Lifestyle Scary Movies and Series

Was Freddy’s Revenge About Gay Equality?

Gay Rights and Gay Subtext In A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 (1985)

The Nightmare On Elm Street franchise is one of the most well-known horror brands of all time. Freddy Krueger is infamous for slashing his way through his victims starting in the famous house on Elm Street, leaving some of the most gruesome trails behind.  But there is an anomaly present within the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The second movie in the series, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), seems much different than the rest of the films…much much different indeed! As fans have pointed out, the gay subtext throughout the second film in the franchise is absolutely undeniable! 

Obviously this has left many fans wondering…did the creators of the second Nightmare On Elm Street movie purposely lace the script and movie with gay subtext to help combat or exploit the widespread homophobia of the era?

Often Dubbed One of the Gayest Horror Movies Ever Made

There is no question that the second Nightmare On Elm Street movie is filled with gay subtext. Here are some of the most well known gay inclusions that created the most “homoerotic” horror movie of all time!

A Closeted Protagonist

Mark Patton played Jesse Walsh, the main male protagonist in the story.  Patton is openly gay today, but was still ‘in the closet’ at the time the Nightmare movie was filmed.  Many of the creators of the film have suggested it could have played a part in the film harboring some ‘repressed homosexuality coming out.’ 

A Little Male On Male Bonding

During a gym class scene, Grady decides to “depants” Jesse.  Jesse chooses to cope with his embarrassment by remaining bare-assed while he tackles and wrestles with Grady on the ground. Jesse is obviously trying to remove Grady’s clothes in this scene for whatever reason.

“Probe” Board Game

The board game “Probe” was placed in Jesse’s closet. Literally in his closet. Ultimately, sadly, it could have been making fun of Patton, who at the time was choosing to remain ‘in the closet’ regarding his homosexuality during the production of the film.

He’d Rather Sleep With Grady

freddy krueger gay movie

At one point, Jesse is getting it on with his ‘girlfriend’ Lisa, who seems to want to sleep with Jesse.  Jesse panics, runs to Grady’s house, where he wishes to sleep instead. Grady himself indicates that it is strange that Jesse does not want to sleep with Lisa, but instead with him.

Attack of the Balls

Balls, that’s right, actual balls attack Coach Schneider in his office…flying out of their containers and respective bins seemingly on their own. Tennis balls, basketballs, soccer balls, all kinds of balls.  Balls, everywhere. Some fans have suggested this was a reference to testicles and count it as gay subtext.

A Gay Conspiracy

Rumors had surfaced nearly instantly about a conspiracy to riddle the plot with gay subtext that would be acknowledged by the audience, but still be deniable. David Chaskin is a Freddy’s Revenge screenwriter who denied including planned gay subtext throughout the film for a really long time (decades of denial). Chaskin finally began to admit that the gay subtext was planned only in recent years. When questioned as to why he remained silent, he revealed that it felt like his film was being “outed” and he was unsure how he felt, and so he kept quiet.  Ultimately Chaskin admitted to having long thoughts about the homophobia stigma at the time and how he could work a script that would cause the cast, and ultimately the audience, to question their sexuality.

Similarly, the director of the box office hit, Jack Sholder, claimed he had no knowledge of planned gay subtext for a really long time. Still there were many rumors floating around about Sholder very well understanding the movie was fostering some gay themes.  In modern days, Sholder absolutely acknowledges the gay subtext throughout the film, but still denies having realized it during production.  Sholder also claims to not have known Mark Patton was gay at the time of production (Patton was indeed still in the closet).

“No Chicks” Allowed

A sign posted on the outside of Jesse’s room at the Walsh residence upstairs basically reads “NO CHICKS.” Whether this was done intentionally or not, it is hard to miss and hard not to associate with gay subtext.  What senior high school boy isn’t interested in chicks being in his room…besides a gay one?  Try to remember: in the 80s, there was a ton of homophobia, and it was really hard to come out, so this type of sign meant a lot more back then!

A Man Is Trying to Get Inside Of Me!

All throughout the film, Jesse is concerned with a man that is “trying to get inside” of him. While this may be innocent in scripting sense, one cannot deny how closely it mimics some of society’s most popular dirty talk. 

A Sexually Confused Protagonist

Although the actual real life actor who played Jesse is gay, the character Jesse also seems to be troubled as far as his sexual orientation is concerned. Jesse seems reserved when it comes to his ‘girlfriend’ and almost unwilling to participate in their relationship. He seems more eager to hang out with his bully/friend and sports jock, Ron Grady.  Jesse seems to be struggling with his sexuality throughout the entire film.

Penis Shaped Wall Art

Seriously, check it out, in the kitchen of the Walsh residence there is a strange penis shaped wall art object.  This has been admitted to be a joke by the crew of the set…but still, no doubt gay subtext. 

Don’s Place, The Gay Bar

shower scene freddy

Jesse Walsh is seen in one part of the movie showing up to a gay bar called “Don’s Place” in the middle of the night. He orders a drink and is approached by Coach Schneider, who is outfitted in some pretty extreme leather, definitely S&M attire.  The coach seems super excited to see Jesse, smiling nonstop and the scene crosses over to the high school gymnasium, where the coach has Jesse running laps presumably as punishment for being caught drinking underage (though probably to get him in the showers – where Jesse ends up having to go when he’s done jogging).

Coach Schneider’s Shower Room Whipping

Typically, all victims die in spectacular fashion within the Nightmare films. However, there was one truly disturbing death in Freddy’s Revenge, that being the death scene of Coach Schneider. And although many of Freddy’s attacks and kill scenes in a lot of his films can be a little ‘adult’ in nature, it is arguable Coach Schneider’s death is on the more extreme end of the scale.

Freddy uses gymnasium equipment to drag Coach Schneider into the shower room and tie him up, leaving him bound and helpless.  Jesse, the main protagonist is onlooking as Freddy (invisible at the time and working through the mind and body of Jesse), strips the coach naked and begins whipping him to death with a towel.  Most of the whipping seems to be focused on his butt.  Oh, and the showers are on.

Final Analysis of Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

Many of the creators of the film will deny the gay subtext being intentional, insisting there was nothing in the script directly to support such a claim. Still, anyone who watches A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) cannot deny the very obvious homoerotic vibe present flamboyantly in nearly every other scene.  The film’s gradual progression into becoming the gayest horror movie of all time, was probably a combination of the main protagonist himself being a closeted gay in real life, as well as the cast, crew and creators dealing with the homophobia of the time.  No doubt though that it all adds up making the second Nightmare On Elm Street, Freddy’s Revenge, full of obvious gay subtext.

We Are The Flesh – “The spirit doesn’t reside within the flesh; The spirit is the flesh!”

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Featured Horror Movie Reviews Scary Movies and Series

History is littered with questions as to the validity of extremism in art and media. Traditional English-speaking sensibilities all but protect us from the taboo-destroying underground world of experimental cinema, a place until now reserved for those who were prepared for a deep-dive into their local video rental store or, more recently, the internet. That being said, if I see that a horror film originated in the likes of France, Japan or Korea, to name a few, I know I may be in for a bit of a ride. At least I could be about to see something I had, through cultural linearity, never seen before. When I discovered Arrow Video’s release of We Are The Flesh (2016) promising an extreme and uninhibited French-Mexican horror experience, I was cautiously optimistic. 

Written and directed by Emiliano Rocha Minter, it’s a gleefully depraved slice of post-apocalyptic experimentalism. Beginning with a brother and sister (played by Diego Galamiel and María Evoli, respectively) discovering the makeshift lair of a primitive loner (Noé Hernández) after wandering a seemingly ruined city for ‘days’, the loner offers them refuge under his own, as of yet unknown conditions. Before long the ethos of this energetic stanger has leached fully into their minds, as well as our own, and from here We Are The Flesh consistently ups the ante until we’re sure we’ve seen it all. Displaying shockingly brash instances of sex, torture, murder and cannibalism, one would be forgiven for assuming that this is simply another exercise in shock horror and likely deserves the dreaded ‘Torture-Porn’ moniker. 

What Genre is We Are the Flesh?

The fact is, Minter’s directorial feature debut is far too intelligent to fall into such derogatory categories. The full commitment to its views, monologued with gusto by Hernández, completely backs the primordial hedonism to follow. As he bangs his drum and screams of deep phenomenology and the freedom of primitive chaos, viewers can’t help but be sucked into his words, nodding along and cheering for things that would have otherwise disgusted them. The core themes of his diatribes being isolation and the liberation it has afforded him, these matters could not be more apt for times like these. Rather than condemn his seclusion, he describes its effects with violently joyous energy. He speaks lovingly of mankind’s dual and savage nature as beasts who only suppress their most ancient of instincts, urging his new acquaintances to do away with the thin frameworks of moral decency that only other people held in front of them.  

“The spirit doesn’t reside within the flesh; The spirit is the flesh!”

The storytelling is vague and often confusing. The destruction of the outside world is only hinted at by the state of the converted apartment block the characters reside in. Many elements are implied and only fall into place in the final moments leading to an ending that makes any right-minded viewer question everything they have seen, their own values, and likely those of the entire human race. This is the essence of experimental horror.

Shock or Thought Provoking Imagery, Maybe Both?

We are the flesh horror movie poster featuring a person in a war helmet and tank top

We Are The Flesh left a hell of an impression on me; the type you sit and ponder for a time, probably long after the credits roll. While a lot of people won’t make it to that point, and some may even react negatively at being shown such an uncompromising film. But that’s where the true point of cinema like this lies, for me anyway. If someone becomes joyous or angry or upset at what they see then they’re making a decision on it; for better or worse it has made them think. Either we reject the new and strange ideas being shown to us or we embrace them for all of their gleeful depravity. These long, unbroken scenes of increasingly bizarre, deviant sex and violence will unnerve even seasoned horror fans and, elite as it may sound, only those with the capacity and intent to soak in the true meanings behind the insanity will gain anything from their viewing. If Hernández chanting, flapping his arms like a bird and appearing like something between Gollum and Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet (1986) doesn’t spark at some primitive charge in your brain then what follows will only deepen your confusion. 

Through focused cinematography, blistering intelligence and chilling commitment to performances, We Are The Flesh is one of the finer experimental horror films I have subjected myself to. While appreciators of this type of art remain in the few, this is one of the more accomplished pieces of work that could take its shameless style to a wider audience. That being said, I won’t be recommending it to any family members. 

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