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 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.

Were the Friday the 13th Movies Released on Friday the 13th?

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Scary Movies and Series

When Were the Friday the 13th Movies Released?

The movie title “Friday the 13th” would lead fans to believe all of the movies were released on Friday the 13th itself. The truth, however, is that the movies would be released as it were most profitable for the film makers and theaters playing the films.  It does appear that they attempted to get it close, however, the true release dates of the Friday the 13th movies will surprise many fans.  Additionally, the plot of the films seem to draw very little connection to the ‘unlucky’ day, Friday the 13th. Still, Horror Enthusiast mapped out the release dates in order to draw a fair conclusion.

List of Friday the 13th Movie Release Dates

It is interesting that the Friday the 13th movies were not released on Friday the 13th. Here is a full list of the release dates of all Friday the 13th movies.

  • Friday the 13th (1980) was released on May 9th. While it was a Friday, it was not the 13th.
  • Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) was released on May 1st. This was a Friday, but not the 13th.
  • Friday the 13th Part III (1982) was released on August 13th, the first movie to be released on an actual Friday the 13th.
  • Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) was released on April 13th, the second movie in the franchise to snag an authentic Friday the 13th release date.
  • Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) was released on March 22nd, which was a Friday, but not the 13th.
  • Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) was released on August 1st. Again, they secured a Friday but not a 13th.
  • Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) released on May 13th, a Friday, securing the third movie in the franchise with a genuine Friday the 13th release date.
  • Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) was released on July 28th, a Friday but not the 13th.
  • Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993) got released on August 13th, a Friday and a 13th. This becomes the 4th movie in the franchise to have an authentic Friday the 13th release date.
  • Jason X (2001), aka “Jason in Space,” was released on April 26, which may have been a Friday, but was most certainly not a 13th.
  • Freddy vs Jason (2003) opened on August 15th, a Friday but again, not a 13th.
  • Friday the 13th (2009), the latest in the franchise, released on February the 13th. This movie locks in the 5th movie with an official Friday the 13th release date.

Last Notes About the Friday the 13th Release Dates

In the end, they got the release date right 5 times out of 12 movies.  That’s not that bad considering there are very few Friday the 13th dates each year (if more than one at all). The movies themselves are not very much so based on the date. And it has even been speculated that the movie title was chosen as a way to capitalize on Halloween’s success. Still, however, the Friday the 13th movies do quite well and wind up getting played across tons of TV networks and movie screens on Friday the 13th itself!

Werewolves Through Years of Books and Film

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Best Horror Books Best Of Best of Movies Horror Books Horror Mystery and Lore Scary Movies and Series
Aggressive wolf snarling
Photography by Philip Pilz

Myths and Legends of Werewolves have been popular throughout their history, not only as a source of inspiration for writers of fiction but as the fiery spark of terror that haunts the dreams of those who believe–their origin story from Petronius Arbiter’s The Satyricon has been built upon for almost two millennia has resulted in an enthusiastic following in the last century. Within medieval folklore, there are numerous tales of villages in rural areas being ripped apart by werewolves–uncontrollable beasts with blood-lust and an insatiable appetite for human flesh. By day the only evidence of their existence would be dead bodies, bloodied and torn by enormous claws, and a trail of bloody paw prints that marked their presence. As noted by Petronius and a plethora of other writers, this was centralized around the appearance of the full moon. So, while werewolves are considered exciting, dangerously fun, and possibly even a little sexy (thanks to authors like Charlaine Harris by Patricia Briggs) in today’s horror culture and paranormal fiction, they were vicious and brutal beasts that threatened the lives of villagers in the middle ages.

5 Werewolves in History

While the mythology of the Werewolf is vast, there are actually more modern historical accounts of these creatures actually existing, so we present these five Werewolves that were found throughout history.

Wolf howling near the pack
Photography by Thomas Bonometti

The Beast of Gévaudan

In the former province of Gévaudan–Lozère and Haute-Loire–in the south of France, the presence of La Bête du Gévaudan terrorized the countryside beginning in 1764 and lasting until 1767. This beast was reported as a massive wolf-like creature–about the size of the cow–that had razor-sharp claws, a mouth that housed giant fangs, and reddish-brown hair. Its head and ears were said to be shaped like a greyhound’s, with a wide chest and a back streaked with black.

In May or June of 1764 was the first known encounter with the beast, where it charged a young woman tending to her cattle in the Mercoire forest in the eastern part of Gévaudan–it is said the bulls in her herd were able to keep it at bay and finally drive it off after two attempts to charge the woman, and she was able to escape with her life. What followed was a continuous onslaught of the region against what was deemed easy prey–women, children, and men who were tending to their livestock alone in secluded pastures. Unusually, it wouldn’t target the legs or throat like a wolf might, instead it went for the head; victims that were left behind partially eaten were often with their heads completely crushed or without one at all. There was such a high volume of attacks that there was suspicion of there being more than one beast, as well as a person training these creatures to do the killings–but as the attacks continued, the supernatural quality of it increased, when it was seemingly unaffected by gunshot wounds inflicted upon it by two hunters in October 1764. Having believed they had mortally wounded the beast, they followed the blood trail to the woods the next day and instead of finding the body of the wolf, they discovered freshly slaughtered victims.

Seeking the large reward that was posted for slaying the beast, soldiers and hunters traveled from far and wide to find the creature, but months passed and it was no closer to being captured or slain. After hearing of a brutal public attack of two young children, Louis XV sent a Norman squire and hunter by the name of Denneval to aid in the hunt of the beast and in February of 1765, this man began tracking it with his six best bloodhounds. He was joined by Jacques Denis, a sixteen-year-old who lost his twenty-year-old sister to the beast and sought vengeance. After hunting it for several months, Jacques was killed and Denneval retired from hunting the beast at all. The Beast continued its rampages, was shot through the eye by another hunter, fell to the ground, seemingly deceased, then rose and went for a final attack, but was met with another barrage of bullets and was at last killed. Upon examination, they determined that this beast was actually a rare wolf that was on the larger end of the reported spectrum.

This tale would seem to be fairly run of the mill in circumstances with a bloodthirsty wolf, except that after a year of peace returning to the community, in the spring of 1767 the beast was reported to have come back to life and start massacring once again. This time, they took no time assembling the largest hunting party yet, comprised of over three hundred men, as well as a man by the name of Jean Chastel; Chastel had heard rumors that the Beast of Gévaudan was actually a werewolf, so he loaded his gun with silver bullets that were blessed by a priest. Turned out that the rumors allowed him to be well-prepared, as after shooting the beast twice in the chest with these silver bullets, it was instantly killed.

During its reign of terror over the countryside of Gévaudan, it was said to kill between sixty and a hundred men, women, and children, while injuring more than thirty.

Livonia and the Hounds of God

In the late 1600s, Thiess of Kaltenbrun a man living in Jurgenburg, Livonia–what is now the Latvia and Lithuania regions–was widely believed by neighbors and peers to be a werewolf who regularly had dealings with the devil. Although it didn’t help his case that he admitted that he was one, especially during a time when an association with the devil meant a death sentence. Either way, the local authorities didn’t seem to care, since Thiess was an eighty-year-old man.

The authorities eventually had to question him on an unrelated matter in 1691, which oddly enough ended in him volunteering information about his being a werewolf. His confession to his lycanthropic lifestyle was quite strange, with no real consistency within–he said that he had stopped participating as a werewolf a decade prior, but that he and his companions would wear magical wolf pelts and turn into wolves to celebrate St. Lucia’s Day, Pentecost, and Midsummer’s Night.

His claim throughout was that werewolves were the agents of God, that they traveled to hell to battle the Devil himself and bring goods stolen by witches back to the people who lost them, but strangely also kill, cook, then eat farm animals. He also claimed that if they failed to keep the witches and demons in Hell that the community would have poor crops for the entire season. To counter the accusations that he was in league with the devil, he instead told the authorities that he and his companions were actually working for God, that they were a group of lycanthropes that were titled the “Hounds of God.” Thiess claimed that this ensured them an ascent to Heaven when they died. Eventually, when it was discovered that Thiess was not a devout Luthern and that he occasionally performed folk magic, the judge ordered Thiess to ten lashings and permanent exile.

The Wolf of Ansbach

In 1685, in what was the town of Neuses, Ansbach–now Germany–there was a wolf terrorizing and killing people; while this was not completely out of the ordinary, this particular instance coincided with the death of the cruel and unpopular chief magistrate, Michale Leicht. The people of the town believed that this wolf was Leicht who had returned from the dead as a werewolf. Once the wolf had been killed, they paraded the streets with its corpse, cut off its muzzle, then dressed in to look like Leicht, even going so far as to put a mask and a wig on it. After the parade concluded, they hung the body in a prominent position in town so that everyone could see that this creature had been killed, but eventually the wolf’s corpse was preserved and put on display at a local museum.

The Werewolf of Allariz

Manuel Blanco Romasanta, born in 1809, was thought to be Spain’s first-ever serial killer; although, there weren’t many stories other than his own to corroborate his being a werewolf. When he was accused of murder, he actually confessed to thirteen of the incidents but claimed he was cursed with Lycanthropy. When asked to display his ability to transform, he stated that he was no longer afflicted; he was eventually acquitted for four deaths, which were killed by actual wolves, but he was found guilty of the rest. Sentenced to death, but then to life in prison after being seen by a French hypnotist who believed that Romansanta was actually just delusional and had a mental illness. He passed away the same year from stomach cancer.

The Werewolf of Bedburg

Perhaps the most notorious werewolf case is that of Peter Stumpp, in Bedburg, Germany 1589; having gained his wealth as a farmer, he was accused of multiple counts of murder, cannibalism, and ultimately a werewolf. At first, thought to be the work of wolves, incidents started with the mutilated bodies of cattle, but were soon followed by townsfolk, but the creatures couldn’t be caught. In 1589, a hunting part cornered the wolf with its hounds, however, when the hunters approached they saw Peter Stumpp instead–what was more damning was that the wolf they had been hunting had had his left forepaw cut off and when they came upon Stumpp he also had his left hand cut off. After a torture-driven confession was made by Stump, he admitted that when he was twelve he had made a pact with the devil and had been given a magical wolf pelt belt which enabled him to turn into a wolf. He confessed that he had murdered and cannibalized fourteen children and two pregnant women, killing his own son, and molesting his own daughter–so Stumpp was fixed to a breaking wheel, had his flesh torn from his body with red-hot pinchers, then his limbs were broken with the blunt side of an ax so he wouldn’t rise from the grave, and he was beheaded. This is a more controversial story, as it was believed by some that he was the victim of a political witch hunt, as the Catholic church had recently seized the area and Stumpp was a Protestant convert.

These days, it seems like werewolves in the supernatural genre are a dime-a-dozen, so it’s no big surprise that there are too many movies to list here–these are just some of our favorites, but they’re also ones that have contributed greatly to the modern lore that are currently associated to the story of the werewolf. Details change from one story to the next, but the broad picture remains the same.

Movies That Have Made Werewolves Mainstream

The Wolfman (2010)
The Wolfman (2010)