10 Things You May Not Know About ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘Friday the 13th’, and ‘Halloween’
Last week we gave you ten things you may have not known about the classic films that shaped Halloween and modern horror movies, Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man. In creating that list, I called the lead characters from those movies "The Unholy Trinity", and it got me thinking as to what more modern characters would be the successors to the thrones once held by Count Dracula, the Monster, and Larry Talbot. Looking at success of films, cultural impact, and longevity, the only logical choices are Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers. So here are ten things you may not know about the A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween film series.
1. In the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy was to be a child molester, not a child killer. This was changed to avoid speculation that they were exploiting recent child molestations in California. The molester storyline returned in the 2010 remake starring Jackie Earle Haley.
2. Director Wes Craven refused to work on A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge because he never intended the story to become a franchise and even wanted the first film to end on a happy and definitive note. He was later convinced of the franchise’s appeal after the tremendous box office performance of the sequel and returned for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors.
3. Many plot points from Wes Craven’s New Nightmare were taken from the real lives of the actors. Heather Langenkamp’s husband actually works in special effects, as does Miko Hughes’ (Heather’s “son”) father. Heather Langenkamp did have a stalker in real life and gave Wes Craven permission to use it in the film. And in keeping with the real world tone, Freddy Krueger was credited as played by “Himself” in the ending credits.
4. During filming of the final battle in Freddy vs. Jason, Robert Englund’s makeup was so thick that he had no idea how hot the fires on set were. After filming he discovered that the fires were so hot that his makeup appliances had melted and bonded to his face
5. While filming Friday the 13th part 7: The New Blood, Jason actor Kane Hodder’s dressing room was a quarter mile down the road from their location in the woods. After filming wrapped one day at 2a.m., Hodder cut through the woods on his way back to his dressing room. While still in full costume, Hodder was approached by a man in the woods asking if he was part of the movie. Hodder, believing it to be a stupid question because of his makeup and attire, didn’t answer. The man asked again and Hodder lunged at the man and grunted, sending him running and tripping through the woods. The next day Hodder was informed by the director that the local sheriff was scheduled to visit the set the previous night but never showed up.
6. While filming Freddy vs. Jason, new Jason actor Ken Kirzinger needed dental work but didn’t have enough time to sit through the hours necessary to remove the makeup first and reapply later. Kirzinger went to the dentist’s office in full make-up and wardrobe, just without the hockey mask, leading people at the dentist’s office to believe he was an unstable mental patient and they almost called the police.
7. For the reimagining of Jason in the 2009 reboot, the writers wanted to give Jason a more human mentality and modeled him after the character of John Rambo from First Blood, making him a territorial hunter who is defending his land from perceived invaders rather than a pointless killer.
8. Halloween H20 was done at the suggestion of Jaime Lee Curtis who said she wanted to do a 20th anniversary film with John Carpenter, who ended up declining the project. Curtis later agreed to appear in Halloween: Resurrection so her character could be killed off, preventing the character from appearing in following films played by another actress.
9. By Halloween: Resurrection, its unsure if the events from Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5, and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers ever occurred. Dialogue from the film references that Michael Myers hadn’t been heard from in twenty years, so either the killings from those movies were not attributed to Michael, or those movies aren’t recognized in the official continuity.
10. Of all of the iconic horror movie villains of the time, Michael Myers is the only one without supernatural traits. Freddy Krueger is a dream demon, Jason Voorhees started off as a regular person but became a zombie in Friday the 13th part 6, Chucky became a doll using voodoo, etc. But Michael Myers has always been portrayed as just a sociopathic killer who is just difficult to kill. Whenever the character is believed to be killed off in one film, the follow up gives a real world reason as to how he survived.