Today marks the 25th anniversary of Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, arguably the worst entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Coming off of the financial disappointment that was A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, New Line Cinema decided that it was time to retire Freddy for good. While the film has its detractors (mostly due to the shift from horror to comedy), there are those that still like it (like John Squires). This article is for those people. Here are 10 facts about Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare that you may not have known.* Or maybe you do. Either way, enjoy!
*All of these facts were pulled from the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, the extras on the Blu-Ray for Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and of course, Wikipedia.
1. Alice’s (from Nightmare 4 and 5) son Jacob was the protagonist in the original script.
The script, written by Michael Almereyda, would have had Jacob being helped by the third film’s Taryn, Joey and Kincaid (they were called “The Dream Police”) after Freddy kills Alice. Talalay didn’t like the script, so it was scrapped. Jacob was written into the John Doe character in the final version of the film, which was written by Michael DeLuca.
2. Peter Jackson wrote a draft of the script.
In his draft, titled A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Lover, Freddy was powerless in the dream world so kids would have slumber parties where they would take sleeping pills and take turns beating him up in their dreams. While Jackson didn’t get the gig, it started his relationship with the executives at New Line Cinema, paving the way for his adaptations of The Lord of the Rings novels.
3. Director Rachel Talalay was an assistant production manager on the original film.
Talalay actually worked on every film in the franchise up until that point except for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child. She was an assistant production manager on the first film, a production manager on the second, a line producer on the third and a producer on the fourth. This gave her enough leverage to convince Robert Shay to let Freddy’s Dead be her directorial debut.
4. A lot of the weirder ideas in the film came from Twin Peaks and John Waters.
Talalay had a background as a producer for two of John Waters’s most mainstream films: Hairspray and Cry-Baby. Because of this, most of the crew on Freddy’s Dead were carried over from the Cry Baby set. It was being filmed when David Lynch’s Twin Peaks was at the height of its popularity as well, so those are the mains reasons why Freddy’s Dead is so much more humorous than previous entries in the franchise.
5. Divine was supposed to be in the plane seat next to Shon Greenblatt
Legendary drag queen Divine passed away shortly before filming began, but the role of the woman in the airplane sitting next to Shon Greenblatt was intended to be hers.
6. Talalay wanted Freddy’s death to be more epic, but was limited by the use of 3D.
So difficult was the 3D filming process that it took all of the focus out of Freddy’s death. In fact, the manner in which he died wasn’t really thought out prior to filming. According to Talalay, “It became all about ‘How do I make the 3D work?’ and not ‘How to I make killing Freddy interesting?'” That’s a real shame, as it made Freddy’s death feel less epic than his “deaths” in any of the previous films.
7. Nintendo did not approve the line “Now I’m playing with power!”
Those of you old enough to remember Nintendo’s Power Glove might remember it’s popular catch-phrase “Now you’re playing with power!” Well, Freddy Krueger has his own take on the tagline when he kills Spencer (Breckin Meyer) with a Power Glove. Unfortunately for New Line, Nintendo rejected their request to use the line in the film. Unfortunately for Nintendo, Robert Shaye didn’t care and he told Talalay to use it anyway.
8. The studio held a real-life funeral for Freddy Krueger while promoting the film.
The funeral saw the reunion of several actors and crew members from past films of the franchise. It was a big publicity stunt, but it worked. Freddy’s Dead had the highest opening weekend gross out of any film in the franchise up until that point (though it would end up being the fifth highest grossing film overall).
9. Freddy’s Dead is the only film in the series not to feature the jump rope girls.
Not exactly headline-making news, but it’s still odd for a film to leave out one of the trademark moments of the series.
10. The film takes place from June 14 to June 17, 1999.
This isn’t nearly as convoluted as the Friday the 13th timeline, but it’s still funny to think that the Nightmare films were being churned out so quickly that they couldn’t keep up with their own timeline.