A Nightmare on Elm Street: 10 Pointless Observations

there’s really nothing i could say about a nightmare on elm street within a traditional review framework that would be new or interesting. the last thing anyone needs is another long diatribe about how important this film is or yet another pseudo-intellectual sociological explanation of how freddy is actually just a metaphor for the ramifications of child neglect (or, in the case of the first sequel… a blatant metaphor for repressed homosexuality). you’ve already been there, done that. i’m certain you know every velvety layer of subtext in the film so well that you use them as bedsheets, so i need to approach this from a different direction. top 10 lists are always a hoot, but it needs to be something you haven’t already seen a thousand times… so, instead of top 10 freddy kills or top 10 freddy one-liners… i give you top 10 pointless and irrelevant observations corey made while rewatching a nightmare on elm street earlier this week.



1. in the opening credits, when freddy is building his iconic (although rather impractical) fashion accessory, it clearly shows a pair of thick-rimmed glasses. did freddy wear glasses or are these from one of his victims? given all his victims were children, they seem a bit large to be the latter. if the former, i’d think he’d have better taste…

2. throughout the entire movie, heather langenkamp has a distracting pimple on her forehead. it changes size from scene to scene throughout the film, but my favorite bit was where they covered it up at the sleep disorder clinic with an electrode. facial blemishes are par for the course in your teen years so i don’t mean to make fun, but once you notice it’s there… you’ll find yourself keeping track of it in each scene, whether you intend to or not.

3. in this scene, nancy falls asleep at school and her classmate’s reading of hamlet takes on a creepy feel as he begins whispering the words. this was very effective years ago, but now all i can see is how horribly “1980s” that hair and shirt is. if you wore that today i think you might actually cause a rip in the space/time continuum, turning back time 20 years in, at least, the immediate vicinity.

4. at one point nancy goes to sleep, leaving her boyfriend to watch over her. while in the “dream world” she yells “hey, boyfriend guy — are you still watching?”… and he steps out from behind a tree and says “yeah, so?” this is all fine and good… but in ‘reality,’ what actually happened here? nancy is laying in her bed and johnny depp is sitting in a chair next to her. did sleeping nancy suddenly start yelling in her sleep, and johnny depp answered her unsurprised?

5. in this scene, nancy’s mom asks the sleep disorder specialist what dreams really are. his reply? “mysteries. incredible body hocus pocus.” i would slap any doctor that answered a medical question with the phrase ‘hocus pocus,’ but that’s not what i found interesting about this scene. this time through i noticed that the doctor has chosen a rather interesting photo to put next to the monitoring station. why would anyone want a photo of gigantic cats riding on a trolley? i don’t think furries existed in the 1980s (in san francisco or anywhere else). if only that was true now.

6. anybody have any idea who that is and why the thompsons would have a framed painting of him? looks kinda like nostradamus, but my bet is it’s some early philosopher who wrote about dreams. or a really bad painting of nancy as a baby.

7. a vulture with a tie? some sort of half naked hawaiian demon doll? a decapitated muppet? the official mr. evil moon face throw pillow? i’d have crazy dreams if this stuff was in my room too.

8. johnny depp’s dad doesn’t really seem to have a lot of fashion sense in general, but what’s with that necklace? that looks like some sort of ‘inner sanctum of xenu’ scientology symbol or a gold-plated version of a travel game you’d buy for your kids while on the way to beach.

9. this one is pretty noticable, but i’m going to point it out again. nancy calls her dad at 12:10am and says “come wake me up in 20 minutes. that will be exactly 12:30.” she sets her watch timer for 10 minutes, starting at 12:20. the issue i have is what happens between 12:10 and 12:20. according to the film, it appears that nancy rigs the entire house with booby traps comprised of very complicated parts (drilling holes in light bulbs, removing gun powder from shotgun shells)… none of which are familiar to her since she’s following directions from a book. after setting the house up as death trap, she still has time to sit by her mom’s bed and have a heart-to-heart. that’s one busy 10 minutes.

10. did you know that for years freddy krueger’s glove was hidden in a furnace next to a tapestry of dogs playing pool? well, now you do.

11. (bonus observation) i’m sure you remember the final shots of the film — we see three girls jumping rope singing the care-free freddy rhyme, we cut to a shot of the mom getting pulled through a tiny window, we cut back to the girls jumping rope. now, i’ve always thought it was funny how incredibly fake the mother’s body looked here… but this time through i noticed that while the girls jumping rope are in the exact same positions, the rope-holders actually switch places in the two seconds it takes the mom to oh-so-realistically re-enter the house. ah… an irrelevant continuity mistake. truly a pointless observation, so fully deserving of the top spot on this list.

8 Responses to A Nightmare on Elm Street: 10 Pointless Observations

  1. Jon says:

    I’d swear that the picture you mention in #6 is of the Renaissance poet and dramatist Ben Johnson. Yes, I’m certain that it’s either Ben Johnson or Jesus in a floppy hat.

    But what I really want to know is this: is that a picture of a jogging wolfman beneath the giant trolley cat in #5? If so, there is indeed a disturbing subtext lurking within this film.

  2. Nick V. says:

    Also, the dream doc is actually Charles Fleischer who did the voice of Roger Rabbit and most recently played the creepy ass dude whose house Jake G. visits towards the end of Zodiac.

    Great list!

  3. yeah says:

    The Glasses design were similar to a government issue safty glasses my dad had in the 80’s. perfect set dressing for a workbench

  4. Pingback: Some Thoughts on Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street | the little guy

  5. superbu says:

    The story is supposed to take place in fictional Springwood OH. I guess in the cemetery scene after Rod’s death, those are fictional palm trees in the background.

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