Posted on by Pazuzu Iscariot
Frederick Charles Krueger (Freddy to his friends) is one of horror's most recognised villains from his humble beginnings in 1984 through the decades since. What has he become? Has his celebrity status gone to his head? Has he forgotten his beginnings and strayed from the path of scaring teens to try and pursue a career on the comedy circuit? Is he single-handedly to blame for the generic, shitty slasher movies churned out by Hollywood? I don’t know... now where's the fucking bourbon?
As a relatively new demonic killer in the world of teen dreams, Freddy was a fairly introvert character. Preferring his actions to speak louder than his words, Frederick would keep to the shadows gaining his satisfaction from watching teens shit their panties in his nightmarish dreamscapes until his necessary intervention. Then he could deliver the money shot. His clawed glove was the weapon of choice to deliver the deathblow and this weapon was what defined him the most, utilising the squeakiness of blades on objects to further torment his victims before the satisfying slice of their flesh. The signs were there of how his personality would evolve as he couldn't resist the occasional quip or situation related pun; he used these sparingly preferring to maintain his reputation as the scary bloke with the hat and smelly jumper.
Five years after 1984 in 1985, possibly due to unexpected stardom, Mr. Krueger seemed to withdraw further from the limelight and revealed himself as a rather troubled individual. He seemed less inclined to use his dream manipulation powers and was desperately trying to blend in with the waking world. Obviously this is quite difficult when you are a disfigured bastard son of 100 maniacs accused of mass child abuse. It is no surprise when his anger expressed itself in various sadistic ways. Whether this was a consequence of his vulnerabilities in the world of the awake, a bad choice of possession victim causing repressed homosexual angst to interfere with usual choices or just the course of Freddy's path as he tried to discover himself. Elm Street 2 is Freddy's coming of age movie and represents his late onset awkward puberty stage of his evolution made more awkward by mixing with a lame crowd of Elm Street teens.
Due to his failings in Elm Street 2 and probably due to the discovery of celebrity cocaine parties with Voorhees and Myers, Freddy decided to up his game and taunt a more motivational gang of teens. Needing a challenge in life and no longer concerned with fitting in, Freddy taunted the residents of a psychiatric hospital specialising in sleep disorders. The thrill of the hunt and an opportunity to show off his dream manipulation skills to people that already fear sleep gave this celeb the opportunity to shine. His murder tactics were back on top form and he seemed to be back to his old self and loving it. At this point in time the ego seems to take over Freddy as his new found enthusiasm for death sees his confidence grow and the one liners come thicker and faster. This was Freddy in his prime, he finally relished his career choice but remembers that, despite enjoying his work, he still has a duty to the public.
At this point in the career of Frederick Charles Krueger there are definitely signs that the stardom is affecting the ego. Freddy now shunned the shadows and preferred to be in the public eye all of the time, pouncing into view and delivering a joke whenever someone threatened to push his attention position away from the center. Determined to get his one liners heard despite the relevance of the current situation he was starting to look like a clown rather than an entity to be feared. He took full advantage of his dream manipulation powers and used them at every opportunity with the intent of showing off to his audience rather than scaring his victims. The once intimidating killer was gradually entering the same realm as the slew of similar characters emerging in his area of expertise rather than inspiring them.
With his popularity flailing, Freddy returned with some desperate tactics to get noticed again. Due to the current adoration other celebrities were receiving due to only appearing with misfit, vacuous normal people to enhance their own abilities, Freddy thought he knew the winning formula. Throw into the mix a baby and some heartfelt personal interest themes there was no way he could go unnoticed. Well that was the theory, but Freddy's vanity would be his downfall. He thought he was owed stardom and no longer needed to put in the work. Dismissing his writers he chose to write his own jokes and it was apparent that he didn't have the skills. His obvious and numerous plastic surgeries made him appear faker than ever and he instilled a sympathy for his patheticness in society rather than a fear. No amount of heartwarming backstories could save his career now.
1991 was the lowest point of Frederick's career. He was washed up but his ego did not allow this reality to sink in. Removing references to his roots, his show was now all about him with a title change to reflect this. Freddy was too power crazed to see that it was the trauma suffered by the generations on Elm Street that the viewers wanted and failed to understand that his oodles of cosmetic surgery and one joke every five minutes would just drive his fanbase further away. His ego was too big to be controlled now and he had metamorphosed into a fully fledged clown, even losing his credibility as a comedian due to a complete lack of funny. He was driven by various marketing and merchandising rules (and weird flying fish monsters) rather than his love of killing. He employed a number of clichéd devices employed by the more popular villains of the time such as hurting small animals as a child and having 100 Daddy issues but everyone saw through his lies.
When the realisation dawned on Freddy that he was going unnoticed he adopted some rather drastic measures to get his comedy act seen by the lame teens on Elm Street. Time for a comeback. Enlisting the services of his buddy Jason Voorhees, Freddy saw a perfect opportunity to get his voice heard. Use the mute to bring back the scary while allowing his new material to get heard without the slightest chance of being upstaged by an inferior killer. Oh Fred, what a mistake! This was the nail in his coffin as even the dumb corpse was more loveable than the plastic man with all the jokes. Jason stole the show and Freddy's comedy career was over. There was no chance of going back to scary for Freddy as his reputation was in tatters, even stereotypes from other movies weren’t afraid of him.
This feature was posted on by Pazuzu Iscariot and filed under Slasher Movies
Title: Nightmare on Elm Street Collection
Running Time: 702 minutes
Rating: R (Restricted)
Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection (All 7 Original Nightmare Films + Bonus Disc) [Blu-ray]
Running Time: 702 minutes
Rating: R (Restricted)