All The Early Versions Of Freddy Krueger’s Gloves

Over the course of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, there are hints that Freddy Krueger went through several different versions of his iconic glove before he settled on a specific format. The look and length of the blades, as well as the fit of the glove has changed from film to film in small, discrete ways, but it's mostly a consistent aesthetic.

The knife-glove is as much a part of Freddy's iconic look as his red and green sweater or his brown fedora. It is routinely comprised of fourteen parts: the glove, the backplate, four fingers, four fingertips, and, finally, four blades (the thumb does not have a blade). Freddy also only ever wears the glove on one hand - his right (dominant) hand.

Related: The Secret History of the Freddy Krueger Glove

Freddy Krueger's glove was designed and constructed by Lou Carlucci for Freddy's first appearance in the 1984 film, A Nightmare on Elm Street, directed by horror auteur Wes Craven. Unlike other franchise villains who favor more conventional weapons like kitchen knives and machetes, Freddy's glove is almost a natural extension of his own arm; it is intimately part of who he is as a killer.

The sixth film in the franchise, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, includes a scene set in Krueger's workshop and it is here that eagle-eyed viewers can see a variety of early iterations of the glove. It appears that Krueger went through several different prototypes before settling on the glove's final version. A quick glimpse of a gardening rake laying atop a glove suggests that the inspiration for the glove was a common yard item, which Krueger altered into a more practical, weaponized version.

Freddy Krueger Prototype Gloves

Included among the other early drafts is a glove with thimbles and fishing hooks attached to the fingers, which has a similar look to Catwoman's claws in Batman Returns. The result would surely scratch and draw blood, but it would hardly be lethal. Another version features clothespins attached to the fingertips; it isn't difficult to interpret why this early version was abandoned. One iteration with box cutters affixed to the fingers is promising, but using tape to attach the blades to the fingers is not sustainable.

One final version before Krueger presumably turned to welding offers a distinct, but fascinating alternative to what fans of the franchise got: a glove with nails affixed to the knuckles. This design has the appearance of deadly brass knuckles. Had Krueger maintained this interpretation, his glove would be more suitable for punching than stabbing, which may explain why it was left on the workshop table.

Throughout the films, other iterations have appeared. The glove becomes lighter and the backing more weathered as the sequels progress and, in one notable example, the entire format of the glove changes in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors when Krueger briefly swaps out the blades into hypodermic needles (on both hands) for the purpose of killing by overdose.

When Craven returns to the franchise for Wes Craven's New Nightmare, the metatextual nature of the film instigates a revision of the glove's aesthetic in favour of a sleeker, more naturalistic appearance that includes sinew and veins and features knives on all five fingers. Finally, when New Line attempted to remake the original horror movie in 2010, the glove reverts back to form with the exception of longer knives. It seems that Freddy decided that a new generation of Elm Street teens deserved an even more terrifying interpretation of his iconic weapon of terror.

More: A Nightmare On Elm Street: The True Story That Inspired Freddy Krueger

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