Wes Craven terrified audiences when he released A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. The film was a smash hit at New Line Cinema and even saved the company from going under. With the success that the first film saw, a sequel was inevitable. Just a year after the original film was released, New Line released A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.
The film didn’t have any returning cast members from the original, except for Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger. Instead, the film starred Mark Patton as a boy named Jesse Walsh, whose family moves into Nancy’s house on Elm Street. The second film wasn’t nearly as well-received as the original, so there is a lot that horror buffs might not have even known about the film. Here is Kill For Me!: 10 BTS Facts About Freddy's Revenge.
10 Englund Wasn’t Originally Going To Come Back
Robert Englund has become synonymous with the role of Freddy Krueger, but he almost didn’t return for the sequel. The Nightmare on Elm Street documentary called Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy revealed that a stunt double was originally hired to play the role because Englund’s agent was asking too much for him to return.
New Line decided that Englund wasn’t important since it was just a guy in a mask, but Englund’s replacement was apparently awful and walked around like Frankenstein, so Englund was quickly brought aboard. Englund would go on to play the character in six more sequels and a TV series called Freddy’s Nightmares.
9 The Screenwriter Purposely Included Homoerotic Subtext
Anybody who is familiar with the history of ‘80s horror movies knows that Freddy Revenge is often called one of the gayest horror movies of the decade. When David Chaskin was interviewed for Never Sleep Again, he revealed that he did actually write homoerotic subtext into the screenplay, but he didn’t intend for it to be so obvious.
There are several signs of this in the film, including a board game called Probe, a "no girls allowed" sign on Jesse’s door, and the fact that Jesse rejects his girlfriend to go sleep at his best friend’s house. Looking back, scenes like the infamous towel whipping scene make it obvious what Chaskin was intending.
8 Brad Pitt & Christian Slater Wanted To Play Jesse
Mark Patton credits himself as the first male scream queen, but that title could have gone to a different actor. According to the Never Sleep Again documentary, Brad Pitt and Christian Slater auditioned for the role of Jesse but lost out to Patton. Slater and Pitt have both had incredible careers in Hollywood, with the latter even winning an Academy Award.
Pitt has starred in several award-winning films over the years, but coincidently, he did star in an episode of Freddy’s Nightmares called “Black Tickets” back in 1989. Patton himself hasn’t appeared in much since the ‘80s, but he did produce a documentary called Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street which came out this year.
7 A Demonic Parakeet Puppet Almost Appeared On Screen
One of the more humorous scenes in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was when the Walsh family’s pet bird attacked the family. After hearing their parakeet making strange noises in its cage, Jesse removes the cover of the birdcage. The parakeet goes wild and attacks the family before it bursts into flames.
The scene tried to pay homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds but ended up just being a silly scene in an ‘80s horror movie. That being said, the effects department did create a demonic parakeet that could have been scarier, but it didn’t make it into the film because the producers didn’t think it looked enough like a bird.
6 Freddy Is Played By A Woman In One Scene
One of the greatest parts of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street was the use of practical effects. While Part 2 failed to live up to the original, it still used a lot of ingenious special effects. One scene, in particular, that required a lot of work was when Freddy rips himself through Jesse’s body.
The effects department built a dummy that Freddy could come out of and they even made a bust of Mark Patton’s head so that they could do a scene where Freddy’s eye can be seen in the back of Jesse’s throat. The only person small enough to fit their head in the prop was the girlfriend of special effects designer Kevin Yagher, meaning Freddy was played by a woman in one take.
5 Heather Langenkamp Wasn’t Asked To Return
Heather Langenkamp played Nancy Thompson and was the star in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, but she didn’t appear in Freddy’s Revenge. The story references her character on a few occasions since Jesse’s family is living in her old house. At one point, Jesse also finds a diary that belonged to Nancy. While the spirit of her character is still there, Langenkamp was never asked to return for the sequel.
In Never Sleep Again, Langenkamp theorizes that the producers might have thought the idea of the Elm Street house was more important than her character. Most fans would have wanted to see Langenkamp return for the sequel, but they had to wait another two years.
4 Robert Downey Jr. Drove Robert Rusler To His Audition
Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr. is now one of the most well-known actors in the world. In the ‘80s however, Downey Jr. was still an up and coming actor. In 1985, the actor appeared in John Hughes’ Weird Science as the character Ian. Robert Rusler, who plays Ron Grady in Freddy’s Revenge, also appeared alongside Downey Jr. as the character Max.
In Never Sleep Again, Rusler revealed that after they finished filming their scenes for Weird Science, Robert Downey Jr. drove him to his audition for A Nightmare on Elm Street 2. The two actors have led very different careers in Hollywood, although both are still acting to this day.
3 The Director Didn’t Like The Original
There were many horror films that came out in the ‘80s, but Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street is often regarded as one of the best. While Craven’s film got a lot of positive reviews when it was released, the director of Freddy’s Revenge actually didn’t like it. Jack Sholder revealed in the documentary Never Sleep Again that he wasn’t a fan of the original, so he didn’t feel as if he needed to follow the template that Craven created.
That being said, he probably should have at least followed the rules that Craven had set for the Nightmare on Elm Street universe. The biggest error in the film is that Freddy is somehow able to come out of the dream world during the pool party scene. Several people on the cast and crew (including Robert Englund) disagreed with the decision, but it still made it into the film.
2 Bob Shaye Wanted To Play Mr. Grady
In 1967, Robert Shaye founded New Line Cinema. Shaye has been a producer on every A Nightmare on Elm Street movie to date, but he also often has cameo roles in the films. Shaye wanted to play Mr. Grady (a role that went to Lyman Ward), but Sholder apparently told Shaye that he needed a real actor for the character.
Shaye said during the documentary Never Sleep Again that he was offended at this remark and that Sholder had a tendency to be rude at times. Sholder admitted that he almost got fired because of this remark and he ended up giving Shaye a role in the film as the bartender at the S&M bar.
1 Kim Myers Was Cast Because She Looked Like Meryl Streep
In A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Kim Myers plays Lisa Webber, who ends up saving Jesse at the end of the film. Freddy’s Revenge started Myers career, but she likely got the part because of her looks. In Never Sleep Again, it was revealed that Myers was hired because of her acting skills… and because she looked like Meryl Streep.
Streep won two Academy Awards in the ‘80s for the films Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie’s Choice, so wanting an actress that looked like Meryl Streep wasn’t really as silly as it sounds.