Horror franchises don’t get bigger than Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday The 13th. In 2022, Shoe Palace celebrated the slasher franchises with a pair of exclusive collections. For 2023, another pair of collections is releasing exclusively at Shoe Palace, just in time for Halloween. Before you pick up the collections, learn more about the iconic franchises that inspired them. And be sure to purchase Shoe Palace x Nightmare On Elm Street, and Shoe Palace x Friday The 13, on October 6 at Shoe Palace retail stores and on shoepalace.com.
The Nightmare series features one of our greatest villains, Freddy Krueger. Wes Craven may be the most prolific horror director of all time. The idea of Nightmare On Elm Street came straight from the mind of Craven. The director would go on to write and direct the first Nightmare On Elm Street, which was released in theaters in 1984. The film would launch one of the most successful franchises in history.
Craven got the idea for Nightmare on Elm Street when he read an article in the paper. A young boy was experiencing terrifying nightmares. In his vivid visions, the boy was being chased. The boy was so afraid of his bad dreams that he refused to sleep for days at a time. Eventually, he would fall asleep, but tragically, he died while sleeping one night. His parents heard him screaming before his death. The boy had experienced one last horrific nightmare as he died.
That heartbreaking story became the basic premise of Nightmare on Elm Street. Eventually, Craven found a studio to make his project. A small budget was secured, and Craven was able to bring his idea to the screen. Wes Craven would go on to make a lot of great movies in his career, but Nightmare, and his creation of Freddy Krueger, is maybe his crowning achievement as a filmmaker.
Making A Modern Horror Icon
The idea and script for Nightmare on Elm Street was tantalizing. Young people being terrorized in their dreams was an appealing idea. But the villain of Nightmare on Elm Street is what made it a standout in the pop culture world. Freddy Krueger was the perfect monster. Freddy is a monster that is now thought of the same way we think of Frankenstein and Dracula. Freddy’s scarred and burned appearance was topped off by his sadistic sense of humor. Kruger would taunt and threaten his young victims. Freddy was different than monsters like Frankenstein or Michael Myers because he would verbally harass his prey. Krueger had a demented and dark sense of humor. He had a personality… he was not just a silent killing machine.
Robert Englund was the perfect actor to play Freddy in the mind of Craven. Wes Craven did not feel like any other actor understood the darkness of the character, the way that Englund did. Robert Englund has appeared as Freddy Krueger numerous times over the years. Freddy’s hat, glove and striped sweatshirt are all iconic pieces of film history – largely due to Englund’s work. Englund was able to create a character that still appears on merchandise, like the Shoe Palace x Nightmare on Elm Street collections. In 2023, Freddy is still one of the most popular costumes every Halloween. The Nightmare on Elm Street pictures are impossible to envision without Englund’s work as Krueger.
When John Carpenter released Halloween in 1978, it was a massive hit. The studios now wanted slasher movies of their own. Slasher movies that pushed the limits in terms of violence and gore. Halloween obviously had a great hook, the Halloween holiday. The producers of Friday the 13 were looking for their own hook, and the number 13 has long been considered unlucky. Today, Friday the 13 is a holiday of sorts for fans of horror.
The original Friday the 13, which was released in 1980, introduced fans to the story of Jason Voorhees. Voorhees was a young boy who drowned at Camp Crystal Lake. The two counselors that were supposed to be watching Jason, were off hooking up. Young people having sex, or drinking and doing drugs, is a recurring theme in the series. The young people who take part in “sinful” behavior are always killed, brutally and graphically, in the Friday the 13 films. That theme goes back to the origin story of Jason Voorhees.
Jason and his iconic hockey mask are the things everyone thinks of when they picture Friday the 13. However, in the original, Jason is not the antagonist. The main villain is Jason’s mother, Pamela Voorhees. She is driven to avenge the death of her son. Jason would be the main killer in the sequel to Friday the 13. But he would not wear the iconic hockey mask until Friday the 13th Part 3.
Quite possibly the most iconic prop in horror is Jason’s hockey mask. A lot of fans either forget, or do not realize, that Jason was not fully formed until Friday the 13 Part 3. The mask is what made Jason a horror legend. It took the series to another level of popularity and significance. The filmmakers took a simple piece of sports equipment and made it terrifying. Even though he did not show up until the third movie, Jason now owns the Friday the 13 series in the hearts and minds of fans. The hockey mask is a big reason why.
The 1980s was the decade of Jason. Eight Friday the 13 movies were released in the decade. That is nearly a Jason slash fest a year throughout the 80s. An incredible feat that shows just how profitable the films were when they were originally released.
Freddy vs. Jason
In 2003, Freddy and Jason clashed for the first time on screen! Freddy vs. Jason was every horror fan’s dream. Freddy vs. Jason is the only time the two horror legends have battled on screen.
Shoe Palace is once again pitting Jason vs. Freddy in a new collaboration for 2023! The collections include tees, hoodies and more with artwork and images straight from the two horror franchises. Be sure to celebrate Freddy and Jason this Halloween exclusively at Shoe Palace on 10.6.2023!
- Adam C. Better
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