In the 1980's age of Bruce Willis heroes, Breakfast Club teenaged angst-fests, Flock Of Seagulls hairstyles and no more Star Wars movies in sight, the need for a new cinematic icon became apparent.
We got one, too, with the introduction of Wes Craven's celluloid masterstroke, 1984's A Nightmare On Elm Street, featuring character actor Robert Englund in his career-making turn as Fred Krueger.
But this was an "anti-hero," meaning he was a villain, but we were allowed to kinda like him anyway. For the uninitiated, Fred Krueger started his climb to meteoric horror fame as the antagonist in the above-mentioned low-budget horror flick. A despicable child murderer who was burned to death by vigilant parents after his technicality-based release from prison, Krueger managed to transcend the boundaries of dreams and reality, returning to his hometown of Springfield to wreak terror upon teens through their nightmares, spilling real blood.
As his story progressed in following sequels, we saw Fred--or Freddy, as he came to be known--develop a subversive sense of humor. Eventually, his movies received backlash from fans who thought he'd traded his sinister darkness for corny one-liners. A (thankfully) brief television series with Freddy as the host did little to win new fans.
| Krueger Stats | Robert Englund's Filmography | Visual |