Posts tagged Nightmare on Elm Street
Horror movies are meant to entertain and excite audiences, but by no means are they intended to be taken off the screen and acted out in real life. In some rare cases, horror movies give mentally ill people creative, yet twisted ideas that they feel compelled to repeat. Here are eight horror movies that inspired real-life crimes:
Natural Born Killers
Natural Born Killers has inspired some of the most gruesome copycat killings in history. The film has been associated with several serial killers, including the homicidal couple Sarah Edmonson and Benjamin Darras. In 1995, the murderous duo dropped LSD and watched Natural Born Killers repeatedly before going on a drug-fueled crime spree of robbing and shooting a convenience store clerk that left her a quadriplegic. During the crime spree, Darras shot and killed a Mississippi businessman. Edmonson was sentenced to 35 years in prison and Darras is doing life.
Wes Craven’s slasher movie series Scream was the inspiration behind the murder of Gina Castillo by her 16-year-old son and his 15-year-old cousin, Samuel Ramirez. The two teenagers confessed to the gruesome murder of Castillo and admitted that they did it because they needed money to fund a murder spree that would reenact the story line of the first two Hollywood Scream movies. In order to follow the Scream story line, the teenage boys planned to buy the ghost-face mask and electronic voice boxes that are seen in the movie.
A Clockwork Orange
Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange has been the inspiration for many twisted real-life crimes, specifically throughout Britain. The crimes have exhibited similarities with the film, but one of the most bizarre cases involved a man named John Ricketts who was dressed up as a droog from A Clockwork Orange and assaulted a woman dressed as Little Britain‘s Vicky Pollard at an office party. The violent movie was banned from UK cinemas because of the increase in violent crimes following its release.
Queen of the Damned
In 2002, Allan Menzies murdered his longtime friend, Thomas McKendrick, because he claimed a character in the vampire movie, Queen of the Damned, told him to do it and promised to make him a vampire in the next life. After watching the film about 100 times and receiving a visit from the female vampire Akasha in the middle of the night, he decided to murder people. Menzies also believed that McKendrick and another friend were plotting to kill him, but he turned on McKendrick first. Menzies stabbed his friend to death, drank his blood, and ate part of his head before burying him in a shallow grave. The “vampire killer” was later found dead in his prison cell from an apparent suicide.
Child’s Play 3
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were 10 years old when they kidnapped and brutally murdered two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool. In 1993, Thompson and Venables snatched the toddler from a shopping mall and took him to a railway line where they beat and sexually assaulted the young boy. They left Bulger’s mutilated body on the railway tracks to die. Thompson and Venables were supposedly inspired by the horror film Child’s Play 3. The killer doll movies caused a great deal of controversy in the United Kingdom, as well as a public outcry for tightening “video nasties.”
In 2004, Michael Hernandez, 14, stabbed his middle school classmate to death and admitted to modeling his behavior after the serial killers in American Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs. The South Florida teen said he identified with the horror movie murderers and wanted to act out their roles in his real-life plan to become a serial killer. Hernandez believed God gave him special powers and agreed with his decision to kill his classmate. The teen boy was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2008.
Nightmare on Elm Street
The famous ’80s horror film, Nightmare on Elm Street, was the inspiration for Daniel Gonzalez’s killing spree. In 2004, the paranoid schizophrenic went on a drug-fueled rampage and murdered four random people, including a doctor and his wife. Gonzalez armed himself with several knives and acted out a Freddy Krueger-like spree. Official reports claimed that Gonzalez did not receive proper treatment for his mental condition. He was given six life sentences for the four murders, as well as two attempted murders throughout England. In 2007, Gonzalez committed suicide in his cell.
The Saw horror movie series was the inspiration behind a cruel prank that turned into a serious matter for two teenage girls in Winchester, Tenn. The teenagers used the Saw plot of making victims play games to stay alive by leaving a gruesome message on 52-year-old Beverly Dickson’s phone. They told Dickson that one of her friends was hidden in her house and it would be filled with toxic gas shortly. They asked if she wanted to live or die. Dickson got the message while attending a funeral and suffered a stroke from the frightening incident. The two 13-year-olds responsible for the prank call were charged with phone harassment.
By Selena Routh
Wes Craven, the father of “slasher” flics, started the Freddy Krueger Nightmare franchise in 1984 with the film Nightmare on Elm Street. The film was both a critical and a box-office hit, and launched a new generation of horror films. Craven made the movie for less than $2 million, and this was recouped during the first week of release.
The story is set in a small Ohio town (Springwood), where bad things start to happen to local teenagers. The connection is that all of the kids are children of the people who killed Freddy Krueger, and he has returned from the dead to exact revenge. He attacks people in their dreams, which segues into real life. Freddy has some great gloves to work with, with razor sharp blades sticking out of the fingers, but keeping his thumbs free.
In 1984, the internet was still in its infancy, and texting wasn’t even a tangible concept. If the original version (there was a 2010 remake) were made today, the movie might have been a bit different. Below are a few of the differences you might notice.
- Ready Freddy – The original Freddy was already prepared for a world with texting. He had eight-bladed gloves which kept his thumbs free for texting, something he would later do with Lon Chaney, Jason and Darth Vader.
- Warnings – There has been considerable and heated debate about whether-or-not the targeted teens would have been able to save themselves if they’d been able to text warnings to each other. The consensus is that, although text-capabilities would seem to be an advantage for the kids, Freddy Krueger was no slouch when it came to being tech savvy and he had been planning this revenge for quite some time. He would have had signals scrambled through his connections with the late Alexander Graham Bell.
- Jailhouse – The jailhouse where the character Rod was incarcerated when everybody thought he had killed his girlfriend was prone to electrical interference from the local power station, so it is unlikely that any of the youngsters would get enough bars to be able to text warnings. Freddy had thought of almost everything before he went off to haunt dreams.
- Johnny Depp – Freddy was always jealous of Johnny Depp. Not for his good looks (Freddy was convinced he was the better looking of the two), but for the pair of headphones that Depp had. When Freddy ended Depp’s big-screen debut in suitably bloody fashion, he kept the headphones as a souvenir.
- The Remake – True to Hollywood form, which dictates that if something is pretty good the first time around an inferior remake is the proper way to display admiration for the original. Looking at his prospects for 2010, Freddy didn’t like the idea of having to inhabit a different body; he had become quite comfortable in his Robert Englund suit. He also knew that texting technology would advance to the point where he would be tied up all day on Facebook and Twitter, and might not have the time to slash sleeping teenagers.
Freddy ended up having a good run as a scary dude, but now spends most of his time grooming cats at a pet salon that he and his cousin, Edward Scissorhands, own in the Hamptons.