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A Closer Look at the Prototype Killing Gloves in Fred Krueger’s Basement

The Final NightmareWe’ve been celebrating the 30th anniversary of A Nightmare on Elm Street all year long here on Halloween Love, and throughout the course of the year we’ve talked everything from Freddy’s Nightmares to the godawful remake. So be sure to hit up the HL Elm Street archive, if you’re new round these parts.

With the year of Freddy’s big 30th birthday coming to a close, we continue the celebration today with one more tasty bit of Elm Street goodness, tracking the evolution of Krueger’s iconic glove. What do I mean, when I say that? Well, allow me to explain.

There’s a really interesting flashback scene in Freddy’s Dead wherein Freddy’s daughter discovers his secret basement lair, which has all sorts of weird and frightening things in it – including a taxidermy squirrel and newspaper clippings about her dad’s various murders. There’s also a plate of cookies and a glass of milk down there, further making me believe that Freddy and Santa are one in the same.

There’s gotta be a reason he wears that Christmas sweater, no?

But the most interesting things we see in Freddy’s lair are several different early versions of his trademark glove, which give us some insight into its creation, and how it came to look the way it does. These prototype gloves are seen in very quick flashes during the scene, to the point that you really don’t get a good look at most of them unless you play around with the pause button.

…which is exactly what I spent way too much time doing today.

So here are closer looks at the eight most interesting prototype gloves seen in Freddy’s basement workshop in Freddy’s Dead, organized in the order in which I feel they were created!

Freddy's Glove

I think it’s safe to assume that this is the earliest iteration of the glove. We see in Freddy’s Dead that Fred appears to be into gardening, an aspect of the character that was played up in the remake. There’s even an interesting moment in the remake where we see Freddy using a little hand rake, a foreshadowing of what’s to come. So it seems the gardening tool was the inspiration for Freddy to create a claw-like glove, making this right here the very first prototype version of the most iconic killing device in horror history.

Great things have small beginnings, as they say. Somebody said that, at least.

glove3

The idea of a deadly glove dancing around in his head, the next step in the evolution was to figure out a way to actually make a glove into a lethal weapon, and this test concept appears to be Freddy’s first attempt at doing so. Before the blades came into play, Freddy affixed fishing hooks to the finger tips of a glove, and I can only imagine that he quickly realized the idea wasn’t exactly practical or effective – maybe for catching fish, but not for cutting up horny teenagers.

Back to the drawing board…

Freddy's Glove

From there, Freddy began experimenting with the idea of adding knife-like fingers to the glove, and it’s likely that the clothespins seen here were merely placeholders, so that he could get an idea of what the glove would look like with long blades on it. Either that or this was a silly little Easter Egg thrown in for eagle-eyed fans, which is totally a possibility.

Either way, the thought of Freddy running around with clothespin-fingers is pretty funny, you must admit.

Freddy's Glove

The next logical step was for actual blades to be added to the mix, and here we see Freddy’s glove starting to look like the one we’ve come to know, love and fear. It looks to me like Freddy crudely taped box cutter blades to an ordinary gardening glove for this early version of his trademark weapon, which is sort of a poor man’s version of the one he would eventually go on to create.

Again, this glove was likely whipped up so that Freddy could get an idea of what the finished product would look like, as there’s no way masking tape could possibly hold the blades firmly in place.

Freddy's Glove

Now we’re talking. Since the taped-on blades weren’t working out, Freddy gave nails a try with this incarnation of the glove, less of a stabbing device and more of a punching one. And based on the blood on this thing, it looks like Freddy got some use out of his own twisted version of brass knuckles. This version looks to be the first that Freddy used metal re-enforcements on, which is a major turning point in the creation of his masterpiece.

Once he taught himself some welding skills, the sky was truly the limit for Freddy’s twisted perversion.

Freddy's Glove

We’re getting really close with this one, where Freddy combined the metal re-enforcements of the knuckle-nail glove with the blades of the taped up box cutter concept. With the razor blades welded into place, on metal fingertips, this glove was not only badass looking but also his first truly effective attempt at creating a razor glove.

Still though, Freddy knew he could do better, so it was back to the drawing board once again…

Freddy's Glove

Here we have my favorite of the prototype gloves, which I like to call the Bugle Glove. Replacing the razorblades from the previous attempt with what looks like copper wire wrapped around metal talons, we have ourselves Freddy’s first true claw glove, which is a lot more animalistic than the one he ended up settling on. Not the best for stabbing, but when it comes to bear-like slashes and swipes, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of this one.

But as we know, Freddy is more interested in stabbing, than merely swiping. He’s a sexual dude, after all.

Freddy's Glove

Finally, we have the prototype glove that is quite clearly the direct predecessor to the finished product. This is essentially the same as the glove Freddy went on to slay many victims with, only with less support on the fingers. The finished glove of course had hinged metal sleeves all the way up each finger, providing stability and mobility for optimum slicing and dicing.

And at last…

Freddy's Glove

…his arm was complete.

Freddy’s Dead gets a lot of shit for being a bit too goofy, and fully transforming the once scary Freddy into a silly cartoon character, but I for one love the fact that the ‘final’ sequel delved a bit into his backstory. That’s something we didn’t get enough of throughout the franchise, and I felt that Freddy’s Dead did a nice job of bringing some of that prequel-esque storytelling to the table.

Or maybe I just really, really love that scene where we get a glimpse into Freddy’s basement. Though short, the scene says a lot about the character, and it’s kind of frightening to imagine him down there tinkering around with the creation of his murder-weapon-of-choice, is it not?

It is. It totally is.

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If you don't get enough of me here on Halloween Love, you can also find me on Dread Central, iHorror and Shock Till You Drop. Contact me via john@halloweenlove.com.
  • Randy Meyer

    I always found the progression of the glove interesting. It shows how the mind works, even if it is a little twisted. I just wish the first one (from NOES 1- 3) was recovered and returned to New Line. That glove deserves to be in the Smithsonian, or a similar place, for display. What I can remember, according to reports in Fangoria at that time, the original glove was stolen from the set of Dream Warriors. That is why the glove looks different in the sequels after that. Same thing happened with Jason’s mask. But, at least those “fans” felt guilty and returned it.