The Shot Behind the Shot: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Elm Street

I was planning on running this as part of the blog’s annual October horror movie tribute, but with the passing of Wes Craven yesterday it seemed appropriate to just go ahead and share it. The pic above and the quote below both come from this fantastic Rolling Stone oral history of Craven’s original A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

“Jim Doyle [Elm Street’s mechanical special effects designer, wielding the glove in the picture above] was in a scuba suit underneath me. I was sitting on a two-by-four across a bathtub that had the bottom cut out, and beneath me was a tank made out of plywood, filled with water. It was a challenge to keep it at a temperature that wouldn’t completely be unreasonable; you would get slightly cold just sitting there. What I remember mainly are the sounds. Wes told Jim, “I’m going to bang on the bathtub when I want you to stick the claw out.” So Jim is blindly plunging that thing between my legs. One time it’s too far to the right, next time it’s too far to the left, then it’s way too fast — and Wes just patiently waited until he got the take that he wanted.” – Heather Langenkamp

Check out more in the Shot Behind the Shot series here.

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