As an obsessive Wes Craven fan, I thought I knew everything about A Nightmare on Elm Street, but I was wrong — very wrong. Because according to a long lost deleted scene, the Elm Street kids who seemed to be getting randomly attacked by Freddy Kreuger weren’t random at all.
See for yourself. That’s a freaked-out, sleep-deprived Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) learning the truth about Freddy from her loopy mother, Marge (Ronee Blakely). Most of this scene appears in the movie; we already know that before becoming a dream-haunting demon, Freddy was a “filthy child murderer”, and the Elm Street parents turned fire-starting vigilantes to stop him.
But the rest of the scene includes the reveal that Nancy’s ill-fated friends Glen, Rod and Tina all had a brother or sister that was killed by Freddy when he was still human. Marge adds: “You too, Nancy. You weren’t always an only child.” (Then it goes into the familiar lines that finish out the scene, ending with “It’s OK now. You can sleep.”)
This isn’t quite earth-shattering on the level of, say, Halloween II‘s revelation that Laurie Strode is the long-lost younger sister of Michael Myers, but it does make a major connection between Freddy and his victims, as well as much stronger justification for the adults to burn the child-murdering Freddy (who was captured, but released on a technicality at the time). That said, though, the gruesome deaths of Nancy’s friends, as well as a desire to save her own skin, offers more than enough motivation in the film as it stands.
As Bloody Disgusting, which deserves all the kudos for dusting off this obscure Nightmare nugget, points out, this clip has been curiously absent from most special-edition releases of the 1984 classic:
Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street has been released countless times on home video, most recently as part of a 5-disc collection that brought together the entire original franchise on Blu-ray. But not all the special features from previous releases were ported over for that Blu-ray, notably a series of deleted scenes that have mostly flown under the radar over the years.
Back in 1996, Elite Entertainment gave A Nightmare on Elm Street a Collector’s Edition Laserdisc release, and that was the very first time the aforementioned scenes were made available to the public. The scenes, running just a few minutes total, were subsequently found on a Collector’s Edition VHS of the classic film, but oddly enough, haven’t really been seen or heard from since.
Perhaps that’s because it doesn’t add that much to the film other than being a curious footnote. (Other deleted scenes, including the film’s alternate endings, are far easier to come across.) But it does explain a bit more about why Nancy’s father and mother split up, and perhaps explains why Marge started hitting the bottle so hard after she helped kill Freddy. In this case, it wasn’t guilt she was feeling — it was the loss of her child. Which makes a lot more sense.