Without hesitation I said "The Deluxe Edition Replica A Nightmare on Elm Street Glove" like I was spouting off the specs for a Red Ryder BB gun to Santa Claus.
Little did they know what a quest I've had over the past 20 years, trying to find a Freddy Krueger glove that was affordable, metal, attractive and was readily available for the Halloween season.
But before I talk about "now," let me talk about "then": a very young Halloween Addict (me!) who wanted to build the best Freddy Krueger costume the world had ever seen.
I was a young teen and a big fan of NOES. At the time, the series was on its 2nd sequel: A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors.
Arguably the best sequel in the entire series. It's the first film to stick to the "rules," and bring back characters from the 1st groundbreaking film.
As for my Freddy costume: I knew, I KNEW that nobody was going to dress up as Krueger. Nobody.
And I was going to do it RIGHT.
It was a different time, the late '80s. The merchandising machine of today didn't exist. By the 3rd film in the very popular horror Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, there were only a handful of products available to tie in to the series. To pull off a Freddy Krueger costume back then meant a lot of digging.
But I had done my research.
First: the mask.
Though there were a number of masks on the market by independent companies with such original names as "Burn Victim" and "Mr. Scary Man" there was only ONE Official mask that looked the best: the Don Post Freddy Krueger mask.
That's it in the pic to the left.
And when I say "that's it" I mean THAT'S the ACTUAL mask I purchased back in 1987. It's seen better days, sure, but I still have it and the latex is still somewhat pliable, if deformed and ripped in the back.
Not bad for a mask that's 24 years old this month.
So I took my brown Indiana Jones fedora I had purchased a year earlier (leave me alone, I was a movie geek!) and substituted it out.
The next key piece to the costume was the sweater.
New Line Cinema (the owners of the franchise back then) hadn't started making Freddy sweaters yet (which seemed ridiculous to my entrepreneurial young mind), so I first quizzed my grandmother to see how fast she could knit a red and green striped sweater.
When the answer didn't fit my 2 week time-line (not without a sweat-shop of grandmothers), I went about buying a green sweater at a thrift store and glued stripes of red felt to the outside of it.
Hey it wasn't perfect, but it did the job just fine.
The last piece of the puzzle. The only piece that really mattered. Freddy's glove was the iconic weapon that separated the series away from any other slasher with a kitchen implement.
Again, it blew my fanboy mind that there weren't any official Freddy gloves on the market.
Sure there was the super crappy, safe-for-kids, plastic glove (see pic left) but not only did none of my small-town local stores carry it, but if they HAD... I couldn't have allowed myself to purchase it on principle.
I mean, look at that thing.
All the model paints in the world couldn't cover up how craptacular that thing looked. And it was PLASTIC.
For inspiration, I popped in my VCR-to-VCR copy of the original Nightmare on Elm Street and re-watched the opening (which you can see HERE).
After all: my dad had a garage with tons of tools... and I was a determined young man with a plan.
The planets aligned and I got started.
My raw materials were simple:
For the base, I used my grandfather's right-hand, tan golf-glove (he had a new pair, and the fact that it was used and worn made it look better).
For the materials, I used a pair of tin snips and a large sheet of aluminum that my father said I could have.
For the blades, I knew there was no way my mother would let me use the serrated (is that really how you spell that word?) steak knives we had in the silverware drawer.
"We need new ones anyway!"
Nope. No go.
So I found another sheet of thin rusty metal ("It's already "distressed!" I thought) in the back of the garage and cut outlines of the blades. As I didn't know how to use a spot-welder, and needed some way to have the whole thing hold together, I conceded to my lack of hardware expertise and used gray duct tape, wire and brass fasteners (the kind used to hold scripts).
Ever try and color a large surface area with a paint pen?
Takes days and I'm sure I lost millions of brain cells from the fumes.
After a week in the workshop after school, I had finished.
I was cut, bruised, sore, and full o' paint-pen... but it was done.
I should have warned you: there's no payoff picture for this.
You'll just have to trust me. It looked awesome.
Why is there no picture?
Because the whole thing was EXTREMELY dangerous!
Think about it! Sharp, rusty metal... all held together with painted duct tape. Nuts.
So, no photo evidence.
I didn't want my parents to get the photos back in the mail (I'm old!) see the glove and realize what a dangerous contraption I had designed and all in the name of Halloween-envy.
But it was all worth it.
That Halloween, my costume was a hit ---namely because of the homemade metal glove.
Many a conversation went like this:
"Wow! Where'd you get that Freddy glove?!"
"I made it."
My friends were very keen on keeping the prop hidden from adults who would and could quickly confiscate it.
It was an understanding that if they kept it under-wraps, that they'd get to try it on.
The glove lasted and made it through a few years of being in my collection before I made the mistake of volunteering its awesomeness to the local Halloween haunted house maze I was working for.
The duct tape couldn't handle an actual impact with any physical object and disintegrated into a million pieces like the DeLorean at the end of Back to the Future 3.
Since I lost my pride-and-joy Freddy glove I designed and built by hand, I've been waiting for some company to figure out a way to make metal Freddy gloves for purchase.
|"Nightmare Glove" from Kreation X|
In the late '90s I discovered a small cadre of fans on the internet who were designing and building their own replica Elm St. Gloves. The craftsmanship was usually superb with an attention to detail only seen in actual movie props but most importantly they were made from REAL METAL.
The downside to these hand-made gloves was that the combination of the high price point and long turnaround time usually put these screen-accurate models out of the Halloween "impulse buy" zone.
Then a few years ago I heard about a new, officially licensed, METAL Freddy glove that wasn't going to break the bank.
Was it true?
Had I found my white whale?
So when FrightCatalog.com came knocking, I knew what I wanted:
The Deluxe Edition Replica A Nightmare on Elm Street Glove.
As you can see from the pic, it comes in a GREAT box.
It's what's called "Display Packaging" which means the product is easily seen through a large window and usually set up in such a way that collectors (who never want to open the box) can do so and still show it off on their shelf.
The box features the A Nightmare on Elm Street logo on the top left corner, and Freddy Krueger himself peeking around the corner in the lower right corner. On the back, is a full pic of Freddy and a brief description.
The glove itself, is twisty-tied on a piece of vacu-formed plastic so that the glove is slightly bent and the blades are spread out. Again: perfect for displaying.
But who wants to just DISPLAY?
I opened the box and took out the glove. It's HEAVY. And metal.
The metal fingers and plates are a thick sturdy metal that's painted to look copper. At a Halloween party, in the dark, this is going to look great.
Are the blades sharp? No. Which is good. Not only for safety but they LOOK like they're sharp. And looks are everything in a Halloween costume.
The blades are silver and curved, welded to the fingers. The points are rounded too.
The whole glove just feels sturdy. Nothing is going to bend on this: not the blades or any of the metal pieces... unlike my homemade version from years ago.
The glove itself is "leather-like." Not sure exactly what it is. It's not 'pleather,' it's like a very thin leather.
Nit-picks: there's some "distressed" paint that's been splashed on the glove here and there. Though I see what they were going for, you'll probably want to touch it up yourself to make it look more "real."
My only issue with the glove was putting it on. It's really a process as the glove is torn (to look like the one in the movie) in the fingers and the palm (which is open). So don't expect a Superman-quick-change. You'll have to wriggle and wiggle and squirm to get your hand into the glove and then make sure the glove is under the metal of the metal digits. I have big but thin hands and it was a process. And then once the glove is on... you're not holding a beverage or anything in that hand... so wear strategically.
Lastly: what does this thing cost?
A surprising and VERY affordable $47.99.
THAT'S a cost I can get behind.
THAT'S what I would have saved up and paid back as a teen.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Bottom line: if you're looking for a great looking Freddy glove that isn't going to break the bank and will make your Krueger costume look great. Here's your pick.
If you're a stickler for detail, and can tell me how many rivets the actual glove-prop has then you'll probably be disappointed.
For those who lie somewhere in between: Buy this glove, and then add your own touch-ups and paint to make it your own. Splash some blood on the blades. Maybe remove the "leather-like" glove and re-attach it to your own leather glove. It's great for modding.
I can say this: my teen self glowed with glee when I put this on. It looks great for a party and, if you keep the box, it'll look great on your shelf when not in use.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go check on my grandmother-sweat-shop... they've got a red and green sweater that's due.
Buy the glove direct from FrightCatalog.com HERE.