The Freddy Krueger glove is an iconic weapon from the A Nightmare On Elm Street series, but what’s the origin story behind it? Director Wes Craven (Scream) conceived of the premise behind A Nightmare On Elm Street in the early 1980s after reading a series of articles about people suddenly dying in their sleep with no clear cause. He also based Freddy off of a drunken man who scared him as a child by staring at him.
A Nightmare On Elm Street became a surprise hit in 1984, so cash strapped studio New Line Cinema immediately started work on A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. While reviews were mixed, the sequel was an even bigger hit and Krueger quickly became a cultural icon. The franchise spawned more sequels, a video game, a TV series and much more over the years. The original movie received a critically-lambasted remake in 2010 and original Freddy performer Robert Englund reprised the part in 2018 for a cameo in sitcom The Goldbergs.
In addition to his burned visage and strippy sweater, Freddy’s razor-claw glove is another famous element of the character. While conceiving of A Nightmare On Elm Street Craven knew Freddy needed a signature weapon, like Leatherface’s chainsaw or Michael Myer’s butcher knife from Halloween. He later realized an early fear of primal man would have been of tooth and claw or being mauled by a bear. He also drew inspiration from just watching his cat kneading its claws. This combination led to the creation of the Freddy Krueger glove, which the character is seen building in his boiler room in the opening scene of the film.
Freddy built the glove to torture and kill his young victims, with Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare revealing he built a number of prototype gloves, including one with sharp spikes and another with razor blades on the fingertips. Freddy himself has never revealed the inspiration behind his glove in the franchise, though the Nightmare On Elm Street remake suggested he got the idea from a gardening cultivator. The glove itself has evolved in unique ways throughout the series, with Freddy growing knives out of his own fingers in Freddy’s Revenge and receiving a more organic looking, five-bladed claw in 1994’s New Nightmare.
The Freddy Krueger glove is just one reason both the character and A Nightmare On Elm Street became iconic and it’s hard to imagine him without it. Robert Englund said of the glove that it acts as an extension of Freddy Krueger and his evil, making it the perfect weapon for the character.