Editor’s note: As part of our Halloween theme, we have asked some guests to contribute their thoughts on the season. Francesco Falciani from Florence, Italy reveals in a very personal essay what Freddy Krueger means to him. We welcome your thoughts in the comments section below.
A friend of mine asked me why Freddy Krueger is such a big hero in my life, more than any Superman or Batman, or even better than any Madonna or Lady Gaga.
You should go back to the 80s, in a small, bloody awful place in Italy called Mercatale, the 2500-souls village were I was born in 1974. Can you think or even imagine what it was to be a gay guy when even that word itself wasn’t coined yet? No heroes, no light at the end of the tunnel, just loneliness and bullying … wow … and plenty of that.
Thank God 1986 arrived and I had my first meeting with the King of Nightmares. I remember I was a pussy, I was scared about everything … my first horror movie was The Car and … Oh My God … I didn’t fall asleep for a week. So when I saw Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2 (yes, yes, that was my first Freddy movie) at some friends’ place in the morning, I think I had a shock … we all had a shock … we all were so scared about the burned man with red and green sweater that no one said a word except “Okay, it’s still morning, we’ll figure out how to go to sleep tonight.”
We didn’t stop to talk about it for an entire month, we played and dressed up as Freddy every day. I remember we used an old grandpa sweater with some red and green colours on it and we made a Freddy glove using my mom’s glove for washing dishes and some plastic knives … we waited for unsuspecting passers-by in front of my home garden and we scared them running after them. So funny, except that a father of one of them came to my house later to talk with my parents.
I remember I always said “Tina …” to mom (like Freddy does at the beginning of the first nightmare) and she told me one night she heard someone call her “Tina” and it was not me. LOL
From there on … Freddy became my big hero. He changed my life … he was the bad guy who takes revenge on the bigots on Elm Street. Okay, okay, Freddy was a bad guy and the parents of Elm Street did the right thing to burn him up … but I was a young kid and Freddy was just the funny guy … he was my way to fly away from a lonely life and from of those REAL bad kids that waited for me after school to hit me or call me faggot! Yes, I still hope Freddy could come to visit them in their dreams. ;-)
After all these years Freddy is still the big superhero that saved my childhood ‘cause you know you can grow up but you don’t forget what made you stronger … you could have had the rich man of Gotham or the helpless Disney princess … we instead had the man with the fedora, the funny and scary man of dreams, the Dream Master. Thanks Freddy, you’ll always be my best dream and my best friend!