Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’: See a Festive Freddy Krueger as Santa in Throwback Video

‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’: See a Festive Freddy Krueger as Santa in Throwback Video

A throwback video of actor Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger decking the halls while dressed as Santa is haunting horror fans’ holiday dreams. Of course, the iconic character of Krueger, known for his burned face and lethal glove, has achieved legendary status in the realm of horror. In A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy stood apart from other slashers rooted in the 80s. Unlike the silent unstoppable murder machines Jason Voorhees and Michal Myers, Freddy wore no mask. The demented Krueger was far from silent, too. Fred inflicted witty barbs on his victims just as often as he slashed them with his signature-bladed glove.

Englund’s performance as Freddy is at once sinister and hilarious, instantly making him a horror fan favorite. Such was his popularity that he inspired video games, dolls, and trading cards. Believe it or not, Krueger even had a call-in hotline at the height of Freddy Fever.

Despite Freddy Kruger’s popularity, it’s tough to imagine him sporting Santa’s white beard. However, that’s exactly what happened in a promotional clip featuring Freddy hawking his wares to video retailers.

Freddy Krueger’s ‘Santa Claws’ is Something to Behold for Horror Fans

The promo starts with brief clips from the 1985 film The Santa Claus Movie but is abruptly interrupted by the 1988 “Sandy Claws Movie” as Freddy enthusiastically promotes his product (the first three films in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise) that turned him into a pop-culture sensation. He then explains why video retailers should stock up on the latest installment at the time, Dream Master.

Horror fans will be quick to notice a few details from the clip. For one thing, Englund’s voice isn’t distorted like in the films. It’s a fun glimpse at how the character sounds live, before post-production. The other big thing is “Santa Claws” coins the phrase “a nightmare before Christmas” several years before Tim Burton’s stop-animated classic was released. Hmmm…

Created by master of horror Wes Craven, A Nightmare on Elm Street is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional movies of the genre. The film’s tremendous success led to six sequels, a television series, and a crossover with Friday the 13th. In 2010, the franchise rebooted with a new actor as Freddy Krueger, but no sequels followed.

The original A Nightmare on Elm Street was chosen by the Library of Congress in 2021 to be preserved in the United States National Film Registry due to its significant cultural, historical, and aesthetic value. Here’s hoping this clip of “Santa Claws” finds its way to the Library of Congress, too.