Tag Archives: 1988

The Cardigan-sploitation of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4!

I recently attended Screamfest’s 30th Anniversary screening of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 at Hollywood’s famed Chinese Theatre, and to say it was amazing would be an understatement. The whole cast was there, director Renny Harlin and legendary producer Bob Shaye were both there, and a fun Q&A with everyone followed the film. Sitting in the moderately-sized – but PACKED – theatre, watching the film with the stars of the film – well, that’s just a dream come true for any horror fan.

It’s always fun watching a horror film you’ve only ever seen on VHS or DVD up on the big screen. You seem to notice things you never really took note of before. For example, in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, during the classroom scene where Freddy sucks all the air out of Toy Newkirk’s asthmatic little body, I always thought Robert Englund actually peeled the apple (which had been sitting on the desk) using a real bladed-glove. However, seeing it play out 50 feet wide, I was able to see that the apple was actually pre-peeled and simply stuck back together. It was a small thing, but my insides still went “whoa, cool.”

The other thing I noticed – and maybe this just comes from having seen the movie one hundred times – is the absurd amount of cardigans. I mean, everyone wears one at some point – even Alice’s drunken dad gets in on the action! While sitting there watching the film, I took a mental note of every cardigan I saw. I eventually stopped counting and just told myself to rewatch the DVD when I got home.

I took a screen grab of all the cardigans I spotted – which is to say, there could actually be more. I’ve posted them below.

Who knew, 30 years ago, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 would be creating a whole new genre: cardigan-sploitation?

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HORROR PET OF THE MONTH: Ella!

When the athletic Allan Mann (Jason Beghe) is tragically paralyzed in a freak jogging accident in George A. Romero’s masterful Monkey Shines, things – at first- seem hopeless for the injured Allan.

After the accident, Allan withdraws. He becomes a shell of his former lively self. He grows distant from his girlfriend. And most tricky of all, Allan hates his live-in the nurse, Maryanne – the only one who can actually physically assist Allan.

All is reversed, however, when Allan’s speed-freak med student buddy, Geoffrey (John Pankow, looking like Elvis Costello’s twin here), delivers him a surprise package in the form a cute little capuchin monkey, lovingly nicknamed “Ella”, after the famed jazz singer.

But what Geoffrey fails to tell Allan is that he’s been experimenting on Ella (and other monkeys, for that matter), injecting them with human brain tissue. Unbeknownst to even Geoffrey, the experiment ends up being somewhat successful, and in turn, Ella develops an almost psychic bond with Allan.

The relationship between man and monkey quickly goes beyond possessive and protective; soon it’s hard to tell where Allan ends and Ella begins. And that Ella, boy…she becomes one mean motherscratcher when pushed.

But ain’t she just so dang cute? Hard to stay mad at a furry face like that.

Who’s a good girl? Ella’s a good girl.