Fall is here, Halloween is just around the corner, and as usual, you can just feel the evil presence of Freddy Krueger looming nearby. The knife-glove wielding dream crasher is celebrating his 27th annual Freddy Krueger Day somewhere in Hell right this moment. Sadly, we can't be there roasting alongside him, in the fiery bowels of dreamland. However, we can celebrate Freddy Krueger Day here on Earth, just as the mayor of Los Angeles tried to in 1991 to celebrate the release of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.
This mad horror celebration of everyone's favorite nightmare stalker was established Friday September 12th, 1991, by then Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. The ceremony took place the day before the release of Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, but Bradley wasn't around to award iconic Freddy actor Robert Englund with the ornate, signed proclamation confirming the annual holiday. Instead, he was across town presiding over the grand opening of a sewage plant, which just so happened to be happening that same day.
Not everyone was happy with the announcement of Freddy Krueger Day, especially when it was happening in one of the most violent cities in the United States, celebrating a depraved fictional mass murder. Tammy Bruce, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women had this to say in response to Freddy Krueger Day.
"It's absurd and embarrassing. Declaring a day in celebration of a character that exists to slaughter people is absolutely horrendous."
She wasn't the only one with a problem. Peggy Charren, president of Action for Children's Television, declared that the motion was, "Crazy." Disgruntled Los Angeles citizen Randall A. Doctor suggested that Mayor Tom Bradley make a public apology for his "disgusting display of insensitivity and lack of leadership." And Jerry Rubin, Director of the Los Angeles Alliance for Survival said, "It's unbelievable. Does that mean you can celebrate by going out and stabbing and killing someone?"
Surely stabbing someone in celebration of Freddy Krueger Day is taking it a little far. The day is meant to be a fun celebration of one of Horror's greatest characters. Robert Englund showed up to accept his award outside Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, wearing his trademarked glove. At the time, Englund was praised for his charity work, and part of the award praised the actor for it, but grease from the knifed glove smeared the wording on the certificate. In response to the backlash, Englund said, "We have to separate crime reality from movie escapism."
A representative for Mayor Tom Bradley denied that Freddy Krueger Day glorified violence and noted that the mayor was asked to set up the day by New Line Cinema, which was releasing the last of the Freddy movies at the time. The representative went on to thank the franchise for filming all of its installments in the Los Angeles area, calling it, "a major boost to the economy." Then Hollywood police station, Captain John Higgins said, "I don't think we've ever had anybody stabbed to death with long metal fingernails," in response to the protest.
Freddy Krueger day is still celebrated by fans worldwide. And while it's unlikely Robert Englund will ever suit back up in that old make-up and sweater, we'll always have these sweet dreams and memories. A Nightmare on Elm Street remake is in the works, but it has never been announced who will take over the iconic role of Freddy. But we have a feeling that Krueger will be long remembered in Hollywood history, and that someone, somewhere, will always be celebrating September 12th, which is officially known as Freddy Krueger day.