The Frida Cinema Blog: Top 10 A Nightmare on Elm Street Death Scenes

In honor of our upcoming June 5th A Nightmare on Fourth Street fundraising marathon–featuring eight films from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise–we’re taking a look at 10 iconic kills from this beloved slasher horror franchise, examining the most unique, gruesome, and, at times, comical deaths of the original series

  1. Glen: Bloody Bed Geyser

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Unlike other victims on this list, you don’t see Glen (Johnny Depp in acting debut) die. Freddy’s claws come up from underneath Glen and drag into a hole in his bed. Suddenly, a gigantic blood geyser sprouts from the hole, overtaking the room. Though it was an extremely dangerous scene to shoot–with a crew member being electrocuted during production–it’s by far one of the most surreal deaths in a Nightmare film.

  1. Jennifer: The Television

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

This kill gives the most quoted Freddy line, “Welcome to prime-time, bitch”. However, this kill could also count as two kills in one. As Jennifer starts to drift to sleep, while watching a television interview between famed talk show host Dick Cavett and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, Dick turns into Freddy, about to kill Zsa Zsa, but the screen goes static. Then, Freddy slams Jennifer’s head into the television, shocking her to death. A kill that worked perfectly with the bulky electronics of the era.

  1. Taryn: Overdose

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1985)

Taryn, a recovering drug addict that gets into a knife fight with Freddy, showing no fear as she stabs him. However, when Freddy reveals his fingers have turned into drug filled syringes, she slips into her fear, immediately giving him the power to transform her arm’s track marks, into little mouths hungry for the drugs. He injects her with the drugs, slowly killing her, leaving those with a fear of needles, cringing at the edge of their seats.

  1. Carlos: Hearing Aid

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

While many of the deaths on this list do contain an element of comedy, this is a funny scene overall. The hearing-impaired Carlos gets his hearing-aid back from Freddy, but it turns into a spider like creature clinging to his ear, amplifying every noise to an unbearable level. Acting like a Loony Toons cartoon character, Freddy taunts Carlos by dropping pins with cartoonish sound effects. Then, Freddy gleefully scratches his claws on a chalkboard, leading to Carlos’ head exploding. As irritating as that scratching noise is, the goofy way Freddy acts, makes it comical.

  1. Dan: Need for Speed

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989)

As Dan tires to escape Freddy on a motorcycle, the motorcycle is really Freddy in disguise. The motorcycle takes over Dan, painfully stabbing itself into his limbs, face, and hands, absorbing his blood, and making him a part of the motorcycle. A kill so gruesome, it was heavily edited by the MPAA (Motion Picture of America Association) in the original film debut. However, this controversial kill can now be seen, unedited, in all its horrific glory.

  1. Phil: The Puppet

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Taking advantage of Phil’s love of marinate puppets and his sleepwalking habits, Freddy rips veins out of Phil’s limbs, and controls him like a puppet. Seeing the veins close up, makes your skin crawl. Phil tries to resist, but is overpowered and taken to a high window. Freddy cuts the veins like strings, and Phil falls to his death, making it appear that he’s going to commit suicide. What makes this scene far more gut-wrenching is how helpless and unable the Dream Warriors are to stop Phil’s death.

  1. Freddy: Escaping Souls

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Without a doubt the most visually complex and dramatic display of Freddy death. It’s a superb kill, combining the use of different effects, including live actors and radio-controlled limbs. With Alice’s help, the souls of Freddy’s victim destroy him from the inside out, breaking his jaw wide open, allowing their souls to escape. As gory as it can seem, it’s also a scene of triumph for the victims, as they are no longer under Freddy’s control. And, hearing the voices of the child victims, some laughing, while others cry for their mom, as they float away, also makes the defeat that much more rewarding and eye-watering.

  1. Ron: Door Stabbing

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

While sleeping in Ron’s room, Jesse suddenly wakes in unbearable pain. As Ron is unsure of how to react to Jesse, as Freddy slowly rips out of Jesse’s chest and kills Ron, by stabbing him through his bedroom door. It’s a stomach-turning Freddy entrance, with the lead up to Ron’s kill being far more terrifying than the kill itself. The terror is increased when it’s revealed that Freddy possessed Jesse to kill Ron and is covered in his blood. Freddy’s reflection can be seen in the wall mirror taunting and laughing at Jesse, making the kill that much more disturbing.

  1. Debbie: Roach Motel

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Considered by many as the grossest kill of the Nightmare series, there are visual similarities between this scene and other iconic horror scenes. For instance, Debbie’s slow and painful transformation into a cockroach, resembles the werewolf transformation in An American Werewolf in London. Audiences cannot help but to feel Debbie’s pain and cringe, as her arms fall off, unveiling cockroach legs. Also, like The Fly, viewers see and hear an insects-human hybrid’s spine-chilling call for help, knowing that they cannot be saved. After seeing Freddy squish Debbie to death in a roach motel, you will not be able to look at bug traps the same away again.

  1. Tina: Ceiling Death

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Both the first kill for the Nightmare series and the most infamous. Tina is stabbed by Freddy in her nightmare. He drags Tina on her bedroom’s ceiling, before dropping her lifeless body on her bed. This iconic kill scene was filmed in a rotating set, without CGI, mystifying viewers. Fun fact, this scene was inspired by the classic Hollywood musical star Fred Astaire’s ceiling dance from Royal Wedding. It’s also listed by New York Magazine’s entertainment site Vulture as one of “The 100 Scares That Shaped Horror”.


The Frida Cinema: SCENE SELECTIONS EPISODE 11: The “Style” of Quentin Tarantino

“KTFC: Scene Selections” is a series of conversations between Anthony McKelroy, Miquela Davis, and a rotating cast of friends of The Frida Cinema. Tune in as we dissect shot compositions, overanalyze subtext, and wait for our coronavirus vaccines.

This week, hosts Anthony and Miquela are joined by Frida blog writers Bradley Burke and Justina Bonilla to examine the sartorial design of Quentin Tarantino’s cinema.

LINK to podcast audio:

The Hollywood Reporter: Next Big Thing: Carolina Miranda on Her Breakout Telenovelas and Leading Netflix’s Mexican Thriller ‘Who Killed Sara?’

The series became the streamer’s most popular non-English language series in the U.S. ever when it debuted in April.


MAY 27, 2021 10:30AM

Carolina Miranda
“I enjoy that she’s a very strong woman always looking for the truth despite her family’s objections,” says Carolina Miranda of her ‘Who Killed Sara?’ character.

On Netflix’s Mexican mystery thriller series Who Killed Sara? — which became the streamer’s most popular non-English-language series in the U.S. to date when its first season launched in April — Carolina Miranda stars as the only daughter of the Lazcanos, one of the country’s richest families. She becomes an unlikely ally to Alex (Manolo Cardona), who has been released from prison after being framed for his sister’s death by the Lazcanos. Amid a dizzying churn of lies, corruption, betrayal and death, Miranda brings a bold yet heartfelt sincerity to the role of Elisa. Who Killed Sara? showrunner José Ignacio Valenzuela recalls that Miranda won the role because “she displayed hues of emotions, including showing frailty, romance and tenderness. She also has a powerful disposition.”

Originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, Miranda found her way to acting through modeling. “I was working as a model at 12 years old,” she tells THR, “but I needed to express myself at a deeper level.” Her breakthrough in television came with the Telemundo telenovela Lady of Steel (Señora Acero), in which she did all her own stunt work. “It’s wonderful because it’s very hard work,” she says of the fast pace of working on a telenovela. “We made, like, 25 scenes per day.”

Miranda is now filming a new Telemundo telenovela titled Malverde, about Jesús Malverde, the Robin Hood-inspired Mexican folk hero of the early 1900s, just as season two of Who Killed Sara? arrived on Netflix on May 19. As her character continues to work alongside Alex to uncover the truth of who murdered his sister, Miranda reveals that Elisa is “going to be very romantic” with him.

The actress — who hopes to pursue U.S. film projects (“I would love to be in movies like Men in Black“) — says she’s “very proud” of the success of the series, a hit in 87 countries: “We’ve had the opportunity to show the world all the work that we’ve done here in Mexico.”

This story first appeared in the May 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.


Latin Horror: Trailer – Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania

Drac’s Pack is back, like you’ve never seen them before in the final chapter of the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise.

Sony Animation has dropped the trailer for its newest installment of the extremely popular Hotel Transylvania franchise (123), Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania is set to release only in theatres on July 23rd. This will be the final chapter of the franchise, which currently is valued at $1.3 billion dollars. The latest horror comedy is co-directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska.

Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania follows Dracula and his extended family, daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), her human husband Johnny (Andy Samberg), and their son Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), as they deal with the consequences of “The Monsterfication Ray,” a mysterious invention which turns monsters into humans and Johnny into a monster. Time is against the former monster humans as they race around the globe to change back into monsters before these switches become permanent.

Gomez flourished as a voice actress with the growth of Mavis’ character over the three previous films. Having her in the film positively increases Latino representation in horror and animation, two massively popular genres for Latino audiences.

A notable change in the cast is Adam Sandler, who will not be reprising his role as Dracula. He is going to be replaced by animation voice actor Brian Hull.

Other notable actors who will be reprising their roles from the previous films, who also have backgrounds in horror films, include Steve Buscemi (Tales from the Darkside) and Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator). Peep the trailer after the jump.


Latin Heat Entertainment: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Diego Velasco Talks About the Creation of ‘Latinx Directors’ Database

By Justina Bonilla

In the last few years, audiences have made a substantial call for content from major and independent studios to include ethnic talent in front of and behind the camera. While there is a positive increase in Black talent and content such as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Judas and the Black Messiah, representation for Latinos is greatly underrepresented.

In response to the persistent lack of Latinos directing film and TV projects, directors Alberto Belli (The House of Flowers), Joel Novoa (Arrow) and Diego Velasco (Orange Is the New Black) and Aurora Guerrero (Gentefied) took matters into their own hands. They created the online database Latinx Directors. Launched last summer, the website’s goal is to offer studios, agencies and others an easy-to-search online resource to find Latino directors for their projects.

Currently, the database lists over 200 talents organized in a dozen genres, from action, comedy and documentary to drama, live events and science fiction. Visitors can filter the roster by the length of experience in television and filmmakers’ participation in diversity programs.

Latinx Directors is a valuable tool needed in the entertainment industry to address the lack of Latino talent hired for films, streaming programs, television shows and commercials. Latinos represent 18.5 percent of the U.S. population.

The 2019 USC study Latinos in Film: Erasure On-Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies found that only 4 percent of all directors were Latinos. The survey evaluated films released from 2007 through 2018. It was conducted by USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, National Association of Latino Independent Producers and Wise Entertainment.

Among the talent featured in Latinx Director’s database are the TV directors/showrunners Tanya Saracho (Vida) and Gloria Calderon Kellet (One Day at a Time), as well as film director Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead 2013 and Don’t Breathe).

In our exclusive interview with Velasco, he shares the development of Latinx Directors, their current goals, and hopes for the future.

JUSTINA BONILLA: What was the genesis of Latinx Directors?

DIEGO VELASCO: We’re all directors and part of the Latino Committee at DGA [Directors Guild of America]. We were all separate, [but] hearing, “Oh, I’m looking for a Latin director, but I just don’t know where there’s any.” There are all these shows that have Latin characters and Latin stories, but it was just white guys directing it.

My wife is a writer, and she did [a list], called the Untitled Latinx Projectwhich is a bunch of female writers who got together and started creating a list to share names. Anytime they would have meetings with executives and studios, they would hear about projects and [asked if they] could send them the list. And [the executives would ask], “You mean you want to send a list of people competing for your job?” They wanted it to go to a Latinx person. [They’d] rather it go to one of us. If [they] don’t get it, then give it to someone whose [on the list].

I thought that was really inspiring. We should be doing the same as directors. We’ll have one place where these producers have a place to find Latinx directors.

JB: How do you qualify to be a part of Latinx Directors?

DV: [Potential members] have to have qualifications to be accepted. They have directed a feature that has been in a recognized in a festival; we have a list of festivals. Or, you have to have done a television episode that is streaming or on a network.

We want to help everyone and be able to lift everyone. But at the same time, we can’t put somebody in a situation that they might not be ready for. We set standards, so if any one of them gets hired, we feel confident that they can do a great job.

JB: How does your database work?

DV: You can [use] filters. We have self-identification, LGBT, or you can do cultural identity or heritage. And you can combine all the ones you want. Plus, you can do film experience, TV experience, union, or not union. It’s the only searchable database for Latinx directors that allows you to do all those things.

JB: What is the overall goal for Latinx Directors?

DV: Our motto is, “No more stories about us without us.” And then, don’t box us into just one category. There are Latinx directors that are incredible in genre, incredible in sci-fi. Just because you are Mexican or your Salvadorian doesn’t mean you can’t [direct] Star Wars.

We just want to be authentic to our culture and to share our unique points of view.

JB: Apart from promoting Latinx Directors, what is your key aspiration?

Velasco: If people who are not familiar with Latin culture, to not fear it. It’s okay to not know all the answers. It’s okay to be intimidated by it. But, if they give themselves a chance to work with Latinx directors, you might be surprised that everybody who is on that list wants to go above and beyond and wants to do the best job they can. So, you really get a level of commitment that I would encourage everybody to try.


Latin Heat Entertainment: Trailer: Season 3 of FX’s ‘Pose’ Begins Airing May 2


By Justina Bonilla

The critically praised and fan-favorite FX original series Pose, starring MJ Rodriguez, will air its third and final season on May 2, 2021, with the previous seasons available on Netflix.

The series, about New York City’s African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming drag ball culture of the 1980’s, was created by Ryan MurphyBrad Falchuk, and Steven Canals, who is a proud, openly queer Puerto Rican, and brings all that authenticity to the table.

In Pose, Rodriguez stars as Blanca Rodriguez, is an active member of the Black and Latinx LGBT+ drag ballroom culture of New York City. The series follows Rodriguez, her family, friends, and community from the 1980s to the early 1990s. Season 3 takes place in 1994 New York City, at the height of the Aids epidemic. During this hectic time of turmoil, we follow the cast as each deals with the impact of their personal achievements, struggles and the profound repercussions of AIDs.

Pose is a groundbreaking television program, as the first television program to feature the largest cast of transgender actors in recurring roles.

Rodriguez is an award-winning Afro-Puerto Rican transgender actress and singer, who emerged from live theatre.

— Featured Photo:  Pari Dukovic/FX


Latin Heat Entertainment: Trailer: West Side Story Coming Dec. 10

By Justina Bonilla


The highly anticipated reimagining of the Oscar-winning groundbreaking American classic film West Side Story will be opening in theaters on December 10, 2021.

During the Oscars, Sunday night premiered the first official trailer for 20th Century Studio’s West Side Story. A colorful, visually breathtaking trailer.

Directed by the iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg and written by Tony Kushner (Lincoln and Munich), this duo is breathing new life into this interracial interpretation of the timeless Shakespearean tale Romeo and Juliet.

West Side Story was originally a stage play, with music written by one of the influential composers of modern music, Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein was married to the Chilean actress Felicia Montealegre.

In West Side Story, two street gangs (The Jets and The Sharks) in 1950s New York fight for dominance of the though streets of the upper west side. However, issues arise when The Shark’s leader’s Bernardo’s (David Alvarez) sister Maria (Rachael Zelger) falls in love with Tony (Ansel Elgot), a member of The Jets.

The EGOT winning actress Rita Moreno, who was both a part of the main cast and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in the original 1961 West Side Story, will also be appearing in this version of the film as Valentina, a new and original character for the 2021 film.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the original West Side Story.

— Featured Photo: Disney Studios


Latin Horror: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: ‘THE HOWLING’ 40th Anniversary Interview with Scream Queens DEE WALLACE

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Joe Dante’s classic werewolf flick, ‘The Howling‘. In 1981 Joe Dante was set to carve out his own space from a crowded wolf scene in the cinemas that included ‘An American Werewolf in London‘ and ‘Wolfen‘. Dante did not disappoint as the film did well at the box-office ($17.9 million) and spawned seven sequels. The movie also cemented Dante and producer Michael Finnell careers as it gave them box-office credibility for their followup, ‘Gremlins. Currently Netflix has plans to remake The Howling.

At the time of 1981, Dee Wallace was a talented up-and-coming actress that had won the lead role of Karen White, a news anchor in the The Howling. A film based on a novel by Gary Brandner. Her wonderful performance in the cult classic put Dee on the radar as a leading lady for studio movies. She followed with lead roles in Stephen King’s 1981 novel adaptation ‘Cujo‘ and Steven Spielberg’s classic ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial‘. Today, Dee is still making films as a producer/actress and has ventured into becoming an author with a collection of self-help books.

“The Howling got me lots of attention, E.T. put me on a really major map as far as the industry.” – Dee Wallace 

In this exclusive interview, Latin Horror’s own Justina Bonilla sits down with scream queen, Dee Wallace to discuss the impact of The Howling after 40 years. Dee talks about her career as an Actress & Author, as well as how it was working onset with Joe DanteJohn CarradineSlim Pickens, and her husband Christopher Stone. Also find out about the most important question of them all, how this scream queen likes her burger cooked!!! So don’t wait for the full moon, start your transformation, and sink your teeth into this raw interview with Dee Wallace.

Check out the Video Interview Below:

Written Segment/Video Produced by Christian A. Morán     Video Hosted by Justina Bonilla


Latin Heat Entertainment: ‘The Forever Purge’ Features a Strong Latino Presence


By Justina Bonilla

Official Poster

The Forever Purge, the final film of the popular The Purge franchise, is scheduled to premiere July 2, 2021.

A strong presence of Mexican talent is featured in The Forever Purge both in front and behind the camera, including stars Ana de la Reguera and Tenoch Huerta and director Everardo Gout, as well as the Spanish-born, Mexico City-based cinematographer Luis David Sansans.  

The plot, according to Total Film: “[The Forever Purge] will take place after the events of [The PurgeElection Year (whereas The First Purge acted as a prequel to the 2013 original [film The Purge]) and will center on Adela (Reguera) and Juan (Huerta), who finds solace at a Texan ranch, having fled a drug cartel in Mexico. Things go awry when a group of outsiders decides to keep purging beyond the allotted time when people can break any and all laws.”

Ana de la Reguera
(Photo: Paradigm)

De la Reguera began her career in multiple Mexican telenovelas. She gained notoriety for her role as Sister Encarnacion in the Jack Black comedic film Nacho Libre. Later, she appeared in an array of American television shows such as NarcosTwin Peaks (2017), From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, and Anna.   

Huerta has acted in many Mexican films, including two films with writer-director Issa Lopez; the comedy Road to Fame and the fantasy horror Tigers are Not Afraid. On television, Huerta played Blue Demon, the legendary Mexican professional wrestler, in the series Blue Demon and had a recurring role in Narcos: Mexico.

Tenoch Huerta
(Photo: Erick Delgado)

Gout began his directing career as a second assistant director for Romeo + Juliet. He directed multiple shorts and television shows, most notably Mars for National Geographic. Later, Gout’s feature film Days of Grace, which featured Huerta as a part of the main cast, premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Sansans has been working in Mexico for over 20 years. Like Gout, Sansans worked on Romeo + Juliet (video assistant operator) and Days of Grace (cinematographer). His own filmography features camera work for Man on Fire and Y Tu Mama Tambien and as a cinematographer for Narcos and Narcos: Mexico.

James DeMonaco wrote The Forever Purge script. DeMonaco is the main creator of The Purge franchise, also wrote the previous five The Purge films and wrote on The Purge TV series. He also directed the first three of The Purge films, The PurgeThe Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year.

The Purge franchise is distributed by Universal Pictures and produced by Blumhouse Productions and Platinum Dunes.