So Long Wes, and Thanks for the Nightmares!
It’ll probably surprise nobody to learn that many of us here at Alchemy are keen horror fans. So we were very saddened to hear of the recent death of the director Wes Craven. The extensive coverage of his passing is an indication, not just of how well respected Wes was, but also how much more respectable horror has become in recent years. The UK’s Guardian newspaper, for example – not previously enthusiastic about horror films – dedicated no less than five pieces to the director on the day his death was announced.
During his career, Wes Craven directed several game-changing horror films – movies so popular or influential
that hordes followed in their wake, altering the course of the genre. His 1972 directorial debut, The Last House on the Left, showed just how rough and nasty horror could get. At the other end of the spectrum, in 1996 Craven hooked the MTV generation on slickly ironic, post modern horror with Scream. His most enduring legacy was the 1984 classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, which created a monster – in the shape of the wise-cracking dream-killer Freddy Krueger – who became as iconic in the horror world as long-established legends like Count Dracula or the Frankenstein Monster.
It was here that Alchemy became directly involved with Wes Craven’s most celebrated creation.
Way back in 1991 we released a horror range of jewellery we called Nightshade. Most of the pieces were inspired
by generic genre motifs – chainsaws, sharks, evil dolls. The only character we felt we wanted to pay tribute to directly was Freddy Krueger, with licensed Freddy pendants, badges, and even a belt buckle modelled on his infamous bladed glove. Of course, that was a long time ago, and we’re not sure we even have copies of that entire range in our vaults any longer. So if you still have any of the Nightshade Freddy designs in your Alchemy collection, you’re quite likely in possession of some of the rarest Nightmare on Elm Street merchandise out there.
Meanwhile, we’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Wes Craven for so many sleepless nights!
Words by Gavin Baddeley