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Winning Bid:
$15,340.00 (Includes 18% Buyer's Premium)
Bidding Ended:
Wednesday, March 20, 2024 9:00:00 PM (20 Minute Clock Begins At Wednesday, March 20, 2024 9:00:00 PM)
Time Left:
Auction 240 Session #2
Value Code:
P - $20,000 to $35,000 Help Icon
Item Description
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, hardly a week went by without a new slasher film gracing the silver screen. This "Golden Age" of slashers saw the introduction of multiple masked maniacs, and while many of these cinematic boogeymen were forgettable, some continue to stalk horror fans to this day. One such slasher is Freddy Krueger. Introduced in Wes Craven's horror masterpiece A Nightmare On Elm Street, the character quickly became a cult phenomena. But it wasn't always this way. In fact, Craven had trouble getting the film made, pitching it to numerous studios who turned it down. Finally New Line Cinema's Robert Shaye took a chance on the fledgling horror entry, agreeing to produce the film (New Line had up to that point only distributed films) with the help of a number of external financiers.

To help secure financing, they decided to create a striking visual aid in the form of a pre-release movie poster. Self-trained painter and former graffiti artist Duncan Eagleson (whose career has included designing book covers as well as creating movie posters and comic book art, illustrating a single issue each of Vertigo's flagship titles - Shade, The Changing Man and Sandman) was contracted in 1983 to use Craven's script to create the original art offered here. Huge 27x40" one-sheet poster size illustration board has image area measuring 25.5x38.5". Acrylic original art w/airbrushing elements depicts peaceful dusk scene on suburban street. All appears calm, but a glance at the approaching night sky reveals three large, curved metal claws slashing the sky, leaving ragged tears in their wake. Eagleson has signed his initials and added "83" date at lower left.

While most horror fans will note Freddy Krueger's iconic razor glove has four blades, it is depicted here w/three. Discussing the origins of Freddy's glove with the American Film Institute in 2014, Craven mentioned cave bears and the terrifying effect they would have no doubt had on primal man. This inspiration is clearly evident in Eagleson's depiction, which features a more clawlike, curved design than what is seen in the final film as at the time of painting, there was no visual other than what Craven's script mentioned. While not used for the final US movie poster (the actual release poster art was crafted by Matt Peak, son of noted movie poster artist Bob Peak), Eagleson's art was used in various newspaper ad campaigns before completion of the final poster design. It was also published as movie posters in France, Yugoslavia and Germany (albeit with the art flipped) and was even used for the 20th Anniversary release poster, in which a shadowed silhouette of Freddy was added at bottom center. The claw portion of Eagleson's art was also utilized separately on lobby cards, stills, other foreign posters and on the German presskit.

Craven's story and this striking art worked, the film was made and A Nightmare On Elm Street was released upon unsuspecting audiences in the fall of 1984. An instant success, the film grossed $57 million worldwide and began the long-running franchise beloved by legions of horror fans.

Art paper bearing Eagleson's original art has been mounted to foamcore for display purposes and has single small hole at top center margin. Back of foamcore has inked note from the artist reading "'Nightmare On Elm Street' - Acrylic On Illustration Board - ©1983 Duncan Eagleson." Blank margins have 10.5" strip of surface paper missing, not affecting art. Illustration board/foamcore shows some corner tip wear with creasing to top left corner and some scattered lt. soiling to blank margins. The street portion of art has four small areas of staining at bottom, but these blend somewhat. If framed, would make for an Exc. display. Movie poster art of this magnitude and importance rarely comes up for sale. Stunning, one-of-a-kind original art and a piece of horror history, offered here for the first time.

For an in depth article with artist Duncan Eagleson that recently ran in Scoop-

Pictures (click images to zoom in)