Nightmare on Elm Street has suffered a little bit more from the US and UK film censors than perhaps it really deserved.
A new UK Region 0 Blu-ray has just been released featuring the collection of Nightmare on Elm Street movies 1-7.
There have no new submissions to the BBFC so the versions included are those previously released in the UK.
Here is a summary of the current censorship state of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies in the UK.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1985 by Wes Craven)
The cut US R Rated Theatrical Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts.
The US Collectors Edition laserdisc (Elite Entertainment) details cuts made as the film went through the MPAA:
- 5s : Tina’s corpse hitting the bed, and the resultant large splash of blood all over her boyfriend Rod
- 8s : A geyser of blood spurting up from Glen’s bed and hitting the ceiling.
This R Rated Version is the defacto standard version in the US and UK, but there is a hard-to-find uncut version available, eg in Turkey
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s revenge (1985 by Jack Sholder)
Uncut for an 18 rating here and an R Rating in the US. The film has never troubled the US nor the UK film censor.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987 Chuck Russell)
The US R Rated Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts.
But the US R Rated version was cut by the MPAA:
- The MPAA required some toning down of the gorier scenes. Most famously, the death of Taryn (switchblade toting punk girl). Originally Freddy injected her with heroin to the degree the top of her head blew out. The subtle tone down is kind of obvious when watching the film, as it fades to white before we’re shown the results of Freddy’s actions
However this R Rated Version is the best available.
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988 Renny Harlin)
Recent UK releases are 15 uncut. The film has never troubled US censors for its R Rating.
Previously the BBFC cut the 1989 cinema release and subsequent VHS to obtain an 18 rating. At the time the BBFC censors were banning martial arts weaponry, so the following scenes have been cut:
- The first being the character “Rick” practicing martial arts in his garage and swinging the nunchuks.
- Secondly the character “Alice” realizes that she is absorbing all of her dead friends powers when they are killed by Freddie so she has a swing of the nunchuks.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989 Stephen Hopkins)
The cut R rated Version was passed 18 without BBFC cuts. However this Version suffered 30s of cuts to appease the MPAA:
- A scene showing tubes and the likes from a motorcycle painfully embedding themselves into the unfortunate rider Dan and eventually totally fusing with the victim.
- A scene showing Freddy force feeding Greta her own innards extracted from a gaping hole in her stomach.
There is also an uncut Unrated Version that was passed 18 uncut for the 1990 cinema release and subsequent VHS. However the cut R Rated Version has become the defacto standard for DVD releases.
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991 Rachel Talalay)
The latest releases are uncut and 18 rated. The film has never troubled the US censors for its R Rating.
Previously the BBFC cut the 1991 cinema release and 1992 Guild VHS to obtain an 18 rating. At the time the BBFC censors were banning martial arts weaponry and crossbows, so they made the following cuts:
- A sight of throwing star in Freddy’s leg was cut.
- Another throwing star pinning Freddy’s sweater to a wall was also cut.
- Maggie throwing another at Freddy deleted
- Maggie firing a crossbow bolt into Freddy’s leg was cut (
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994, Wes Craven)
Latest releases are 15 uncut here with an untroubled R Rating from the US censor.
Previously, when it was first released on video in 1995, the BBFC gave it an 18 Rating.