In a 2014 Role Recall interview with Yahoo Entertainment, horror legend Robert Englund called the head-exploding death of Carlos Rodriguez in 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare one of his favorite kills in the storied Nightmare on Elm Street series. Englund explained that since Carlos was deaf in one ear and wore a hearing aid, it proved that Freddy was an “equal-opportunity killer.”
Unlike the spine-chilling sound of Freddy Krueger’s razor claws circling a chalkboard, that’s music to the ears of Ricky Dean Logan, the veteran actor who memorably played Carlos in the franchise’s sixth (but not actually final) installment.
“You know, back then it was like if you had hearing issues or you had any kind of disability, you were considered not the same as anybody else,” Logan, one of this year’s MVPs of Horror, tells us in a recent interview (watch above). “And I wanted the deaf community to really feel [seen]. And now, to this day, when I go to shows or I get to meet my supporters, I have a lot of the hearing impaired community come up to me and go, ‘Hey, you know, when I was younger and I watched that film and you made him so normal and great, it made me feel normal and great.’ And that’s kind of why we do what we do. So I’m pretty happy about how everything turned out with that.”
Logan, who says he was originally offered the role of John Doe — a part that ultimately went to Shon Gleenblatt — admits he’d never seen a Nightmare movie before signing on for Part 6. That made his first encounter with Englund’s sadistic burn victim all the creepier.
“I had no idea about Freddy Krueger, or who Freddy Krueger was,” he says. “When I got to the set, I didn’t get to see Robert England at all until we shot our first scene. And we were in this downtown L.A. warehouse with all the pipes and all that. And yeah, it was scary for me. I mean, when Robert popped out for the first scene and he was there, it was just like, ‘Oh man, what is this thing?’
“I would be expecting him over here [on my left], and he’d pop over on the right and scare the s*** out of me.”
Carlos’s death is also among the most gruesome, even for Nightmare standards. Freddy manipulates Carlos’s hearing aid, amplifying sounds to unbearable levels, then scratches his razor glove on the chalkboard until the poor kid’s head explodes.
“To this day, my wife and my kids won’t watch it,” Logan says. “They just won’t watch it, and I understand that. My kids especially, [they say], ‘I don’t wanna see you die, Daddy.’ OK.”
Logan’s most recent credits include Ice Nine Kills’s music video for “Rainy Day,” the horror series Red Rooms with scream queen Brooke Lewis Bellas and Mitch Temple’s independent drama Los Angeles.