Behind The Scenes Saturday: A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Welcome back to Behind The Scenes Saturday! I know it’s been too long since I’ve done one of these, but I’m trying to get back into it. Today’s post is all about one of the best sequels in the horror genre, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors! I hope you enjoy!!

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  • Jennifer Rubin was pleasantly surprised and proud when a few of her fans approached her and told her that her character in this movie, Taryn, inspired them to quit their drug addictions.
  • After a hard day of shooting, Robert Englund (Freddy) fell asleep in his dressing room while still in full Freddy makeup. When he woke up, he completely forgot he was still Freddy and he scared the hell out of himself when looked in the mirror. 
  • Ken Sagoes initially had no interest in playing Kincaid, but was eventually convinced by his agent to audition. On his way to the audition, he encountered heavy rain that completely soaked him while he walked to the bus. Then, because auditions were running late, Sagoes had to sit and wait for hours. When he was finally in front of the film’s director, Chuck Russell, Russell just said, “Do what you want to do.” This was the final straw that caused Sagoes to snap and curse Russell out in a fit of rage. After seeing Sagoes’s outburst, Russell hired him on the spot. 
Rodney Eastman and Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
  • One of the most famous nightmares in the Elm Street franchise comes from Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow), who dreams about a Dick Cavett interview getting interrupted by Freddy. Sally Kellerman was originally supposed to be the one being interviewed by Cavett. However, when Cavett learned he was allowed to pick his interviewee for the film, he picked Zsa Zsa Gabor. He considered Gabor the dumbest person he’d ever met, and he never wanted her on his show in real life. He really just wanted her of all people to be killed by Freddy on his show. 
  • Robert Englund knew Patricia Arquette (Kristen) was going to be big in the acting industry after working with her on this film. He recalled all of the guys on set just falling head over heels for her. Some of them even went up to Englund and asked for his advice on whether or not they stood a chance with her. 
  • The Freddy puppet in Phillip’s (Bradley Gregg) nightmare was created by Doug Beswick, who used stop-motion animation to make it look like Freddy’s face was forming from a plain lump of clay. Beswick formed the face, then made it more and more plain with each frame. After that, they ran the transformation backwards, and that’s the shot we see in the film. 
  • It’s been speculated that the asylum aspect of the movie was derived from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Wes Craven debunked this, saying that it was actually inspired by real-life establishments. 
  • This was supposed to be the last film in the franchise and the ending was going to be a lot different. In a scene in the shooting script, Dr. Gordon (Craig Wasson) visits Kristen a few days after Freddy is buried. Kristen informs him that she’s moving to New York, and when he asks her if she’s going to see Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) in her dreams, she says she sees Nancy in her dreams every night. It then cuts to the scene we all know, where Gordon is asleep and a little light flicks on in the house model next to him. That was going to tell us that it was Nancy guarding Gordon in his dreams and not Freddy returning. I think that would’ve been a wonderful finale – The Dream Demon being replaced by The Dream Angel. 
  • For Joey’s (Rodney Eastman) nightmare scene, the set was turned and Eastman was actually standing up and was made to look like he was strapped to the bed with a giant hole right under him. Being spread-eagled for so long actually caused Eastman to pass out. He even compared shooting the scene to crucifixion. 
  • In the first draft of the script, one of the warriors was going to dream up a giant robot to defeat Freddy. Although it made it into storyboard stage, the budget for the film made shooting it unfeasible. 
  • The giant Freddy snake originally looked too phallic for the film. This was completely unintentional, and they covered it in green goo to mask the pink color it had. The scene where the snake eats Kristen had to be filmed backwards and played in reverse because the gums on the snake were too flexible that they kept folding over themselves. 
  • On Patricia Arquette’s first day of filming, production was already behind and they didn’t get to her scenes until about 4 A.M., and by then she’d forgotten most of her lines. After 52 failed takes, Arquette’s lines had to be provided for her via cue cards. Arquette said it wasn’t a pleasant experience and Chuck Russell admitted that he might have pushed her too hard. 
Robert Englund and Rodney Eastman in A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
  • While filming the boiler room scene, the smoke from the machines made many of the cast members nauseous. Because of this, the fire department had to stay on set until filming was completed. 
  • In high school, Ira Heiden (Will) was a Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master. He was very secure in playing the role, and he believed this was the reason he got the part.
  • Winona Ryder auditioned for the role of Kristen, she was turned down because Chuck Russell felt that she was too young. 
  • At age 97, Priscilla Pointer (Dr. Simms) is the longest living cast member in the entire Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. That title used to belong to Zsa Zsa Gabor before she passed away in 2016. 
  • While filming Jennifer’s death scene, Robert Englund says the line “This is it, Jennifer. You’re big break in TV” for the first two takes. When Chuck Russell changed the camera angle for the third take, Englund completely improvised the line, “Welcome to Prime Time, b***h!” Russell couldn’t decide which line to use, so he opted for keeping both lines in the scene. That line ended up being one of the most popular in the whole franchise. 
  • After being injected by Freddy’s finger-syringes, Taryn’s head was actually supposed to explode. However, the effect was too fake-looking, so they cut it. 

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