After New Line Cinema saw success at the box office with A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, the company continued the series with a third film titled A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Dream Warriors was released on February 27, 1987, and was directed by Chuck Russell.
The film sees the return of Heather Langenkamp as Nancy Thompson as well as the introduction of new characters played by Patricia Arquette, Ken Sagoes, Rodney Eastman, Jennifer Rubin, Bradley Gregg, Ira Heiden, and Penelope Sudrow. This film is often considered a fan favorite among horror fans, especially since this film gave people hope in the series again. Here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know About A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.
10 Wes Craven Originally Wrote The Script For The Film
Despite Wes Craven not wanting to turn A Nightmare on Elm Street into a cheap slasher series like Friday the 13th, New Line Cinema always asked him if he wanted to return. For Part 3, Craven did return and even wrote a script with Bruce Wagner, but New Line Cinema decided not to use it.
Craven’s script had the idea of bringing Nancy back, but was ultimately a lot darker and more ambitious than what New Line Cinema wanted to tackle. Instead, Frank Darabont and Chuck Russell stepped in to rewrite the script, which is what was used for the final product.
9 Ken Sagoes Got His Role By Cussing Out The Director
Ken Sagoes plays the character Kincaid in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. When Kincaid is introduced he is in a padded room for his violent outbursts. In the Dream World, Kincaid’s power is being incredibly strong. Prior to 1987, Sagoes only had smaller roles in TV shows and the film Say Yes, but Dream Warriors is no doubt his most famous role to date.
Apparently when he came to audition he was soaked because of a storm and the casting department was a few hours late, which understandably irritated Sagoes. When Sagoes came into the room, Chuck Russell told him to do whatever he wanted to do for the audition. Sagoes then swore out the director saying, “F*** you,” which helped him get the role.
8 All Of The Budget Went to Special Effects
When it came to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, New Line Cinema decided to give most of the budget of the film to the special effects department. Despite CGI being available at this time, most of the effects were still achieved practically. While the giant Freddy worm and even the decomposing pig were impressive effects, the effects were almost even more horrifying.
When Mark Shostrom was tasked with creating a dummy for the little girl at the beginning of the film, he was told to think of Auschwitz victims. He spent 10 weeks creating a puppet, but the crew decided to pass on using it because it was too grotesque.
7 One Of The Most Famous Lines Wasn’t Scripted
One of the most iconic scenes of Dream Warriors, if not one of the most famous scenes in the entire series, is when Penelope Sudrow’s character Jennifer is pulled through a television screen by Freddy. When it comes for Jennifer to die, Freddy’s head comes out of the top of the TV and two mechanical arms grab her and lift her up. Freddy then says “Welcome to Primetime b****”.
It was revealed in the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy that the line was not scripted, but rather something that Englund came up with on his own.
6 Jennifer Rubin Actually Stabbed Robert Englund
Another iconic death in Dream Warriors is when Freddy kills Taryn. Taryn is a recovering drug addict in the film, which Freddy uses against her with his iconic needle fingers. Taryn’s power in the Dream World is basically being a bada** so when Freddy attacks her, she battles him with two switchblades. When Englund and Rubin were filming the scene, Rubin got a bit too into her part and actually stabbed Englund with the knife.
The knife was likely a prop knife, but getting stabbed in the rips still probably wasn’t a pleasant experience for Englund. Also, when Taryn dies, her head was supposed to explode, but the effect wouldn’t work so they just had to move on.
5 Ira Heiden Could Have Been Seriously Injured
Ira Heiden plays the character Will, a character who is confined to a wheelchair. In the Dream World, however, Will can not only walk but is also the Wizard Master. Will, unfortunately, doesn’t make it till the end of the movie and is stabbed to death by Krueger.
When it came time to film Heiden’s death scene, the blades on Englund’s glove wouldn’t retract, so they had to improvise. Instead of delaying the shoot, they just stuck a 2x4 underneath Heiden’s shirt and hoped for the best. Thankfully Englund had good aim so Heiden wasn’t seriously injured, but it could have ended badly.
4 The Roasted Pig Was Real
Early on in the film, fans are introduced to Kristen Parker, who is dreaming about the Elm Street house. When Kristen sees a little girl, they go inside the house and Kristen has to save the child from Freddy. When she first goes into the house, she sees a roasted pig on a dining room table.
When she looks at the pig, it moves and snarls at her. The pig looks incredibly realistic because it was actually a real spoiled pig. According to the cast and crew, the pig made the set smell horrible and the effects department picked straws to see who had to be under the table to operate the mechanics.
3 Patricia Arquette Struggled With Her Lines
Today Patricia Arquette is known for appearing in The Act, Medium, and Boyhood, but A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was actually her very first role. Kristen is admitted to Westin Hills Asylum after slitting her wrists, which she actually did under the control of Freddy. When the doctors try to put her to sleep, Kristen attacks them with a scalpel.
While the doctors struggled to control her, Arquette struggled with her lines. Filming was behind the day they were set to film her scene and didn’t even get to Arquette until 4AM. When they did finally start to roll the cameras it took 52 takes to capture the scene, but she also couldn’t remember her lines and even had to use cue cards.
2 The Dungeon Scene Didn’t Have AC
After the Dream Warriors band together, they set off to go rescue Joey, who has been captured by Freddy. They do save him, but not before they venture into Freddy’s dungeon which is filled with smoke, fire, and other junk. The documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy revealed that the room where they were filming didn’t have AC and with the fire and smoke, it was very hot and hard to breathe in the room.
This also made the tension in the room very thick as Chuck Russell wanted to make everything perfect, which ultimately set filming that day way behind.
1 Freddy Almost Had A Woman's Chest
In Dream Warriors, the character Joey has a weakness for women. Freddy uses this against him and in order to trap Joey, he makes him dream that one of the nurses at Westin Hills is seducing him. Actress Stacie Alden had to take her shirt off for the scene, but the filmmakers tried one scene where she was wearing Freddy’s makeup.
The image of Freddy with a woman's chest just looked too silly when they filmed it, so they instead scrapped the idea altogether. Rodney Eastman (Joey) also mentioned in the Never Sleep Again documentary that fans always tell him that this scene was the first movie scene that really got them interested in girls.