What are your favourite entries in the Nightmare on Elm Street series? Chances are, even if it’s not your favourite, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) would factor pretty high on your list.
The deliciously dark sequel – which many feel is the true sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – has been a fan-favourite film for over 30 years. But how much do you know about the movie?
Below are 30 facts about Dream Warriors. Digest, discuss, then head to the comments section to tell me which is your favourite Nightmare.
Thirty facts about A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
1) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was written by Wes Craven, Bruce Wagner, Frank Darabont & Chuck Russell. Not only did Chuck Russell co-write the picture, he also directed it.
2) Robert Englund reprised the role of Fred ‘Freddy’ Krueger for the third time with A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Throughout the Nightmare series, the actor would play the role of Freddy across eight movies, as well as one short-lived TV series.
3) Heather Langenkamp returned to the role of Nancy Thompson for Dream Warriors, having sat out of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Langenkamp would return to the franchise one more time for the seventh entry in the franchise – Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare (1994).
4) Actor John Saxon reprised the role of Donald Thompson for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. As with Langenkamp, Saxon would reappear once again in Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare (1994).
5) When approaching Dream Warriors, Freddy creator Wes Craven felt he needed to come up with a reason for the movie to exist. Speaking on the Blu-ray featurette, ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, he said: “You have to somehow take it to the next level, that’s the only justification for doing a sequel. You have to somehow take something and say ‘OK, that was the foundation now what is the next story?’”
6) Patricia Arquette played the role of Kristen Parker in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Although Dream Warriors marked the only appearance of Arquette in the Nightmare franchise, her character did return for the sequel, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Tuesday Knight took over the role for Kristen’s brief reappearance.
7) According to Robert Englund, the majority of the male cast and crew fell in love with Patricia Arquette during the making of Dream Warriors. Speaking on the Blu-ray featurette, ‘That’s Show Biz’, Englund said: “It was the most lovesick set I’ve ever been on in my life.”
8) Laurence Fishburne took on the role of Max Daniels in Dream Warriors. In the movie, the actor is credited as Larry Fishburne.
9) Rodney Eastman and Ken Sagoes played the roles of Joey Crusel and Roland Kincaid, respectively. Both actors reprised the roles for the follow-up, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
10) Dick Cavett and Zsa Zsa Gabor made brief cameo appearances in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.
11) In the first draft of the movie, the story focused on the idea of various children, all under the influence of Freddy, travelling to the same town to commit suicide. Although this storyline was abandoned in later drafts, the suicide element did appear in the movie in the scene where the character, Phillip appears to sleep walk himself to death.
12) Wes Craven felt the idea of uniting the core cast of teenagers as a strong force against Freddy, had real appeal. He said: “I thought that would be a very hopeful symbol for kids.”
13) Although Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner wrote the original draft for Dream Warriors, the final script was a collaboration between Craven, Wagner, Frank Darabont and Chuck Russell. The original script had an almost omnipotent version of Freddy, so the story was altered accordingly to show that Freddy could be defeated.
14) When addressing the tone of the movie, Chuck Russell felt that Dream Warriors needed to be a different movie to what had come before. He said: “I felt we didn’t necessarily want to be as dark and scary as (film) number one. We could be more fantastic and thrilling and even funny.”
15) During the early stages of production, Robert Englund wrote a draft and a treatment of the script which gave Freddy more backstory. Although it wasn’t used, it contained similar themes to Wes Craven’s script.
16) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors introduced Freddy’s mother, Amanda – a deceased nun who became pregnant with Freddy following a brutal attack at the Westin Hills Hospital. Amanda’s introduction into the series allowed for the movie to develop Freddy’s backstory, something that had been ignored in Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.
17) Nan Martin played the role of Amanda Krueger. Before her death in 2010, Martin had built up an impressive acting career having starred in numerous movies and TV shows, including The Invaders, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Twilight Zone.
18) Early into the movie, Kristen has a nightmare involving a roasted pig, which appears to come to life. Due to time and financial constraints, the pig used in the scene was not a prop but an actual pig that had been roasted and placed on a table. The props department moved the pig from underneath the table.
19) During the scene where the character, Jennifer is watching television (ahead of her death scene), the movie Critters (1986) can be seen on the TV. Critters was produced by New Line Cinema, the same production company behind the Nightmare series.
20) The line, “Welcome to prime time, bitch!”, used during Jennifer’s death scene, was not in the original script. Freddy actor, Robert Englund ad-libbed this line during filming. He regularly gets asked to write this line when signing autographs.
21) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was produced on a budget of $4.5 million – a relatively small budget by any standard. The budget was in keeping with the minimal budgets of the previous two entries.
22) The score for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 was written and performed by Angelo Badalamenti. Amongst his portfolio of work, Badalamenti wrote the theme to cult TV series, Twin Peaks, for which he won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
23) The movie’s theme song, ‘Dream Warriors’ was written and performed by American heavy metal band, Dokken. The video, which accompanied the song, included clips of the movie.
24) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was released on February 27th 1987 to mixed reviews. Respected movie critic, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wasn’t a fan of the film, however he did note that the movie contained good special effects, as well as one classic piece of dialogue, namely that Freddy is “the bastard son of a hundred maniacs.”
25) In a 2008 review of Dream Warriors, Empire’s Kim Newman said the film was “arguably the most imaginative of the horror franchise, with a fair number of truly resonant scenes.”
26) According to Box Office Mojo, Dream Warriors achieved a box office take of $8,800,555 during its opening weekend in the US. By the end of its run, the movie raked in $44,793,222 domestically.
27) Upon its release in 1987, Nightmare 3 was initially banned in Queensland, Australia due to its drug content. The ban was lifted in the ‘90s.
28) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was nominated for three awards at the 1987 Saturn Awards, including Best Horror Film. The movie lost out to Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys.
29) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 74%. According to the review aggregator website, Dream Warriors is the third most popular Nightmare entry, following 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (94%) and 1994’s Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare (78%).
30) Speaking to Red Carpet News in September 2015, Robert Englund suggested that should the studio ever want to restart the franchise again, New Line Cinema might wish to reboot the Nightmare series with a remake of Dream Warriors.
This post was originally published on the Honcho-SFX blog.