The “bastard son of 100 maniacs” delivers a slash by slash account of the making of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.
Robert Englund Freddy Krueger
Published in Fangoria #64.
From the charred lips of the Man of Your Dreams (that’s MR. KRUEGER to you FANGORIA readers), some juicy tidbits about the making of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors! My alter ego, that Hollywood wimp Robert Englund, had originally arranged with the editors of Fango to give the fans a day by day, blow by blow (or should I say, slash by slash) account of shooting Dream Warriors. But after three all-nighters doing lock-off shots in a freezing junkyard (the Freddy/skeleton fight-choreography with Craig Wasson) and a couple of 4:30 a.m. calls in a row (What is this crap? “Good Morning Elm Street”?? I told ya Englund was a wimp), I decided to chuck the “Dear Diary” motif and hope enough brain cells were left after “Chuck Russell’s Winter Camp” to remember some anecdotes. Hmmm, let’s see now…
Freddy has not only grown stronger with the souls of his victims, but the power of the public has also enabled him to demonstrate his winning personality as the Nightmare series continues. He is stronger, funnier and richer. Freddy’s success is only making him more confident and ingenious in his reign of terror. Freddy is still surprised by the success of Part 1, but be realizes that there’s a fatal attraction—no pun intended—from his fans.
ON LOCATION WITH NEW LINE CINEMA:
Nightmare 3 is shot in beautiful Downtown LA, adjacent to the LA County Jail. After frequent wee-hour wraps, wimp/actor Robert Englund and his trusty cohort in crime, Kevin Yagher, hunker down with the jailbirds for the best chicken burrito in the world. The 24-bour ptomaine wagon (the slobs in New York call ’em roach wagons) caters to the just-released prisoners, who had been wasting away on a diet of jail food. The ex-cons join Freddy Krueger and his maker for Tex Mex at dawn. Nearby, whores circle for their pimps. It is the best fornicating food I ever bad. Take your small blessings where you find ’em.
FIRST DAY ON THE SET:
A harbinger of things to come. Freddy’s makeup room is more like a dungeon than a makeup studio. High ceilings, cobwebs, rat droppings and drafts. Krueger creator Kevin Yagher and Everett Burrell, his assistant, toughen up for the duration, realizing that Nightmare 3’s gonna be one macho shoot. After the obligatory four hours under Kevin and Everett’s tandem tag-team latex match, I look into the cracked mirror and realize that Ole Fingernails is back.
FREDDY FODDER-SOME CAST OBSERVATIONS:
- Jennifer Rubin (Taryn): Tall, leggy, sometime model. Newly engaged to a “fine young man.” (They’ll kill me for this.) Very talented. Quite different on the set. Holds court in the combination Makeup Room/Green Room/Torture Room which, as the film progresses, becomes one solid maze of graffiti chronicling the collective demise of the cast’s sanity. Come to think of it, FANGORIA should have photographed the room-it would have saved me a lot of trouble. Anyway, Jennifer wins the Best Graffiti Award. After nearly eight hours on her beautiful back getting a chorus of Greg Cannom’s vaginal suckling junkie-mark mouths and exploding veins from her wrists to her temples, she finds out that all the FX wires were hidden laboriously on the wrong side. Jennifer limped back to the makeup room to wryly scrawl in blood-red lipstick, “Oh no! I’ve got them special FX all over me!”
- Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Thompson): Nancy returns! Classy, pensive, but by mid-shoot is smoking again. And like the rest of us, just trying to remember the names of the crews of the various units we work with (first unit, 2nd unit, two FX units—DreamQuest and Image Engineering—and three makeup units led by Kevin Yagher, Greg Cannom, Mark Shostrom, plus their respective crews … ) Heather plays a savage hand of blackjack. Responding to Ms. Langenkamp’s boasts in Fango #63, the match ain’t over yet, baby!
- Patricia Arquette (Kristin Parker): A talented actress who works as hard as Heather had to in Nightmare 1. Days of screaming and acting alone with FX… and always keeping it fresh.
- Penelope Sudrow (Jennifer): Quiet, serious young actress. Maybe she’s so serious because she has to sell a sequence where she burns herself with a lit cigarette and is then force-fed into a TV screen by yours truly.
- Ira Heiden (Will): A teenage Woody Allen on speed—a very funny guy. Runs the gambling concession on the set. Takes the most abuse and teasing from the crew.
- Ken Sagoes (Kincaid): Very gifted young actor. Very strong: literally pulls me through a wall in the Hall of Mirrors sequence. Mmmm, I love the smell of glass shards in the morning In fact, most of the cast is still pulling glass shards out of their knees…
CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN:
New Line’s Gary Hertz proposes to give away the original Freddy sweater. If it is, in fact, the sweater that Mr. Krueger thinks it is, it’s been lying moldy in a box at New Line Cinema, along with a crumpled fedora, for some time. If someone doesn’t win the contest, the sweater might start stalking New York on its own—it’s that ripe. It reeks! I hope they wash it. It has the drool, stage blood and sweat of all three films’ nubile ingénues on it. Frame it. Freddy likes his tux because he has some say in his sartorial splendor. Hope Fango readers notice the significance of his bow-tie and his handkerchief. They’re the same colors and made from the same material as the sweater.
The rabbit ears have a life of their own and it’s hard working with them. Freddy didn’t mind being on prime time, and after the FX guys time the antennae with my eye movements, Freddy is cable-ready.
TOUGHEST DAY ON THE SET: FREDDY HELL!!!
Heather faints; she has peat moss under her contact lenses. No windows. Working on a two-story set full of mutilated dolls. It looks and feels like a toxic waste dump. Every cast member is exhausted. The crew wear surgical masks and mock the actors. It looks great in dailies, so what the hell.
BEST DAY ON THE SET:
If there is a worst day, there’s also a best day. So, the best day on Nightmare 3 is watching, sans makeup, my phallic incarnation thrust up through the floor and reverse a primal act on the luscious Patricia Arquette.
MORE CAST OBSERVATIONS:
- Nan Martin (Amanda Krueger): A boy couldn’t ask for a more delightful Mom, except when she gets the best damn line in the movie! We wanted that line—”The bastard son of 100 maniacs”—on the crew tee-shirts. We called Nightmare 3 “The bastard son of 100 maniacs” because there were so many units that it became an in-joke with the crew. We didn’t know each other’s names for three weeks.
- John Saxon (John Thompson): Gentleman and a scholar. Consummate professional. Black belt and rather attractive Cadillac accessory.
- Craig Wasson (Dr. Neil Gordon): Does all his own stunts, over and over, take after take. He must still be black-and-blue under that corduroy jacket.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor and Dick Cavett (themselves): Zsa Zsa wants Freddy to be her latest husband. She’s a swell gal, but she’s gotta lose those feathers or I’ll lose ’em for her. Dick’s cute and if he’s man enough, he’ll have me on his show.
ONE FOR THE GIPPER:
For the final battle scene, Freddy gives it his best Peckinpah; a slow motion squib dance of death. Freddy is used to goin’ out in fire—Freddy and fire have a long relationship—but Nightmare 3 is a little weirder. He meets up with a power he hadn’t reckoned with before. Freddy is gonna go to bible camp this summer, so that he has some ammo against the other power for Part 4.
THE LAST DAY:
The movie that will not die. We are just into January now, with a distribution date of February 27. Everybody is anxious, except for the two down-vested, tool-belted new grips who have shown up on our last pick-up day for Nightmare 3’s missing shots. Within a half-hour of doughnuts and small talk, we realize that the two newcomers are industrial-espionage hardcore fans masquerading as crew members, but not before they abscond with the original “hero” glove of Freddy Krueger, the one that once was on Wes Craven’s wall. Freddy doesn’t condone such actions, but they made a clean getaway. They fooled everyone. At the same time, Freddy is doubly pissed. Now, when he does personal appearances and talk shows, he has to wear the wimpy glove with the rubber blades, not the original brass, copper-riveted one. It’s too bad it happened, but they were creative.
FREDDY’S NEW LEASE ON DEATH:
Freddy is enjoying his celebrity status, but he’s gettin’ real pissed at Robert Englund and Kevin Yagher for avoiding the makeup chair so that he can manifest himself again. He might have to go out once more and find a young punk like Mark Patton and come out the hard way if they don’t wise up and make some new molds. Freddy’s worn the makeup so much in Nightmare 3 that the molds are already shot. If we’re gonna do any more videos or public appearances, we’ve got to make new molds, and Englund’s gonna have straws up his butt again.
Freddy’s gone? Yeah, right. Freddy has only been stalemated, he’s only been checked, not killed. At least he took some people with him. The Dream Warriors went down like flies! Swell up and die, my pretties.