There was something worse?
Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund, was arguably the most terrifying icon of the ’80s. Starting with 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, the concept of a killer who slaughtered in the realm of dreams added an intoxicating supernatural element to the slasher genre. Sure, other famous slasher killers like Jason Vorhees of the Friday the 13th films and Michael Myers of the Halloween flicks were undead, but a guy who could enter your dreams and use them against you was a new kind of evil. In spite of the kind of creatively brutal murders director Wes Craven got away with in the Nightmare films, Englund recently revealed that there was at least one scene too intense even for the movie’s R rating.
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of 1987’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Rob Zombie’s bassist Matt “Count D” Montgomery interviewed Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund and Dokken frontman Don Dokken — Dokken performed the song “Dream Warriors” for the threequel,” and in the music video famously fights off Freddy with the power of Rock — for the inaugural episode of Gibson TV’s Metal and Monsters. Around halfway through the interview, Englund says Wes Craven shot the death of Tina — Freddy’s very first on-screen kill in the first A Nightmare on Elm Street — in a much more brutal fashion, and did it intentionally so the scene would be cut. You can see the interview below.
In the finished product, Tina (Amanda Wyss) is dragged up onto the ceiling by Freddy Krueger though to her boyfriend she appears to be assaulted by an invisible force. Englund says that Wes Craven included a shot we never saw from Tina’s point of view. “They couldn’t give the camera to Amanda Wyss… because she’s not union,” Englund explains. “So [the first assistant]… She filmed the Tina point of view being dragged by Freddy… I dropped her legs and, being the actor that I am, I realized that I had stage blood all over the… blades of the Freddy claw, and I gave her a kiss of death… And the stage blood between my blades caught into a blood bubble and floated out. And I actually saw it, yeah, it was just [an] amazing moment. Of course, it’s way too hardcore to use.”
Englund said that even though fans never got to see what sounds like an absolutely perfect Freddy Krueger moment, it was crucial. “Wes shot that so that he could use that footage so that he could get other nasty bits in the movie that he wanted to get in.” Englund added that this was a trick Craven used quite a bit — give the censors a bunch of intense scenes and then anything he cut will apparently made the censors happy.
It is still pretty shocking, even with Englund’s description, to think there was something too violent for a Freddy Krueger flick. In comparison, in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, the undead villain kills a troubled teen by ripping out his veins and using them as puppet strings — forcing him to walk to, and jump from, a ledge. Perhaps as time went on and the Freddy Krueger name carried more weight, Craven was able to get away with more.
Regardless, if Robert Englund’s recounting of the brutal scene leaves you feeling a little worried about falling asleep, never fear. Below, you can watch the music video for Dokken’s “Dream Warriors” and be reminded of how not even Freddy Kruegger can defeat Rock. You’re welcome.