The great thing about the A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise is that everyone has a favorite installment; and I think it’s fair to say that while Dream Master is considered an off-beaten track sequel to the three that came before it, it doesn’t exclude the immense popularity this film has with fans. Especially since this chapter in particular blasted Freddy in pop-culture superstardom- and now thanks to Bill Forsche, celebrated special effects guru who worked on the film, we get a rare look at some never-before-seen, behind the scenes home video movies on the set of A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master!
Released on August 19, 1988, Nightmare 4 grossed $49.4 million at the domestic box office on a budget of $6.5 million, which made it the highest-grossing film in the franchise in the United States. At least that is until Freddy VS Jason surpassed that mark in 2003. While it would be another year until I myself, first got to see Freddy on the big-screen in the form of The Dream Child, I was already a Freddy Fanatic thanks to the mass marketing campaign Dream Master deployed onto the masses via horror hotlines, toys, lunchboxes, and even a huge MTV special hour presentation dedicated to the Springwood Slasher himself! Not to mention several more music videos made for promotion with the movie played in rotation from the once music-only station. Shortly to follow Dream Master‘s release, the basic cable show of Freddy’s Nightmares took off on the the small screen in a weekly syndicated show giving kids a dose of Krueger without having to go to the theater for it.
What a time to be alive where child serial killers were celebrated with such admiration!
Behind the massive success of Nightmare 4, lies within some of THEE coolest special effects of the franchise alone- including Freddy’s demise at the end thanks to Dream Master Alice. Beyond notable names like Bill Forsche, Kevin Yagher , Screaming Mad George, and John Carl Buechler were a massive team of make-up and effects artists to pull of this innovative spectacle that truly was Dream Master and a big reason why it did so well in theaters. One of my favorites, and I think many others’ as well, being the soul ripping chest from Freddy’s final fight scene where a giant version of Freddy’s chest was made for the shot. Of course, this thing was a pain in the ass for the crew as it was so unsteady and massive, that it was difficult to mount properly and actually fell over during one of their takes. A woman named Michiko supporting the prop from the rafters of the set, came tumbling down when the mighty chest fell over.
But hey, at least we got to see a cameo of Linnea Quigley ripping through the prop, in all her big busted glory. We salute you guys.
Via Bill Forsche’s personal YouTube channel, the special effects master has uploaded some home video shots of behind the scenes action of not only the fore mentioned Freddy’s chest scene, but also some segments of Freddy AND his stunt-double in the make-up chair conversing back and forth before shoots. Also included is Freddy’s scene on the Dream Beach where it is suggested he take on a “Coppertone commercial” for his next project (HEH).
“Very rare and raw footage from the set of “A Nightmare on Elm Street IV: The Dream Master” (1988). The short has some very interesting behind the scenes material, including the makeup trailer where Bill Foertsch aka Forsche work on the makeup for Freddy’s stunt double, while other effects artists goofing around on the set and other events. This short documentary is from Bill Forsche aka Foertsch personal home collection and was made during his employment as special effects technician at Steve Johnson’s XFX, Inc., the company responsible for the most spectacular demise of Freddy that was ever done in the series.”