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A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) Poster

Trivia

(at around 27 mins) When Kristen is in the hospital after hitting her head, the nurse changes into Freddy, who has the vials of blood in his right hand. One of the vials (the one closest to the camera) says "Englund" - the last name of the actor who plays Freddy.
Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Spoilers (2)
Patricia Arquette, who played Kristen in the third part of the series, could not reprise her role here in the fourth movie because she was pregnant during filming.
This was the highest-grossing entry in the Elm Street series (not counting Freddy vs. Jason (2003)). It earned $49 million in the US.
The name of the diner where Alice works is called the "Crave Inn", a reference to series creator Wes Craven.
First film in the series where Robert Englund receives top billing in the opening credits.
(at around 51 mins) In a brief classroom scene, Alice and fellow students are lectured on the philosophy on dreams. The teacher giving the lecture is played by series producer and New Line Cinema CEO Robert Shaye.
(at around 34 mins) A magazine can be seen in Kristen's room that has a picture of Johnny Depp, who starred in the original 'Nightmare on Elm Street, A (1984)' film and had a brief cameo in the sixth film of the series, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991).
(at around 40 mins) The scene where Alice and Rick are watching home videos was a last minute addition. In an interview with Andras Jones he stated that because of the writers strike and because of Renny Harlin's poor English, he and Lisa Wilcox wrote their own dialogue for it.
The highest grossing horror film and the highest grossing film for New Line of its year.
Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner came upon with a concept for this film that involved time travel through dreams. However, producers Robert Shaye and Sara Risher felt that this was too high a concept for a Nightmare On Elm Street sequel and didn't think it fit the formula that Craven created with the first film.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland was hired to write the film after being recommended by Robert Englund, for whom he penned the screenplay to Englund's directorial debut 976-EVIL (1988). The film had a release date set but no script or director, and Helgeland was hired under the condition that he could deliver the script within seven days. He was advised by New Line head Robert Shaye that if the script came in a day late, they didn't want it. Helgeland then flew home to Massachusetts for Christmas and wrote the script sitting at his father's kitchen table. He FedExed the finished screenplay back to Los Angeles and made his deadline. Based on this script, director Renny Harlin signed on, and the film marks Helgeland's first screen credit. Though "976-EVIL" was his first produced screenplay, it was released after "A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master".
Not only did actor Tuesday Knight co-star in the film, she performed the theme song.
(at around 15 mins) The character of Roland Kincaid has a poster of The Hills Have Eyes (1977) on his bedroom wall. This is a nod to series creator Wes Craven who directed that film.
Robert Englund's favorite part in the film was the time loop because it seemed like a visual of a dream that keeps repeating itself.
During the writing of the film, director Renny Harlin and some of the producers by chance happened to bump into famed director James Cameron. Cameron somewhat facetiously asked Harlin "How are they gonna bring Freddy back to life this time?" To which Harlin (also somewhat facetiously) replied "A dog pisses fire on him and he comes back to life." The idea ended up being used in the film, although in a more metaphorical manner than in a literal sense. (With Robert Englund explaining that the dog urinating fire onto Freddy's remains is meant to symbolize a Hell-Hound and how evil Freddy truly is).
According to Annette Benson, the Casting Director, over 600 actresses auditioned for the role of Alice.
(at around 1h 13 mins) When Dan and Alice go to the hospital, there is an announcement on the PA requesting a Dr. Shaye, a reference to Robert Shaye, producer of the series and CEO of New Line Cinema.
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Rick and Alice were twins in the script.
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During production, the writers, director and producers couldn't figure out how to kill Freddy at the end of the film. Eventually, during a meeting, they discussed all of the possible ways to kill a villain or creature in a film. (Shooting, stabbing, burning, etc.) They then realized that all of the methods they were thinking of came from external forces. And they decided to do just the opposite - come up with a way for Freddy to be killed by an "internal force." Thus, the concept of Freddy's reflection cause the souls of his victims to revolt and tear him apart from the inside was born.
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According to everyone interviewed about the movie in the documentary "Never Sleep Again", no one really knows why Patricia Arquette didn't come back. Renny Harlin and Rodney Eastman, who plays Joey in the movie, stated her agent asked for more money but New Line wouldn't agree. Arquette's child was born in January of 1989. The movie was filmed in early 1988 so it's unlikely she didn't return for being pregnant because at the time of filming, she either wasn't pregnant yet or only a few weeks pregnant. Plus she was in the movie Far North (1988) which was released in November 1988. So her commitment to that film could've been the reason for not returning as Kristen.
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The only film of the series to have a song in the opening credits. Also the first to have a rap song in the ending credits.
Kincade's dog is named Jason, a possible nod to the Friday the 13th slasher films where the slasher's name is Jason Voorhees. What makes this rather interesting is in this movie Jason (the dog) brings Freddy back to life where in Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Freddy brings Jason back to life.
Rodney Eastman and Ken Sagoes didn't feel the heartfelt reunion with Tuesday Knight in this film because she had replace Patricia Arquette. Both failed to convey the emotions called for in the script.
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Rodney Eastman and Ken Sagoes wanted larger parts in the film and were shocked to see they were in reduced parts.
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Tuesday Knight was suppose to wear a more revealing outfit on the beach scene but refused.
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(at around 40 mins) The two gravestones visible behind Kristen Parker's and Roland Kincaid's are for Donald & Nancy Thompson, characters from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).
The success of this film convinced producers to create Freddy's Nightmares (1988).
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(at around 26 mins) Check out the nurse that wakes Kristen up at the school infirmary. It is Robert Englund, out of his Freddy make-up. After Kristen wakes up, it is a different person.
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The first film "Nightmare on Elm Street" series in which the end credits rolled instead of appearing in a slide show.
Reportedly, Renny Harlin's original version of the film was considered to be "too campy and ridiculous" by New Line Cinema, which is why some cuts were made on the film before theatrical release. Harlin's original cut had an alternate score and many deleted and extended scenes. These included more scenes with Kristen, including a nightmare scene in which she is chased by Freddy soon after he killed Joey and Kincaid, and an extended version of the beach scene where Freddy's shadow is touching and burning her with sunburns. Small parts of both of these scenes can be seen in US and foreign trailers for the film, and there are also some stills showing the extended beach scene. There was also an additional nightmare scene with Alice dreaming that her father turns into Freddy. It is believed by fans who first discovered these missing scenes that Harlin's original version is lost. Only the original script has all the deleted scenes.
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Many refer the main house with the red door as "Freddy's House". But it isn't. Freddy never lived there. It was Nancy's house from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Jesse's in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985).
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(at around 36 mins) The sandcastle form of the Elm Street House is visible on freeze-frame before it explodes.
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(at around 1h 2 mins) When Alice goes into the theater, there is a poster for Reefer Madness II: The True Story (1985), New Line Cinema's first success, as well as a poster for Hairspray (1988).
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Lisa Wilcox said Alice was made for her because she was a shy teenage girl who thought she never get a boyfriend.
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The only Elm Street film to ever show the Elm Street house in broad daylight.
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The script wasn't complete during shooting so some drafts had Rick live. Some storyboards were created that had Rick die in an elevator accident but was changed to Karate as it went back to him practicing his craft earlier in the film.
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Scott Pierce is listed as a screenwriter. It really is a pseudonym of Jim Wheat and Ken Wheat.
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Ellie Cornell auditioned for the role of Alice.
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Alice's abilities originally include the dream warriors but the effects weren't great and it would confuse the audience of who she was trying to portray.
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Danny Hassel's character of Dan had no name originally and the actor chose the name which stuck.
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Wes Craven turned down New Line's offer to direct and re-write their script.
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The director based this film on Chinese ghost story and created all the nightmares himself based on dreams he had through out his life
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Dutch director Dick Maas was offered to helm the project. But he had to decline due to scheduling conflicts with his thriller Amsterdamned (1988).
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Tuesday Knight replaced Patricia Arquette as Kristen Parker.
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The use of chains in the boiler rooms may be an homage to Hellraiser.
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(at around 1h 2 mins) Also on the background wall of the theatre entrance, there is a poster of Renny Harlin's previous movie Prison (1987).
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The film takes place in 1988.
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The diner that Alice works at is called the "Crave Inn", probably a nod to Freddy creator Wes Craven.
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After the success of the film many films tried to cash in on Elm Street like Bad Dreams (1988), Brainscan (1994) and The Monster (1993).
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Renny Harlin wanted Toy Newkirk to re-dub her lines to sound more "black".
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Tibor Takács was offered to direct, but didn't take the job because the shooting would have started in couple of weeks.
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Renny Harlin got the job by refusing to take "no" for an answer. Rather than accept the rejection, he instead showed up at the New Line offices on a daily basis, repeatedly requesting to speak with producer Robert Shaye. For a variety of reasons, they didn't like any of the other directors who came in for meetings about Elm Street 4, and Harlin always seemed to be around. Eventually, his persistence won the day, to some degree because he was so clearly impoverished that his clothes never seemed to change day-to-day and even began to smell. They had to hire him just so he could afford some new clothes, or so Bob Shaye jokes. According to Harlin, Shaye rarely ever spoke to him throughout the shoot even though he would visit the set quite often. That made filming Shaye's cameo scene a bit difficult. The resulting tension meant Harlin lived each day on set like it would be his last because he was fairly positive Shaye was going to fire him at any moment without warning.
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Director Cameo 

Renny Harlin: a student in a classroom.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Joey's weakness was always beautiful women and caused him to be put in a coma in three and his death in 4
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Ricks death was originally supposed to happen in the elevator with the elevator falling apart all around him, until he is falling in just dark space. However, according to Renny Harlin, they had already run out of money and were unable to afford this effect. It was then suggested that he live but his funeral scene had already been filmed. So the idea for his karate/dojo death scene was conceived because his knowledge of karate had already been established earlier in the film.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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