A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is regarded as the second greatest film in the NOES series, after the original. The film gave us the dark humored Freddy Krueger that we know and love today, as well as a great cast of misfit teens. It also featured the classic Dokken track “Dream Warriors” and some of the best kills we’ve seen in the franchise.
To celebrate Dream Warriors turning 30, we’re looking back at the iconic Freddy kills and ranking them from awesome to most awesome. Because, let’s face it, all of the kills in the film kick ass for one reason or another. Be sure to let us know which Freddy kills you love the most!
6. Donald Thompson Crosses Over
Common themes in 80’s horror films are that the kids always outsmart the adults and the adults are assholes. Nancy’s father, Donald Thompson (John Saxon), isn’t really an exception. Although he redeems himself, he definitely hurts more than helps at times in both the original and Dream Warriors.
When he’s asked to reveal the location of Freddy’s bones so that they can be destroyed, Donald is uncooperative. When he’s finally threatened into showing the location at a junk yard, Freddy isn’t pleased and shows up. Trying once again to kill Freddy, Donald is stabbed and impaled. This death is the most lackluster kill, but still meaningful since he is Nancy’s dad and a returning character.
5. Saying Goodbye to Nancy
Yet another toned down kill by Dream Warriors’ standards, but the most significant of the entire series. As the recently deceased Donald appears to Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) to apologize, the two hug. Of course, this isn’t her dead father she’s uniting with, but Freddy. As his glove of knives slides into her gut, our ultimate NOES final girl loses the good fight.
4. Freddy vs. The Wizard Master
In the dream world, rules are made to be broken and the impossible becomes possible. For Will (Ira Heiden), he’s not only able to ditch the wheelchair he’s normally confined to, but takes on the role of Wizard Master. His zapping abilities and black cloak all seem impressive, but when he uses them in a fight, Freddy quips, “Sorry, kid. I don’t believe in fairy tales.” Out comes the glove and you know the rest.
3. Taryn Gets High
Taryn (Jennifer Rubin) was a badass recovering addict with a tough exterior. When she enters the dream world, she takes on the look of a classic 80’s punk rocker, complete with switchblades, a studded leather outfit and a mohawk. During her fight with Freddy, his fingers turn into heroin needles as he tells her, “Let’s get high” and injects them into her arm. This is such a fan favorite that replica companies now produce the needle glove.
2. Welcome to Prime Time, Jennifer
Jennifer is more optimistic than the rest of the group, aspiring to be an actress when she gets out of Westin Hills Asylum. As she falls asleep in the rec room watching a talk show featuring Zsa Zsa Gabor, she drifts off. Once she enters the dream world, the talk show host turns into Freddy and hilariously kills Zsa Zsa.
When Jennifer “wakes” from this dream, she goes to turn off the TV, only to get grabbed by two arms. As she’s lifted, Freddy famously says, “This is it, Jennifer- your big break in TV.” and “Welcome to prime time, bitch!” This kill, with those quotes, combined with Zsa Zsa’s dream death truly show us who the new Freddy really is.
1. Phillip Goes For a Stroll
The first kill is the best kill! Like a few of the other teens at the asylum, Phillip (Bradley Gregg) is thought to be suicidal due to being taunted by Freddy. He has a hobby making marionette dolls, but unfortunately for him, one morphs into Freddy when he falls asleep. Freddy cuts his legs and arms, using Phillip’s tendons to walk him like a marionette down the hall. His friends see this, but think that he’s having another sleepwalking episode. Freddy is completely invisible to them since they’re awake.
As he’s led to a window, his friends watch as Freddy cuts the tendons, making Phillip plunge to his death. Which, of course, gets ruled a suicide. It is absolutely cringe-worthy to see Phillip get pulled up out of bed and walked using the tendons in his arms, legs and feet. It’s also one of the most creative deaths to come from the 80’s slasher flicks.