A favorite ploy of John Landis. Extras in the zoo scene were told only that David Naughton was going to say a few words to them.
And that blade the dream Nazi zombie is holding up to David's neck was a real knife, held by an actor in a mask that seriously hampered his vision. Most of the fear was probably real there.
Rick Baker recalled with amusement doing this to Griffin Dunne. For the attack on Jack, Baker worked the werewolf head and had told Griffin about the fragility of the prop. During the first take, Griffin grabbed the prop's face and accidentally ripped the skin off.
Rick Baker: So, I had to glue the foam back together, get it back on there. So, it's like "Okay, is that you wanna play it, Griffin, huh?" So, I just beat the crap out of him when we did the next shot. And he's, like, screamin' like a madman like he's supposed to, and we got some really good stuff.
Production Posse: The inhabitants of "The Slaughtered Lamb" were described by Griffin Dunne as "half the cast, practically, of Nicholas Nickleby" (the 1980 RSC play adaptation) — notably Lila Kaye (Gladys) played Mrs. Squeers and Mrs. Crummles and John Woodvine (Dr. Hirsch) played Ralph Nickleby.
Throw It In: The little strip of skin flapping about on Griffin Dunne's face when the undead Jack visits David in the hospital was kept intact in the final cut when it was found to have made Dunne's appearance far more convincing.