LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with movie legend Robert Englund
By James Whittington, Monday 20th August 2018 The UK premiere of the paranormal shocker, Nightworld hits Horror on August 27th. The film stars Jason London and the legend that is Robert Englund.
We recently chatted to Robert about this chilling movie as well as a certain jumper wearing, knife finger wielding character you may have heard about.
HC: An actor of your experience must be offered acting roles all the time, how do you choose which ones to accept and what drew you to Nightworld?
RE: I select. A lot. But this one had a nice vibe and it came from a producer (Loris Curci) with whom I'd worked many times before. It's a great script! I started reading it and I just couldn't put it down. It has a Twilight Zone, H.P. Lovecraft spirit. Very gloomy and dark. It's not a violent film, definitely not slasher. It's much more heartbeat and it truly has this H.P. Lovecraft vibe, although it's essentially a ghost story. It's a story about a portal, a gateway to the other side. We find out that there are 7 portals throughout the world that access what my character refers to as the Nightworld, which is sort of a purgatory. Think of it as a kind of waiting room for Heaven or Hell. It's a great, simple concept. Very well written.
HC: Your character, Jacob is blind, how did you prepare for such a role?
RE: My character is called back into duty. I'm blind and perhaps my blindness was an occupational hazard of working for many, many years guarding one of these portals, which happens to be in Sofia, Bulgaria. Jacob is called out of retirement to aid a young police officer who's lost his wife and is drinking a lot and has all sorts of visions, which we'll understand are somehow connected to whatever lies beyond the door. The officer, who is actually a former LA cop, has taken the security job for this corporation and now manages and oversees these various portals. Recently I get offered roles in which get to play some sort of Van Helsing character, like Jacob in Nightworld. I'm getting to play a lot of roles, the old poacher, the old doctor, the old scientists. I don't think, if I hadn't done horror and I hadn't established myself as a horror genre star and stuck with it and been loyal to it, I would still be playing roles, at my age, And this one was particularly intriguing because I had never played a blind man before.
HC: Was this the first time you shot a movie in Bulgaria?
RE: I did a couple of other films in Bulgaria before being offered this role. One is a Lake Placid TV-movie, with a giant alligator. I like going back to Bulgaria. They have great crews, good food. Lots of big movies get shot there.
HC: Jacob is a very enigmatic character, how much of his "look" was created by you?
RE: I brought my own glasses. I wanted to make sure that I would feel comfortable in them. When Loris and the director Patricio Valladares told me about the role, they asked me what I thought he should look like. I said that Jacob should be the kind of guy that doesn't really go out anymore, listens to classical music all day and sips cognac, and I envisioned him as getting excited to be called back into action - putting on his best suit and dress hat and good gloves, then going off to save the day. Also, he wasn't always blind. There's a hint in the film that something happened, at some point. He knows more than a lot of people, that's why the owners called me in. There's a line at the beginning of the film where he says that he knows his way around. It's kind of a throwaway but I think what it means is he was sighted when he worked there, and he's gone blind subsequently. Or that was the reason for his retirement or firing... who knows?
HC: What's your favourite memory from filming Nightworld?
RE: It was just a lot of fun to still do things like this. Patricio, the director, doesn't speak good English but he certainly knows how to detail what he wants. We had our little inside jokes and the overall atmosphere was very relaxing. And then they had this beautiful mansion in the center of Sofia. Very atmospheric, with all sorts of doors and corridors that really led nowhere. I believe the film succeeds in delivering this feeling of melancholy, and dread.
HC: The movie is getting its UK premiere on Horror Channel in August, why do our viewers need to tune in?
RE: Nightworld is a classic terror film from the seventies. Think Rosemary's Baby, The Omen or The Shining. It has a slow pace that keeps growing until hell literally breaks loose. I suggest you sit back in your comfortable sofas, get a beer, and turn off the lights. This one is a creepy, little movie and that eventually delivers what it promises. It's scary.
HC: How has the movie industry changed since you started as an actor?
RE: Well now every film is shot on digital, so everything is much faster on set and as an actor you don't get to spend too much time waiting. But in general, nothing has really changed much. There's still lots of films out there, with great scripts, great writers, and then television is producing the best shows. It's exciting to see how many movies and series actually get made and there is an endless flow of good stuff. Horror fans are the same, they just move from generation to generation, but are as loyal as they always have been.
HC: Its nearly 35 years since you first played a certain jumper wearing, knife finger wielding character, does it really feel that long ago?
RE: I get asked this all the time. Look, recently someone came to me and offered to bring back the original Freddy. I'm too old to do another Freddy now. If I do a fight scene now it's got to be real minimal because I can't snap my head for eight different takes and different angles. My spine gets sore, and I really don't like the idea of spending four hours in the make-up room. I can still be mean and scary, but I'm mostly relegated now to sort of old doctor/Van Helsing roles, or a professor with some sort of secret. Yes, it's been a long time and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Freddy. I will always be in debt with the character. I like to think that the last moment of me ever playing Freddy is a wink to the audience.
HC: How did Freddy change your life?
RE: Well, when I first played Freddy I never thought we'd get to this. I was doing a series back then, called V, and I was doing appearances and conventions for the show, and I had punks coming up to me and asking for Freddy autographs. It came totally unexpected. The idea behind Freddy was that whether you're in an igloo in Alaska, or whether you're surfing in Hawaii, or whether you're in a small village in Africa, tending your livestock, we have the same dreams, the same nightmares. We have the falling dream, we have the drowning dream, the claustrophobic dream - these are all common dreams. And Nightmare on Elm Street became instantly universal because of that. Dreams could kill! I'm onto three generations of fans now. And I have a generation of fans that tell me, from the video generation, that I was actually what they watched and were intimate and shared with their late father, or their late mother, of their girlfriends and wives. Freddy made it through different generations and he is still there, haunting your dreams from a DVD, a Blu-ray or a late-night show on TV. That is what we've managed to achieve. Which is fantastic.
HC: Robert Englund, thank you very much.
Related show tags: NIGHTWORLD, ROBERT ENGLUND MORE ARTICLES Interview with Andy Nyman about his role in the classic TV version of The Woman in Black
Posted in Interviews, Sunday 9th August 2020
Andy Nyman is one of the most popular and hardworking actors working today. From thrillers to chillers, from comedy to drama, Andy can turn his hand to any genre. Thanks to Network Releasing we are able to appreciate his first ever TV appearance as they release a remastered version of the acclaimed television adaptation of The Woman in Black. We chatted to Andy about his role in this legendary piece.
HC: Let's chat about this TV version of The Woman in Black, was it one of your first ever roles very first TV role?
AN: That was my very first TV role, I was 23, the same age my son is now. It is a shock, isn't it? I was like, when I saw it ...SHARE: READ MORE Dracula's Child by J.S. Barnes - The Unofficial Sequel to Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'
Posted in News, Saturday 8th August 2020
J.S. Barnes dives straight to the dark heart of Bram Stoker's legendary creation, capturing the voice, tone, style and characters of the original, whilst exploring pressing themes of modern life in this age of false facts and fake news in Dracula's Child. The book offers a wonderful and wholly original expansion to the story of the world's most famous vampire. After all, evil never truly dies.
It has been some years since Jonathan and Mina Harker survived their ordeal in Transylvania and, vanquishing Count Dracula, returned to England to try and live ordinary lives.
But shadows linger long in this world of blood feud and superstition - and, the older their s...SHARE: READ MORE I Spit on Your Grave franchise to get box-set treatment
Posted in News, Saturday 8th August 2020 Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment has announced I Spit on Your Grave: The Complete Collection - the shocking, controversial and ground-breaking film series, presented on Blu-ray and DVD for the very first time, arriving 5th October.
When the original 1978 film was banned in the UK upon release, this notorious revenge movie helped launch the "video nasty" craze of the 1980's and inspired a generation of genre directors through its provocative, no-holds-barred filmmaking. 32 years later, a bold and shocking remake reignited the franchise and spawned a series of sequels which pushed the envelope even further.
Available in the UK as a complete set for the first time, t...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest announces August 2020 Short Film Programme
Posted in Frightfest, Saturday 8th August 2020
The films may be short, but there is no shortage of scares as Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 showcases the best new short films from the UK and around the world, with six countries representing three continents. From under-the-bed monsters to monsters in front of your eyes, from the sinister and the creepy to the wickedly human and the not-so-human, this year's selection shines a spotlight on upcoming filmmakers.
The UK is represented with a record eleven entries. There are world premiere screenings for Werewolf, where game night just got dangerous, A Bit Of Fun, where a girls' night in brings out the dead and The Beholder, in which you'd be wise to ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to Airell Hayles whose movie They're Outside mixes found footage and pagan horror genres to great effect.
HC: Where did the idea for They're Outside come from?
AH: This idea for They're Outside came from a couple of things. I remember as a kid hearing that my uncle suffered mild agoraphobia, and when I learned what it was, I was fascinated by this idea of some people being kind of scared to leave their homes. Of course, the recent Covid-19 events h...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Fionn and Toby Watts, directors of Playhouse
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to talented brothers Fionn and Toby Watts who have delivered a gothic, creepy piece named Playhouse.
HC: Was there one film or person who influenced or inspired you to become film makers?
FW: As a young boy I remember being absolutely blown away by the image of The Terminator's exo-skeleton rising from the flames. Around the same time I saw Candyman at a sleepover (rented by my friend's 'older' brother...) and it was such an i...SHARE: READ MORE Shatner Vs The Devil! Who wouldn't want to see that?
Posted in News, Thursday 30th July 2020
All hell is about to break loose as Shatner takes on Satan, when 4Digital unleashes The Tomb: Devil's Revenge, on digital platforms from 14th September.
The Descent meets The Exorcist, with a dash of Raiders of the Lost Ark thrown in for good measure, in what promises to be a suspenseful thrill-ride starring iconic Star Trek legend William Shatner, Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Jason Brooks (Star Trek, 2009), Jackie Dallas (Stranger Things) and Michael Yahn (Daredevil).
John Brock is a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from an expedition to the caves of rural Kentucky, after unsuccessfully trying to locate a mysterious relic that hi...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest announces August Digital Edition line-up and Horror Channel sponsors talent-seeking First Blood strand
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Tuesday 28th July 2020
The UK's most popular horror and fantasy film festival celebrates its 21st bloody year with a special Digital edition, showcasing twenty-five films, from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, including seven world premieres and sixteen UK premieres. Ten countries are represented from four continents in a deadly, daring and diverse programme exclusively presented to UK audiences.
Passes and tickets will go on sale Saturday 1 August and details on how to access the event and choose which films to watch are on the FrightFest website. All film screenings will be geo-locked to UK audiences and only accessible from within the United Kingdom.
The men...SHARE: READ MORE Revisit James Cameron's first movie on Blu-ray in August
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
It may seem like paradise, but just off shore, a new brand of terror has been unleashed in Piranha 2: The Spawning.
While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) makes a horrific discovery: mutated piranhas, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death.
As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he's determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy.
This exciting sequel to Joe Dante's original Piranha also stars Lance Henriksen and is the...SHARE: READ MORE An all-star cast for an all-time sleazy shocker!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
In the lurid shocker, Schizoid a newspaper advice columnist (Mariana Hill) starts receiving threats from a mysterious person. At the same time, the female members of her psychiatrist's (Klaus Kinski, Crawlspace) therapy group are being murdered one by one by a maniac wielding a large pair of scissors.
Could these incidents be linked?
Donna Wilkes, Craig Wasson, Flo Gerrish and Christopher Lloyd also star in this long forgotten sleazy slasher which is getting the usual top-notch release from 88Films.... SHARE: READ MORE Dracula on red wax!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
From the team behind BBC's critically acclaimed Sherlock came Dracula, the reimagining of the iconic titular vampire for a 21st Century audience. Composers David Arnold and Michael Price reunited with writers and creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, to breathe musical life into another famous literary character from Victorian times.
For Dracula, Arnold and Price conceived an innovative and petrifying score, in which traditional instruments and musique concrete merge with contemporary use of samples and sound design.
Scoring Dracula presented its own challenges and the composers have augmented the sound of the orchestra players by creating a library...SHARE: READ MORE Will you hear the Echoes of Fear?
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
Creating waves on the US festival circuit and garnering best feature awards galore Echoes of Fear is set to scare the living daylights out of UK audiences as it arrives on digital and DVD this summer from Second Sight Films.
Turning the haunted house genre on its head, this chilling scare-fest, will have you clamouring for a cushion as the horror creeps up to a truly disturbing climax. The supernatural chiller from Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley, has garnered huge critical acclaim and arrives on digital formats on 20 July, followed by its DVD release on 3 August.
When her grandfather dies suddenly, Alisa (Trista Robinson) inherits his house and m...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Thursday 13th August
Thursday 13th August
Saturday 22nd August