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 Nothing will prepare you for Chuck Steel - Night of the Trampires!
Posted in News, Sunday 17th October 2021
Animortal Studios, announces that its British-made stop-motion animated feature, Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires, is releasing into UK cinemas on Friday 29th October, in time for Halloween.
From the fevered imagination of two-time BAFTA-winning writer/director, Mike Mort (Gogs), and featuring the voices of UK comedy legends, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) and Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show) alongside Mort's, this homage to 80's B-movie excess is "one of the most extraordinary achievements by an independent animation studio" (Starburst), comes "chock-full of snappy one-liners and ultra-violent action"(Hollywood Reporter) tha...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.
HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?
MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?
DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.
HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?
BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted in Features, Interviews, Friday 15th October 2021
Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.
HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?
MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...SHARE: READ MORE Hallowen Kills...on vinyl!
Posted in News, Thursday 14th October 2021
Renowned composer/director John Carpenter and his creative foils Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies have announced details for the impending release of the original motion picture soundtrack for the fiercely anticipated second installment in the new Halloween trilogy, Halloween Kills, from Universal Pictures, Miramax, and Blumhouse, directed by David Gordon Green and starring horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis. The soundtrack will be released in conjunction with the film release on October 15th through Sacred Bones in a wide range of variants.
In 2018, David Gordon Green's Halloween killed at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchi...SHARE: READ MORE Universal Monsters are back on Horror Channel and Kim Newman is here to tell you all about them
Posted in Features, Thursday 14th October 2021
Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the Universal monsters joining Horror for our Classic Horror Halloween event running from 30th-31st of October.
With Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941) and The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), Universal Pictures introduced the lasting icons of horror... combining the presence of stars Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr with the make-up artistry of Jack P. Pierce (except for the Creature who came later in the day and was designed by the extraordinary Millicent Patrick ). These are the genre's cornerstone fiends, and - despite the way they have been domesticated an...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel goes out of this world to bring Channel premiere of Brit sci-fi thriller series UFO from October 20
Posted in Features, Wednesday 13th October 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing great cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Season 1 of the 1970 British science fiction TV series UFO, created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by the Andersons and TV mogul Lew Grade.
One of the best of its genre, the 26-part series combines the remarkable talents of the Andersons with those of special effects director Derek Meddings. And with a stellar cast including Ed Bishop, Michael Billington and George Sewell, it proved a popular hit at the time.
Following syndication in the US and favourable ratings, a possible second series was plann...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel - Now on Instagram!
Posted in Features, Saturday 9th October 2021
You can never have too much Horror Channel in your life, so follow us on Instagram too!
Find us at instagram.com/horrorchannel_uk/SHARE: READ MORE Classic monsters will rise this Halloween on Horror
Posted in Features, Thursday 7th October 2021
Famous monsters rise again!
To celebrate the Halloween weekend on Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October, Horror Channel presents Classic Horror Halloween, two diabolical daytime marathons highlighted by five channel premieres, including Bride Of Frankenstein, the celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic with Boris Karloff reprising his role as the Creature, Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, featuring the original Wolfman, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster, The Invisible Man, in which Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut, Christy Cabanne's frightening chiller masterpiece The Mummy's Hand and Revenge ...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021
Posted in News, Thursday 30th September 2021
Horror Channel is proudly sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021 which runs 14th-17th October and will offer audiences the chance to experience the live festival programme in the comfort of their own homes, as well as enabling them to catch up on anything they might have missed at the live event.
The virtual festival will complement and sit alongside the live festival, with much of the content crossing both events. Many of the feature films and shorts that play the live festival will also be featured within the online event but there will also be some online exclusives.
Grimmfest are excited to announce two exclusive feature film presentations only available on our virtual event an...SHARE: READ MORE Would you dare enter? Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions coming home soon
Posted in News, Sunday 26th September 2021
Sequel to the box-office hit psychological thriller that terrified audiences around the world Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions is available to Download and Keep on October 4 and to Rent on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on October 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.Directed by Adam Robitel (Escape Room, Insidious: The Last Key) the movie stars Taylor Russell (Escape Room, Waves), Logan Miller (Escape Room, Love Simon), Indya Moore (Queen & Slim), Holland Roden (Follow Me), Thomas Cocquerel (In Like Flynn) and Carlito Olivero (Bad Samaritan).
In this installment, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly un...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Tuesday 19th October
Monday 25th October
Friday 29th October