LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with movie legend Robert Englund
By James Whittington, Monday 20th August 2018
Nightworld Robert Englund Image 2The 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.

Nightworld Robert Englund Image 1

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.

Nightworld Robert Englund Image 4

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.

Nightworld Robert Englund Image 3

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.

Nightworld Robert Englund Image 5

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 FRIGHTFEST
Interview with Adrian Langley, director of Butchers.
Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2020
FrightFest-Halloween-2020

Butchers is a superb piece of horror cinema from Adrian Langley. Here he chats about this grim and gruesome piece and his plans for the future.

HC: Where did the idea for Butchers come from?

AL: Butchers came from two of Daniel Weissenberger's old screenplays - he writes a lot - and I remixed them with some ideas that had been kicking around in my head after having read those scripts a long time ago.

HC: Did it take long to write?

AL: Not at all. Because Dan's scripts were so full already, the initial working draft only took about two weeks to put together and then I did a lot of rewriting during the prep process to streamline it to what...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Andrew Thomas Hunt, director of Spare Parts.
Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2020
Spare Parts

FrightFest is all about the diversity of movies, none more so than Spare Parts from director Andrew Thomas Hunt. This superb mash-up of gladiator-style fighting and a scorching soundtrack is desitined to become a cult classic so we chatted to Andrew about this movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

AH: I did - from the age of 16. I was a huge fan of David Cronenberg's films, and when I discovered that he was not only from Toronto, but made his films here, it made me realize you didn't have to be from Hollywood to make movies.

HC: How did you become attached to this wild project?

AH: It was pitched to me at TIFF (Toronto Int'l ...

SHARE: READ MORE
And the winner is... Benny Loves You!
Posted on Monday 26th October 2020

The winner of the FrightFest Horror Channel First Blood Award 2020 is... Benny Loves You!

Here, Channel Manager Stewart Bridle chats to its very talented director, Karl Holt.

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Liam O'Donnell director of SKYLIN3S
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
skylin3s-poster

FrightFest Digital Edition 2 concludes tonight with an out-of-this-world premiere, SKYLIN3S. Here its writer and director Liam O'Donnell talks about this and the other entries in this sci-fi series.

HC: You've been involved with the Skyline series of movies from the start, where did the initial idea come from?

LD: Initially the idea just came from, we were sort of do it ourselves film makers and I had been living in the building we ended up shooting in. We had already been illegally shooting on the rooftop helipad for a pitch that we were developing and when Greg's (Greg Strause, director of Skyline) unit on the top floor and he walked in and saw this big, expansive view of LA...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Tanter director and co-writer of The Nights Before Christmas
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
The Nights Before Christmas-poster

Prolific creative Paul Tanter has delivered a real treat for FrightFest pass holders today, the blood-splattered shocker, The Nights Before Christmas. Here he chats about this cracker of a movie.

HC: Have you always been a fan of the horror genre?

PT: Absolutely. One of my first cinema memories is my dad taking me to see Fright Night in 1985 and there being a promotional pack of vampire teeth on every seat. I was five at the time so I'm not sure how he snuck me in there, considering it's rated 18. I grew up watching The Omen films, in parts enthralled and terrified by them. I still can't pass that church in Fulham without keeping an eye on ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Simon Phillips, star and co-writer of The Nights Before Christmas
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
The Nights Before Christmas-poster

Seasonal slashers are once again coming into vogue but none as brutal as The Nights Before Christmas. Here, its star and co-writer Simon Phillips tells all about this movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

SP: I don't know if I ever was sure I was going to be in the film industry but as a child I sure liked talking a lot and my teacher once shouted at me "They'd better pay you to talk when you grow up, because you sure like the sound of your own voice"... So perhaps it was always on the cards!

HC: Are you a fan of horror movies?

SP: To be honest they terrify me... not the o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Elza Kephart, director and co-writer of Slaxx
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
SLAXX_Elza_(C)photoB-Calmeau_0125FrightFest is all about originality and new talent and 2020 has been a belter of a year for such things. Slaxx from Elza Kephart is a prime example of the new and exciting creative talent that's out there at the moment. We chatted to Elza about this superb shocker.

HC: Are you a big horror movie fan?

EK: Yes, huge! I started my horror adventure when I was a pre-teen, reading Agatha Christie, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Anne Rice. If there wasn't a death I wasn't interested. From that, I migrated to horror films; when I was about ten, I watched Aliens, the Fearless Vampire Hunters, Exorcist 2. I might have been a little too young, I remember being re...

SHARE: READ MORE
Hair scares, killer jeans, Santa slays and an invasion from above. Day 5 of FrightFest Digital Edition 2
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
slaxx-poster

We reach the final day of FrightFest but what awaits us will ensure that the event ends not with a bang but with an alien invasion!

It's always exciting when new creatives release work and The Stylist from Jill Gervargizian is no exception. Everyone dreams of being someone else... but for Claire that dream goes from an obsession to a living nightmare. Her job as a hairstylist allows her to move through other people's worlds, but when the right target sits in her chair, she does more than observe the client's life - she ends it, and keeps a permanent souvenir. Her lonely life, meticulous method and shocking secrets are suddenly thrown into turmoil when her regular client, Olivia, asks her to s...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adam Leader and Richard Oakes, co-directors of Hosts
Posted on Saturday 24th October 2020
hosts-poster

Hosts is a dark, brooding and sinister movie from two very talented creatives, Adam Leader and Richard Oakes. Here they chat about this outstanding movie.

HC: Have you always been fans of this genre?

AL: Yes, the first film I ever watched was the original Nightmare on Elm Street when I was eight years old. That turned me on to the horror genre, and since then I became absolutely horror obsessed. Every weekend, my dad would take me to the video store, and I'd choose the most messed up movie I could find for him to rent for me.

RO: Yes, coming from a family with a sister 7 years older than me, I was always fascinated by the films her and her friends used to watch. I walked in...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Barry Keating, writer of Embryo
Posted on Saturday 24th October 2020
Barry Keating at NIGHTWORLD on 25/08/2017Barry Keating is a scriptwriter who has had quite a number of movies at FrightFest over the years. He's back with another shocker for 2020, this time the truth might be out there in Embryo. We chatted to him about this sci-fi chiller.

HC: We show another of your movies on Horror, Nightworld, what's it like writing a script, which has horror legend Robert Englund in it?

BK: When I found out they'd cast Robert in the role that was a very surreal day. At first I didn't quite believe it, but when the producer forwarded a message from Robert to me saying that he really dug the script I completely geeked out. I'm a hug...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Patricio Valladares, director of Embryo
Posted on Saturday 24th October 2020
Embryo image 1

Chilean director Patricio Valladares is back at FrightFest and this time he's taking us into the science fiction zone with Embryo. Here he chats about working with Robert Englund on Nightworld and this sci-fi shocker.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror and sci-fi movies?

PV: Yes, from my childhood, my old brother watched Jason Voorhees and A Nightmare on Elm Street film series at home with a couple friends in the 80s. So, I always went from the bathroom to the living room at night to watch from behind the sofa with them. I Loved it! I liked the ultraviolence and gore from Robocop. When I was 14 or 15 I was a metalhead, so I had lots of tapes of death metal and a lot of low ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer, directors of Alien on Stage
Posted on Saturday 24th October 2020
alien-on-stage-poster

FrightFest always has a fine selection of documentaries showing, but none have touched hearts like Alien on Stage. This warm and loving look at an amateur stage production of the classic movie Alien has been placed in the running for the Horror Channel sponsored First Blood award so we chatted to directors Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer about this wonderful project.

HC: How long have you worked together and are you fans of the film, Alien?

We met working on a no budget British indie film in 2006 (I think) both working for free. Danielle was a camera trainee, I was the costume stylist. It was like going through a war together, it cemented our friendship and Danille...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Extant
EXTANT
Monday 17th May
8.00 PM
Hollow Man
HOLLOW MAN
Saturday 8th May
10.45 PM
Pet
PET
Sunday 9th May
10.50 PM