With great embarrassment, I admit that instead of saving the recording of the Robert Englund Q&A. I deleted it so some of this recount will be spotty at best.
Mr. Freddy Krueger himself took the stage in the Vancouver Convention Centre promptly at 6pm, and the affable 66 year old movie veteran owned the hour like a pro. He said he had been sitting on his ass all day signing autographs that he would prefer to stand. He wanted to get his business out of the way right at the beginning so he could then spend the rest of the time talking to the fans.
He spoke of the crowdfunded film Fear Clinic which is aiming to come out later this year. Based on the web series of the same name it follows a doctor, played by Englund who aims to help patients with extreme phobias by placing them inside an invention that will induce hallucinations. He joked that it was not close but in the same vein as Nightmare on Elm Street where instead of dreams he gets in your heads another way.
The other project he spoke of, and the one that really excited the audience was The Last Showing. The story of an old school projectionist who is demoted to the concession stand because he wouldn’t embrace the change to digital, so he exacts revenge. It sounds like it also is a kind of found footage endeavour but with a sense of humour.
When talk came back to Freddy Krueger, Englund revealed that his favourite kill for as long as he can remember is from Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, where Freddy affects Carlos’ hearing aid so that even the tiniest sound is amplified and Carlos is killed when Freddy scratches his knife fingers on a chalkboard making the boy’s head explode. And almost as an afterthought Englund mentioned that Johnny Depps’ death in the waterbed in the first Nightmare on Elm Street was a close second.
In response to coming back for Freddy vs Jason 2, he flat out said that he is too old, and unable to do the stunts needed to take on Freddy in that capacity, and at any rate, Platinum Dunes owns all the rights and are in the market to reboot all the franchises and, he said, actors don’t do their own reboots, they do sequels, not reboots. He jokes that Danny Glover and Mel Gibson could very well go on the make Lethel Weapon 11, but you won’t see them remaking the first film again. But, he said, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, if they want to make the prequel, he could lose some weight, dye his greying hair back to red and be ready to be burned alive.
When asked what he felt were some scary films, England rattled off a bunch of old films, but settled on one in particular, the 1961 Deborah Kerr film The Innocents, about a young governess who is sure that the house she is working in is haunted. He then went on the cite one of his more favourite scenes in the film that has the governess climbing on the roof, looking for the children when a flock of birds perched on the roof flap past her, he said he had seen the film many many times on the TV but when he was able to see it in a theatre he finally heard, deep inside the smacking of wings, down a few levels in the foley, the sounds of kids calling out, asking not to be hurt, crying. He gave a glowing recommendation to find the film.
On the topic of his 2008 film Zombie Strippers! the ever positive Englund took an apologetic tone as he explained that the script he read- the script he said, “Yes.” to was a fine script, funny, interesting, a good story. A script that if someone dropped that same script in front of him today he would say, “Yes.” again in a heartbeat. But, unfortunately, someone in the company decided the film needed to be more about the murders, and the T&A, and cut out the fun dialogue and the interweaved story that he fell in love with. As anyone reads my Omega 13 articles knows, this is not a singular problem but has ruined countless films throughout the ages.
Robert Englund will be at the Vancouver FanExpo all weekend, April 19 & 20, and it is worth a trip to the Vancouver Convention Centre to have a chance to chat with him.