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Exclusive: Robert Englund Gives Us The Lowdown on Nightworld

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If you’re even 1/100th of the horror fan that you should be, then this man’s face to you is one of legend, especially for the character that he brought to life some 33 years ago. Freddy Krueger was his name, and aside from that wretched remake (personal opinion only – don’t have a fit), the charred pedophile that terrorized people in their nightmares was as entertaining as any charred pedophile could possibly be…sorry, but there was no other way to describe that. However, Robert Englund has maintained a lengthy career in television and film, and as hard as it was to nail down an interview with this man, somehow the evil gods smiled upon me and I got a call about 10 days ago, and Mr. Englund was on the line – he was packing for a trip to Spain, and was generous enough to talk to me for a few about his latest, Nightworld.

DC: What can you tell us about the film, as well as of your character Jacob?

RE: Nightworld was fun, man – I’ve always been a fan of Jason London’s and both he and his brother were with my agent a while back when they were younger, and I’d worked with the producer, Loris Curci previously in Romania, Spain and Italy before on a big project that lost its financing in Rome when the recession hit, so whenever he does a movie in Europe he calls me. This film was intriguing, and there’s always that aspect of “lost in translation” whenever you work in Europe, especially with a Chilean director and a Chilean director of photography with a Bulgarian crew and Italian producers, so it was tricky but I knew some people, and I’ve had both good and bad experiences over there. Sometimes in post-production when you have an editor that isn’t really on top of the language, they don’t know where the beats are, or where the joke is, or how to avoid the cliche because they’re not familiar with idiom, but with this film I felt pretty good. I think this is essentially a ghost story, but they really found that throughline with the wife – she’s spun Jason’s character out and he’s been drinking too much, and he goes all the way to fucking Bulgaria (laughs) to be a security guard, and it’s almost like she’s lured him there for some reason. Almost as if the seal has been broken in that particular portal to purgatory, I like that – she’s trying to get to him, and he’s somehow been lured there, cosmically with her in the void. I like the fact that he goes there to recover, and he then falls in love with this other girl, which ultimately enrages her and makes her jealous – I like the idea that the dead can possibly become jealous if we were ever to fall in love again, or do something like throw their clothes out – it’s all in the interpretation of the afterlife.

I’m playing a lot of these types of roles: the old scientist, the old father, the old doctor, and this one was just different enough to make me see Jacob as a Middle-European, contemporary Van Helsing-type. It’s funny when you’re an actor that sometimes the simplest things can help you figure stuff out, and I had him in my mind’s eye, and I was a little worried about playing a blind character, then I found a pair of glasses that wouldn’t let you see the sides of my eyes, and I have a relative of mine that’s blind, and he doesn’t act blind – he can barbecue and flip steaks (laughs). But there’s a certain tilt of the head that sightless people use because their auditory skills are more amplified, and I wanted to play a little bit of that, and the thing that saved me wasn’t going to “blind school” or anything like that…it was the hat! I wanted him to be timeless, and some old people aren’t really into clothes anymore, and in Europe especially, men are more elegant while we’re wearing Tommy fucking Bahama shirts and thong sandals with cargo shorts and bellies hanging out, so when you see a man overseas they’re more dressed up and elegant with clothes that are 30-40 years old, and it brings about a timelessness. So I found a Homberg hat and a jacket, and I thought “this is just right – I’ll just keep it on all the time” – I could imagine him coming out of some tiny, elegant apartment somewhere, and he’d gone blind and lost his job as a guard. 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. I find that in a lot of these parts I have to pitch the exposition and the backstory, but it’s fun, and had I not been loyal to genre work such as this over the years I might not have stepped into these roles at my age because in the 70’s when I was A-list, I was most likely the sidekick or best friend to Jeff Bridges or Susan Sarandon, playing the nerd, and those roles don’t really age as well, and they don’t really write for those roles much anymore, unless it’s someone like Morgan Freeman, but since he’s mostly playing God or the President now, that doesn’t happen! (laughs) It’s just a lot of fun to still do all this, and it’s really a pleasure to just be asked.

DC: Over the course of your career, you’ve had the innate ability to play the bad guy, the mysterious guy – those types of roles. Do you feel like those roles are more rewarding in essence than that of the “good guy?”

RE: Well, when I was in the theater, I realized early on that the bad guys are much better written and a lot more fun to act. The villains are always better written than the good guy, and there’s a place where that starts to shift, and the anti-here can really be fun to act if you’re the leading man, but I’ve learned that early on, and even though I was the good guy and sidekick I was a character actor, so I could always infuse a little something into each role – I was an albino best friend, and a redneck best friend – even a Flannery O’Connor southern-misfit best friend. Another gift that I’d gotten was when I came out of the makeup back in 2003, I’d had aged and my face had become a little Vincent Price, and a little George C. Scott – a little Max Von Sydow – a combination of all of those, almost a kind of Scottish lord, and it lent itself to playing these older types of roles, and it’s been real fun for me.

DC: There’s no doubt that you’ve etched your name into the annals of horror movie history, so at this point in your career what would you see as your “dream role?”

RE: Well, I don’t think I have the physical chops to sustain a long run of a play, and there comes a time when you want to control your ulcer and your stomach ache, and your nervousness and tension and worry, so I just go where I’m wanted now. I might want to direct a play – I’ve turned down directing movies recently because it takes at least a year of your life away, and I just can’t commit to that because who knows what else you’re going to be asked to do, and I’m constantly being surprised. In the last two weeks I’ve had to turn down a huge television show and a low-budget movie up in Oregon – it was a leading role, but I just couldn’t do it because I had other projects – you can’t be in two places at once, which is the actor’s nightmare – which is also why we make so much money, because you’re paying us for our time and we’re not allowed to get into bidding wars – you can’t make promissory notes to two different projects at the same time. I look at shows like “The Deuce” and “Narcos” or even “Game Of Thrones” and I see stuff that I could do in each of those. What I love about the new platforms and the limited series on Netflix and iTunes and Amazon is that they’re stretching our attention spans and taking time with the story, and we’re almost reading along with the characters, and it gives you an opportunity as an actor to surprise the audience. It would be fun to be on something like “Stranger Things” as a doctor as well.

It was at that point that Robert unfortunately had to cut our interview short as he was coming close to missing the window for his flight to Spain, but wanted to make sure that I’d gotten the pertinent info that I was looking for in this interview, to which I agreed. Perhaps some other time I’ll get the opportunity to wrap this chat up with a few more questions, but for now – Adios, Mr. Englund – can’t wait to see what you’ll be keeping yourself busy with in the future.

Nightworld

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31

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The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

SYNOPSIS:
A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3

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I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”

Whatever.

We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis:
It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter

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The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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