Freddy, Fame & the Undeniable Allure of Robert Englund


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Fear Clinic, Robert Englund’s latest horror show is just a few days from its iTunes release, and like most seasoned fans I’m pretty psyched about it. I’m usually pretty psyched about Mr. Englund’s work in general, but this one (following the 2008 web series of the same name) looks like it might be kinda great, so it got me thinking about the man himself, a man beloved by millions.

After all, who doesn’t love Freddy Krueger?


Come on now, don’t lie, you love Freddy just as much as I do…I mean, it really isn’t possible not to love an evil, scarred, child murdering psychopath is it?


In Robert Englund’s capable hands the character became more than just a villain, he became a beloved villain, a bad man yes, but a bad man to cheer for. Strangely one does tend to forget that Freddy is not a role with any redeeming qualities, but we still root for him, and in my opinion that has nothing to do with script or directing, that is all Mr. Englund.

Don’t believe me? Well, why don’t you think back to 2010 when (for some reason I have yet to fathom) a Nightmare on Elm Street re-imagining emerged from the depths of hell…uh, I mean from Warner Bros studios, starring Jackie Earle Haley (who is actually a pretty fucking awesome actor in his own right). Now tell me horror fans, did you fall in mad love with that Freddy?


Cause I sure as fuck didn’t…and yet, it was the same character, an evil, scarred, child murdering psychopath.

Now you can trump it up to miscasting, which would be technically true since no one should (ever) play Freddy (ever never ever) but Robert Englund. However, JE Haley wasn’t at all bad in the role, it’s just that his Freddy was a typical one dimensional villain, he was a very bad man and we were glad to see him go, that’s all…who the heck was ever happy to see RE’s Freddy get beat? Hell, even when Nancy came back in part 3, I was psyched to have the character back, but deep down I still wanted Freddy to win.


…and on it went for a total of seven awesome Nightmare films, and one not at all bad Freddy vs Jason flick (as if Jason would have won, that’s bullshit right there…ahem).

When it comes to horror films, Robert is a god, so I guess it made sense that he, like many horror actors before/after him, would go on to star in numerous other genre films, some very good and some…well, not so good. All of which was awesome for me growing up, because I got to watch my favorite horror actor in my favorite genre pretty consistently.

Recently though (and I’m almost embarrassed to say it took me this long), I started to notice that Mr. Englund is a pretty damn fine actor with enormous versatility and excellent comedic timing. So, knowing that, I began to wonder why he hasn’t had his “Christopher Lee” moment yet. You know, when some young director casts his favorite horror legend in a big budget movie that actually showcases his many talents. Some people say it’s because audiences won’t be able to get past “Freddy”, and to them I say “shut up” and also “bullshit”.


In the last few years, he has branched out, taking roles that although usually still horror, let us see more of RE’s versatility than ever before. Zombie Strippers (2008) for one (yes yes the title, let’s move on) was actually a funny little horror comedy (the title is self explanatory really) in which our favorite villain is perfectly cast as Ian, the platinum blonde, germaphobic, underground strip club owner who hogs ALL the good lines. Along with the more recent The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue (2013), Mr. Englund concretely proved he can be really funny, which although any fans of Freddy already know this, it’s still nice to see him branch out further into comedy.


In horror, he starred in Inkubus (2011), cast as the titular demon and although unfortunately that movie suffered from some very questionable performances by…well, everyone who wasn’t Robert Englund (Joey Fatone I will give you a cookie if you never act again), the man himself was actually intense and pretty fucking riveting. The same can be said for The Last Showing (2014), which although some would say is superior to Inkubus (debatable), suffers from a lot of bad acting. Let me be clear, Robert Englund has both the acting chops and charisma to make reading the phone book seem like a captivating good time, but he is just one man, there are limits to how much shitty acting one man can make up for.

re mariaFun Fact: I met Mr. Englund at the local Comic Con last fall, and what surprised me most about him (besides the fact that he kinda sounds like a Cali surfer dude) is what a real gentleman he was. He was incredibly well spoken and articulate and seemed so very harmless I actually have to admit I felt a little let down. (Mind you what was I expecting, that he stab me to death and do a jig…I may have been less surprised had he done that) But then we had our picture taken with him, and he took my 6 year old daughter Maria and placed her in front of him and said “okay sweetie, ready to be scared”, and then he did THE laugh (you know very well that I mean the Freddy laugh) and my daughter giggled like crazy. I have to admit it really surprised me to hear Freddy’s voice coming out of that dapper older man, so much so that I look both shocked and kinda constipated in the picture (no you can’t see it, it’s too horrible for words and you’ll all go blind…but here’s the cropped version).

Afterwards, when we got to speak with him (and lemme tell ya, he is definitely a man who likes to talk and takes time with his fans), Maria asked him if he was a monster, and before I could say a word he very kindly gave her an explanation about how he sometimes plays monsters for grown ups to watch and then told her about the cartoon voice-overs he does for little kids to enjoy. It was a great and strange experience to see that the actor I had loved for years truly was a charming and talented man very much worth admiring…which is a fuck lot more than you can say for a whole lot of celebrities.


As for Fear Clinic, I’m being cautiously optimistic about it, especially after seeing that some fairly good actors are joining RE in this latest film. Fiona Dourif for one (daughter of Chucky), who kicks some serious acting ass and Thomas Dekker (All About Evil), who although he has some crappy crap in his filmography (including the Nightmare re-imagining) has been consistently decent in his roles. Also, the trailer is really fucking intriguing and kinda makes Fear Clinic look like it’s the shit…but as we know trailers can be deceiving and often make the worst flicks look like gold (I’m talking to you The Wolfman).

So here’s the trailer, take a look for yourselves horror fans, and don’t forget to look out for my review of Fear Clinic on February 1st(ish).

ps Don’t forget to help a girl out (if you will) and click Like if you liked the post 😉

Horror Quickie: The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death


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Like most horror fans, particularly those with a soft spot for ghosts, I absolutely loved the 2012 version of The Woman in Black. It was dark and tense, beautiful to look at and genuinely scary with an extraordinary cast and tight script; a perfect example of a ghost story done right. The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death seemed a worthy follow up. A story about a group of children forced to live in the dreaded Eel Marsh House where the dark, child killing specter resides; the possibilities were intriguing. So naturally when this movie was announced I did my fan girl happy dance, even if I am often wary of sequels.


Who can blame me, sequels, as a general rule, are hit or miss. It’s no surprise usually when a sequel fails to illicit the same enthusiasm as the original, and even less a surprise when a sequel fails outright at duplicating the same atmosphere or inspiring the same feelings as its predecessor.


As such, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death, does not really fail as a sequel, at least not technically. The dark, tense atmosphere that permeated the Daniel Radcliffe vehicle is ever present, and the performances by both adult and child actors are spot on.

So what the fuck’s the problem?

WIB2_Well, to put it plainly, this movie isn’t fucking scary, which in the world of horror, is kinda unforgivable. Also, the characters of Harry (Jeremy Irvine) and Eve (Phoebe Fox), spend the better part of the film finding out stuff we (the audience) already know about the titular woman in black. If I wanted to find out who/what the WiB is, I’d watch the first fucking movie over again, sequels are meant to continue and expand the first film’s universe, not reiterate it.

So that sucked.


And, as is the case with many a film nowadays, the good parts were in the trailer, so The Woman in Black 2 was short on surprises and was actually kinda boring…no, it was pretty damn boring…bah.

Horror Chick Whine: Why is it every time I look forward to a movie it sucks ass? Bullshit that’s what that is!

WOMAN IN BLACK 2Anyway, the movie isn’t awful, and I’m sure moviegoers looking for light scares with a bit of a (cheesy) love story thrown in will enjoy it. For my taste it was not nearly good enough and too predictable by half to be enjoyed at all. Unfortunately the ending (so so predictable) paved the way for part three, so there is a distinct possibility that we not have seen the last of this baby killing bitch…sigh.


So there goes that…I’m totally bummed at this disappointing flick. Good thing it’s only January so there’s lots to look forward to, and although The Woman in Black 2 is not really worth the price of admission, it’s probably not the worst thing we’ll see this year I’m sure…umm yay?!?

Stirba Kicks Ass or The Accidental Awesome of The Howling II (1985)


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howling2kIt’s been my experience, that Christopher Lee can improve almost any movie with his mere godlike presence and unwavering dedication to his roles, regardless of how sucktastic they may be. This is especially true in The Howling II, where Sir Christopher is, if I’m not mistaken, the only real actor in the entire cast.

Note: I love Christopher Lee, a lot…a whole heck of a lot; in fact, in an alternate universe, I’m pretty sure he’s my twin sister, but let’s not go there for now. Another thing I really love is the Howling II…and yeah, it totally does suck, but that is actually a huge part of it’s appeal…


Centering around newly introduced characters Ben and Jenny (Reb Brown and Annie McEnroe), the sequel takes place directly following the events of the first film (which, unlike this crap, is an indisputable classic of the genre). It begins at the funeral of Karen White (Dee Wallace, here replaced by…not Dee Wallace…who incidentally is breathing really deeply in that coffin) where both werewolves and hunters converge to pay their respects…sort of.


The hunter, Stefan Crosscoe, is portrayed by Lee as a serious, dedicated man of God who wants only to rid the world of evil werewolves and their Queen Stirba. As with all his roles, Sir Christopher plays it straight, and I can’t help but love him for his commitment to his craft; no phoning in the role for this living legend.

Howling2gOn the other end, we have seductive (and evil) werewolf Mariana (Marsha A. Hunt aka Mick Jagger’s ex/Baby mama), who is extra dangerous because SHE is immune to silver. How does one kill this shape-shifting vixen then? Titanium of course…yeah, I know, but bare with me, it gets better.

Fun Fact: When we first see Mariana at the funeral, she is accompanied by an older man/werewolf who horror fans may recognize as veteran actor Ferdy Mayne, also known as the wicked Count Von Krolock in Roman Polanski’s classic The Fearless Vampire Killers, which incidentally is one of my personal faves.

So, the good guys discover that the werewolf queen Stirba is in “the dark country”, Transylvania, and off they jet to find/destroy her. While on the trip, the two leads fall in love…can I just say that Brown and McEnroe are the blandest movie couple in the history of ever and together are about as sexy as a jar of mayonnaise…I’m being nice here.

howling2d2Meanwhile, over at Stirba’s evil lair, the werewolves prepare to re-invigorate their queen by sacrificing a fresh young girl to her. Now this scene is particularly hilarious to me for the following reasons, when we first see Stirba, she’s an elderly woman, and after devouring the girl’s life force she transforms into a perfectly coiffed Sybil Danning…and then promptly rips off her ceremonial robe to reveal a low cut, skin tight dress that leaves very very little to the imagination. You may be asking why this is funny…well, because I can’t help but picture “elderly” Stirba trying to stuff herself into the risqué outfit with the intent of being post-transformation sexy.


And then there’s the hairy werewolf love scene featuring Sybill, Marsha A. Hunt and Judd Omen…as far as sex scenes go, this one is definitely…ummm…here’s a picture…


…suffice to say that the scene is so utterly ludicrous it’s gotta be seen to be, uhhhh, appreciated.

Sybil does her balls to the wall villain act without a shred of irony, even in the scenes where she’s acting against a plastic bat on a stick, this lady gives the part her cheesy best…you really couldn’t ask for more. Meanwhile, Marsha is, unfortunately, not much more than attractive half-nude wallpaper, and fellow villain Omen is simultaneously kinda hot and kinda not at all…I’m guessing all three of the above were cast based on their willingness to expose their privates…although, to be fair, there is bush aplenty but there is not nearly enough (or any) penis in this movie.

Seriously, where’s the horror penis? Show your dicks boys, we wanna see ’em! Sybil Danning’s boobs, which are displayed repeatedly and for no reason at all, even get their own montage at the end of the movie where she rips off her top no less than 17 times (I counted), and they couldn’t show Judd Omen’s dong just once…bah.

Ahem…I’m really not penis obsessed.

All the while only Sir Chris manages to maintain some level of dignity during the proceedings…but to be fair, it’s only ‘just’, and I’m probably biased (no I’m not) due to my obsessive love for the world’s greatest Dracula. Of course maintaining his dignity doesn’t really make this movie any better, let’s be clear, this is a terrible movie, fun and crazy yeah, but really fucking bad. Even the theme song by alleged “punk” band Babel, which is on repeat throughout the movie, is so horribly catchy you’ll be singing along in no time…here have a listen…

Wasn’t that awful and awesome at the same time? Yeah, it was…

Anyway, despite it’s many many (many) flaws, it’s easy to see why Howling 2 achieved cult status with fans, because once it gets going its nearly impossible to look away from all the straight up crazy shit going on. So don’t try to resist horror fans, sit back, give in and enjoy the accidental awesome of The Howling 2…even if there is no penis present.

Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead (2014)

Hey Horror Chicks (and Gents)…have you been to Cenobiteme’s site? Well worth checking out for all you horror fans…and here be a sample, be a peach and give it a click 😉

Cenobite Me

Dead Snow 2

Directed By: Tommy Wirkola

Starring: Vegar Hoel, Orjan Gamsf, Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas, Kristoffer Joner, Derek Mears

Synopsis: Martin, the sole survivor of the first film continues his battle against Colonel Herzog and the zombie horde.

Thoughts: I was a huge fan of the first Dead Snow, as it blended Nazi Zombies, comedy and buckets of gore perfectly, so I was very excited to hear that Tommy Wirkola was making a sequel. No punches were pulled as the gore is ramped up and the storyline is just ridiculous enough to be highly entertaining.

Colonel Herzog returns with his Nazi Zombie horde, but he quickly loses his arm, which then gets accidentally reattached to Martin, giving Martin powers over the dead and super strength. This sets up a showdown between Herzog and his horde and Martin and his freshly raised Russian zombies (like I said, ridiculous).

Although the cast…

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Horror Quickie: What We Do in the Shadows (2014)


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Sometime during the first 20 minutes of the hilarious vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, I came to the realization that if I and my besties were ever to be transformed into the undead, we would probably be a lot like the characters in this flick. The vampires in question are just the most endearing bunch of lovable, clueless bloodsucking dorks to ever grace the horror genre…and I would totally be Viago.


If you’ve yet to experience this awesome horror comedy then you’ve no clue what I’m talking about, and to you I say: {appropriately cheesy Transylvanian accent} Seeeeee it, seeeee it NOOOOOW!

Note: I’m giggling like an idiot right now!

WWDitS8Alrighty, rundown; a film crew follows four vampire roommates, documenting the banality of their daily lives and learning about the ins and outs of vampire life in modern day Wellington, New Zealand. The guys in question are all one form of vampire stereotype and so radically different from each other that it makes for some crazy funny scenes.


The oldest, Petyr (Ben Fransham), is an 8000 year old ‘nosferatu’ looking vamp who never actually speaks but is hilarious to watch the others interact with. Viago (Taika Waititi) is an 18th century dandy who is like the den mother of the group, taking care of his flatmates and giving speeches about who should do which chores. FYI, this dude is just adorable and he kinda reminds me of Andy Kaufman’s character in Taxi…except for that last reference, that would totally be me. Vladislav (Jermaine Clement) is sort of a ‘Vlad Tepes’ type of character who was probably fearsome and sexy once, but now, since his crushing defeat at the hands of his arch nemesis The Beast, he’s not much of either. Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), the youngest of the bunch, is a former Nazi vampire who is without a doubt the funniest character in the entire movie. Deacon’s “erotic” dance (roughly 30 minutes into the film) had me laughing so hard I had to clench so as not to pee…yeah you read that right.


I don’t want to tell you anything else, because anyone who gives away any part of this fan-fucking-tastic movie is a total TOTAL dickface (oh yeah, I went there).

Fun horror flicks are way rarer than they ought to be, but fun AND surprising horror flicks are so rare as to be practically endangered…so, you know, I would recommend punching any spoiler wannabes right in the penis/vagina/boob, thus preventing them from ruining the movie…and probably from ever speaking to you again.


Ahem…Yay Vampires!