Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert England Story gives the man behind Freddy Krueger his just due

Horror icon Robert England gets his flowers from directors Gary Smart and Christopher Griffiths in Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert England Story. Gary Smart and Neil Morris pen the documentary’s screenplay, which looks at the work of one of the Horror genre’s icons.

Robert England, a classically trained actor, and director, has become one of our generation’s most revolutionary horror icons. This unique and intimate portrait captures the man behind the glove and features interviews with England and his wife Nancy, Lin Shaye, Eli Roth, Tony Todd, Heather Langenkamp, and more. England starred in many well-known movies throughout his career but shot to super-stardom with his portrayal of supernatural serial killer Freddy Krueger in the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchise.

Robert England is an iconic actor known for his role in Nightmare On Elm Street. Viewers may be spoiled by his classic horror performance, but his range of credits includes the short-lived series Nightmare Care the mis marketed nineties action comedy The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and a handful of other projects. 

Throughout the documentary, Robert England is a fascinating storyteller. Some of the memorable anecdotes shared in the film are England’s audition process with giants like George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. He even takes viewers back to what would have been one of the biggest epics ever made: Crusade. Paul Verhoeven was going to direct, and Arnold Schwarzenegger would star in this medieval epic film, combining the best of both their specialties; Verhoeven’s action movie prowess and Schwarzenegger’s aptitude for delivering thrilling action sequences. The role of England was to serve as comic relief, possibly providing an invaluable stepping stone in his career. 

For the most part, the documentary kept my attention. However, I wanted to hear more about the troubled production of Freddy Vs. Jason and his directing efforts (yes 976-Evil is underrated). Furthermore, I would have loved to hear about some of the roles he didn’t get due to fandom of Freddy, Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert England Story is an excellent documentary for fans of the Nightmare series and those who appreciate a good underdog story. Robert England captivates the audience with his storytelling, as he relays a wealth of stories from before and after filming the Nightmare movies. He has had fascinating relationships with many actors and directors who speak highly of him. Overall, this documentary is well-viewed for its sheer entertainment value.

Final Grade: B

 Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert England Story is AVAILABLE ON SCREAMBOX AND DIGITAL

June 6, 2023

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