Book Review: Robert Englund, ‘Hollywood Monster’

Book Review: Robert Englund, ‘Hollywood Monster’

  There are three first names that always pop into my mind when I think of horror films of the 1980s: Michael, Jason and Freddy. Their movies splashed blood across the big screens until the franchises became diluted by too many sequels to make them worth watching. For a modern reference point, see the Saw […]

 

There are three first names that always pop into my mind when I think of horror films of the 1980s: Michael, Jason and Freddy. Their movies splashed blood across the big screens until the franchises became diluted by too many sequels to make them worth watching. For a modern reference point, see the Saw franchise. But in the cases of the Jamie Lee Curtis-chasing Michael Myers and the machete-swinging camp-wrecker Jason Voorhees, there were multiple men behind the masks over the years.

When you refer to Freddy Krueger, you are talking about only one man: Robert Englund. Well, at least until the now ubiquitous re-launch of the ‘80s series coming in 2010, which features Jackie Earle Haley of Rorschach-fame playing the role.

Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams is Englund’s story about his career and life as the iconic on-screen monster from our nightmares. And it has been quite a career. With over 100 credits to his name since 1974, Englund has made an indelible mark on the landscape of both TV and film. This book does a great job of chronicling that history in a light, funny way. It is filled with great stories about the business and the people he worked with, including some strange asides about Gary Busey.

My only issue was the brevity of the work. It easily could have been longer as Englund is a skilled storyteller with interesting things to say. There were a number of times I found myself wanting more details on stories that were deeply engaging. That being said, it is a small concern in what is overall a fantastic book that will speak to audiences beyond just those whose dreams Englund has haunted for more than 20 years.