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Quint interviews Robert Englund about FREDDY VS JASON, V and much more!

Hey folks, Harry here... Before the epic splendor that was Camp Hacknslash, Quint decided to track down Robert Englund and get him to spill about anything and everything... Here is the results...

Ahoy, squirts! Everyone's favorite crusty ol' seaman, Quint, here with an interview conducted a few days ago with none other than Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. He was in Austin to attend Harry's little CAMP HACKENSLASH thing and to do some local press for his return to the ratty fedora, the tattered red and green sweater and the thousands of pounds of prosthetics... FREDDY VS JASON.  

I interviewed Englund back in October of 2001 (sacrificed my Halloween to get that big bastard up for you folks, matter of fact... read it here!!! ) and had a great, in depth chat... At that point Steve Norrington was mentioned as being the frontrunner for FREDDY VS JASON.  

At any rate, we had a nice little chat. It was great for me, a life long Krueger fan, to actually get to chat with Englund solely about a new Freddy film. Let's get this started, shall we?    




ROBERT ENGLUND: I thought it was going to be easier than it was because... I could always warm him up... I have always played Freddy older than I was, so I'm actually the right age to play Freddy now, so that's not a problem. We're playing weaker, meaner, cantankerous. That all worked for it. The problem was because of that damn Jason, I had to go to his turf so much in this movie. That's why we went to Canada.  

So, I'm out there at Camp Crystal Lake, which looked the first three days we were out there... it's like Switzerland in the summer. I thought, "This is going to be great!" Twenty-five minutes from downtown Vancouver, you know... And we get out there... The daytime stuff is easy. The first couple of nights are easy, but I start doing the water stuff...  

Because I'm an old surfer, BIG WEDNESDAY, etc., I want to be macho with the stunt guys 'cause I know I have a lot of fight scenes coming up and a lot of wire work coming up. I say I'm gonna do all my own water stuff. I mean, I can hold my breath forever. In fact, they had to get rid of the Navy SEALS because they brought too many bubbles into the shot.  

But I'm down there for two minutes holding my breath doing shots, but they never got the glue right for me doing water stuff because they were worried that I'd look like a giant used condom or a water balloon or something, so they double and triple glued me with, you know, Frank Sinatra #7 colostomy bag medical adhesive or whatever the hell they used. By the time they got it right, they had been scraping this crap off for two and a half weeks. I was two and a half weeks into the movie and my skin was raw.  

So, for the balance of the movie, I'm putting on glue on raw skin, on damaged little tears under my eyes. I'm not a little kid anymore. I'm not as resilient. I don't heal as fast. So, I'm dealing with that. Now, thank God I had a break of about 7 to 10 days and I was able to kinda go off to Vancouver Island... take a sea plane over there and take a look at the million dollar estate of Angela Lansbury and kayak a little bit and eat good pancakes and heal up. That's what was getting me.  

The other thing was Kelly Rowland, the lovely star of Destiny's Child, who actually I have a huge crush on. She's like Audrey Hepburn she's so beautiful and classy. But Kelly had the number one song in the world while we were shooting the movie... with Nelly. Well, there are two things that happened.  

When you have the number one song in the world you have to do Saturday Night Live and you have to do... we're not familiar with this show over here, but you have to do Tops of the Pops. Which is so huge that it's now in every country in Europe. It's shot in London. This is a show that The Beatles did, that's how long this show has been around. Remember the Skittle band in SPINAL TAP? They were probably on Tops of the Pops! (laughs) Ed Begley on the drums just before he blew up! I mean, this show you have to do it. Everybody watches it.  

So, Kelly went off to do that and threw our schedule off. So then we worked a month of nights. Me with the bad skin working a month of nights. Not only that, but I have it in my contract that I have an amount of time to sleep between the time I take the make-up off, go home... I need 8 hours sleep, right? I'm allowed 8 hours of sleep... and then I got to have breakfast and then come back...  

Well, we threw that out almost immediately because Kelly was gone. We changed the schedule, we were working only nights... I worked 24 hours 3 times in the movie. Probably over 16, 17 hours at least 5 or 6 times. It was a tough shoot because of her schedule, because we changed our schedule, because we worked a huge amount of nights, 'cause it got cold and slowed us all down on second unit out at Jason's damn Crystal Lake set. It got rough.  

We changed the ending, we rewrote the ending, we stretched the ending, you know... we stretched the final confrontation, so that it's almost like Popeye Vs. Bluto heads butting. There's also a MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL thing, then it's sort of a Road Runner Vs Coyote kinda thing going on. The real scares and all that comes when Jason and I go after all the kids.  

When Jason and I are together it's different, more entertaining. What's Jason going to do when he's in a dream? What's Freddy going to do when he's in reality? What's Jason going to do in the boiler room and what's Freddy going to do at Camp Crystal Lake? It's more of that.  


ROBERT ENGLUND: I think between the internet and male adolescence world wide and gossip mongers and rumor mongers it seems like it's been real long... Now, I know that New Line did a dummy trailer a while ago and I know that they had the claw come up. And that was sort of the real beginning when the claw comes up in... I forget which FRIDAY THE 13TH that was...  


ROBERT ENGLUND: Yeah, JASON GOES TO HELL. For me, it has only really been alive since '99. I think I made my deal in '99. I have been signed, sealed and delivered since '99. My incarnations that I know was first it was Rob Bottin and I love Rob Bottin. John Carpenter's THE THING is one of my favorite films and a very underrated horror film because the critics all had to compare it to Howard Hawks's original and it stands on its own. It has a great cast and it's the last great special effects movie without CGI and digital. Everything you see in that is home made animatronics, live robotic stuff. It's all real. It's just great, great stuff.  

So, I really wanted to work with Rob and then the budget got high on the movie and there was probably another script that I haven't seen, but the budget was too high. Then Rob left the project for other things. Then, I think the next thing that happened was I think Guillermo Del Toro might have been touted. I've heard his name bandied about. I think Guillermo either went away to do DEVIL'S BACKBONE or he went off to do BLADE 2.  

Then Michael DeLuca left New Line Cinema. Whenever there's a power shift that immense the people that are left or the new people that rise in the corporate suite, they need to put their imprint on the scripts and their OK on the greenlight. So, we went through more changes. I was literally filling my dance card now 'cause I'm waiting to do this.  

It's maybe early 2001 now... I remember flying to Europe to do a movie. My wife and I were sitting in first class on British Airways and there's some big, tall guy sitting next to me on his way for a honeymoon in the South of France, and he's one of the story editors or one of the execs on KING OF THE HILL with Mike Judge.  

I love KING OF THE HILL, so I'm just complimenting this guy and he says, "You know what? I've only done one movie script with my partner. It was FREDDY VS. JASON." He'd done a draft and he told me a bunch of gossip and stuff.  

So, now it's 2002 and I'm doing other movies and publicity and television and stuff. Then I hear (NEW LINE HEAD HONCHO) Bob Shaye has a script he really likes. I'm over in Paris or near Paris, with John Landis and Jean-Pierre Jeunet who directed ALIEN 4 and AMELIE...  


ROBERT ENGLUND: And DELICATESSEN. Great director. It's 9 in the morning and we're drinking bad French coffee, we're on a jury at a film festival, and we see BRIDE OF CHUCKY. It had slipped through my fingers, even though I'm dear friends with Kevin Yagher... We loved it! We were hoping the French would like it and they did, so we gave Ronny Yu an award. I think this was 2001. We give Ronny Yu an award.  

Now I hear Ronny Yu's name mentioned in 2002. I hear his name mentioned, I hear Bob Shaye likes a script and I'm thinking we're going to shoot it in February of this year, 2003, but we wound up shooting it September 2002. New Line just said, "Get your ass up to Vancouver!"  

Bill Terezakis has this fabulous shop up there... he's got all that... all that X-FILES money. He's got that beautiful shop... I wish I could take every young fan and client of yours and mine for a tour of this shop. It's everybody's dream. It's what we all want to do. It's in the coolest neighborhood. It's like this new, clean Canadian So-Ho with bitchin' warehouses, sushi bars, noodle houses, beer breweries, full of long legged girls on rollerskates. The front is all giant antique barber's chairs and all the faces of all his creatures and characters. You go in the back and it's the animatronics shop. There's the mechanicals, there's the lab rats, there's blood/gut boys, there's the drawing guys doing all the cool story boards, there's the offices, there's the pictures of every movie he's ever worked on framed, there's the big giant thing that you get dipped in when you do your mold. It was so cool!  

And I even have pictures on my site (CLICK HERE!!! CLICK HERE!!! ) which you can go... also if you need any more real true stories of Robert Englund and you can get the only good resume and bio. But I have some pictures of Bill's shop that are on there, too.  

But, you know, I was up there since September. I thought I wasn't gonna have to get ready until February, so I hadn't been to the gym or anything. So, I got up there and thankfully there was a pool in my hotel and I just started doing my laps and holding my breath under water, getting ready for my stunts. I remember I was doing laps with Robert Carradine. He was up there shooting that family film, the Disney film.  

Yeah. That was it. It just go, go, go! So, they had this script all of 2002 and they had Ronny and they were just doing the final tweaks, I think, in the Spring of 2002 and it was, like, just go! Then it was just waiting for studio space, I think. Because X-MEN... You know, X-MEN was the movie that never ended. They were up there forever! I heard Rebecca Stamos was going nuts because she was in the make-up so much...  


ROBERT ENGLUND: Well, I've only read three.  


ROBERT ENGLUND: Actually, Entertainment Weekly has a pretty good overview of all this if you want to go look at it, but what happened was some of the writers weren't taking it seriously. They were immediately thinking, "Let's have too much fun with it, like ABBOT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN." And some people were violating too much of the back story of either A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET or FRIDAY THE 13TH. That was the problem.  

Now, there was an original script that I heard was pretty good, but they didn't really have an ending, so they decided to have two endings. They really couldn't figure out who would win or who should win.  

What we have in ours, what I like to call ours is we have this sort of triple fake out... quadruple fake out. We have fun with it, but it makes sense. It's really what I call... there's an old cowboy movie word called "Donnybrook". Donnybrook is like a great saloon brawl. Sometimes they end and it's the end and they just used everything they had up and it's just John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart on the floor and it's not that they become friends, it's just that they don't have anything left.  

So, we kinda went that way with it. They really get exhausted. They just butt heads and butt heads like rams in a Disney nature film, you know. Trying to figure out who's superior in the pack or something, you know. But, it makes sense to me.  

There was an ending we shot that we didn't use, but I kind of like. I think they were afraid that the audience was going to think that the next step was going to be SON OF FREDDY, even though that's not what it meant at all. I loved it! You know, there's a lot of mythology in the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET movies about virgins or girls losing their virginity or having sex and then becoming the strong, powerful woman warrior against Freddy.  

In one of our original endings, the virgin queen, the virgin warrior at the end gets together with her boyfriend, finally. He's a good guy. He's a reluctant hero. And, of course, it's as if Freddy has somehow tainted him and got his seed into this kid. The gentle, virginal Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs sex becomes a little rough and a little kinkier. Then it gets nasty and then you see his hand morph into the Freddy claw from WES CRAVEN'S NEW NIGHTMARE. That sort of animorphic bone claw.  

I love what that means symbolically, but they were afraid that audiences would think that Jason Ritter was going to play Freddy for the next 10 years! Not that Jason couldn't. I've seen Jason on LAW AND ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIM'S UNIT playing a psycho Leopold in Love killer and he was brilliant! So, I know Jason's got a great, dark thing in him, but that's not what the ending meant.  

It was just that Freddy was finally gonna get his virgin. That's what it meant. Freddy was getting his virgin pussy, you know, he always wanted to get on some weird level. I mean, Heather Langenkamp and Lisa Wilcox and now Monica Keena... These are the best girls. Monica Keena is like Brittany Murphy before the diet. Nudge-nudge-wink-wink say no more.  



ROBERT ENGLUND: This is how I see it. Now Ronny's gonna say it differently, but I think I know. I think I have a better guess on Ronny 'cause I love Ronny's work. I look at this movie as if Michael DeLuca was in Paris or Tokyo in 1990 in the best hotel signing up somebody from Cyberpunk or signing up Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Johnny Depp for a movie and on his day off he found a great graphic comic called FREDDY VS JASON, illustrated by the coolest guy from Tokyo or London. Some great punk illustrator.  

Beautiful, off-beat, with an extra tall Jason... That's Ronny. That's what Ronny brings to this. He has this great way of putting the camera... You just sort of hold on. Ronny knows you can do anything on film now, he demands it of Fred Murphy, our brilliant Director of Photography, and of his visual crew and the post production CGI guys.  

Ronny knows you can do anything now, so Ronny puts the camera up your butt! (laughs) An over the shoulder on Ken Kirzinger is like a crane shot! Because he's so big! It's just that way... And lenses... Wide lenses! There were some times I couldn't lean this much (ABOUT 2 INCHES) or my nose would turn a corner. You just have to play with that.  

And Ronny is just unapologetic. What Wes Craven taught me was to respect the genre. Ronny's the same way. Ronny's full of gusto and respect for the genre. He loves it. We'd joke about Ronny saying, "I don't want buckets of blood, I want barrels of it!"  

I saw Ronny one night on a crane... Camp Crystal Lake... He came out to kick second unit's ass. It's the middle of the night. They screwed me over on first unit. I'm beat up. I just worked 24 hours. I have one more little shot. They have two stunt men, a guy and a girl doubling Monica Keenan and Jason Ritter is out on the pier... the whole goddamn lake is on fire... Ronny's on a crane, fire underneath him... The two stunt people, a young guy and young girl, have fallen in love while we were making this movie. They were engaged to get married... And Ronny screams... on a bullhorn... 4 in the morning... on a lake... 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver... second unit hasn't slept for two weeks, they're walking around like zombies and he screams, "Die! Die! Die, Honeymoon couple!!! And die again! I WANT MORE BLOOD!!!"  

This is the right guy! This is like Erich von Stroheim this is the right guy for the job! He was just loving it, just playing God up there on the crane, like a kid with a big train set. Just like Orson Welles. I got my second burst of energy that night and I was dead. The equivalent thing happened to me on NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4 with Renny Harlin.  

Renny saw me going down and Renny dragged me over, put an army blanket over me, poured me some Cognac and showed me a rough cut of the dump sequence, the junkyard sequence in NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET PART FOUR and it was so cool I literally could have worked all night. I got my energy back, 'cause they know how to exploit me. They know I love movies, I'm a fan. If I see how cool it can look I can never go back and hide in my trailer.  



WENDY RUTHERFORD: Yeah, we have Ronny and Sean for ya'.  


ROBERT ENGLUND: Oh yeah. We're doing it! You know, I did NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 1 because I thought I was going to be typecast as a nerdy Leonard Nimoy for the rest of my life. That's how much... I was getting a thousand fan letters a week... at my house! That's not counting what Warner Bros was getting or what NBC were getting.  

Here it is, twenty years later and I'm going to do V again because Steven Spielberg did TAKEN and audiences loved it. Borrowed some of our plot from V... INDEPENDENCE DAY borrowed some of our imagery... NBC realized, "God... we own this... we don't have to buy or pay for anything except for Ken Johnson again!"  

They called Kenny up and Kenny's been doing this slick little family show on Disney. It's about this teenage girl on a space station. It's really cool for kids... It's this empowered, you know, girl power show and she's growing up and it's the 21st century and she lives in a space station. It's a family show. It's actually a great idea when you think about it.  

But Ken's coming back. He's writing right now as we're sitting here, so we're going to do it next year.  


ROBERT ENGLUND: I want to do it. I love the role. The script's OK. I love the people involved and I love the role, but, you know, I was ready to do that twice last year. So, they better get their financing together because I gotta go do... I've got a movie at the Venice Film Festival this year that I'm very proud of, this Italian comedy (IL RITORNO DI CAGLIOSTRO). I have to go be there. Not even New Line's paying my way. I'm going over myself, even though they're going to need me over there next month. I'm going. I need to do that. How often do you have a movie, an Italian comedy, at the Venice Film Festival, arguably the second best film festival in the world? I have a movie at Montreal, a serious movie at Montreal. So, I've got to do these. This is another part of my career now because of the international success of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. So, I need to do that. 2001 MANIACS has to wait on me. I want to do it, I want to do Colonel Sanders from Hell. It's going to be Robert Englund as the Colonel Sanders from Hell. It's the most politically incorrect script ever written. It's unbelievably politically incorrect.  

The other one that I want to do, too, but they got to get their financing together is... Gunnar (LEATHERFACE) Hansen has a script called THE LAST HORROR PICTURE SHOW that is brilliant! And I'll be here! We'll all be here! I'm comin' back to Texas for that. They kinda waited for FREDDY VS JASON to come out because it's kinda easier raising funding using my name, but now they got to wait on my schedule. So, that's where we're at.  


With that, the interview was over. I got a photo snapped of me with Robert and my NIGHTMARE 3 poster signed as I promised to take him out to the best damn TEX-MEX restaurant in the world, CHUY'S, when he was next in town. I was then sent off to sit with Mr. Ronny Yu and Mr. Sean S. Cunningham. Those interviews will follow this one in about a day or so. 'Til that day, this is Quint bidding you pleasant nightmares!  


email: One, two Seaman's comin' for you... Three, four it's on your floor... Five, Six it wants some chicks... Seven, eight you like to masturbate... Nine, ten I'll give you an e-rec-tion... Email me here!!!

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