Interview: Robert Englund on ‘Inkubus,’ ‘Strippers Vs Werewolves’ & More
This man requires no introduction. So… erm…
Oh, okay, I guess I can say a few words in opening. By now you may have read my review of Inkubus (if not, click here); in which case you’ll be well aware that I wasn’t particularly impressed with it. But for all the film’s failings, one inarguable strength is the performance of its leading man. It serves to remind us just why we hold Englund up as one of the all-time great horror movie actors, alongside Karloff, Lugosi, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee et al; not simply because he portrayed an iconic horror character (although that is of course a large part of it), but also because of his consumate professional attitude. It doesn’t matter if it the film is big-budget/high profile or low-budget/low profile, the true pro brings their A-game regardless. That’s what Karloff and co did, and that’s what Englund does, and that’s why he’s such an assett to any film or TV show he appears in.
I’ll admit straight away that it was a daunting task coming up with questions for him; he’s such an old hand at this stuff, you just know that he’s literally heard them all before, and the last thing I wanted to do was dig up any more Freddy questions. (Well, okay, Freddy does come up once, but only briefly.) Even so, I could hardly pass up the opportunity to interview one of the all-time greats. So, here’s how it went down.
BAH: Hello Robert, and many thanks for taking the time to talk to Brutal As Hell. So what drew you to Inkubus; both the character, and the film overall?
Robert Englund: The first thing I liked about INKUBUS was the originality of the script. Then, of course, I’ve always wanted to work with William Forsythe, one of my favourite character actors, currently tearing it up on BOARDWALK EMPIRE. William’s participation also attracted me to the project. It was also an opportunity to meet and work with Jonathan Silverman whom I also admire. And lastly I felt the character was not only unique but also that I could sink my teeth into (no pun intended) the timelessness and vocabulary of the Inkubus character.
BAH: I suppose it’s inevitable that any antagonist role you take on will be compared with Freddy, but in the case of Inkubus it’s particularly appropriate given his reality-bending powers and verbose nature. How do you feel the roles compare?
RE: Freddy is not actually verbose. He cracks wise as a commentary on his kills. Whereas Inkubus is called upon to explain himself and rather enjoys it. The comparison between the two lies in their abilities to alter reality both real time and dream time.
BAH: You’ve been quoted as saying you make a point of looking at scripts from independent, first-time feature filmmakers, such as it was with Adam Green on Hatchet, and as it is with Glenn Ciano here. What do you get working with a first-timer that you don’t get from working with a more established, mainstream director?
RE: I have worked with several first time directors who had asked specifically for me. That’s always comforting for an actor. And encourages you to bring more to the table as an artist especially in a larger role.
BAH: Genre fans will be excited to see you sharing the screen with William Forsythe, particularly as there’s a long-standing conflict between the characters, giving some dramatic weight to your scenes together. How was it working with him?
RE: It was great working with William. I was a fan of his from RAISING ARIZONA, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, AMERICAN ME, etc. William’s performance as the detective gave me a worthy adversary, and anchored the film in reality. He provided a great nemesis for the Inkubus, like Sherlock Holmes provided for Moriarty.
BAH: Having worked with Kane Hodder, Doug Bradley, Tony Todd and now William Forsythe, you’ve acted alongside most of the modern horror greats. Is there anyone you haven’t yet had the chance to act with, but would like to?
RE: Since I already killed Bill Nighy in my PHANTOM OF THE OPERA I can scratch him off the list. I am a fan of Bill Mosley, Malcolm McDowell and Anthony Hopkins. I like the villain in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes, Mark Strong. I would be honoured to hit my marks with any of these actors.
RE: I loved working in London however briefly. Hope there is a sequel so I can return as the alpha wolf/gangster. I wasn’t able to work the same days as my “V” co-star Sarah Douglas but had a great time performing with the terrific Billy Murray.
BAH: Now, your casting in Strippers Versus Werewolves did raise a few eyebrows in the fan community, given how similar the project appears to Zombie Strippers. Can you assure us it won’t be the same thing all over again?!
RE: The films are very different. WEREWOLVES is more akin to SHAUN OF THE DEAD with a little Guy Ritchie London gangs ultra-violence thrown in for spice. But it is sexy, too.
BAH: Can I ask about what else you have in the pipeline; am I right in thinking you’ll be directing again soon?
RE: I just finished guest starring on the new Hawaii Five-O and am starring in the most recent LAKE PLACID sequel for the Sy-Fy channel. Gamers can use me as their avatar in CALL OF THE DEAD as I fight zombies with George Romero, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michael Rooker and Danny Trejo. I hope the long gestating movie of FEAR CLINIC will finally come to fruition in 2012, directed by the talented Robert Hall (FX for PARANORMAL 2, TERMINATOR: SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, director: LAID TO REST, CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST 2)
BAH: Finally, I’m going to do the nerdy “I don’t expect you to remember, but…” I was fortunate enough to meet you about five years ago at a collector’s show in Manchester; the photo of you with your claw to my throat is a prized possession. Whereas a lot of actors seem a little uncomfortable in that kind of environment, you seemed absolutely in your element. Do you still enjoy interacting with fans?
RE: My wife and I loved the venue for the Collectormania show in Manchester almost as much as we loved the Indian food. I love getting feedback from fans on my new projects. Plus it is fun to see rare and unusual foreign memorabilia from my career. Sexy, vintage Japanese programs from NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, lurid Thai posters of me devouring Patricia Arquette, Russian 2001 MANIACS one sheets, Czech Stephen King’s MANGLER posters, and sundry paparazzi stills of me slowly losing my hair.
BAH: Once again – thank you very much for your time, Robert.