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Film Review: Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story


Robert Englund in the documentary film, HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY. Photo courtesy of Cineverse.

By Jaimz Dillman


So you’ve been raised in horror movies, MTV culture, and Saturday morning cartoons in your pajamas eating big bowls of sugared cereal. Of course, when you “grow up”, it just makes sense you create the ultimate love letter to one of your heroes from your childhood. That’s exactly what Gary Smart and Christopher Griffiths have done with HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY.

Robert Englund in the documentary film, HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY. Photo courtesy of Cineverse.

Now, don’t go into this thinking you’re gonna get any more of Freddy Krueger than we did with Never Sleep Again: The Nightmare Legacy, that’s been done. The goal Smart and Griffiths had was to celebrate the man behind the glove. And celebrate they do. Appearances and testimonials from fellow actors such as Lin Shaye, Kayne Hodder, Tony Todd, and wife Nancy. And yes, Heather Langenkamp lends her stories as well.

Slipknot's Corey Taylor in the documentary film, HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY. Photo courtesy of Cineverse.

What gives this documentary a different feel is the stories told of Englund’s rise before the Elm Street series that skyrocketed him to supervillain stardom. It feels like you’re sitting with friends waxing poetic about a fellow actor whose hard work was finally being recognized. And it seems like no one has a cross word to say about their experience with “Bob”. By all accounts, he’s a gentleman and a scholar. Co-writer Neil Smart worked with the two directors to tell the full story of Englund’s life to be released just before the actor’s 75th birthday.

Robert Englund in the documentary film, HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY. Photo courtesy of Cineverse.

We also get a look past the nightmare films to see that he is still very active. A fan favorite at convention meet-and-greets, a whole new generation has an appreciation of Englund’s work thanks to appearances in Stranger Things and The Goldbergs. While we don’t see him slowing down anytime soon, HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY does the ultimate fan service celebrating the man of our darkest dreams.

HOLLYWOOD DREAMS & NIGHTMARES: THE ROBERT ENGLUND STORY will be On Screambox and Digital on June 6, 2023.


Disclaimer: It is important to note that John Campopiano, a frequent collaborator of Creepy Kingdom Studios, served as a producer on this documentary. While Creepy Kingdom's Media Coverage department and film production studio operate independently, they both fall under the same parent company. However, it is crucial to understand that John Campopiano's involvement in the production did not influence the outcome or content of this review. We maintain a professional and unbiased approach to our reviews.

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