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  • Patricia Stover

Robert Englund, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Strangeland

Let’s talk about one of my favorite horror movie villains and the incredible actor who will forever creep me out. Freddy Kreuger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street series and his alter ego or vice versa, Robert Englund.

Robert Englund has starred in over seventy-five films. Most of these are horror films, and he is probably most recognized for his role as Freddy Kreuger.

So, what was it that made this character so unforgettably iconic? I mean, besides the bladed glove and undoubtedly terrifying appearance. Was it the fact that you couldn’t escape? I mean, the guy followed you into your dreams after all.

When we curl up under the blankets and drift off into dreamland, that is when we feel the safest. We are in the comfort of our own homes, in our cozy beds, shielded by the magical forces of the monster repelling blankets. There is no safer place.

Unless you live on Elm Street. You could forget about ever sleeping again. “Never sleep again…Never sleep again…” remember? Forget the fact that you can no longer sleep because you’re constantly evading the gross looking knife-finger guy. Or the fact that nobody would believe you if you told them. The worst part is how creative Freddy is with his kills.

If you’ve ever watched the series, then you know. If you haven’t, get ready….

spoiler alert!

This dude has some of the craziest kills in horror movie history. And if you’re squeamish, and I hope you’re not, you may not want to watch, or to read any further. Or maybe you do.

I’m not exactly sure of my age when I was first introduced to Kreuger. But I do know that I was much too young to be watching these films. I used to hide my eyes and always ended up crawling into bed with my grandparents or my mom and dad afterward.

I will never forget how terrified I was to fall asleep. And I will never forget how Johnny Depp got sucked into his bed and a river of blood spewed onto the ceiling. Or how that one girl got her head crammed into the television set, or how one guy was made into a human puppet with all his tendons and ligaments pulled from his body. Him just dangling from Freddy’s fingers. Yuck.

But I think the most iconic thing about Freddy was his personality. Those quick-witted one-liners that he was so famous for. You always knew when someone was about to die, because he had something to say about it. He was one-hundred percent unremorseful and without mercy. Also, kind of funny now that I’m a little-or a lot-older.

“Welcome to prime time _____,” I’ll let you guys fill in the blank.

Not only was he kind of hilarious, he had a keen fashion sense. I mean, what was up with that ugly striped sweater and hat? That alone should’ve tipped off the town that this guy was a creep.

Aside from Englund’s role terrorizing the youth of Elm Street, he has also appeared in other films, and wouldn’t you guess it, those characters also thoroughly creeped me the fuck out.

Take his role in Strangeland for instance. Englund plays a minor role in this 1998 horror film.

If you haven’t watched, fair warning. This one gets icky in a whole different way. A girl gets abducted, sexually assaulted, and tortured for days by some guy she meets in a chat room.

The film debuted in a time when the internet was still a fairly new concept, and it plays on the fears of talking to strangers—for good reason.

Englund plays the role of Jack Roth. A side

character who is still super sleezy and gives me the ick. This lasts all of a few minutes before he gets slaughtered. Let me tell you, those few minutes were enough to make my skin crawl almost as much as the villain of the story, Captain Howdy, played by Dee Snider.

I don’t know what it was about that character. He only appeared on the screen for a few moments, but the sheer scent of evil and perversion seemed to seep from this guy’s pores. And if you are a woman, you know what I mean. Some dudes just give off that vibe and Jack Roth had it going on.

It is amazing how a great actor can bring all that onto the screen in only a couple of moments. Robert Englund really is and forever will be a horror icon. His talent knows no bounds, and if you haven’t had the pleasure of watching him grace the screens, you are missing out.

Research the full list of his works. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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