Thanks to his incredible performances as Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series, Robert Englund will go down in horror history as crafting one of the vilest villains ever put to screen. The role might be the one he's most remembered for, but the actor has starred in over 80 films, often playing characters completely different from Krueger.
"I have one, when I do my homage to [Halloween's] Donald Pleasence, I have one called, 'Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon,'" Englund shared with PopCulture.com when asked about a role he hopes more audiences discover.
The 2006 film takes a faux-documentary approach to serial killer Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) employing a variety of horror movie tropes to terrify his victims before killing them. Englund starred as Doc Halloran, one of the few people to have survived a run-in with the murderer.
The actor knows that he might always be remembered as Krueger, but takes a lot of pride in his role in the film and is glad that more audiences are coming across the unique thriller.
"Probably achieved official cult status now..."
Behind the Mask might not have made a huge splash when it debuted, but it has since begun to gain the appreciation Englund feels it deserves.
"I'm really proud of it and it has some terrific acting in it," Englund gushed. "Scott Wilson, Zelda Rubinstein, the lead boy, Nathan Baesel. By the way, it has a great sequel script, but I think that the producers want to see if they can peddle it as a limited series. But it's a terrific, terrific movie within a movie. Just a great sequel script with doppelgangers and everything going on. Hollywood doppelgangers. So that movie, now, is actually probably achieved official cult status now, and it got discovered."
Earlier this year, the South by Southwest film festival paid tribute to the film by hosting at 10th-anniversary screening, further proof that the film is gaining a following.
"People are finding this stuff. This is what's great."
There's arguably never been a better time to be a horror fan, as a variety of different services have made even the most obscure titles available for public consumption.
"With the new paradigm of streaming and cable and Netflix and on-demand, I can go every Friday to the movie section, New Releases, Sundance, Independent," Englund detailed. "I can click on Horror and I can watch trailers for a half-hour for free of all the new horror movies that come out. Then on another site on on-demand, they're all listed alphabetically, you know. So people are finding this stuff. This is what's great."
While the quality of current films is something to be debated, streaming services have given new life to films that might have otherwise been forgotten.
"I'm really proud of that just didn't quite click..."
The actor might most be known for his work in the genre world, but Englund also wanted to recommend fans check out another one of his earlier films that pre-dates his more demonic turn.
"I did films in the '70s that I'm really proud of that just didn't quite click," Englund divulged. "I did one called 'Stay Hungry' that's about the new south of Jimmy Carter, and it's that shift in change. It's also the first movie that addresses the sort of vanity of the fitness craze and whether it's a good thing or not, you know, the whole being a 'gym rat' thing. But it also deals with exploitation and real estate and gentrification. Also roots, it really deals with your roots. "
You can next see Robert Englund in the horror film Nightworld, which debuts on VOD and in select theaters on October 20.