Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Hollywood Monster is an autobiography of Robert Englund, star of the Nightmare on Elm Street series of films. It chronicles his rise to the icon that is Freddy Krueger and beyond.
I wasn’t that enthralled with this book. While it is a fairly interesting read, there isn’t anything here even remotely close to controversial. Mr. Englund plays it fairly politically correct and never has a bad word to say about any one or any thing (except fire stunts).
From his humble beginnings in the theater (he joined cause that’s where the girls were), to his meteoric rise to fame in the mini-series and subsequent television show V, and his casting as Freddy Krueger in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, the book covers a huge chunk of his body of work. Unfortunately, it never delves deep into his personal life like you would expect an autobiography to do. Instead, it focuses on his work and the films that he has appeared in. It also name drops the many, many actors he has worked with, including Johnny Depp, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brad Pitt, Sally Field, and many more.
The book does provide some interesting and comedic moments in Mr. Englund’s life, and he seems like a genuinely cheerful fellow, unlike his most well know alter ego, Freddy Krueger. It also supplies some brief insight into the Hollywood machine, most notably the low budget horror film set. He never has anything bad to say about any of the films he worked on or any of the director’s he worked with. This, sadly, makes the book a forgettable affair. There is no gossip. There is no rumor or speculation. There is very little of substance here, though there are allusions to deeper stories in the text. They are just never discussed.
While Hollywood Monster is an interesting, fast read (it is a sparse 298 pages), there is very little of substance here. While there are some untold stories from the sets of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, there is nothing in this book that could be construed as offensive other than a few curse words. If you are interested in Robert Englund off screen and would like some personal insight into his films, this book is for you. If you are looking for gossip or smack talk, you will have to look elsewhere.
** out of ****
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