Robert Englund will go down in the history books as one of the most accomplished horror actors of all time, having amassed over 150 credits (and counting) throughout a variety of films. One character, in particular, Freddy Krueger, has already earned the reputation of one of the most iconic movie villains, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with monsters like the Wolf Man, Dracula, and Michael Myers. A new documentary, Nightmares in the Makeup Chair, chronicles the special effects makeup that the actor underwent, gives behind-the-scenes stories from the films, and honors the late Wes Craven.
Englund issued a statement about the film, saying, "Nightmares in the Makeup Chair is my love letter to the Nightmare on Elm Street series and to practical makeup." Englund adds, "I've always been in awe of the multi-talented makeup effects artists. From sketching to sculpting, they realize the design. Then to the fine precision of the molding and the manufacturing of the makeup appliances which are nearly paper thin. And then, the application process where I sit in the makeup chair and I become their living canvas as they glue me in and paint the appliances."
Englund also notes, "This documentary not only captures their talent, but I think it might inspire a new generation of practical effects artists. I was happy to become Freddy once again to share the makeup process with the fans."
Special effects wizard Robert Kurtzman aided Englund in his transformation, including special convention appearances where the star donned the makeup for unique photo opportunities. Of the documentary, Kurtzman says, "Robert Englund's Freddy Krueger is one of the greatest horror characters of all time, and it was exciting for me to create my own version of Freddy,"
Kurtzman continues, "I always look forward to working with Robert Englund. He's a captivating storyteller who tells these entertaining stories in the makeup room. And during this film he tells these great stories about the Nightmare films and playing Freddy while I'm applying the Krueger makeup."
Director Mike Kerz detailed his inspiration for making the movie, divulging, "I was inspired by the vintage photos of the legendary artist Jack Pierce applying the Frankenstein makeup to Boris Karloff."
"Sadly, those sessions were never documented on film. That is why we created our documentary — fans will see two modern horror legends at work," Kerz points out. "Robert Englund is fascinating as he shares insightful stories about the Elm Street films and Freddy with the audience. And it is amazing to watch Robert Kurtzman apply the various stages of makeup to transform Robert Englund into Freddy Krueger."
Considering the rise in popularity of pursuing special effects makeup, evidenced by hit shows like Face Off and Skin Wars, the makeup documentary is sure to be up many horror fans' alleys.
Nightmares in the Makeup Chair is slated to premiere at a film festival later this year in conjunction with the release of a book that will detail the transformation of the actor into the horrifying icon.
[H/T Entertainment Weekly]