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Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  446 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
A Simon & Schuster eBook. Simon & Schuster has a great book for every reader.
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Pocket Books (first published September 21st 2009)
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Rebecca McNutt
Halloween is coming early! :D

This book was really interesting - I'm a big fan of low-budget slasher films despite how lame some of them are, I just keep on coming back to them, they're addictive. And A Nightmare on Elm Street is a strange one, one of the only slasher films where the killer is a supernatural being. After growing up watching those cheesy films, it was a great experience to read about the life of the man behind the mask and knives, the story of how he got into the role of Freddy Kr
"Once a psychiatrist wrote me. He had a young patient who had heard of Freddy Krueger and was having nightmares about him. I really wanted to help, so I got in touch with Robert and asked if he would say a few words to the kid into a vidcam. Not only did Robert do that, but he did it while he was being put into, and then out of, his Freddy makeup, describing each step of the way how Freddy was nothing more than latex and glue, and nothing to be worried about."
- Wes Craven

I think the first time I
Amber Simpson
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a solid read. Being that I am a huge fan of the Nightmare series this was an instant must read for me. I loved learning about Robert's extensive theater work prior to his Nightmare days. My only gripe is Urban Legend is never mentioned. He goes straight from New Nightmare to Freddy vs. Jason. Being that he had a big role in that movie I thought it would be interesting to read about his experiences during the filming. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommen ...more
Eric Althoff
The man behind Freddy Kruger gives a recap of his life and career, offering some interesting showbiz backstage anecdotes and tales from behind Freddy's burnt face along the way. Englund (and his ghostwriter) needs some help in weaving his tales together, and the book really is more recap than expose or insight. Many of the best parts of the book are anecdotal and nothing more, such as Englund's audition for the drama program at CSUN, where he was awed by the young actor who auditioned right befo ...more
J Leigh
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Freddy fan, horror fans, and film history buffs.
Shelves: horror
Overall a great, fast-paced read. I picked up the non-corrected proof at the San Diego Comic-Con a few weeks ago. I've been a huge fan of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise for 20+ years and have followed Robert Englund through his career since but I had no clue about some of the movies he did pre-V and really enjoyed the anecdotes about various A-list stars he's worked with.
Throughout the book you get the sense that Robert Englund really enjoys his fans and his lot in life as horror icon.
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Even for those of us who aren't fans of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series, Robert Englund's tone is engaging enough, and his career varied enough, to make HOLLYWOOD MONSTER a highly enjoyable read. It sorta reminds me of Roger Moore's bio, in that Englund engages in a constant stream of name-dropping that non-cinephiles might find annoying. Personally, though, the only problem I had with the book was that it felt way too short. With the exception of the first couple NIGHTMARE films, most of Eng ...more
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
I picked up the book and read it from cover to cover in one sitting. It was so interesting, and I loved learning about Robert Englund's life and work (the Nightmare films are great, but he's done so much more besides those. I was really glad he discussed many of the films he's done, and let us know more about himself, the man). He shares his adventures and encounters which such candor and humor, and truly deserves his reputation as one of the nicest and most generous actors you could ever meet. ...more
Baker​ St Shelves
Robert England really speaks as an uncle that tells you fun and inappropriate stories about his life. But England also shows how the slasher sub genre has been popular from the 80's. It's also cool to see that he keeps up with his cast and crew mates and what projects their working on. And yes his insights with his film&TV projects from V to Freddy vs. Jason are worth reading. So if you're a fan of film, Robert England, or Nightmare on Elm Street, check out this book.
Melissa Pettersson
What an amazing and funny this man.
Kris Lugosi
I already knew Robert Englund was my soul mate but after reading this, I am blown away at how amazing this man is past his infamous character Freddy Krueger. Review to come.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting look into the man behind the monster. I love hearing crazy behind-the-scenes stories, and this is plum full them. A fun read.
Richard Rich
A quick read, and unfortunately a boring one. Mr. Englund provides us with a film by film collection of lists and most of the info provided isn't even about him. He gives us the year the films were made, the actors he co-starred with, the highlights of their carreers, the budgets of the films, the box office returns on the films, the directors and writers on the films, highlights of their carreers too, the catering on each film (seriously), the stuntmen on the films, their carrer highlight as we ...more
Scott  Breslove
I picked this book up because I went to an autograph signing with Mr. Englund to get my Crystal Lake Memories book signed (and how cool does the page look signed on one side by "Freddy" and the other by "Jason", but I digress) but the bookstore claimed that the celebrity would only signed books purchased at the store where the signing was held, which I have experienced before, but Mr. Englund was possibly one of the nicest and most accomodating celebrities I have ever met! Now, after that run-on ...more
Anna  Gibson
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, owned-books

Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street With the Man of Your Dreams by Robert Englund recounts the now famous horror actor's early years in the theater and in Hollywood before landing his most iconic role: that of Freddy Kreuger in the first A Nightmare on Elm Street film and subsequent franchise. Although the memoir seems marketed as a book which focuses on Englund's "career" as Freddy Kreuger, it's actually more of a general overview of Englund's caree
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fluffy autobiography that's a quick read. The print is large, the book is padded out with several appendices, and Englund begins each chapter with personal recollections of nightmares he's had throughout his life.

There's some good stuff. Hearing Englund's anecdotes of shooting overseas and hanging out with Mark Hamil, Burt Reynolds, Andy Kaufman, and Henry Fonda make it worth reading. Englund does come off as a bit of a dirty old man, as he makes sure to note the attractiveness of many of his fe
Mar 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, biography, film
I first became aware of Englund through “Nightmare On Elm Street” (I was never that big a fan of “V”), but reading this autobiography (co-written with Alan Goldsher), he’d done plenty of work before that. Englund’s had a good run, with some interesting films and co-stars and his anecdotes are well-written and often amusing and paint a vivid picture of working through special effects make-up in the glory days of 80s horror movies. However, as much as I enjoyed the story-telling, I did have a prob ...more
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Too much of this book deals with Englund cutting his teeth in the theater and rubbing elbows with Hollywood big-wigs as a character actor in the '70s-'80's, and not enough on the "Nightmare on Elm St." series (only half the book), which I assume would be the main draw for readers. If that's what you're looking for, I recommend The Nightmare Never Ends: The Official History of Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street Films, or Screams and Nightmares: The Films of Wes Craven, both of which h ...more
Gillian Kaney
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this was a brilliant autobiography that featured lots of very nice touches, such as - Robert's own personal nightmares at the start of each chapter and both Robert's and Freddy's own personal film recommendations at the end in the appendixes. Most of which have now been added to my IMDB watch list.
My only real grumble is that i wish the book had been longer, because i didn't want it to end and i wish there had been more photos.
I loved learning all about how Robert became an actor
Christopher Munroe
...ever meet somebody at a convention and find him unspeakably charming and personable, only to remember halfway home that he's responsible for most of the nightmares you had as a child? I sure did.

Robert Englund is a witty, energetic man with a really genuine love of his work and his life, and it shows in this relaxed, contemplative look back on his career as a character actor, at his time on the series V, and of course on the Nightmare On Elm Street series he helped turn into a major cultural
Feb 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror film buffs, movie-lovers
Recommended to Jenn by: Katy G.
A fun collection of behind-the-scenes tales.

I particularly enjoyed the parts in which he described scenes left on the cutting room floor. Having never seen any bootleg Freddy movies, I never realized how much they really pushed the envelope with these films—until the MPAA got ahold of them. I’d like to see some of that original footage.

I also liked the recap of Englund’s career, how he rose from a local theater group to the role of one of America’s best-loved aliens and then one of America’s mos
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read
Hollywood Monster is light, but enjoyable, reading. I picked up this book to learn about Englund's time spent as the dream killer Freddy Krueger, but was surprised at how interested I was in reading about his early movie career. Englund rubbed shoulders with a lot of Hollywood heavyweights when he was coming up.

Word of warning, if you're coming to this book solely for talk about the Nightmare series, you may be disappointed. Englund does cover the series, but only in very broad strokes, and he d
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Robert Englund and the "nightmare" series
I really enjoyed this book. It is written in such a way that it's like sitting down with Englund and hearing him tell you stories about his life. If you are looking for a book that is strictly about Nightmare on Elm Street, you will probably be disappointed, because it isn't talked about until almost halfway through the book. He spends the first half talking about growing up in the sixtys and tells about how he got into acting and he talks a lot about his early roles, and there are a lot of grea ...more
Amber Gerber
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Englund is probably my favorite character actor. But beyond being Freddy Krueger and a few small roles in horror films I didn't know much about him. I was pleased to read about how he ended up in films and his early days of being on the stage. I think so often we look at character actors as one note people but this shows that Englund embraced the fact that he will always be Freddy to a contingent of the population. (Also, because we were too young to appreciate 'V') I'm sure that plenty o ...more
Vincent O'Neil
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caution: contains adult language and situations.
But what do you expect from Freddy Krueger!

Actually, Robert Englund is far more than Freddy - he is also the friendly alien from "V."
He has also won a couple of awards - outside the US.

The man is much more than make-up, and while most of this book is about his acting, we get to see tiny glimpses inside the man. The glimpses are rewarding, and merit further study if he should publish a sequel. (He being the king of the sequels!)

Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm incapable of writing an abject review on this. I bought it knowing I was going to love it, read it, and loved it. I bought the signed copy from Rob's site- being as he's my favorite actor- and cried when I received it in the mail. Embarrassing. The book really just comes off as having a chat with Rob, which is WONDERFUL. He also included playlists made by himself, and "Freddy". As well as a list of their favorite quotes and kills, which was a spectacular surprise, and a clever addition. If y ...more
Mary Reese
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of horror movies, and this book has a special place on my "Nightmare" shelf. Robert Englund has had a fascinating career, and I greatly enjoyed hearing his thoughts on Freddy.

I loved how he would casually be talking about someone he met in school or on a set and then he would through out names like James Cameron and Richard Dreyfuss. I also had no idea about his relationship with Mark Hamill.

Loved his shout-out to Kane Hodder, another great serial killer of the slasher genre.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I am, and have always been a Robert England fan I was a little disappointed in this autobiography. I read this book hoping to find out a little more about the person Robert is, and not just about the work that he's done and the people he knows. The book does a lot of name dropping, and reads like a filmography. Although there are a few interesting stories and some very cool lists in the back of the book this book fell a little flat for me. If you are a fan, read it, it only takes a sitt ...more
Jade Adkins
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For somebody who has made a living out of being one of the scariest horror icons ever, it is surprising to find the man behind the make up to be so humble. It was wonderful reading about how Robert Englund got involved with acting and what it took to become the icon he is today. There was was funny and very interesting stories that occurred on set that made you want to know more or stop for a moment and laugh as you can't believe what your reading could have happened. Overall, I found this to be ...more
William Johnson
A broad but very breezy look at a B-actor (who is proud to be labeled that). The lack of details is what made me a little upset (I wanted really in depth looks at all the productions he was involved in. . .perhaps some scandalous or revelatory stories???? Or, just something I didn't know) but I do feel that I am getting a glimpse of the REAL Robert Englund which is encouraging. He seems honest, a little horny, and into what he does. A good, quick read.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NK received this for a birthday gift when one turned about 15-ish O_o strangely I didn't start it until about 8th grade. I may have read this book twice!
"Robert's book!" I trademark it and I use it to outline Robert's Hollywood and dark travels, taken notes inside of it...I've used it to view detail.
I've made a book like this one for myself!


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Damn, I wanna read this 1 7 Mar 04, 2013 06:47PM  
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  • Monsters in the Movies
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  • Step Right Up!: I'm Gonna Scare The Pants Off America
  • The Ghastly One: The Sex-Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Milligan
  • The Evil Dead Companion
  • Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986
  • The Museum of Horrors
  • Lord of Misrule
  • Make Your Own Damn Movie!: Secrets of a Renegade Director
  • Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents
  • The Auctioneer
  • Killing for Culture: Death Film from Mondo to Snuff
  • Nightmare Movies: A Critical Guide to Contemporary Horror Films
  • Cinema Sewer, Vol. 1
  • Videohound's Cult Flicks and Trash Pics
  • Dark Masques
  • Grindhouse: The Sleaze-Filled Saga of an Exploitation Double Feature
“For my number-one favorite kill, I almost went with Johnny Depp being eaten alive and then regurgitated by his own bed in A Nightmare on Elm Street, but the winner, by a finger blade’s width, has to be the death of that feisty Tina (Amanda Wyss), who put up such a fight while I thrashed her about on the ceiling of her bedroom. Freddy loves a worthy adversary, especially if it’s a nubile teenaged girl.

A close second goes to my hearing-impaired victim Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan) in Nightmare 6. In these uber-politically-correct times, it’s refreshing to remember what an equal opportunity killer Freddy always was. Not only does he pump up the volume on the hearing aid from hell, but he also adds a nice Latino kid to his body count. Today they probably wouldn’t even let Freddy force-feed a fat kid junk food.

Dream death number three is found in a sequence from Nightmare 3. Freddy plays puppet master with victim Phillip (Bradley Gregg), converting his arm and leg tendons into marionette strings, then cutting them in a Freddy meets Verigo moment.

The kiss of death Profressor Freddy gives Sheila (Toy Newkirk) is great, but not as good as Al Pacino’s in The Godfather, so my fourth pick is Freddy turning Debbie (Brooke Theiss) into her worst nightmare, a cockroach, and crushing her in a Roach Motel. A classic Kafka/Krueger kill.

For my final fave, you will have to check out Freddy vs. Jason playing at a Hell’s Octoplex near you. Here’s a hint: the hockey-puck guy and I double team a member of Destiny’s Child. Yummy! Now where’s that Beyonce…”
“But something about the interesting plot bothered me: one of the major rules that Wes had established on A Nightmare on Elm Street had been broken - Freddy was taken out of the dreams. In Nightmare 2, Freddy would be allowed to manifest outside of the dreamscape. It didn’t hurt the quality of the script, but it messed up the continuity. On the plus side, I thought the bisexual-slash-homoerotic subtext was edgy and contemporary, and I appreciated how the plot investigated both the social-class system and the rise of suburban malaise. This may sound pretentious and over-analytical, but I believe that Freddy represented what looked to be a bad future for the post-boomer generation. It’s possible that Wes believed the youth of America were about to fall into a pile of shit - virtually all the parents in the Nightmare movies were flawed, so how could these kids turn out safe and sane? - and he might have created Freddy to represent a less-than-bright future.” 3 likes
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