Nightmare on Elm Street star and horror icon Robert Englund will be the focus of a new documentary, Nightmares in the Makeup Chair, EW can reveal exclusively. Directed by Mike Kerz, the film finds Englund recalling his years playing Elm Street villain Freddy Krueger and paying tribute to filmmaker Wes Craven while makeup effects artist Robert Kurtzman transforms the actor into the feared dream-stalker. The film will also track Englund as he meets fans and Freddy and is interviewed in full makeup by horror host Svengoolie.
“Nightmares in the Makeup Chair is my love letter to the Nightmare on Elm Street series and to practical makeup,” says Englund in a statement. “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. 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.”
“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,” says Kurtzman. “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.”
“I was inspired by the vintage photos of the legendary artist Jack Pierce applying the Frankenstein makeup to Boris Karloff,” says director Kerz. “Sadly, those sessions were never documented on film. That is why we created our documentary — fans will see two modern horror legends at work. 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.”
Nightmares in the Makeup Chair will premiere at a yet-to-be-announced film festival later this year. Producer Mia Kerz promises that the film’s release will include theatrical engagements and that a coffee table book detailing Kurtzman’s transformation of Englund will also be available. More information about Nightmares in the Makeup Chair is available at the film’s official site.
Watch a teaser trailer for Nightmares in the Makeup Chair, above.