Before They Were Stars: Robert Englund in “Slashed Dreams”

To celebrate Robert Englund’s birthday today, I thought I’d use him as an example of the wonderful ways in which video distribution companies will use an early role from a famous actor in order to fool people into renting an incredibly shitty movie. With a title like Slashed Dreams, the presence of Robert Englund’s name on the video box, and cover art featuring a scantily clad woman and a guy with a knife, you’d think you were in store for a good old-fashioned sleazy horror film when you sat down to watch this. However, once the opening title appears onscreen, you suddenly get very suspicious…

Yes, it looks like a brand-new fake title, Slashed Dreams, has been badly superimposed over the film’s original non-horror-sounding title, Sunburst. The distributors have used Robert Englund’s name and a scary-sounding title to pull one over on you. Once you start watching, you soon realize that Slashed Dreams is most definitely not a horror film. In fact, it’s not really much of anything at all! All you get is 74 minutes of a young couple hiking through the woods to some REALLY bad 1970s folk music, and aside from a brief rape scene, virtually nothing happens! And wouldn’t you know it, Robert Englund doesn’t even show up until the last fifteen minutes, playing some pacifist who went off to live in the woods to “find himself”. This 1975 film was only Englund’s second acting role ever and Sunburst/Slashed Dreams pretty much languished in obscurity for a decade until Englund became the world’s most famous horror star and having his name associated with a film gave it instant value. I mean, my God, imagine renting out this movie expecting to see Freddy Krueger and being treated to this boring crap:

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