Well, first off, let me apologize for my few days's's's's absence. While an extended weekend getaway to New York may do wonders for the soul, it does none for the blogging, for I'm not technologically mobile. You'll be happy to know that I was thinking of Final Girl often, however, and scoured everywhere I could for movies...I came home with a bagful, and I'll be warming up the DVD and VCR right shortly. In the meantime, as I readjust to the midwestern pace o' life...
In the letter column of the new issue of Rue Morgue (read in the car during the loooong trip across Pennsylvania), a reader has an idea for a feature about actors who appeared in horror flicks before going on to become famous in the mainstream. Hmm. Not a bad idea. And so, without further ado, here are some faces you'll recognize in roles you may not have known they had:
This one most everybody knows about: Kevin Bacon as "Jack" in Friday the 13th. After makin' bacon (nyuk, nyuk!) with girlfriend Marcie, Jack lies back for a little relaxation and, in one of Tom Savini's best effects, gets a spear through his throat from someone hiding under the bed. Mr. Bacon has gone on to be separated by everyone in the entire world by a mere six degrees.
The Burning is an early slasher, long out of print in the US, that was the first movie for Oscar winner Holly Hunter ("Sophie"), Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander ("Dave"), and the man who almost became Mr. Michelle Pfeiffer, Fisher Stevens ("Woodstock"). This little movie also started the careers of uber-producers/Miramax dudes Harvey and Bob Weinstein (story/producer and editorial consultant, respectively). AND The Burning was also the one and only movie ever to feature James Van Verth, which has nothing to do with anything.
See George Clooney, before becoming one of People Magazine's 100 Most Awesome Wonderful Good Looking People You Really Ought to Care About, get offed (as "Oliver") in the first 15 or so minutes of Return to Horror High, aka The Poor Man's Scream.
Who's that "WWAR Assistant" in Halloween 2? Why yes, it's none other than a way-pre-Church Lady Dana Carvey.
Poor Jennifer Aniston. Seeing the last days of your dying marriage played out in the gossip rags can't be fun. Neither can thinking back to your first starring role ("Tory Reding"), when the film is Leprechaun. She does, however, get to spout such memorable lines as "That thing is a leprechaun and we've GOTTA figure out how to stop it!". Now if only 10 years ago she had cried "That thing is a mediocre sitcom and we've GOTTA figure out how to stop it!"...
By far my favorite early-in-the-career role goes to Cheers alum John Ratzenberger, in Motel Hell. As the "Drummer" in the band Ivan and the Terribles, Good ol' Cliffie ends up planted in the garden of the maniacal Farmer Vincent- soon to be ground up into some of Farmer Vincent's fritters and meat pies. There's nothing quite like seeing Ratzenberger (and the rest of the Terribles, for that matter) buried up to the neck, tongue protruding while he gets hypnotized by Vincent's trippy...uh, hypnosis machine thingy.
Do I need to mention Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode) in Halloween? I should hope not.
I loves me some Naomi Watts. She's a damn fine actress, in my opinion, and she's certainly paid her dues on the way to Mulholland Drive, having appeared not only in Children of the Corn IV ("Grace Rhodes"), but in Tank Girl. Shudder.
So for all of you wannabes out there who are trying to decide whether or not to sign on as "Girl Impaled on Dinner Fork" in Freddy vs Jason vs Dame Edna, just think...you could be the next Jennifer Aniston! Or the next James Van Verth! Well, scratch that last one. Hitch your wagon to a star!