Happy Friday Every-bloody! Anyone rushing out to see the new Fright Night remake tonight? Saucy Josh is a poor man, so I’ll be catching an early matinee in the morning. There’s a grip of new Saucy Josh articles on Film Sponge that I’ll be posting online throughout the weekend. www.filmsponge.com
And another thing, this blog got its 666th hit today. It’s a good thing
Tonight’s list isn’t so much an original compilation, more like a presentation of facts. Everyone knows that it usually takes years to become a big-shot movie star. Many are embarrassed by their early roles, but when you’re struggling to climb that ladder, you take what you can get. But as I did research, I was really surprised by the number of highly regarded actors who participated in really REALLY bad Horror movies. This list includes Academy Award winners and nominees, as well as winners of Golden Globes, Emmys, and even SAG Awards.
As much as they’d probably like us to forget, I’m here to remind the high and mighty that they were once lowly and weak. So without further delay, please enjoy my list…
10 Stars Who Appeared in Horror Movies before “Making it Big”
Tom Hanks: As if staring as a cross-dresser on the TV show Bosoms Buddies isn’t embarrassing enough, I’ve got another reminder of Tom Hank’s humble beginnings. He may have won back-to-back Oscars in 1993 and 1994 for his roles in Philadelphia and Forest Gump, but his first big-screen role was in the B-Movie He Knows You’re Alone in 1980 (one in the flood of slasher films released in the wake of 1978’s Halloween). Rumor is that Tom’s character Elliot was originally meant to be killed, but the filmmakers liked him so much they decided to let him live. Tom Hanks always struck me as friendly but elitist, so I revel in the fact that he was once a Horror castaway (no pun intended).
George Clooney: George, what the hell gives you the right to be so smug? First of all, you only got an Oscar for Best SUPPORTING Actor in 2006, so get off you’re high horse. I haven’t forgotten your mullet-head in the final season of The Facts of Life, and I’ve got a truck-load of other embarrassing facts for your so-called fans. Remember Return to Horror High? The poster features a skeleton in a cheer-leader outfit chanting: “Killers to the left, killers to the right, sit down, stand up, fright fright fright!” And there’s more. Remember Predator? No, not the one about the alien hunter, the one about a grizzly bear who attacks patrons at an outdoor rock fest: Predator II: The Concert. Ha! I bet you wish I’d stop there, but I have yet to reveal the most embarrassing one yet: Return of the Killer Tomatoes. Now that’s saucy! I’m inclined to grant you leniency on past indiscretions due to your participation in Dusk Til Dawn. But serious, George, get over yourself.
Viggo Mortensen: Before he was Aragron, King of Middle Earth, Viggo was Tex the cannibal, Leatherface’s cousin in A Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part III. Tex gets blasted by a shotgun and set on fire in this bizarre chapter. While the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a respected Horror franchise, this particular installment has just a 14% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The only chapter considered worse is The Next Generation which touts a big BIG star AND an Oscar Winner… more on that later.
Jennifer Aniston: She’s won a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and a Screen Actors’ Guild Award. Jennifer Aniston also starred in one of the campiest Horror franchises in history. Before becoming one of Americas best Friends, she was Tory Reding in the cult film Leprechaun, a movie that incredibly spawned 5 sequels (2 of which see the Leprechaun kickin’ it in the ‘hood, taking endless bong rips). Ugly green bugger even went into outer space before Jason Voorhees! Jenifer must have Irish luck and a 4-leaf clover to have survived the Leprechaun experience without being type-cast as a B-Movie bimbo.
Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey: This is a double entry for a couple reasons: Renee and Mathew have been in 2 Horror duds—the SAME 2 horror duds. The first one, My Boyfriend’s Back (an early attempt at Zombie Horror Comedy), almost isn’t worth mentioning as Matthew’s character is listed in the credits as “Guy #2” and Renee’s scenes were cut all together. What cannot be ignored—what must be exposed—is that these two were both feature characters in one of the most loathed and ridiculed sequels of all time: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. Future Oscar winner Renee stars as the victim, Jenny, and Matthew is Leatherface’s sick sidekick, Villmer. Not that I hold these actors responsible, but The Next Generation is ridiculously terrible. For some reason, Leatherface has become a cross-dresser, sporting fishnet stockings and garters. WTF? As a side note, Saucy Josh has actually spoken to Renee Zellweger on the telephone. It’s a pretty boring story, but you can ask me about it if you want.
Leonardo DeCaprio: Well Leo, you may be dating an Israeli supermodel, you may have a Golden Globe and nominations from the Academy and SAG on your resume, you may have been voted one of the sexiest men alive by People Magazine—but don’t forget that you starred in Critters Part 3 in 1991. Ha! Critters may be the only Horror franchise more laughable than Leprechaun! Ironically, Carey Elwes was offered the part of Josh first, but he was smart enough to pass (a good decision as this could have ruined his Horror cred before he found success in the Saw franchise). But don’t worry Leo, most people probably don’t know that the film Critters 3 even exists. Unfortunately though, some of us will always remember you best as Luke from Growing Pains. Say “Hi” to Kirk Cameron for us.
Hillary Swank: This 2-time Oscar/Golden Globe winner, best known for her roles as a masculine transsexual in Boys Don’t Cry and a tough-ass boxer in Million Dollar Baby, wasn’t always such a stud. Hillary was a supporting character in the cult movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer where she sported premium Valley Girl attire and a poodle haircut. Ironically, Hillary (like Leo above) also had a reoccurring role on Growing Pains. Say “Hi” to Alan Thicke for us.
Meg Ryan: She was America’s Sweetheart after starring in When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, but Meg also has a Horror dud haunting her filmography: Amityville 3D. Released in an era when every third-movie in a series were pretty much required to be in 3D, Meg is lucky that this one seems to have been swept way under the rug. I can’t even find her character’s name or bio for Amityville 3D on Wikipedia. So even if I don’t know exactly how to razz her about this role, it still serves as a reminder that big stars do emerge from cinematic catastrophes.
Kevin Bacon: You can’t fault Kevin Bacon for making some bad films. He’s been in so many movies that, statistically, they can’t all be winners. I also know I’ll get some flack from Horror hardcores for dissing his affiliation with what many consider a Horror classic: The first Friday the 13th. But let me be clear, I’m not saying that the entire 13th franchise sucks—I’m actually an avid Jason Voorhees fan. Problem is, as much as purists hate to admit it, the first Friday was a horrible, bad movie. Still, it’s probably more of an honor than a shame to be affiliated with the 13th in any way. Keep this movie in mind when playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
Johnny Depp: Johnny, I love you man. Seriously, you seem like a real cool dude and I’d love to kick it with you sometime. Not in a gay way, although I wouldn’t mind a big bear-hug. I’m not trying to embarrass you by putting you on this list. In your case, this is 100% legitimate respect. I just want the world to know that your first big role was in one of my all-time favorite Horror movies, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. Undeniably the scariest film of the entire franchise, your death scene, Johnny, is one of the most epic in Horror history: Sucked into a bed before exploding into a reverse waterfall of blood. Brilliant! God job for a stellar performance in From Hell, as well. I love you Johnny. Please make more Horror movies soon.
I’ve got Honorable mentions for: Demi Moore for Parasite, Patricia Arquette for A Nightmare on Elm Street III: The Dream Warriors, Katherine Heigle for Bride of Chucky, and Patrick Dempsey for The Stuff.
Well, that’s it for this week. Don’t forget to check Film Sponge for my recent blogs, including a review of Fright Night (which I plan on writing tomorrow). Sweet dreams Every-bloody!