Recently, I have been enjoying Dalmatian Jaws' run-down of "Freddie vs Jason vs Michael" Horror Smackdown Series and it has kind of inspired me to investigate the films associated with said series - like him, I've only recently seen Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween. Yet, having visited YouTube and watching multiple death scene montages - a recurring theme kept popping up...
Is it me or did I just see Kevin Bacon take an arrow-head through the throat?!
That's right, it seems apart from:
- Appearing nude
- Playing gay characters
- And/or both... appearing as fodder in horror films is a good way to build your CV and get noticed when you are still a fledgling actor. And so I present my personal Top 10 "Before-They-Were-Famous" Celebrity Horror Movie Deaths. The idea is that you watch the death scenes and go "Oh yeah, they got killed in that film and I totally forgot about it".# 10 Kristin Davis in Doom Asylum (1987)Does this cover art remind anyone else of the poster for Clue?
Okay, so already we got a bad start. I trawled all over the Internet and for the life of me could not find a video of Kristin Davis' death scene in this schlocky B-Movie horror - although recently it came on TV in a clips show. Suffice to say, Kristin's character meets a grizzly death at the hands of the "The Surgeon" - who is this mutated butcher/lawyer (don't ask) when he applies a mini-circular saw to her face. Nice.
Well, to make up for lack of video, Kristin shows off a very lovely bikini-wax in this spandex blue one-piece swimsuit - which she wears throughout the entire film apparently.
Nice.#9 Kelly Hu in Friday the 13th Part 8 - Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)Well, when Jason is THIS big - I can't see why he couldn't take an entire region - he looks f*cking massive!
A very young Kelly Hu (21) appears in this installment of Friday the 13th in which "Jason takes Manhattan" and in this clip, you can see he pretty much takes Kelly Hu with relative ease too. None of the kung-fu badass skills she so frequently displayed during Sammo Hung's Martial Law, no adamantium fingernail slashing from X2 to offer protection and no sorcery exuding from her sexy arab costume in The Scorpion King. Nothing. And yes, I did just name the most likeliest places you've seen Kelly Hu before just in case you asked yourself "Kelly Who?". Oh well.#8 Owen Wilson in The Haunting (1999) and Anaconda (1997)
Owen Wilson appears at number 8 because he gets killed off twice in two horror movies within the space of 2 years. Impressive. However, his position is not higher on this list because of the nature of the death scenes, one of which being for Anaconda, I cannot demonstrate because... it's not on goddamn YouTube. In one of the better B-movie horror films of the 90s (along with The Cube - personal fave), Owen Wilson is one of the first to go in Anaconda, if not the first. His death is pretty much presented as, the other characters are on the boat in the background saying "Where is Owen Wilson's character?" and then in the foreground we see a boaconstricted Owen Wilson being dragged under the water. Not gruesome but a neat little touch. A little more graphic death comes from The Haunting - a pretty lame horror movie where the likes of Academy Award Nominees Catherine Zeta-Jones and Liam Neeson also share the screen. Have a look, you may want to fast-forward to about (1:45). Ignore the song.#7 Sarah Michelle Gellar in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and Scream 2 (1997)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer had just hit TV screens that year and had re-introduced the former Burger King poster-child Sarah Michelle Gellar to smaller audiences that would later go on to grow to exponential volumes as master-minded by uber-talent Joss Whedon. However, within the same year, Sarah Michelle Gellar also appeared in two notable 90s revival slasher films, written by the same guy no less - and surprise, surprise - Buffy gets staked both times. She's still hot though.
In I Know What You Did Last Summer... (Do I smell Top 10 Stupid Movie Titles?)
In Scream 2...#6 Katherine Heigl in Valentine (2001)
Katherine Heigl, as a brunette playing a pre-med student (possibly before graduating to Grey's Anatomy) is stalked by mask-wearing psycho David Boreanaz and after a quite tense chase-and-hide scene, is found and killed. I wonder if those comments she said during the Writer's Strike means she's in store for more gruesome death scenes in her upcoming movies? If you do somehow watch this film - Denise Richards has a very good death scene too.#5 Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th Part 1 (1980)Bacon... on an attempted spit-roast (not *that* kind though)
Fairly infamous among the horror community, Kevin Bacon kicks the bucket in this milestone horror movie via an arrow through the throat while supine. Nice. I've tracked down the unrated version of the death too so there's more blood and more death-rattling. He would later go on to mince around with Chris Penn in Footloose, chase grabboids in Tremors and be within 6 degrees of everyone else on the planet. Not too bad.#4 Rose McGowan in Scream (1996)"Hello, you've reached the career resurrection hotline..."
Here's one I didn't realise until recently, for me, this is the most memorable death in the original Scream and I was about 12 or 13 when I saw this on DVD so it definitely left it's mark on me. Who knew that serial "raisin-smuggler" rose McGowan would later go on to the heights she's reached now? I've always thought the most goriest death scenes are always reserved for nobodies who you will probably never see again. I guess not. However, that dress she wore to the Oscars with Marilyn Manson probably helped too...#3 Seann William Scott in Final Destination (2000)Sean Williams Scott in the next videogame-to-movie adaptation - "Paperboy"... I wonder if anyone will get this joke
Back when the concept of this movie was novel and fresh, Seann William Scott appears as blundering idiot-on-a-bike Billy, one of the kids on Death's Wanted List. Now this film was excellent because of how it would make audiences guess as to how the set-up for each character's death would arrive, typically in complex and often surprisingly amusing fashion. Amanda Detmer's sudden death-by-bus is often recalled in relation to this film but what I found most resonating was that Seann's decapitation was not the regular film-style beheading which occurs at the neck. Instead, it happens halfway across his mouth giving a more grisly and unclean cut across the neck - it's not often you see this in movies. Day of the Dead comes to mind in achieving something similar, but not in a way that's as well executed as in this scene.#2 Johnny Depp in Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)Perhaps with this haircut, he slightly deserved it...
For a lot of people (and for me until recently), this would have been the be all to end all pre-fame celebrity horror movie deaths. It's just an excellent death in the movie. Young Johnny, in practically his first foray into movies, struggles and calls for his mother to get out of the bed that just keeps sucking him in. It's fucking frightening to watch it still. I remember imagining myself being dragged into the bed screaming for my mum when I first saw this scene at age 7. And of course seeing the film again as an adult, it's the one that affects me the most - more than Tina's death scene which I know is a favourite of the guys here at Movie-Moron. I've decided to include the version of the death scene with the additional deleted footage where Johnny's body is returned to the bed. For me, this is less scary than without because you assume Depp gets liquidised as opposed to drowing in his own blood... or was he drained? Who knows. Enjoy.
And at Number 1. I had to do it. His appearance in this film is just too classic and when I tracked down his death scene, I was like "HOLY SHIT!!!". I give you...#1 Crispin Glover in Friday the 13th Part 4 - The Final Chapter (1984)
In case you have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, here is why Mr. Crispin is legendary in my book:
Ahh it's fucking hilarious - he looks likes he's directing traffic while really needing the toilet at the same time. It doesn't matter whether it was intentional (which is my feeling that it was) or not, he made himself stand out in the film despite not being the main character. And his death - fuck. It is so brutal! A corkscrew through the hand and a machete to the face. The way the latter is shot is broken down into two cuts: one of the blade going into his face, then there's a cutaway for a half-second, and then we go back to seeing Crispin squirming with blood spurting out from his face while the machete is still firmly imbedded! There wasn't a separate video unfortunately so if you can't be arsed to watch all the deaths from Part 4, skip to about (2:20) - you won't regret it.Honourable mentions:
Erica Durance in House of the Dead (2003), Xander Berkley in Terminator 2 (1991), Breckin Meyer in Nightmare on Elm Street - The Final Nightmare (1991)
So there you have it. Controversial. Maybe. But from my experience watching horror films, it seems that the most gruesome and gory deaths are reserved for the nobodies in films so that, perhaps, it is to increase the impact of the death, rather than take you out of the fantasy by having it happen to the famous person in the film instead. In a way, that's why Drew Barrymore's death in Scream works so well because it's against convention. But perhaps what we might want to remember, is that if you are a struggling young actor, maybe it's worth signing up to that horror film and having winged monkeys tear your nuts out through your mouth. As long as you get to do an amazing jig and shuffle to some retarded song, maybe, *just* maybe, someone will remember you.
Anyone else like to contribute some entires? I'm not as much a horror aficianado as some of you guys so it would be interesting to hear what you lot have to say!