Wednesday, 23 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Jeffrey Combs

Me: It's time to talk about Jeffrey Combs. Wanna get us started?

Jay: Jeffrey Combs is one of those actors who got lucky. He landed his big role with Re-Animator. After that, he became one of horror's great character actors. 

Me: Since I still haven't seen it, tell me about Re-Animator.

Jay: It came out in the late Eighties and as very different. The main character made a serum that would reanimate dead flesh. Any dead flesh. You could put a pair of eyeballs on a severed hand, inject it, and it would start moving around.

Me: Ew. Did you like it?

Jay: I didn't really like any of the Re-Animator movies. They're cult and plenty of people love them, but not me.

I've had a few chances to meet Jeffrey Combs and missed him every time. It's so frustrating. 

Me: He's definitely on the list of people I hope we meet one day. I've seen him in so many different things.

Jay: Like Brad Dourif, Jeffrey Combs has been in just about everything. It feels that way, anyway. He was even a regular in Deep Space Nine. Actually, he had three different roles but Weyoun was the main one. What a spiteful character!

I think his most memorable role was as in The Frighteners. That was a great movie. 

Me: I love The Frighteners! It's one of those movies that has a little bit of everything: horror, comedy, even romance. And Dammers totally got what was coming to him at the end!

Jay: It's a great scene, when you see Combs's character in the back of the car, looking all surly. 

Me: I remember Jeffrey Combs in things like Feartdotcom and Return to House on Haunted Hill. What other movies do you remember him from?

Jay: Jeffrey Combs was also in Abominable. I feel like this list is basically just the cast of that movie!

Me: So, what's your favourite Combs movie?

Jay: Good question. Um... well, he's done a lot of voice over work, including some cartoons that I like but I think my role is The Frighteners. He's such an ass in that. It's an overlooked film that's absolutely brilliant. 

Me: Jeffrey Combs is a great actor, but what sets him apart? What makes him one of our Best Horror Actors?

Jay: I guess it's because you don't always notice him but, if you do, it's because he's playing such a villainous part. He can disappear into the background or make you hate his guts. 

Me: Yeah, he is one of those characters you love to hate.

Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Brad Dourif

Me: Today, we're going to be talking about Brad Dourif. Ready?

Jay: Let's do it.

Me: Okay... Brad Dourif has a freaking huge list of acting credits on IMDb. Like, huge. What was the first thing you noticed Brad Dourif in?

Jay: For me, it was the Eyes of Laura Mars. It's a film I hadn't seen in a long, long time. I didn't realise what a cast it had! It has a myriad of stars. I watched it forty years ago because I was a kid and it had boobs in it. Watching it again now, I was impressed by how good it is. But, yeah, that's the first time I noticed Brad Dourif. 

Me: I only vaguely remember that one.

It wasn't the first movie I saw Brad Dourif in (that was Child's Play) but One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was his first credited role.

Jay: You didn't realise it at the time because they weren't all well-known actors then, but One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest had an insane cast! They were more or less unknown at the time but look at them now!

Me: And Brad Dourif's role was major! I kind of hated him, though. That movie shook me hard.

Jay: Child's Play wasn't exactly fluffy...

Me: True! But even Chucky doesn't scare me as much as Nurse Rached!

Since we're talking about Child's Play, tell me your thoughts on it.

Jay: Brad Dourif isn't really in it much but it's still his most famous role. He does the voice, of course, but you don't see his face often. 

Child's Play was one of those surprise films because the doll is amazing. It's a good, jumpy film with good sequels. It's even better because there wasn't CGI then. 

Me: They just did a remake of Child's Play, sadly without Brad Dourif. Did it work?

Jay: Mark Hamill was good but Brad Dourif was better. It's a case of spending all that money and bringing it up-to-date but not making it any better than the original. It's all been done. 

Me: Okay, so if we go back to the original Franchise, which of the Child's Play sequels was the best?

Jay: I liked Child's Play 3 because it carries on from the original and still has Andy in it. It was of it's time, that Eighties pulp horror. 

Me: Mine was Cult of Chucky, with Fiona Dourif, Brad's daughter. It was so clever. Fiona was also in Curse of Chucky. I think it's great that she got to work with her dad in those movies. She's a good actor and you can really tell Brad Dourif is her father. She looks just like him.

Jay: You're right, she is a good actor. Fiona doesn't have to rely on her father's name; she can make it on her own merit. 

Me: I'm focusing a lot on the Child's Play movies because I just don't know where to start with the rest of Brad Dourif's movies. Damn, he's been in a lot.

Jay: He's been around forever!

Me: What's your favourite Dourif movie?

Jay: It's not a movie but he was good in Deadwood. And in the remake of Halloween. Oh, and he was awesome in Death Machine. He's always good as a mad scientist but Chucky is his best. 

Me: So, aside from the number of films he's made, what makes Brad Dourif a horror icon?

Jay: The roles he's taken. He tends to be either the mad professor or the sleazy, undesirable creep. The character you love to hate. Brad Dourif isn't the heartthrob but he's taken what he does have and made the most of it. He's very recognisable.

Me: Is there anything else you want to add?

Jay: Only that I'm pissed that we met him (and he was nice) but we didn't have our Child's Play poster with us. I hope we can meet him again because I'd love to get his signature on that. 

Me: We do that a lot... Fingers crossed we get to meet Brad Dourif again.

Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Monday, 21 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Linnea Quigley

Me: Model and actress, Linnea Quigley, is an activist and was in a band called The Skirts back in the 90's. All very impressive - but what about that makes her a horror icon?

Jay: Can I say 'sheer volume'? 

Me: Well, I'd rather you said something else but...

Jay: Sheer volume. 

Me: Right. Speaking of horror icons, did you know Linnea Quigley has the same birthday as Vincent Price?

Jay: Huh. I didn't.

Me: Yep.

Linnea Quigley didn't start acting, then find her way into horror. She straight up started in horror with Psycho from Texas in 1975 and has been a horror stalwart since then. When did you first become aware of Linnea Quigley as an actor?

Jay: In Return of the Living Dead, as Trash. You kind of had to notice her... she was naked! I used to have friends like that, getting their kit off for no reason...

Me: *glare*

Jay: I mean... She was absolutely striking. That bright red hair catches your attention. I loved the movie because it was about zombies, the soundtrack was full of bands I loved, and it was about a group of punks. I'd just started to spike my hair as a baby Goth - oh, it wasn't good - but it made me feel like I belonged. 

Me: Meanwhile, I was three...


Jay: I suppose the next film I noticed Linnea Quigley in was Night of the Demons in 1988. 

Me: That was the first horror movie I saw!

Jay: You were six.

Me: Well, it wasn't voluntary. My sister and her friend were watching it and I wouldn't stop bothering them so they held me down and made me watch it.

Jay: That explains a lot. 

Me: I guess it kind of does...

Did you enjoy Night of the Demons?

Jay: I did. It's a good, solid horror film. There was a wave of them in the Eighties, thanks to the introduction of the video. To be fair, most were crap, but there were gems. Night of the Demons was one. 

Back then, there were two big b-movie scream queens, Linnea Quigley and Brinke Stevens, and Linnea Quigley was always the bigger of the two.

Me: If we move forward into the Nineties a little, Linnea Quigley was in Pumpkinhead II. I know Pumpkinhead was one of your favourite movies. What did you think of the sequel?

Jay: It wasn't good. The only Pumpkinhead movie that was worth anything was the first one. Even the monster itself became silly in the sequels. It was all man-in-a-rubber-suit. 

Nothing against Linnea Quigley in it, mind. I was so excited when I heard the second one was coming but was so disappointed when it finally came out. Linnea Quigley's not a tremendous actor but she's good at what she's there for. She's the pretty screamer. 

Me: Oh, I almost forgot... Linnea Quigley made an appearance in the new Night of the Demons, didn't she?

Jay: You mean that porno your mom and I watched after you went to bed? 

Me: ...hey, what you guys did when I wasn't around...

Jay: Ha ha. The 2009 Night of the Demons was supposed to be a remake, I guess, but they sexed it up way more than it needed to be. Not the kind of thing you want to find yourself watching with your mother-in-law in the middle of the night.

Me: When you say b-movie scream queen, you really mean b-movie, don't you? I'm looking at movies like Hooker with a Hacksaw...

Jay: Linnea Quigley's the name you want to get if you're making a low budget movie. Just her name alone is enough to get her small walk-on parts. 

Me: Which can be both a blessing and a curse, I'd bet. Do you have anything else to add?

Jay: Well, as a teenager-

Me: That doesn't have to do with masturbation!

Jay: Oh. No. 

Me: Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Sunday, 20 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Tobin Bell

Me: Okay, let's talk about Tobin Bell. I don't really know a lot about him so a lot of this is going to be on you.

Jay: Well, Saw was his big breakthrough but I remember seeing him in a lot of television. I could have sworn he was in an episode of Highlander but, looking at it again, I guess it was Brion James.

Me: I can see how you'd get them mixed up. They do look a lot alike. Tobin Bell is more... I dunno... gaunt?

Jay: I'd go with that. His look is part of what made Saw work so well. You can believe he's dying from a tumor, right?

Me: Right.

You mentioned that Tobin Bell really made his name in Saw. It's not the kind of movie that I enjoy. I really don't get into torture horror. I mean... it's basically snuff, right? We've had a lot of discussions about how you don't put the Saw movies into the same category as things like Hostel. Tell me again why that is.

Jay: The Saw movies aren't just torture porn. They're very clever. They're not just slasher movies. It's about retribution. Tobin Bell is the perfect Jigsaw. He wasn't a mindless killer. It's about how people fuck you over. How people don't appreciate what they have. They're warnings.

Me: I can understand that. They're too hard for me to watch, though. I don't have the stomach for it. I still haven't gotten over Seven.

Getting back to Tobin Bell, which of the Saw movies is the best and why?

Jay: The first is probably the best but they're all strong movies. It's like with any sequel; you can't compare them to the first because you'll never recapture that complete surprise, that shock, again.

Me: Honestly, I think the first one was the only one I watched. I'll never get rid of those images...

So... Tobin Bell carries an extremely popular horror series - but what else do you know him from?

Jay: He's been in just so many things. I liked him in Decoys. Oh, and Boogeyman 2.

Me: It was nice to see him recently in the new Creepshow series.

What is Tobin Bell's appeal?

Jay: I think a lot of it is his performance in Saw. It's that once in a lifetime role that was just made for him. He's got the looks, the ability, the voice to make it work.

Me: And why is he on this list?

Jay: Just look at the films he's done. Aside from all the television work, he's been the start of a huge franchise. It's not like Friday the 13th or one of those things anyone could do as long as they're behind the mask. You need the emotion, the pathos that Tobin Bell brings.

Me: I'm interested to see where he'll go from here. I guess only time will tell...

Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Corey Feldman

Me: Corey Feldman is a strange addition to this list for me. Because I grew up with his movies, I had this idea in my head that Feldman was my age when, actually, he's closer to yours.

Jay: That doesn't surprise me at all. He was older than he looked when he did things like Goonies

Me: I know Goonies isn't horror and doesn't really have any place on this list but... GOONIES.

Jay: It was so well cast and had a great story. Goonies was pure escapism. Corey Feldman was good but Chunk and Sloth stole the show. 

Me: And in the not-horror-but-awesome category... Gremlins.

Jay: Well, Corey Feldman was only really a bit part in the movie but Gremlins was a fantastic film. I went to see it seven times in the cinema. The gremlins are just awesome. If you said I could have a gremlin tomorrow, I totally would. 

Me: As someone who's seen you sneak Blodwyn an entire slice of pizza, I've gotta say that would only end in tears.

Jay: But can you imagine going out drinking with those little fuckers?

Me: Okay, we may have just crossed into horror...

Before Gremlins and Goonies, Corey Feldman did Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (in 1984.) Even though it was the fourth instalment, I thought it was a great sequel. What did you think?

Jay: Yeah, it was good. You know, if they'd left it there, it would have been a fitting end. That's the problem with the big money spinners; they can't leave them alone. 

Me: Wasn't Corey Feldman in the fifth Friday the 13th?

Jay: But only at the very beginning. He was already filming Goonies at the time and could only be there for a day. It had to do with his being underage. 

If you look at Feldman in the early Eighties, he was huge. For a moment. He's still a jobbing actor now but he's not on that meteoric rise anymore. Totally living the Hollywood lifestyle, though, with the dark glasses and pretty girls. 

Me: He does look cool as fuck.

Going back to Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, though, what are your thoughts?

Jay: God. Awful. It wasn't even Jason! The ones that came after got a bit better again (except the 9th one) but never as good. 

Me: Except Jason X.

Jay: I was going to say that's the exception. It was very clever. 

Of all Corey Feldman's roles, Edgar Frog in The Lost Boys was by far the best. Edgar and Alan were fucking awesome, really hamming it up. I wasn't fussed on the second and third movies but it was nice to see Feldman reprise his role. 

Me: Edgar Frog was just hilarious. He had some of the best lines in the film.

Corey Feldman was also brilliant in Bordello of Blood which, by the way, was totally underrated. I love that one. Do you remember it?

Jay: Yes! He wasn't in it long, though, was he? It's mental how much Corey Feldman has actually done, especially cameos. In recent years, he's done mostly b-movies but a lot of them.

Me: Why do you think that is?

Jay: Drugs, I guess. 

Me: Ah. Well, I guess that makes sense, with all the abusive shit they had to go through in Hollywood. Sad, though.

Jay: It really is. 

Me: Okay, this is getting a bit too serious for a blog post. Back to the movies. One of my favourite Feldman movies is The 'Burbs with Tom Hanks. So messed up. Did you ever see that one?

Jay: Years and years ago. I vaguely remember it - but mostly for Tom Hanks. 

Me: It was comedy horror and just brilliant - in a this-is-just-wrong kind of way.

Last thing, then. We met Corey Feldman at a Collectormania yonks ago. Do you remember and what do you remember about that?

Jay: Of course. It was with the rest of The Lost Boy cast. Like you said, he looked cool. He's got that total rock star vibe, without the conceit. Feldman is a lot of fun. 

Me: He really is. Do you have anything else you want to add?

Jay: You're not going to ask me why he's on this list?

Me: I figured you'd say 'Sheer volume of work.'

Jay: ...well, yeah. But it's also because he made the transition from child star to adult horror icon. 

Me: Good point. I guess that wraps things up for today.

Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Friday, 18 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Kiefer Sutherland

Me: Eighties kids rejoice. It's time to talk about Kiefer Sutherland.

A lot of people may think of Kiefer Sutherland from 24, which was an insanely successful TV show in its own right, but we're here to talk about the good stuff. The horror stuff.

Jay: 24 wasn't my cup of tea but mum loved it.

It was a horror movie, The Lost Boys, that made Kiefer Sutherland. He was doing okay before that, but Lost Boys is what catapulted his career. 

Me: A whole lotta people, from your generation to mine, crushed hard on David. 'Cause, you know... bad boys. What was it about Sutherland's character in Lost Boys that attracted so many people?

Jay: He was a different kind of vampire. The Lost Boys brought vampire lore right up to date. They stopped being stuffy and formal. They became things we all believed we could meet. That we could have. 

Me: I was totally one of those people. Lost Boys is so... I dunno. Rugged? Cheeky? Definitely hilarious. It was the humour more than anything that appealed to me but there's nothing funny about David. He's the dark, brooding, dangerous guy girls (and boys) fantasise about (without Angel's pesky morals.)

Moving away from The Lost Boys, though (before this becomes a David fan page,) the next movie that stood out for me was Flatliners from 1990. What did you think of Kiefer Sutherland's performance in that? (Or, the movie in general?)

Jay: It was a big step away from David, for sure. Well, sort of. He was still kind of brooding. 

You know, it's weird with Kiefer Sutherland. He's not what you'd think of as being leading man material. He's kind of... gumpy?

Me: What?!

Jay: I mean that he's not conventionally handsome. He's not ugly! He's just not what you'd think of. You know, tall and dashing. He's more normal. That might be part of the charm. 

Me: Okay, I can see that. Normal isn't a bad thing, though. It makes an actor feel more accessible. More like us.

Going back to Flatliners, though... we had different opinions about the remake.

Jay: I fucking hated it. It was awful. 

Me: I liked it.

Jay: They didn't need to do it. 

Me: No, I'll agree to that. There are so many remakes these days they didn't need to do but did. They did it, though, and it was entertaining.

Jay: It wasn't better than the original. 

Me: No, it wasn't. But it wasn't bad.

Jay: Meh. 

Me: You know Kiefer Sutherland was in the remake too, right?

Jay: Well... to be honest... I didn't finish it. It was that bad.

Me: Kiefer Sutherland hasn't really done all that many horror films. The ones he's done, though, have been brilliant. Mirrors is on that list.

Jay: I thought Mirrors was a great film. He brought a believability to the role. You can feel his frustration, his fear. 

Me: You can feel my bloody fear! Mirrors terrified me! You're lucky there are any mirrors left in our house after seeing that!

Jay: Yeah, it did make you jump a lot. I love movies that do that...

Me: The thing that really scared me was the so-called "treatment" that set the whole thing off. People with mental illnesses were treated so horribly in the past and, living with a mental illness, the thought of that ever coming back keeps me up at night.

There's also the scene in the bathroom, which was too grotesque to even go into. Yikes.

I can't believe it but we've zipped through Kiefer Sutherland's horror movies. There weren't many. Tell me how he made the cut, with so few horror credits to his name?

Jay: ...that's a good question. I guess it's mostly because of his role in The Lost Boys, to be honest. It was too iconic a role to ignore. 

Me: It has nothing to do with the fact that you looked like him for awhile in the Eighties and it got you laid?

Jay: What? No, never!

Me: Well, there you have it...

I wish we could say that we've met Kiefer Sutherland but we haven't yet. He's on the dream list but we just keep missing him. Fingers crossed he shows up somewhere near us soon. At least we've gotten to meet a lot of the other Lost Boys cast.

Jay: It's a great poster to have signed.

Me: It is.

Well, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

Thursday, 17 October 2019

31 Days of Halloween: Best Horror Actors: Dwight Frye

Me: We're going a bit obscure today with Dwight Frye. Most of the people on this list are instantly recognisable horror icons. Tell me how someone who barely has sixty acting credits on IMDb beat some of the more well known actors that got cut.

Jay: He's here because his roles, however few they might be, are so memorable. 

Me: You're talking about Renfield in the 1931 Dracula?

Jay: And Fritz, the Igor character, in the 1931 Frankenstein.

Me: Why are those two roles so iconic for you?

Jay: Both times, especially as Renfield, Dwight Frye stole the show with roles that, really, shouldn't have drawn any attention. That laugh was absolutely haunting.

Me: For me, that's Tom Waits as Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula. No one talks about his character or his performance but damned if he didn't out-act them all.

Jay: It takes a great actor to make something so memorable from a nothing role. Dwight Frye and Tom Waits both managed it. 

Me: Dwight Frye was also in Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man as different characters. Guess there's no denying he was typecast. What do you make of that?

Jay: I think Dwight Frye was frustrated with playing the idiot madman. He said somewhere that he wanted to do comedy but, if you have a look at his resume, he never really got the chance. 

Me: A lot of the titles - most of the titles - on IMDb for Dwight Frye are listed as "uncredited." Isn't that sad?

Jay: It is. I guess it's kind of like his life, though. He never got the credit he deserved. 

Me: True. Sad, but true. Another thing that makes me sad is that this is so short. I wish there was more to say about Dwight Frye.

Jay: There's not really a lot to say, is there? He's a ghost from another age. 

Me: Well, now that I'm a bit glum, I'll wrap things up.

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check back tomorrow to see who our next Best Horror Actor will be!

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