We all know Johnny Depp made his debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street, that Kevin Bacon was skewered with a spike in Friday the 13th, and Brad Pitt avoided a blade to the face in Cutting Class, but budding thespians are still paying their dues in B (and C!) movies before the big time calls… Spoilers follow.
Amy Adams in Psycho Beach Party
Legit Hollywood royalty Amy Adams had already been in the awesome Drop Dead Gorgeous before playing bitchy Marvel Ann in obscurely amazing stage-adaptation Psycho Beach Party, where she gets to take part in the best dance-off this side of Grease. And way more enjoyable than either of the recent Superman movies.
Fate: Despite her love rival role, Marvel Ann does not meet the business end of a knife, as the killer in this one only goes after those with physical imperfections.
James McAvoy & Isla Fisher in The Pool
Playing a couple in the 2001 Prague-set actually quite fun slasher-in-a-swimming-pool, McAvoy would later play Professor X and land lead roles all over the show (including the objectively shit Wanted) and Fisher starred in Wedding Crashers, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Now You See Me.
Fates: She runs straight into a machete, which is later used again to skewer him as he’s crawling through an air duct in hope of escape.
Finn Jones in Wrong Turn 5
Future star of Marvel’s Iron Fist and Loris Tyrell in Games of Thrones, the British actor was one of many countrymen shipped off to Bulgaria to fill out one of the straight-to-DVD Wrong Turn sequels.
Fate: I can’t remember, but apparently he doesn’t croak.
Anna Faris in Lovers Lane
Shortly before she headlined the Scary Movie franchise, led The House Bunny with a pre-stardom Emma Stone, and married Chris Pratt, Anna had a rare straight role as nice cheerleader Janelle in the straight-to-video flick that came at the height of the genre resurgence.
Fate: Gutted with a hook.
Kaley Cuoco in The Hollow
Before she was Penny in The Big Bang Theory, Kaley was Kevin Zegers’ object-of-lust in low-end, but kinda fun, The Hollow, also with Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, Stacy Keach, and Judge Reinhold. She later also appeared as a ditzy actress in Killer Movie, dying in neither.
Fate: Survives to fall in love with Zegers.
Rebecca Ferguson in Drowning Ghost
Still on the rise in Hollywood thanks to her recurring role opposite Tom Cruise in the Mission: Impossible movies, Rebecca started out in dull killer-at-a-posh-school chiller from Sweden, Drowning Ghost as a bitchy rich kid.
Fate: Dies, but I can’t remember how.
Olly Alexander in Tormented
Olly may have played geeky Jason Banks in the British 2009 revenge-from-beyond slasher, but he went on to front BBC Sound of 2015 winners Years & Years, scoring a string of chart hits in the ensuing years.
Fate: Pencils placed up nostrils and head pushed down on to desk. Ouch.
Kate Mara in Urban Legends: Bloody Mary
Before landing big roles in House of Cards and as Sue Storm in the 27th attempt at a Fantastic Four movie franchise, Kate Mara – sister of Rooney, who went from the Elm Street remake to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake – was cast as the plucky heroine in made-for-DVD Urban Legend threequel Bloody Mary.
Fate: Final Girl! Saves the day!
Bradley Cooper in My Little Eye
I can’t remember much of My Little Eye because it was boring as fuck. Bradley Cooper, not one of the main five protagonists, went on to find major Hollywood success with Limitless, The Hangover trilogy, and, uh, that A-Team movie. And let’s not ever discuss that woeful Limitless TV series.
Fate: I think he’s one of the bad guys in on the conspiracy?
Naomi Watts in Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering
Mrs Liev Schreiber and star of a gazillion hit movies, Watts played the heroine – and Karen Black’s daughter – in the barely-related-to-the-others sequel, as big sister to disgraced (and now dead) Glee star Mark Salling.
Fate: Final Girl! Saves the day!
Eva Mendes in Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror
From model to actress, Mendes was packed off for the straight-to-video fourth sequel to the Stephen King adaptation. She thinks it’s a load of crap, but as far as this series goes, it’s at least gruesomely fun, and she got to star opposite the late Alexis Arquette.
Fate: Reads a thousand-page book in one night and voluntarily jumps into a silo!?
Paul Rudd in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
We all know this one. On the brink of his big break in Clueless, Rudd played a grown-up (and slightly unhinged) Tommy Doyle. The Judd Apatow staple reportedly doesn’t think much of the movie, but he’s effective in the role, giving Tommy a can-he-be-trusted edginess lacking in most final boys.
Fate: Final Boy! Saves the day… with help from Dr Loomis, and Laurie’s cousin.
Clark Gregg in When A Stranger Calls
The leader of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., all round zaddy Clark Gregg played Camilla Belle’s dad in the 2006 remake of When A Stranger Calls, which mainly just entailed telling her she’d gone over her allotted minutes on her cellphone.
Fate: N/A – supporting role. Zzzz.
Billy Nighy in Phantom of the Opera
The Freddy Krueger-inspired remake of the horror classic featured a young(er) Bill Nighy, later staple of British comedies, including Love Actually, The Boat That Rocked, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as well as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
Fate: I saw this 20 years ago. Once. I remember nothing.