Tag Archives: 90s horror month

Stick to what you know. Or die.

Some people just want a bigger slice of the pie. Unsatisfied with their singing careers, many artistes appear in a few music videos and suddenly think they’re the next Streep or Caine. So we get Beyoncé in Austin Powers, Justin Timberlake trying to be an action hero in the crappy In Time and Alanis Morissette playing GOD in Dogma!

So it was no surprise to anyone that, during the 90s horror resurgence, a few of these Prima Donnas thought they could kick it with the big boys and headline a slasher flick. Some did alright, agreeably dying in accordance with the audience’s wishes, while others thought their acting talents earned them the lead role. Poor deluded things…

Let’s take a look at who ruined what:

llcooljh20-2

LL Cool J as Ronnie the security guard in Halloween H20

Who hell he? Rapper James Todd Smith started his career way back in 1985 and has since released 11 studio albums, featured as a guest rapper on a gazillion tracks and, surprisingly, carved out quite the respectable screen career, presently starring in NCIS: Los Angeles.

In the midst of horror: LL donned the usually doomed role of security guard at a California prep school where Jamie Lee Curtis was the headmistress. Unusually, he brought a charm to the role few other names on this list could dream of (not least Busta Rhymes who almost single-handedly destroyed the next film in the series).

He later pulled the rug of credibility out from under himself in a naff role in Deep Blue Sea the following year (for which he also contributed a dire theme song) and returned to slasherdom in Mindhunters in 2004.

Eventual Fate: Survives despite being shot.

tatyana-clown2

Tatyana Ali as Monica in The Clown at Midnight

Who hell she? Former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast member and short-lived career singer Ali scored a big hit by duetting with series brethren Will Smith before seemingly being sucked into the career ether.

In the midst of horror: Ali cropped up as the sassy best-friend-of-heroine in this Canadian Scream knock-off, where a group of high school theater club kids are tormented by a psychotic but not remotely scary clown.

Eventual Fate: Skewered with a spear that she almost spins 360s around. But doesn’t.

brandy-isk2Brandy as Karla in I Still  Know What You Did Last Summer

Who hell she? Brandy Norwood – who I had confused with Aaliyah for several years – had already headlined her own kids show, Moesha, for a couple of years and scored some gentile RnB chart hits, including this one featuring LL Cool J – hmmm. The only ones I know were Sittin’ Up in my Room from Waiting to Exhale and The Boy is Mine with genre clone Monica.

In the midst of horror: Brandy signed on to play the sassy best-friend-of-heroine in the cliché ridden killer fisherman sequel to the surprise 1997 hit. For the role, Brandy had to lip-sync (something I don’t doubt she was used to) her screams, so’s not to damage that precious voice… To be fair, she does ok with some godawful dialogue and has a cool chase scene.

Eventual Fate: Staggers from the wreckage at the last second after we all hoped believed she was dead.

kylie-cut2aKylie Minogue as Hilary Jacobs in Cut

Who hell she? Pint-sized pop princess and international gay icon Kylie made her screen debut in cult Australian soap Neighbours before becoming one of the most successful artists on the planet, notching up 45 Top 20 hits in the UK between 1988 and 2011.

In the midst of horror: For her Drew Barrymore-esque cameo in Aussie comic-horror Cut, she appeared for all of five minutes as the tyrannical director of a low-budget horror film, Hot Blooded.

Eventual Fate: First to go, probably to the joy of many she gets her tongue cut out.

snoop-bones2Snoop Dogg as Jimmy Bones in Bones

Who hell he? Pot-smoking LA rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg (later dropping the middle name) has been on the rap scene since the early 90s. Look, I know fuck all about rap. It bores me. He appeared on that Katy Perry track and was in some episodes of Weeds. And played Huggy Bear in the crappy Starsky & Hutch reboot.

In the midst of horror: Dogg rolled up as a killer from beyond the grave in this ghetto Elm Street wannabe, in which a murdered 70s big cheese rises from the dead to take revenge on those who killed him after they turned his beloved burg into a grotty ghetto of sleaze.

Eventual Fate: As the supernatural killer, he’s already dead and possesses daughter Bianca Lawson at the end.

kris-dtox2Kris Kristofferson as Dr Mitchell in D-Tox

Who hell he? Texas folk strummer Kristofferson has never had a single UK chart hit but the weird alliteration of his name alone ensures most people have at the very least heard of him. Folk isn’t my thing either so I can’t tell you shit about his career.

In the midst of horror: KK phoned in a one-dimensional performance as the head shrink at a clinic for burned out cops, where Sylvester Stallone thinks there’s a police-hating serial killer on the prowl. In truth, I can’t remember a whole lot about the film now, only that the identity of the loon was evident from the outset and that a cast containing Charles S. Dutton, Courtney B. Vance, Sean Patrick Flanery and Robert Patrick could be so wasted in a film that virtually bypassed big screens everywhere for a dead future on DVD…

Eventual Fate: Dies, but I can’t remember how.

busta-hr2Busta Rhymes as Freddie Harris in Halloween: Resurrection

Who hell he? I know even less about Busta Rhymes than I do about Snoop Dogg. He sang on that really rubbish Half on a Baby with Mariah Carey and did a ‘song’ that sampled the Psycho theme (blaspheme!).

In the midst of horror: Rhymes, evidently spurned on by – or jealous of – LL Cool J and Snoop Dogg’s horror movie outings, somehow bagged the lead role in what is possibly the most hated film in the Halloween canon (though I actually don’t mind it at all) as a small time entertainment entrepreneur who organises a live webcast from the home of Michael Myers on Halloween night, unaware that the psycho has lived in a tunnel beneath the property for several years and objects to any visitors.

From his ridiculous Kung Fu showdown with Michael to his attempt at playing things cooler than a frozen cucumber, Rhymes is possibly the victim of a crap script. This is, after all, a film that tries to sell to us the idea that Michael Myers was not the guy beheaded at the end of H20. It’s more plausible and likely that he just can’t act.

Eventual Fate: Stabbed about three times but survives. Fuck it.

kelly-fvj2Kelly Rowland as Kia in Freddy vs Jason

Who hell she? One of the ‘other’ members of Destiny’s Child who merely existed under the shadow of the great Beyoncé, future X-Factor mentor and singer of a few half-decent solo hits. I can’t even picture the third girl. Hang on, weren’t there four at the start?

In the midst of horror: Rowland turned up as the sassy best-friend-of-heroine (any one else noticing a theme?) in the long-awaited horror series mash-up. Kia says “girl” a lot and gives mouth-to-mouth to Jason Voorhees, for which he thanks her by slamming her against a tree. However, Rowland reportedly ad-libbed “faggot” as an insult against Freddy, which dropped her credibility through the floor in my book.

Eventual Fate: Machete sling into a nearby tree.

paris-wax2Paris Hilton as Paige in House of Wax

Who hell she? Before House of Wax, I was one of approximately six people on the planet who didn’t really know who Paris Hilton was. Everyone seemed to hate her. Apparently, the hotel chain heiress-slash-socialite is one of those famous-for-being-famous dollies who had a few ‘reality’ TV shows and squawked out a heavily auto-tuned album in 2006, which spawned the worldwide hit Stars Are Blind. She sings like she’s stoned.

In the midst of horror: The American marketing for this remake played heavily on Hilton’s character’s fate: See Paris Hilton Die! squawked the trailers. So divisive her star-status that it would have started a riot had she been cast as the final girl. Strangely, this was not Hilton’s first foray into slasher cinema, having already been offed in rubbish British ghost-horror Nine Lives. In Wax, she does okay with the role of best-friend-of-heroine (though for once, white!).

Eventual Fate: After an admittedly impressive chase scene, Paige gets a rusty old pole right through the head.

bonjovi-wolf2Jon Bon Jovi as Rich Walker in Cry_Wolf

Who hell he? “Ohhhh we’re halfway there…!” Leading man of supremo 80s hair metal rockers Bon Jovi, JBJ has enjoyed enormous global success with the band, turning out hits pretty much solidly for a quarter of a century. Everyone loves at least one Bon Jovi song.

In the midst of horror: Would you learn anything if Bon Jovi was YOUR teacher? No? Neither do any of the cast members in this cheat of a film, set at a snobby prep school where the students start a rumour about a campus cruising killer that backfires of them, then doesn’t, then does…

JBJ is the media lecturer and more intertwined with events than it at first seems. He says teacherly things, wears glasses and boring clothes and generally makes no impression whatsoever. But the film’s crap so who cares?

Eventual Fate: Shot dead because he’s the killer. No, wait! He isn’t! Is he? Fuck it, I have no clue what’s going on. Dies.

tulisa-dnd2Tulisa Contostavlos as Amber in Demons Never Die

Who hell she? One third of unspeakably dreadful UK ‘urban’ group N-Dubz, who, despite being a vacuum of talent, scored several substantial chart hits, including a number one single. Tulisa then went on to mentor on The X Factor, her girl group Little Mix eventually winning the show. Entirely thanks to her, of course.

In the midst of horror: Plays ‘the Drew Barrymore role’ in UK ‘urban’ slasher flick Demons Never Die, which I’ve not yet seen because it flopped so hard at the box office it barely played anywhere, drunkenly staggering its way to DVD in February 2011. Equally repugnant Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates also features.

Eventual Fate: She dies, but I don’t yet know how.

* * *

What does this teach us? If you’re a black female artist, you have no choice than to play the final girl’s best friend.

Who would you like to see bite it on the big screen? I imagine Justin Beiber would top a few lists. Simon Cowell would be forced to listen to Westlife until his brains bleed out his ears. Eminem could scream like a girl. Victoria Beckham could be force-dieted to death…

The list is endless.

Lightmares and Nighthouses

LIGHTHOUSE

 3.5 Stars  1999/15/91m

“The brightest light. Your darkest fears.”

A.k.a. Dead of Night (U.S.)

Director: Simon Hunter / Writers: Hunter & Graeme Scarfe / Cast: James Purefoy, Rachel Shelley, Chris Adamson, Paul Brooke, Don Warrington, Chris Dunne, Bob Goody, Pat Kelman, Pete McCabe.

Body Count: 13

Dire-logue: “Two words can sum that up: Sick. Fuck.”


Some films should only be watched once. Such is the case with this leftover from 90s Horror Month, which I frankly ran out of time to review.

In typical British horror tradition, the UK was pretty much the last country to get the film despite producing the damn thing. I saw it about a decade ago after importing an American video copy and thought it was very good but, if memory serves, not likely to hold up on repeated viewings. Watching it t’other day, I was right.

Psycho member-of-public cutter-upper Leo Rook escapes from incarceration during a transfer on a prison ship, offing a couple of guards as he goes and then rows to a nearby lighthouse-isle, slays the keepers and disables the lighthouse, which subsequently causes the ship to hit nearby rocks and sink.

A gaggle of survivors make it to the isle and hobble to the lighthouse where the remaining guards try to keep hold of their power before the group realise that something ain’t right. Attempts to fix lights, generators and radios are all thwarted by Rook, who likes to collect the severed heads of his victims. Eventually, the prison staff and shrinkologist Kirsty (Shelley) admit to the others who was on board and who might’ve escaped and who might be killing everyone. That’s the same person for all three of those categories, by the way.

Lighthouse excels visually and some scenes are precursors to the likes of Haute Tension: sequences where victims know the killer is close by and hide themselves away in tiny spaces while the music is muted and nobody is sure if Rook knows they’re there. Lots of work is done with reflections in puddles and weather beaten windows and shots are angled to maximise the claustrophobic feel of a scene or, elsewhere, making the interior of the building appear like a swirling nightmare. Another great scene involves two prisoners shackled together, one of whom is unconscious while the other decides between spending ages attacking their chains with an axe or hacking through something easier as the killer approaches…

There’s a weird and off putting flashback that links Rook to Kirsty that’s never wholly explain and made fuzzy by strange editing as the film lumbers awkwardly towards it’s overwrought climax, which unfortunately scrutinises the setpieces into looking a bit staged and cheap. There’s no prizes for picking who’ll live and who won’t but the cast is dotted with familiar faces, most of whom (nearly all the victims here are male) die quite gruesomely by the killer’s handy machete.

One of the better British slasher efforts hampered possibly by it’s almost-high-art-but-not approach to a generic opus; parts of it that look beautiful juxtapose clumsily with low-end effects work, but if you can see your way to ignoring that, there are some gripping situations to level the playing field and Lighthouse is definitely worth seeing for a touch of classiness.

Strangely, someone asked me if I thought the film was gay. Gay? Well, a load of men – some shackled together – scramble to salvation on an island with a big phallic penisey lighthouse. But no, I don’t think it’s some big cock metaphor.

Blurb-of-interest: Rachel Shelley was in The Children.

“Hello Sidney, how’ve you been?”

SCREAM 4

4 Stars  2011/15/111m

“New decade. New rules.”

Director: Wes Craven / Writer: Kevin Williamson / Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, Nico Tortorella, Eric Knudsen, Marley Shelton, Adam Brody, Anthony Anderson, Mary McDonnell, Alison Brie, Marielle Jaffe, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Aimee Teegarden, Roger Jackson.

Body Count: 15

Dire-logue: “You forgot the first rule of a remake – don’t fuck with the original!”


Think of a band you loved when you were younger who since split. Imagine them reforming – you’d be stoked. You’d go and watch them perform and you’d enjoy but there’s something… something just isn’t working for you. The songs are the same, they can still play but they look older, less energetic now.

This is how I found watching Scream 4 earlier today.

Don’t misinterpret the fact that it’s a good film because it is. Very enjoyable for the most part in spite of a slack middle third but perhaps the memories of a time when Sid, Gale and Dewey and indeed I was younger and more fresh faced and sprightly jade the affair to some extent. Argh, screw this stroll down memory lane shit, let’s discuss the film.

Things begin as they always do in the Scream movies: the big pre-credits kill, only this time around Craven and Williamson slap the audience in face with a wet fish in an effectively amusing poke at the imitators who tried to fill the high-budget slasher void in the intervening decade. We’ve all seen those Paquin/Bell stills so without ruining the joke, let’s just say that the Stab movies didn’t end with the ill-fated Stab 3 – they’ve continued and they’ve gotten just a bit silly. Time travel is even brought into the equation.

Sidney Prescott is now a successful writer and is at the end of her tour promoting Out of the Darkness, a sort of self-help bio that brings her to the last stop of promo: Woodsboro. That little piece of suburban California where it all began a decade-and-a-half earlier. Gale and Dewey are married but suffering from the mental strain that small town life puts on their relationship. She’s trying to write fiction, his deputy (Shelton) has a crush on him.

As soon as Sid returns, Ghostface comes too, neatly coinciding with the anniversary of the massacre as he begins offing high school friends of Sid’s cousin, Jill (Roberts). Gale wants to investigate but finds herself marginalised by Dewey and so teams up with school film club geeks Charlie and Robbie, who step into Randy’s shoes for an explanation on how the horror genre has changed since Billy and Stu first used old school rules to their advantage. Add to this, they’re holding a Stab-a-thon party as the kids of Woodsboro modern hold the films in Rocky Horror-like esteem. Can only lead to trouble, methinks!

Scream 4‘s big mickey take targets remakes, reboots, rehashes, re-imaginings – whatever you want to call them. The rules have flipped, horror now looks to do the opposite of what came before so much is made out of the Saw movies (one girl quips that torture porn is shit and features no character development), and any number of remade films are name checked and the industry criticised for not being interested in anything that isn’t a remake or reboot of some kind.

So are we dealing with a reboot here? Well, yes and no. It’s still a slasher movie so certain rules can’t be bargained with and, despite them protesting otherwise, some of the “knowledgeable” teen characters still saunter off and investigate strange sounds, call out “who’s there?” and make all the standard body count pic mistakes.

The main bulk of Scream 4 plays out mechanically: spooky call >>> stupid behaviour >>> killer appears. Though it’s worth noting that all the characters toyed with in this vein are female. In fact, this is the first Scream film where girl victims outnumber the boys, who are killed almost apologetically without much of a build up.

However, mechanics of another kind aid the film’s step into the 21st Century: now the kids can talk about Twitter, information is spread via text, IM’s, there’s a Ghostface voice-app for the iPhones they all seem to possess, and according to the film nerds, the killer’s logical step towards innovation is to film the murders. Weird to think back to Gale’s breezeblock sized cell phone in the first one!

Thankfully, as I started to question what the fuck they were playing at with such a flat opus, a neat twist is pulled out of the bag concerning the killer’s identity and their always-exposited-at-length motive, which stacks up well with the film’s acerbic prod’s at celeb culture – I feel like Lily Allen’s “The Fear” should’ve been playing in the background. The film doesn’t so much offer up red herrings (apart from a really obvious push towards our suspecting a probable loon early on) as the cast is so dominated by women that it’s difficult to work out which one of them (if any) it could be. However, the climax seems to borrow back a big chunk of unbelievable camp from Scary Movie – but it was funny as hell and had the audience clapping.

Neve Campbell delivers here, thankfully looking more interested than she was in Scream 3 and Panettiere impresses as girl geek Kirby. Curiously, it’s Arquette and Cox who seem most out of place. Gale’s plotline of trying to get back to her old self (a metaphor for the whole production, perhaps?) doesn’t really go anywhere and Dewey hardly seems to be involved at all and looks only tired rather than his perky, parable-spouting self from the other films. But why a rather mannequin-styled Mary McDonnell was wasted in such a crappy role is a weird one.

I’m likely to make some amendments to this review when I take a second look at the film. The first go-round with a big deal of a film is always problematised by expectations, especially when dealing with Scream or a film I’ve been holding out for for some time but at present, I’m satisfied but at the same time I learned that, as the Carpenters once sang, trying to get that feeling again is a non-starter. We’re all older and so the teen culture we knew has shifted at some points beyond our comprehension. Take the bits you can and remain bewildered at the rest, y’know, like when you made your parents watch the first Scream.

Scream‘s 5 and 6? I dunno if the band could do another comeback tour…

Blurbs-of-interest: Emma Roberts was the lead in Scream Queens; Anthony Anderson (another actor under-used) was in Urban Legends: Final Cut. Arquette directed and featured in The Tripper (with a cameo from Cox); Marley Shelton was in Valentine.

Premature Endgame

SCREAM 3

 3.5 Stars  2000/18/112m

“Welcome to the final act.”

Director: Wes Craven / Writer: Ehren Kruger / Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Patrick Dempsey, Parker Posey, Jenny McCarthy, Scott Foley, Liev Schrieber, Lance Henriksen, Deon Richmond, Emily Mortimer, Matt Keeslar, Kelly Rutherford, Patrick Warburton, Roger Jackson.

Body Count: 10

Dire-logue: (after the murder of a Stab cast member) “He was making a movie called Stab. He was stabbed.”


The problem with Scream 3 is that it had a clever joke threaded through it that got lost in the blur of a new writer trying to make ends meet. What is it? It’s that there’s two mysteries at play: Who is the killer in Scream 3 and who is the killer in Stab 3? There are two Sidney’s, two Gail’s, two Dewey’s. One might be a killer or victim in either. Sadly, Ehren Kruger couldn’t make it work right and most people ignored it.

What’s left is a respectable effort all the same. Compared to 90% of slasher films, Scream 3 is still top-notch stuff but there’s a definite sense of boredom on behalf of the returning cast and crew that drowns that enthusiasm of the newcomers. Kevin Williamson’s long-delayed treatment was finally handed to Kruger, possibly something that’s been repeated in the imminent Scream 4 if production rumours are to be believed.

Neve Campbell also seemed tired of going through the motions as it-girl Sidney, who is also (understandbly) sick and tired of being chased by loons in Father Death masks. So a lot rests on the shoulders of Courteney and David, by then finally married off screen, playing ever-bickering Gail and Dewey, this time split up asnd reunited on set after Cotton Weary is slain in the pre-credits slaughterhouse, which is one of the better moments.

Fictional follow-up Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro is immediately thrown into jeopardy by the news, which pulls in Hollywood detective Dempsey and his sarcastic partner. Meanwhile, Sidney is hidden away in the Californian wilderness with her dog and a dial-in job as a crisis counsellor.

A second murder shuts down the film and the killer manages to contact Sidney, who takes the bait and joins her old buddies to once and for all find out who the fuck is dicking with her and end the madness.

The subtlety of the first two films is out the window as almost every utterance by the new cast members is tainted with suspicion. Even with a crowbarred-in cameo by Randy, the cast seem oblivious to horror movie rules and split up time and time again once they’ve been gathered in a Beverly Hills mansion for the homerun.

Still, there are some great touches: Sidney’s exploration of the set of her old house nicely echoes events of the original film and once the killer reveals themself and spits out another long-winded motive (you gotta wonder why these guys spent so much time trying to kill her if all along they planned on giving a lecture on the whys, hows and whos?) she fights hard, even saying she doesn’t care about the reasons as she’s heard it all before.

Parker Posey supplies some good comic moments as Gale’s fictional counterpart who thinks she can do a better job of investigating and then cementing herself to Gale’s side when the killer targets her. The other actors and crew members of Stab 3 fulfil their marginal walking-corpse roles without much ado. They exist purely to say a couple of witty things and then die.

“It’s all about MEEEE!”

Williamson’s schtick of trilogies is played out quite pointlessly (made all the more redundant by the arrival of the fourth film) with a lot of blah about rules n’ stuff that don’t apply convincingly. Yes, it all harks back to the start and Sidney’s mom (shown in a creepily close close-up from the photo Sidney had in the first film) but it’s clear that, despite his insistence otherwise, Scream was not designed to be a trilogy. You only have to scan the unused script for the second film where Sidney dies at the end to realise that.

As usual, cameos from industry friends are littered throughout: Jay and Silent Bob turn up (with Craven in the background); the Carrie Fisher exchange is fittingly amusing.

The film also felt the force of a screen-violence clampdown in the wake of the Columbine massacre in 1999 and the amount of claret on show is reduced from the first two, with quick cuts away from fatal slashes and stabbings or attacks obscured by the position of the camera or people/objects in the frame.

Looking at Gail’s hair, Dewey wondered what he ever saw in her

So it’s drier, unsubtle, a little all over the place and, surprisingly, occasionally badly acted. Plus Courteney Cox sports one ugly-ass yellow suit and seems to have had her hair cut by Stevie Wonder. Kruger’s dialogue isn’t as sharp as Williamson’s and his reasons for jockeying victims into position have become the cliches that the first film made fun of. This is not to say he’s a bad writer by any stance; Arlington Road was awesome and I really liked The Skeleton Key. The poor guy was handed the biggest horror franchise going and told to wrap it up. Had it been ‘just another sequel’ the results might’ve been very different.

A disappointing finale and one that hasn’t aged very well but its enjoyable elements outweigh the sluggish ones. I’d recommend watching it after sitting through something like I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, just to appreciate that they made a decent flick, just not a wonderful one.

Blurbs-of-interest: the Arquettes were later in The Tripper (which he directed); Henriksen was also in The Horror Show, Color of Night and Madhouse (2003); Matt Keeslar was in Psycho Beach Party; Deon Richmond was in Hatchet; Carrie Fisher was the housemother in Sorority Row.

Legacies of the 90s: Stab-a-thon Stars

As Kevins Costner and Bacon, Holly Hunter, George Clooney and Tom Hanks paid their slasher movie dues in the films of the 80s, the 90s saw many a familiar face from teen-oriented TV shows rushing to board the terror train following Scream‘s unprecedented success.

Some have remained famous, lots of vanished from the radar and some probably didn’t expect any success at all when they signed on for three scenes and a murder in a video shelf flick they thought nobody would ever see. Bet they hope nobody asks about Teenage Death Camp Massacre VIII now…

stars1aSo, starting at the top left, Sarah Michelle Gellar, arguably the biggest teen star of the era thanks to her role as ass-kickin’ demon hunter Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she played the role of defenceless girly victim in both I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2. She was also originally to play Sasha in Urban Legend before scheduling conflicts got the best of her. Apart from appearing in the first two Grudge movies, after marrying Last Summer co-star Freddie Prinze Jr., she’s disappeared a bit…

Seann William Scott, known as potty-mouthed Stifler in American Pie, became one of Death’s first screen victims in Final Destination but his career has flourished since. Katherine Heigl, recently surfing a wave of rom-coms after the success of Knocked Up, donned final girl shoes in Bride of Chucky and then “the Drew Barrymore role” for Valentine, which she seemed less than impressed with…

Puck from Glee (Mark Salling) looked a lot different (and significantly less buff) when he played Naomi Watts’ little brother in Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering. He later had a small role in the dull The Graveyard.

Another big name from the teen flick circuit, Joshua Jackson had been a fairly successful child star in all three Mighty Ducks movies and a leading role in Dawson’s Creek; aside from his role in Urban Legend and a cameo in Scream 2 (sharing a scene with Gellar), he also starred with Gellar, Ryan Philippe and Reese Witherspoon (who avoided horror at the time) in Cruel Intentions and almost-horror flick Gossip. He’s now in Fringe.

Eva Mendes joins Salling as another Corn almnus after debuting in Fields of Terror, the fifth in the series. She moved on to Urban Legends: Final Cut before mainstream Hollywood success followed. And who could forget Jack Black’s uncredited cameo as Titus the dreadlocked dope-smoking pool boy in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer? I bet he wishes he could!

Rounding off this box, Jennifer Love Hewitt, co-star to Neve Campbell in Party of Five, took the lead in both Last Summer films.

stars2aMrs Liev Schrieber, sometimes known as “Naomi Watts”, yet another survivor of the neverending Children of the Corn franchise, playing Salling’s big sis and eventual heroine. Josh Hartnett was Jamie Lee Curtis’ annoyingly slappable offspring in Halloween H20, in which he was smug boyfriend to Dawson’s Creek star Michelle Williams.

The late Brittany Murphy was on the verge of stardom when she played the heroine of Cherry Falls; and mini Aussie pop queen Kylie Minogue – relatively unknown in the US but with over 30 UK Top 10 hits to her name – was the ‘big star’ to be offed at the beginning of Australian Scream off-shoot Cut.

Like Josh Jackson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a child star in 3rd Rock from the Sun, he turned up in many an art project and a strangely small and thankless role as an early victim in Halloween H20. The beautiful Kelly Brook, now better known to horror fans as one of the naked porn stars ripped apart by dodgy-looking CGI piranhas, was an unlikely criminal psychology student in Ripper: Letter from Hell.

Lastly, James McAvoy and Isla Fisher turned up in the strangely eclectic German slasher film The Pool, which starred Cherry Falls‘ Kristin Miller. Both were gruesomely dispatched fairly early on but can look back and laugh now they’ve had admirable Hollywood careers.

And lastly, I couldn’t get a good shot of the lovely Anna Faris, who, before she became a comedy queen thanks to doing all four (ugh!) Scary Movie‘s, turned up in the type of film they parodied, Lovers Lane, where she played Janelle the plucky cheerleader, who just wanted to make new friends but got gutted with a hook for her trouble. Here she is on the cruddy UK cover with it’s naff international title…

So there we have it, the biggest faces of the 90s horror scene, eleven of them died (one of those twice!), none of them went topless (well, some of the guys did), and only one came back for a sequel! Ha ha @ Jennifer Love Hewitt!

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