Do you know how to tell when an actor is destined for stardom? It's when, at the beginning of his career, he's so eager to show off his craft he readily jumps at the chance to appear in a movie about melting Satanists or furry piranha-like space rodents. But do you know what's truly scary about these A-list actors and the Z-list horror flicks they count among their credits? Each actor actually has an even-more-horrifyingly embarrassing non-horror flick haunting his ouvre. (See, for example, Don's Plum and Battlefield Earth.)
Movie: He Knows You're Alone (1980)
Poster Tagline: Every girl is frightened the night before her wedding, but this time...there's good reason!
Role: Elliot, amateur psychologist whose girlfriend falls victim to a bride-mangling slasher
Reviews: "He may know you're alone, but I know you're bored silly. Frankly, this is one of the least terrifying horror films ever...."
--Christopher Null, FilmCritic.com
Movie Before: none
Movie After: Splash
Movie: Once Bitten (1985)
Poster Tagline: Mark Kendall just found out that his one-night stand has been around for centuries.
Role: Mark Kendall, inexperienced teenager bitten by vampire out for virgin blood
Reviews: "This attempt to combine elements of vampire lore with the limited format of the teen sex comedy is a monstrous movie all right, a frighteningly awful horror comedy."
Movie Before: Finders Keepers
Movie After: Peggy Sue Got Married
Movie: Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988)
Poster Tagline: The vegetables of doom return! They're bad and this time they're really stewed!
Role: Matt Stevens, pizza maker skilled at alternative sauces and crass commercialism
Reviews: "So just how goofy is this movie? Return of the Killer Tomatoes! is the only film that includes a fight in a pizza parlor with ninjas, cowboys, children, and restaurant patrons."
--Patrick Naugle, DVDVerdict.com)
Movie Before: Red Surf
Movie After: Return to Horror High
Movie: Cutting Class (1989)
Poster Tagline: Some People Would Kill To Fit In.
Role: Dwight Ingalls, high school basketball star, horrific driver, and suspected mass murderer
Reviews: "This reject from slasher-movie remedial school [features] copious amounts of teen sex and the usual unimaginative gore murders."
--The New York Times)
Movie Before: Happy Together
Movie After: Across the Tracks
Movie: Critters 3 (1991)
Poster Tagline: You Are What They Eat
Role: Josh, stepson of the evil landlord and flesh-eating-furball warrior
Reviews: "The script, if one actually existed, consisted of lines that went 80 miles past cliche right into the dreaded 'there is no way God exists if someone can write lines this bad' territory."
Movie Before: none
Movie After: Poison Ivy
Movie: Def by Temptation (1990)
Poster Tagline: A terrifying tale of vampires and lust
Role: Garth, a dead minister who appears to help his son battle an evil succubus
Reviews: "The sexist overtones of Cynthia Bond's predatory vampire leave a nasty taste in the mouth, the special effects are poor, and the plot sags badly in the middle."
--staff, Time Out London
Movie Before: A Shock to the System
Movie After: Betsy's Wedding
Movie: Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (1990)
Poster Tagline: They're Looking for a Few Good Men.
Role: Donny, the trailer-dwelling ex-husband of the lead "Cycle Slut"
Reviews: "Although competently made -- it's in focus -- this witless gorefest is monotonous and, worst of all, unbearably smug."
--Doug Brod, EW.com
Movie Before: Going Overboard
Movie After: For the Boys
Movie: House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Poster Tagline: The most shocking tale of carnage ever seen.
Role: Bill Hudley, a college student who is killed, taxidermied, and turned into "Fishboy"
Reviews: "Too highbrow to be a good cheap horror movie, too lowbrow to be satire, and too boring to bear the value of the ticket."
--James Brundage, FilmCritic.com
Movie Before: Full Frontal
Movie After: Sahara
Movie: The Devil's Rain (1975)
Poster Tagline: Heaven help us all when The Devil's Rain! Absolutely the most incredible ending of any motion picture.
Role: Danny, a hooded cult follower with no eyes (or lines) and waxy, gruesome makeup
Reviews: "Borgnine! Shatner! Lupino! Step forth and sacrifice your dignity on the altar of ill-fated horror cinema!"
--Paul Corupe, DVDVerdict.com
Movie Before: none
Movie After: Carrie
Movie: The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Poster Tagline: In every neighborhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid.
Role: Leroy, a street thug who helps plan a failed robbery
Reviews: "An affirmative-action horror film by Wes Craven...[that] manages to evoke both Treasure Island and Night of the Living Dead."
--Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Movie Before: Homicide
Movie After: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot