My Top 15 Serial Killer Films

So my Top 50 Horror Films post was quite a hit with (mostly) everyone. Those that didn’t like it are those I like to call horror’s snobs, you know the type. They only like the “classic horror”, and enjoy looking down their noses at us little people who enjoy a lot of newer stuff (how dare we?? It’s so gauche!)
But even those who enjoyed the post had some little quibbles, the one asked about most often was “where are all the serial killer / slasher films?” And it’s true, my list was almost completely devoid of any serial killers. Out of a list of 50, I think I only had 3 killers in there. The reason is, is I don’t really consider serial killer films, despite the horrific subject matter, to be horror. They’re thrillers, suspense, mysteries, sometimes even comedies. Also, leaving them out means that I can do an article like this, and not have to worry about too much repetition, hehehe.

To keep this list shorter (and unrepetitive), I’m only including films with human killers that have no supernatural abilities. Also, spoiler alert, since I’ll be including methods of killing and a body count. The body count, by the way, will be deaths caused by the killers’ own hands (or by their devices). I won’t include deaths caused by accidents, nor those committed by other people. I also won’t include ‘implied deaths’, those talked about by the characters but not seen on screen, nor those that leave the question of the character’s death up in the air.

And on that note, let’s get this show on the road! Enjoy! ūüėÄ

 

NUMBER FIFTEEN

15 I Know What You Did Last Summer

Title: I Know What You Did Last Summer
Released in: 1997
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinze Jr, Bridgette Wilson, Anne Heche, Johnny Galecki, and Muse Watson
Directed by: Jim Gillespie
Written by: Kevin Williamson
Based On: The novel of the same name by Lois Duncan
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Chases after them in a ridiculously calm fashion, and slices them open with a big fisherman’s hook.
Onscreen Body Count: 5
5 Second Synopsis: One year after graduating from high school, four friends’ gruesome secret comes back to get them, as the man they hit on the road wasn’t as dead as they thought.
Why I Love It: The 90’s were an excellent year for serial killer films, both for the teen and adult audiences. After the success of Scream, many companies started making serial killer pictures, with varying results. This one is obviously aimed at teens, but it was one of the better quality ones, along with a few others that you’ll be seeing later in the list.

 

NUMBER FOURTEEN

14 The Raven

Title: The Raven
Released in: 2012
Starring: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin McNally, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Pam Ferris
Directed by: James McTeigue
Written by: Hannah Shakespeare, Ben Livingston
Based On: (Very) loosely based on the final days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life.
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Victims are killed in the same fashion as characters in Poe’s stories, including the razor pendulum from The Pit and the Pendulum.
Body Count: 4
5 Second Synopsis: A serial killer uses Edgar Allan Poe’s various works to inspire horrific murders.
Why I Love It: John Cusack and Edgar Allan Poe, a match made in heaven. Cusack is a wonderful character actor, and he showcases it well here.

 

NUMBER THIRTEEN

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Title: Clay Pigeons
Released in: 1998
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, Janeane Garofalo, Georgina Cates, Scott Wilson, Vince Vieluf, Nikki Arlyn, and Phil Morris
Directed by: David Dobkin
Written by: Matthew L Healy
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Gun
Body Count: 2 (suspected of 7 more across the country)
5 Second Synopsis: After his best friend kills himself, a troubled young man meets and befriends a charming serial killer, who’s got a detective hot on his trail, and who starts to suspect that he’s the one doing the killing.
Why I Love It: Funny and smart, this one’s a real hidden gem of the 90’s. If you’re a fan of wry wit and find things that shouldn’t be funny funny, I definitely reccomend this one. Plus, eye candy en masse.

 

NUMBER TWELVE

12 Urban Legend

Title: Urban Legend
Released in: 1998
Starring: Alicia Witt, Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, Loretta Devine, John Neville, Danielle Harris, and Robert Englund
Directed by: Jamie Blanks
Written by: Silvio Horta
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Axe, killing in the manner of various urban legends.
Body Count: 9 (plus one dog)
5 Second Synopsis: A killer uses urban legends as inspiration as he stalks his victims, who all attend or work at a university.
Why I Love It: Another one aimed at teens, I love this one for the fun deaths, plus Jared Leto. Never mind that the identity of the killer is implausible and downright silly. Just turn off your brain, and enjoy.

 

NUMBER ELEVEN

11 Bon Cop Bad Cop

Title: Bon Cop, Bad Cop
Released in: 2006
Starring: Patrick Huard, Colm Feore, Sarain Boylan, Lucie Laurier, Richard Howland, Louis-José Houde, Pierre Boudreau, and Patrice Bélanger
Directed by: Erik Canuel
Written by: Leila Basen, Alex Epstein
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Victims are tattooed before being shot
Body Count: 4
5 Second Synopsis: A serial killer is targeting victims who are related in some way to professional hockey. Since killings are happening in both Ontario and Quebec, the two forces team up and find they have very different methods.
Why I Love It: If you’re not from Quebec or Ontario, I’m not sure how much you’d enjoy this, since most of the jokes are really about the differences between language and attitudes of the two provinces. But for those who are, this is a definite must-see. It really doesn’t matter what the plot is (I barely remember), but I remember laughing myself silly. Being someone with family in both Ontario and Quebec, I can laugh at both sides, and that’s what really makes this film. It’s completely bilingual (english and french), so if you don’t understand one or the other you’ll need the subtitles to understand half the film, but it’s worth it. So funny.

 

NUMBER TEN

10 Psycho

Title: Psycho
Released in: 1960
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, and Virginia Gregg
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Joseph Stefano
Based On: The novel of the same name by Robert Bloch
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Stabbing
Body Count: 2 (suspected of more)
5 Second Synopsis: A woman, worrying about her missing sister, ends up at a small motel run by a very strange young man, who’s hiding a murderous secret.
Why I Love It: Do I really need to explain? One of the original greats, there probably would be much less slasher films had this one not been made.

 

NUMBER NINE

9 From Hell

Title: From Hell
Released in: 2001
Starring: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane, Ian Richardson, Jason Flemyng, Katrin Cartlidge, Susan Lynch, Lesley Sharp, and Annabelle Apsion
Directed by: The Hughes Brothers
Written by: Terry Hayes, Rafael Yglesias
Based On: The graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Stabbing (with extreme over-kill)
Body Count: 5
5 Second Synopsis: A detective is called in to investigate brutal slayings in a poor district of London.
Why I Love It: I eat anything having to do with Jack the Ripper right up, so it was a given that I’d enjoy this. The fact that it’s actually good and stars Johnny Depp is just gravy.

 

NUMBER EIGHT

8 Identity

Title: Identity
Released in: 2003
Starring: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall, John C McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, Rebecca De Mornay, and Pruitt Taylor Vince
Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Michael Cooney
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Uses whatever’s on hand
Body Count: 9
5 Second Synopsis: Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they’re being killed off one by one.
Why I Love It: Except the last two minutes, this is an awesome film. I may be stretching the ‘non-supernatural’ line here, but it’s so good I had to add it. Some shaky acting from some of the supporting cast, but they aren’t onscreen enough for it to ruin the film.

 

NUMBER SEVEN

7 Freeway

Title: Freeway
Released in: 1996
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Kiefer Sutherland, Dan Hedaya, Wolfgang Bodison, Michael T Weiss, Brittany Murphy, Conchata Ferrell, and Brooke Shields
Directed by: Matthew Bright
Written by: Matthew Bright
Based On: Very loosely based on The Little Red Riding Hood
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Strangulation (and necrophilia)
Body Count: 2 (many more offscreen)
5 Second Synopsis: A teen on the run from social services gets picked up by a man on the highway who turns out to be a serial killer. Much to his chagrin, she won’t go down easy.
Why I Love It: This film is absolutely nuts, and I absolutely love it. I can’t even really explain why, I just do. What I do know is that I want some of whatever Matthew Bright is on…

 

NUMBER SIX

6 Saw

Title: Saw
Released in: 2004
Starring: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Michael Emerson, Shawnee Smith, and Monica Potter
Directed by: James Wan
Written by: Leigh Whannell, James Wan
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Different kinds of elaborate traps
Body Count: 3
5 Second Synopsis: Two men wake up in an almost empty room, each chained by the foot on opposite ends of the room, with a dead man sprawled on the ground between them. A cassette player informs them that to escape one must kill the other, or saw their own foot off with a provided jigsaw.
Why I Love It: When it first came out, Saw was unlike anything the horror genre had seen in a long time, a real breath of fresh air. It was a wonderful idea, and very well executed, with only a little shaky acting sometimes. Unfortunately, with all the sequels that came after, the Saw name became synonymous with ‘crap’, and the brilliance of the first film became lost in the sea of awful sequels.

 

NUMBER FIVE

5 Seven

Title: Seven
Released in: 1995
Starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Zacapa, John Cassini, R Lee Ermey, and Kevin Spacey
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Various, based on the seven deadly sins
Body Count: 3
5 Second Synopsis: Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.
Why I Love It: Such a brilliant piece of film. Well written, well acted, with a killer ending that will stick with you long after the movie is done.

 

NUMBER FOUR

4 Scream

Title: Scream
Released in: 1996
Starring: Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lillard, Drew Barrymore, W Earl Brown, Jamie Kennedy, and Roger Jackson
Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Kevin Williamson
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Stabbing, plus one death by garage door
Body Count: 5
5 Second Synopsis: A masked killer begins murdering teenagers in a small town, and as the body count rises, one girl and her friends contemplate the ‘rules’ of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.
Why I Love It: The best of the 90’s teen horror, this film was just what the genre needed at that time. Well written and acted, it takes the conventional boring slasher film, turns it on its head, and makes it fun.

 

NUMBER THREE

3 Copycat

Title: Copycat
Released in: 1995
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick Jr, JE Freeman, Will Patton, and John Rothman
Directed by: Jon Amiel
Written by: Ann Biderman, David Madsen
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Copying famous serial killers of the past
Body Count: 5
5 Second Synopsis: Two detectives contact an agoraphobic psychologist when a serial killers emerges, styling himself on serial killers of the past.
Why I Love It: Another great gem of the 90’s, this is definitely one of the better ones. All the acting is strong, the writing is smart, and the ending isn’t completely implausible. A near perfect thriller.

 

NUMBER TWO

2 Mr Brooks

Title: Mr Brooks
Released in: 2007
Starring: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt, Danielle Panabaker, Marg Helgenberger, Aisha Hinds, Lindsay Crouse, and Jason Lewis
Directed by: Bruce A Evans
Written by: Bruce A Evans, Raynold Gideon
Based On: N/A
The Killer’s Mode of Dispatching Victims: Gun
Body Count: 5 (many more before)
5 Second Synopsis: A businessman who highlights as a serial killer is blackmailed by a photographer who happened to take pictures of his latest murder.
Why I Love It: This film is perfect, until the last three minutes. They don’t exist to me. But everything before that, awesome. Even Demi Moore and Dane Cook crank out good performances, and that’s saying something.

 

NUMBER ONE

1 Silence of the Lambs

Title: The Silence of the Lambs
Released in: 1991
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison, Brooke Smith, Lawrence T Wrentz, and Diane Baker
Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Written by: Ted Tally
Based On: The novel of the same name by Thomas Harris
5 Second Synopsis: A young FBI rookie is sent to ask the help of brilliant cannibalistic killer Dr Hannibal Lecter in catching another killer who kidnaps his victims, holds them for many days, then skins them to make a ‘woman suit’.
Why I Love It: I really don’t think I need to explain. Over 20 years, and it’s still number one. They just don’t make them like this anymore. Shame.

 

And, that’s it! What are your favourite serial killer films? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for more!

M.

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Teen Heartthrobs – Then and Now

After growing up in a house with 12 to 14 people living in it at any given time, I was happy to finally get my own room in my mid-teens. Not only was it my own room, but it was the biggest in the house, and in the basement, so I had lots of privacy. It helped that everyone thought the room was haunted and never wanted to come near it, but that’s a whole other story. A big room meant I had lots and lots of wall space, and boy did I ever put it to good use. Every available space was filled with posters of cute boys from the teen magazines I used to read: Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, Bop, 16 and others. I used my allowance to buy subscriptions to these magazines, and I had a handful of new posters to add to my collection each month. After a while I had to start using the ceiling, but that was so hard to manage that I eventually gave up on it and took older posters down to make space. The 90’s (which is when I was a teenager) were a good decade for cute boys, it certainly produced a great deal of them. A few of them are still working today, but a lot of them have sunk into oblivion (or darn near it), and a few of them are unfortunately no longer with us. You’ll probably notice a few notable names missing in this list, and that’s because I tried to minimize the names, not to make an entry that’ll take 3 hours to go through. There are some actors that started acting in their teens, but were never really considered a “teen idol”, for whatever reason. Elijah Wood, for example, started acting as a kid, and worked all through his teen years, but he never really did the “teen actor” thing, and mostly picked non-teen-movie roles, as did Leonardo DiCaprio, so neither of them is in the list. We all know what became of them, anyways, hehe. I also only put the ones that I personally found attractive. So there may be a few “obvious” heartthrobs that I seemingly forgot, like Edward Furlong or Rider Strong for example, but I didn’t forget. I just didn’t like them :-p

I’ve always been curious to find out what happened to my favourite actors from back then, so I decided to make a list with pictures showing what these actors look like now. Some, still being popular today, were easy to find recent pictures of. Some haven’t worked in years, so pictures were less easily available, but I Googled my little heart out and managed to find some pretty decent stuff. Most of these actors are from the 90’s, since that’s when I was a teen, those are the ones I know best. But I have included a few boys from the 80’s as well, from those films that I loved all through childhood and into my teens. A good few have aged remarkably well, while others… not so much. Let’s get this started! ūüėÄ

 

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I first saw Andrew in Independence Day. He had a speaking role, but it contained all of one line. Such an impression did Andrew leave with his one line of dialogue that he was all over the teen magazines for months after, which I’m sure is what helped jump start his career. He was on the short-lived sitcom Thunder Alley after that, but his really big break came from the hit film 10 Things I Hate About You with Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger. While he used to be the bad boy with long hair, the tables turned in this film and he played a jocky douchebag (and he did it real well too). He worked pretty steadily until 2004, a few indie films (including the wonderful Broken Hearts Club) and as a regular on the tv show 7th Heaven, and that’s when the roles got fewer and far in-between. So what’s he up to today? ImageHe’s currently filming a horror flick called Living Among Us, with¬†Esm√© Bianco (and her wonderful breasts) and William Sadler. The film is due to be released October 1st of this year. Other than that, he’s only had a spattering of guest starring roles on a few tv shows, none of which are really interesting. Hopefully this new film will help his career get back on track. Horror is a great genre for comebacks!

 

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Brad Renfro got his big break at age 10, starring along side Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon in The Client, based on the awesome book of the same name by John Grisham. After that wonderful performance, his star rose quickly, film offers coming in by the ton. He was in the fun Tom and Huck, with fellow heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas, but then once his hunk status was established, he quickly made sure to remind audiences that he had real talent, Imageand made a string of wonderful, if sometimes hard to watch, films, including Sleepers and Apt Pupil, with Ian McKellan. He worked almost non-stop until 2002, when his addictions were starting to get the best of him and work was getting harder to keep because of it. So what’s he up to today? Unfortunately, after battling his addictions for the greater part of his young life, he succumbed to them fully and on January 15, 2008 he was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment, victim of an accidental heroine overdose. A shame that such talent was wasted on a junkie…

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One of my few entries from the 80’s, I first saw Corey way back when I was a wee thing in what is, to this day, my favourite film of all time, The Lost Boys. I had a crush on him even before I knew what crushes even were! hehe I didn’t see any of his other teen flicks until I was in my late teens, so most (probably all) of my love for him came from The Lost Boys, which I watched so often that I could recite the entire film by heart. I also wore out the tape, and had to replace it. Twice. I was glad when they finally put it out on dvd, I could stop re-buying stuff. He worked steadily until 1993, and then that’s when his Imageaddictions pretty much put an end to his career. He got less and less interesting roles until, finally, he had to accept any work that came his way, no matter how crappy it was (and some of them were really, really bad), just to pay for his addiction of choice, painkillers. He tried a number of times to get clean and kick-start his career over again, but in the end he always succumbed to the drugs. So what’s he up to today? Sadly, Corey Haim is no longer with us. On March 10, 2010 his mother walked into his room of their small apartment and found him motionless on the floor. He was pronounced dead on his arrival at the hospital. Anyone who knew him couldn’t honestly say that they were surprised that he died young, but they were surprised to find out that he died not of an overdose, as most would expect, but of complications of pneumonia.

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Devon got his big break, after a few smaller roles, as the humanized title ghost in Casper. It was just for one scene, but it got all the fan girls in a tizzy, and Devon’s ridiculously cute mug was a staple in the teen mags after that. ImageHe made a few films a year until 2000 (including awesome contributions to the horror genre, Idle Hands and Final Destination), after that he seems to have just vanished. Nothing on his IMDB profile for the next 10 years looks even vaguely familiar. So what’s he up to today?¬†After 10 years of making a handful of films that no one saw, he landed himself a recurring role on the reboot of the spy show Nikita, with Maggie Q and Shane West, and he revisited the horror genre in the direct-to-dvd A Resurrection. Nothing else is on his plate as of now.

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I first saw Jonathan in The Neverending Story 2 (which, after recently rewatching it, I realize is a horrible film. I must have really have had a crush on him to have watched it as many times as I had). The year after that Stephen King’s It was made into a 2 part tv mini-series, and Jonathan was cast as one of the young “Loser’s Club”, 7 best friends to face a (fucking terrifying) monster who masquerades as a clown. Despite my intense fear of clowns (or¬†coulrophobia, if you wanna get fancy),¬†ImageIt is still one of my favourite films, even though it’s a little cheezy and just screams “90’s TV!” After that he made a few more tv movies and guest starred in a few shows before being cast as one of the leads of the futuristic show¬†SeaQuest DSV. After the show ended however, roles started getting scarce, good roles even scarcer. So what’s he up to today? Unfortunately Jonathan suffered from depression, not helped along by a bit of a drinking problem, and finally, on November 12, 2003, after months of depressing about his waning career, he committed suicide by hanging himself in his Los Angeles apartment. He was found, alive but just barely, by a friend who immediately called the ambulance. It was too late, however, the injury too severe, and he died 15 hours later.

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Jonathan was never in anything that I would have watched on my own, but after seeing him in my teen mags, I did something that I’d vowed never to do: I started watching a soap opera. Jonathan played Lucky Spencer on General Hospital for 6 years. And once I started watching, it was like crack. I knew it was bad, and yet I was hooked. I watched every day (the VCR programmed to tape it every day while I was in school) for the next two years. Jonathan Jackson nowAfter his stint on General Hospital, he did a few movies, and then sort of faded away, projects coming through at a very slow rate. So what’s he up to today?¬†After a guest spot on the short-lived Sarah Connor Chronicles, he’s got 4 years of nothing. Then, in 2012, he got a role as a regular on the country music drama Nashville, which is in it’s second season. As of now, that’s all he’s got going on, but hopefully this new show will reignite his star. He’s quite good, and still gorgeous. I’m glad to see he hasn’t cut off his beautiful hair, which so many men do when they age…

Jonny Lee Miller

I first saw Jonny in what still remains one of my favourite teen films of all time,¬†Hackers. He’d already been a pretty big star when he did the film, but only in the UK.¬†Hackers saw his star rise in America, and since that first film he’s been working almost non-stop, both here and in the UK. So what’s he up to today?¬†He’s currently starring in¬†Elementary¬†with Lucy Liu. The show’s in it’s second season. While you Were SleepingPersonally, I don’t like it, I much prefer Sherlock. The little twist of making both Watson and Moriarty women was cute, but then because of that, everything became about feelings. The Sherlock Holmes stories don’t need all that, they’re perfect the way they are. Adding all this crap is just… well… crap :-p But I’m getting off topic here. Jonny’s one of the few actors who successfully juggle both film and television (a lot of actors from TV seem to have bad luck in getting good film roles).¬†In 2010 he was the baddie of¬†Dexter‘s fifth season. He’s a big fan of genre films, as well, so his handsome mug is all over horror. It’s always nice when good actors like to do horror and thrillers.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph’s rather incredible career started when he was a mere 7 years old. After a few guest spots on other TV shows, he landed a spot on the short-lived but awesome Dark Shadows. It only lasted one season, which is a real shame because I loved it. It always seems to happen that way with awesome shows. The next few years saw a bunch of guest spots on shows and a few kid’s films. Joseph Gordon-Levitt nowThen, in 1996, he became a household name almost overnight when he signed on to the hit show¬†3rd Rock from the Sun, with John Lithgow.¬†So what’s he up to today? After¬†3rd Rock ended in 2001, he took it easy for 3 years or so, doing just one project a year till 2005. Then, all of a sudden it seemed, he was everywhere, making 4 to 5 pictures a year. Most recently he’s got¬†Sin City: A Dame to Kill For¬†in production, and his directorial debut,¬†Don Jon, was in cinemas not too long ago. He also joined the¬†Batman franchise in¬†The Dark Knight Rises, as Robin. As for his looks, he just seems to get better looking with each passing year, although I admit I really miss that long hair…

Josh Hartnett

Josh literally exploded onto the scene in 1998, going from complete unknown to household name overnight. He did films of all genres, doing some horror and teen films, Josh Hartnett nowlike The Faculty and¬†The Virgin Suicides,¬†earlier in his career, then moving on to action and chick flicks later. He was incredibly popular until about 2007, when his star began to wan.¬†So what’s he up to today? After having practically nothing on his resume for the last couple of years, he’s now got a show,¬†Penny Dreadful, in production, and has one film, Parts Per Billion, due out this year.

JTT

Ask almost any woman my age and she’ll tell you, Jonathan Taylor Thomas (or JTT, as the teen mags called him) was one of the hottest teen idols of the 90’s. After a few roles in kid’s shows in the late 80’s, Jonathan struck gold when he landed the role of middle son Randy on Tim Allen’s hit show¬†Home Improvement. He was on the show for 7 years, making teen girls everywhere swoon. He made a bunch of films during that time too, most notably he was the voice of young Simba in¬†The Lion King.¬†JTT nowSo what’s he up to today? Ego got the best of him, and he left¬†Home Improvement¬†(by lying to Tim Allen about wanting to go to school) to focus on a movie career. Unfortunately, despite what it may seem like on tv and in films, Hollywood doesn’t like flakey actors, and lying to leave a good, money-making career was not a wise move on his part. He got a few roles after that, but they were all duds, and in 2000, the roles stopped coming all together. From 2003 to 2006 he got a (very small) handful of guest spots on tv shows (mostly cartoons and cameos), and then nothing at all until 2013, where he got a guest spot on a few episodes of some show called¬†Last Man Standing. Checking IMDB to see what it is, it’s Tim Allen’s new sitcom. I guess they’ve finally put any bad blood behind them.

Matthew Lillard

I first saw Matthew (and fell in love with him) in¬†Hackers, with Jonny Lee Miller (lots of beauty in this film, hehe). He worked a lot after that, mostly in teen films or horror films (or teen horror! lol). Sadly he never got the role he deserved, as a leading man. He’s never been (in the stuff I’ve seen anyways) “the one”. ¬†He’s never the main romantic interest, never the main hero, if he saves the day it was always beside or behind the “real” hero. Hell, he even got Matthew Lillard nowregulated to “sidekick villain” in¬†Scream. They couldn’t even let him be his own bad guy, he was just following his friend Billy.¬†So what’s he up to today? After Scooby-Doo 2,¬†his star seems to wan a little. There’s a lot of entries in his IMDB page, but if you look closely it’s a lot of voice acting work (mostly for Scooby-Doo cartoons), guest spots on tv shows, even voices in video games (mostly Scooby-Doo games). He’s milking that role as Shaggy for all it’s worth! Hey, I guess it pays the bills. But he seems to be trying to pull away from that in the last few years. He’s only got one upcoming¬†Scooby-Doo thing, and he’s currently in a show called¬†The Bridge, with Diane Kruger and Ted Levine, about a serial killer operating on the Mexico/US border. I hadn’t heard of it till now. I like serial killer stuff, I may just check it out. Matthew also has two more films due out this year, a true-story sports film called¬†One Heart,¬†and¬†Match, which seems to be some sort of dramatic comedy, co-starring Patrick Stewart and Carla Gugino.

M.

30 Day Horror Challenge (in 6 Days): Days 21 to 25

Just two days left!! Let’s go!

Day 21 – Best Horror Franchise: Scream

scream

So, I had a bit of trouble coming up with the answer to this one. There are franchise films that I liked a lot more than Scream, as good as it was, but the problem is, as with most franchises, the first film is great, and then the rest suck. So while Nightmare on Elm Street is still one of my favourite horror films, I can’t say that it’s the best franchise, because most of the sequels sucked. The same thing happened with Saw. Everything good about that first film was sucked dry and robbed of all life in the 3000 or so sequels that came after. So even though Scream‘s sequels were nowhere near as good as the first one (especially the second one), I can still say that I liked all the films in the franchise. I don’t think there’s a single other horror franchise that I can say the same thing of.

 

Day 22 – Best Death Scene: Blind Mag, Repo! The Genetic Opera

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This category was especially hard to choose. The number of horror films I’ve seen is quite staggering, so that means that death scenes are as numerous as the stars. There have been so many cool ones, that choosing just one favorite is impossible. There have been hilarious ones (Pee Wee’s death in Buffy the Vampire Slayer gets me every time), scary ones, gross ones, quick deaths, slow deaths, messy deaths, clean deaths… the list goes on and on. So what I did was choose the first cool one that came to mind, and after flipping through the dozens of generic deaths that popped into my mind, I settled on this one: Blind Mag’s suicide/murder from Repo! The Genetic Opera (which, if you haven’t seen it already, you need to, right now). A little hard to describe, Repo is a goth musical, the story of a chronically ill girl who lives in a world where transplanted organs can be repossessed if the patient is unable to pay for them, and a world where surgery is the fashion craze. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s amazing. There are many deaths deaths in the film, but the one that stands out the most is Blind Mag’s, an opera singer who’s blind eyes were replaced with cybertronic ones years ago. But Mag has had enough being the company’s puppet, and decides to break her contract, knowing full well that her eyes will be taken from her, and not kindly. After a beautiful stage performance ending with her being lifted from the stage by a harness, she simply states that she would rather be blind, and as an ultimate “fuck you” destroys her very expensive eyes by poking them out with long claws on her fingers, effectively committing suicide before the repo man can get her. A moment after her eyes are gone, her harness is cut, and she plummets to the stage, ending up impaled on part of the scenery. It’s horrible, yet strangely beautiful, and very memorable, which is why I chose it for this list.

 

Day 23 – Best Quote from a Horror Film: From Dusk Till Dawn

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Another category that was hard to decide on. Horror movies are often known for their snappy dialogue (ok, good horror movies are often known for their snappy dialogue), so choosing just one quote was hard. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go for a classic quote or something obscure, something funny or something serious, something light or something tense. So as with the death scene, I just let my mind wander for a moment, and picked the first cool one that came to mind. This time inspiration came from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino‘s From Dusk Till Dawn. It’s the end of the film, and our hero and the girl are the last two standing after a night-long battle with vampires in the Mexican strip club the Titty Twister. Seth’s contact finally arrives with sun, and after the doors to the club get thrown wide open, the remaining vampires burst into flame and explode. The contact, intelligent individual that he is, asks “So what were they? Psychos?” to which Seth famously answers: “Do they look like psychos? Is that what they look like? They were vampires! Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are!”

 

Day 24 – Best Serial Killer Film: The Silence of the Lambs

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I love serial killers. I’ve got this weird, morbid fascination with them. I watch a lot of true crime stuff, read true crime books, and of course, I love serial killer fiction as well. But, to be specific, not slasher stuff, “real” serial killer fiction. Stuff like Friday the 13th, Halloween or Texas Chainsaw, while technically about serial killers, are not the kind of films I mean (those bore me). I mean films like Mr Brooks, Seven, The Frozen Ground, Psycho, Frailty, Zodiac, Copycat, The Raven, Clay Pigeons, From Hell, Identity, Natural Born Killers (even though I didn’t like it), and, of course, the TV show Dexter. But the best of the best is still, even 21 years later, The Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill are still two of the creepiest serial killers ever to be captured on film, and it’s still, to my knowledge, the only horror film not only to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, but to win it. And it was very much earned. I don’t think there’s a horror fan on the planet that hasn’t seen it, but if by chance you haven’t, do so.

 

Day 25 – Best Holiday Horror Film: Ginger Snaps

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When people think holiday horror, the first thing they think of is Christmas. So I decided to do something different and choose another holiday (mostly because I couldn’t really think of a good Christmastime horror movie :-p ). I chose Halloween, because it’s my favorite holiday of the year, and has been since I was a kid. Despite the ton of gifts you get at Christmas as a kid, I’ve always preferred Halloween. I loved dressing up (still do), even if I didn’t go trick-or-treating. And there are many more horror movies set during Halloween, for obvious reasons. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to go with the Canadian film Ginger Snaps for this category. It’s fun, it’s bloody, it’s smartly written, well acted and has cool practical effects. Werewolf films are hard to do without getting schlocky, but Ginger Snaps managed just fine. Also, Katherine Isabelle is a fox. Phew. And she loves making horror films, good news for us pervy horror fans!

 

One day left, so stay tuned!!

M.