Sunday, December 05, 2004

top ten horror actors ever

Several weeks in the making, my list of my ten favorite horror movie actors is about to be posted. I'll tell you right now that I like almost all the famous horror actors, but my favorites, and for example, a Fangoria top ten list, would be very different. Any fourteen year old kids list would have the funny Bruce Campbell at number one. Well I'm not fourteen. Here's the list.

Number 10 - Reggie Bannister

Now I've met very few horror stars, but I've met him, and he introduced himself to me at a horror convention. I was staring at his table gawking (I would not ordinarily even get close, but Cub pushed me forward) and he shook my hand and asked me my name. He said his name was 'Reggie' and of course I know that, I could not say how much I love the Phantasm movies. I was star-struck.

Horror Superstar #10 - nine more to go...


Number 9 - Patrick Magee

This guy has very little name recognition, but everyone loves him in A Clockwork Orange as the wheelchair-bound writer who tries to do in Alex. He is also in tons of Euro Horror movies, most of which neither I, nor many Americans, have seen. A great actor, the best role I've seen him play would be the cat's doomed owner in Lucio Fulchi's The Black Cat.

I scoured the web for strange pix of the horror stars on this list, there will be weird ones..

Number 8 - Phil Fondacaro

For years he was known to me as 'The Full Moon Midget' since I saw him in so many Charles Band movies including the pre-Full Moon Ghoulies II and Troll. I was just counting movies where I could see his face, but then it occurred to me that he could also have roles as small creatures. Not only was he in Troll as a human, he played the Troll! He also played a hooded creature in Phantasm II, a Garbage Pail Kid, an Ewok, and an Elf in the new computer movie The Polar Express (did not see that last one.) Polar Express aside, I hope that CGI crap does not prevent him from getting further roles as a little person. His role in Willow for example could now be played by computer-shrunken tall humans. Not only does CGI suck, by taking jobs from the little people, it's morally wrong!

Fondacaro as an Ewok

without a costume, still famous

Number 7 - Jeffrey Combs

Herbert West, Re-Animator. That's his most famous character. Combs is so good in that role that for that series alone he makes this list. See also From Beyond. Don't see The Attic Expeditions or Fear Dot Com. Combs has never been out of work, but he's chose some bad movies.

One time I heard two horror event planners talking about how they could not secure director Stuart Gordon for a screening of Re-Animator. Someone asked if they got Jeffrey Combs and they said 'oh no, he does no like being invited as a substitute for Stuart Gordon, you got to ask for him at the same time'. Well, I would have called him first.

Number 6 - Michael Berryman

A unique looking individual with a rare condition, one you've seen him, he remains recognizable in any other appearance. I first witnessed him as a silent patient in One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest when we watched it in high-school English class. Soon after I noticed Berryman on X-Files and Tales From the Crypt episodes. As I became a horror fanatic and eventually picked up every horror tape in the video store, I found drawings of him on the covers of The Hills Have Eyes movies. He steals the show in those movies and everything else that he is in. My favorite Berryman appearance is on The Gorgon Video Magazine that he hosts. He wears his Hills Have Eyes outfit and raves about horror like a pro wrestler cutting a promo before the main event. Michael Berryman works the convention circuit, my old roomate had an autographed photo of him in his bathroom.

The Hills Have Eyes

on the convention circuit

with hair?

Number 5 - David Hess

Hess will never be forgotten as the sleazy villain Krug in the rape/revenge Wes Craven shocker Last House on the Left. He played almost the same role in the even nastier Last House rip-off, House on the Edge of the Park. Craven used him again in Swamp Thing. David Hess plays that awful, awful, villain you love to hate, or hate to root for. He's in a lot more obscure films too, playing similar roles as that of the scumbag Krug.

I've got a tape of the one movie directed by David Hess, the Christmas horror film, To All a Good Night. I plan to watch it this holiday season.

his website

Number 4- Paul Naschy

Cub says that when I get older I'm going to look like this guy, so I hope you all believe that he is handsome. The women in his movies certainly seem to think so. Naschy is in a lot of Spanish movies and werewolf movies. Popular titles are The Hanging Women, Crimson, and The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Women.

Number 3 - Klaus Kinski

Klaus Kinski is Natasha Kinski's father. His most high-profile role would be that of Nosferatu in the Herzog 1974 remake. I first saw him on screen in the American Charles Band movie Crawlspace, directed by the guy who made all the Puppet Master movies. When I was renting the tape, the guy behind the counter at the hip Brookline video store commented on how Kinski was crazy and it was awesome to see someone renting one of his movies. I just smiled and nodded, I had not heard of Kinski at the time and was just renting what looked like another cool slasher.

Kinski's performance in the film as an ex-Nazi rigging homemade traps to kill his neighbors was awesome. Later I would pick up any tape I could find with Kinski's name on it.

a strange cartoon of Kinsky

Kinski in the Alien rip-off, Creature

Number 2 - John Carradine

John Carradine is credited as having acted in 251 movies according to the imdb website. In most of the movies I've seen him in, he is old. In some he is older and in others, the oldest man alive. That is a commitment to horror that cannot be topped and he is very like-able, sometimes his short bits are the only bright moments in otherwise dull, ultra-low-budget, films. My first introduction to him was in the horror anthology Monster Club where he and Vincent Price tell bad jokes in the wraparound story.

John Carradin at

Number 1 - Peter Cushing

My favorite horror actor of all time! This list, like some other lists I have written, had some people removed from it in order to make it fair to lesser known stars. Their is no Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, or Boris Karloff on the list even though horror would not be the same without them. However, even if I had put those three heavy weights on this list, Peter Cushing would still be number one. Off-screen he is know for being a gentleman and devoted husband. This guy screams of class.

Pick up any Hammer or Amicus film and he is likely to be in it. His most famous roles are those of Baron Frankenstein, but he often played a good guy in horror films, I think because of his like-ability. Anytime I've been to a midnight movie or screening of an old Cushing movie, the theater cheers when him name appears on the opening credits, and when he first appears on-screen. Peter Cushing is my favorite horror actor of all time and the greatest.

Peter Cushing in a movie I don't think I've seen

In Star Wars with Darth Vader

Peter Cushing Museum - warning, plays sounds

Tribute to Peter Cushing

As I'm finishing this list, Storm of The Century is playing on the Sci-Fi channel. It's just starting to get good. The movie Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys is going to air on Sci-Fi on December 18th.


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