This Halloween, remember: We know who you are, and we saw what you did. It’s not easy to escape your past, especially when you’re a movie star and video and cable TV insist on digging up those performances most of you wish would stay buried, like Kevin Costner’s 1974 debut in Sizzle Beach (released in ‘86) or Mel Gibson’s role in Summer City (1976). There’s a horrifyingly long list of ”terror” films that won’t die — and most of them serve up more tricks than treats. ”The forgotten films are proof that even the demigods of Hollywood have foibles,” says Harry Medved, author of The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.
Take, for example, Tom Hanks, out on a date with a young woman who loses her head (literally) to a rampaging killer in He Knows You’re Alone (1980). Or Kevin Bacon, who encounters a guy named Jason at Camp Crystal Lake in Friday the 13th (1980). Or The Rocketeer’s Jennifer Connelly, who played a student on the run from a hooded killer in Creepers (1985). Then there’s Demi Moore battling a 3-D slug monster in Parasite (1982), and Johnny Depp falling prey to Freddy Krueger in the first Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Daryl Hannah and Rachel Ward are unhappy campers in 1984’s The Final Terror. (Ward had already been haunted in Night School in ‘81.)
And let’s not forget Meg Tilly in One Dark Night (‘83); Tom Selleck in Daughters of Satan (‘72); Michael J. Fox in the teens-gone-bad terror Class of 1984 (‘82); or even Roy Scheider, whose first film, Curse of the Living Corpse (‘64), was a whodunit in which the culprit may be otherworldly.
Even directors have bones rattling in their pasts. Oscar winner Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July) cowrote and directed 1974’s Seizure, in which a novelist is tormented by evil geeks. As in many cases, this rates no mention on Stone’s official bio. But it lives. Oh yes, it lives.