Stallone! Pfeiffer! Swayze! Their boldfaced credits blaze across the covers of cassette boxes. But get out that jeweler’s loupe: It’s not Sylvester, Michelle, and Patrick on display but family members Frank, Dedee, and Don, all of whom are emerging as the stars of a whole genre of movies made possible by the seemingly boundless opportunities afforded by the rental market. While their resumes may be speckled with small roles in major features, it’s in low- budget independent productions and video quickies that these second-string stars shine. Here’s a viewer’s guide to some of the most famous names in direct-to-video movies, relatively speaking.
Star Sibling: Michelle.
Ouevre: Vamp (1986), The Allnighter (1987), The Horror Show (1989).
Notable Role: Red Surf (1990), a well-acted, cookie-cutter crime drama, casts her as the frustrated pregnant girlfriend of an ex-surfing-champ-turned-drug-runner. She just wants him to get a real job.
Star Sibling: Patrick.
Ouevre: Driving Force (1988), Edge of Honor (1991)
Notable Role: As the squinty drug lord in the corny actioner Payback (1990), he cusses and gets riddled with buckshot. Writer-star Corey Michael Eubanks belongs to another show-biz dynasty: His dad hosted The Newlywed Game.
Star Sibling: Jamie Lee.
Ouevre: Trading Places (1983).
Notable Role: In the Italian shocker The Devil’s Daughter (1990) she stars as a schoolteacher chosen by a satanic sect to bear the titular toddler. But first she has to suffer an abundance of animal-related indignities, including violation by a giant pelican.
Star Sibling : Martin Sheen.
Ouevre: Armed for Action (1992), Lockdown (1990).
Notable Role: The clumsy New Age fantasy Soultaker (1990) features Estevez as a beady-eyed angel of death in cowboy boots who steals the life force from a group of kids gravely injured in a car accident.
Star Sibling: Harrison.
Ouevre: Escape From Survival Zone (1992).
Notable Role: Table Role: His grimy, morose performance as an alcoholic news cameraman who uncovers treachery at a survivalist training compound perfectly matches the atmosphere of this lumbering, poorly made World War III flick.
Star Sibling: Michael.
Ouevre: The Flamingo Kid (1984), Delta Force 3 (1990).
Notable Role: He stars a trouble-making teen set straight by an unusual guidance counselor, in the bizarre, finger-wagging high school drama Student Confidential (1988). Costar Marlon Jackson also has a famous brother named Michael.
Star Sibling: Rosanna.
Ouevre: Pretty Smart (1987), Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).
Notable Role: The futuristic clunker Prayer of the Rollerboys (1991) has her going undercover to infiltrate a posse of fascist rollerblading teens and performing oral sex on Corey Haim.