With Sons of Anarchy finally hitting its inevitable end (please keep the sobbing to a minimum folks) and the lack of any new decent horrors on the shelves (and it being Friday the 13th and all!) it seemed a good time to feature a ‘special’ – this one’s subject matter combining my two great loves, SOA and horror.
Let the show begin.
The Horror Before The Anarchy
All great actors work their way up tot the ladder, plugging away at lesser roles until they eventually hit their ‘role of a lifetime’ at some stage and thus becoming the rounded and celebrated actor they were born to be. This is true of every actor who has graced our screens as motorcycle rebels in the brilliant and under-awarded Sons of Anarchy. This article will touch on the actors whose previous work included horror, we will review the movie and their work in it; I will do my best to be unbiased but I must warn you now – Theo Rossi is my favorite actor…. period, so a completely unwavering cold hard look at any horror featuring him may be a little kinder then usual..
Unfortunately the main man of SOA has no horror in his back catalogue. Pacific Rim featured horror elements mostly due to the fine and fantastically dark aesthetics of director Guillermo Del Toro but I put this film firmly in the sci fi realm.
Well wow Ron! Now this guy has done some horror! As a way to narrow the field a little I have decided to dis-count any made-for-tv movies or tv shows. This cuts the list down to 12. I removed any movies in which he was not amongst the first five names listed in the cast which narrowed it down to 7, I then deleted any that were not first and foremost a horror, rather than a action/horror hybrid. This left us with 4 – Cronos, 13 Sins, The Last Winter and 5ive Girls.
This is one of those films that when it starts you’re not entirely sure if what you’re watching is a horror. It is essentially a ‘how far would you go for money’ plot that escalates until the ‘fun’ is in seeing what atrocious act may be requested next and will the protagonist go through with it?! Its entertaining throughout and the episodic nature helps you count down the movie but the ending is ludicrously neat and undermines any previous good work. Ron plays the dogged cop hot on the trail of our troubled anti-hero in what is a fairly routine role for him and not one that requires him to flex any of his formidable acting chops – better luck next time Mr Perlman! 6.5/10
Old man finds a gold scarab that gives him eternal life at a price. Ron Perlman plays the oppressed son of a man who’ll stop at nothing to possess it too. Well made Guillermo Del Toro flick with a nice twist on the vampire legend that unfortunately suffers from a severe lack of scares. Good performances and direction only take you so far.. 6/10
So I started to watch this story of witchcraft and devil possession, decided it was too badly acted and scripted and turned it off after 15 minutes only to read some positive stuff on IMDB message boards that made me turn it back on. I was pleased I did, while hardly and Oscar contender, the characters were clearly drawn, the story unpredictable and the relationship between the girls was solid and natural. The easy dialogue between them a nice touch and the gore pretty well done considering the limited budget and audience. Ron Perlman is the only name here and he carries his character of the priest well. Like an old fashioned 80’s horror in many ways. 6.5/10
The Last Winter
This felt like a major throw back to 1981’s classic The Thing (and the original Thing from 1949). An oil drilling expedition in the Arctic, small group of intrepid explorers, things go awry, madness ensues. I actually enjoyed both the physical and emotional bleakness of this movie; and it was also clever to include the environmental elements of the story. Ron Perlman turned in a toned down, quietly-seething-with-untold-rage kind of performance that worked for the subdued setting and the undercurrent of tension throughout. There were some nicely creepy touches, some unexpected plot developments and well acted by all players. A minor movie but a pretty good one for that.
Another horror man, I used the same elimination process with Kim and came up with the following – Resident Evil: Afterlife, Blood: A Butchers Tale and The Club. I could not find copies of The Club or Blood anywhere I am afraid so had to settle for just watching and reviewing Resident Evil: Afterlife. However anyone who has seen Milla Jovovich’s acting recently will understand what a sacrifice that truly is.
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Cheap CGI, poor simplistic direction and some dismal acting do not help elevate this series above the D grade schlock it is. An utter dearth of actual horror is another nail in the coffin as well as the squandering of Kim Coates’ considerable acting chops. Featuring tv actors Wentworth Miller and Ali Lauder this is just another episode in the continuing saga of the Resident Evil films. As someone who has not seen the others I can say with certainly that it does not stand on its own as a complete movie. A pointless exercise.
I was one of the few horror fans who enjoyed Rob Zombies remake/reboot of Halloween. I thought it was a fresh take and not in any way disrespecting or downplaying the earlier films impact, just fleshing out the story a little more and ‘humanising’ Michale Myers in an unexpectedly un-condoning way. Halloween II was when the studios said to Rob “Ok you did good, we’ll just let you go on this one”. Big mistake, this film is drowning in nonsensical imagery and sick little oedipal touches that undermines the previous films good work not to mention derailing any interest the industry had bestowed on Rob Zombie – he had to fight to get that back. Dayton Callies work here is solid as always. He is rarely less than utterly believable and relatable in everything he does. Kudos!
Only TV horrors for Miss Katey – nothing to review here but she is of course, a queen.
Mark Boone Jnr
MBJ has been solid, usually sleazy, character support in 9 horrors but is not listed in the first five actors for any of them, so here is a quick review of the best he has appeared in.
Se7en – a perfect movie in many ways; horrific, shocking, haunting, sad, boundary-pushing with brilliant acting/writing and directing. 9/10.
30 days of night – darkly atmospheric with good characterization and an intriguing vampires in alaskan-constant-night premise. A thousand times better than Twilight (naturally lol) 7.5/10
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer – trashy good fun sequel with a creepy ending and a hilariously stoned Jack Black! 7.5/10
No horrors for Maggie I’m afraid.
Drea De Matteo
And continuing the ladies letting us down there are no horrors for Miss De Matteo either.
Mr Awesome himself. Theo has actually been in two horrors which I, being the hardcore Theo/horror fan that I am, obviously own.
Red Sands – A group of US soldiers destroy a statue and something eeevvviill is released. Pretty standard fare but the direction is interesting and Theo is ,of course, great in his role, particularly once he is infected by the ‘evil’. Not a masterpiece by any stretch but not as bad as expected either. 5/10
Kill Theory – You know the drill, a group of nubile young things (also featuring Taryn Manning, representing the SOA ladies in a horror at last!) a secluded vacation home, a killer on the loose and bodies start to drop. The twist here being that the killer makes it a kill or be killed game to see how far each will go to survive. Theo dies over a very looooong period of time here but his chipper sex-mad character is a welcome refreshement from the sometimes perpetually troubled Juice he played on SOA and I have to admit, it was so so nice to see that beaming smile again. 7/10