Revisiting Luigi Cozzi's Three Mothers "Sequel" The Black Cat
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The Fourth Part of the Trilogy: Revisiting The Lost Three Mothers “Sequel” The Black Cat

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While Inferno is considered a classic from Dario Argento’s golden era now, it was released to a fairly muted reception in 1980. A big reason for this is that it barely saw release outside Italy, with co-financer 20th Century Fox growing cold on the project after a management change. It was the second part of Argento’s planned Three Mothers trilogy, which follows the exploits of three nasty witches, with the concept being inspired by author Thomas de Quincey’s Suspiria De Profundis. Argento’s previous film Suspiria proved to be a surprise hit for Fox, so they were initially hot on a sequel. According to Argento, he showed Inferno to new studio head Sherry Lansing, who responded with revulsion; this may sound like a good reaction for a horror flick, but she hated the film and it subsequently languished on a shelf before being released straight to video in 1985.

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This was doubly crushing for Argento following Inferno’s tough production, where he was ill with hepatitis for much of the shoot, and his mentor Mario Bava stepped in to helm certain sequences. Argento then put his concluding chapter on hold, returning to the Giallo genre with his next film Tenebrae. As the years rolled by he showed little interest in finishing the trilogy, but co-creator Daria Nicolodi was eager to see it completed. She shared her concepts for a potential third film with Luigi Cozzi, a frequent Argento collaborator and the director behind enjoyably trashy fare like Starcrash and Contamination – a film that somehow mashes Alien with a Roger Moore Bond movie.

Nicolodi soon felt Cozzi wasn’t the best fit for her vision of the story, so she withdrew but allowed him to use some of her ideas. Aside from being a filmmaker, Cozzi is also a huge movie nerd, which can be seen from the references he litters throughout his work. He intended his film to be an unofficial end to the Third Mothers trilogy whilst being a tribute to his friend and mentor Dario. It was developed with the title De Profundis (From The Deep), but the American distributors were planning a movie series based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe, so they forced Cozzi to call it The Black Cat and insert random shots of black cats to justify the name. The Poe series never materialized, and the film has also been dubbed Demons 6 in some territories despite having nothing to do with that series.

Since Cozzi didn’t want to step on Argento’s toes he concocted an intriguing meta-concept for The Black Cat. Instead of being a direct sequel the story follows a group of filmmakers working on a movie about Levana, the Mother of Tears. Suspiria and Inferno followed the Mother of Sighs and Mother of Darkness respectively, so the characters within this story want to make a separate movie about the dreaded third mother. The director casts his wife Anne as Levana but she soon suffers horrible nightmares about the witch and reality and fiction start to blur wildly.

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It’s a concept positively glowing with potential and it’s easy to see how Argento in his prime could have made something special from it; alas, Cozzi is no Argento. It starts well, opening with a cryptic sequence where a woman drives to a deserted building to confront a killer, who is visually inspired by the blank-faced murderer from Bava’s Blood and Black Lace. The sequence is bathed in lurid colors meant to invoke Argento’s work. It turns out this sequence is from a film Anne is working on, with the director is played by none other than Michele Soavi in a brief cameo. The early potential of The Black Cat fades away when the plot kicks in though, and a tidal wave of awkward exposition, ropey performances and sluggish pacing washes over the film.

Most of The Black Cat is a series of dull conversations in cheap locations, with the occasional horror setpiece to spice things up. There’s a lot of potential in the blurred reality concept but Cozzi’s handling is too ham-fisted to generate suspense. Levana’s first attack on Anne comes where she bursts through a mirror – which intentionally evokes the finale of Inferno – and pukes green vomit on her, which just makes you feel bad for the poor actress. Anne then has a series of violent hallucinations throughout the story, including one where her television explodes and shoots green innards. It may sound like silly fun but the slack pace sucks the life out of it, so even the crazy moments feel underwhelming.

Levana herself made a brief appearance in Inferno as a beautiful music student, but The Black Cat presents her as a cheesy looking hag with glowing eyes. She’s never threatening, and while the story initially plays up the mystery of whether she even exists, the “reveal” can be seen a long way off. The twisting of reality yields a couple of good scenes, however, including one where a possessed Anne stabs her husband while getting into character. For a moment it genuinely feels real, until it fakes out again. It’s interesting to compare the film to something like New Nightmare or anime Perfect Blue, both of which follow an actress who goes so deep into a role her grip on reality – and her own identity – melts away. While those movies take the time to develop themes and play with the idea of reality versus fiction, Cozzi often uses The Black Cat as a springboard for reheated scares from better movies.

In a neat touch, the film references the existence of the two previous movies, with the Suspiria theme even playing a couple of times. Cozzi also pays tribute to himself in one sequence, where Levana explodes the chest of an unlucky victim in a shot that wouldn’t look out of place in Contamination. Overall The Black Cat is a patchwork of ideas that never gel together, going from stilted satire on the film business to a scene with a haunted fridge the next. None of the performers are doing their best work, though Caroline Munro is fun as Anne’s catty co-star. Cozzi displays occasional directorial flare too, from a recurring mirror motif to a couple of impressive camera moves. The finale manages to be suitably bonkers too, with the witch shooting lasers at Anne – who for some reason has discovered the ability to rewind time.

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Buried somewhere deep inside The Black Cat is a fascinating meta-commentary on the genre and filmmaking, but it’s trapped under a sloppy horror movie. Ironically while Cozzi was shooting it Argento was working on his version of The Black Cat for the anthology Two Evil Eyes. Cozzi’s little-seen tribute got lost in the fallout of its production company 21st Century Film Corporation going bankrupt and as a result, it’s difficult to track down, though it does pop up on streaming sites now and again. Dario’s reaction to the film is difficult to nail down. In an interview on the Arrow Blu-ray for Inferno Cozzi claims he showed it to his mentor and that he enjoyed it, while Dario denies having watched it, and claims Cozzi kept it away from him.

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Clive Barker Has Such Sights to Show You: Hellraiser (1987) – 30 Years of Pleasure and Pain [Part 2 of 2]

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In a showcase of SFX ingenuity, the resurrection of Frank Cotton is a remarkably repulsive sight of body horror that would make David Cronenberg proud. The gooey spectacle of the viscera of a human body reassembling itself from beneath the floorboards is a marvel of practical effects, which is pitch-perfectly executed by Bob Keen and his crew of special effects make-up artists.

With extreme attention to detail, every part of Frank’s anatomy comes back together as the bones, organs, and bodily fluids form this monstrosity. Accompanied by Christopher Young’s circus-esque/waltz-like soundtrack, it juxtaposes this grotesque depiction with a sense of wonder, as if we are witnessing something extraordinarily beautiful blossoming. Keen’s work on Hellraiser in general has aged incredibly well, standing out as some of the greatest imagery of 80’s horror.

Related Story: Clive Barker Has Such Sights to Show You: Hellraiser (1987) – 30 Years of Pleasure and Pain [Part 1]

When Julia, who is clearly unhappy in her marriage to Larry, and longs for Frank’s touch again, leaves the dinner party they are having as she is bored, she walks upstairs and hears a strange noise coming from the room where Frank has just returned to the world of the living. It is here when Julia is confronted by monster Frank that we start to see his dark influence on her. At first, the sight of Frank’s ghastly appearance frightens Julia, but he starts to draw her sympathy when he reveals his identity and asks her to help him. Later, when lying in bed with Larry after yet another sexless night, Julia starts to think back again to her passionate time with Frank, and the promise she made that she will do anything for him. Julia agrees to help Frank restore the whole of his body, so she can have him again. She does this by bringing back men to the house while Larry is out at work, and murdering them with hammer blows to their heads, so Frank can feed on their flesh that puts more back on his bones. Terrified at first, Julia soon starts like what she does, and she must continue to kill for Frank to heal him completely before the Cenobites find out he has escaped them.

Getting back to the Sadean aspects in the film – two key characters in the work of Marquis de Sade are the sisters Justine and Juliette. They feature as the title protagonists in Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue (1791), and Juliette, or Vice Amply Rewarded (1797). Frank embodies Juliette – an amoral, self-serving, hedonist and sexual deviant, who uses others for his own ends, just as he uses Julia; while she loves him obsessively, she is nothing to him but a sexual conquest, and a pawn as he manipulates her to do his bidding. We know from Clare Higgins’ portrayal of Julia in the character’s flashbacks to her first meeting with Frank that she was once wholesome. The Julia here embodies Justine in Sade’s work, who is the complete opposite of Juliette – a virtuous woman. Although, it is Justine’s nature of moral and ethical principles that continuously lands her in trouble to punishing and humiliating extremes. Julia also married a virtuous man, Frank’s dependable nice guy brother Larry (Andrew Robinson). It is her commitment to this stability in pursuit of a virtuousness life that leads her on a path of self-destruction, when she encounters her husband’s polar opposite brother Frank, whose manipulation of her ultimately leads to her undoing when he betrays her. Julia’s name could be Clive Barker’s nod to Juliette; Frank’s influence can be seen in her change as she takes glee in her murderous quest in order to have him again. Therefore, while Julia once embodied Justine, her journey leads her to become a dark reflection of Frank’s Juliette.

The secondary antagonists are of course the Cenobites (The Order of the Gash, as they are also referred to as in The Hellbound Heart), although, that should be they are anti-antagonists. Not only did the marketing campaign have the movie going public believe they were the main villains, with Pinhead (or Hell Priest, as Barker prefers) as the main focal point, but technically, they are not really villains. Bound by the rules of hell, they are bureaucratic in their motivations – part of a religious sect that is carrying out their dutiful sacred actions.

The Cenobites, all clad in black leather bondage gear, have now, along with the Lament Configuration puzzle box, become so embedded in popular culture. The most iconic is the visage of Pinhead, so elegantly portrayed by Doug Bradley, and at this time was merely credited as ‘Lead Cenobite’, but the nickname Pinhead given to him by the cast and crew just stuck. Bradley’s captivating performance realizes this unique creation as an articulate and intelligent demonic being with a commanding presence that is coldly powerful, and delivers sublime, spine-tingling lines of dialogue. This Hell Priest has very little screen time, yet we can never forget him; an all-time great screen monster to rival the classic icons of early horror.

The story is reminiscent of a modern Gothic fairytale. Young’s wonderful fairytale-esque orchestral theme music over the title sequence establishes the mood and atmosphere. The dynamic between Larry’s daughter Kirsty (Ashley Lawrence) and Julia, is that of Snow White and her wicked stepmother. Kirsty is our young innocent heroine, mostly dressed in white, who has to prevail through her terrifying plight. Julia is… well, wicked. The fairytale theme is carried over to the 1988 companion piece Hellbound: Hellrasier II – Julia to Kirsty: “They didn’t tell you, did they? They’ve changed the rules of the fairy tale. I’m no longer just the wicked stepmother. Now I’m the evil queen. So come on! Take your best shot, Snow White.”

Kirsty is one of the quintessential female protagonists in modern horror – strong, smart, and resourceful; this is a signature trait of Clive Barker’s female characters. The young Lawrence does remarkably well in her film debut – full of confidence and energy. Higgins as Julia is one of the best female villains the genre has ever produced. Her arc from happy wholesome housewife, to unhappy unwholesome housewife, to cold evil murderer of sex seeking men, is not only an interesting character development, but also an ironic reversal of what horror was saturated with in this decade – axe-wielding male maniacs slaughtering promiscuous young women. Robinson’s film work will always be best remembered for two roles – as the deranged Scorpio Killer in Don Siegel’s classic 1971 Clint Eastwood starring action thriller Dirty Harry, and this. He actually gets to play two roles here – we love him as the good-hearted Larry, but despise him when his skin changes bodies, but the actor is clearly having a blast playing this latter part.

Hellraiser is one of the great directorial debuts of the genre. It is a wildly imaginative horror tale that pushes boundaries in the obsessive pursuit of sexual desires, with the filmmaker’s vision of this fantastical story that is both disturbing and disgusting fully realized, despite the limitations of the low budget; due to Barker’s creative mind to get the most out of such meagre resources, he was able to overcome these obstacles. It is tightly scripted, assuredly directed, all-around well-acted, features unforgettable imagery, groundbreaking practical special effects, a highly memorable score, and is encapsulated in a chilling atmosphere.

It also gave us the last great horror icon of the 1980s. Clive Barker does indeed have such sights to show you in pleasure and pain.

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A Retrospective of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns

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Danny DeVito in Batman Returns 1992

Thunder roars as sheets of rain ravage the exterior of a Gothic mansion; a woman in childbirth screams in agony from within. Soon, a second scream joins the chorus of pain; a child—but something’s wrong. A trained midwife recoils in abject terror and even the attending physician finds himself crippled with nausea. A monster is born.

This grim and grisly scenario sounds like the beginning of an R-Rated thriller, but it’s not; it’s the opening scene from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, released in 1992 and starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Not only is Batman Returns often forgotten on lists of subversive Christmas movies, it’s altogether deceptively bleak and harrowing, nearing the borders of legitimate horror.

From a gray, utilitarian aesthetic and admissions of psychopathy to scenes of mass shootings that would have an entirely different resonance if released today, Batman Returns is more of a non-traditional horror movie than your typical Tim Burton romp or superhero flick. For starters, we’re presented with a consistently overcast, decaying Gotham City where, despite an energy surplus, day-to-day existence resembles life in a crumbling former Soviet bloc state.

Our hero Bruce Wayne/Batman (Keaton) has always been moody and brooding, but the character acknowledges his dark side, making a self-comparison to the likes of Norman Bates and Ted Bundy. While plenty of caped crusaders live dual lives, few would group themselves with notorious serial killers. It hints at something truly dangerous lurking in the tortured playboy’s psyche.

Similarly, the anti-hero Catwoman (Pfeiffer) is unlike any other manifestation of the feline night-stalker. The canonical origins of Selina Kyle describe an orphan who took to thievery in order to survive life on the mean streets of Gotham. In Batman Returns, however, Catwoman is a revenant or a zombie. After behind murdered for being too smart, Kyle is resurrected by a gang of alley cats who literally breathe life back into her. Cats have long been associated with witchcraft and were even regarded as emissaries of Satan. Batman Returns insinuates a post-death barter with Old Scratch where Kyle traded her immortal soul for a chance to return to the Land of the Living—for revenge!

The true villain of Batman, though, is a fiend of rare cruelty and depravity. The fact that DiVito is a celebrated comedian is cheap subterfuge for a truly abominable heart. After surviving an attempted infanticide (his parents dumped him off a bridge like garbage), Oswald Cobblepot reemerges from the icy sewers as Penguin: A deformed monstrosity whose rise to social prominence hides nearly Biblical wrath.

Throughout Batman Returns, Penguin performs a litany of atrocities. He nearly bites a man’s nose off for what he perceives as a condescending attitude. During his run for Mayor, he molests a young staffer and, later, decides to kill Catwoman for denying his sexual advances; “You gave me all the signals!” he bemoans before sending Kyle off to her death (luckily, she has lives to spare).

Penguin/Cobblepot is a crime boss who organizes several terrorist plots against the city of Gotham, employing a gang of circus freaks (an extra terror for those suffering coulrophobia). This culminates in an attempt to kidnap and murder every first-born child in Gotham, a scenario reminiscent of God’s final plague upon Ancient Egypt. When this plot is foiled, he attempts to launch a missile assault on Gotham, an act which (if successful) would rack up a whopping 100,000 casualties! It’s a body count that would have put Jason Voorhees and his ilk to shame.

Penguin’s physical attributes are as twisted as his evil soul; his mouth oozes slime like the decaying gob of a drug addict and his flipper hands could be an allusion to a rash of birth defects suffered by children born to mothers who took the morning sickness drug thalidomide. It only takes a hint of real-life social tragedy to give a fictional character profound (and, in this case, terrifying) resonance.

Other connections between Batman Returns and the horror genre include the participation of FX legend Stan Winston (Aliens, Pumpkinhead, and Wrong Turn among many others) and body actor Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) plays the “Thin Clown”. It’s also worth noting that Christopher Walken’s corrupt character is named Max Shreck; it’s a shout-out to Max Schreck, the actor who played the Count Orlok in 1922’s Nosferatu, and this speaks to the character’s metaphorical blood-sucking.

While Christopher Nolan would steer the world of Batman into even darker territories in the 21st Century, Batman Returns is nonetheless more sinister than most manifestations of the seminal superhero. While Burton’s madcap methods of storytelling and Danny Elfman’s soaring score suggest a jaunty, adventurous experience, the film hides more terror in its subtext than most slasher flicks wear on their sleeves.

If it’s been a while, check out the trailer and synopsis for Batman Returns below. Viewed through modern lenses with an eye for horror, it’s a wellspring of intense terror and devious delights. Consider giving it a fresh watch for a subversive Christmas story like none other.

Synopsis:
The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) to topple the Batman (Michael Keaton) once and for all. But when Shreck’s timid assistant, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), finds out and Shreck tries to kill her, she is transformed into the sexy Catwoman. She teams up with the Penguin and Shreck to destroy Batman, but sparks fly unexpectedly when she confronts the caped crusader.

  • A Retrospective of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns
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16 Horror Veterans Who Also Appeared on Freddy’s Nightmares

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As most of its creators have acknowledged… “Freddy’s Nightmares,” the anthology series based on the Nightmare on Elm Street films, has hardly stood the test of time. The show’s production coincided with the release of the massively successful A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Despite having a pretty cool concept, it seems reasonable to assume the producers had only one goal in mind: to keep milking the cash cow that was Freddy Krueger. After all, this was around the time of Freddy lunch boxes.

As Freddy (Robert Englund) predominantly only served as host, the series had to sustain itself by focusing its storylines on a number of nutty incidents that occurred in the fictional town of Springwood, Ohio… at times, seemingly orchestrated by Freddy’s sheer history and presence. There are certainly a few gems to be found here but, by and far, the show was limited by its budget and more than once the plots proved rather outlandish, even by Nightmare standards.

While the series is known for having featured early performances by Lori Petty (Tank Girl), Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), and Brad Pitt, it is interesting to note that “Freddy’s Nightmares” also showcased a number of horror veterans either as leads or in bit parts. Here, we run down a list of familiar faces you might remember from other films at the time…

1.) Lar Park Lincoln (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)

Only months after overcoming Jason Voorhees, Lar Park Lincoln found her way onto Elm Street in the second episode of “Freddy’s Nightmares.” Coincidentally, that episode, “It’s a Miserable Life,” was directed by another Friday the 13th alumnus, Tom McLoughlin (Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI).

Lincoln appears in both segments as Karyn. She is initially relegated to a minor role as the girlfriend of Bryan (John Cameron Mitchell), the first segment’s lead. Bryan begins having hallucinations while working the graveyard shift at Beefy Boy, his father’s fast-food burger joint; and towards the end both he and Karyn are gunned down in the restaurant’s parking lot, just as he had envisioned. During the second segment, Lincoln takes center stage. Having survived the gunshot wound, Karyn awakens in Springwood Hospital, only to experience the same hallucinations that plagued her boyfriend.

2.) Burr DeBenning (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child)

Before appearing as Mr. Jordan in A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, the late Burr DeBenning also starred opposite Lar Park Lincoln in “It’s a Miserable Life.” He appears in the second segment as Dr. Serling (a nod to “The Twilight Zone”), who treats Karyn upon arrival at the hospital.

As Karyn begins experiencing hallucinations, Dr. Serling brings a level of menace to the madcap proceedings. Fun fact: DeBenning is one of only two actors to have appeared in both the Nightmare on Elm Street films and this TV series, the other being Lezlie Deane (Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare).

3.) Nancy McLoughlin (Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI)

As the wife of the episode’s director, Nancy McLoughlin also scored a role in “It’s a Miserable Life,” just as she did in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI. She appears as a nurse opposite Burr DeBenning, and the two share a moment of gleeful madness as they sew Lar Park Lincoln’s mouth shut.

4.) Stu Charno (Friday the 13th Part II)

Stu Charno, whom genre fans will remember as Friday the 13th Part II‘s unwittingly fortunate Ted, appears in “Saturday Night Special” as Jim, a friend of the first segment’s lead, Gordon (Scott Burkholder). Both segments of the episode focus on a social outcast (male in the first, female in the second) who attempt to overcome their obstacles to impress the objects of their affection.

5.) Jill Whitlow (Night of the Creeps)

Jill Whitlow solidified her horror icon status when she took a flamethrower to zombies in Night of the Creeps. In “Mother’s Day,” she assumes the role of Elm Street’s manipulative flirt Barbara Gamble. Appearing in both segments, Barbara convinces new kid Billy (Byron Thames) to throw a killer party at his pad while his mother and abrasive stepfather are vacationing.

As it turns out, Billy has just moved into the previous home of one of Freddy’s last victims. The party takes a turn for the worst and in the second segment, it is revealed that Barbara has been framed for murder.

6.) Diana Barrows (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)

Unlike Lar Park Lincoln, Diana Barrows wasn’t as fortunate when she faced Jason in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood. Likewise, when she played a snobby sorority sister in “Rebel Without a Cause,” Burrows found herself at the mercy of Connie (Katie Barberi), an Omega Kappa Pi reject at Springwood University.

7.) Diane Franklin (Amityville II: The Possession)

Diane Franklin couldn’t escape the family issues she faced in Amityville II: The Possession, and the same is true for her character in “Freddy’s Nightmares.” As Jessica, Franklin appears in both segments of “The Bride Wore Red.” During the first, she worries that her fiance, Gavin (Eddie Driscoll), is having doubts about their marriage (unaware that Gavin has become entangled with a stripper from his bachelor party).

During the latter half of the episode, Jessica deals with her parents’ crumbling marriage. As past trauma comes back to haunt her, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Fun fact: This episode featured Phill Lewis as one of Gavin’s bachelor party pals.

8.) Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)

In “Black Tickets,” Bill Moseley plays a similar role to that of Jim Siedow’s character in the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. As the rural oddball Buzz, Moseley plays a tow truck driver that encounters a young couple (Brad Pitt and Kerry Brannen) stranded near Springwood. Buzz offers to transport the two to his brother’s motor lodge, which turns out to be a rather “fishy” place.

9.) Lezlie Deane (Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare)

Along with Burr DeBenning, Lezlie Deane is one of only two actors to have been featured on “Freddy’s Nightmares” as well as to have starred in a Nightmare on Elm Street film. The episode in which she appears, “Cabin Fever,” was directed by Robert Englund; and her role as Sue Keller is much different from the troubled youth she played in 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

As Sue, Deane plays a flight attendant who advances upon passenger Carl (Brett Cullen). Later, her ominous presence ignites Carl’s flight nerves while en route from Chicago to Springwood. Deane returns as the heroine in the genuinely creepy second segment. While at a bar, Sue meets and returns home with Jim (Ted Demers), a charming business suit-type who declares he has a fetish for taxidermy. Fun fact: Jim’s cabin is the same Sable Ranch cabin that was featured as Higgins Haven in Friday the 13th Part III.

10.) Tamara Glynn (Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers)

Before she donned devil horns and charged at Michael Myers with a pitchfork, Halloween 5‘s Tamara Glynn had a bit role in the first segment of “Love Stinks.” As Laura, Glynn is caught in a love triangle as her boyfriend, Adam (John Washington), is stalked by a young temptress (Susanna Savee). Her best moment comes in the form of a nightmare sequence where she brandishes a cleaver and taunts her beau. Fun fact: This episode was directed by John Lafia, who would go on to helm 1990’s Child’s Play 2. 

11.) Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator)

Dr. Herbert West himself, Jeffrey Combs, also appears in “Love Stinks,” albeit in the second segment. Combs plays Ralph, the stepfather to lead Max (Georg Olden). As the owner of a pizza joint, Ralph scores his stepson a job but as it turns out, the pizzeria is the former location of Springwood’s trouble-prone Beefy Boy restaurant; the same fast-food establishment where Lar Park Lincoln’s boyfriend met his end in “It’s a Miserable Life.”

12.) Dick Miller (Gremlins)

Dick Miller had already made a name for himself by starring in a number of well-regarded horror hits, including A Bucket of BloodThe Little Shop of HorrorsThe HowlingGremlinsNight of the Creeps, and Chopping Mall. He appears in “The Light at the End of the Tunnel” (also known as “Freddy Something”) as Al, the gruff “Lord of the Underworld,” who hires Michael (David Arnott) to work in the sewers of Springwood. Unfortunately, Michael also happens to suffer from a fear of the dark.

13.) David Kagen (Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI)

The number of Friday the 13th alumni who have appeared on the show is truly something to behold. David Kagen from Jason Lives appears in the first segment of “Identity Crisis.” As Fred Thomas, Kagen plays an architect who tries to eliminate the fears his co-worker Buddy (Jeff Conaway) has over approaching his 40th birthday. Meanwhile, Buddy attempts to address his relational issues with his sadistic yuppie son.

14.) William Butler (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)

Yet another cast member from Friday the 13th! William Butler first appeared as a student in “The Art of Death” and later had an uncredited role as Trenton in “Heartbreak Hotel.” While Butler didn’t face Freddy Krueger in either episode, he is the only actor to have appeared within the Nightmare on Elm StreetFriday the 13th, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchises (he had lead roles in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III as well as Tom Savini’s 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead).

15.) Charles Cyphers (Halloween)

Charles Cyphers (aka Sheriff Leigh Brackett in the first two Halloween films) appears in the Season 2 opener, “Dream Come True,” one of only six episodes that explicitly revolves around Freddy Krueger. Cyphers has a small role as Ben Ostroff, a new station owner whose cameraman (Gerard Pendergrast) attempts to capture Freddy on film.

16.) Tiffany Helm (Friday the 13th: A New Beginning)

Fans of Friday the 13th will hardly recognize punk goddess Tiffany Helm in “Heartbreak Hotel.” As the clean-cut Mary, Helm is a pregnant country belle who works as a hotel waitress. There, she meets Roger (John Stinson), a tabloid writer looking for a scoop.

As Mary goes into labor, she allows Roger to film the birth of her child, which he intends to spin for an article about the spawn of Satan. Fun fact: Helm’s mother, Brooke Bundy, appeared as Elaine Parker in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.

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