Hail to the King, baby! In a recent interview with MovieWeb, Bruce Campbell talked about how he’s currently working on a script for a horror movie equivalent of THE EXPENDABLES; instead of action stars together on-screen, it would be the big names in horror sharing the spotlight in what would be sure to be a hilarious crossover of epic proportions.
“Yeah! Never say never. I have a script that I’m working on that would pretty much be that. It’s not ready to share at this point. It’s in the pipeline I guess you could say. I’ve always wanted to do the Expendables of Horror type movie. Because I always run into all my horror buddies at conventions. It would be fun to do a movie that pretty much has all of them in it.”
Granted, by his own admission Campbell has stated that this is a project that’s only in the conceptual stages (and in all honesty, has been for a few years), and with the upcoming ASH VS. THE EVIL DEAD television series on the horizon later this year, who can say how much time Campbell will have to work on the script, and how long it will take to pitch to different studios before it gets green lit (that is to say IF it gets green lit).
Normally, I am the first person in a room to temper my expectations when it comes to original horror movies that may or may not happen. However, just this once I would like to indulge the thought of this concept becoming a reality, and as such we here at The Movie Chickk have our own ideas for who we would love to see fight evil alongside Campbell in what would surely be a cornucopia of awesome. So without further adieu, here are our picks for the HORROR EXPENDABLES:
The original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET gave us the story of a man who killed teenagers in the dream realm. In this franchise, Heather Langenkamp played the young Nancy who squared off against the seemingly invincible Freddy Krueger. When all of Nancy’s friends start being picked off by the sinister specter, you would probably expect Nancy to undergo a nervous breakdown and cower in fear at the inevitability of sleep. What does she do instead? Only rig her house with enough traps to make Kevin McCallister jealous before intentionally going back into the dream world to tell off the guy using a glove made of knives. If that’s not hardcore, I don’t know what is! If that wasn’t enough, Nancy returned in the third film to school a bunch of kids on how to deal with Krueger. If you want something done right, I suppose you have to do it yourself (also the third film happens to be the best film in the franchise, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). Langenkamp also played herself in the meta WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE, so canonically speaking she kicks Freddy’s butt on and off the screen.
The cult classic THE RE-ANIMATOR, based on a story by HP Lovecraft, has gained a great deal of affection since it’s release in the 80s. Ever since, Jeffrey Combs has made a name for himself in the horror world, often playing mad scientists, villains, and sometimes even Lovecraft himself. Combs is always a joy to watch onscreen because he can be both funny and threatening, cowardly or menacing, and it’s his range that would make him a perfect addition (or comic foil) to the team.
Derek Mears is one of the many men who has played the unstoppable Jason Voorhees. This is probably a controversial choice, as I’m sure many of you are crying blasphemy since he is neither the original actor nor the one known to have played the role the longest.
“Why, Megan!” You cry aloud, shaking your fist at your computer screen. “How can you pick someone from the 2009 reboot? This spot should go to Kane Hodder! He’s played Jason in the most films, he deserves to be recognized!”
Yes, Hodder is a great choice and a horror icon, and in many ways I hope he makes it into Campbell’s film. But at the end of the day, Mears is my pick. Not only is he a physically imposing powerhouse that’s a perfect fit for a film that’s bound to to have a lot of action, but, much like Combs, he has a great sense of comedic timing. Mears is a part of an improv-comedy troupe called The Resistance, and anyone who has seen the show knows how perfect he would fit in on a team in a horror comedy. Mears is a team player in every sense of the word, and you really need someone like that in an ensemble cast. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I actually highly recommend seeing the show (they perform at Comedy Sportz every Sunday at 9pm, seriously, go check it out!).
During the 90s, the horror anthology series TALES FROM THE CRYPT often balanced dark comedy, scares, and camp in equal measure on a weekly basis. The Crypt Keeper even graced us with two theatrical releases, one of which was a film called DEMON KNIGHT. The film centers around a man who fights demons while searching for the person cosmically destined to be his successor to continue the demon-fighting legacy. Cornered in a bar with demons closing in on them, we find that Jada Pinkett-Smith is the chosen one, and she must go toe-to-toe with Billy Zane to win the day. There is so much I love about this silly little movie, it’s ridiculous and at some point I’ll be sure to do a retro review to tell you why, but for now the only thing you need to know is this: Jada Pinkett-Smith is awesome. The opening of SCREAM 2 aside, after DEMON KNIGHT all I’ve wanted to see is a movie where she acts as a one-woman-wrecking-crew against the forces of evil, and that still hasn’t happened yet. Someone get it together and make that movie already!
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Speaking of actresses that were woefully underutilized in SCREAM 2, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a no brainer for this list given her role as the titular Buffy from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Although I must admit that Sarah Michelle Gellar’s presence in horror movies generally perplexes me. She’s been in three very notable horror series from the 90s and 2000s, and yet she is always unceremoniously killed off relatively quickly within each franchise. This always confused and frustrated me, as I’ve come to expect a certain level of badassery whenever Gellar is cast in film or television. “Movie!” I yell in exasperation, “You have Buffy in your cast! Why isn’t she kicking that weird ghost girl in the face?! What do you mean the guy with a hook for a hand was able to catch up to her?! How, and I mean HOW, was the guy in a silly costume able to stab her and throw her off the balcony?!” Just once I would like to see a horror movie actually take advantage of the fact that they’ve cast her, and maybe just take a few minutes to have her roundhouse kick some demons. Is that too much to ask?
Anyone who knows me knows that I love the SCREAM franchise, and there’s no mistaking it, you do not mess with Sidney Prescott. Over the course of four movies, Campbell’s character bested seven would-be assassins who had taken up the mantle of Ghostface. Each of these villains tried in vain to steal the show to be the star of the movie, but they were all woefully mistaken in thinking they could take down this leading lady. Clever, quick on her feet, and never one to fall victim to the troupes that have claimed so many, Sidney Prescott is one of the most fearsome horror movie protagonists in history, but she doesn’t get nearly the credit that she deserves, nor does Neve Campbell get nearly enough credit for the role. Her foes might not be supernatural, but they never fight fair and they always leave behind a sizable body count, so it’s still remarkable that she’s made it out on top not once, but four times.
Again, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I would want to see the man who plays Freddy Krueger to appear in this new film. In truth, Jason Voorhees never really intimidated me, and even though I thought that Michael Myers was scary, neither of them have any personality traits that really define them as characters. They were always defined by their physical presence, and lack of humanistic qualities. This isn’t the case with Freddy, who takes a great deal of delight in all of the pain and misery he causes, and yet somehow manages to make you laugh along with him. As much as I enjoyed Jackie Earle Haley’s portrayal in the 2010 reboot (and please don’t mistake me, I enjoyed his performance, NOT the film, but that is a long discussion for another day), it’s Englund’s campier performances that really won me over to become a fan of the NIGHTMARE franchise over franchises like FRIDAY THE 13th and HALLOWEEN. Robert Englund is an icon in the horror world because, much like many of the members of this list, he seamlessly goes from being menacing to funny and back again in a matter of seconds. In addition, Englund and Geller previously appeared in a Call of Duty DLC as characters that you can use to fight zombies, so it would be a delight to see them on the same team once again. What else can I say? The man is a horror legend for a reason.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Speaking of Michael Myers, Jamie Lee Curtis kicked off her career going up against the likes of this silent stalker. Ever since, she’s appeared in numerous horror films, resulting in many people referring to her as the Original Scream Queen. Don’t let the title fool you though, as anyone who lives through that many horror movies is not one to be trifled with. As with many of the other actors on this list, Jamie Lee Curtis is also notable for the number of comedies that she has starred in, and it would be reasonable to assume that if the film were to take the horror-comedy route, Jamie Lee Curtis could easily steal the show. Much like Bruce Campbell’s ASH VS. THE EVIL DEAD, Jamie Lee Curtis also has her own horror series called SCREAM QUEENS scheduled to air this fall. If they can both find time between their television schedules to make this film, I would love to see the sorts of shenanigans that these two would get into if they teamed up.
Keith David and Kurt Russell
Ok, I’m cheating on this one, but I’m giving the number two spot to the two surviving members of John Carpenter’s THE THING. I’m sure many of you are crying foul again since I’m giving this spot to them and not to the dynamic duo from THEY LIVE, but hear me out. Given that the monster in this film acts as a sinister doppelgänger of its victims, the characters in this film spend a good portion of the movie at odds, with none of them being sure who they can trust. Though neither Keith David nor Kurt Russell are horror icons so to speak (although Russell’s status is debatable), their characters went up against the stuff that nightmares are made of and ultimately triumphed (kind of, the ending is still a little bleak). They were great when they were at odds, and they were even better when they managed to team up. In addition to how cool their characters were, both actors are incredibly charming and charismatic, and both would be incredibly entertaining to watch in this adventure.
Was there any doubt? Sigourney Weaver played arguably the greatest horror movie hero in movie history when she reprised her role as Ripley in James Cameron’s ALIENS. The image of Ripley hopping into a mechanical exoskeleton to fight the Alien Queen has been forever ingrained in the hearts and minds of horror fans. With her involvement in a fifth ALIEN film confirmed, it doesn’t look like Weaver will be relinquishing her title anytime soon. Weaver also appeared in the beloved 2012 horror comedy CABIN IN THE WOODS, proving both how highly regarded she is in the realm of horror films, and that she had a sense of humor about this status as well. If there’s going to be a movie about horror movie heroes, Weaver needs to be there front and center, preferably holding a really big gun.
You have no idea how hard it was compiling this list. I had to leave a ton of amazing actors off the list because there just weren’t enough spots! Do you agree with my picks, or would you have preferred if I had included the likes of Milla Jovovich, Wesley Snipes, and Sanaa Lathan? Well, hopefully Bruce Campbell has more than 10 spots on his team. Who would you like to see fight evil in this flick?
~ Megan Salinas
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