Ever notice how tight lipped some actors get about their early work once they make it big, especially the ones who got their foot in the door by appearing in low budget slasher films? And we’re not just talking about the ones everyone is familiar with like Kevin Bacon (Friday The 13th) or Johnny Depp (Nightmare On Elm Street). Dig deep into the slasher archives and you’ll find a bevy of up and coming actors the world would soon be heaping praises on. Can you name the future star (or stars) who made an early career appearance in these crazy killer classics before moving on to bigger and better things? Use your cursor to highlight the answers.
1. Leprechaun (1993) Crazy killer dwarf loose in a small town.
Answer": Jennifer Anniston
2. The Burning (1981) Crazy killer loose at a summer camp.
Answer: Holly Hunter & Jason Alexander
3. The Final Terror (1983) Crazy killer loose in the woods.
Answer: Darryl Hannah
4. The Initiation (1984) Crazy killer loose in a mall.
Answer: Daphne Zuniga (Hey, she’s still working.)
5. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994) Crazy killers loose in the Longhorn State. With chainsaws, natch.
Answer: Renée Zellweger & Matthew McConaughey
6. He Knows You're Alone (1980) Crazy killer loose about town.
Answer: Tom Hanks (who was so likeable on set they rewrote the script so his character could live.)
7. Cutting Class (1989) Crazy killer loose at a high school.
Answer: Brad Pitt
8. Eyes of a Stranger (1981) Crazy killer loose in apartment complex.
Answer: Jennifer Jason Leigh
9. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) Crazy supernatural killer loose in an asylum.
Answer: Laurence Fishburne (And this was after Apocalypse Now)
10. Deadly Lessons (1983) Crazy killer loose at a boarding school.
Answer: Ally Sheedy & Bill Paxton
11. Shadows Run Black (1986) Crazy killer loose at a college.
Answer: Kevin Costner
12. Return to Horror High (1987) Crazy killer loose on a movie set.
Answer: George Clooney (but George also starred in Return of the Killer Tomatoes, so we forgive him.)
Go ahead and just try to get any of these guys talking about their early days in the trenches of B-moviedom. It’s futile. You’d think they broke into the business making porn or something. (Which is silly. Just ask Sylvester Stallone, he’ll tell you what it’s like having to make porn.) These stars seem to want us to believe they sprung onto the scene as the fully fledged arteests the public views them as now. Apparently their egos can’t handle the fact that they started their careers saying lines like “Is anybody there?” and “AIEEEE!”.
That’s a shame because, around these parts, we take no offense at humble beginnings. In fact, as part of the Christmas season, we celebrate them. “Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family.” the Catechism reminds us. “In this poverty heaven's glory was made manifest… No one, whether shepherd or wise man, can approach God here below except by kneeling before the manger at Bethlehem and adoring him hidden in the weakness of a new-born child.”
And it’s not just the location of Jesus’ birthplace which brings a sense of humbleness to the whole proceedings. Father Michael F. X. Hinkley notes that “The birth of God as man is itself an act by God of profound humility. The Christ is not to be found in a palace or in a family of social advantage. Without any loss to his Godliness, Jesus is born in the poverty of the stable. He takes on flesh and all that being human entails save sin. God humbles himself to show us God’s way of love (Ps 25:9). God’s experience of poverty isn’t limited to the economic, either. Jesus enters the poverty of all mankind. God, who is love, comes to know the ravages of our human pain, prejudice and persecution from within the frame of human experience.”
This Christmas season, may we all ignore the example of our man-made mega-stars and follow instead in the footsteps of our Lord, never forgetting where we came from, no matter how humble those places may have been.