Good news for fans of pint-sized horror – The Boy is getting a sequel. And surprisingly it stars Katie Holmes.
With all due respect to original lead Lauren Cohan, this is heavyweight casting. Cohan gave a strong performance and is world famous through The Walking Dead. But you’d kinda expect things to be the other way around for The Boy 2, right?
There must be something that drew Holmes to the follow-up – guess we’ll find out when it lands. In the meantime here are some other cases of big names who raised eyebrows appearing down the list of a fearsome franchise…
5. MICHAEL CAINE – JAWS THE REVENGE (1987)
Let’s start with one of the most famous pieces of casting in horror history. The great Roy Scheider starred in the first two Jaws movies (reluctantly in the case of the 2nd).
But for some reason, the franchise’s biggest name appeared in Part 4… Michael Caine! How this happened is a bit of a mystery, though the Bahamas location shoot might have had something to do with it.
As if to hammer home how strange the situation was, Caine missed collecting his Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters because he had bigger fish to fry… quite literally.
The veteran star has admitted to never seeing the critically-devoured end product. As recently as 2016, he said:
“Somebody said, ‘Have you ever seen Jaws 4?’ I said, ‘No. But I’ve seen the house it bought for my mum. It’s fantastic!’…
The bleeding shark didn’t even work on that. I thought we were in trouble when the shark didn’t work.”
4. CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER – NOSFERATU IN VENICE (1988)
While Michael Caine put the nightmare of Jaws in the Bahamas behind him, Christopher Plummer’s was only just beginning. He’d taken a part in Nosferatu In Venice (or Vampire In Venice).
The idea was to create a sequel to the 1979 remake Nosferatu the Vampyre. Lead Klaus Kinski returned, and the cast boasted Donald Pleasence as well as Plummer, who played a Van Helsing type character.
Production on the flick was famously troubled – Kinski couldn’t be bothered with the Nosferatu makeup again, so wound up looking more like a rock star than undead royalty.
It wasn’t a surprise to see Kinski and Pleasence in this poorly-received effort. They were well-known actors but also jobbing ones. Plummer arguably had more “oomph” to his output.
The man himself could well disagree. In a 2017 interview he revealed:
“In the 1960s, when I was working more, many terrible films were made. But there was so much money pumped into the business that it didn’t even matter that much. For instance, so much money was spent on catering and wine that the crew could afford to have three-hour-long lunches, during which we’d drink so much that you’d return afterward to set and not recognize anybody.”
Could this have been one of those times? There certainly seemed to be a lot to drown your sorrows over.
3. TIPPI HEDREN – THE BIRDS II: LAND’S END (1994)
This next entry is a strange one. Original Hitchcock movie The Birds launched star Tippi Hedren onto the big screen in 1963. Over 3 decades later a sequel was made, only this time it was a TV film.
For some reason Hedren returned, but not as heroine Melanie Daniels. She took a small role as a character named Helen, making things even more baffling.
This could have been to give the project a seal of approval. Sadly there was no approval when The Birds II was released. Director Rick Rosenthal (Halloween II) took his name off and the reviews were as savage as an angry pelican.
The Showtime follow up was set on Gull Island, which should have given people an idea of what to expect if they were stupid enough to move there.
And as for Hedren herself, she wasn’t happy with the result. Looking back in 2002, she simply commented:
“It’s absolutely horrible. It embarrasses me horribly.”
2. GEORGE C. SCOTT – THE EXORCIST III (1990)
Nearly 20 years after the first film, The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty created the third installment from his 1983 novel Legion. And he cast critically-acclaimed actor George C. Scott in the lead role.
Exorcist III is kind of a special case, as this clearly wasn’t some knock-off designed to cash in on the original. Part 2 had its own pedigree, with Richard Burton starring. However, that was badly reviewed putting it mildly.
It’s not every day you see a threequel with so much quality involved. This demonic serial killer chiller wasn’t a smash hit but went on to gain a cult following.
Scott was reportedly drawn to the story and characters, though another source pours cold (presumably Holy) water on that:
“Peter Blatty asked me to do it, I guess. I didn’t like it, though. I’m not too fond of those occult pictures.”
1. DENNIS HOPPER – THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2 (1986)
The first Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie (1974) was a harrowing and unusual horror flick, kind of like a documentary almost. Its follow up was brasher and bloodier in tone and had a Hollywood hellraiser at the top of the bill.
Dennis Hopper played a deranged villain in Blue Velvet around the same time, so you’d think he’d be chopping up teenagers with the infamous Sawyer family. Instead he was a lawman pursuing the cannibal clan.
Of course, once he did get his hands on a chainsaw Hopper was as badass as the best of them. Part 2 is an offbeat sequel, but as future films showed audiences hadn’t seen anything yet!
Co-star Caroline Williams talked about working with Hopper in a 2015 interview:
“At the time, he’d been sober for about 18 months, and I think he was trying very hard… He had a real, genuine artist’s sensibility… you know, he fully embraced the physical demands of the role. He also had a stunt double who was an uncanny physical double for him. But naturally, even though you have stunt doubles, you still have all those cut-aways where you have to perform. Dennis was in great physical condition when I met him.”
As a result, Hopper’s “Lefty” gave Leatherface & co a real run for their money.