10 Horror Movie Killers Unmasked: Meet the Actors Underneath the Costume
Halloween is the time for costumes, intense makeup, drunken antics, partying and, most of all, horror movies! ‘Sinister,’ the one we got a chance to see at Fantastic Fest 2012, is hitting theaters this weekend, while the other new fright flicks ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ and ‘Silent Hill: Revelation’ are premiering later in the month. But don’t forget about the bevvy of classic hack-n-slash, gorey and “the call is coming from inside the house”-type films featuring your favorite serial killers and monsters of all-time.
The ‘Paranormal Activity’ trailers alone send shivers down our spines, and the more old-school films like ‘Scream’ and ‘Halloween’ still give us nightmares. So, in an effort to make your movie-watching experiences a little less frightening while simultaneously celebrating arguably the best holiday of the year, we're revealing the far-less-scary actors and stuntmen behind those infamous killers of the horror genre.
There were a few actors who played Mike Myers in the ‘Halloween’ movies over the years, but probably the two most noteworthy are Nick Castle and Tony Moran. Both shared the roles in the original horror movie – Castle played Myers while the mask was on, and Moran played him at the end after it was removed.
Gunnar Hanson was the one who famously turned Leatherface into the terrifying chainsaw-wielding psychopath he’s known as today with his portrayal in the original ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ For the updated version in 2003, however, it was American actor and former bodybuilder Andrew Bryniarski who hid under the mask. He previously worked with Michael Bay on ‘Pearl Harbor,’ so it was too much of a hassle to win over the part in the director’s remake. When Byrniarski found out his former colleague obtained the rights to the franchise, he offered up the idea of playing Leatherface and himself, and the rest is history.
‘House of Wax’ was awesome to watch because it’s the only movie we get to see a spike impale Paris Hilton, but what made it extra special was the murderous brotherly duo. While we know actor Brian Van Holt portrayed the deformed Vincent’s twin brother, but the guy also played Vincent himself.
Robert Englund is a mainstay in the horror genre; ever since his classic performance as the horrifically scarred supernatural killer Freddy Krueger gave audiences nightmares. Before he snagged this role, he was originally considered (briefly) for the part of Han Solo in ‘Star Wars,’ though he didn’t technically audition. The studio saw him but decided he was too young for the part. Even more funny was that Mark Hamill, who’d later become Luke Skywalker, was actually crashing on Englund’s coach during this time, all of which Englund recounted in his autobiography 'Hollywood Monster.' Thank the powers that be for how everything ended up working out because we can’t imagine a ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ franchise without Englund trying to kill everyone.
It seems that Jonathan Breck was made for the role of The Creepy in the ‘Jeepers Creepers’ movies. He revealed that he woke up at 3 a.m. the morning of his audition and realized he should probably shave his head. The sudden transformation and Breck’s understanding of the monster floored the casting director enough to snag him the part.
While we wait for the potential disaster that is this remake of the Stephen King-adapted mini series ‘It,’ let’s look back to the man who made that freaky clown so nightmarish – Tim Curry. You might not know by just looking his makeup-ed face that the man beneath the monster is the star of such family-friendly movies like ‘Clue,’ ‘Annie’ and ‘Muppet Treasure Island,’ but his personality and acting charm definitely shines through.
If you'll recall their were... well, 13 ghosts terrorizing the characters of 'Thir13een Ghosts' -- The Juggernaut, The Torso, The First-Born Son and The Jackal, to name a few -- but one of the standouts, for us at least, was The Torn Prince. Take off all the makeup and you'll find actor Craig Olejnik, known primarily for his main role on 'The Listener,' where he plays a paramedic with telepathic abilities. Riveting stuff, we know.
'The Strangers' became one of the scariest movies of all-time, thanks to the performances of Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, the lack of a soundtrack, and the fact that the killer's identities are never revealed. But maybe you all will sleep a little better to match a face to the role of the "Man in the Mask." Kip Weeks played the main attacker in the movie, and he got the part not through a typical audition, but by having a giving off a good vibe that the casting director responded to.
The 'Scream' movies have featured everyone -- from [SPOILER!] Shaggy to Sidney's boyfriend's mom to her long-lost bro -- as the Ghostface killer, but in reality, there were two gents that put in the major leg work. Dane Farwell (shown on the far right in the photo below) was the guy dressed up in the masked killer's costume most of the time in the first two films and the fourth, while Roger Jackson was the one who produced that creepy voice. That's right, kids, it wasn't a machine that did it. Farwell is actually a sought-after stunt man with credits that include 'Pirates of the Caribbean,' 'Titanic,' 'LOST' and 'Forrest Gump,' while Jackson has a long resume of video game voice acting gigs and is the voice of Mojo JoJo on 'Powerpuff Girls.'
That crazed creeper Red Pyramid/Pyramid Head from ‘Silent Hill’ was one of the more visually intriguing monsters of the horror film genre, and we have Roberto Campanella to thank for that. Not only was he the man underneath that complex-looking Red Pyramid costume, but he also choreographed the movements of the nurses, the grey children and the rest of the monsters. As a professional dancer and choreographer, Campanella helped decide who should play the three main monsters, of which he ended up playing one. He also appeared as the distorted janitor in the film.