Recently we lost two great entertainers with the passing of director Tony Scott and actress Phyllis Diller. These are not names one associates with great horror films but they did make their contributions to our beloved genre.
The circumstances of Tony Scott’s suicide are tragic and saddening but we can always take solace in the viewing of his work. Obviously Scott was more of an action director but his first film, 1983’s The Hunger has achieved cult status among horror fans. The movie is an atmospheric and hauntingly sexual modern day vampire story that benefited from the great style Scott developed shooting thousands of commercials. The Hunger stars glam rocker David Bowie and features an on screen performance of the classic goth-rock track “Bela Lugois’s Dead” by the band Bauhaus. The film also includes an infamous love scene between Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve. Viewers will also be treated to one of Willem Defoe’s first film appearances, Cliff de Young and Dan Hedaya star as well.
While this is Scott’s lone horror film he did direct and produce a couple of episodes of the TV anthology series, also called The Hunger (1997), which was supposedly based on the film. In related genres Tony produced the recent sci-fi film Prometheus (2012), and the medical/science fiction TV adaptations of The Andromeda Strain (2008) and the forthcoming Coma (2012).
Two things worthy of mention are that Scott also directed the fantastic Tarantino-penned True Romance (1993) and he was the brother of revered director Ridley Scott of Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Prometheus, Legend (1985) and Hannibal (2001) fame along with many more successful mainstream pictures.
Phyllis Diller may have been well known for her outlandish and quirky comedy but her role as Miss Poopinplatz in The Boneyard (1991) is how fans of horror films should remember her. The Boneyard is a true horror gem that tells the story of coroners and cops trapped inside a morgue doing battle with child zombies. Among the many not-to-be-missed scenes is the attack of the zombie poodle!
Needless to say this film is an over the top horror comedy akin to The Return Of The Living Dead (1985) and deserves to be more widely-seen. The movie also stars TV’s Mr. Roper, Norman Fell, and longtime Roger Corman player Ed Nelson who is best known for the prime-time soap Peyton Place (1964).
Also of note to horror fans, Diller lent her voice to the bride of Frankenstein in Mad Monster Party (1967), a Rankin Bass stop-motion animation film featuring all the classic movie monsters. She can also be seen in episodes of the TV shows Night Gallery (1971) and Tales From The Darkside (1985).
Scott and Diller, we raise a can to offer you both a 40 Oz. salute! Rest in peace.
Which of these movies is your favorite?