So you wanna be a horror superstar? You wanna live large? Well just remember what Eminem says in that song — like a hit record, a hit movie don’t last long, The premieres don’t last forever, so you gotta keep stackin’ them chips. Sadly for many in the fear industry, those stacks are small and don’t buy that many boxes of mac and cheese.
A few months back, we took a look at some horror icons and their new careers, showing you the new lives of Puppetmaster Anton Toulon, Basket Case twins Duane and Belial, American Psycho Patrick Bateman and Shocker‘s Horace Pinker. But this is an industry with thousands of films, and nothing can stop the march of time: Many A-list horror heroes drift away from the movie biz.
Norman Bates (Psycho), Hotel-Industry Executive
A little mental illness? Child, please. It takes more than that to keep a good momma’s boy down. Bates did several months of therapy, got himself a whup-ass lawyer and was out on parole in less than a year. So what do you do with all that motel experience? You move it on up and get into chains: Bates is an executive with the Motel 6 chain. He even got into advertising — he pitched the campaign that went, “I’m Tom Bodette, and we’ll slice open your throat for ya.” Well, sure, they changed the ending, but that line was mostly Bates’.
Jack Torrance (The Shining), Novelist
So did Jack take his caretaking experience and go into the hotel biz, like his buddy Norman Bates? Hell no, Jack is a writer, and baby, writers write. Jack wound up channelling his, shall we say, “troubled,” time at the Overlook Hotel into his fiction: He now writes romance horror novels. You know, stories about vampires and slayers and their forbidden love, or when he’s feeling really clever, making it about werewolves and slayers and their forbidden love and so on.
“It’s a pretty good gig,” Torrance said. “You rehash a soap-opera plot, make one of the characters a vampire, add in a book cover that shows some skank in leather pants with an exposed target tat and boom, you sell books.” All ripping off Buffy and no play makes Jack a dull boy, my friend, so get out there and get some sunshine today.
Samara Morgan (The Ring), Web Entrepreneur
If you were like me, you saw The Ring and were thinking, “Will someone please reintroduce corporal punishment?” That girl needed some discipline.
Sadly, Samara is still on the side of evil. With her ability to slide through television signals, she branched out into computer networks and is now focusing on file sharing and bit torrent sites. Yes, it’s true. Now Little Miss “Everyone Will Suffer” does make everyone suffer, thanks to her involvement in the RIAA. “Taking down Pirate Bay? That was mine,” Samara said. “And that Minnesota woman who shared twenty-four songs and got nailed for $1.92 million in damages? That was all the kid, baby, that was all the kid.”
They say evil never truly dies. It grows up, puts on a suit and goes to work for the recording industry.
The Creeper (Jeepers Creepers), Television Personality
Look, when you have bat wings and your hobby is eating various people parts, employment opportunities are few and far between, which is why The Creeper needed some cosmetic surgery. He got the wings snipped, had a nose job and a face lift, became a vegetarian, landed a new agent and boom — you now know him as Mike Rowe of the TV show Dirty Jobs.
“I spent an eternity crawling around sewers and cleaning up rotting body parts anyway,” said Rowe/Creeper. “After that, making haggis or doing roadkill taxidermy is kind of a step up in the world.”
Working Men, Working Women
You can’t stop the tick-tock-tick of time, and careers change like the weather. For this quartet of horror icons, at least, we can sleep well knowing they all made good. All except for that Samara bitch — the RIAA? Seriously? I think I liked you more when you were jumping out of televisions and sucking the life out of people.
New York Times best-selling author Scott Sigler writes tales of hard-science horror, then gives them away as free audiobooks at www.scottsigler.com. His novel INFECTED was named as the Border’s #1 mystery, thriller and horror novel for 2008. His latest hardcover, CONTAGIOUS
is in stores now.
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