Friday, October 15, 2010

Horror One-Hit Wonders

Not every horror character can be like Mike. Michael Myers that is. Not every character can return time after time to butcher unsuspecting teens like Jason and Freddy. Between Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Hellraiser, there are a total of 38 movies. Those characters showed staying power. Those characters showed tenacity and intestinal fortitude. Those characters created followings of fans who wanted to see their beloved murders return for more carnage.

But what about the ones that didn't make it? The one and dones? Who are the characters that started their careers strong, but then went away after only one outing? I have created a list of these sole adventurers, and tried to make a guess as to why they didn't return. Just who are horrors, "One Hit Wonders"?

1. Dr. Giggles (1992) - Dr. Giggles was a promising character in the world of horror. He was brutal, had his signature giggle as he disposed of his victims, and had enough one liners to make Freddy Krueger blush through his burnt face. A solid performance from Larry Drake (the killer Santa Claus from Tales from the Crypt) kept this character from appearing too silly. His large imposing presence juxtaposed the high pitched giggle that made Dr. Giggles truly memorable. Why did he not make it to a sequel? Maybe the studios didn't believe in his lasting appeal from the beginning. He was killed off pretty convincingly which made a return unplausable. Also, unlike the big boys in the genre, Dr. Giggles was a man without a mask or make up, meaning that they couldn't hide just anyone behind a mask for the role. Real people age, meaning that this character was given an expiration date from the beginning, if franchise had in fact been born.

2. Sleepstalker: The Sandman's Last Rights (1995) - The sandman killer was given a decent backstory and had a number of creative kills. For it's time, and considering it was low-budget horror, the effects weren't horrible. It seemed like this movie was being prepped for a couple sequels when it came out at the time. In fact, the producers had announced a sequel back in the 90's, but that movie never came into fruition. But the wind blew and left the sandman behind in a pit leaving this killer from Sleepstalker a one hit wonder.

3. Madman (1982)- This killer comes complete with big ax and a folk song to boot. Madman was born during the post-Friday the 13th craze that studios were churning out killer after killer to see what would stick. Some decent kills weren't enough to bring Madman Marz back for another outing.

4. Satin's Little Helper (2004) - On Halloween, a young boy is infatuated with a video game where the player plays as Satin and is rewarded for murdering innocent bystanders. He confuses fantasy and reality as he aids a real-life serial killer, dressed as Satin, in obtaining new victims. This movie attempts to include a social commentary obviously based on violence in games such as the "Grand Theft Auto" series, and their effects on young players. The had good kills, an intriguing killer and never took itself to seriously. The movie sets itself up for a sequel, but as of this time, Satin is still a one-hit-wonder.