10 horror movies starring Star Trek actors
There is a lot of crossover between sci-fi and horror, due to a shared fan base and frequent blurring of the lines between them. So it’s no surprise that many horror movie actors have made the switch to an enduring sci-fi franchise and vice versa. Indeed, many Star Trek the ancients had an impact in the horror realm – including leading roles in legitimate genre classics – and even those that weren’t brilliant were notable for other reasons. Here are ten of the hottest films, featuring actors from all stages of Star Trekthe beginnings of history.
DeForest Kelley – Night of the Lepus (1972)
Weaker movies open up this list, which says a lot about Star Trekthe state of the time. The original series was canceled after three seasons, and while the fan base slowly built up over syndicated reruns, the cast moved on to other work. Nature films were big business in the early 1970s, fueled by the likes of the 1971s Willard and reaching their peak with the years 1975 Jaws. The night of the brides was far down that scale, in large part because of his choice of animal.
Based on a 1964 novel titled Year of the angry rabbit, it depicts an infestation of rabbits which have grown into enormous size and plaguing a small farming town. DeForest Kelley – who was widely known for playing cowboys before Star Trek – seemed to fit the director’s vision for a Western horror film, which didn’t get half the credit of the genre. The rabbits – domestic rabbits rather than wild hares – were slaughtered in slow motion in devastating miniature buildings, while close range attacks relied on what was clearly a man in a bunny costume for effect. The only solace Kelley could take was company: horror legend Janet Leigh also starred in the film.
Willian Shatner – Spider Kingdom (1977)
William Shatner has climbed the horror ladder a little higher than his Trek costar Kelley, but not much. 1977 Spider kingdom found him as an Arizona vet struggling with a tarantula invasion. In a 1988 issue of Fangoria, producer Igo Kantor claimed to have used 5,000 live spiders during production. While they give the movie some goosebumps, it struggles to make them spooky enough, leaving the impression that the protagonists might just make their way to safety. Shatner didn’t help. Sporting a bad ass and desperately trying to look 15 years younger than his actual age, he turned the whole exercise into camp, leaving a memorable wreck for all the wrong reasons.
Leonard Nimoy – Invasion of the Body Thieves (1978)
Among the “Big Three” of the original series, it was Leonard Nimoy who broke the horror film’s losing streak. The actor was actively trying to distance himself from Mr. Spock at the time and found the perfect role in Phillip Kaufman’s terrifying remake of the ubiquitous alien invasion story. His self-help guru is one of the first figures to be replaced by a pod person and uses his calm, reasonable demeanor to actively enlighten anyone who suspects the truth. His character’s easy smile and apparent compassion contrast directly with Mr. Spock’s famous logic, making his ultimate betrayal of the protagonists all the more shocking. The actor returned and finally kissed Spock, but in the meantime he left a disturbing performance in one of the scariest movies ever made.
Robert Picardo – Le Hurlement (1981) and Matinée (1993)
Robert Picardo was a well-established actor before appearing as a Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, especially in his frequent collaborations with Joe Dante. The howling put it on the map with a character as different from the Doctor as night and day. Her Eddie Quist was a serial killer werewolf, wanted by reporter Dee Wallace, which leads her to the film’s lycanthropic colony deep in the redwoods of California. It gave him the characteristic transforming moment of the film, but it’s the character’s macabre sense of humor that stands out, going from a cliché to a note to someone far more interesting in the capable hands of the actor. 12 years later, Picardo appears in Morning, Dante’s loving tribute to the king of horror gimmicks William Castle. Most of the movies on this list are rated R and for adults only. Morning makes a good choice for Trek fans looking for something sweeter for Halloween.
Patrick Stewart – Vital Force (1985)
Patrick Stewart immersed himself in science fiction and horror long before his defining role in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He had appeared in the years 1981 Excalibur as a faithful Arthurian knight and in that of David Lynch Dune like Gurney Halleck. But none of them were as out of place as Life force, an effort by the infamous Cannon Pictures to break out of their signature grindhouse dish and present a leading horror image. Tobe Hooper from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the celebrity was brought in to direct, with a screenplay co-written by Aliens Dan O’Bannon and a $ 25 million budget that could attract a talented actor like Stewart. The results, sadly, were more silly than frightening, topped with a moment in which the administrator of Stewart’s difficult hospital – possessed by the spirit of a naked female space vampire – kisses the main man with open mouth.
Jeffrey Combs – Re-Host (1985)
Like Picardo, Jeffrey Combs was well known to horror fans before his first appearances in Star Trek and has dozens of genre films on her resume that might fit this list. It started with Stuart Gordon’s lopsided adaptation of the HP Lovecraft story, putting Herbert West deliciously out of his rocker front and center. The actor turned this into a long career, which included a lot of time in the makeup chair. This later turned out to be invaluable on Star Trek, when he played a wide variety of different characters – from Vorta Weyoun to the Andorian Shran – requiring many prosthetics. His work continues in the franchise with a cameo on Star Trek: Lower decks in 2021.
Denise Crosby – Pet Sematary (1989)
Denise Crosby’s departure from The next generation after just one season remains a topic of discussion among fans, and her subsequent reappearance in the franchise is a sign of the potential she has left behind. One of the films she made as a result of it all was Pet Sematist, based on Stephen King’s novel About Haunted Land that brings back those buried there from the dead. The film is deeply underrated – smarter than the ill-fated 2019 remake and with a much better understanding of the source material – aided by Crosby, whose grieving mother doesn’t know how much her husband is complicit in the horrors that unfold. .
Scott Bakula – Lord of Illusions (1995)
Before playing the role of Captain Archer in Star Trek: Enterprise, Scott Bakula was best known for his role in Quantum leap: a role that earned him a unique fan. Clive Barker sat down to write the script for his horror film Lord of illusions in 1991 – in the middle of Quantum leap‘s run – and claims in the DVD commentary that Bakula was her ideal choice for the lead role. The story is about a famous stage magician whose tricks can be more than smoke and mirrors. Bakula’s “supernatural detective” Harry D’Amour searches for the answers, aided by the wizard’s wife, played by another Trek alum Famke Janssen.
Jeri Ryan – Dracula: 2000 (2000)
The decidedly bizarre Dracula: 2000 tried to update the old horror brown for the new millennium, and while it’s not high art, it has a lot of fun with its whimsical concept. Trek alum Christopher Plummer is having a good time slumming himself as the seemingly immortal Abraham Van Helsing, but it was Jeri Ryan who drew fans to the project. The actor plays a conceited presenter who becomes one of the count’s three wives. More importantly, it was completely different from her cold, detached Seven of Nine, which she played on. Traveler at the time. The role gave her a chance to go in a very different direction, as well as have some fun on Halloween as a bloodsucker in white.
Nana Visitor – Friday the 13the (2009)
The Friday the 13the the franchise succeeded almost in spite of itself, finding its way to its iconic monster through three or four entries into the franchise. The killer in the first film was Jason Voorhees’ mother, for example, letting the second film cement the boogeyman franchise. Jason himself didn’t don his hockey mask until the third film, leaving a frustrating and slow burn for modern fans interested in getting straight to the point. The 2009 remake takes advantage of assembling all of the key pieces of the franchise’s mythology into one movie, making it a good “all-in-one” option for everyone but hardcore. Friday the 13the Fans. It also gives Trek lover a little Easter egg: an apparition of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Nana Visitor as Mrs. Voorhees, breaking out insanity and having fun in the process.
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