Clint Eastwood’s Only Two Horror Movie Roles, Explained
Clint Eastwood has never starred in a straight-up horror movie, but early in his career he did appear in some b-movies.
He’s largely avoided the genre throughout his career, and here’s by Clint Eastwood only two horror movie roles explained. Eastwood has become one of the last real stars of Western cinema thanks to the dollars trilogy and movies like Outlaw Josey Wales. His outings in the genre were darker and more cynical than earlier Westerns like John Wayne’s, which reflected changing moods in cinema and society. The success of dirty harry also marked a new direction in Eastwood’s career, where he turned to contemporary thrillers and occasionally comedies like the highly successful In all directions but in bulk.
As an actor he is best known for his westerns and thrillers, but as a director he has covered a wider canvas, from war epics to tender dramas. One genre Clint Eastwood isn’t known for is horror, which he rarely dipped his toes into. The tastes of play misty for me – which was also his directorial debut – or the finale dirty harry film The Dead Pool contain elements of the slasher genre, they are ultimately thrillers.
This is likely a conscious choice on Eastwood’s part, as throughout his career he has focused on projects suited to his strengths as a performer or filmmaker. It would be hard to make a Clint Eastwood slasher movie where he was also really a victim, given his on-screen persona. That said, two of Clint Eastwood’s first on-screen roles were in horror movies. In fact, his uncredited film debut was the 1955 feature Creature Creature’s Revengequickly followed by another uncredited – but key – appearance in the same year Tarantula!
As the title suggests, Creature’s Revenge is a sequel to the classic monster movie Black Lagoon Creature. The sequel reveals that the titular creature survived the end of the previous film and is on the loose again. Unfortunately, Creature’s Revenge falls short of the first film, although it is notable for being the only 3D film released that year and for being Eastwood’s first film. Besides being a very rare Clint horror movie role, he’s also a much dumber character than he’s known for. In his brief scene, Eastwood — who has turned down many iconic roles — plays a lab technician named Jennings, who complains to John Agar’s lead character that a test cat appears to have eaten a lab rat. Eastwood’s Jennings then checks his pocket and realizes that the rat has been hiding there the whole time.
Clint Eastwood’s next horror movie role – and also his last – is a bit more dynamic. Tarantula! is an enjoyable B-movie where a test tarantula accidentally exposed to an experimental nutrient grows to enormous proportions and begins eating animals and people in a desert town. Tarantula! – which was also made by Creature’s Revenge Jack Arnold – ends with the Air Force being summoned after bullets and explosives prove ineffective against the Killer Spider. It’s done Clint Eastwood as “Jet Squadron Leader” who drops napalm on the titular tarantula and kills it, saving the city.
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