2019 Year End Review – Part 2: In Rememberence

Tears in rain

“All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

The famous line above is from the ending of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), from the replicant Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer, just moments before he stops functioning, or “dies”. This was a line that Hauer added without Scott’s knowledge and it not only stayed in the film, but has referenced quite a bit since then, as it is now. The reason I bring it up here is twofold. First and most obviously is because Hauer is one of the names listed below that we lost in 2019. But secondly, this line may be about Batty’s memories, but when it comes to movies, and fans like us, they never will be lost, but will live on for decades to come. For each new generation of film lovers, they will discover these “moments”, some becoming etched in their psyche, while some even changing their lives. Continue reading

Javier Aguirre – Rest in Peace

Javier Aguirre - RIPJavier Aguirre is not a familiar names with most fans here in the US, mainly because he worked in Spain. But there are a couple of films that he directed that star Paul Naschy that you might be familiar with, Count Dracula’s Great Love and Hunchback of the Morgue, both in 1973. Aguirre has passed away at the age of 84 after a long illness. He was married to actress Esperanza Roy, who Spanish horror fans will remember from the second entry in the Blind Dead films, El ataque de los muertos sin ojos aka Return of the Evil Dead and Una vela para el diablo aka It Happened at Nightmare Inn, also both from 1973.

Being not only a director, but screenwriter, producer and even cinematographer, Aguirre was a true filmmaker. But we still have his work to remember him by, which is the best way to pay tribute to him, as well as the other people that worked on these films, by watching them and still enjoying them today. Gone, but not forgotten. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Michael J. Pollard – Rest in Peace

Michael J PollardGrowing up in the late ’60s and early ’70s, it was pretty easy to know who Michael J. Pollard was. We might not of known his name, but we definitely remembered that face. Whether it was from his appearance in the original Star Trek series or Lost in Space (both in 1966), or his role in the famous Bonnie and Clyde (1967). But he had a face and voice that was always memorable. Later in the ’80s and ’90s, you’d see him in everything from comedies, action films, dramas, and everything in between. In the horror genre, there’s American Gothic (1987), Sleepaway Camp III (1989), or as the rat catcher in Split Second (1992). Of course, of later day fans, he was one of the best parts in the opening of Rob Zombie’s debut, House of 1000 Corpses (2003).

Movie fans have lost this iconic boyish face, as he passed away on Nov. 20th from a cardiac arrest, at the age of 80 years old. No matter what film I would be watching, when his face came on screen, it made me smile. Because I knew no matter the size of the role, I was going to remember it because his screen presents. He really was one of a kind. Gone, but definitely never forgotten.

Sid Haig – Rest in Peace

sid 6

I know as horror fans, we like to throw around the word “icon” when one of our horror heroes passes away, but this time, with this guy, the word icon definitely fits. And I know the internet has been flooded with everyone’s memories of meeting him, but dammit…that is the way it should be!

sid 4The strange thing for me is that my first introduction to Mr. Haig wasn’t any of his appearances in the horror or exploitation films, but a Saturday morning kids show in the late ’70s called Jason of Star Command, as the villainous Dragos. Of course, later I would come to know him from the countless appearances he did in a ton of television and films. Even before Jack Hill’s Spider Baby saw a legitimate release, I had a shabby looking bootleg on VHS, watching this classic film, with a young Sid playing the simple minded Ralph, and just loving it. That was the amazing thing about Sid. No matter what role, no matter how big or small, Sid Haig always made an impression with the viewer. With this height, bald head, and those glaring  eyes, he could stop you dead in your tracks. Continue reading

Carol Lynley – Rest in Peace

Carol Lynley RIPCarol Lynley is another one of those actors that didn’t make a ton of appearances in the horror genre, but when she did, she was always memorable. I think my first memory of her was playing Darren McGavin’s girlfriend in The Night Stalker movie. She made other horror titles like Beware! The Blob (1972), the remake of The Cat and the Canary (1978), and even showing up in Howling VI: The Freaks (1991). Years later, I would discover her in the much sought after The Shuttered Room (1967) as well as Bunny Lake is Missing (1965). She passed away on Sept. 3rd from a heart attack. 

Lynley started acting on Broadway when she was only 15 and went on from there. She had such a recognizable face and was always fun to see on screen. She will be missed but not forgotten.

A Tribute to Monster Mark

While Mark McConnaughey might not have been some famous actor or director, or anything in the movie business other than a fan, for a lot of us though, he made just as much of an impact as any movie ever did. At least I know he did with me. Monster Mark, as we always referred to him as, recently passed away, after battling multiple sclerosis for many, many years. It is a hard loss for me, even though I had only really seen Mark in person a half a dozen times over the last two decades, but we somehow connected through movies that gave us a strong bond.

Jon Stone and Mark McConnaughey

I first met Mark back in 1995. I had sold him some movies around that time and was planning on going to the Chiller Theatre show in New Jersey. Mark wrote me and said he would be attending too and we should hook up in the evening, which is just what we did. Hanging out in the bar with him, along with my friend Jon Stone, we talked for hours about all sorts of movies. In fact, Mark and Stone were throwing back title after title, each one more outrageous than the last, interrupted with bouts of laughter. Continue reading

George Hilton – Rest in Peace

George Hilton - RIPFans of Italian westerns and the giallo film have lost one of their own. George Hilton passed away yesterday at the age of 85. He started in films back in 1956, appearing in more than just a few westerns. But he also made a few giallo films, which when he did, they were pretty amazing, such as The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1970), which is one of my favorites in that sub-genre. Granted, it might have something more to do with Edwige Fenech… He also appeared in films like The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (1971) and All the Colors of the Dark (1972), another very important film in the giallo sub-genre. You can also see him in Lamberto Bava’s Dinner with a Vampire (1989) playing the century old vampire who just wants to die.

While he stopped appearing in films a decade ago, you could always see him show up in interviews on the latest giallo documentary or new Blu-ray release, speaking so fondly of his experiences in the industry. But as always, when the fans lose a great talent like this, we know that his memory will live on as long as there are fans of these films. And I have a strong feeling that will go on for quite some time.

Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.