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Where in the Horror are they Now? Barbara Crampton!

BARBARA CRAMPTON

THEN: Barbara Crampton is a name that nearly every horror fan is very familiar with. In fact, probably every single one of us has had a bit of a crush on this stunningly beautiful - and very talented - blonde. And from a genre standpoint, she is certainly one of the best scream queens around. While she may have started in soaps, specifically “Days of Our Lives” in 1965, the actress soon found herself appearing in some of the most iconic flicks from the Eighties. Many of which still remain personal favorites - and as a special surprise, I’ll reveal one of the lovely Ms. Crampton’s faves as well so read on.

While Barbara may have appeared in one of Brian DePalma’s sexiest thrillers, BODY DOUBLE in 1984, as well as the teen comedy FRATERNITY VACATION in 1985, it was a film directed by Stuart Gordon that really made her shine. RE-ANIMATOR is one of the best in the genre. It is funny, provocative and a grotesquely creepy good time. This terrifying tale of Dr. Herbert West (the great Jeffrey Combs) still holds up to this day as an original and great work of fun and frightening fiction. And yes, Crampton is utterly beautiful as Megan Halsey who gets an all too close personal encounter with the head of Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale). Plus, she had killer good chemistry with Bruce Abbott. What is not to love about this amazing flick?

Not to be outdone, Barbara had one hell of a good year for thrills and chills in 1986 with fantastic performances in both CHOPPING MALL and FROM BEYOND. In one, she battled deadly robots in the mall, in the other, she starred opposite Mr. Combs once again. It’s been far too long since I’ve witnessed FROM BEYOND and it is definitely time to check out this gruesome little flick. The actress continued to prove what an incredible presence she had in both sci-fi and horror, and of course, fans loved her - and continue to do so for good reason.

Throughout the late Eighties and the Nineties, she appeared in a number of cool flicks including PUPPETMASTER in 1989, TRANCERS II in 1991, ROBOT WARS in 1993 and one that I always enjoyed; CASTLE FREAK from 1995. And while her career was more than just things that go bump in the night, she always came back to us, and I for one am very happy about that fact. With a number of appearances in film she also returned to television for a long engagement with “The Bold and the Beautiful” from 1995 - 1998 and “The Young and the Restless” from 1998 - 2007 (42 episodes). Comedy, drama, horror, she proved to have the ability to do a little bit of everything.

Of course since we here at AITH relish in the macabre and spooky, it was a little film that I loved that brought her back to horror in a big way. in YOU’RE NEXT she was absolutely terrific. This 2011 film featured Crampton as the mother to a bunch of selfish kids - if you’ve seen it, you know just how horrifyingly selfish they were - and she was great. And if that wasn’t enough, a year later she appeared in Rob Zombie’s strange and compelling THE LORDS OF SALEM. And let’s face it, she still looks absolutely incredible with the talent to back it all up!

NOW: Here is the twist with this weeks WHERE IN THE HORROR. If you want to know what somebody is up to in their career, what better way to find that out than to talk to them directly. Thus, we have an awesome surprise with this weeks installment, as Ms. Crampton took the time out of her day to chat with me over the phone about her career, and what’s in store. And when I mentioned that I would reveal one of her favorite projects, I asked her during our conversation which of her early roles stood out for her. She added this, after I brought up my love for CHOPPING MALL.

Probably my part as Dr. Katherine McMichaels in FROM BEYOND. Even though that is not the one you first mentioned [Laughing]. RE-ANIMATOR is definitely a fan favorite. CHOPPING MALL is a fan favorite. But FROM BEYOND really allowed me to stretch in the role and play a multi-faceted character. So for me, that was really more interesting than anything I’ve ever done.
Thankfully, Barbara continues to work. In fact, I had the pleasure of working on a film in which she stars. THE DIVINE TRAGEDIES, written and directed by the terrific Jose Prendes and produced by my pals Jon and James Kondelik features the actress playing another mother to a couple of terrifyingly dysfunctional young men (Jon Kondelik and Graham Denman). Unfortunately for me, since my time on set was incredibly short, I didn’t get the chance to work directly with her, or another awesome fellow by the name of Ken Foree who also stars in the independent horror feature.

As for some of her other upcoming projects, she also mentioned a couple of very exciting genre entries coming our way.

I did a movie, I started it almost a year ago today, called WE ARE STILL HERE. It was directed by my friend Ted Geoghegan, and produced by Travis Stevens who did CHEAP THRILLS recently, and JODOROWSKY’S DUNE. You might be familiar with those guys. That is currently being submitted to film festivals and we are really hopeful, and I’m looking forward for that to be seen very soon. It’s also produced by Dark Sky. So they never do anything that doesn’t come out.
She continued…

I’m really excited about that. It’s kind of a throwback to late Seventies and early Eighties horror. And Ted was a big fan of the [Lucio] Fulci movie THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY. So it has a little bit of a similar feeling to that movie. Perhaps a little bit more commercial. For the dedicated horror fan, I think people will really dig it. It has a really wonderful cast. Larry Fessenden is in it, who I’ve been a fan of for years. And also Lisa Marie, and Andrew Sensenig who played my husband. He is a guy who started acting late in his life, and he never stops working now. He is terrific. Everybody is really good in it. I’m excited about it.

She also spoke about the upcoming psychological thriller ROAD GAMES:

I also did a movie this summer called ROAD GAMES. It has a little bit of everything. It has a little bit of comedy, but it is mostly a thriller. There are five main characters in the movie and one of us is a serial killer. And you don’t know who it is until the end of the movie. It’s very well written. I mean, it’s a page turner. The man who wrote it, Abner Pastoll, he had somebody e-mail me directly and say I’d love to have you in this movie. This was maybe a year and a half, two years ago. So they sent me the script and I read it and it was one of the most well written scripts I’ve ever read. One of the best ones that has ever been offered to me. So I really, really wanted to do it. So they had funding and then they lost it, and then they got their funding, and it was a funding nightmare. Finally they got enough money to do it this past summer.

And there's more!

Of course there is THE DIVINE TRAGEDIES. And then I did a movie called SUN CHOKE. I’m not sure what is happening with that, but I’d like to see them both get a little traction. I think they are both complete films and I’ve seen them both and they are definitely worthy of viewership. Those two are done by a couple of groups of filmmakers that aren’t as well known. And so that is hard to get into the top film festivals. It is harder for these movies to get screened.
So lucky for us horror fans, Barbara Crampton is back in a big way. And as just a personal aside, I have to give an extra special thanks to the actress for taking the time to chat, and fill us in on what is coming up next for her. It was a wonderful conversation, and now I have to add a number of cool films to my must-see list.

You can follow Barbara on Twitter right HERE or on Facebook HERE. And of course it wouldn't hurt to take a look at her IMDb page and catch up on the flicks of hers you've missed!

Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite Barbara Crampton film?
Source: AITH

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