There is one thing that made cheerleaders awesomely hot in the Eighties. Perky, blonde, sexy, tough and just plain fun! All of these qualities were in abundance with the lovely and talented actress Kelli Maroney! This outrageously cool talent had the chance to appear in a little movie that was ahead of its time… the cult classic NIGHT OF THE COMET which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. However, we’ll get to that totally tubular flick later on as we look back at Ms. Maroney and her career. Now I may not be heading down into her soap opera history because we are all about horror here at AITH, yet I have to mention one of the coolest flicks in the history of flickdom! Did somebody order a pizza?!?
In 1982, cinema fans caught Kelli in one of the all-time greatest high school movies ever with FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. Aside from the fact that it was written by Cameron Crowe, it also featured a number of hot up-and-coming stars including Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Jason Leigh and that dude by the name of Sean Penn. Yeah, that guy! Well it also featured Ms. Maroney. And sure she was part of a huge ensemble, but she caught my attention! Thus the cheerleader adorableness begins.
Now let’s get back to horror goodness shall we? After making an appearance in SLAYGROUND in 1983 (a film based on the “Parker” novels by Richard Stark) Kelli went on to star opposite the lovely Catherine Mary Stewart in the previously mentioned NIGHT OF THE COMET. I love this movie in every way possible. This genre bending flick was part zombie flick, part teen party flick and loads of science fiction fun. With both Stewart and Maroney, it became an instant favorite for many drive-in movie fans – as well as home video fiends. To this day, this is the kind of movie that I will drop everything to watch if it happens to be on. You can credit a ton of that to the film’s beautiful ass-kicking leading ladies.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were stuck in a mall overnight? Well if you want to get an idea, you must check out another fun as f*ck slasher flick from 1986 called CHOPPING MALL (aka KILLBOTS). Kelli once again proved she had a knack for horror as well as comedy with this cool little genre mixing flick that had a number of wild sequences. Killer robots in a mall with a group of teenagers! Yes please! It was early on that I realized that I was becoming a major fan of Kelli. With movies like this and COMET, she was a gal after my horror obsessed heart.
Throughout the Eighties and early Nineties, Kelli appeared in a number of television series including “Simon and Simon” and “Murder, She Wrote” in 1986. However, she continued to light up the screen in a collection of wildly entertaining B-movies such as THE ZERO BOYS in 1986, the Traci Lords legit flick NOT OF THIS EARTH in 1988, plus the cinematic adaptation of Dean R. Koontz religious themed thriller SERVANTS OF TWILIGHT. Every single time I see Ms. Maroney on-screen it just makes me happy. She has always had an amazing energy that really shined, and hell, she even played a bad girl really well on her soap. Screw it! If I had watched “Ryan’s Hope” she would have been my favorite character.
Not too far back in 2008 Kelli appeared on an episode of “True Blood” as a ‘Televangelist.’ A couple years later she made a guest appearance on one of my favorites TV shows, “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” in 2010. In 2012 she was featured in the SyFy Channel movie GILA! While the last credit that Kelli Maroney has on her IMDB page is something called POP STAR from 2013, you can find a little more current info on the actress courtesy of her official site at www.kellimaroney.com. Aside from theatre, she is currently working on a number of projects and I can’t wait to see every single one of them. As well, you can check her out on Facebook and Twitter.
Over the past few years of working with AITH I’ve had a number of opportunities to meet this lovely lady. I was lucky enough to interview her back in 2008 and she was absolutely fantastic. Still stunning, smart and all things that are good, I’m happy to report that the actress is very open to talking about her career and the movies we horror fans love so very much. Many of you in fact have probably had the chance to meet her in person at a convention or two. However if you haven’t, I highly recommend that you do just that, and please tell her JimmyO said hello!