THEN: Sometimes folks, there is more to life than merely tits and ass! I’m talking about the windows to the soul, the very essence of what lays bare for all of us to see. It is all in the eyes. And frankly there are very few ladies out there that can even compare to the haunting beauty of Meg Foster. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, Ms. Foster appeared in a number of television shows including “Net Playhouse”, “Here Comes the Brides”, “The Interns”… hell, I’m familiar with some television from that period but even I am coming up blank for many of these. Either way, the lady with the lovely eyes made enough of an impression in Hollywood to move into more popular shows as well as feature films.
To list off her impressive resume would frankly be a waste of time, even if some of you are aware of “Bonanza” and one of my personal favorite TV heroes, “The Six Million Dollar Man” in which she appeared back in 1974. Yet it was hard to resist Ms. Foster and she certainly shined in a number of impressive made for TV movies including “James Dean” in 1976, the mini-series “The Scarlett Letter” in 1979 and the surprisingly creepy “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones” about the infamous cult leader in 1980. In fact, the actress was so good in our beloved genre that she made an impressive mark in the world of horror, fantasy and action.
It would be ludicrous for me to not mention her work in one of Sam Peckinpah’s most underrated flicks, 1983’s THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND. This cool little action thriller featured a ton of great genre actors including Craig T. Nelson (POLTERGEIST), Rutger Hauer (BLADE RUNNER, THE HITCHER and so much more) as well as John Hurt (ALIEN) just to name a few. One of my favorite memories of this flick is the poster, with a scorchingly sexy Meg shooting a bow and arrow… Katniss might have a little competition here. Critics were not necessarily kind to this flick but my memory of it is full of fondness. In fact, after putting together this article I may have to revisit this vicious little flick and see how well it holds up.
While it was a box office disappointment, Foster also appeared in what has since become a bit of a cult classic in 1987’s MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. I’m talking “He-Man” and “Skeletor” and all sorts of cheesy goodness starring my man Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella. In this live-action adventure she portrayed Evil-lyn and she was pretty evil. This wasn’t the only time she took to the dark side in her choice of roles. She also starred in the 1994 low budget horror flick SHRUNKEN HEADS as well as a number of other films, but thankfully this versatile and talented actress wasn’t finished with playing the innocent victim in the genre as well. In fact, one of my favorite films in her vast resume is the slasher sequel THE STEPFATHER 2 with Terry O’Quinn in 1989. This bride wore white but much to her scream queen dismay, she was also covered in blood red… this was not the kind of wedding day every little girl dreams of that’s for sure.
Throughout the years, the actress seemed to enjoy working in horror. There was LEVIATHAN in 1989 starring opposite Peter Weller and Amanda Pays. That same year she appeared in the effective thriller RELENTLESS as well as its sequel DEAD ON: RELENTLESS 2 in 1992. To list every single genre feature she appeared in would take up way too much time so let’s cut to the chase… John Carpenter, Rowdy Roddy Piper, THEY LIVE! She was the female lead in this cult classic back in 1988 and she was awesome. I loved this flick for the ridiculously long fight sequence as well as the bizarre choice for its leading man which may very well have helped make this a favorite for fans of Carpenter. It’s an oddball movie and Ms. Foster is perfectly cast alongside the former wrestler.
NOW: Meg Foster worked a ton in her career, a long and varied journey that began back in 1969 according to her IMDB page. Yet in the past decade she seems to be working far less than she had been the years before. However all is not lost for fans of the girl with the crystal eyes (has anybody used that before?) because in the past few years she seems to be working in a number of low budget features. In 2011 she appeared in the family drama 25 HILL as well as the religious horror thriller SEBASTIAN. She also has a couple of other projects in the works including 333 (aka TORMENTED SOULS) as well as the indie drama A PLACE CALLED HOLLYWOOD. Both films have a 2013 release set, but we all know how hard distribution can be for small movies, so we shall see.
Then there is Rob Zombie, who smartly features the actress in his latest chiller entitled THE LORDS OF SALEM. In fact, while watching this strangely effective and atmospheric flick and seeing Meg playing the creepy witch Margaret Morgan, she seemed a perfect choice for this column. In the film, the actress plays what may be her darkest and most demented role yet, and she is clearly enjoying herself. Will this new film reinvigorate her career? As a longtime fan of the actress I sure as hell hope so. All these years later, she is a classic actress that seems to be able to play any damn thing you throw at her. Hopefully after her devilish turn in LORDS other filmmakers will agree. THE LORDS OF SALEM opens this coming April 19th.
What is your favorite Meg Foster flick?