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Where in the Horror are they Now? P.J. Soles!

10.26.2015by: JimmyO

P.J. SOLES

THEN: Halloween is finally here. Besides being my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN happens to be my favorite horror movie. Every year I return to this masterpiece of terror, and thankfully Fathom Events is once again bringing it to the big screen so big celebratory awesomeness for that. What do I love about this flick? Pretty much everything. And this week, with October coming to an end, we thought who better to look at their career and see what they’ve been up to than the amazing P.J. Soles. This lovely actress has been a part of some of the coolest films ever made, and she is also one of the sweetest people you will ever get the chance to meet. The love we have for P.J. is pretty damn huge, so looking back at her career is TOTALLY a treat.

Ms. Soles is a staple in our beloved genre. Early on in her career, back in 1976, she appeared in a little known feature called BLOOD BATH. And that same year she made an impression with both the TV-movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble and Brian De Palma’s brilliant adaptation of Stephen King’s novel CARRIE. With her red ball cap, and her I don’t give a f*ck attitude, she was the perfect bad girl. Along with Nancy Allen as Chris Hargensen, she and her group of friends were just plain brutal to poor Carrie (Sissy Spacek). We all are fully aware of what happens when you push a girl with telekinesis too far, and that final sequence… Absolutely perfect. This is one hell of a revenge tale.

With her infectious smile and her beauty, P.J. worked quite often after that. In 1977 she appeared in three TV-movies including Calling Doctor Storm, M.D., Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn and The Possessed - her co-stars included the great Harrison Ford and James Farentino. Yet it was in 1978 when she starred as Lynda van der Klok in John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN. While she did play the stereotypical blonde who is the first to fool around with her boyfriend, her performance created the mold. She was just terrific. The camaraderie between her, Jamie Lee Curtis and Nancy Loomis is still absolutely brilliant. These three “teen” girls are so good that you still feel fear when Michael Myers would stalk his prey. I love this film, and all three of these amazing scream queens.

I could go on and on about my love for HALLOWEEN, but 1979 was also a very good year for the actress. They may not be horror flicks, but one of my all-time favorite comedies is the wildly wonderful ROCK ’N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL. Come on now, it’s P.J. Soles and The Ramones! What is not to get excited about in this crazy cool cult classic? And that same year she starred in the box office hit BREAKING AWAY as well as something called OLD BOYFRIENDS. What is really terrific about Ms. Soles is her ability to shine in comedy as well as horror. And watching her as ‘Riff Randell’ belting out the song “Rock ’n’ Roll High School” makes me happy on so many freaking levels. Is it any wonder why I absolutely adore this woman?!?

Since this is AITH, I’m not going to talk about all the fun comedies she has been a part of. Yet you can’t ignore such hilariously great movies as PRIVATE BENJAMIN - starring Goldie Hawn - because P.J. was just great in it. And then there was the OTHER Army movie STRIPES with Bill Murray. I remember watching and re-watching both of these fantastic films, and a huge reason for that was to see just how funny she could be. To this day I consider STRIPES to be one of Mr. Murray’s best films. If you haven’t had the chance to watch either, I highly recommend checking them out. And if my memory serves me well, I think I dug her in the Southern themed hilarity of SOGGY BOTTOM, U.S.A.

After her very successful series of features, there was a long period away from horror movies. Aside from something in 1984 called INNOCENT PREY, she was working in television and she had a small role in the Patsy Cline biopic SWEET DREAMS starring the legendary Jessica Lange. Thankfully the horror world has never forgotten about P.J. and she was featured in a number of genre flicks including UNCLE SAM in 1996, MIRROR, MIRROR IV: REFLECTION in 2000, and DEATH BY ENGAGEMENT in 2005. That same year, horror director and rock star Rob Zombie had the incredible idea to cast her in a small role in his macabre and brutal sequel to HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES. Sure she is only in THE DEVIL’S REJECTS for a short bit, but it was great to see her on the big screen again.

Since then she has full on embraced horror. In 2006 she was featured in DEAD CALLING and THE TOOTH FAIRY. 2007 brought us MIL MASCARAS VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY. And in 2008 she was in ALONE IN THE DARK II. One feature that I’ve yet to catch in something from 2011 called BEG. Along with Ms. Soles, the cast features Tony Todd, Tiffany Shepis, Debbie Rochon and more. It is great to see some of these horror icons featured in an indie horror flick or two, but it sure would be nice to see them given a chance to shine in the local multiplex. And frankly, P.J. Soles is one of those faces that puts a smile on my mine whenever she graces the screen. 

NOW: According to IMDB, P.J. was a part of the horror centric cast of THE BUTTERFLY ROOM in 2012, as well as ETERNAL that same year. Next up for the actress, she has WILLIAM FROSTE - another flick with a ton of genre stars - as well as 13 GIRLS and an anthology called GRINDSPLOITATION in a segment called “Arbor Day.” It’s great to see her working steadily, and here is hoping that some filmmaker will have the smarts to cast her in a feature film with a budget, you know, one that will find it’s way to a theatre near you. But until then, it’s just great to see her involved in a couple of (hopefully) spooky projects.

The actress has a ton of fans, in fact a couple of artists have songs written about her. The English rock band has a tune called “Sweet Pamela Jayne.” Hell, one of my favorite groups, Local H, dedicated a freaking album to her called “Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?” and it was a great one. Musicians love her! And why shouldn’t they? Recently, our own Ryan Cultrera (see above) met up with her at the Rock and Shock Convention on the East Coast and he was instantly smitten. P.J. Soles is still one of my favorites. (ANd she even visited the AITH Podcast back in 2013!) So many great roles and so many memories, she is impossible to resist. And if you want to keep up with this lovely lady, you can follow her on Facebook or Twitter. It's totally worth it!

 

Extra Tidbit: Happy Halloween everyone!! What is your favorite P.J. Soles flick?
Source: AITH

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