Sadly, yet another cult icon has left us. Julie Strain, on January 10th, the one and only Heavy Metal model died at the young age of 58 after complications from Dementia. Strain went in to star in a hundred movies, and was well known by pop culture fans. With her tall stature, and incredibly sexy good looks, not to mention her enthusiasm for pop culture, Strain was well known for her charisma, bright smile, and affable sense of humor.
People usually laugh when I tell them I have a mortal fear of zombies, but for many years I did. I had a mortal fear of the walking dead, for reasons I can’t really explain. Fears are meant to be irrational. I can however pinpoint to where it may have all started, and it was with George Romero. One of my earliest memories as a kid was when my dad took a four year old moi to visit a friend of his, who watching this horror documentary on VHS. Mid-way through the footage there was the epic finale of “Day of the Dead” where the humongous horde of zombies is slowly descending in to the military bunker with light cast upon them.
Adam West was always one of those actors who was there popping in and out of my life, entertaining me since I was old enough to remember. Two of the main reasons why I formed such a humongous obsession with superheroes and comic books were because of “The Super Friends” and the Adam West version of “Batman.” Adam West had the classic movie idol looks with the chiseled features and swept back brown hair, and for such a very long time he was Batman. By day he was, of course, a millionaire and playboy known as Bruce Wayne who hung out with his ward Dick Grayson, but by night he’d slide down the pole alongside his sidekick and transform in to Batman. Batman was a crime fighter who wore spandex and a cape and cowl that bore penciled in eyebrows.
Bill Paxton could play any character. He could play anyone, at any time, from anywhere. He was a cowboy in the old west, he was a soldier in the future fighting aliens, he was a tornado chaser, a leather clad vampire, a slimy car salesman, an obnoxious big brother, a dad burdened with the knowledge of demonic entities, a punk, et al. He could be anyone. I am one of the many kids who grew up watching Paxton give riveting performances on film, no matter how big or small the role was. Paxton was a man who could appear in any time period on film and you bought his performance and his place there.
By all accounts, Paxton was a very nice and warm man who loved his fans, and treated everyone with immense respect. I was born in 1983, so I was old enough to remember a time where Paxton was in a lot of movies, and was a constant face on film. He’d just pop up, and it was a pleasant surprise every single time. Paxton even helped invent a ton of imitators who would walk around screaming “Game over man! Game over!” over and over and over. It never got old.
It does not make me happy to discuss yet another fine performer dying to cancer, but rather than dwell on death and the cruelty of the disease, I’d rather talk about my favorite performance from the great Alan Rickman. Rickman was an amazing actor who could bend any role to his will and lend either great humanity or great menace. Surely enough my favorite performance from Mr. Rickman is from one of my favorite action comedies “Galaxy Quest.”
As Alexander Dane, he’s a man forced in to the eternal typecasting of a Spock-like character named Dr. Lazarus, and finds purpose as a hero who inspires many with his character’s classic catchphrase, which manages to inspire his alien cohorts to stand up against their alien foes. It’s a wonderful and funny role performance only Rickman could deliver. He’ll be sorely missed, may he rest in Peace.
Thanks for the Music, David. Rock on Ziggy Stardust. May you rest in peace.
The horror community has lost a lot of proponents and big names in 2015, but perhaps the passing that’s hurt me the most has been the passing of Juan Reyes. To others he was known as Juan, but to his friends and colleagues he was known simply as “Gory.” I was very fortunate enough to know Juan for a few years. We’d talk about horror movies, joke about pop culture, and he was always enthusiastic about them. Juan was also a consummate musician who scoredindependent horror films like “Horno,” and was a humongous advocate of indie film.
He knew as well as many others do that indie film is where you can find real horror gems. Juan was funny, energetic, and very friendly, and I was able to cultivate a friendship with him in a few years, and was lucky to see the type of guy he really was. It’s heartbreaking Juan won’t be able to contribute to horror as he used to, but he’ll live on forever in the memories he created, the friends he made, and the good times he shared with so many people.
We were lucky enough to garner a written contribution from Gory years ago and though it was the only article he ever contributed to Cinema Crazed, we were happy to have him lend his ideas and thoughts to our readers.
We dedicate the rest of Halloween Horror Month 2015 to the memory of Gory. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Gory’s family during this terrible time. Thanks for the friendship and laughs, Gory. We’ll never forget you.
I was going to make this article about Robin Williams and how much happiness he gave me, but that just didn’t seem to fit for me. Surely Robin Williams dying is painful, heartbreaking, and really tragic. I grew up with “Mork and Mindy,” “Hook,” “Good Will Hunting,” and I watched him make people happy with stand up comedy, his appearances on talk shows, and his general love for humanity all around.
What’s really kept me on the verge of tears, is the knowledge that Robin Williams was the victim of depression and likely committed suicide.
“But he was so funny! He always seemed so happy! I don’t get it.” Yes, you don’t. You really don’t. And the truth is, even victims of mental illness don’t get it. We just live with it. I suffer from a mental illness.