One of the biggest horror stories of the week was news that George A. Romero, the Godfather of the modern zombie movie, will be honored with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Yesterday, Inquisitr reported:
The Walk of Fame stars were announced this week, and the Los Angeles Times reports that George Romero is finally going to be enshrined on the coveted Hollywood Walk of Fame, recognizing his contributions to popular cinema over the last five decades. The Walk of Fame star indicates that Romero’s contributions to zombie cinema and film have reverberated throughout the industry and set a standard for zombie filmmaking that many have adhered to, including the highly successful AMC TV series, The Walking Dead.
Getting a star is sort of an antiquated honor, certainly a less significant marker of success today than in Hollywood’s heyday. It’s also a mainstream honor, one that filmmakers dedicated to horror rarely receive—or want! Still, it’s great to see Romero getting the recognition he deserves as a significant contributor to cinematic history. It got me thinking of other prominent horror icons who also deserve the same kind of symbolic appreciation. Below, in no particular order, are my Top 10 choices. Enjoy!
Wes Craven (August 2, 1939 to August 30, 2015)
While a person has to be dead for 5 years to receive a posthumous star on the Walk of Fame (meaning he won’t be eligible until 2020) Wes Craven and George A. Romero have been equally influential in horror filmmaking. The father of Freddy Krueger and Ghostface definitely deserves top honors.
Tom Holland (Born: July 11, 1943)
Tom Holland is a certified Master of Horror; the filmmaker rocketed to prominence in the 1980’s, helming decade heavyweights Fright Night and Child’s Play among many others. Holland continues to be an active force in the community, running the popular website Tom Holland’s Terror Time.
John Carpenter (Born: January 16, 1948)
Another certified Master of Horror, John Carpenter is a quadruple threat: Director, screenwriter, producer/editor, and composer. His opus, Halloween, introduced Michael Myers to the masses and effectively launched the slasher subgenre. He’s currently on tour supporting his most recent album of music: Lost Themes II.
Clive Barker (Born: October 5, 1952)
He may be British by birth, but Clive Barker’s contributions to the horror genre reverberate on both sides of the Atlantic, making him an international treasure. His work was years ahead of its time, and it’s only in retrospect that his accomplishments are truly evident. In addition to being a skilled filmmaker, Barker continues to champion horror in literature, recently releasing the lauded novel The Scarlet Gospels, which focuses on one of his most iconic characters: Pinhead from Hellraiser.
David Cronenberg (Born: March 15, 1943)
Canadian auteur David Cronenberg is a truly renaissance filmmaker, skilled in writing, direction, and acting. While his frustrations over the current state of the entertainment industry has made him a bit of his recluse, his contributions to horror, specifically the body horror subgenre, can never be understated. He became a fan favorite in the 1980’s after releasing a slew of classics including: The Brood, Rabid, The Fly, Scanners, and Dead Ringers.
Tobe Hooper (Born: January 25, 1943)
Tobe Hooper propelled the horror genre to new depths of depravity with 1974’s seminal offering The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The film spawned a franchise that’s still active and made Letherface an iconic villain of the highest caliber. Hooper is still incredibly active in horror, most recently directing the Middle Eastern creeper Djinn.
Stephen King (Born: September 21, 1947)
Stephen King has been immensely popular in horror circles since he first began releasing novels as a young man in the 1970’s. Films based on his literary works were extremely popular, especially in the 1980’s, and the prolific fear practitioner is still active today. A second adaptation of his bestseller It is currently in the works, promising to be one of the most anticipated releases of 2017.
Robert Englund (Born: June 6, 1947)
Robert Englund is this generation’s Vincent Price. While the actor has become synonymous with horror icon Freddy Krueger, turns in films like Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and Hatchet prove he’s got the chops to make a positive impression in whatever he does.
Kane Hodder (Born: April 8, 1955)
If Robert Englund is this generation’s Vincent Price, Kane Hodder is our Boris Karloff; the actor who best personified Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th franchise became an icon for a second time as Victor Crowley in the Hatchet Trilogy. As a stuntman and stunt coordinator, Hodder has been an integral component to more horror films than you may realize.
Eli Roth (Born: April 18, 1972)
During his comparatively short tenure in filmmaking, Eli Roth has already proven himself to be a major player. He hit a trifecta in the 2000’s helming Cabin Fever, Hostel, and Hostel: Part II, and he recently shot back to prominence for his cannibal homage The Green Inferno. As a producer, Roth brought fans The Last Exorcism, The Sacrament, Clown, and TV’s Hemlock Groove, among many others.
What do you think of my selections? Are there other horror icons who you think deserve a star? Sound off in the Comments section!