Scream Kings 2019, Day 15: Bill Paxton
Tonight we're celebrating one of the greatest character actors of our time, Bill Paxton! Bill got caught up in the horror game early in the Oedipal thriller "Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker" (William Asher, 1981) as the bully Eddie. In "Mortuary" (Howard Avedis, 1983), he plays Paul, the unhinged son of a mortician who offers to help a troubled young girl solve the mystery of her father's death. Even though it's a brief and ill-fated appearance, his turn as the leader of a punk biker gang in "The Terminator" (James Cameron, 1984) is instantly recognizable. He joins Cameron again for "Aliens" (James Cameron, 1986) as Hudson, a marine who starts off cocky, then falls apart and subsequently redeems himself in the face of the xenomorph threat. Then, in one of his most wickedly sinister roles ever, he plays the sadistic vampire Severen in "Near Dark" (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987). If you missed this one in favor of "The Lost Boys," you did yourself a disservice. He keeps up his horror sequel habit in "Predator 2" (Stephen Hopkins, 1990) as Jerry Lambert, a smart mouth detective. In "Brain Dead" (Adam Simon, 1990), he stars as Jim Reston, a school friend of a doctor whose recent techniques in neurosurgery might help recover the mind of a mentally ill mathematician. He stars as a doormat roommate in over his head in the campy horror anthology "Future Shock" (Eric Parkinson/Matt Reeves/Oley Sassone, 1994). Then, in his magnum opus "Frailty" (Bill Paxton, 2001), he directs and stars as Dad Mieks, a religious zealot single father who encourages his sons to join him in increasingly severe measures against sin. This movie is incredibly smart and suspenseful, keeping you guessing about every character until the end. In a cheeky comedic turn as Coconut Pete in "Club Dread" (Jay Chandrasekhar, 2004), he plays a washed up folk singer whose swinger island resort turns deadly.
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