We all remember a little Corey Feldman (Stand by Me) and Corey Haim (The Goonies) in The Lost Boys (1987) or Linda Blair as the possessed little Regan McNeil in The Exorcist (1973). But there are a ton of other Children who have had a prolific and oft times forgotten impact in the Horror Move genre.
With that said, I got to thinking last week, about these tiny heroes or heroines who’s character’s or the child star themselves having been forgotten as time has passed them by.
An example of this being… Did you know that before Corey Feldman was fighting vampire’s as Edgar Frog. Before he even met his legendary partner in the film industry, Corey Haim. That little Corey Feldman took on Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter?
That’s right folks. Before Thom Matthews (Return Of The Living Dead), before John Sheppard (Down Periscope). It was a young Corey Feldman who played the role of Tommy Jarvis taking on Jason Voorhees in the franchise!
With that said I thought that I would share with you, some of those forgotten child stars that would play heroic roles in horror movies, but would eventually head in to obscurity…
The first one on this list that I thought that I would mention is Alex Vincent (My Family Treasure).
It wasn’t until Alex was seven years old and during the tale end of the height of the major Horror boom of the 1980′s, before he got his major break in the horror genre, when he was cast to play the young Andy Barclay in Don Mancini’s Child’s Play (1988).
This role would catapult Vincent’s career with such films as Wait Until Spring Bandini (1989) Just Like In The Movies (1990), and My Family Treasure (1993), as well as reprising his role as Andy Barclay in the sequel to Child’s Play.
Unfortunately he did not reprise his role as Andy Barclay in the second sequel to the highly successful franchise. After this Mr. Vincent did one more movie and then disappeared from the entertainment industry…
I am sorry to see this turn of events. I mean for me, his role as Andy Barclay was what made that series as much as Brad Dourif doing the voice of Chucky. I mean don’t get me wrong, Justin Whalin (with whom I met a few years back), did a great job carrying on the character in the 3rd one. I also think that Katherine Hiegl (Knocked Up) who portrayed Jade in 1998′s Bride of Chucky was also spectacular, and many, many more!
With that said, I am a traditionalist, and so for me, the successive generations of heroes and heroines of Child’s Play albeit good, just did not hold the same intensity as watching Andy and Kyle (Played by Christine Elise) desperately trying to climb through the machinery at the Good Guy factory to escape Chucky in part 2! Or Andy and his Mom (played by: Catherine Hicks) along with help from Detective Mike Norris (Played by: Chris Sarandon) trying to escape from Andy’s doll that is out to get them!
With that said, at this point it does look like we will unfortunately be unable to watch another Alex Vincent classic. But while he was working, his films definitely made an impact in my life!
For more information on Alex Vincent click here. Otherwise feel free to check out the trailer for Child’s Play…
The next one that I thought that I should mention is a tiny starlet who may have the most recognizable face in Director George A. Romero’s dead series. she is the picture that is on the cover of the first of the dead series movies… Night Of The Living Dead (1968). Who is she? She is Kyra Schon… Who is that you might be asking yourself?
Kyra Schon was born to Karl Hardman, who also coincidentally played her father in the movie… The credits to her career may not have been many. But never the less her career as a child star in the horror movie genre maybe one of the most prolific careers ever!
She played Karen Cooper. The daughter of Harry and Helen Cooper. This family had been out at a picnic when the initial Zombie attack began, and while running for their lives, Karen had been attacked, and although she was not dead she was pretty close to it…
When Helen, Harry and Karen make their way to the farmhouse that they would eventually hide in with Ben (Played by: Duane Jones), Barbara (Played by: Judith O’Dea), Tom (Played by: Keith Wayne) and Judy (Judith Ridley). Harry and Helen hide her away and make her comfortable while Tom, Judy, Harry and Helen decide what to do.
Ultimately Karen doesn’t make it, and becomes one of the first children to play a Zombie in horror movie history!
Kyra, if you happen to be reading this, I salute you for having made such a wonderful contribution to the genre and to movie history!
As a side note I thought that I would share with you guys, that I had a chance to be in a stage version of this play, and I gotta say that it was a truly awesome good time!
If you would like some more informati0n on Kyra Schon then click here. Otherwise enjoy this trailer for Night Of The Living Dead:
This one that I am about to mention, everyone will remember from the Halloween remake series as well as others, her name? Her name is Danielle Harris.
Now we all know about Danielle Harris’s role as Annie Brackett in the Halloween remake franchise, but did you know that before Ms. Harris had taken over the role that Nancy Loomis originally had portrayed. Ms Harris played Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4 and 5 of the original series created by John Carpenter.
In Halloween 4 we find that it is 10 years after the night that Michael came home and terrorized the residents of Haddonfield and most notably Laurie Strode (Played by Jamie Lee Curtis in the original series). Laurie is supposedly dead (although Halloween H2O proves that she only faked her death.) Dr. Loomis (Played by: Donald Pleasence in this version) is crippled and severely burned after the final confrontation in Halloween 2 and Michael Myers is in a coma.
Before she faked her death Laurie had a daughter Jamie who has recently been orphaned. Now so close to Halloween Jamie is starting to have nightmares of her evil uncle, which ultimately keeps her up many a night…
Come Halloween though, her foster sister Rachel (Played by Ellie Cornell) who had been pushed in to taking Jamie trick ‘r treating takes Jamie out for a night that neither one of them will ever forget!
During this time Michael is being transported back to Smith’s Grove Warren Sanitarium where he is supposed to be housed till the day he dies. Of course on a dark and stormy night, the two doctors that have been put in charge of making sure that Michael gets back to Smith’s Grove safely blurt out that Michael has one last living relative that lives in Haddonfield. Of course this wakes ole Mikey up…
He kills the transport crew and goes after his niece, cutting a bloody swath through Illinois country!
Now of course Michael didn’t get Jamie, which leads us to part 5, and a year later…
At the end of part 4 Michael is badly wounded, but psychically connected to Jamie now who has been living at a children’s hospital since that night when she attacked her foster mother in the same fashion that Michael attacked his older sister Judith nearly 30 years earlier!
With that said Michael wakes up on Halloween and goes off on another hunt for his niece while again making people in Haddonfield really wish that there was no such thing as Halloween…
Now unfortunately Danielle Harris would be replaced by JC Brandy in Halloween 6. But for me personally I will always remember Ms. Harris’s contributions to the Halloween franchise as Jamie Lloyd. If anything, because seeing her work in that film was the first time I really realized the importance that Children have actually played in the genre!
IF you would like to find out more about Danielle Harris and her body of work then click here. Other wise feel free to enjoy these trailers for Halloween 4 and 5!
The Final one on the list that I wanted to mention is Danny Pintauro (Who’s The Boss?) who portrayed little Tad Trenton in the movie based on the legendary book Cujo.
I haven’t seen much of the work that Mr. Pintauro has done. I saw his work as Jonathan Bower in the TV series Who’s The Boss? But other then that the only thing that I have seen him in is Stephen Kings: Cujo.
Now I had read Cujo many years ago, and I gotta say that the book ends rather anti-climatically, but the movie doesn’t, which was really cool… I won’t tell you much more then that except to say that the book ends in such a way that you wanna say that it ended badly but the grim reality is that it ended off quite nicely!
Anyway, as for the movie, Cujo which was written by Don Carlos Dunaway (Impulse) and Lauren Currier (Sharing the Secret) and Directed by: Lewis Teague (Profiler) and starring Dee Wallace (The Howling) and Daniel Hugh Kelly (Star Trek: Insurrection) with Danny Pintauro.
Cujo tells the story of the Trenton family. A moderately well off family in a Maine Suburb. But like all families this one has a secret. It turns out that Mrs. Donna Trenton (Played by: Wallace) has been having an affair with the local bachelor (Played by: Christopher Stone).
One day Mr. Trenton (Hugh-Kelly) finds out about this and leaves for a trip upset with his wife… The next day, Donna along with Tad (Played by: Pintauro) head up to a farm that they don’t know is deserted and that the only creature their is a gigantic rabid dog. They do this because Donna’s car is in desperate need of repair.
When they get there, they find this out and in fear try to leave. But when the car for whatever reason won’t start, they basically become shit out of luck, and are now waiting for some one to rescue them before either the elements get to them or that big dog named Cujo does!
Ultimately this is a sound movie, and fun read and if you get a chance, I highly recommend checking it out, it is a fun one!
For information on Danny Pintauro click here. Otherwise enjoy this trailer for Cujo!
Ultimately there is a lot more people that I could highly recommend for this article, such as Heather O’Rourke who did a wonderful job in the Poltergeist series, Miko Hughes (Mercury Rising) who does a wonderful job as Heather Langenkamp’s kid in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and Ari Lehman who played the first Jason Voorhees in the original Friday The 13th with Kevin Bacon. But there just happens to not be enough time for it in this article!