While I was researching and working on the post right below this one about the creature from REC, I started to wonder who it was behind the makeup/costumes of other frighteningly thin horror characters. The sloth victim from Seven. Dr. Satan from House of 1000 Corpses. Zelda from Pet Sematary. Who inhabited the bodies of these terrifying roles? Wonder no more!
Seven - sloth victim - Michael Reid MacKay
The scene with the skeletal emaciated dude tied to the bed in Seven is without a doubt one of the scariest and most memorable parts of the entire film. I'm sure you don't need a refresher, but i'm gonna give ya one anyway.
Tell me you didn't jump outta your goddamn seat the first time you saw that! Go ahead, try and fool me! You may find it hard to believe, but that is the same guy as this :
Michael Reid MacKay is a 55 year old actor who has appeared in Batman & Robin, Sleepwalkers, and he even portrayed the mummy in cult classic The Monster Squad. It's almost amazing to even believe that the sloth victim was a real human as it looks like a mechanical prop of some kind. It's truly amazing what a little movie magic can do, isnt it?
House of 1000 Corpses - Dr. Satan - Walter Phelan
In addition to portraying Dr. Satan in both House and Devil's Rejects (deleted scene), Phelan played monsters in From Dusk Till Dawn and Wishmaster and has also appeared in two Masters of Horror episodes and an episode of The X-Files, as an alien. Phelan's scene in Devils Rejects was only cut from the film because Zombie felt the movie was more realistic then House and therefore Dr. Satan didn't fit into the overall finished product. Love your work Mr. Phelan, but I think Rob was right on this one. While a cool scene, it would've felt so out of place.
For those who don't own the dvd and have not yet seen the deleted scene in question, i've done you the favor of uploading it. As you can see, i'm using Google Video instead of YouTube. The latter gave me a two week ban for posting a clip from a Saw film that I guess broke copyright rules? Funny thing is, i've had the video up for about 4 months and I just now got targeted for it. Fuckin bastards. I'll probably stick with Google Video from now on. Anyway, on to the deleted scene! Yes, that's Rosario Dawson.
Pet Sematary - Zelda - Andrew Hubatsek
Is it just me or does Zelda, the spinal meningitis ridden sister of Rachel, send chills up your spine too? I've long considered her one of the scariest film characters in history and in fact, the creature in REC is the first thing to give me those same chills I felt the first time I laid eyes on Zelda. Not that subsequent viewings are any less bone chilling.
Once again, much like REC, the hideous female is portrayed by a man, stage actor Andrew Hubatsek. I searched for a good 20 minutes, but I was not able to come up with a single picture of Andy as Andy looks to friends and family. All I know is that he was chosen for the role of Zelda because they could not find a female thin enough for the part and he is currently an associate ensemble member of Bloomsburg Theatre. He is a teacher in addition to acting and directing plays. His only other film role was in the Jamie Lee Curtis action film Blue Steel, one year after Pet Sematary, where he played a cashier. If anyone happens to own that film and can pull a screen grab of him from it, it would be greatly appreciated.
So it seems like whenever a really thin creature is needed for a horror film, male or female, an ultra skinny dude is hired for the part. I'm sure anorexic looking females are in fact easier to come by then those of males, but if I was a bettin man i'd bet that studios refuse to use them for fear of being accused of exploiting someone with an eating disorder. A too thin male is one thing, but if people saw a female in the same state, they'd probably raise a fuss over it. At least that's the way I see it. It's also clear that any actor with the anorexic look is pretty much gonna be typecast as horror villains and creeps. This is the reason why none of these faces probably look familiar to you even though they've been in some of your favorite films or television shows.
Regardless, there's no question that skeletal looking mutants have made for some of the most terrifying things in all of the horror world. It's a surefire way to produce scares and make the audience grip their chairs till their knuckles turn white. I hope you're now a happier person knowing the backstorys behind these monsters. And if putting a human face to your deepest darkest fears made you any less scared of them, I truly apologize. The last thing I want is for you to get a good nights sleep.