Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Tribute To Jamie Lee Curtis

     Indisputably the true and official Scream Queen is Jamie Lee Curtis. Actually I am pretty sure it has been stated so in countless documentaries from various industry people and fans alike so this isn’t anything knew. However since last week I started this new series with Dee Wallace I can’t continue without giving proper respect to the Queen of all Queens of Scream. So this week I will write a retrospective of Jamie Lee Curtis’ massive blood-works  in this global House of Horrors we all call home.

     First off Jamie Lee Curtis is most none and thought of as Laurie Strode. Still even now as she has single handedly convinced me to start eating proactive yogurts I think of her as Michael Myers sister. “Halloween” released in 1978 but I wasn’t allowed to see it then. There were very few films my mom would let me journey to the theater with people as a little kid to watch but horror movies were a flat out know. However she could not stop the televised  airing during one Halloween year when they played it on cable. I fell in love the story then. Halloween was such a happy night for me and to see a boogeyman use that setting to stalk and kill in the name of the darkest evil just blew my mind. It made the holiday scarier which made it far more fun. I think it was that year that “Halloween II” came. Anyway even as a kid who knew I liked boys differently than girls- there was something special about Jamie Lee Curtis.

     After “Halloween” Jamie Lee came back at us with “The Fog”, “Prom Night” and “Terror Train” all in 1980. “The Fog” sees her fighting another kind of Boogeyman. One that hangs thick in the air on damp nights snaking it’s way through the land. Not only is it ominous in and of it’s self but the fog carries with it undead forces set out to punish the wrongs of the towns people for the dark circumstances surrounding its founding. As Elizabeth Solley Jamie Lee found herself once more fighting for survival. “The Fog” still freaks me out to this day. Hell, I find the actual weather event down right demonic.

      The next film didn’t get that much love by a lot of people but I loved it as I do almost all horror that ever comes out. I just fucking love the genre. Anyway back to the blog. “Prom Night” also released that year kept Miss Curtis in the classroom in the slasher flick that surrounded a horrible prank that sends a child falling to his death only to have a killer repay the kids responsible in kind. This film moves more slowly than the previous horror flicks as we wait for that fateful night when High School seniors-and juniors gather around the dance floor blissfully unaware that there is a killer roaming the halls. For me this film brought a darker more sinister evil to Jamie Lee’s nightmare, a playful killer that found joy in seeing his victims die such horrible deaths. Michael had to it was his nature but emotionally numb toward pleasure or care for the scene. His reason was almost an impulsive uncontrollable rage that remained non-expressive. However in this film “Prom Night” , the killer is almost as human as the prey, seeming to relish in taunting and choosing ways to kill the victims.

     “Terror Train” is still a classic horror flick that I enjoy watching. The story has a twisted beginning and the terror on Jamie Lee’s face as Kenny spazzes out over seeing the dead girl in bed then realizing it wasn’t a dummy that was placed there was intense. The kill scenes were gory and inventive. Of coarse there was no big question as too which one of the guys on the train was Kenny but still I enjoyed watching the kill scenes.

     “Road Games” in 1981 had Jamie Lee playing Pamela ‘Hitch’ Rushworth in a film about a serial killer playing games with a truck driver. Another chance for her to fight for survival against a psychotic killer. How the woman sleeps at night is beyond me. I still flash back to car wrecks I had when I was younger that wake me up at night. Couldn’t imagine being chased and torn at by psychotic maniacs even if it is just acting. That is a lot of intense terror to force yourself to feel for the characters sake. Gods bless her for doing it though.

     Then also in 1981 one she brought Laurie Strode to life once more in “Halloween II”. This film lacked some of the energy as the original but the power she had on screen as Laurie was and still is undeniable. There was plenty of kills and the eerie music made the film work. It almost seemed to be the end of her in this film and I for one was thankful she lived to fight Michael another day. Actually a few more times but that is later.

     Then after thirteen years of actively avoiding the genre Jamie Lee dipped a toe back into the dark waters once more in 1994’s “Mother’s Boys”. The film was about a mother who loved her boys but left the family only to return years later willing to do what ever is necessary to get them back. Although not a horror, this film was a thriller that saw Jamie Lee no longer playing victim, instead she became the victimizer. It was a disturbing film that I still watch from time to time.

     Then triumphantly in 1998 Jamie Lee agreed to play Laurie Strode for the third time in “Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later” probably as good as the first film in my eyes. The terror and feel of the original was there and the story was fresh yet kept the strain of consciousness as far as the saga between Laurie and Michael was concerned without butchering the franchise. The kills were epic in this film and gave the story new life.

     After “H2O” there was “Virus” in 1999 that was more of a sci-fi/horror blend and did not go over well but there is some great effects in the movie. Plus Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Sutherland- almost makes this film worth watching. Still I have it and I am prone to popping it in from time to time just to curse the writers and directors for over writing the technical shit into the script and under directing the characters. Love Jamie Lee though!

      In 2001 Laurie Strode lived once more, even if it was a brief existence. Laurie and Michael manage to take each other out and Jamie’s part is finished with the franchise as Michael is resurrected. It was still a good film even if Jamie Lee’s part was minor to the full story of “Halloween: Resurrection”.

Even though it has been over a decade I still hold out hope that Jamie Lee Curtis will once more move back in to the horror genre. Maybe some voodoo practitioner can resurrect Laurie Strode in an effort to drag Michael Myers to Hell once and for all. Either way as far as I am concerned Jamie Lee is the definitive Scream Queen of Horror Royalty and always will remain so.

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