Back When B-Movies Were An Option....
On Tuesday I commented via the Twitter that were it 25 years ago, Lindsay Lohan would have already starred in a women-in-prison movie by now. Back then former A-Listers whose careers were clearly set on self-destruct didn’t spend their days being constantly monitored by celebrity websites, they made the transition to B-Movies! And, oh, what a wonderful time it was!
Thus inspired, I thought it would be fun to look at the kind of films she might have once made, when the option still existed.
Texas Lightning (1981)
It turns out that if you lived in Hollywood and had a decent coke connection, there was a very good chance you could get a BJ from The Brady Bunch’s own “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” Suffice it to say, there was a significant time in Maureen McCormick’s life where her career was not her main priority. This explains Texas Lightning, a redneck coming-of-age fiasco written and directed by legendary B-Movie cameraman Gary Graver.
Savage Streets (1984)
Truth is, I could probably just make this a list of Linda Blair movies and save myself the effort. Like Lohan she was a former child star whose career in the majors was stalled by a criminal conviction (specifically, conspiracy to sell drugs, although it seems to have been more a matter of her being in the wrong place at the exact wrong time), and further crippled by her decision to pose nude for Playboy’s less-reputable cousin, Oui. Still a bankable name because of The Exorcist, she went on to become one of the reigning queens of 80s B-Movies. Her defining role from the period was that of Brenda, a tough New York girl who refuses to take the rape of her deaf sister and the murder of her friend lying down. Grabbing a crossbow, she goes after the hoods who hurt those she loved and makes them pay. She makes them pay hard.
Certain Fury (1985)
A truly talented young actress, Tatum O’Neal’s career was derailed by the fact that Ryan O’Neal was her father and it takes a shitload of drugs to get over that kind of crap. No, seriously, if you’ve read even a little bit of inside stuff on the guy it’s pretty hard not to conclude that he’s one major league scumbag. That said, I do love him in Zero Effect. Anyhoo, four years after starring with Richard Burton in one of the creepiest January/December romance pics ever made, she made her B-Movie debut in a film directed by Stephen “Jake and Maggie’s Dad” Gyllenhaal. Co-starring Irene Cara, Certain Fury is essentially The Defiant Ones with chicks in the big bad city, which is admittedly a concept just dying for a remake.
Poison Ivy (1992)
Am I the only person who remembers how fucked up Drew Barrymore used to be? Christ, she played herself in a TV movie about how messed up her childhood was! Beat that Lindsay! Ironically, her B-Movie debut in this overheated low-rent “erotic” melodrama actually marked the rebirth of her career. Sure there were a few insanely brief marriages and late-show tit flashes to get out of her system, but once they passed she steadfastly crafted one of the more admirable of Hollywood careers, proving that it is possible to hit rock bottom and rise back up to the top.
Embrace of the Vampire (1995)
Alyssa Milano’s B-Movie escapades (which included a spin in the Poison Ivy franchise mentioned above) appeared to be made less out of frantic desperation, as they were the clumsy results of Milano trying to transcend her status as Tony Danza’s TV daughter into becoming Hollywood’s top choice slut. How else do you explain the softcore fangfest Embrace of the Vampire, a film more notorious today as a result of Milano’s litigious attempts to erase all photographic evidence of it from the Internet than anything in it (besides her boobies, natch). She might have made good on this career trajectory, if it were not for Aaron Spelling and a little TV show called Charmed, which ran for so long people forgot about her implants and B-Movie past. Unfortunately for Lindsay, Mr. Spelling is no longer around to once again perform such a miracle.