7 Embarrassing Special FX Famous Actors Wish You'd Forget
Most actors don't shoot straight to the top. Some pay their dues in goofy commercials, some in melodramatic soap operas, and others through ridiculous B-movies. And there's absolutely no glitz or glamour in any of it, as evidenced by all the weird crap these now-famous actors had to subject themselves to in order to help make largely forgotten movies that teenagers half-watched while making out in the back of movie theaters.
Michelle Williams Gets A Bad Case Of Tentacle Face
Before Michelle Williams was raking in Oscar, Golden Globe, and Tony nominations, and even before she was helping Dawson explore his creek, she appeared in Species, a 1995 sci-fi movie about a very horny alien. Williams plays the younger version of Sil, a powerful, rapidly maturing human-alien hybrid that some scientists create with less precaution than they'd take to make lasagna. Shockingly, Sil turns violent and escapes, leading to Williams hopping on a train and discovering that she's as much alien as she is future star of Brokeback Mountain. First she notices something wriggling around under her hands ...
... then she sees it in her face ...
... and then a bunch of very rudimentary CGI tentacles burst out of her like she was bitten by a radioactive H.R. Giger.
After the puberty metaphor, Sil soon evolves into a murderous Natasha Henstridge and embraces her fate as the star of a schlocky '90s flick about the horrors of casual sex. Just be sure to remember all those tendrils shooting out of Williams' skull the next time you see her acclaiming it up in an indie drama.
An Unconvincing Alien Rips Off Bryan Cranston's Head
Bryan Cranston, whose most famous role to date is undeniably the dad from Malcolm In The Middle, made one of his first appearances in Dead Space. No, not the video game, the 1991 science fiction movie with the world's most generic poster.
Cranston plays the generic Dr. Frank Darden, who's working at a research station on a planet that is very clearly not the one pictured on the poster.
A sleazy Alien knockoff / remake of the sleazy Alien knockoff Forbidden World ensues. Cranston gets some sort of space virus and speculates that he can use his tainted blood to stop the alien, but he gets knocked unconscious while the ostensible hero of the movie, Marc Singer, tries to fight the alien with an office chair.
When that somehow fails, he picks up Cranston in what we think is supposed to be an attempt at heroism, but instead makes it look like Singer is using him as a human shield. The alien promptly rips Cranston's head off, in a death scene less convincing than the earliest Mortal Kombat fatalities.
It's a dumb, bad movie, but Cranston provides its best performance. And it's that kind of commitment to his craft which helped ensure that many years later, he would go on to play a very different kind of man of science ... Dr. Tim Whatley on Seinfeld.
A-List Celebrities Get Creepy Makeovers For An '80s Children's Show
Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre featured live-action portrayals of popular fairy tales, or "faerie tales" if you're feeling nasty. It was hosted by an actress whose name we can't remember, and featured a variety of big-name celebrity guests, like Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, and Helen Mirren, all playing to little children who almost certainly didn't recognize or care about them. Although in retrospect, what child of the '80s wasn't obsessed with Burgess Meredith?
The show was charming enough, but its community theater vibes meant that some of our generation's most famous actors were thrown into costumes that look like they were assembled out of garage sale pickings. Here's Jeff Goldblum as a wolf that's neither big nor bad, because it's difficult to be intimidated by a homeless furry:
James Earl Jones played Aladdin's Genie pal, possibly in the midst of a bout of alcoholism:
And for The Nightingale, the emperor of China was played by noted Chinese-American actor Mick Jagger.
Look, it was the '80s. Let's just be thankful he didn't try to do a wacky accent.
Patrick Stewart Gives Birth To A Blood Monster
By 1985, Patrick Stewart was starting to garner acclaim in Britain, but he hadn't yet received his big break and was virtually unknown in America. His role in Lifeforce did not change any of that, although it probably made a decent contribution to his monthly bills.
Lifeforce, aside from offering proof that Stewart has perpetually looked 65, is about a trio of psychic space vampires going on a rampage through London. To give you a sense of what kind of movie this is, the greatest weakness of the attractive young lady vampire appears to be clothing.
Anyway, Stewart plays the incredibly Patrick Stewart-y character Dr. Armstrong, but one thing soon leads to another and the lady vampire's spirit occupies his body.
A sedated Stewart is then transported on a helicopter, where the vampire decides to make her exit with extreme prejudice.
Stewart's blood eventually forms into the vampire's body ...
... but she screams and collapses into a pile of goo, which somehow allows her to go off and do villainous things elsewhere. Because this movie is extremely British, that whole event is barely acknowledged by our heroes. But we recognize your weird, bloody sacrifice, Patrick Stewart. We recognize it.
Mark Hamill Turns Into A Cockroach Monster
Mark Hamill may have achieved cinematic immortality through his iconic role of Larry Space Guy, but his post-Star Fights career had a few rough spots in it. And perhaps the lowest point was 1991's manga adaptation The Guyver (not to be confused with another classic manga adaptation, MacGyver), and not only because he had to wear a ridiculous mustache.
Hamill plays a CIA agent named Max Reed, because they stopped writing this movie after the first draft. He stumbles upon a conspiracy involving a shadowy corporation and a mysterious alien device, and the movie's poster heavily implies that he will develop cool superpowers.
Instead, the more obscure Jack Armstrong gets the magic alien crime-fighting mutation, while poor Hamill is subjected to mad science experiments. They don't go well for him.
Hamill gets in a couple of lines encouraging our hero to persevere and save the day, and then he dies. No wonder he decided to move into voice acting.
Jon Stewart Vomits Up A Slug, Takes A Syringe To The Eye
Before Jon Stewart began hosting The Daily Show to provide half your Facebook friends with endless clips to post in lieu of forming their own opinions, he was enjoying a fine but unremarkable acting and writing career. And as part of the "take what you can get" phase of his life, he wields precisely none of his comedic talent in 1998's The Faculty, about aliens attempting to conquer the planet by, uh, possessing the bodies of teachers at a random Ohio high school. It's kind of a slow-burn conquest.
Stewart plays a science teacher, and he has a rough time. First he's bitten by a mysterious creature discovered by a young Elijah Wood, and then Wood accuses him of being possessed by an alien. Instead of saying that sounds moronic and assigning Wood remedial homework, he immediately admits it and attacks half a dozen students with his newfound super strength. The fight leads to his fingers getting cut off with a paper cutter, which cause tendrils to come out of the stumps.
Then he starts barfing up an alien slug, as you do ...
... but he's interrupted by taking a syringe to the eye.
He's initially able to shrug the syringe off, because alien ...
... but then he drops dead, because the syringe contained a drug that one student was manufacturing and, conveniently, it happens to be lethal to the space monsters.
The lesson is clear: Do drugs, kids. Make them, too. The only consequences are good ones! Hell, once the invasion is stopped, it's revealed that a now-uninfected Stewart is doing fine, though without a couple of body parts.
He then goes on to win dozens of Emmys.
On Smallville, Amy Adams Has The Incredible Power Of Being Hungry
Long before Amy Adams was slumming her way through the DCEU as Lois Lane, she was slumming her way through Smallville as villain of the week Jodi Melville, a weight-conscious student who is introduced as being hideously obese by TV standards.
Jodi starts sucking down veggie-filled nutrient shakes in an attempt to diet, but unbeknownst to her, the vegetables have been infected with Kryptonite. So while she loses tons of weight, she also gains a nearly uncontrollable hunger, the ability to suck fat from people, and a jaw that unhinges like a circa-2001 CGI snake's.
At one point she hits a deer and gets out of her car to devour it, in a scene she infamously recreated in The Muppets.
She later attacks a student when her hunger grows out of control, but Clark Kent intervenes. She then almost kills a weakened Kent, but upon seeing her reflection on a shovel, decides that she's too hideous to live and tries to off herself instead. Kent saves her and dumps her at the hospital, where she's never heard from again. The Smallville wiki helpfully notes that "Jodi's powers reflect her desire to become thin." This was considered a good television show.
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