Unfortunately, horror films can sometimes be a stage for aspiring singers or reality television stars to try and further their careers. In particular, pop singers have taken a stab at the screaming, bleeding genre. While she is far from a pop singer, Elvira Mistress of The Dark (Cassandra Peterson) has had a semi-successful career with music. The world famous horror hostess has been the lead singer of Italian band I Latins Ochanats and released six CDs of herself singing Halloween classics. Couple those highlights with a performance with 22 time Grammy Award winning rock band U2 and providing guest vocals on a track with Leslie and The LY’s in 2008, and I think it’s safe to say that the hostess with the mostess is definitely multitalented.
Now don’t get me wrong, some singers have done very well during their romps into horror films. Think late R&B princess Aaliyah in Queen of The Damned or Brandy (Norwood) in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Hell, even Jennifer Lopez did well in Anaconda and so did Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland in Freddy vs. Jason. Again, unfortunately, not every pop singer has had the same success. Let’s take this time as a moment to visit the graveyard for pop singers turned aspiring horror actresses and pay respects to the careers that thankfully never happened.
Let’s start with none other than “American Idol.” The reality television giant has produced several singing sensations, but has the show produced any horror stars? Season one, first placer Nikki McKibbin appeared in The Scorned as a lounge singer. What did she do? She sang! So this is ok, but the role was more of a cameo than an actual lead or supporting part. Season three, top 32 placer Ashley Hartman had a decent career when she headed straight from “American Idol” to “The O.C.” Then in 2006 she appeared in Abominable in a supporting role where she was munched on by Bigfoot. After that, her acting career came to an abrupt halt. Ryan Starr, season one’s #7 finisher had a decent career, appearing in “What I Like About You” and “CSI” before landing a lead role in one of David DeCoteau’s homo-erotic horror films, Ring of Darkness. She then headed back to reality television for a bit and was never heard from again.
Then there’s Kimberly Caldwell. Kimberly appeared in season two of American Idol, where she came in sixth place, and then went on to host specials on TV Guide Network. Last year she released her debut album, Without Regret, fueled by the top 30 dance hit Desperate Girls and Stupid Boys. However, horror fans may remember her as the bitch who died first in Wrong Turn 2. This, ladies and gentleman, was a smart move on Ms. Caldwell’s part! Her death was one of the best in the five film franchise and actually showed off her true talents. Kim has since gone back to hosting television shows, but at least she doesn’t have an ugly horror role blemish on her resume.
Speaking of someone who is quite talented…now we turn to someone who is not. Paris Hilton. The “model,” sex tape star, and reality television icon actually started two side careers around the same time. While filming House of Wax, her first big movie role, Paris also began recording her debut album. Both forays into various media outlets were a dud, with her lead in House of Wax being panned by everyone outside of MTV and her album selling less than 200,000 copies to date. Here’s a little unknown fact. Ms. Hilton actually starred in a horror film, 2002’s Nine Lives, before filming House of Wax in 2005. It’s a shame, though. In Nine Lives, Paris died first in an off screen death. If only she suffered a more gruesome fate like in House of Wax when she got a poll through the head…and I mean that literally, not sexually.
Other pop singers have appeared in horror films, but none really worth donating a lot of time too. Christina Vidal, a former Nickelodeon star, was chased around by WWE’s Kane in See No Evil. Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie was viciously ripped to pieces by zombies in the grindhouse feature Planet Terror. Even Britney Spears (played by Nadia Dina Ariqat) is quickly flipped off and ran off a hill by Chucky in Seed of Chucky.
But with Russian pop-rock singer Teona Dolnikova appearing in the indie psychological thriller My Name Is A By Anonymous, and rumors that Danity Kane member turned Playboy model Aubrey O’Day was in talks to be in Piranha 3DD at one point, it seems that the trend of pop stars appearing in horror films is still going strong. My only question is…who will be next? I think it’ll be Paula Abdul playing a lead in a movie called The Career That Refused To Die. Wait, scratch that… Abdul starred in a Lifetime movie called Touched By Evil. See, the graveyard of pop stars’ acting careers killed by horror films can go on forever!