Updated: Mar 6
The Academy Awards are less than a week away, and for all the talk of change and inclusion for the Oscars, there is one issue that may never be corrected. The ongoing and inexcusable exclusion of an entire genre of cinema.
Feeling left out on Oscar night is nothing new for horror fans. Horror is rebellious. Horror is the punk rock of the cinema world. We don't need approval from the suits in order to enjoy the genre. However, where the decades of exclusion truly hurt is in the lack of recognition for the great artistry that goes into creating the films that we love. The great special effects masters, actors, directors, writers, and composers who have had their amazing contributions to the world of cinema ignored and uncelebrated is ridiculous. Enough is enough.
We can't change everything with an article, but we can speak up for the films and the performances that should have been celebrated from the beginning.
The Horror Oscar Takeover is a series of articles breaking down a history ignorance from the Academy Awards.
In this first volume, staff writer and filmmaker, Jarrod Yerkes, offers a list of "Best Supporting" Actors who should have been recognized by the Academy.
Ted Levine in Silence of the Lambs Okay, we know Sir Anthony Hopkins crushed it as the infamous Hannibal Lector but how about Levine’s disturbing performance as the serial killer, Buffalo Bill? When people hear, "Goodbye Horses," who do they think of? Okay, maybe Jay and Silent Bob, but no. MOST people would say Buffalo Bill dancing in the mirror. To take on a role like this, it’s got to take full commitment and guts. I think what makes the character of Buffalo Bill so effective is that he feels so real. He is a mixture of so many real life boogeymen and Levine really dug deep, completely disappearing and emerging as this force of nature. I’ve always been a huge fan of Ted Levine, an accomplished character actor that you probably would recognize quickly from so many well known films. An actor like him is the unsung hero of films like this one.
Brad Dourif in The Exorcist III I’ve always been a huge Brad Dourif fan...
He has never given a bad performance. Ever.
He gives it his all, every single time.
In The Exorcist III, he plays the Gemini Killer. Originally, there were multiple layers to the character where he had also claimed to be the spirit of Father Karras from the original film. The studio didn’t like that one bit! A lot of his scenes were cut down dramatically, and were simplified. Years later, we were able to get the deleted scenes back, and I highly recommend them if you haven’t seen it. Regardless of what the studio did, Dourif kills it, and makes every second count. You can't deny the compelling scenes between Dourif and George C. Scott. The monologue in The Exorcist III alone are samples that should be given to aspiring actors, and Dourif steals the show in this underrated sequel.
Marcia Gay Harden in The Mist I don’t know about you, but I never hated a character more than Harden’s commanding and vile role as the devout religious fanatic, Mrs. Carmody. While the creatures stalk the group from the outside, she shifts the community’s paranoia and utter desperation into full blown fear. Convinced this is all God’s plan, she leads a “congregation” of her own which is arguably more terrifying than the monsters outside. Harden’s chilling performance stands out as the true horror of the film and represents how one (and many have in real life) have taken advantage of fear, and led the blind into complete conformity.
Bill Mosley in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 For any actor, it would be a near impossible task to compete with the legendary, Leatherface. But Chop Top has become iconic in his own right, and that’s ALL Bill Mosley’s doing. Not to mention... you get fucking Dennis Hopper in the movie, too! Chop Top’s backstory is a tragic one... that is... if you believe him.
Picking up from the themes of the original film, Chop Top is a victim of the horror and military experimentation of Vietnam. He’s a reflection of that era and what results in a wild and darkly comedic performance. Balancing comedy with horror is always tough, but Chop Top is a perfect example of walking that fine line without tripping over. On paper, this character may have come out just plain disturbing, but the comedic moments Mosely gives us make this character iconic and very quotable to this day. He steals the show, and is one of the most beloved characters in horror history.
Billie Whitelaw in The Omen Whitelaw’s screentime isn’t huge in Donner’s classic film, but she uses EVERY second to her advantage. Her first introduction in the film already has us on edge. The lack of backstory actually does her character and performance justice... The less we know the better! All we need to know is that she is there to SERVE the Devil and she will do so by committing horrific acts behind a wicked smile... How metal is that?! Whitelaw doesn’t even have a ton of lines in the film, but she does so much with her eyes that it really builds this sinister tone throughout. Believe it or not, her character creeped me out far more than anything in this VERY scary film... and it was all for you, Damien!
Sadly the list of Best Supporting Actors who could have been recognized but weren't is a long one. This list is only the tip of the iceberg so feel free to message us with your comments and picks.