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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Revisiting Ron Perlman’s 10 Most Memorable Horror Movies Ahead of ‘This Game’s Called Murder’

Ron Perlman is hard to forget. As soon as his face appears on screen, you immediately recall where you’ve seen him before. And more likely than not, you’re remembering Perlman from a genre movie. He’s accumulated handfuls of them over the last forty years.

Although Perlman has appeared in just about every category of film and television, the veteran actor feels undeniably at home in horror. Not every actor can play either the hero or the villain with the same amount of ease and talent.

So, in anticipation of This Game’s Called Murder’s release in theaters and on VOD on December 3, 2021, via Cranked Up Films, we look back at ten of the most memorable horror movies starring the one and only Ron Perlman. 

Don’t forget! You can also participate in Bloody Disgusting’s Twitter Watch Party of the film this Friday.

Cronos (1993)

Early into his film career, Perlman was cast in Guillermo del Toro’s Cronos. del Toro’s debut feature follows what happens when an alchemist’s device, a mystical scarab, is rediscovered by an antique dealer. The object restores the character’s youth at a cost; he now craves blood. Meanwhile, Perlman plays Ángel de la Guardia, the violent nephew of a dying businessman who wants the scarab for himself. Critics have championed Cronos since the beginning, and today it’s considered to be one of the most unique vampire movies.

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

Many people deem The Island of Dr. Moreau to be the most chaotic film shoot ever. And based on the stories told in the frank documentary Lost Soul, they might be right. Everything seemed to fall apart after Richard Stanley’s departure and all the subsequent conflicts on set. However, not everyone feels this adaptation was a total disaster. The movie has found its admirers after all these years. As for Perlman, he plays a goatman called the Sayer of the Law.

Alien Resurrection (1997)

Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder are the leads in Alien Resurrection, but Perlman is a scene-stealer. In the third sequel of the popular sci-fi/horror franchise, Perlman plays the most loathsome Betty crewmember, Ron Johner. He butts heads with everyone, including Ripley in that famous basketball scene that he apparently almost ruined. Filming Resurrection wasn’t exactly easy for the actor either; he nearly drowned in one scene. In recent years, though, some people have come to appreciate the movie’s campiness as well as Perlman’s charismatic performance.

Primal Force (1999)

Suffice it so say, there aren’t a lot of horror movies about killer primates. There are even less about mutated ones. In the obscure 1999 horror-actioner Primal Force, Perlman takes on a heroic role without having to hide his face behind makeup and prosthetics. He and several other characters are stranded on an island with genetically modified baboons. Perlman’s assertive character Frank Brodie does whatever it takes so his companions can escape. Primal Force is a routine creature feature for sure, but Perlman makes it more enjoyable.

Down (2001)

Even though Perlman doesn’t have a huge role in the English-language remake of Dick Maas’ classic Nether-horror, The Lift, he’s hard to miss in this prime B-movie. In Down (also known as The Shaft), people are disappearing in a New York skyscraper all thanks to a malevolent elevator. Yes, you read that right. External forces as well as bad science are to blame for what comes next in this bizarre techno-horror starring Naomi Watts prior to her breakout role in The Ring. Perlman plays the strict yet somewhat feeling boss of the main character.

Desperation (2006)

A Stephen King adaptation that doesn’t get talked about too often is Desperation. Mick Garris directed this made-for-television movie while King wrote the screenplay. The telefilm which brings Garris and Perlman together again after Sleepwalkers — didn’t fare too well when it first aired due to its unfortunate timeslot; it ran against American Idol. In spite of lukewarm reviews, many agree the bright spot in Desperation is Perlman’s portrayal of the sinister sheriff, Collie Entragian.

The Last Winter (2006)

Larry Fessenden’s fascination with Wendigos endures in his eco-horror movie, The Last Winter. This 2006 slow burn stars Perlman as Ed Pollack, the head of an isolated ANWR drilling base. When strange and terrible things happen to them, Ed and his peers are left to wonder if this is the work of something supernatural. Have angry spirits been released and are they now targeting anyone who means the area harm? The Last Winter is one of Perlman’s more somber horror movies, which is rife with atmosphere and cosmic dread. On top of that is a transparent message about global warming.

I Sell the Dead (2008)

Perlman stars alongside Larry Fessenden and Dominic Monaghan in Glenn McQuaid’s I Sell the Dead. The 2008 movie is a reunion for the director and actor; Perlman appeared in The Last Winter while McQuaid worked behind the scenes. This low-budget horror-comedy is set during 1850s Ireland — yet filmed on Staten Island — and concerns a pair of foolish corpse snatchers. Told through flashbacks, Monaghan shares his story with the peculiar Father Francis Duffy (Perlman). Fans of gallows humor might appreciate this hidden gem.

13 Sins (2013)

Daniel Stamm’s 13 Sins is an English-language remake of a lesser known Thai movie called 13: Game of Death. As with the original, the remake sees a desperate man participating in a series of underground games in exchange for money. All he has to do is complete weird and oftentimes dangerous tasks. Perlman plays a detective investigating crimes related to these unsettling games. This capable thriller visits some dark places while also tossing in occasional bits of humor.

Poker Night (2014)

Greg Francis’ Poker Night is just waiting to find a bigger audience. When a rookie detective is held captive by a masked killer, he recalls advice from the seasoned detectives he played poker with. Using these strategies, he goes head to head with his equally clever captor (Michael Eklund). Perlman plays one of the detectives whose guidance proves to be invaluable to the rookie. Poker Night is told in a non-linear style, so be sure to pay extra close attention when watching this crime-horror curio.

Look for This Game’s Called Murder in theaters and on VOD on December 3, 2021. On Friday, Bloody Disgusting is hosting a Twitter Watch Party. Join us!


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