From Beyond was released 35 years ago (yesterday), and it got me to thinking about the star of that movie. No, not Jeffrey Coombs – though he’s fantastic in it as well – but Barbara Crampton. As and actress and producer she’s been working regularly since her breakthrough role in another Stuart Gordon film (the peerless Re-Animator), but I feel like she’s never quite gotten her due. From Beyond proved that she was more than capable of carrying a film – her turn as Dr. Katherine McMichaels could have been a straightforward villain or damsel in distress or femme fatale. Instead, she’s all three AND a capable professional and protagonist. (If a little too ambitious.)
Since then I’ve seen Barbara Crampton pop up in TV and film (and video games) and I’ve always been happy to see her. However, it wasn’t until last decade or so – starting with a supporting role in You’re Next – that she seemed to really seemed to begin getting bigger roles and recognition. Seeing her in We Are Still Here with Larry Fessenden really made me realize just how good she is as an actress. This year seems to be a standout for her, with the release of Jakob’s Wife (where she also served as Producer), an appearance in Shudder’s Creepshow series and a supporting role in Superhost. She’s also writing a column for Fangoria.
It seems like the former Scream Queen is finally getting her due. And I couldn’t be happier.
What about you? What’s your favorite Barbara Crampton role? Re-Animator? Road Games? Space Truckers?