David Bowie was a true creative soul whose life and art touched almost every aspect of pop culture. Most know him as a masterful musician and show-stopping performer on stage, but he was also a wonderfully weird and very talented actor who brought his own eccentricities to the genre of horror. The artistic flair that he brought to his music infused his film roles with certain unique quality – when he steps on screen, you can’t help but be captivated, and you know you’re in for a treat. Here are some of the horror films that owe much of their success to the genius that was, and forever will be, David Bowie.
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
David Bowie was perfect in this film, which was as much a celebration of art as it was a science fiction movie. Visually stunning, The Man Who Fell to Earth saw David Bowie make his acting debut in the role of Thomas Jerome Newton, a humanoid alien who crashed down on Earth. As Thomas looks for a way to send Earth’s water back to his home planet, the audience is given strong, surreal imagery. That, combined with a creative story line, made The Man Who Fell to Earth a Criterion classic.
The Hunger (1983)
The Hunger was a film that seemed tailor-made for David Bowie. After you see it, you won’t be able to think of any other actor who could possibly fill the role of a sexy vampire who also happens to be a cellist. Bowie plays John Blaylock in this film, a musician who suffers through his immortality and a very “it’s complicated” type of love affair. The Hunger is a must-see for anyone who likes a side of erotica with their horror movies.
No, David Bowie didn’t star as an actor in Seven, but he did write and perform “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”, which played during the movie’s closing credits. See the film – which is a gripping, gritty neo-noir psychological thriller featuring the talents of Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey – and you’ll be chilled to your core once the song starts to play. The movie by itself is excellent, but David Bowie’s touch turned it into a cult classic.
Stigmata is another horror film that was elevated to another level by the music of David Bowie. His song, “The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell” first appeared on the 1999 movie’s soundtrack, and was a hit. To say that the song perfectly fits the movie’s very creepy vibe is a vast understatement.
As he was also influential in goth music, it should come as no surprise that David Bowie was a horror actor. These movies, and their music, embody what so many loved about David and his willingness to switch it up as an entertainer. He will always be remembered for pushing the envelope and making audiences ever-so-thankful that he did.
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