Friday, November 4, 2011

Do They Owe Us or Do We Owe Them

from: Terror Dave's
For the past handful of years I have noticed on some message boards have called out some of the Friday The 13th alumni for distancing themselves from the franchise. You know, I am a huge fan and I wouldn't love anything more than some of the elusive actors in the franchise to come out and enjoy the franchise's fame. However, there are still some of them who to this day want absolutely nothing to do with it at all.

I have been autograph collecting for some years now and slowed down tremendously because I pretty much have everyone I want, and the ones I still want either are deceased or simply won't sign. Some of those who would not sign are now embracing the fans and starting to sign; Carol Locatell, John Shepherd and Gloria Charles to name a few. I think that is awesome because people like Carol Locatell gave such an amazing performance in her role that she really deserves to hear what fans have to say to her about it.

I remember how people used to talk down about Ted White because he was basically M.I.A. and made no appearances and rarely signed through the mail. Now there are a handful of people who are the same way and well, it's their own opinion and they are entitled to it. Sorry, just because you do a movie it doesn't mean you are in debt to it for the rest of your life. If someone did a horror movie and later realizes they are against horror movies and want to further themselves from it then more power to them. It has nothing to do with "being too good" or "having something better to do" it's personal opinion. I used to slaughter hogs for a living and realized I was totally against it. Hell, that doesn't mean since I worked on a farm that I am forever obligated to answer to it. How would you feel if you put in a year at Piggly Wiggly (that's a grocery store, BTW) and many years later they sent a letter to you asking you to come back and mop up aisle 10? You'd probably get a little annoyed.

They did the movie because it was their job and they needed work, not because 30 years later they thought that someone would be talking down to them over a movie they shot for a peanut wage 30 years prior. Besides that, what makes you think that they are NOT doing something more important like raising a family, working a 40 hour job, owning a business, directing, writing, managing a casino, shooting video for Hell's Kitchen, building houses, running a church, running a non-profit organization or something else that these ex-cast members are indeed doing?

It's not like these people shoot a movie for $2500 and 30 years later they are sitting on their sofa still living off of that $2500 and their 25 cents a year residual waiting for their next horror fan to invite them to a convention or email them with a question- these people have LIVES.

Like in the late Laurie Bertram's case, she did Part 1 for peanuts, went on with her life and became a born-again Christian and distanced herself from the movie. MORE POWER TO HER! I remember people talking down to her on the other board because she refused to do anything with the movie- MORE POWER TO HER! Who are we to question her ideals? Yes, I would have loved to have met her at a convention before her passing, but you can not fault her for not being into it all.

At any rate Jennifer Cooke was not so nice to me when I contacted her through Celestial Seasonings. She wrote a letter back demanding that I tell her where I got her contact info and if it's listed on any website. She did not sign the letter or the pics I sent... I wrote her back and told her to drink some of her crappy tea and calm down. But, in hindsight I don't blame her. It's really rude to contact people at their place of business or even at their home. Look what happened to Adrienne King with a psycho fan. You can hardly blame her frustration- hell, I hate when people call me at work and bother me when they have my cell number.

I have had a lot of great successes with the Friday The 13th alumni- David Wiley, David Katims, Harry Crosby, Tim Mirkovich, William Butler and so on. I have also had a lot of bad experiences, for instance, I wrote David Kagen once and he signed a photo and returned it. A few months later I sent a Japanese press book and some press photos for him to sign. Of course I always ask the people to return them if they do not want to sign them and he did just that-- returned them with no signature with a "no thanks" written on the letter. Bummer.

What I am trying to get at here is that we all wish we could meet our favorite horror celebrities, but for the ones who want to be left alone and distance themselves from the franchise- sometimes a job they worked for a month three decades ago- you have to respect that. They owe us nothing more than what they have already given us and that's (in some cases) 30 years of entertainment.


  1. Great post. I have to say that we're lucky that MOST of the relevant characters in the series, or most of the major horror film stars in general, do sign without hesitation (many after you've given them $20).

    In the cases of Laurie Bartram and Jennifer Cooke, two women I would have loved if they had been a little more genial towards their fans (we're FANS after all, for Chrissakes), it's true that the example of these two doing their own thing is splendid, for them of course. Laurie Bartram, especially, was I think the most beautiful actress to grace the series. It sucks that's she's gone and that we'll never get to meet her, but certainly for her it was probably just something in her life she had done before she found her "direction." In Crystal Lake Memories, Jennifer Cooke's few comments about the film are pretty much cold, direct and to the point. "They told me to scream, I screamed," type of stuff. I wonder if fans of V have ever also encountered her bitchiness towards her former career. Oh well. It's funny she actually wrote you back without signing! Geez

  2. Did Jennifer return the photos you sent her? If she is reading this: I love the Celestial Seasonings teas!

    I respect others' privacy, and I want them to respect mine.