Dee Wallace is and always has been an angel. She’s a gift from the heavens and we’d have a little less remarkable entertainment in our lives if this amazing woman had opted to travel a different career path. In her earlier day’s she embodied the ideal “girl next door” and in her current phase in life she has that noble beauty that commands respect and admiration alike. The fact that she’s an amazing performer who has done some amazing things for our genre is something that deserves acknowledgment. The world wouldn’t be the same without Dee Wallace, and we want her to know how much we appreciate her, her natural beauty and her dedication to her craft.
Here’s lookin’ at you, Dee! And here’s a look at our favorite Dee Wallace roles, while we’re at it!
The Hills Have Eyes
Brutal and unforgiving, tirelessly savage, The Hills Have Eyes aligns a series of villains who show no mercy. Especially not to Dee’s character, who doesn’t have the best of times after running into mutant cannibals in the desert. But hey, the performance is pure power and the film is honest, gritty greatness from one of the finest filmmakers the genre has seen!
The Howling, one of the greatest werewolf films in existence, is great, in large part, because of Wallace’s razor-sharp performance. The emotional gamut her character runs is unreal, but by God she pulls it off in masterful fashion and leaves us all stunned. The final moments of the film alone prove that there’s nothing Dee can’t successfully pull off in front of the cameras.
The ultimate tale of survival, Cujo is as heartbreaking as it is terrifying. It’s hard to imagine waking up everyday and knowing you were going to spend the day (and part of the night) trapped in a pinto while the coastal chill settles in the bones. The filming conditions alone make Dee’s performance particularly impressive, throw in every other wrinkle in this complex tale and all that can really be said is, “wow.”
Dee’s work in Critters is often outshined, but that’s only because the titular beasts themselves are so outrageous it’s hard to get a grasp on the insanity that you’re watching. Just the same, Wallace brings a great protective quality to the film, and she’s clearly touch enough to tangle with those… critters.
Dee Wallace plays the mother with a brass pair in a lot of flicks, but they’re not all as fun or humorous as Popcorn, an off-beat slasher that arrived in the darkest days of the slasher. By 1991 the formula had flatlined, but somehow, Dee Wallace still brings a dedication to the role that has to be respected.
One of the roles that allowed Wallace to be something entirely unique to every character she’s played, The Frighteners was an amazing film with amazing characters. Peter Jackson went to great lengths to ensure we invest in the characters, and we totally and completely invest in the not-quite-right-upstairs Patricia Ann Bradley, who loves to get down with serial killers.
Here’s my complaint, in regard to Abominable in particular: Dee Wallace isn’t utilized the way she could and should have been. The film itself is extremely underrated and loaded with tension, and while Matt McCoy does an amazing job with his character and the built-in tension, I just wish we had a little more Dee in the mix. All the same, I’m a big fan of this film, and I wish more would take notice. We don’t get too many entertaining Bigfoot films.
The House of the Devil
Like Abominable, Dee Wallace’s screen time in Ti West’s super creepy babysitting-gone-awry flick. The entire picture is one massive nod to the ‘80s, and that’s appreciated. Wallace portrays a landlady who pops into frame a few times, and while she’s in front of the camera she glows. The film would have been perfect had Wallace’s character had a much more relevant role in the grand finale.
Let’s be honest here, Red Christmas is Dee Wallace’s film. This is her vehicle to show that some performers just gain power with time. Red Christmas is finally on the brink of a larger release, so I don’t want to spoil it too much, but I’ll tell you this, if you’re a bad guy in Red Christmas, you don’t want to be standing in Wallace’s path.
The Lords of Salem
Rob Zombie detractors love to chew on The Lords of Salem, but for my buck it’s one of Zombie’s finest films. The autumnal color scheme, the frequent radio station setting… the creepy women who live in Heidi’s (Sheri Moon Zombie) apartment complex. It all makes for a slick viewing experience, and Dee Wallace brings the creepy in flawless fashion, receiving some empowering support from a few of her genre-friendly peers.