Rock and metal music have always had a special connection with the world of horror, making October a perfect time to explore the eerie synergy between these two worlds. Many renowned rock and metal artists are not only enthusiasts of horror but have also made intriguing appearances in horror films. These chilling encounters allow fans to see their beloved musicians in a whole new light as they step out from behind their instruments and into the world of acting.
Horror aficionado Rob Zombie, who has directed several horror films, and Slash, known for his incredible guitar skills, produced the 2013 movie ‘Nothing Left to Fear.’ However, it’s not just behind-the-scenes work; some rock legends have taken their passion for horror to the next level by appearing in spine-tingling movies. In these films, they’ve explored their acting skills while embracing sinister roles or even facing gruesome ends.
Here are 15 of your favorite artists who dared to venture into the realm of horror on the silver screen:
Ozzy Osbourne in ‘Trick or Treat’ (1986)
In this cult classic horror film, Ozzy Osbourne plays Rev. Aaron Gilstrom, a TV evangelist. The story revolves around a high school student who is a fan of a deceased rock musician named Sammi Curr. Through supernatural means, Sammi’s spirit possesses the student’s radio and starts wreaking havoc, seeking revenge from beyond the grave. Ozzy’s cameo as the evangelist adds a touch of dark humor to the film.
Dee Snider in ‘Strangeland’ (1998)
Dee Snider wrote and starred in this disturbing film as Captain Howdy, a sadistic torturer who lures victims through online chat rooms. Snider’s character is a nightmarish villain who embodies the dangers of the early days of internet anonymity, making his performance memorable and chilling.
Cherie Currie in ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’ (1983)
Cherie Currie, best known as the lead vocalist of The Runaways, appeared in the segment titled “It’s a Good Life” in this anthology film. Directed by Joe Dante, the segment portrays a young boy with god-like powers who controls his town. Currie plays a concerned teacher in this eerie and surreal tale.
Chester Bennington in ‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ (2010)
Chester Bennington, the late lead singer of Linkin Park, had a brief but memorable role in the final installment of the Saw franchise. He portrayed Evan, a skinhead who falls victim to the Jigsaw Killer’s sadistic games. Bennington’s performance showcased his ability to convey fear and desperation effectively.
Henry Rollins in ‘Wrong Turn 2: Dead End’ (2007)
Punk rock icon Henry Rollins played Dale Murphy, a former Marine and host of a reality TV show in this horror sequel. As the film’s protagonist, Rollins displayed his action-hero side, facing off against cannibalistic mutants in a gruesome fight for survival. His intense performance added depth to the character.
Marilyn Manson in ‘Let Me Make You a Martyr’ (2016)
Marilyn Manson took on the role of Pope, a menacing hitman, in this crime thriller with supernatural elements. Manson’s portrayal was dark and brooding, fitting perfectly into the film’s gritty atmosphere. His character’s eerie presence added an unsettling vibe to the movie.
Alice Cooper in ‘Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare’ (1991)
The Godfather of Shock-Rock, Alice Cooper, made a cameo as himself in this Nightmare on Elm Street installment. Cooper’s appearance occurs during a dream sequence, where he portrays Freddy Krueger’s abusive foster father. His unsettling performance was a memorable moment in the film.
Corey Taylor in ‘Fear Clinic’ (2014)
Slipknot’s frontman, Corey Taylor, took on the role of Bauer, a traumatized patient seeking treatment for his phobias in a mysterious clinic. Taylor’s performance was praised for its intensity and vulnerability, showcasing his acting prowess beyond his musical endeavors.
Debbie Harry in ‘Videodrome’ (1983)
Debbie Harry, the lead vocalist of Blondie, starred as Nicki Brand in this David Cronenberg-directed body horror film. She portrayed a radio host who becomes involved in a mind-bending conspiracy involving a mysterious television program. Harry’s performance added a layer of complexity to the film’s exploration of media manipulation and reality distortion.
Sting in ‘The Bride’ (1985)
Sting, the iconic lead singer of The Police, appeared as Baron Charles Frankenstein in this reimagining of Mary Shelley’s classic tale. Sting’s character is a charming but morally ambiguous scientist, adding a unique twist to the familiar Frankenstein story. His performance brought depth to the character and the film.
Gene Simmons in ‘Trick or Treat’ (1986)
Gene Simmons, the iconic bassist and co-lead singer of KISS, played Nuke, a radio DJ in this supernatural horror film. Simmons’ character becomes an unwitting accomplice in the resurrection of a deceased rock star, Sammi Curr. His charismatic yet sinister portrayal added a layer of authenticity to the world of rock and roll in the film.
Flea in ‘Psycho’ (1998)
Flea, the bassist of Red Hot Chili Peppers, had a brief but memorable role in Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic ‘Psycho.’ Flea portrayed Bob Summerfield, a car salesman who meets a grim fate in the infamous Bates Motel shower scene. His appearance added a contemporary touch to the iconic film, showcasing his versatility as an actor.
Jared Leto in ‘American Psycho’ (2000)
Jared Leto, known as the lead vocalist of Thirty Seconds to Mars, portrayed Paul Allen, a wealthy, arrogant investment banker, in this psychological thriller. Leto’s character becomes the focus of the protagonist’s homicidal tendencies in a chilling and iconic scene. His performance highlighted the dark and satirical tone of the film, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.
Jon Bon Jovi in ‘Vampires: Los Muertos’ (2002)
Jon Bon Jovi, the frontman of Bon Jovi, starred as Derek Bliss, a vampire hunter, in this action horror sequel. Bon Jovi’s character leads a team of vampire slayers on a mission to eradicate a nest of vampires in Mexico. His role showcased his action-hero side, and he brought a blend of charisma and intensity to the character, making him a memorable part of the film.
David Bowie in ‘The Hunger’ (1983)
David Bowie, the legendary musician and actor, played John Blaylock, a centuries-old vampire, in this stylish and sensual horror film. Bowie’s character and his immortal romance with another vampire (portrayed by Catherine Deneuve) formed the heart of the story. Bowie’s enigmatic presence and emotional depth added to the film’s artistic and haunting atmosphere, making his performance a standout element.