King “B”

Pub date May 2, 2006
SectionArts & CultureSectionTrash

King "B"

ICON John Saxon is many things to many people: 1950s teen idol (during his Universal contract player days he won a 1958 Golden Globe for "Most Promising Newcomer"); ubiquitous TV guest star (scratching the surface, the list includes Dynasty, Melrose Place, The A-Team, Fantasy Island, Wonder Woman, and Gunsmoke); and, most prominently, B-movie superstar. Throughout his still-active career, Saxon (real name: Carmine Orrico) has proved a charismatic presence no matter the setting. Program your own Saxon invasion with just a few of his best (and most widely available) performances.

Enter the Dragon (1973): Saxon showcases his black belt in this Bruce Lee classic.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors (1987): Lt. Thompson doesn’t believe his daughter’s crazy Freddy Krueger dreams are real … until it’s too late.
Black Christmas (1974): Lt. Fuller doesn’t believe the crazy phone calls that are freaking out the sorority house are cause for concern … until it’s too late.

Tenebre (1982): Saxon’s supporting role in this Dario Argento giallo features a memorable hat dance and plenty of vigorous bloodshed.

The Evil Eye (1963): Two decades earlier, Saxon acted in this serial killa thrilla for Italian horror king Mario Bava.

Cannibal Apocalypse (1980): Another Italian horror entry, but this one’s infinitely trashier. Saxon stars as a Vietnam vet who discovers several of his men have returned from the war with, uh, peculiar eating habits.

The Cynic, the Rat, and the Fist (1977): Saxon was often the only American cast member in his films, including this criminally hard-to-find cops ’n’ robbers tale from ambassador of ultraviolence Umberto Lenzi, best known for 1981’s Cannibal Ferox, a.k.a. Make Them Die Slowly. (Cheryl Eddy)