Being the Halloween season, my thoughts turn to the dark and macabre… which, of course, is right at home with relationships and crushes.
Over the years there have been a number of characters (and actresses) who’ve appeared in scary movies and strange televisions shows that have been the fodder for a number of celebrity or character crushes. We’ve all had them. Here, in no particular order, are some of the ones I find most notable.
1. Lily Munster (The Munsters)
She wasn’t supposed to be the “pretty one” in the family, but that didn’t stop me from finding her look and attitude intriguing. How can you not fall for someone with an awesome vampire for a father who’s also patient enough to deal with an overly-large bumbling monster of a husband?
Yvonne De Carlo was in her 40s when she donned that bi-colored wig and flowing gown. Until I just looked that up, I would have never guessed. She looked every bit as ageless as one would expect the daughter of a vampire like Grandpa Munster to look. She managed to bring a life to Lily that helped round out the heart of the show.
In retrospect, the really funny thing is that today Lily probably wouldn’t stan out quite as much as she would in the mid-60s. There’s no shortage of two-toned hair dos out there on a number of people we pass every day. Sure, her fashion sense would still count as a bit eccentric, but it’s nowhere near as outlandish as some modern celebrity fashions.
Of the scary chicks, she’s by far one of the most tame. Calm, cool, collected, and able to deal with freak and normal person with equal smoothness and tact. Something that came in very handy more than once when helping to clean up Herman’s messes.
2. Morticia Addams (The Addams Family)
Running concurrently for a while with The Munsters was another family of freaks. The Addams Family was already a fixture in print comics when they hit the screen with their own show, but seeing them brought to life was something special. Morticia was something extra special.
Carolyn Jones take on the character was my first exposure and still holds a special place in my list of character crushes. Being on TV in the 60s, Morticia and Gomez weren’t played quite as overtly sexy as they were in the movies that would hit the screen in the 90s (where Anjelica Huston would add a whole new level of “wow” to the character), but there was something impressive about the romance evident between the two characters. The match wasn’t quite as odd as the Lily Herman mix on The Munsters (especially considering both of Addams were human), but they were just as much outsiders to the rest of the world.
Along with Lily, Morticia was goth before there was a subculture that identified as goth. The elegant clothing, equally dark and pale appearance, and deeply rooted sense of romance (with a big “creepy” factor thrown in, of course), made them both something very different from everyone else on TV and generally seen in pop culture. As time went on, this became less true, but in the 60s when they first appeared and in the early 80s when I was watching the shows in re-runs, they were unique.
3. Diana (V)
When the first V miniseries showed up in 1983, I was sucked in something fierce. The aliens showed up and they were friendly! Plus they had snazzy red jumpsuits and big-ass rockstar sunglasses. Then, of course, things went bad (as they always do) and Diana, the supreme commander of the “visiting” fleet, turned out to be as evil as she was hot.
At least in the 80s.
The big hair and big sunglasses are a little outdated now, so the look isn’t quite as timeless as some others on this list, but there was no denying that Jane Badler was a looker and even less doubt that the characters good looks were a tool she used to get things done among the easily fooled humans.
Like many “bad girls”, Diana had a certain way of making you think you actually wanted her to grind her boot into your throat. A combination of sweet talk, sexual persuasion, and pure presence is always a perfect recipe for a crush of epic proportions. Even after you find out that it’s all just a facade and she’s actually kind of green and scaly inside. (But isn’t that some sort of metaphor all in and of itself?)
There’s a new iteration of V hitting NBC the first week in November with an (at least) equally hot leader. Though it looks like they give away a lot of the story in the trailer.
4. Zuul (Ghostbusters)
There’s no doubting that Sigourney Weaver is one of horror and sci-fi’s most often crushed upon. Even as plain old Dana, the musician who just happened to have the bad luck to be living in the corner apartment of spook central, she was totally crushable. But when Zuul the Gatekeeper stepped into her skin and gave her a totally horror makeover? Totally hot.
It as was much that sultry draped and flowing coppery dress as it was the air of confidence and power that drew me in. The fact that even Rick Moranis’s Louis Tuley, the dorky accountant who was posses by the apparently equally dorky Keymaster, had a chance with her made my dorky heart sing with possibilities.
Sure, she turns into a dog, tries to kill people and sleeps above the covers (four feet above the covers), but we’re all willing to make allowances for our crushes, right? No matter what dimension your from, she’s scary hot.
5. Lydia (Beetlejuice)
Tim Burton has a certain knack for finding beauty in the most strange and unusual places. He can also make the normal into something weird… and the scary into an odd combination of terrifying and hilarious. He put all that to work in Beetlejuice with wonderful results.
He also gave us one of Winona Ryder’s most memorable characters: Lydia, the oh so gothy daughter of an eccentric artist and a regular guy (Catherine O’Hara and Jeffery Jones).
By far the most insightful and compassionate member of her family, Lydia’s dark demeanor spoke to many of Generation X who, by the late 80s, were feeling quite the outsiders. She hit the screen just as the goth sub-culture was getting better known in the mainstream (thanks to MTV and other venues for music videos) and was a uniquely sympathetic characters.
More “spooky” than scary, especially when placed next to some of the others on this list, Lydia was still major crush material. Doubly so when you put her in that red wedding dress and she gets tough, fighting back against the demon she helped set loose.