Saturday, January 03, 2009

RIP Edmund Purdom

In an alternate reality, the British actor, having replaced Marlon Brando in the 1954 epic The Egyptian, became a sensation and had an illustrious Hollywood career. But things didn't work out that way, so a select few of us recall him as the deranged dean in the 1982 slasher Pieces, cutting up campus cuties with a chainsaw and assembling their bodies in a macabre jigsaw puzzle. He spent his post-Tinseltown years in Rome, as a dubber and an actor in other straight-to-the-grindhouse flicks films like After the Fall of New York, Ator the Invincible, and Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks. In an alternate reality, he might have starred in Vincente Minnelli's Two Weeks in Another Town (1962), as he would come to know the milieu of making Italian B-movies as well as anyone. (The Wiki entry on that film suggests that it was based on the star-crossed relationship of Tyrone Power and Linda Christian, who was, after Power's death, one of Purdom's four wives.) I'd like to think that he went about these assignments, which included starring in and more-or-less directing the 1984 slice-and-dicer Don't Open 'Til Christmas, with upper lip stiffened and tongue planted firmly in cheek.

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