In 1985, Paramount Pictures released what may very well be the finest comedic ensemble film the world has ever seen. It was called Clue, and it was based on the board game by the same name which had been a household staple since its release in 1949.
Though it wasn’t initially a success in theaters, the farcical mystery has gone on to garner cult status with a following that would make John Waters proud.
What many people may not know is that Clue, in a very Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon way, has ties to some of the greatest horror and horror comedy masterpieces of the last century.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the list of six films below, and see for yourself! With all of these talented horror minds, Clue could have been a very different movie!
An American Werewolf in London
Perhaps it’s not such a stretch to find out that An American Werewolf in London is connected to Clue. The classic werewolf film wasn’t short on winks and nods to its audience. Let’s not forget that hilarious scene in the British porn theater!
The truth is the two films share a common father of sorts. John Landis, who wrote the screenplay for Werewolf, also wrote the story that Clue‘s screenplay is based upon. This also ties Clue to two episodes of the often terrifying “Masters of Horror” television series and Twilight Zone: The Movie.
Debra Hill was John Carpenter’s writing and producing partner when they brought Michael Myers into the horror world with the classic film Halloween. She would go on to also write The Fog (1980) as well as Escape from L.A. in 1996.
It just so happens that Hill also produced Clue.
Want a fun mental picture? Imagine Wadsworth (Tim Curry) producing evidence that Michael Myers had killed Mr. Boddy…in the kitchen…with a knife.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Speaking of Tim Curry…
They say you can tell a lot about a person from the first film in which they saw Tim Curry. For me, it was Clue. It would be years before I discovered The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and yet both classic cult films share the same star.
Now if only Curry could have had a bigger musical number in Clue than “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow” with the rest of the cast!
One of my favorite things about Clue is the score. The driving strings, dramatic horns, and tone that runs from playful to dramatic in a matter of a few bars make for a soundscape reminiscent of the old Agatha Christie whodunits.
It was no surprise to learn, then, that composer John Morris created the scores for both Clue and Mel Brooks’ classic horror homage/spoof Young Frankenstein!
Does anyone else love Audrey Rose? The 1977 film starring Marsha Mason and Anthony Hopkins centered on a young girl haunted by her past life and the terror her parents experience as she seems destined to die young, just as she did in that former existence.
The film was not only terrifying but also really beautiful largely due to the man behind the cinematography: Mr. Victor J. Kemper.
Kemper was also the cinematographer on Clue, making sure all those scenes in the mansion were beautifully lit and filmed. The Kemper connection also makes Clue the distant cousin of Eyes of Laura Mars and Magic (which also starred Anthony Hopkins)!
It wasn’t only the big stars or the people behind the scenes who connect Clue to the horror world, however. Some of those ladies and gents in the smaller roles have solid horror pedigrees.
Take Jeffrey Kramer, for instance. Kramer was the poor stranded motorist who ended up getting his head bashed with the lead pipe. It just so happens that Kramer also played Deputy Hendricks in the classic shark features, Jaws and Jaws 2, AND to add another fun layer, Kramer also had a role in Halloween II which connects him to Debra Hill and Halloween!