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Horror Crush: Ashley Laurence

It's finally time for a new Horror Crush. It's really has been too long since the last one, hasn't it? Well this time we have a lady who is not only one of the most absolutely gorgeous (and remains so!) women to ever grace our genre, but also played one of the greatest final girls ever, in the form of Kristy Cotton: Ashley Laurence!

Ashley Laurence made her acting debut in 1987 with writer/ director Clive Barker's masterpiece Hellraiser (1987). An adaptation of his own novela The Hellbound Heart, it is absolute classic of the horror genre and in my top ten favorite movies of all time. The heartwarming tale of a sexual deviant named Frank (Sean Chapman) who escapes from S&M  demons, called Cenobites, from a hell of pleasure and pain. Only to then get his brother's sexy wife, Julia (who he had an affair with while he was alive) (Claire Higgins), to kill for him, so that he can get flesh back and live again. So, you know they keep fucking. 

The movie was a big hit, especially when adding the famous Stephen King's blurb that Barker was the "future of horror". Critics liked it and so did fans, and it went on to become a ridiculously long lasting franchise. It also cementend Barker as a horror master. Pinhead, the leader of the Cenobites, and the actor portraying, him Doug Bradley, became a horror icon. 

Laurence, of course, played the above mentioned Kristy daughter of the hubby in the couple and niece of Frank. She is tough, smart and stands her ground against Frank, Julia, and the leather and chains crew from fucking hell. And, she always feels like a real girl, one that is sweet and likable. The moment I first saw this classic I adored it. It was original, gory, and felt decidedly adult and so different from the slasher dreck at the time. And, I immediately had a HUGE crush on Laurence. Her character became not just one of my favorite final girls but a favorite of just about every horror fan, male or female. 

She'd return to the character in the awesome Hellbound: Hellraiser II. Picking up where the last one ended, Kristy has to go to hell, itself, when she thinks that her dad is stuck there. And, that he was asking her for help. It ain't daddy, though, as it's good old Frank trying to trick her. At the same time a doc named Channard has bought back Julia back from hell, so that he may see the wonders of hell, himself. Ambitious, gruesome. and drenched in splatter, this one ain't as great as the first flick. But, it is still amazing film and manages to rank among the best horror sequels ever

Laurence is once again great as Kristy. Her character's bravery and brains are fully on display, here. I especially love the way she tricks Dr Channard who has become the newest Cenobite. Plus, she looks drop dead gorgeous, even when covered in grue. I think this flick solidified her as one of the greatest final girls ever! 

A year later in 1989, she appeared in an episode of the fun anthology series, Monsters. I don't remember this episode, as I haven't watched most of this series, since I was a kid. But, I am sure I was really happy seeing one of my crushes on an episode.

In 1992, she appeared in killer kid flick, Mickey. Mickey (Brian Bonsell) not only kills people, but he is obsessed with the character played by the lovely Josie Bissett, she of Melrose Place fame. I saw this movie when it hit VHS and don't remember a lot, other than really liking it. And, again being happy that Laurence was in it. 

In 1992, she returned to her most beloved role of Kristy for Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, but it was only for what amounts to a cameo. She is seen in a short police integration video, trying to explain to them what is going on. It's a cool moment that helps to tie in the first three movies. Also, while flawed, this is definitely the last good movie in what would immediately after this, become a shitty franchise.

1994 saw her appear in the Full Moon flick, Lurking Fear. It's based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, but I honestly don't remember much of anything. Well outside, of the fact that I thought it was awful and among the worst movies the studio put out in the 90's. Well, OK, I do remember Laurence looking drop-dead gorgeous. But, that even she could save this turd, which probably deserved to remain lurking somewhere far away.

After working on various non-genre material she returned to horror for the third and direct to video entry Warlock III: End of Innocence. This awful, dumb, and boring piece of shit, has Bruce Pryne as the Warlock. So, sadly it does not have the late, great Julian Sands. Pryne's lack of charisma is just one of the problems this boring and stupid piece of shit has. The crappy story has a girl (Laurence) inherit an old house where our Warlock once lived. He wants it back. She is there with her friends. He does some evil shit, I tried to not fall asleep. 

I actually tried to watch this back when it aired on cable several years ago. But, it was so bad, that I shut it off. Sometime ago, I bought the trilogy on Blu-ray at a great price over on Hamilton Books. Since, I rewatched the other two (both are fun but the second film is by far the best in the franchise and has a Horror Crush inductee of its own in the form of Paula Marshall), I said fuck it let's actually watch the third movie. And, honesty, Laurence is the best thing in this crap, She gives a good performance and looks incredible. If it wasn't for her, I would think even less of this flick. But, you can thank this viewing for making me want to induct her and write this post.

In 2002, sher returned yet again to the franchise that made her famous with Hellraiser: Hellseeker. But, unfortunately the series by this point had become absolute garbage on top of being direct to video fodder. I had been avoiding the post Bloodline (which was awful all its own) shit, but she being in this made me rent it. Once again, she is one of the only good things in it. Even, if the way her character acts goes against what had already been set. Still, it's slightly better than the third Warlock movie and the aforementioned Bloodline, so you know there's that.

2004 saw her in Lightning Bug from late director and make-up artist Robert (Chromeskull 1 & 2) Hall. I never saw this movie, but I do remember it getting good reviews. The lovely Laura (That 70's Show) Prepon also stars in it. Any fans of this one? Let me know your thoughts on it and Laurence in it, in the comments section below.

Making the metalhead in me happy, she appeared in 2009 in a video for one of my favorite bands Slipknot for their song Snuff.

2018, saw me making a childhood dream come true by meeting her at a Monster-Mania. She was so sweet and friendly. She talked to us for so long that her handler said we need to move along! Not only that, but she is absolutely breathtaking in person! 

Her latest and most recent horror appearance was an episode for Shudder's fun Creepshow series. I honestly don't remember the episode all that well, just bits and pieces and that the FX were great.I also recall that she was great in her role and looked amazing.

Aside from being a great actress, Laurence is also an accomplished artist. Her art is beautiful, dark, and I am quite the fan of it. I remember first hearing about it in an interview with her in Fangoria magazine that she did back in the late 80s or so.

A wonderfully talented actress and artist, as well as having played one of the best final girls ever in Kristy Cotton, a genuine sweetheart, and one of the most gorgeous women in horror history, it is with great honor, that I induct Ashley Laurence into this site's Horror Crushes!!