The Top Five B-Movie Legends of All-Time

The Top Five B-Movie Legends of All-Time

The Top Five B-Movie Legends of All-Time

In case you’re one of those people who asks what B-movies really are, here’s a little insight into that particular subject. They’re basically low-budget highly-commercial films but shouldn’t be confused with art house films. Originally the terminology was used to describe films that were distributed for the purpose of being the lower half of double features, something that was popular in the earlier days of motion pictures.

Then, throughout the years, B-movies morphed into genre films like Westerns in the 1930’s then transitioning to Film Noir. In the 1950’s, Sci-fi and horror movies made their takeover. Then, in the 60’s and 70’s, a variety of exploitation films became the norm for B-movies and they were mainly of a criminal, sexual or racial nature and were called things like exploitation, sexploitation, and blacksploitation. Today, B-movies are often low-budget and based upon bad acting and implausible plots, however many of them actually have decent plots and some very good acting, like the many performances from our picks for top five B-Movie legends of all-time:

1. Slim Pickens

Slim was the quintessential cowboy throughout his entire career, which figures since he had actually been a rodeo rider before turning to acting as his true calling. He was likable and more talented than most people realized. He had more than 103 television and movie credits under his belt and many of them were B-movies, including “Poor Pretty Eddie”, The Howling”, “Spirit Of The Wind”, “The Sweet Creek County War”, “1941”, “The Swarm”, and “Wishbone Cutter”. Having worked with Slim on “Poor Pretty Eddie”, I have to say that everybody really misses him. He was one of the very best.

2. Fred Ward

This guy is definitely one of the kings of the character actors. He’s appeared in 90 films and TV shows. Many of them were mainstream or A-movies, like “The Right Stuff “, where he played astronaut Gus Grissom, “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins”, where he played the title role, and “Silkwood”. And, some of them were some pretty entertaining B-movies like “Tremors” and its four direct-to-video sequels, “2 Guns”, “30 Minutes Or Less”, “Armored”, “Farewell”, “Management”, and “Feast Of Love”, just to name a few.

3. Thomas Jane

He’s a very cool character who has been likened to a combination of Ryan O’Neal, Christopher Lambert, and Clint Eastwood. He’s also done many A-list movies, like “Face/Off” but his B-movies will go down in history as some of the very best. They include “The Mist”, “Dreamcatchers”, and Renny Harlin’s version of “Sharknado” entitled “Deep Blue Sea.

4. Emilio Estevez

He’s probably best-known for one of his very first films, the breakout hit “The Breakfast Club”. The son of the great actor, Martin Sheen and brother of controversial actor, Charlie Sheen, Emilio is also a producer/director as well. In addition to his mainstream movie appearances, Emilio has also starred in some of the most entertaining B-movies ever made, including “Dollar for the Dead”, “Freejack”, “Maximum Overdrive”, and “Repo Man”.

5. William Smith

Big Bill got his start as an extra in numerous movies of the 1940s and then became one of the best-known character actors in all of Hollywood. In fact, he has more than 300 movie and TV credits to his name. He became especially well-known for the many biker flicks that he appeared in, like “Run, Angel, Run!”, and “Angels Die Hard”. Then, he ventured into another big B-movie genre, horror films that include “Grave of the Vampire”, “Invasion of the Bee Girls”, and “Hell Comes to Frogtown”. More recent B-movies include “The Devil’s Nine”, “Inner Rage”, “The Boneyard Collection”, and “Voices from the Graves”. He also has 18 1/4 inch arms and has an induction into the Muscle Beach Venice Bodybuilding Hall of Fame under his belt to boot. Yep, before there was Arnie, Sly, and Dolph, there was Big Bill.

OK, so those were the top 5 but no list of The Top Five B-Movie Legends of All-Time would be complete without mentioning Eric Roberts, Treat Williams, and Christopher Lambert. And then again, how about a couple of female B-movie stars? We think that Sybil Danning, Barbara Steele, and Karen Black should top that list.


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