I want you to look at this list of titles:
Streets of Fire
Edge of Tomorrow
A Simple Plan
Mighty Joe Young
One False Move
The Dark Backward
Anyone of these films is worth an entire essay. All of these films featured Bill Paxton. A working actor, Paxton was the Dick Miller of my generation. Unable to hit that ceiling of super-stardom, he remained a viable (and welcome) presence in any of the films he was in. I loved this guy so much, I remember the exact moment he showed up in Nightcrawler. It was like seeing an old friend again and only elevated a great movie a notch higher.
I fell in love with Bill’s feature directorial debut Frailty. I consider it one of the best horror films of the ‘00s and revisit it often; it’s that good. But it’s no surprise. I became familiar with his name and his directing when I was still a little kid. My sister watched a lot of late-night music video programs, which meant I watched a lot of late-night music video programs. One video, in particular, stayed with me: Fish Heads, a surrealistic, student-level novelty song turned even more surrealistic, on-the-cheap music video. Paxton shot and starred in it. I have no idea why it struck a chord in me. Maybe when you’re young, you just absorb anything that’s completely weird. But I shouldn’t be too surprised: his work had a way of staying with me long after the credits finished rolling.