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Luke Perry’s Lasting Impact in Horror

Luke Perry’s Lasting Impact in Horror

by Jessica Gomez on March 09th, 2019 | |

The entire entertainment industry was rocked by the news of Luke Perry’s death on March 4th, the result of a massive stroke he had experienced days prior. Most people know him best as mysterious bad boy Dylan McKay from Beverly Hills, 90210, but many horror devotees will forever remember him as Pike – the lovable, sarcastic, pain-in-the-ass counterpart to Kristy Swanson in the horror comedy Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Joss Whedon, who wrote the Buffy film and subsequent Buffy television series, shared on twitter his first interaction with Perry while on set. “The first time I met Luke Perry we talked about what kind of movie we wanted “Buffy” to be. I asked if he’d ever seen “Near Dark” and he gave me a look of HOW DARE YOU SIR and I knew we’d get along. Funny, committed, and always gracious. He shouldn’t be gone.”

Pike was an important part of the Buffy storyline. He wasn’t just Buffy’s love interest; the brooding loner did his share of staking vampires whilst delivering zingers, all while rustling up feelings of sexual awakening for young horror fans just as he did for fans of 90210. Most importantly, though, he had no qualms about Buffy being in charge – he knew she could take care of herself, and he took a backseat when she needed him to. The everyday cheerleader part of her life wasn’t what interested him; it was her strength, courage and determination fighting off the undead. Perry was effortless in the role of the funny, cool, and supportive boyfriend that a girl like me dreamed of having when I got older. It’s hard to imagine anyone being a better fit for the role.

Perry dabbled in horror throughout his career, including stints on television serieses Night Visions and Invasion. He starred as Lieutenant Commander O’Neill in 2009’s creature feature Silent Venom. He was just as good being the villain as the hero in his role as cryptic stranger Silas Hendershot in indie horror thriller The Final Storm in 2010. He was even involved in the 1999 classic children’s Halloween animated feature The Night of the Headless Horseman, lending his voice as Brom Bones – a film that will live on to scare future horror lovers in perpetuity.

Perry found major success on a teen television series once more when Riverdale perfectly cast him as Fred Andrews, Archie’s noble and loving father. If the shot-for-shot frames of Scream and The Silence of the Lambs weren’t enough to tip you off, Riverdale is a horror series, where Perry’s character came face-to-face with a serial killer and lived to tell the tale. Director Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa plans to dedicate each episode to Perry from here until the show’s end, which speaks volumes to how beloved and important he was to the entire cast.

Every Luke Perry story that has been shared since his death tells a tale of a humble, normal, funny and endearing man. Beneath the good looks and raspy voice was Midwestern charm and kindness at its finest. His legacy will live on through his many impactful bodies of work…and no one will ever be cooler.



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