Woman (In Horror) Crush Wednesday: Lin Shaye

April 12, 2017

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

Hello again, my Little Monsters. How lovely it is for you all to join me again on this Woman (In Horror) Crush Wednesday. As you can see the Woman of Horror we honor today is the wonderful Lin Shaye.
This Detroit, MI native caught the acting bug when she attended the University of Michigan, where she was an Art Major. During her time there, Lin also appeared in as many dramatic productions as she could. After she completed her degree at Michigan, Lin moved to New York to enroll at Columbia University and also pursue an acting career on the stage. She would find roles off Broadway and OFF off Broadway, and would also earn herself a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Columbia.
In 1975 Lin would start her career as a whore. WHOA, calm down. I’m not slut shaming or casting insults at her. Lin’s first listed credit was literally as a “whore” in the movie Hester Street. You can check it out on IMDb if you don’t believe me. Two years later,  Lin decided to make the move to Los Angeles in order to pursue of film and television roles, and that year appeared in a film and one episode each on two different TV series. For the 1978 Film Goin’ South, Jack Nicholson himself is said to have requested Lin to appear in the film as the character of the “Parasol Lady” Not bad for a character actress, who only had four credits to her name at the time. It would be four years later that Lin would appear in her first horror film, Alone in the Dark, along side genre legends like Donald Pleasance, Jack Palance and Martin Landau.
While Lin became a steady worker as a character actress in the 80’s , she also appeared in some genre classics that include Critters , Critters 2 and My Demon Lover.  But it was Lin’s appearance as Nancy’s teacher in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) that fans likely most remember. Now some may call it nepotism, since Lin’s brother, Bob Shaye, was the founder and CEO of of the film’s production company, New Line Cinema. Frankly I don’t care if it was nepotism, because despite the size of the role, Lin played it very well…so there. She would also appear in Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, as a nurse, in 1994.
Lin has proved herself to be incredibly versatile while acting across different genres, but has shown some real comedic chops as well. There are five roles in particular that stand as absolute proof of Lin’s comedic ability: Mrs. Neugeboren in Dumb and Dumber, Roy Munson’s Landlady in Kingpin, Magda in There’s Something About Mary, Mrs. Bruce in Detroit Rock City and Sonya in Boat Trip.

Over the last 15 years, Lin has really solidified her place in the horror genre with her involvement in films that include: Dead End, 2001 Maniacs, Hood of Horror, Hoboken Hollow, Asylum, 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, Chillerama, Ouija, Tales of Halloween, and Abattoir. But her work in the Indidious franchise is definitely what has elevated her status in the genre. Nobody can deny that Lin’s compassionate  nature is what truly gives this film series its heart. But it’s also that capacity for caring that makes her character, Elise Reiner, such a formidable opponent for all the ghostly baddies she encounters in “The Further”.

Lin currently has 193 screen credits on her resume, eight of which are films she’s been working on over the past year. And of those, five are horror films. The one film out of this bunch that  I am personally eager to see, is Insidious: Chapter 4. Its rumored that this fourth film of the Insidious franchise will focus a lot on Elise Reiner’s back story. But as long as Lin is involved, I’m in and CAN’T wait to see it.

Unfortunately I have not YET had the pleasure of meeting Lin, BUT I have my fingers crossed that it WILL happen some time in the near future. At a horror con, maybe??? Nudge – nudge, wink – wink, Ms. Shaye.
As per usual, my Little Monsters, if you want to know more about what’s going on with Lin you can check out her official IMDb page or even give her a follow over at her official Twitter page.
So until next Wednesday, in the immortal words of PeeWee Herman’s road trip buddy, Mickey the Escaped Convict, arrivederci, baby!

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