One of Depp’s earlier films, and one in which he has a small but bloody memorable role (pun intended), is the 80s slasher classic A Nightmare on Elm Street. He is almost unrecognisable as the final girl’s love interest, but his [SPOILER ALERT] death scene in which he is gruesomely disemboweled in his sleep by Freddy Krueger is perhaps one of the greatest horror murders of all time. Unfortunately his fame preceded the sequels, and he was not to appear again in the franchise. Such is the biggest tragedy of most horror movie narratives.
So forget Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands, just put Johnny in the corner with a maniacal make-believe serial killer – now there’s something that can really stand the test of time.
Jamie Goss, News & Feature Editor
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Films about pirates are far and few between now-a-days, we had that clay animation one from the makers of Wallace and Gromit, which was pretty good. However, Pirates of the Caribbean are a classic set of films, with one more to be released in 2017 – Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Johnny Depp plays Captain Jack Sparrow in what – I regard anyway – is one of his best performances by far. Sure he has played the flamboyant Willy Wonka amongst other greats, but his Jack Sparrow is one of the funniest and solid throughout the series.
As Jack Sparrow, Depp finds himself in a lot of trouble for most of the current four films, even to the point where he *SPOILERS* ‘dies’. This still doesn’t stop him from being a maniac and continuing to delight the Pirates audience with some brilliant acting.
All of this… From a theme park attraction. Yes for those of you who don’t know, Pirates of the Caribbean is based on a ride in Disney Land.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003):
Johnny Depp is one of my favourite actors so choosing a film is pretty hard. However I have to say that I am a sucker for that witty charming yet nutty persona that is Jack Sparrow.
In particular out of the four releases so far my favourite is the first: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The story of a ghost ship – Sparrow and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) join forces to reclaim The Black Pearl and rescue Will’s love interest Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) from Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), but a curse hangs over the Pearl’s crew that leaves them in skeletal form at moonlight.
It is safe to say that Johnny Depp is the captain of this franchise, without him it would sink.
Pirates of the Caribbean could be argued to be Depp’s breakthrough performance, which took him to a whole new level. He became an international success everyone knows the industrial-hold make-up, tousled dreadlocks and beaded go-tee, that is the quirky pirate Captain Jack Sparrow.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Tim Burton, 2007):
Although the idea of a slasher musical may be slightly unusual, the tale of Sweeney Todd has been told since the 1800s but it wasn’t until 1979 that Stephen Sondheim brought the murderous barber to life with incredibly catchy songs. With such an odd pairing of music and horror, who better than Tim Burton to bring the award-winning broadway hit to the big screen?
With this particular film, Johnny Depp keeps the Pirates of the Caribbean accent but surprises us all with a somewhat impressive singing voice, albeit very sinister. His relationship with Helena Bonham Carter as his Mrs Lovett is undeniably brilliant for all its little quirks of humour and shared homicide.
We all know a Depp-Burton collaboration will involve the former as some pained and pale character in dark clothes (or mad colours in Alice in the Wonderland (2010)) but as Sweeney Todd, Depp allows us to see his grittier and perhaps more interesting side. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was a gamble that paid off.