While so many people know Mark Ruffalo today for his time as The Hulk in various MCU films, he’s been in a wide variety of famous films prior. From dramas like You Can Count On Me to musical comedies like Begin Again, he’s proven that he has a wide range of acting skills. Still, almost no one seems to remember that Ruffalo’s feature film debut was not only in a horror film, but lead to him being in its erotically charged sequel.
The movie that started this strange saga is Mirror, Mirror II: Raven Dance — a film released directly to video in 1994. Its plot followed a teenager haunted by a mysterious mirror inside the Catholic orphanage she lives in. Ruffalo was only 25 at the time he played Christian in the movie that now has a disgustingly low 8% Audience Rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But it was truly the third movie in the series where things got really weird.
Shortly after in 1995, the third movie in the Mirror, Mirror trilogy — Mirror, Mirror III: The Voyeur — was also released directly to video. Ruffalo didn’t even reprise his role in the sequel, instead playing in the film that had “listless acting, perfunctory horror elements, lengthy but ineffective sex scenes, and amateurish action set pieces” according to one reviewer.
Surprisingly, the third film somehow beats out the second despite its flimsier sex-based premise, netting a 20% Audience Rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It seems the idea of a brooding artist obsessing over “the erotic presence of a lost lover he sees in a mirror according to the film’s synopsis, was just a slightly better fit for horror fans.
Those who want to check out some of the weirdest parts of Mark Ruffalo’s filmography can find both Mirror, Mirror II: Raven Dance and Mirror, Mirror III: The Voyeur streaming on Amazon Prime Video.