ShockaCon 2014 warmly welcomes the multifaceted and accomplished special effects artist, director, writer, producer and actor, Mr. John Carl Buechler! Did you enjoy the spooktacular and inventive Cellar Dweller? He directed it and created the effects! Were you enchanted by the whimsical cult classic Troll? He directed it, created the effects and was a contributing writer! Did you freakin’ LOVE Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood? He directed, created effects and even had a lil cameo in that supernatural installment of the beloved franchise! Whether you were thrilled by Freddy’s chest of souls in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, munched popcorn to the delightfully gruesome Hatchet, or just can’t get enough of Bride of Re-Animator, Buechler has surely touched your childhood in some way in his decade-spanning career. And he’s gonna be at ShockaCon! Continue reading
Local artist, actor, FX pro and propmaster Chris Woodall has been a big supporter of Charleston’s own Horror/Sci-Fi Convention, ShockaCon, since its beginnings in 2012. This year, however, Chris stepped up BIG TIME in the name of horror love – hand painting classic movie monsters onto two twenty-foot backdrops that will adorn the stage at Beni Kedem Center throughout ShockaCon 2014. Continue reading
Charleston born horror author Edward A. Holsclaw, II knows a thing or two about putting the fear in someone. In addition to an already impressive bibliography, he recently finished a collaboration with his mother entitled Bigfoot, which was released this past July. Not one to slack, he also finished Origin: Unknown – Book One – The Graphic Novel released just last month. “This is a graphic novelization of mine and co-author Wendy Easton’s best-selling novel, Origin: Unknown. Terry Brown is the artist that is adapting the novel.” Currently working on Book Two of this series, Holsclaw is sure to keep fans’ appetites slaked. Continue reading
ShockaCon 2014 is thrilled to welcome the vivacious Jennifer Lynn Warren, star of American Horror Story: Coven, the third installment of Ryan Murphy’s envelope-pushing anthology series. Warren is a veteran of the genre, appearing in Chatter, The School in the Woods, and Creature (which you can watch on Netflix instant view!) “Horror and I have had a personal relationship since I was very young,” she explains. “I remember getting into trouble for reading Stephen King in first grade. I have a fantastic mom who didn’t care what her kids were reading, as long as they were, and since she is a horror fan as well, I’ve always had access to an unending supply of horror novels.” Despite this horrorfull precociousness, avowed Whovian Warren comes down on the sci fi side of things. “I love a good sci fi that can terrify you, but still roll in a tragic romantic subplot. I think that’s why Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are some of my favorite shows.” Tantalizingly, she admits to having a personal experience with the unknown, “But it was so insane I don’t like talking about it!” You’re killing me, JLW!
Many of you recognize her from her captivating performance as Borquita LaLaurie in American Horror Story: Coven Continue reading
Perennial film villain Vernon Wells visits ShockaCon this September to connect with his West Virginia fans.
Probably first and best known as “Wez” from Mad Max 2, The Road Warrior (1981) where he portrayed a humorously deranged apocalyptic death dealer, Wells has made a lifetime career out of playing the bad guy.
“I actually enjoy playing the villain because villains have no boundaries,” Wells shares. “If you’re the hero, then there are a set of rules… but as a villain no such rules exist. You can do anything…the villain gets to have much more fun!”
One thing Wells enjoys when he is not on set is meeting Mad Max/Road Warrior fans of all ages. “It is quite the phenom, our Mad Max!” Wells exclaims. “Many years ago the only fans I had were people of my own age who had seen the movie when they were young adults. But then they started showing the movie to their kids and suddenly I had a whole new generation of fans! I love it when a 12 year old kid comes up with his dad and tells me all about the film while his father proudly explains that they watch it together regularly. And, believe it or not, a huge amount of my fans now are female. They tend to find the character sexy, which I don’t understand—maybe it has to do more with the costume than me.”
He thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working on the film. “We were all young, enthusiastic and having a ‘wow’ of a time out in the desert, driving cool vehicles and motorbikes…” Wells continues, “My nickname was ‘Barometer Bum.’ It was so cold where we were shooting that they would watch the cheeks of my butt, and when they turned purple, we would be hustled into the heated van so we could warm up!”
Wez became so iconic that Wells was asked to spoof him in Weird Science just a few years later. “It took quite a while to convince me to leave Australia to come to America to do the film…eventually they offered a lot of money, and I came across and had a lot of fun sending myself up,” Wells remembers.
In 1985, Wells was cast as a villain again in Schwarzenegger action vehicle Commando, having no prior knowledge of Arnold at the time. “Arnold was a little put off by the fact that I looked a little ‘soft,’ so he expressed his displeasure to the producer who decided to see what would happen after we did a take,” Well shares.
“It was the scene where I have Arnold chained to the table and I hold a knife to his throat. My normal way of working is to watch everything that happens on the set in rehearsals so that in the real take I can give 150%. On ‘action,’ I leapt upon Arnold with ferocity and did the scene, and on ‘cut,’ Joel asked Arnold if he was still worried about me doing the role. Arnold just said ‘Don’t ever let him have a real knife.’ So I guess, as they say, I got my point across (literally)!”
Wells earned another generation of fans as another villain, “Ransik,” in the TV series Power Rangers Time Force. “To be blunt, I really wasn’t that interested in doing it initially. However, I had worked with the producer/stunt coordinator who was also one of the directors—Koichi Sakamoto—and he had asked me to come in and audition.” He found himself really enjoying working with the kids and still holds close friendships with much of the cast. “It was a lot of fun working on the Power Rangers series and I’m very proud of what we accomplished.”
There’s no rest for the wicked; in the last 24 months Wells has completed 8 or 9 films due for release in the next year or so. He is particularly excited about The Lighthouse Keeper and Hide & Seek. Savior of None is another recent favorite and Throwback, shot in Australia, has already won multiple awards. You can also see him in Jekyll & Hyde.
The whole family can enjoy him in The Treasure; he’s slated to be on location in Hawaii for the upcoming, The Inquisitor; and he is soon to be directing The Promise, for all you vampire lovers out there. Some of his projects he can’t share just yet, but he can tell us that he just finished all the special FX for an Aussie Horror, Bat Outta Hell, which will be released this coming fall in the US.
Villain in character, Wells is very friendly in real life and really enjoys meeting friends and fans at conventions internationally when he is between projects. “I’m so happy to be at ShockaCon, and I want everybody to come in, say hi, grab a photo, and have a chat with me! See you soon!”
ShockaCon attendees love their zombies, and this year, they won’t be disappointed. Taso Stavrakis, veteran zombie, is one of the exciting guests. Stavrakis is an experienced actor, stuntman, and makeup artist with a stellar sense of humor. He’s been involved in a number of films including the original Friday the 13th, The Mask of Zorro, and Creepshow 2, just to name a few. He has more recently appeared on The Walking Dead. Continue reading