Tag Archive | "horror"

PET SEMATARY: Spine-Tingling New Trailer and Poster Art Revealed!

PET SEMATARY: Spine-Tingling New Trailer and Poster Art Revealed!

It’s time to get excited! The highly-anticipated theatrical trailer for the ‘Pet Sematary’ remake has arrived, along with some new poster art!

Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, the film stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Hugo & Lucas Lavoie and John Lithgow. The film is currently slated for an April 5th, 2019 release.

Synopsis: Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.

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GAME CHANGER: Jamie Bernadette On Bringing Her Creative Vision To The Masses!

GAME CHANGER: Jamie Bernadette On Bringing Her Creative Vision To The Masses!

Jamie Bernadette is truly a star on the rise!

Veteran actress Jamie Bernadette is one of the most intriguing, versatile and dedicated actors working in the entertainment industry today. Over the past decade, she’s been quietly taking on a plethora of diverse projects, expanding her skillset and building a dedicated following. As an actress, her haunting performances left an undeniable mark on genre film. With each new endeavor, she continues to push herself to her creative limit both on screen and behind the scenes. Her latest project, “The 6th Friend,” is the next exciting chapter in her already captivating story. Co-written by Jamie Bernadette and director Letia Clouston, “The 6th Friend” is best described as a slasher film with a supernatural twist. It tells the tale of six college best friends that throw their own private graduation only to see it go terribly wrong when an uninvited guest arrives. Five years later, the girls gather once again and endure a night of more horror and bloodshed. The high-intensity film stars Bernadette, Chantelle Albers, Dominique Swain, Jessica Morris, Tania Nolan and Monique Rosario. The film debuts theatrically on January 11, 2019 via The Asylum.

Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Jamie Bernadette to get an inside look at her journey as an artist. In the interview, we discuss her early years in the entertainment industry, the lessons learned along the way, her process for bringing raw emotion to the screen and what lies in store for her in the years to come.

You’ve become a familiar face over the past several years. You’ve taken on great roles and continue to grow as an actress. Let’s start at the beginning. How did your journey as an artist begin?

I have always wanted to act, ever since I was a child. I would watch films and act them out. I was also involved in theater. I made the big decision to come out to Los Angeles with only $600 in my pocket. I drove across the country and the rest is history! [laughs] I did almost get off my path at one point with almost getting married back in Illinois, but I put a stop to that! [laughs] That’s when I came out to LA to do this instead!

That’s a big step! What was it about acting that made this the clear path?

It was always in my heart. When it’s in you, you can’t always explain it but if you try to go do something else, it’s always there and on your mind. I was talking to another actor friend of mine yesterday. There have been times when I’ve been like, “Man, I wish I wanted to do something different!” [laughs] There can be so many ups and downs, highs and lows and so much rejection. There are times I’ve been like, “Please, let me want to do something else!” [laughs] I think everyone has a purpose in life and it’s about knowing that. Sometimes, it’s unconscious and you have to bring it to light, be honest with yourself and not listen to other people. I think we all have a purpose, and this is my purpose and there’s no explaining why that is.

What went into finding your creative voice as an actor?

Wow! These are some question! [laughs] These are good! I feel like the roles and different types of characters found me, if that makes sense. For example, I play the tough girl a lot; the strong girl. That was not planned but I keep getting those strong girl or final girl roles in horror films and things like that. I play a martial artist and do fight choreography, if I would have known that I would have taken martial arts classes, but I didn’t know! [laughs] As far as my creative voice, I’m an actor who likes to do a variety of roles. I know some actors prefer the same types of roles over and over but I’m someone who likes to branch out and challenge myself. I really love very challenging, dark roles — that’s something I truly enjoy!

Was there anyone behind the scenes, perhaps a mentor, giving you a push or advice when you needed it?

Honestly, not really. Not during the tough times.

Wow! So, you really are that tough, strong girl we see on screen!

[laughs] Yeah, I guess so! I’ve never had any financial support. A lot of actors get support because how do you hold down a job when you have to audition all the time and then what if you don’t book? Who’s paying your rent? I’ve never had a boyfriend or anyone in my family supporting me. I’ve almost lived in my car three times. Somehow, I just always made it happen. There were some really rough times when I ate beans and hot dogs all the time! I’m from a family of nine and my mother raised us alone. My father passed away four months after I was born. She raised all of us and we were very, very poor. I’m not from a wealthy family and there was no one to turn to for me financially. I know actors who have their parents pay their $1,500 rent in Los Angeles or New York, paying for their head shots or acting classes. I’ve never ever had any of that!

Jamie Bernadette

Jamie Bernadette

What lessons did you learn early on that impacted you and the course of your career?

I learned not to listen to people! [laughs] There are a lot of negative people out there who will try to bring you down. Gosh, I’ve heard it all! People like to be right! For instance, I had an actor say to me, “If you haven’t made it by the time your 30, you’re not going to make it.” To me, that’s his justification for not making it himself. People love to be right and they do not want to be wrong, so if he is over 30 and he hasn’t made it, it’s not his fault. That’s just the way it is! So, he’s right in that way, in his mind. I’ve learned the psychology of all of this and I’m not going to listen to it! People pick up what other people say that is negative and they take it as true but really there are no rules to this game! Look at Lin Shaye, I love her! She was well into her 30a before she started working. Steve Carrell is another great example. There is also the diversity thing. If you’re not the race that’s hot right now, someone will say, “Oh, you’re not going to make it now. No one wants you!” All of that is garbage! Anything is possible in this world! I believe it’s how you think, what you put out there and how hard you work. You persist! I just don’t believe any of that negativity and I don’t listen to it. I learned that along the way, and it’s been really helpful!

Your body of work is impressive. When did you come into your own as an actor?

I had a movie come out in 2010 called “MILF.” It was an “American Pie” kind of film. It was kind of a dirty comedy but funny, very funny! I had a supporting role in the film. The Asylum, who picked up “The Sixth Friend” for distribution, made that film. That’s when I met them, and I’ve known them for over eight years now. That film helped a lot but there were other little pieces along the way and each little bit helped. It didn’t happen overnight. It was an accumulation. I think “All Girls Weekend” did really well. I did that in 2015 and I feel like I developed a lot of my fanbase from that. When I did “NCIS: New Orleans,” which I guest starred on, that really helped. It’s been an accumulation. Of course, when I booked “I Spit On Your Grave: Déjà vu,” the sequel to the 1978 original, I noticed a lot of people reaching out to me and offering me parts with the anticipation of that film coming out. That helped as well!

What does it take to have a career, like the one you are building, in this day and age?

I think it’s staying away from drugs and alcohol. That’s the demise of so many people who do this. I mean, I drink occasionally but some people get crazy with it. Cocaine is really big in the entertainment industry. Getting into drugs is something you definitely don’t want to do because I’ve seen so many people ruin their careers with that. It also comes down to, like I said before, persistence. I think it’s also important to have other activities to enjoy and not to become so obsessed with acting. I like to travel, do photography, photo editing and I write. If I feel like I’m getting too sucked in and drowning, I will jump in my car and go to the mountains to get away. It’s extremely therapeutic for me to remember that there are other parts to life!

What are the biggest challenge you faced and overcome over the course of your career?

Early on in my career, there was a huge financial challenge, which I’ve already touched on. Trying to audition and support myself was certainly a challenge. I think loneliness has also been a thing, which is something a lot of actors talk about. With acting, when you’re really going at it, we work all the time. If we aren’t putting an audition tape together, we’re going to an audition, meeting with an agent or doing something with marketing or social media. You can get to the point where you don’t have a social life, which is something I’m trying to do better at because I can be quite a hermit and workaholic! [laughs] I’m in a few different cities and I jump around, of course, because there is acting work everywhere. However, in Los Angeles for example, it’s not a small town where you get together for football on Sundays. People just don’t do that here in LA. In the entertainment industry, everyone’s in their own little world. I have the best of friends, but I might not see them for eight months and that’s totally normal here! The isolation is very extreme. My friend, Maria Olsen, is big in the horror scene and we are really close. We were talking about this at length. We were discussing the isolation and loneliness and how depression can result from that! That’s definitely a challenge!

Your latest project is called “The Sixth Friend.” It’s interesting because this film seems to be ushering in the next exciting chapter in your career. How did the ball get rolling on this one?

I watched “The Descent” many years ago and I wanted to write a film with strong female characters like that film. The characters were smart and making intelligent decisions. They weren’t stereotypes but real women! I wrote the original screenplay for “The Sixth Friend” and, when we hired the director, Letia Clouston came on. She had some great ideas on how to change things up and make it different and wrote the second draft. We bounced it back and forth from there. That’s how “The Sixth Friend” came about. I ended up producing it with Chantelle Albers. I met her on an independent film we were doing together. We both act in the film and produced it. I don’t know, somehow the thing got done! [laughs]

You sound surprised! [laughs]

Yeah, it was an endeavor, man! You can describe producing a film from the ground up with the analogy of planning 20 different, huge weddings at the same time! It’s at that level! There’s so much that goes into it and people just don’t realize how crazy it is!

What was the biggest challenge from an acting standpoint?

Well, it’s a very emotional role. That’s always a challenge and I have to get mentally prepared before I do scenes like that and take the time to mentally prepare. I think so much of the preparation comes before you step on camera. You have to be in the right mindset before you do a scene like that. You can’t just force the emotion and not be there mentally. Being able to block everyone out on set is something I’ve gotten pretty good at! I’ve been on some pretty noisy sets and the people who’ve worked with me know that I can go into a corner and I’m off in my own world! [laughs] I did a movie in South Africa with director Darrell Roodt. He was convinced that I’m deaf! [laughs] I’m like, “I’m not deaf! I can hear you!” It’s funny, he teases me because I’m a very intense actor. I’m not Daniel Day-Lewis intense but I’m intense! I believe you have to give yourself the proper time and you can’t be joking around with people on set. Well, at least I can’t be joking around and then have them call, “Action” and be emotional. I don’t do that and it’s something I’ve learned doesn’t work for me. I’ve been doing for this for 12 years now and I’ve learned that I need time to prepare because the camera doesn’t lie! You can fake tears or emotion, but you can’t fake what’s in your eyes! That camera is really close! It’s right there and it’s mindreading in a way.

What is your typical process to build out a character and has that process evolved?

Yeah, it has evolved. Whew, that gets very personal! [laughs] That’s OK though! That’s why interviews are fun. A lot of people who don’t do film don’t know this but 99% of films jump around the script when filming. They will do the scene on page 80, back to page 20 and forward to page 99. As an actor, you’ve had to have done your homework so that you know where your character is emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically. I had a role in “The Furnace” where my character was handicapped. I have to know where I’m at during each scene. My notes will cover the script with ink! I do so much homework before I step on set, so that I don’t have to worry about that. When it’s time to do the emotional scene, I can just get into my head. A lot of times, that is about me regressing back to my past. I pull a lot from my past. I’ve had directors or producers wanting to know what I’m working with! Especially on “The Furnace,” they were like, “What are you doing? What are you using? What has your life been like?” [laughs] I’m a very private person. Very, very few people in my life actually know my real life, so I pull a lot from the past before I start the scene. When I’m in the scene, I am that character. I have done my work before the scene and got what I need to get emotionally, which is whatever is triggering me that day and it can change. I will scan through different things and find what is triggering something. Occasionally, I will use music, which I did a couple times on “The Furnace.” Every day on the set of “The Furnace,” I was an emotional basket case! There was always something going on with that film. So, I use music sometimes, it just depends. It’s definitely about being in a very dark place and staying there. I’ve learned along the way that when you do an emotional scene, don’t come out of that place right away because they may ask you to do another take even after they said they were done with it. If they change their mind, then you’re no longer that emotional. I will stay in it in between takes and in between scenes. That’s when I get very dark on set and people learn very quickly not to talk to me. Not in a mean way but people learn how I work very quickly.

Jamie Berndette

I imagine it takes quite a while to decompress from digging so deep.

Yeah, I can get very depressed for a little while but it’s worth it to me because that’s my art. I’ve heard some people say, “I’d advise against that. You don’t want to be depressed.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? This is art! This is worth it!” So, if I’m depressed for a couple of days afterwards, please, it was worth it!

What do you look for in the material you are taking on these days?

When I get an offer, I first look at the director’s past work. That’s the first thing that I do. When I started my career, I was doing more quantity. However, for me personally as an actress, I wanted to move toward quality and make that the priority, as opposed to doing everything. So, I the first thing I do is look at the director’s work to see how it is. If I like it, I look at the script. If I like that and the character, then it’s a go!

You delved deeply into many dark roles. Was there ever a worry you might become typecast?

No, I always wanted to do horror, ever since I was a little girl. It’s a total dream of mine and I love it! Ya know, I think we are passed the time of, “Once you’re a scream queen, you’re always a scream queen.” I think we are done with those days, to be honest. I did a guest star on “NCIS: New Orleans” and one on “Midnight, Texas,” where I played a vampire. Then I did “The Furnace,” which is a faith-based drama. I have crossed so many genres, so I don’t think we are putting people in boxes like we used to.

That’s cool to hear. It’s equally cool we’re living in a time where we can go back and see your early work at the press of a button. What were the most challenging roles you took on and what should we check out?

I think “4:20 Massacre” turned out really well. It’s playing on Showtime still! I think it’s been on there for like four months. I enjoyed that one a lot. “All Girls Weekend” was an earlier one for me that I also enjoyed. That was a tough shoot. I think that was the coldest I have ever been in my life on any movie! One reviewer was like, “Oh, how dramatic! At the end of the movie, bring on the snow.” I’m like, “Uh, no. That was real snow, man! That was ice! That was real!” It was a fun film and a neat story. Those are just a few!

What are some of the things you are anxious to tackle as your career moves forward?

I would love to book a TV series regular, honestly. That’s been a lot of my focus lately. Then, I’m also writing “The Sixth Friend 2.” I’ve always intended on doing a sequel and I’m halfway done with that. I’m also talking with someone about producing something and it actually might happen! I thought I was done with producing for a while but when a good opportunity seems to present itself to me, yeah, I might consider it! We might film in South Africa, so there is talk of that. I also write poetry, which I’ve done since I was little. I really need to get my book together this year. That’s one of my 2019 goals. I always wanted to build up my name big enough to where I felt a publisher would take it on. I don’t want to self-publish.

Wow! That’s amazing. What can you tell us about your work as a poet?

I would relate my work closely to Sylvia Plath. It’s kind of dark, free verse.

One of the hardest working artists in the business, Jamie Bernadette has a ton of new projects on the way!

Is stepping behind the camera as a director something you might take on in the future as well?

I’m definitely interested in directing and it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. The director of “The Furnace,” Darrell Roodt, has been directing since the ‘80s. He was nominated for an Oscar and he’s a phenomenal talent. I’ve been meaning to ask him if I can come along sometime. I’d love for him to teach me some things. I’d love to be his shadow on a movie! I’ve been interested in directing for quite a long time but it’s something that just hasn’t happened yet but it’s definitely in my list at some point!

What projects are on the way in 2019?

“I Spit On Your Grave: Déjà vu” is coming out in 2019. I don’t know exactly when. That’s all that they’ve told me. I also did a really fun horror movie, with Sean Cain directing, called “Cerberus.” I play one of the villains and it’s a really neat role, which has me really excited. I have another one called “Nicole, Her Ex & The Killer,” which is more of a horror-comedy. I loved my role in that. I play the stuck-up sister of the lead actress, which is a different kind of role for me. I’ve never really played anything like that before. Let’s see, what else am I forgetting? “State of Desolation,” which is the second film I produced, is a post-apocalyptic drama. I lead the film with Craig Stark, who’s currently on his third Quentin Tarantino movie right now! He’s doing really well! There are some really great scenes in that film. I’m really excited about that and we are wrapping up the post-production on it and I hope we get it out this year.

As you said earlier, you exploded onto the radar of many horror fans when you were cast in “I Spit On Your Grave: Déjà vu.” What was it about the franchise and film that made you want to take it on?

I had seen the original ’78 film before I ever saw the audition notice and I thought it was real and powerful with the way it makes the audience feel. It’s so hard to watch, which is very effective filmmaking! I love that original film and I saw the casting notice and thought, “Oh my goodness! Are you kidding me right now?!” I thought literally, “I won’t get this.” I had been thinking negatively even though I try not to do that! [laughs] I figured I wouldn’t get it, but I’d click submit anyway. Then they were like, “Send in a tape.” I sent in the tape and then they were like, “OK, we want you to come to an in-person callback.” I thought, “Well, if I meet director Meir Zarchi, who is the writer and director of the original, I’m good! I don’t care if I don’t get the role but if I meet him, my day is made!” I walked in, met him and had a long audition. It was like 40 minutes and I thought it really went well. I really cried in the audition, I was emotional, and I took my time with the scenes as Meir directed me. After that, it was a lot of back and forth with producer Terry Zarchi, who is Meir’s son. There was a lot of back and forth and lots of questions. I also had another movie that was maybe going to conflict, “Fight Valley,” which did very well but I ended up pulling out because of that potential conflict. There were a couple of months before I got called to a third callback that was five hours long! [laughs] I read with all of these different actors and I gave my input. I read with Maria Olsen, actually, who I knew from before. We weren’t good friends yet, but I knew her. I really pushed for her to get the part, not because I knew her but because she was simply the best. They wanted my input on everyone, but they hadn’t told me I had the role yet. It was really interesting. Next thing you know, a few more months passed and there were more phone calls with Terry! [laughs] He would ask me questions. I was on set, in Florida, filming “Smother By Mothers,” when I got the call from Terry saying I got the part. I literally hung up the phone and cried on my bed for 20 minutes because I had wanted it so badly and I couldn’t believe I got the role.

You immersed yourself in the role and have seen the completed film at this point. What did you bring to the role that might not have been in the original script?

I think I brought a sameness and depth that wasn’t on the original written page. She’s a model, she’s tired of her career and she doesn’t eat. I lost a lot of weight for that role and I looked pretty sickly. You know how models can be. I didn’t even want to eat a salad. I think there is a real sadness there. Modeling is a really lonely life. Then, there really was an eating disorder. That all wasn’t on the page, that was my character development. I could have gone an entirely different way with it and been happy and chipper, but I didn’t go that direction. I went serious.

I’m sure we will cross paths a little later in the year to discuss that film in depth, so I don’t want to dig too deep yet. I know we’re short on time, so I have one more question for you. What is the best lesson we can take from your journey so far?

I guess it all comes down to persistence. I’m big about that. I believe that if you persist at something long enough, eventually, something’s got to break! Eventually something’s got to happen! [laughs]

True and things are definitely happening for you, thank you so much for the hard work you put in. It really shows on screen.

Thank you so much, Jason! I look forward to talking to you again soon. I appreciate your time!

‘The 6th Friend’ opens theatrically on January 11, 2019 via The Asylum. Check out the official trailer for the film below. Follow the continuing adventures of Jamie Bernadette on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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New Trailer and Poster Unveiled For Ron Carlson’s Horror-Comedy ‘Dead Ant’

New Trailer and Poster Unveiled For Ron Carlson’s Horror-Comedy ‘Dead Ant’

Check out a brand new poster and trailer for Ron Carlson’s ‘Dead Ant.’ Written and directed by Ron Carlson (Unnatural), the flick features an all-star cast featuring Tom Arnold (True Lies), Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings), Sydney Sweeney (“Sharp Objects,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”), Jake Busey (The Predator), Leisha Hailey (The L-Word) and Rhys Coiro (Entourage).

This hilarious horror comedy is slated for to hit theaters, On Demand & Digital HD on January 25, 2019.

Synopsis: ’80s hair-metal band Sonic Grave finds themselves living off a power ballad they released nearly 30 years ago. Eager to become relevant again in the modern day, they embark on a road trip to Coachella, where their manager has set them up to reinvent themselves. All they need is a hit song, and what better way to come up with one than to take peyote in Joshua Tree and let the music gods work their magic? But the plan quickly falls apart when the group finds themselves under attack by killer ants…that keep getting bigger!

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Tobe Hooper’s White-Knuckle Chiller “The Mangler” Hits Blu-ray This December!

Tobe Hooper’s White-Knuckle Chiller “The Mangler” Hits Blu-ray This December!

The masters of horror Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street Franchise) and Stephen King (Creepshow, Misery) join to bring you a shocking tale of terror. Available December 11th, 2018 from Scream Factory, The Mangler features a new 4K print of the original camera negative from the uncut version. The release also contains several new bonus features, including a new audio commentary with co-writer Stephen David Brooks, a new interview with actor Robert Englund, rare behind-the-scenes footage, and more! Fans can pre-order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com

Based on King’s short story, this white-knuckle chiller follows a cop (Ted Levine, The Silence Of The Lambs, The Hills Have Eyes) as he investigates a series of grisly accidents … and uncovers a deadly town secret that has been hidden for years – a terrifying entity that threatens to destroy everything in its path. With time running out and a young girl’s life in the balance, he races to destroy the beast before it’s too late!

The Mangler Bonus Features
· NEW 4K of the original camera negative for the uncut version
· NEW Audio Commentary with co-writer Stephen David Brooks
· NEW Hell’s Bells – an interview with actor Robert Englund
· Rare behind-the-scenes footage
· Theatrical Trailer
· TV Spot

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‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation’ Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray To Be Unleashed On December 11th!

‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation’ Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray To Be Unleashed On December 11th!

If looks could kill, he wouldn’t need a chainsaw. “Leatherface” is BACK! Scream Factory proudly presents the fourth installment of the terrifying franchise Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation makes its Blu-ray debut in North America on December 11, 2018.

The film is presented here in an ultimate collector’s edition featuring both the theatrical and director’s cuts, with loads of new extras including new audio commentary and interviews with cast and crew.

When a helpful family invites two lost couples in for a good ol’ down-home massacre, the prom night teens find themselves all dressed up … with no place to escape. To their dismay, the old farmhouse is home to Leatherface and his insane family of cannibalistic psychopaths. Featuring fast-paced fun, standout stars and a horrific helping of the franchise’s own brand of gore, the “fourth Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie takes a comedic turn even more pronounced than the previous two combined!” (The Terror Trap)

Special Features:

· Two Cuts of the Film – the theatrical cut (87 minutes – HD) and the director’s cut (93 minutes – HD with standard definition inserts)

· NEW Audio Commentary with writer/director Kim Henkel (on Director’s Cut)

· NEW The Buzz is Back – an interview with Director of Photography Levie Isaacks

· NEW Marked for Death – an interview with actor Tyler Shea Cone

· NEW If Looks Could Kill: The Return of a “Chainsaw Massacre” – an interview with special makeup effects artist J.M. Logan and production designer Deborah Pastor

· Still Gallery

· Theatrical Trailer

Rated R for demented mayhem and torture, and for strong language.

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UNSTOPPABLE: John Hennigan On His Creative Evolution and New Film Projects!

UNSTOPPABLE: John Hennigan On His Creative Evolution and New Film Projects!

John Hennigan, one of most dynamic performers in the industry, continues to push his creative limits.

Born and raised in Southern California, John Hennigan was destined to become a star. Throughout his meteoric rise, he has proved time and time again to be one of most versatile performers in the entertainment business. He has been wrestling professionally since 2002 and has been a shining star in the U.S. and Mexico, where he also has competed for Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide. He is a crossover star, appearing on various TV shows, including “Days of Our Lives,” in addition to numerous film credits, including “Boone: The Bounty Hunter,” which he created, co-wrote and served as executive producer. Hennigan recently tied the knot with Taya Valkyrie (aka Kira Forster-Hennigan) this past June, with many personalities from their wrestling lives attending, including WWE Superstars The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder. Ironically, Hennigan wasn’t around for much of his wedding planning, as he was instead in Fiji, filming Season 37 of the hit CBS TV show “Survivor,” which kicked off in September.

With each passing year, Hennigan continues expand his resume by taking on challenging projects in a variety of mediums. Whether it’s brining his passion project, ‘Boone: The Bounty Hunter’ to the screen or stepping behind the camera for his upcoming flick, ‘The Iron Sheik Massacre,’ this star-on-the-rise continues to push his creative limits and shine as a storyteller. This Fall, it’s man versus nature when Hennigan teams up with acclaimed actor Stephen Tobolowsky (’Silicon Valley,’ ‘Deadwood’) to play ‘leapfrog’ with mutated amphibians in Ojala Productions’ epic eco-thriller ‘Strange Nature.’ Based on true unsolved outbreaks of wildlife mutations, fall fright-fest the film marks the directorial debut of fx maestro James Ojala (‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army,’ ‘Thor,’ ‘Tron: Legacy,’ ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’) and stars Lisa Sheridan (“Invasion”), Stephen Tobolowsky (Memento), Tiffany Shepis (Victor Crowley), and Carlos Alazraqui (The Funhouse Massacre). 

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Hennigan to discuss his life inside and out of the squared circle, the challenges he has faced along the way, his role in Jim Olala’s ‘Strange Nature’ and what the future holds for him in behind the camera!

You’ve spent the past decade building a tremendous career for yourself. What drew you to professional wrestling as a young man?

I feel like it started with the larger than life characters. When I was a kid, I grew up on pro-wrestling and action movies. I moved to a new place in 6th grade and I was a wrestling fan who watched it all the time. When I got to the new town, as the new kid, pro-wrestling was the first thing that I bonded with kids in my school and neighborhood over. We’d watch wrestling and try to put each other in Boston crabs or sharpshooters in each other’s backyards after we would watch on Saturday or Sunday! [laughs] I feel like when you’re hooked on something like that when you’re a kid, you’re always going to be nostalgic for it and have a soft spot for it. As I grew up, I went to high school and college before starting collegiate wrestling. At one point, I was even going to try to be an Olympic wrestler, but I ended up falling into training for fight choreography in action movies. At one point I had this epiphany that professional wrestling was the thing that had been motivating me to do everything I had been doing in life. That’s when I ended up training and started doing “Tough Enough.”

Who had the biggest impact on your from the worlds of professional wrestling and action movies?

Action movie-wise, when I was a kid it was probably a toss up between Schwarzenegger, Van Damme and Stallone. I got really, really into Jackie Chan when I got into intermediate school. He is definitely my number one movie influence! It made me want to do high school wrestling, flips, kicks and martial arts. When I got to college, that kind of action was the kind of stuff I was going for. With professional wrestling, it’s another example of how your tastes change over time. When I was really young, it was all about The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage. As I got older, I got into HBK but I never stopped liking Macho Man! [laughs] I also got into some of the ECW stuff with Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Damme, when I was older. It’s tough to pick just one person as my biggest influence. They are all so good!

It takes a lot to make it in the world of professional wrestling. What are the keys to success and longevity?

Patience. Passion. You know that speech that Rocky gives in “Rocky Balboa”? He says, “It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how much you can get hit and keep moving forward.” I feel like that’s very true for pro-wrestling. Obviously, it’s a nice analogy because you take bumps and get up in the ring but on you path of getting into and learning the business you hear the word “no” so many times. You have to have this clear vision and belief in yourself. If you don’t have that, eventually your motivation is to wane, you are going to find something else and stop training. If you have that clear vision and belief in yourself, then you can do anything you set your mind to and that’s really what it takes.

Who had the biggest impact on you behind-the-scenes? Did anyone serve as a mentor or give you a push when you needed it most?

So many! Tommy Dreamer has been there as a friend/mentor since I started in Louisville with OVW. I put Joey Mercury in that same category and Al Snow from “Tough Enough.” I also learned so much from Lance Storm when he was training at OVW. The way pro-wrestling works best, in my opinion, is that when you start wrestling a ton, the guys that you are in the ring with teach you more when you are in the ring. When the bell rings then you can learn more there than you can by talking about it, thinking about it or watching stuff on tape or on TV. All of the vets that I was in the ring with were all mentors to me.

That’s a great outlook. Was this work ethic of yours something that was instilled in you early on in life or something you had to work toward?

Wow! Man, this is a crazy interview! [laughs] Both! Growing up, I feel like the way that I validated myself was achievement oriented. When I first started wrestling in high school it was the first thing that I was really good at and I had a lot of early successes. For example, I won the championships the first year in high school and that made me focus, double down and try that much harder. It’s never a really good idea, especially as you get older, to see yourself only on what you’ve accomplished but that is what I did when I was younger. It made me really ambitious and it’s something I have carried with me since I was a kid.

What do you consider some of the biggest obstacles you have faced and overcome along the way?

Wrestling is tough. Sometimes it can get monotonous and you might have doubt. I don’t know if the coin has been turned but it’s kind of like “creator’s guilt” or “artists guilt,” when you reflect on the things that you are doing and ponder things like “Is the story I’m telling currently, or the time I’m spending to tell it, what I should be doing or the best use of my time?” Ruminating on that sometimes is an obstacle for me because the answer to that question is subjective and it changes. Sometimes it’s tricky. I don’t know if that’s the answer you’re looking for. You might be looking for an answer speaking to the physical aspect of the job. I tore my MCL in 2007, had neck surgery in 2011 and just dislocated my elbow three months ago. The first time I’m going to wrestle without my elbow brace is on Sunday at Bound for Glory. It’s hard to come back from injury but I think the mental and emotional obstacles are more difficult for me.

How do you feel you have most evolved over the course of your career, both inside and outside the ring?

At some point in pro-wrestling, you have that Neo moment where you can see the Matrix, so to speak. [laughs] For me, those moments when I know exactly what I’m doing, and everything makes sense, happen sometimes. It’s not like a switch that is flipped on or off, where you constantly know everything. You have to fight to stay relevant, keep everything you are doing fresh and figure out what people want. What people want changes and that’s one of the hardest things about wrestling. If you can figure out what people want, then you pretty much have the answer to everything in life! That idea of keeping yourself fresh and motivated is a big part of it. It’s less about keeping yourself relevant and more about keeping yourself interested in what you are doing and motivated to move forward.

Your arrival in Impact Wrestling is a huge deal for fans. What made this the right move for you at this point in time?

I’ve been all over, and I have worked for most of the companies in the world. When I came to Impact, I felt it was one of the only places with a roster of talented people who I hadn’t worked with that much. Currently, I believe Impact Wrestling is at a really interesting spot. The roster has evolved into a younger, hungry, talented roster. If you look at the comments that people are making when they watch a lot of the Impact Wrestling shows, it feels like something really great is happening at Impact and it’s happening now. That makes me excited to be a part of the company. It’s fun to be a part of an organization that’s evolving and changing into something that people really like!

You recently tied the knot To Taya Valkyrie (aka Kira Forster-Hennigan). Congratulations! Pardon the pun but you two clearly make a terrific tag team. What do you feel that you bring out in each other creatively?

[laughs] That’s a long answer! It’s tough because in this business so people say, “Never date anyone in the business.” When I met Kira, I instantly felt like I was with someone who understood me, my motivations and the business of pro-wrestling. We connected on so many different levels. As far as what we bring out in each other creatively, I think it starts with us understanding and accepting each other. That leads us to double down. She believes in me enough so that I feel like whatever I feel like doing, I just do it and I know she is going to be cool with it. For example, on our honeymoon, we wrote this crazy horror-comedy thing that we shot in our house a few weeks ago. It’s going to take a couple of months to finish it. I’ll just say that it’s crazy and that we destroyed our house. The whole house is covered in fake blood and stuff from the movie. I feel like that’s the kind of thing where both of us said, “Should we do this?” The answer is “Yeah, why not!” If we’re going to make a cool little horror movie, let’s go all the way with it. That’s what we did! I think that’s one of the reasons we love each other so much. We support each other, and we are all in.

I’m excited to see where that project leads. You’ve already established yourself in the film industry. Are there parallels between the worlds of film and professional wrestling?

Movies, pro-wrestling, television and theater are all forms of storytelling. For me, it’s cool to be able to tell stories in each of those different areas. In film, it’s really about storytelling just as much as it is in pro-wrestling. The type of stories you can tell with movies can be a little more complex or intricate because of the medium. It’s fun to think about the different type of tools and ways you can tell a story. It’s definitely something I’m eager to explore more in the future.

When did you come into your own as a storyteller within the realms of wrestling, film and television?

That’s another tough one. There are a ton of moments. I’ve had so many more moments in the world of pro-wrestling than I’ve had in the worlds of film and TV that they seem more profound because they are on a bigger stage! [laughs] For wrestling, there were a couple of tag matches that I had at OVW, when MNM was first clicking, versus Mac Johnson and Seth Skyfire. That was an early moment where I felt like I knew what I was doing and I understand who Johnny Nitro, who I was at the time, really was. I knew what my job was and what the crowd really wanted and what they didn’t want. A similar moment was when we debuted on Smackdown and MNM wrestled Eddie [Guerrero] and Rey [Mysterio]. I also had a moment against CM Punk in 2007 where I felt I made a big jump and I finally understood what it finally meant to be a heel. In 2010, in Baltimore, versus Jeff Hardy was another standout moment. Now, with Impact and Lucha Underground, they continue! I feel like that’s one of the addicting things about professional wrestling. You have these moments and thoughts and when you execute your plan, you get instant feedback. You feel it from the crowd and that lets you know if you’re right or wrong! [laughs] Wrestling fans aren’t afraid to let you know that you’re not right! With movies, it’s weird. Like I said, I feel that wrestling, movies, TV, theater and rock concerts are all about storytelling and conveying emotion. For an actor, in my category, it’s all about figuring out what people want to see from me, what I really like and conveying that emotion. Having that as my base is something that took me a long time to figure out. That’s not to say that if I’m in a movie that I have to be goofy all the time. However, if that is who I am when I start and what’s in the script and story creates circumstances that my character goes through, figuring out that starting point is something that a lot of actors never really figure out. For me, going through the process of “Boone: The Bounty Hunter” was a true learning experience. I worked on that, wrote it and re-wrote it so many times and worked on it with my acting coaches and finally did it on set. That helped me discern my best starting moment that I feel is correct for me. I carried that over to “Strange Nature” as well.

How did “Strange Nature” land on your radar?

The first thing that brought me to the project was Jim Ojala. We met through Seth Skyfire [aka Steve Adkins]. He helped me on a project called “Darkness Descending,” which I was a co-producer of and I wanted to have sweet tats! He was the best practical effects guy that Seth Skyfire knew, so he introduced us. Jim helped with that project. I also wanted to do a thing called “Ghost Puncher” about a guy who punches ghosts and Jim and Seth both came on for that. I just really dig Jim. He is really quirky and smart! [laughs] When I found out he was working on “Strange Nature,” I was excited to be a part of it.

What made you want to be a part of bringing the film to life?

This has been his passion project that he’d been working on for years. He came up with the idea for “Strange Nature” something like 15 years ago, so it’s something that has been marinating in his head for a long time. It really wouldn’t have mattered too much what he wanted to do because I had so much faith in him but it turned out to be even better because the story is based on facts. It’s a fictional tale about mutations in frogs and what would happen if you expanded on that phenomena and what it could mean to society with its political and ecological implications and, what’s most interesting, how it affects people. That’s really what the heart of “Strange Nature” is. Jim is a horror guy, so there is a great horror slant to this thing, which I think is really cool!

What did you bring to this character that wasn’t on the original written page?

Biceps! [laughs] Ya know, I really brought myself to it. I came in with an open mind. I think Jim did a really good job of writing the character with some depth. It wasn’t just a superficial, redneck, small-minded guy. The psyche of the character I play in “Strange Nature” is based on personal experiences. The way that the character deals with things makes sense logically but is also not very nice.

John Hennigan playing Strange Nature’s ringleader, Sam, with Carlos Alazraqui (Greg) and Justen Overlander (Larry) reluctantly backing him up.

What do you look for in the projects you take on at this point in your career?

Depth. With both acting and wrestling, I’m looking to work with talented people who like to create stories that I believe in. As an actor, I’m looking for a multi-layered character who is like a layer cake — delicious, creamy and filling! [laughs] I’m just constantly on the lookout for stuff that is interesting!

Earlier, you mentioned shooting a horror film in your house with you wife. Can you give us insight into this intriguing new project?

It’s called “Iron Sheik Massacre.” It involves the Iron Sheik, who is helping out. Jim Ojala helped to produce and do all the effects for the film as well. The exact idea of it we haven’t really put out there yet. It’s in post and we’re not rushing it. I feel like you get the best results if you take your time with post and we don’t really have a firm deadline. I think “Iron Sheik Massacre” will probably be completed next year, maybe Aprilish, and we plan on submitting it to festivals.

Are you serving as director on the “Iron Sheik Massacre?”

Oh yeah, this is the first thing that I’ve directed in a very long time. It’s the first truly substantial thing I have directed since film school. I’ve directed shorts, skits and online things but this made me realize that directing is not easy.

What is the biggest thing you took away from projects like “Boone: The Bounty Hunter” and “Strange Nature?”

I’ve learned so many things. If you are working with the right people, a lot of the potential problems are already going to be solved. All the jobs on set exist for a reason. Your line producer, first AD, camera op, assistant camera op, digital image technician (DIT), script supervisor are all there for a reason. If you hire or happen to be really good friends with talented people in those categories, you’re going to free yourself as a director or producer to focus on creative stuff and that is way more fun than putting out fires and getting permits! By fires I mean the little things that go wrong like people not being able to find the place or the catering being late — all of those little things that come up with production. The faster you take care of something correctly, the less you have to learn about it later.

What the biggest lesson we can take away from your journey so far?

If you believe and invest in yourself, you’ll never regret it, even if it doesn’t pay off the way you want it to. That’s a good bet. Always bet on yourself!

Thanks so much for taking time out to connect with me today! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the years to come. 

Great talking to you today, Jason! Thank you so much! I hope we talk again soon!

‘Strange Nature’ is available now on DVD and VOD via all digital platforms. Connect with John Hennigan through social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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SIN CITY PSYCHO: Pauly Shore Unveils 11-Minute Psychological Thriller!

SIN CITY PSYCHO: Pauly Shore Unveils 11-Minute Psychological Thriller!

Actor Pauly Shore is best known to fans worldwide as a stand-up-comic and a hugely successful comic actor. Now, in a dramatic departure he goes extremely dark in the psychological thriller SIN CITY PSYCHO, an 11-minute short film which he wrote/produced/directed and stars in with Sharon Gardner.

Shore has made the short film available online for FREE on his YouTube Channel.

“I’ve always wanted to play a psychopath, what actor doesn’t? I’ve been known for comedy my entire life, so it was really fun to dig in and do something unexpected. I came up with this premise a while ago; I’ve always loved Dexter, American Psycho, and Silence of the Lambs,” said Shore.

“I thought filming something in Las Vegas regarding an unfaithful spouse made sense because people go to Vegas all the time and always say when they do bad things, ‘whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,’ that’s not the case for my character Donovan, he doesn’t play that shit,” added Shore.

Synopsis: In Sin City Psycho, driven to madness, Donavan (Shore) preys on Sin City’s unfaithful flock by tangling them into a web of torture where broken vows could mean broken bones. Along with his sister Ione, this deranged vigilante justifies the horrors in his wake with the illusions in his head and shows those willing to cheat on their loving spouses that everything that happens in Vegas, slays in Vegas. However, after he lures Tiffany (Gardner) into his deadly web, Donavan finds the next sin to face judgement may just be his very own.

Shore has made the short film as a proof of concept for either a feature-length film, or a television series.

“I also loved writing and directing this short and wanted to make sure the tone stayed real to the scene and the characters. Of course, I would love to do this as a feature, so please tell any of your sweet Thriller producers out there that I’m game,” said Shore.

Pauly Shore on Social Media:

Instagram @paulyshore

Twitter @paulyshore

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYQsGZ-VP-d9MK0_K6zJxRg

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPaulyShore/

Website – http://www.paulyshore.com/

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Scream Factory To Unleash ‘Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2’ Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray On December 11th!

Scream Factory To Unleash ‘Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2’ Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray On December 11th!

The nightmare is about to begin…again. “Santa” is back in the sequel to the infamous 1984 cult classic and horror holiday favorite. Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 comes to Blu-ray for the first time, lavishly presented in a Collector’s Edition set, on December 11, 2018 from Scream Factory. This release features a new 2K scan of an archival theatrical print, and is packed with bonus features, including new featurettes, interviews and commentaries with cast and crew.

Scream Factory will also offer a limited edition set that includes a poster, slipcover and the exclusive Ricky/Killer Santa action figure from NECA, available for pre-order on shoutfactory.com. This 8-inch clothed Ricky Chapman action figure is dressed in a fabric Santa suit with removable sculpted hat. The figure is fully poseable and comes with gun and axe accessories in window box packaging.

It’s Garbage Day! Ricky is being released from a mental hospital. He takes with him the terrifying memory of his brother Billy’s death and the memory of Mother Superior who brought about his brother’s demise. For Ricky, starting a new life means avenging his brother’s death, which sets him on a blind journey of relentless revenge, leading ultimately to Mother Superior. And when he gets to her, not even her faith will be enough to stop Ricky as he follows in the family tradition of Christmas carnage

Bonus Features:

  • NEW 2K Scan of an archival theatrical print
  • NEW Audio Commentary with director Lee Harry, actors Eric Freeman and James Newman
  • NEW Slay Bells Ring Again: The Story of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 – featuring interviews with co-writer/director Lee Harry, actors Eric Freeman, James Newman, Elizabeth Kaitan, Darrel Guilbeau, Kenny McCabe and makeup effects artist Christopher Biggs
  • NEW Garbage Days Are Here Again – a look at the film’s locations
  • NEW Ricky Today – a short film featuring a 2018 interview with Ricky Chapman/Caldwell
  • NEW I Don’t Sleep – an extended interview with makeup effects artist Christopher Biggs
  • Audio Commentary by co-writer/director Lee Harry, co-writer Joseph H Earle and actor James Newman
  • Theatrical Trailer

*** SHOUT FACTORY.COM SITE EXCLUSIVE OFFER***

Fans of the film will want to take note of two exclusive offers on the release—which are only available at www.shoutfactory.com while supplies last.

STANDARD OFFER
• Receive the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray with slipcover
• Receive a limited-edition 18” x 24” rolled poster of the newly-designed art from artist Joel Robinson

Pre-order @ https://www.shoutfactory.com/product/silent-night-deadly-night-part-2-collector-s-edition?product_id=6924

DELUXE OFFER (Limited to 2,000 orders only – pictured below)• Receive the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray with slipcover
• Receive a limited-edition 18” x 24” rolled poster of the newly-designed art from artist Joel Robinson
• Receive an exclusive, limited edition 8″ tall Ricky Chapman figure by NECA

• Free Shipping
Pre-order @ https://www.shoutfactory.com/product/silent-night-deadly-night-part-2-deluxe-limited-edition-with-exclusive-action-figure?product_id=6944

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Hall and Oates Classic Song To Be Featured On “Mister Knifey-Hands” Episode of ‘The Goldbergs’

Hall and Oates Classic Song To Be Featured On “Mister Knifey-Hands” Episode of ‘The Goldbergs’

In the upcoming “Mister Knifey Hands” episode of ABC-TV’s hit comedy The Goldbergs (Wednesday, October 24 at 8 p.m. EST), executive producer Adam F. Goldberg’s dream came true after securing Robert Englund to come out of retirement and resurrect his infamous Freddy Krueger role from “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Goldberg then needed the perfect song from the 1980s to fit with his vision of incorporating Englund’s Krueger into a dream sequence that would terrify his on-screen smother, Beverly (Wendy McLendon-Covey), who, in her sleep, faces off with Krueger.

Hearing Daryl Hall and John Oates sing, ‘On a night when bad dreams become a screamer. When they’re messin’ with a dreamer,’ from their hit, “You Make My Dreams,” Goldberg knew he had a winner for this Halloween-tribute episode.

“Daryl Hall and John Oates were my favorite duo from my childhood,” said Goldberg. “Their songs dominated the 80s while I was growing up in suburban Philadelphia, also where both Daryl Hall and John Oates are from. This year, I had the amazing fortune of having Robert Englund agree to reprise his role of the legendary Freddy Krueger and I needed an iconic song to match up with the episode. ‘You Make My Dreams’ works perfectly into our storyline and is such a great way for me to pay homage to a duo that was a part of the soundtrack to my life.”

Taken from Daryl Hall and John Oates’ ninth studio album, Voices (1980), “You Make My Dreams” reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1981. The song is currently being used by the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL) during their home games in the 2018-19 season after every Leaf goal scored at the newly renamed Scotiabank Arena.

This episode of ‘The Goldbergs” is sure to be a killer time!

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PET SEMATARY: First Trailer and Poster Art Revealed For Latest Adaptation of The Classic Stephen King Tale

PET SEMATARY: First Trailer and Poster Art Revealed For Latest Adaptation of The Classic Stephen King Tale

The highly-anticipated trailer for the ‘Pet Sematary’ remake has arrived! Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, the film stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Hugo & Lucas Lavoie and John Lithgow. The film is currently slated for an April 5th, 2019 release.

Synopsis: Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.

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