During the recent Monster Mania convention in Cherry Hill, NJ (“>full report here), I took some time out to sit down with Jeffrey Combs, one of the most beloved and hardest working genre actors in the scene. Though he’s almost a convention staple at this point, he’s always working on new and interesting projects, so when I got word that he had not one or two but four new films in the pipeline, I had to find out more.
”Well, I just finished a movie that was called Fast Track while we were shooting it, but the title’s since been changed to Urgency,” Combs told me. ”It’s not a horror movie by any stretch of the imagination. It’s an action/adventure, and I play a ne’er-do-well neighbor who the lead comes to when he’s in trouble because I seem to be sort of a bumbling guy who doesn’t really know what’s going on, but you eventually find out there’s a lot more to me than originally assumed. That was a nice departure for me, doing some lighter, more comedic stuff.”
Indeed, it’s great to hear there are those out there giving the man some work outside of our genre; Combs really is a talented actor and deserves more chances to shine in different roles. That being said, he’s not done with our genre by any stretch… ”I also did a movie called Darkest Evil, which is a remake of The Dunwich Horror,” he continued. ”That was fun. I’m in that with Dean Stockwell, who as you know was in the original Dunwich Horror. It’s very Lovecraftian, very focused on staying dedicated to that whole mythos, although it takes place in Louisiana so I’m not sure how that will work out…”
We gave you guys the first heads-up about Darkest Evil back in April; since the film’s been shot and is in the can now, hopefully we’ll be hearing more about it soon. If nothing else it’s got a great cast so I’m sure it’ll be worth a look, even if it was directed by Asylum regular Leigh Scott.
Combs is also eagerly awaiting news on the release of William Malone’s “>Parasomnia, a film we’ve been covering for years now. ”He just screened it not too long ago and said it went really well,” Combs informed me. ”He’s in talks with people on distribution both domestic and foreign, and I see no reason why this very cool-looking movie won’t get picked up by someone. It looks so great, and I’m honored to work with Bill again because he’s just a great guy and a primo director.”
If you haven’t seen anything from it yet, I strongly encourage you to head over to the official Parasomnia site to see what you’ve been missing. ”It looks so far beyond its budget, has some great performances and a really surreal dark look,” Jeffrey enthused. ”The dream sequences are absolutely incredible. It’s the most kaleidoscopic, Dali-esque world he created, and I’ve never seen anything like it done before. I’m looking forward to wherever that ends up finding a home.”
Finally there is “>Dark House, another movie we’ve been feeding you guys info on for a while now. Combs seems especially happy with how this one’s looking. ”I play an entrepreneur who goes into communities, finds old houses and turns them into Halloween attractions. So I come into this town and find this house; then I head over to a local acting class and hire the whole class for the opening. So all these kids suddenly have this nice-paying job, but little do they know this house is really, really haunted. It used to be a foster home and the person who ran it was just horribly evil, monstrous, so there’s some very bad stuff going on in this house.”
The premise is nothing groundbreaking, but its execution sounds solid so Dark House will definitely be one we’re keeping our eyes on. If nothing else it’ll be nice to see Combs in a horror movie and not playing a villain of some sort. ”Everyone on that was just so right for their roles, and I got to play a lighter character, which was nice. I’m not the spooky threat in any way; I’m the guy who’s saying ‘C’mon, don’t be ridiculous’ … until all hell breaks loose.”
I also asked him about the possibility of more Haunted Hill movies, to which he said he had been hearing some rumblings but nothing official. As for a return to the lab coat for a reprisal of Dr. Herbert West, nothing’s happened on that front in a while so it’s all being seen as up in the air until he hears more. And of course when he does, we’ll make sure you guys hear about it, too!
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