Horror cinema has been around since the late 19th century. That gives us 130+ years of thousands of individuals who have laid some cement on the foundation of the genre that we have today. From the performers who were drenched in blood and screamed their way through countless films, to the writers and directors who created the causes for those screams, to the makeup artists and costume designers who brought the horrors to life.
It’s been an internet hobby of mine since the internet was a thing to research those involved with the genre. The most interesting part of the research is the arrival of the present and seeing where these individuals from past films are at now. With this monthly column, I will be sharing with you bits of information that I find out on these pioneers of horror past, answering the question, Where [Sc]are They Now?
“A slaptastic must if you’re a fan of the cheesiest of cheese that the 80’s offers.”
November at Nightmare is all about the spaces we call home, and the ones that we inhabit those spaces with us. Home Is Where the Horror Is, eh? That got me thinking about all of the characters in horror that were amazing mothers, terrifying stepfathers, annoying little siblings, and kooky grandparents. But there was one family member that stuck out to me in the list that went through my head.
1988 was the year. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is the film. Rick Johnson is the character. Andras Jones, the actor. Jones’ portrayal of Rick, brother to the Dream Master, Alice (Lisa Wilcow), sits comfy high on the list of the genre’s best siblings. Alice and Rick were the product of a home where the lines between kids and father was very tense. While the logistics of that relationship between them and their father (Nicholas Mele) weren’t delved into, we do see that Alice gets the bluntest end of their father’s unhappiness. Rick is there to act as her protector from that. He doesn’t just extend his hand, there. He’s her shoulder to lean on when their friends start dying. He’s the first of the teenagers to believe her when she tries to get them believe that Freddy Krueger (Robery Englund) is behind their deaths.
I don’t think that anyone else would have given as much life to Rick than Jones did. He was a sprite individual, a fighter, a lover, a friend, and most importantly, a brother. Jones’ foray into horror didn’t begin on Elm Street. A few months prior, in 1988, he was one of two survivors in the cheese cult classic, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-a-rama. This was Jones’ feature film debut. It’s a slaptastic must if you’re a fan of the cheesiest of cheese that the 80’s offers.
In the 31 years since that double horrored 1988, Jones has jumped in and out of the genre. 1989 saw him as a “psycho killer teen” chasing after a young Drew Barrymore in Far From Home. He was a part of the reanimated cop turned justice seeker film, The Demolitionist (1995), which also costarred another Elm Street kid, Heather Langenkamp. Then, in 2001, he was the lead in the mind-bending head scratcher, The Attic Expeditions, alongside Jeffrey Combs (Re-animator) and Seth Green (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Jones was also a part of the PC game, Night Trap. I knew little about this aside from remembering a piece from Inside Edition that was in the vein of “Violence in video games is shameful!” A little more digging, and it looks like an insanely entertaining time capsule of horror that I will find myself a part of as soon as possible.
In these cinematic projects, and his others, there’s always a certain charm to Jones. A charm that pulls you into his displays of madness, love, and in some cases, downright insanity. Film is not Jones’ only forte. Heck, no. The being is a master of many trades. Since the 90’s, music has been a true passion. Whether it’s with his band, The Previous, or flying solo, Jones has laid a pretty hefty amount of expertise to many a song. He’s toured all over with his music. Recently, within 2019, he’s released a solo album titled All You Get. The music is a mixture of indie rock and of blues magic. This album is just the tail end of nearly 30 years of music creation that Jones has done. All You Get is available to stream on Apple Music along with The Previous’ Unpop.
Jones combined his love of music and film along with philanthropic work and inward thinking by creating a radio show in 1998. It started out as The Online Oracle, and transformed into The Radio8Ball Show. As described on the podcast’s official website, each episode features “[…] rock stars and movie stars and comedians and visionaries and seekers of all stripes, never quite knowing where it will go except that it always starts with a question, and usually ends with one too. In the middle there is music and conversation. That’s our show. But there’s a little more to it… It’s like calisthenics for the part of our minds that recognizes synchronicity. Don’t be surprised if you start experiencing more sync in your daily life”.
Over 300 episodes are available, and features such talent as Patricia Arquette (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Michael Ian Black (Wet Hot American Summer), Seth Green (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy). Adding to the music and podcasting / live shows, Jones wrote and released a book in 2012 titled Accidental Initiations: In the Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia. The book is a journey through many aspect of life, and has been described as a “… quest for justice and ‘awesomeness’ in the face of what he calls ‘the boring haters.’ It’s a personal tale of a man, a magickal item, and a small town on the banks of a vortex”.
Jones doesn’t forget the films that we love that brought him into our hearts. He’s been a constant presence at horror conventions. Recently, he supported fellow Elm Street kid, Mark Patton, at a screening of Patton’s documentary, Scream, Queen!, along with a number of other Elm Street kids. While Andras Jones hasn’t had any new ventures in the genre of horror, he is constantly putting out content. He is no stranger to many aspects of art, and all of his art must be ventured into. He has a unique voice on many aspects of today’s culture, and without a doubt, will continue to share that voice.
Perhaps one day we’ll see him on in the cinematic world again, sharing that charisma that he shared as the best brother in horror cinema, Rick Johnson. What’s your favorite moment in Andras Jones’ span of artistic endeavors? Let us know over on Twitter, reddit, Instagram, and our Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!