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Home arrow Entertainment arrow Dark Gallery arrow THE WYNKOOP FILES: TWISTED ILLUSIONS 2
Written by Written by Leon Fielder   
Apr 05, 2005 at 02:00 AM
Recently, DG caught up with cult actor JOEL D.WYNKOOP, known for his varied roles in the b-movie world. Initially teaming up with director Tim Ritter in 1984 to help distribute DAY OF THE REAPER on on the Betamax format, Wynkoop and Ritter went on to paint South Florida streets blood-red for over thirteen years together, resulting in such classic video movies as TRUTH OR DARE, WICKED GAMES, and CREEP, to name just a few. These days, Wynkoop has his own Florida-based production company with partner Catherine Holseybrook, aptly titled WYNKOOP-HOLSEYBROOK PRODUCTIONS. Although Ritter moved to the midwest, that didn't stop the two filmmaking friends from collaborating on a 20-year anniversary movie to celebrate two decades of being in the biz. The movie is an anthology sequel called TWISTED ILLUSIONS 2, a follow-up to their 1985 hit which resulted in the big-budget feature remake of the TRUTH OR DARE segment (which is also available on a separate SPECIAL BOOTLEG EDITION on VHS here). Also joining the party to contribute a segment to this flick are John (Housebound, The Seekers) Bowker and Joe (Bloodsucking Redneck Vampires) Sherlock.

I caught up with Wynkoop during postproduction of a new movie he's writing/producing/directing called...THE WYNKOOP TALES...

DG: With all the movies you've done, you are definitely famous in genre circles! Do you do this full-time now?

WYNKOOP: No, I still have to work a regular job. That's just sometimes what you have to go through. You do the movies until one of them hopefully becomes a hit. And if not, I just have fun doing them---it's not really for the money or fame, it's just what I love to do. Some people like to fish or drink beer on the weekends, me, I'm happy doing these little flicks!

DG: That's awesome. You've been in the business over twenty years now...what changes have you seen?

WYNKOOP: Not many, really...it's still a tough, competitive market. Lots of successes and lots of disappointments, you never know what to expect. The biggest change is you can't just walk into a store and sell tapes or discs any more...there's just not a lot of independent video stores anymore. Sad. But I do the convention circuit when I can...I'm doing a comic convention in Orlando soon, so it's a good way to get the word out and sell some material.

DG: Are you excited about TWISTED ILLUSIONS 2 finally hitting disc?

WYNKOOP: Yes! It took a LONG time to put the entire movie together. I shot my segment, THE PART, a couple of years ago, believe it or not. It's about an unstable guy named Tim (wink, wink!) who will do anything to get this movie role, and he pretty much goes over the edge. It was a lot of fun. Catherine Holseybrook is in it, she helped write and produce it, she is truly a kindred spirit. It was a great collaboration.

DG: Why did it take so long to finish?

WYNKOOP: It just takes longer and longer to shoot this stuff---I can only shoot every other weekend these days due to family obligations. Then there's the extra money that's hard to find...and it took Tim (Ritter) a while to shoot his segment, which he finally did last year. Then we needed one more, and John Bowker came through, so just assembling all these shorts, putting them together, and getting a deal took a long time. It takes at least 18 months to shoot any movie and get it out on disc these days through a legitimate company like Sub Rosa. Just part of the biz!

DG: What do you think of the finished product?

WYNKOOP: It's great! People seem to really love it, we had a premiere here in Tampa and it went over real well. My segment is more humorous and fun, the style that I always use even when I make action movies like LOST FAITH. Tim's segment is fun, lots of suspense and chases and Larry Treadway makes a great psycho! He's a scary guy! And I like John (Bowker's) short, it's got a great twist at the end and zombies to boot! I think fans will really like this movie, we've sort of gone full-circle here, back to our roots, where we started. Just doing a little horror movie for the sheer delight in doing one. So our passion shows, from all of the participants to the distributor getting behind it.

DG: You've done so many movies and played so many characters...too many to list, really. It started out with just collaborating with Tim Ritter, but now you've done countless projects with other directors. Do you have a favorite experience from one particular movie?

WYNKOOP: Whew, that's a hard one, it would definitely be a movie with Tim, we always work so well together and have such fun. Although I've enjoyed working with other people, Tim and I seem to have this magic that comes alive when we work together. I guess I'd pick CREEP, it was just such a big movie with so much publicity and so much equipment...these days, doing things like this have downsized so much with the digital revolution...but that movie...we had A CURRENT AFFAIR following us around, a decent budget, huge cameras, two lighting crews, a national celebrity...it really just FELT like we were doing something huge, so I'll always cherish that experience! And all the publicity that followed in everything from PREMIERE to VARIETY to FANGORIA was just amazing!

DG: So as TWISTED ILLUSIONS 2 hits disc, you're already on to new projects. Tell us about those....

WYNKOOP: I'm working on finishing up THE WYNKOOP TALES, another anthology movie where I direct all the segments---it's a lot of fun, very much in the TWISTED ILLUSIONS tradition. Again, I'm working with Catherine, and she is very HOT, especially in the vampire segment called THE BITE. This one is an 'end-of-the world' type of thing with a little nod to the RANSOM segments Tim and I did, but it has lots of action and zombies and karate and even a little message about God. So I'm real proud of the way it's coming together. There's a couple other segments, one called SLASHER WEEKEND, that fans will like, the ol' killer on the loose theme, and more surprises... I've also been doing a lot of stuff for Ryan over at 4th Floor Pictures, on his serial killer movies, and working with Phil Herman on his stuff, so I really keep busy doing this stuff. It's like a part-time job any more, lots of work! But fun.

DG: Any advice for upcoming actors or directors in the b-movie world?

WYNKOOP: Just don't give up. Stay hungry. Get out there and realize your vision as best as you can. Stay at it, don't expect to get rich off of anything, but stick with it and have fun. It's a way of life, really!

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