It's the stuff actual horror films are made of: You're sitting at work, and, suddenly, your phone rings. On the other end of the line is Michael Myers — and he asks for you by name.
Except, in this case, the interview was scheduled — and the Michael Myers behind the telephone line is actually named Dick Warlock, the real-life actor who played the serial killer alongside Jamie Lee Curtis in 1981's "Halloween 2."
Though, he admitted, his role was really just: "You pick up the mask, and the director tells you what you're going to do," Warlock said. "You breathe heavy. All these acting skills, I could never make sense of that. Though I'm not an actor, so I'm not really sure. All I ever had to do was put on the mask."
Spending most of his Hollywood career as a stuntman (also playing Kurt Russell's stunt double in, among other movies, "The Thing"), Warlock landed the role as the nightmarish killer with a bit of luck: He knew the producers of the movie through his stunt work on 1981's "Escape from New York."
And, this October, he'll be heading out to Canton to Pinhead's Graveyard — one of Western North Carolina's scariest haunted house attractions — to "freeze his (butt) off in a tent and sign autographs," he said, with a laugh. Joining Warlock is R.A. Mihailoff, who played the chainsaw-wielding killer Leatherface in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3."
This is Warlock's first season at Pinhead's Graveyard, 2099 Asheville Highway in Canton. He'll be there, at the end of the run greeting guests, on Oct. 21 and 22. Mihailoff, who's spent multiple Halloweens with the Canton horror show, will make an appearance at the haunted attraction on Oct. 28, 29, 30 and 31.
Warlock didn't want to answer any questions he'd been asked before — "you've got to understand, I've been asked the same questions over and over for 30 years," he explained. "I'm 76 years old, and I was 40 when I played that role." So we had to get a little creative.
What's it like knowing that your characters show up in peoples' nightmares?
I have people come up to me and say, "When I was 12, I saw that movie, and that thing gave me nightmares." I just say, "Well I'm glad I could scare you." When I got the job, it was just a job. I had not yet seen "Halloween." I hadn't seen anything about the franchise.
Are you a fan of horror movies or was this just a job for you?
I'm a fan of the old horror movies, which really, by today's standards, are more like comedies. The old Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman. Those guys. The stuff they make today is crap with a capital C. I don't like any of it. I don't know if I would've done the job if I had known what was involved. It's not my kind of work, really. I'm not really a movie fan either, though I've been to more movies this year than I have in the last 10 years. I went and saw the remake of "The Magnificent Seven." I'm a big Western fan, not a sci-fi fan or a horror fan.
How'd you get involved with Pinhead's Graveyard?
I was contacted by the promoter and asked if I would come. And I heard that R.A. Mihailoff would be there, and he's a nice guy. R.A. told me that it's very nice people that run Pinhead's. I went out and met them, and they're just wonderful. So I'll sit in a tent and freeze my (butt) off and sign autographs.
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