John Cambell

INTERVIEW: John Campbell – The Creature Feature

By Machete Von Kill
The Creature Feature John Campbell. Photo Credit: Kimm Buchmann

The Creature Feature John Campbell. Photo Credit: Kimm Buchmann

John Campbell, professional wrestler, Imperial Wrestling Entertainment owner, YouTube show host, horror fan, and all around crazy (in the fun way, not the restraining order, fear for your life way) guy, recently took some time out of his hectic schedule to sit down and tell me what he's up to. It's up to me to make you care. LOL!

I met this very interesting dude several years ago at an independent wrestling show, for a company I also ended up working for. My relationship with said company didn't last, but my friendship/fanship with John has continued. I've had the privilege to watch him develop and grow in the ring and out of the ring. We've gone on multi-state wrestling road trips, hung out with big names in the wrestling business, and we've shared some pretty intense moments on paranormal investigations. He continues to blow my mind with his massive horror knowledge, in ring and mic skill, determination in all areas of life, and the fact that no matter how big his hype gets, he's the same down to earth guy that he was when I met him years ago.

 

House of Tortured Souls: Okay, so first pretend we aren't friends in the real world and tell me about your wrestling career. When you started, highlights and so on.

John Campbell: Okay, that's fine. You know me, I'm not very formal. (laughs) My career. Well, where do I begin with that? Well I started in the summer of 2006. I always wanted to be a pro wrestler, ever since I was a little kid. One day I just decided to go for it. So I went out, found a wrestling school, and started training. That's how I started, now as far as things after that, well I've had plenty of ups and downs. I'll focus more on the ups. I have been fortunate to wrestle for some of the best independent promotions in the Midwest. I've been in the ring with legends like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Road Dogg Jesse James, and Al Snow. I've also learned from many veterans, and now I try to help as many of the young guys as I can, like other people in my position helped me when I first started.

 

HoTS: I remember back in the Myspace days, you had a link for a horror movie that you were in. I just don't recall the specifics. Can you tell me about that?

JC: Yes. There was a local guy who liked to film horror movies. They weren't masterpieces or anything, but they were fun to watch. Anyway, the guy saw some of my wrestling stuff through a mutual friend and thought that I would be a good fit for one of the roles. I auditioned and beat out a few other candidates. The shoot was only a couple of days, and it was mostly sitting around while the make up artist applied the necessary gore, but it was a lot of fun and turned out not too shabby. It was called Haunted where myself and my on screen girlfriend go to a haunted house and I end up dying. It's a fun cheesefest. (*Note: I looked high and low for the video, but was unable to find it. If you happen to, please post a link in the comments)

 

HoTS: Would you do it again? Is acting something you'd like to get into? You already do a certain amount every time you walk out from behind the curtain.

JC: Yes, I'd love to do more acting. That would be a ton of fun.

 

HoTS: A modern day Rowdy Roddy Piper? (laughs)

JC: Maybe, although nobody could ever fill those shoes!

 

HoTS: No doubt. besides, your own shoes are pretty rad in their own right. What was the first horror movie you ever saw?

JC: I could actually use a new pair of shoes! As far as the first horror movie I remember seeing, it was either Frankenstein, or The Bride of Frankenstein. I was really young, but I remember my toddler brain thinking the monster was really cool looking!

 

HoTS: Ah the classics! I love those. Good times. Did it scare you at all or were just totally into the coolness of the monster?

JC: I don't think I was old enough to really comprehend that it was a horror movie. I was really young, I know it didn't scare me though. In fact, for a long time after I would watch the The Munsters thinking it was the same thing. I grew up with that family more than my own!

 

HoTS: Has there ever been one that has scared you? One that still scares you?

JC: I was probably way too young to be watching The Exorcist. That scared me as a youngster. As far as movies that scare me today, there aren't really many. I'll admit that lump scares get me once in awhile while I'm in the theater though!

 

HoTS: The theater is a totally different atmosphere to watch horror movies in than your living room though right? I mean you kind of feed off of, and are influenced by everyone else's energy/fear. Not to mention the sound system. (laughs) The volume alone has made me jump more than a few times.

JC: Definitely! It's 90% loud noise, which makes for an awesome theater experience, but a lousy watch later on DVD if that's all the movie relies on.

 

HoTS: Very true. Do you have a favorite horror movie or franchise? What about a least favorite?

JC: I'd say my favorite franchise would be the Friday the 13th series. Jason is my bro! As far as least favorite, does the Scary Movie series count? The only one of those I liked was the one with Leslie Nielsen, because you know... Leslie Nielsen.

 

HoTS: Which Friday the 13th is your favorite? And which Jason is your favorite?

JC: I can't pick just one. I enjoy the first four the best, just because you can watch them back to back continuously and keep pretty good continuity.

 

HoTS: What about actor behind the mask, do you have a preference to who is playing Jason?

JC: It's weird, my favorite Jason is Kane Hodder, but he isn't in my favorite movies of the series, if that makes any sense. Kane is good though. He plays Jason as a more brooding figure. Jason became a "zombie" in part six, but the actor in part six still played him as any other actor would. When Kane took over in part 7, he played him how he should. Slower, brooding, more methodical. Perfect for undead Jason.

 

HoTS: And he's my boyfriend. He just doesn't know it. LOL. Kane is amazing. The way he, as Jason, looks at a victim before he kills them is enough to make you terrified. Have you watched much of Kane's work outside of the Friday the 13th movies?

JC: Yes I have. I enjoyed Hatchet very much. I'm a slasher fan.

 

HoTS: Any other sub-genres that you like?

JC: Depends on my mood really, but I dig a lot of cheesy 80s slashers and zombie films the most.

 

HoTS: Any favorites from the new generation of horror?

JC: I liked Hatchet. I also saw a movie not too long ago called the The Taking of Deborah Logan that was really good, as well.

 

HoTS: I haven't seen that one yet. I will have to check it out. How do you feel about the found footage movies? Personally, I can't stand them, but they seem to be pretty popular.

JC: The Taking of Deborah Logan is a mockumentary/found footage film. I think when they're done right, they can be really good. As long as the camera doesn't look seizure-like and you can tell what's going on. I just saw The Visit and that was shot documentary style. I really enjoyed it. Not scary really, but just the right amount of atmosphere to make it good.

 

HoTS: How do you feel about reboots? Sacrilege, crap, or is it a movie by movie basis sort of thing?

JC: I don't like it, but if it can do the original movie justice or continue the story of the series, I don't see them necessarily being a bad thing. The only problem is that so far they've all been terrible.

 

HoTS: Is there one that in your opinion has been the worst reboot?

JC: Rob Zombie's Halloween II was pretty rotten. I also hated the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street remakes.

 

HoTS: I have to agree with you on those. Though I still refuse to watch the Nightmare remake.

JC: Stay as far away from it as you can!

 

HoTS: Are there any that you would actually like to see rebooted?

JC: I'd like to see another legit sequel to The Re-Animator.

 

HoTS: Oooh!! That's actually a really good idea! How do you feel about the “vs” movies. There is some talk of doing another Freddy vs Jason, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash, etc.

JC: I think it's cool to see characters from different franchises together in the same movie. I'm all for it, if they have a competent director, who's well versed with the characters and the stories. Ronnie Yu, who directed Freddy Vs Jason wasn't a fan of either series, so that's why that movie fell flat in my opinion.

 

HoTS: It had the potential to be great. I think you nailed it though, the director needs to get it. With the similarities between pro wrestling and stunt work in movies, do you find yourself to be more of a fan of stuntmen rather than the leading man type of actor?

JC: You definitely have to have both. Without a charismatic character, you have no story to get into. It goes hand in hand in my opinion.

 

HoTS: Agreed. Tell me about your new gimmick.

JC: My new gimmick is me turned up to 100. Pro wrestling meets Punk Rock meets horror movie character. It's a lot of fun.

The Creature Feature in action. Don't try this at home, kids!

The Creature Feature in action. Don't try this at home, kids! Photo Credit: Kimm Buchmann

 

HoTS: The Creature Feature, right?

JC: Yes ma'am

 

HoTS: And how long have you been wrestling as that persona?

JC: I've been doing The Creature Feature persona since the beginning portion of this year. The fans have really taken to it.

 

HoTS: Now are you working as a heel or a face or does it really depend on the company you are working for?

JC: Face actually. Think of Cactus Jack when he was a face. Crazy as hell, but a fan favorite

 

HoTS: Yes! One of my personal faves. Now you've recently started doing a podcast, right? Can you tell me about that?

JC: I actually haven't been doing a podcast. I did a few years ago, but that's been defunct for awhile. I have started a YouTube show though. The Creature's Features. It's a throwback to the old horror host shows with pro wrestling thrown into the mix. I'm hoping to do it as a regular thing.

 

HoTS: Nice! That's cooler than a podcast anyway. How many episodes have you posted? Are you showing old movies too?

JC: The first episode debuted over Memorial Day weekend. Due to copyrights we can only show flicks in the public domain. There's a lot of great movies that have slipped through the cracks trough, and I believe they deserve to be highlighted.

 

HoTS: Glad to see you are respecting copyrights though. So many don't. They usually end up being sued, but still a little respect and research, you can avoid the mess and being labeled as a thief. Bravo.
JC: Absolutely. That and I wouldn't want my channel to get shut down. No thank you.

 

HoTS: Truth! What else are is in the works for John Campbell?
JC: More episodes of The Creature's Features, more wrestling, and only God, Satan, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster knows what else! I just wanna keep entertaining people with what I do.

 

HoTS: Okay, here's your just for fun question, cast your dream horror movie. Who's in it, where would you film it, and what's the storyline?

JC: Hmm. Maybe not a movie, but a series. I'd like to see Ash Williams, Tommy Jarvis, and Herbert West go on Scooby Doo type mysteries, all the while running into different villains from different franchises (Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, etc).

 

HoTS: I'd watch that. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me. Where can people reading this article check out IWE and your other projects?

JC: Thank you! We're on YouTube, numerous cable channels around the country, ROKU via the Indie Wrestling Channel and Facebook. We film our live shows in the MAC TV Studios in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Posted by Alan Smithee

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