John Ward

Merry “AXEMAS” To All

Merry “AXEMAS” To All

This feisty little 2017 short Christmas themed horror film AxeMas, packs a fair bit of fight within its mere twenty five minutes. Featuring (of course) an axe wielding psychopathic Santa Claus, and three foolish couples who decide


to spend some time in a secured Storage facility, this film rolls nicely to fill each inch of time with more and more oomph! Featuring a cast of Ashley Campbell, John E Seymour, Dillon Weishuhn, Lindsey Cruz, Nathan Scott, Kamiko Kawada, Michael Anthony


O’Brien, Tommy Sihavong, Miranda Dudley and John Ward (yes that is the entire cast), they all work amazingly together to create some festive horror hijinks, that will amuse any horror fan. The effects and gore produced on this tiny budget is admirable and enjoyable on screen. From impaling a happily oblivious couple, to a full on decapitation. The use of simple but effective classic special effects techniques, makes for an impressive viewing. The actors are easy to watch. John Ward wrote this

Axemas 2 poster

screenplay and he directs his actors so well, it is very fluid and natural. It is easy to convince oneself that these foolish fun seekers are no different to any you would meet on the street. Ward is known currently for AxeMas (now included in Festering Frank’s Frames of Fear 2), as well as his upcoming film production Meathook Massacre 4. Being that this is a very short film, doesn’t hinder the storyline either. In fact it aids in the plot not becoming stale or repetitive. It also enables the viewer to not lose interest. AxeMas already has a sequel called AxeMas 2: Blood Slay ( a second short set a year after the events of AxeMas, featuring the surviving cast member from the original short). I know I am keen to see where this will continue on from the original short.



Hello everyone,

It’s been two years since the release of my Christmas horror short film known as (S)AINT NICK, but now I am back with something new, fresh, and different.

Since (S)AINT NICK, I have been busy writing new material and keeping to myself until it was time to finally make something. One day while trolling on Facebook, I happened to come by a post written by Dustin Ferguson (NEMESIS 5, A Taste of Phobia) stating that he was doing a second season to Tales From The Grave and was looking for five filmmakers to write and direct an episode from their own imagination.

After reading the post, I quickly contacted him and sent him my recent material, as well as my IMDb page. He responded right away saying, “I will look over everything from everyone this weekend and choose who I would like to be a part of this season.”

That weekend was a nightmare of waiting and wondering if I would be chosen.

Tales From the Grave season two will include Jonathan Patrick Hughes' latest film.First thing Monday morning, I received a message from Dustin welcoming me to helm an episode for his show. I was in shock and utterly surprised that out of so many submissions, I was one of the lucky ones. I had approximately 1 week to come up with a story to send to him to be approved and by day four, I had nothing. I was going insane, thinking and coming up with nothing.

Finally, on day five, I had an outline and treatment for my episode and a draft the following week.  With the deadline approaching fast for a completed film, I had no time but to finish the script, and approach actors and crew.  Scheduling was tough, especially with people’s busy schedule outside of being a part of this. It almost didn’t happen, but it did and I am proud of my entire cast and crew for being professional and not giving up. We had a lot of fun making this film.

I brought on Alyssa Johnson to produce along with Bec Johnson who also handled the makeup effects and they were magnificent. I have worked on various projects with them and we always have a great time. They are professional and kept the shooting running smoothly.  I also brought on Zane Hershberger (The Barn, 10/31)  as my director of photography and this guy has an eye unlike any other. The shots he brought to life are visually stunning to look at. The point I’m trying to make here is, if you don’t have Zane Hershberger as your director of photography, then you’re doing it wrong! Jedediah Giacchino was brought on as the gaffer and I have never seen someone work so fast on any set in my life. Braden Bixler did all of production sound and is scoring the film as well. Braden is a walking instrument and always does a fantastic job creating sounds, mixing, and developing music. Maddie Deering is cutting the film together and I just know that it’s in good hands. Last but not least, Cat Streno did an amazing job by assisting me, as well as the rest of the team, while she helped out as script supervisor. This was made with a lot of love and dedication. THANK YOU, EVERYONE!

My best friend of 30 plus years, Alexis Polce von Schwedler, came all the way from Philadelphia to act, which meant a lot to me, considering that since we were seven and eight years old, all we talked about was making movies together and 30 years later, we finally did it. Alexis brought her character to life in a way that I never expected. When people see just how good she is, I’m hoping it opens doors for her future as an actress because she deserves to be in the spotlight.

Tyler Manko, who plays the male lead, really delivered, as well. In fact, he only had the script for less than a week and he STILL managed to bring his character to life and beyond. He also deserves recognition and hopefully, he will get it. I know, I will be having him return in my future project, that’s for damn sure.

Alright and now onto my episode and what it’s about.

Tales From the Grave 2Hallowed Be Thy Name takes place on Halloween of 2018, and Detective Sam Hayne (SAMHAIN) has been looking for his wife and daughter ever since they disappeared on Halloween six years earlier. Broken and hurt not knowing of their whereabouts, he is determined to find them. Sam has his suspicions and after a small altercation in a nearby parking lot with a woman.

He snaps and abducts her, brings her back to his house, straps her to a chair, and begins his interrogation on why he believes she is the key to the answers he is searching for. Within minutes, the tables slowly turn and Sam Hayne realizes he is dealing with a whole new level of evil.

Hallowed Be Thy Name will be available to view in the comfort of your home this fall.

Tales From The Grave season 2 has some amazing talent attached, like John Ward (Meathook Massacre 4) and Michael J. Epstein (Clickbait).

Don’t forget to like and follow Tales From the Grave on Facebook to keep up with the latest information.

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in ANTHOLOGY, HALLOWEEN, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments