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Saturday
May072016

We Let Off Some Steam with Vernon Wells!

We love seeking out the most memorable Arnold co-stars and chatting with them about their experience in their iconic roles with Arnold, as well as finding out what projects they’re currently up to. Such an opportunity just happened with Vernon Wells-- that’s right, Matrix’s arch-rival Bennett from Commando! He is in a new action horror movie called “The Horde” that is available NOW via streaming and on-demand services. Check out www.thehordemovie.com for details, and Randy Jenning's review of it below. But first, on to our interview!



TheArnoldFans:  I’m talking to Bennett himself, I can’t believe it!

Vernon Wells:  Well that makes two of us!

TheArnoldFans:  I heard that you have a new movie called “The Horde” coming out. Both it and Commando star you and both have a kidnapped loved one where a special forces hero go to get the loved one back. What do you think of that?

Vernon Wells:  That would be about as far as the analogy could go. If the special forces guy tries to get his loved one back and comes up against a group of mutants, who are hellbent on killing him and all the people who are with him. I guess you could kind of throw a parallel… unfortunately I’m not trying to become the special forces guy as I was in Commando, I was always trying to be number one. In this one, I’m just happy sawing little kids up with a chainsaw.

TheArnoldFans:  How did you become involved in "The Horde"?

Vernon Wells:  The star of it, Paul (Logan), asked me if I’d like to be in it. He gave me the script and said “These particular roles are cast, but if there’s anything else you’d like to do, let me know.” So I read the script and I said “I want to be the Butcher.” He said “Well, the Butcher is just an extra, he’s got no dialogue, he doesn’t really do anything.” Then I said, “Yeah, but I want to be the butcher.” Then he went, “Oh great, now i’ve gotta rewrite the bloody script so you can be the Butcher.” and I said “Yep!” I thought the Butcher was a much more fun character in his own way. He was kind of a total insane human being, but insane in a good way in that he thought he was a master chef, and the fact that he cut people up and used them as his ingredients had nothing to do with it, he just thought he was so good he could prepare dishes of leg of girl and arm of young man and make them absolutely different. I just thought that was a fun way to do the character and we had fun with it.

TheArnoldFans:  You got to do some hand to hand fighting with Paul Logan, how was that?

Vernon Wells:  The whole point of that fight was real simple, Paul said, “I’m going to beat the shit out of you, and just be prepared.” That was basically it, Paul kicked the crap out of me and I tried to retaliate. He’s a big bugger and so am I but we had a lot of fun doing it. Neither one of us got hurt. I just ran around like a lunatic doing my thing and he had fun doing his.

TheArnoldFans: So tell me how did you get the role of Bennett in Commando?

Vernon Wells:  I actually was over here for Joel Silver doing “Weird Science.” He asked me if I would see the director that was doing Arnold’s next film. The director was not interested in casting me, he had someone else in mind, and that was fine with me, I was the new boy in town, I was just happy to go back to Australia. What happened was about a month and a half later I got a call late at night that I had to go back to America, that I was doing the part in the film, and I had no idea why, but apparently there had been a change in their casting and they wanted to go with me after all. I went back and… I had no clue who Arnold Schwarzenegger was, I couldn’t even pronounce his name at that stage. I think it was a lot more viable because Arnold and I are around the same size, we’re both big so you got a feeling that neither one of us was going to beat the other one without a good fight. We were trying to portray that Arnold would have to get his best foot forward to beat me one on one. I wanted to be the top dog, and Arnold was the top dog so I set a plan in motion… whereby eventually I could confront him and one of us would live and one of us would die, it was that simple. 

TheArnoldFans:  It was pretty popular when it came out, but it’s become this cult favorite among Arnold fans and action fans.

Vernon Wells:  It’s a very kitsch movie, it’s an 80’s movie. They did some wonderful movies back in the 80’s that had that feel. The hero always won, the villain was the bad guy. You could go and cheer for the hero and boo and hiss at the villain. It was all big and adventurous… big explosions, lots of people being shot, no one ever ran out of bullets in their gun! It was wonderful, it was part of that era. I think that’s why people still love it, because you can still watch it and enjoy it and get a laugh out of it… all the little one liners and things we did, I think still even today are a lot of fun.

TheArnoldFans:  Whose idea was it to put the chain mail shirt on you?

Vernon Wells:  I had nothing to do with any of the costume, all of that was decided before I came on board…The actual chain mail vest was called a stoker’s vest, it was an English vest that stokers in the bowels of ships stoking the furnaces wore. They painted it to look like it was metal, because a real metal vest would’ve weighed 80 or 90 pounds and I wouldn’t have been bouncing around like I was. 

TheArnoldFans:  It might’ve come in handy when the pipe was pierced through your chest at the end!

Vernon Wells:  Yeah, probably would’ve helped a little, but I don’t know Arnold was pretty big and he threw it pretty hard.

TheArnoldFans:  Were there any moments during filming that were unscripted or improv, or was it mostly by the script?

Vernon Wells:  I’d have to say it most of it was by the script. As far as I was concerned it was my second film here in the states so I was pretty much doing things as per scripted… But there was a lot of moments in the film itself that were improvised within the script, like some of things we said, the way we reacted to each other, even though it was scripted, a lot of it was improvised in the way we handled the actual scene… but not a lot because we were on a strict shooting schedule, so we had to reign our creative “let’s wander off and play cowboys” thing and not have it all take them too long. Apart from that, it all worked… and I think because everybody played it so real, and not trying to make it funny but take it seriously that it became quite a fun movie.

TheArnoldFans:  Between scenes, did Arnold warm up to you? Any pranks?

Vernon Wells:  Arnold and I became really good friends, we became really close. His big thing was he told Joel Silver not to give me a real knife because he’s literally afraid of what I would do with it after the way I jumped all over him in the first scene with a plastic knife. As Arnold said in one of his interviews, to talk to me and to be around me I’m a real nice pleasant guy but the minute the director says “action” I become a total raving lunatic. Arnie had a great time playing games on me— he’s like a big kid, he’s always playing and having fun, and it helped take the tension out of the scenes. He was very nice to work with and easy to work with, and I enjoyed my time.

TheArnoldFans:  A sequel to Commando must’ve been talked about, do you know why it didn’t happen?

Vernon Wells:  They didn’t actually talk about a sequel, there was a prequel talked about, which was we were all put together and formed the group that we formed and a couple of the missions we went on, and how things started to deteriorate when I wanted to become top dog. And then I heard from somebody about six months ago that they were thinking about remaking Commando, and I thought that would be a shame because you would never get that same feeling that we had in that film when we made it, you just wouldn’t get it, it would not work. 

TheArnoldFans:  Have you been approached by a toy company about any Bennett figures?

Vernon Wells:  Not that I’m aware of, but goodness knows what’s out there. I see stuff that’s me all over the place in the weirdest places, but I don’t think anything has actually legally been made with me and Arnold in it. You never know, people just do stuff and put it together and I think if people have that must interest in what you do, then good for them.

TheArnoldFans:  Has Sly asked you to be in an Expendables movie?

Vernon Wells:  If he asked me, I’d be in one. I think I’m probably the only 80’s icon he hasn’t asked. I think he’d probably want to put me in as a villain and there’s less villains than good guys in those movies so we’ll just have to wait and see!

TheArnoldFans:  Any other favorite Arnold moments from the set?

Vernon Wells:  All I know is that both Arnie and I ended up bruised and battered by the end of Commando… man we had gone for it especially in that last fight sequence, neither one of us came off unbruised. Still, it was fun, it was very very enjoyable. I think about the most fun is Arnold and his friends decided to attack my trailer because I was always bitching about having the smallest trailer just to set me off which I thought was very funny.

Thanks to Vernon Wells for chatting! Listen to the full interview on episode 48 of Arnold Radio News which will be out soon is out NOW- listen below or subscribe to ARN in your favorite podcast app! 

Also check out Vernon's website and Facebook page. You can catch him in person:

May 26-30 in Arizona, at the Road Warrior convention “Detonation II” to read some chapters from the book for Road Warrior.

Also August 12-14 at the Power Morphicon 5 Power Rangers convention

November 4-6 at RangerStop ComicCon in Orlando

 


Now for our "The Horde" review! Keep in mind "The Horde" is not a big budget film so if you’re not into B-movies with low quality special effects, this film may not be for you. B-movies, however, are on the rise these days, especially amongst horror film fans. It’s a niche market but there is a demand and "The Horde” is one of the better films in this growing market. This action/horror film isn’t made to win any awards but rather to make us all laugh at crazy death scenes and cheer for a good ass whoopin’! 



There are some serious connections between The Horde and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commando. Both star Vernon Wells as a psychotic killer and both have a kidnapped female where a special forces hero goes to get that person back before her time runs out. We even get a nice end-battle between the hero and Vernon Wells. 
Paul Logan (Mega Piranha), plays the ex-Navy Seal John Crenshaw who must get his girlfriend and her nature-photography students back from a horde of hideously disfigured, mutated humans.

Vernon Wells plays a cannibalistic madman and although he may only have 5 minutes of screen time, it is the best acting throughout the film. Vernon makes us forget we’re watching a B-movie when Wells plays a very convincing killer and his delivery of eerie and intense dialogue is on par with any current A-lister. 
Overall, The Horde is a fun film with lots of good fight scenes, a hard rock music score, pretty ladies, tough dudes and lots and lots of blood! The Horde is better than most films that miss a theatrical release. 


The Horde is available in the US and Canada on the following platforms : iTunes, Google Play, YouTube Movies , Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, Microsoft Video Store, Playstation Network, Hoopla, and in the US on AT&T U-VERSE, DISH, DirectTV, Cox, Charter on Demand, Verizon FiOS, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Insight, WOW and more.

The Horde, distributed by Gravitas Ventures gets released on May 6 (On Demand).  Please visit: www.thehordemovie.com and follow @TheHordeMovie

 

 

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