By - Steve Mezo
I just finished reading Kane Hodder's "Unmaksed" co-written with Author Mike Aloisi, and was really blown away by it.
I'm not going to go into heavy detail about it (I mean the guy still wants to sell a few more copies), but I'm going to talk about sections of it.
Most people are fans of Kane from when he made his character debut as this guy.
But I've been a fan of his from the first time I had seen his name in the credits of Lone Wolf McQuade as the Stunt Coordinator. I've always wanted to be a stuntman myself since I was a kid and talk about it a little here in this past article.
Yup, while other kids were following the stats of whatever sport team members, I was following the works of Hal Needham, Jerry Gatlin, Dar Robinson and Terry Leonard. I couldn't get over the fact that Terry had repeated a stunt in "Raiders of The Lost Arc" (with a truck) that he had done in "The Legend of The Lone Ranger" (with a team of horses and a stage coach).
What happened was when Terry was under the rack that held the team of horses his hands slipped, and he was trampled by the horses which broke his legs as well as causing other injuries.
But when he healed up and was working on "Raiders" he did the same thing. Luckily he was able to keep in the small guide trench that was dug out and able to make his way to the end of the truck to be drug behind it with the Indie Whip.
Once I saw Kane's name on "Lone Wolf McQuade" I knew he was the man to follow. I mean here was "Chuck Norris" and "David Carradine" in one movie and Kane was the man trusted to call the shots on the stunts. And if you've followed the site for a while now, you can imagine how much I must have geeked out when I found out he was in "American Ninja 2".
From being with me my wife became a fan of Kane's too and we did a bunch of nights watching the movies he was in and seeing if we could spot him. We even found the episode of "Emergency" where he did his first big gig. She even realized he was "Meshugannah" in "Chillerama" before I did.
When Kane talked about his childhood I was like "Wow we could really compare notes on how we got the crap kicked out of us in grade school. And although we didn't become bullies ourselves we don't take any **** from Jackasses (His word) now.
Then my jaw just about hit the floor when I read about how one stunt almost killed him twice. The reason it blindsided me was the fact that I did the same thing quite a few times (Luckily without incident). But all it needed was one to go wrong to have sent me down the same bad stretch of road he traveled. I may have had better medical care off the bat, but still would have had the same outcome.
Yeah, I did some crazy stuff back then in my quest to teach myself to be a stuntman. I bought a book back in the early 70's from the Bookmobile and by the early 80's was throwing myself down stairs, off my bike and doing high falls from this rooftop (The Garage of my old house).
I would pile the boxes high, put duct tape around them and top it off with moving blankets. Then stand on the point and do my fall when my neighbors and parents were at work. KIDS DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!! I was beyond lucky doing this as an idiot teenager. Tom Savini had broken both of his feet doing a high fall in Dawn of The Dead because he had overshot the boxes by a few inches. And then had to do his F/X work from chairs and a golf cart to keep working afterwards.
And thanks to a lot of gigs through my Costume Shop days and training from Warren F. Disbrow I was able to get allot of uncredited work in a lot of Indie straight to video horrors, as an F/X Artist or basic Stuntman. This was way before the internet kids so no IMDB credits then. But I have quite a few friends that went with me and worked on the gigs.
One time Mr. B and a few of us were hired to do a staged train robbery and I had to fall from a horse after being shot by one of The Sheriff's Posse, which made me laugh out loud because Kane had done some Western Stunt Show work himself.
Now I'm not saying Kane and I are "Bestie's" now or claiming I know him just from reading his book, I just thought it was really wild that we traveled down a similar Psycho Path.
Like while Kane was able to become and reinvent a popular killer.
I got to be an Alien Sea Monster and found out what it feels like to spend a few months in a rubber creature suit.
The only big difference between us was Kane had taken the chance to do it for a living in California. I was offered a role as a kick boxing bad guy in a movie that was filming in Canada, but I backed out last second when my mother had brought up the fact that I would be a long way from home if it didn't work out.
One thing that still kills me to this day is I had never really pursued a career in Stunt Work because I told it is math heavy. I didn't think that I could even try to be a Stunt Coordinator because I couldn't do Geometry or basic Algebra. And they are needed when figuring out heights and angles when someones life depends on it.
And thanks to my lousy Grade School making me a Math Push Through I didn't know I could do it until I paid to go to Graphic School. But by then I was way to old to start jumping off of stuff again.
Then when I heard my Father wanted to move us to California when I was two years old but my Mother talked him out of it I almost had a complete fit. But if we made that move I would have never met the woman I love more than anything and made my wife. And my mother made sure I never missed an issue of Famous Monsters as well as let me watch any Horror Movie I wanted so she made up for that. HA HA
It's kind of funny how fate works things out...
Even though being in "Flesh Eaters From Outer Space" and "Invasion For Flesh and Blood" was a while ago I spent thirteen years after working on tons of Indie Horrors. And then it was Hollowgraves Haunted Attraction along with helping The Brother's Grimm Circus Sideshow. Did some more work with Warren F. Disbrow's "Visual Experiences" movies and managed the Costume Shop for a couple more years right before the fly by night Halloween Stores killed the industry.
Now Tom Berdinski has given me some prop building work and Newt Wallen gave me a role in "Midnight Show", and with Hollowgraves Haunted Manor back in my area I'm sure I'll be doing something there. So it's fun to be back in it for the enjoyment of it instead of stressing about making a living from it.
I'm sure you're saying "Dude you're supposed to be talking about Kane's Book!" Well I am, but like I said I'm sure he wants to sell a few more copies and have people read them. So I thought it would be funny to write about some of my experiences and have you find where they match up to his.
And typing all of this for him (to hopefully read one day) will save both of us a lot of fan boy blah blah coming from me. So I can simply thank him for all of the work he's done, being the best "Jason" ever, just straight up ruling as Victor Crowley and writing a great book with Mike.