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Where in the Horror are they Now? Alex Winter!

11.22.2016by: JimmyO

alex winter arrow in the head aith bill and ted's excellent adventure bill and ted's bogus journey death wish 3 haunted summer keanu reeves smash the movie the gate 3D the lost boys zappa deep web

ALEX WINTER

THEN: Back in 1989, two brave teens helped the world discover the word “Excellent” in a hilarious way. In fact, it was “Most Excellent.” The time traveling awesomeness of BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE made a huge impact on movie fans, and suddenly we all loved the film’s stars, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. Since this column focuses on folks we may not have seen recently, it is clear that we are fully aware of what Mr. Reeves has been up to lately. But what about ‘Bill?’ In this weeks Where in the Horror are they Now? we decided to look back at the career of one Alex Winter. After all, you need both of these fine gentlemen to have a Bill and Ted.

Alex Winter started off his career with a flick that is certainly at least a little appropriate for Arrow in the Head. It was 1985, and Alex was featured in the Charles Bronson crime drama DEATH WISH 3. While my memory of this sequel is a bit vague, every so often it is pretty damn entertaining to revisit Bronson as vigilante Paul Kersey. And speaking of crime shows, the actor was also featured that same year on the hit series The Equalizer, starring Edward Woodward. Neither of the two performances are ingrained in my memory, but since this site puts the focus on genre, his next big flick likely holds a special place in most of your hearts.

alex winter where in the horror are they now arrow in the head bill and ted's excellent adventure bill and ted's bogus journey death wish 3 deep web haunted summer keanu reeves smaosh the movie the gate 3D the lost boys zappa

In 1989, Joel Schumacher’s stylish vampire classic THE LOST BOYS gave moviegoers something really special. And yes, Mr. Winter was in on the bloodsucking shenanigans. There is so much to love about this comedic horror flick. It is sexy, stylish and fun, and it even manages to create some legit suspense and thrills. This is the kind of flick that had teens rushing to the theatres and the soundtrack was playing in nearly every single stereo at the time. Also starring Keifer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Corey Haim and Dianne Weist, this little bit of 80’s vamp fun holds up especially well. And yes, Winter appears to be having a blast.

One story that has always had an impact on me is the spooky tale of how Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin - aka Mary Shelley - came up with the idea for Frankenstein. There were two feature films from the 80’s that dealt with this. The first was GOTHIC (1986), which is probably my favorite of the two. The next was HAUNTED SUMMER (1988), and it featured Mr. Winter as Dr. John William Polidori. The actor appeared with some fantastic talent, including Eric Stoltz, Alice Krige and Laura Dern and it was a pretty cool little flick. If you are looking for a really scary movie about that particular tale, this may not please you all that much. However, this period piece is worth a look if you happen to be a fan of any of the actors - or the story itself.

alex winter arrow in the head aith bill and ted's excellent adventure bill and ted's bogus journey death wish 3 deep web haunted summer keanu reeves smosh the movie the gate 3D the lost boys where in the horror are they now zappa

Then came 1989. Alex Winter was suddenly thrust into the spotlight as a dim teenager who discovers a time traveling phone booth. BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE was much better than it should have been. While it is about as far from horror as you can get, you can’t avoid talking Alex Winter without it. The hit comedy also featured the great George Carlin and it also spawned an animated series spinoff, as well as the sequel BILL AND TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY in 1991. If you've never witnessed any BILL AND TED incarnation, you may want to check this one out. At least the first film. I’d be curious to see how this would play to a modern audience that isn’t familiar with these crazy teens.

Now let’s get back to genre shall we? In 1993, Alex not only starred, but co-directed the wacky comedy FREAKED. This story of an actor and his pals ending up at a strange freak farm was intensely bizarre, but pretty damn enjoyable. And while this wasn’t his first time directing, it was his feature film directorial debut. Everything before was a short or TV project. And thankfully, that apparently inspired Alex to get behind the camera a lot more. In fact, most of the work he has done since BILL AND TED was directing, with a little writing in addition. This includes the shows Blue Mountain State, Supah Ninjas and Level Up. To be honest, I’m only aware of Blue Mountain State, but it’s good to see Mr. Winter working steadily.

alex winter arrow in the head bill and ted's excellent adventure bill and ted's bogus journey death wish 3 deep web haunted summer keanu reeves smosh the movie the gate 3D the lost boys where in the horror are they now zappa

NOW: Alex Winter hasn’t gone too far away. In fact, the actor/writer/director appears to be keeping pretty busy. He has worked as an actor on shows like Bones, Robot Chicken and Saul of the Mole Men. Yet his directorial projects clearly keep him working on a steady schedule. This includes the fascinating documentary DEEP WEB (2015), a sometimes terrifying look at the power of the internet. And then there is SMOSH: THE MOVIE, also from 2015. He also helmed a couple of episodes of Kirby Buckets. While it is cool to see Alex directing, I kind of miss seeing this charismatic dude on the big screen.

If you are a fan, we may be in for a treat with the in-development sequel to BILL AND TED, which is currently untitled. Call me crazy, but I think it would be fun to see both Winter and Reeves back as the excellent time travel aficionados. Until then, you can follow this talented filmmaker on his official Twitter and Facebook page. Or you can go to his official website at AlexWinter.com for a complete look at his work. As a fan, it’s great to see that this talent has transformed the iconically excellent Bill into a full-fledged filmmaking career.

And in case you haven't heard, Mr. Winter is currently attached to the remake of the goofy teen thriller THE GATE, this time in 3D. Let's hope he can make this bit of nostalgia as EXCELLENT as the original. I for one can't wait to see what he does with that demonic portal to hell! With a possible new BILL AND TED, a remake of THE GATE, and an upcoming documentary called ZAPPA - about Frank Zappa of course - it looks like Mr. Winters is going to be pretty damn busy over the next couple of years. And that is most excellent indeed.

Extra Tidbit: Are you looking forward to a brand new Bill and Ted movie? Or is it too little too late?
Source: AITH

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