THEN: Horror movies have always inspired me in all sorts of ways. And every so often, you find a character in a film that you either look up to, or relate to, or just think they are darn cool for whatever reason. When I first saw A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER, I instantly connected to Rick Johnson (Andras Jones), the brother to Alice (the fantastic Lisa Wilcox). It was my first introduction to the actor and he just seemed like a cool f*cking dude. It was like he was the older brother that would have your back through thick and thin, and maybe teach you something along the way. After all, his skill set was super handy to Alice when she really needed it.
The same year that THE DREAM MASTER was released, Jones also starred in a bizarre little film that I happened to rent years and years ago. Seriously, how could you NOT rent SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA?!? This David DeCoteau directed flick – which also featured horror favorite Linnea Quigley – was loaded with T & A, a ridiculously goofy killer Imp, and a handful of nerds spying on sorority girls. One of those nerds happened to be Mr. Jones. While it was far from the creepy tone of his time with Freddy Krueger, he was very believable and seemingly had a good time with this odd script. It’s been awhile since I went bowling with sorority babes, but I kind of have a hankering to re-visit. And look out for one hell of a long “spanking” scene with hottie on hottie!
The actor next starred opposite the little girl who charmed audiences in E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL. Wild child Drew Barrymore – at the tender age of fourteen - took a few risks in FAR FROM HOME in 1989 and Jones was cast to go along for the ride. As the antagonistic – and brilliantly named – Jimmy Reed, he once again added a little intensity to his performance. This little thriller featured an impressive cast for a B-flick including Matt Frewer, Richard Masur, Susan Tyrrell and Karen Austin, all intriguing character actors. Even Chucky’s bride Jennifer Tilly makes an appearance and she made me smile. The synth score and “mysterious killer” leave a little to be desired, but it’s worth checking out for fans of Barrymore. And of course, fans of Andras.
Looking back at Mr. Jones career, it always surprises me that he didn’t become a major film star. Yet the dude had a number of indie flicks to his name back in the 90’s including a little something called THE PROM (aka FEEL) with NOES co-star Tuesday Knight in 1992. He appeared in the Judd Nelson cheapy, EVERY BREATH in 1994 and a year later in THE DEMOLITIONIST which starred freaking “Jump Street” cop Richard Grieco in 1995 – as well as a ton of other cool names including Heather Langenkamp. In 2001, the actor kicked ass in the mindf*ck of a movie THE ATTIC EXPEDITION. This is a rare little gem that features an incredible genre cast. You’ve got the great Jeffrey Combs, Seth Green, Ted Raimi and Alice Cooper, with Andras in the starring role. This wildly inventive weirdness is worth discovering if you haven’t already.
Unbeknownst to me for a very long time, I later discovered that Andras Jones had more up his sleeve that making movies. Not only was the guy a charismatic actor, he is also an accomplished musician. As a solo artist and one of The Previous (also known as Andras Jones and the Previous), the talented musician was spreading his wings in both the world of music as well as film. However, in a brand new decade after 2001’s THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS, his presence on film had completely disappeared.
NOW: According to IMDB, the actor finally returned to independent film with an appearance in EVERY DAY IS A JOURNEY. Aside from this however, Andras looks to be spending his time fully immersed in music as well as a little something called Radio8Ball. This fascinating concept is described by the official site as “the show where we answer questions by picking songs at random, like musical tarot cards.” In an insightful interview from June of 2013, he discusses his philosophies with host Lana Lokteff - check it out here at Radio3Fourteen - as well as his latest book entitled “Accidental Initiations: In the Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia” published by Sync Book Press in 2012.
Radio8Ball is a unique concept which has been presented as a live show, a radio program and a website, which is unfortunately under re-construction. Yet you can find out more about it thanks to Facebook and Twitter. While I don’t foresee Andras returning to film in the near future, it’s terrific to see the man passionate about his music – check out a terrific live performance from 2013 of a song called “Bad Influence” here – and about Radio8Ball. As a major music fan myself, I’d love to see what kind of answers Radio8Ball would give. Cheers Andras! And for the record, I still think Rick Johnson from NOES 4 is one of the best ELM STREET characters ever created.