Today we learned the sad news that John Carl Beuchler lost his battle with cancer.
From a personal point of view I can recall getting a copy of Friday the 13th: Part VII – The New Blood on VHS in the late 90’s after marveling over the rental store copy for months.
At this point in time I hadn’t heard of John Beuchler, but once I’d seen The New Blood it was a name that always cropped up in horror circles from here on out.
From his work on The Dream Master to Halloween 4, Beuchler became a staple of the golden period of slasher horror.
Some may not know he also worked on Lucio Fulci’s From Beyond as well as straight to video cult classics like Dolls and Ghoulies.
It was on 1987’s Prison (Directed by soon-to-be Dream Master helmer Renny Harlin) that John first worked with Kane Hodder, and thus began a friendship that professional relationship that would see Hodder become one of the most recognisable villains in horror.
Soon after this Hodder was cast as Jason Voorhees in The New Blood with Beuchler attached to direct and handle special effects. With franchise best makeup effects his harrowing zombie-Jason was pitted against telekinetic Tina.
Beuchler noted in the Crystal Memories documentary how the Ratings Board butchered his original, gory heavy version of the film, although some clips of the uncut version have surfaced in the years after its release.
For The Dream Master in the same year he oversaw the ‘chest of souls’, ‘soul pizza’ and chest hole stunts. He then worked as a special effects supervisor on Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers to complete a hat trick of slasher work.
Beuchler would go on to work on the Indiana Jones franchise as well as returning to the slasher genre with the Hatchet series, even cameoing in Hatchet 2 with a fashionably outlandish death scene.
He would also be part of one of the most bizarre incidents of the Halloween H20 shoot in 1998, as he was hired and fired when Miramax looked to get a new mask designed for Michael Myers. Ironically his mask did feature in the finished film as well as two other versions and the notoriously bad CGI shape mask.
Earlier in March Beuchler’s wife asked for help via GoFundMe to help pay for John’s medical bills after he was diagnosed with Stage IV Prostate Cancer, sadly he passed away on 17th March.
If you have any memories of John Carl Beuchler please share them in the comments.
Editor – Paul Downey.