Warning: SPOILERS for Terrifier 2Not only is AEW superstar Chris Jericho a pro wrestling icon, but his love for the original Terrifier film led to him snagging a cameo role in Terrifier 2. Written and directed by Damien Leone, Terrifier 2 resurrects the demonic Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) to cut a new and even bloodier path of terror through Miles County on Halloween night.
Released on 800 screens, Terrifier 2 is entertaining horror fans in theaters and drive-ins throughout the country. Terrifier 2 will be available for streaming on Screambox in November, but the big screen with an audience is the best way to experience the indie slasher.
Screen Rant had the honor of interviewing Chris Jericho about his love of the Terrifier movies, stories from the Terrifier 2 set, his favorite kills, and which of his many wrestling personas could fight Art the Clown. Jericho also shared his perspective on the recent backstage turmoil in AEW.
Chris Jericho Talks Terrifier 2
Screen Rant: What is it about Terrifier and Art the Clown that made you such a fan?
Chris Jericho: I kind of stumbled upon the movie early on in its existence back when was on Netflix, actually. And I just couldn’t believe it. It was the best horror movie I think I’d seen in about 20 years, with what I considered [to be] the next iconic serial killer, which we also haven’t had in horror movies for 25 years. I think Art the Clown is the secret behind Terrifier. Because he is a clown playing the gimmick of a clown, with horns and riding a tricycle, and there’s little gags, and that sort of thing. But he’s also just a completely vicious killer. Wait till you see the kills in Terrifier 2.
I’ve seen it!
Chris Jericho: Then you know just how brutal they can be. We’ve never seen that before. Jason shoots an arrow through a guy’s eye. Art takes the eye out and the guy is still alive, and he will stab him 50 times with that frickin’ arrow. You know what I mean? Like, it just never ends with this guy. And I just it was riveting to me. It was very gritty and dark. And you can tell it was low budget. But if you told me that they had $50 million, I would believe it too, because Hollywood sometimes spends a lot of money to make movies look that gritty. So it was just everything about it really appealed to me.
Right out of the gate, I became the biggest promoter of this movie and told my whole fan base over and over again, “You have to see Terrifier! You have to see Terrifier!” And that’s kind of how it led to me being in Terrifier 2, because I was able to get a relationship with Damian Leone, the director, and then David Howard Thornton. It just became a mutual respect thing. And [they said to me], “We should do something for Terrifier 2.” And I was like, “Yes, we should.” And that’s kind of how it all started.
I’ve already interviewed Damien and David, so I’d like to actually get your perspective about how you got to appear in the film.
Chris Jericho: Well, like I said, that was kind of the basics of it. And then we were figuring out what can I do, and we had a couple of really cool ideas. There was actually a really good idea that we had that just didn’t fit the script. But it was actually really cool. It was like a cop pulling Art the Clown over and thinking that he’s drunk, and then giving Art the field sobriety test, which maybe we’ll do at some other time.
We ended up with another idea. But this movie took so long to film as I’m sure those guys told you. Because the lockdown happened right in the middle. And there was this and there was that. So this was two years ago that we filmed it. And lockdown was still kind of a thing, especially in New York State. And it was almost like, you had to pull some tricks to make it happen. But we did make it happen. It was filmed once again, very gritty, in an abandoned mental hospital in Staten Island at like, three in the morning. It was cold, it was dirty, and it really fit the vibe. So, that’s kind of how it all started.
The original scene that I did was the ending of the movie. And in this timeframe, another movie came out with the same ending! Damien had to reshoot it. So my part got kind of cut down. But that’s fine. It’s how it goes. But this is how much time got spent [shooting] this movie that other another movie had the same f***ing idea. But it was a really cool experience. Because everybody involved is so passionate about this project to make it work. Everyone went the extra mile.
As you said, the movie looks like a much more expensive film than it is. And you can tell everybody committed to it and really just poured their heart and souls into making this film. So do you have any cool stories from the set?
Chris Jericho: I don’t think people realize that Damien not only wrote this movie and directed it, but he does all the practical effects. There’s no CGI, it’s all old-school sculpting and models. So, being on set and on location in Staten Island, there’s a whole area of Damien’s special effects. There’s Art heads and dismembered arms and fingers. He’s constantly working, even in between scenes and shots, he has to go through the final mold or paint or whatever on the prosthetics. So that was really cool for me, just to see how much he’s really involved.
In the film, I have to eat like, a zombie platter. It’s Halloween, so my wife has made all these zombie treats. And one of them was a jellied eyeball. And I think it was kind of custard with some kind of almost the plastic candy, and I had to eat like five of them. And they were cold, and they were gelatinous. And it was really kind of getting to me. It was really gross. And I remember [Damien] was like, “Can you just eat one more?” And I was like, “Dude, I’ll eat one more, and then that’s it! Because I’m gonna f***ing puke if I have to do another one of these.”
But these are the trials and tribulations of filming a horror movie. You’ve got to eat too many gelatinous eyeballs. But like I said, just how much work everybody was doing really was inspiring because everything that you see, they left 100% on the screen. So now Terrifier 2 is on 800 screens in theaters. That’s a real victory for all of us.
What are your favorite kills and scenes in the movie?
Chris Jericho: Well, I mean, obviously, there’s the famous one from the original Terrifier with the hacksaw. How do you beat that? Well, he beat that in a couple of them. But one for sure, of course, is the skinning scene, shall we say. And I remember when I read the script, just the fact of this poor girl… not to spoil anything, but you know what happens. It’s so vicious and violent! And then [Art] even pulls out bleach and salt. That one was really bad!
It’s funny because we went to the premiere in Austin, and the actress who played that part was there. And she was really nice. And I was just talking to her. I had no idea that that was her, and then you see [the film] and, oh my god, you poor thing. It is hard to watch. By far, so hard to watch. And there’s probably half a dozen other ones that are pretty bad too, but that one takes the cake. That’s the one everyone’s gonna be talking about that is kind of The Godfather II of Terrifier kills.
You’ve had so many different versions of Chris Jericho throughout your career. Lionheart, Y2J, The Painmaker, The Wizard… Which version should fight Art the Clown?
Chris Jericho: Well, The Painmaker was always designed as ‘What would a serial killer look like if he was a pro wrestler’? So The Painmaker from a serial killer side, but The Wizard could throw a fireball. Fire kills everything. So maybe it would be a combination. Maybe if The Painmaker could throw a fireball, you’d be all set.
I need to ask you about AEW. I think you are having the best year of your career. Incredible matches, all year long. It’s absolutely amazing. But there’s been so much public backstage turmoil. As one of the locker room leaders, how does AEW move forward, keep on being the best wrestling company, and get past all of this weird stuff going on?
Chris Jericho: Well, it’s one of those things. It’s really not that weird. I mean, it’s just wrestling, man. I think the only difference is that now, whenever something happens, it gets out very quickly and everybody has an opinion. But I’ve been in locker room fights before, and it’s never good. But for us, I think there’s such a positive atmosphere which, of course, doesn’t get talked about. It really is a new era for our company. So many positive things on the horizon. So many great things going on right now. Our stories are just really clicking. The matches are really good. I thought last night’s show was great from top to bottom. Saraya has just come in, and we’ve got so many other great new talents coming in, with others getting ready to come in.
I think, sure, there’s negative things. But if you have 98 positives and two negatives, it’s the two negatives that are going to get talked about. And just like you said, you’ve just got to keep moving forward. And we know what’s happening. I know what’s going on with everything. We’re taking care of it. And that’s just the way it is. It’s wrestling, it really is. And, more importantly, there’s some great momentum for AEW, and our ratings are still great ratings. So it’s just [that] there’s so much positive stuff that when the negative things happen, you just deal with them, and you move forward. That’s how it goes.
About Terrifier 2
Resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to Miles County to terrorize a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night.
Check out our other Terrifier 2 interviews with director Damien Leone and Art the Clown himself, David Howard Thornton.
Next: 10 Upcoming Horror Sequels (& Prequels) In 2022
Terrifier 2 is currently playing in select theaters.