More than 35 years after taking on the Silver Shamrock corporation (and their relentless robot henchmen) in Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Tom Atkins returns to the festive atmosphere of All Hallows' Eve to defend his small town against a masked murderer in Trick, his third collaboration with director Patrick Lussier and co-writer Todd Farmer.

With Trick now in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD from RLJE Films, we recently had the pleasure of catching up with the legendary actor to discuss reteaming with Lussier and Farmer, going up against the evil slasher known as "Trick," filming a scene featuring a Night of the Living Dead screening at a church, and he also shared some insights on his character in The Collected, the upcoming third film in The Collector series from Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton.

Congratulations on Trick, Tom. You can add it alongside Halloween III to your list of Halloween movies. I was excited to see you with reteam with Todd and Patrick, and you guys have worked together a few times now. How did that relationship begin?

Tom Atkins: I'll tell you exactly how it started. I got a call from a casting woman here in Pittsburgh and she said, "There's this guy Patrick Lussier, who is going to come to town and shoot a movie called My Bloody Valentine 3D and he wants you to be in it. Would you meet with him?" And I said, "Yeah, sure."

So she set up a meeting. He and I met at a coffee shop in an old hotel in Pittsburgh, my favorite old hotel, the old William Penn, and he said, "I would love you to play the sheriff in this movie, but when I tell you how you die, you might not want to do it."

And then he explained to me about my whole lower half of my face being ripped off and flying out over your right shoulder into the corner at the movie theater in 3D. And I said, "That sounds like such fun. I can't wait. Let's do it."

So that's how it started. And I did My Bloody Valentine 3D with him and then Drive Angry with Nic Cage and him down in Shreveport and now Trick with Patrick once again, and Todd Farmer. God bless their hearts, I think they tried to purposely write in a nice role for me in everything they do now. And I'm thrilled to be a part of their family and it does feel like family. I've got to tell you, in that first meeting with Patrick in that coffee shop, I felt like I knew him all my life.

I feel like I'm with my younger brother when I'm with him and he's a wonderful director and a terrific writer. And I think his years of being Wes Craven's editor just made him a super director. He's really wonderful. I love the way Trick turned out. It was a great chance for me to have another little cameo shine in the part of the town curmudgeon, Talbot. You get to be angry and gruff and hard-nosed and you just know he adores the kids, even though he would never tell them that or led on that he did. But he does, and then he tries to protect them at the end in the church. It was a great, great film. I thought it turned out really wonderfully.

Yeah, I think it captures the spirit of Halloween really well, and they really decorated that set. The production design is incredible. And I think they shot it up in New York, so it has that northeast fall look.

Tom Atkins: Yeah, Newburgh, New York. When we got there and first started, I thought, "What the hell are they doing up here?" I thought they'd be out in the LA, but then I thought it was perfect for the film. Obviously, so did Patrick.

It kind of reminds me of when George Romero would film in Pennsylvania, where it feels a little more authentic. And then of course, that's in your backyard.

Tom Atkins: That's true. My Bloody Valentine was shot in a real mine up outside of Tarentum, right up the river from where I live.

You mentioned the church, too. And I really liked that scene because you have Night of the Living Dead playing, it's in a church, and it kind of reminded me of The Fog a little bit, along with that whole Halloween atmosphere.

Tom Atkins: I know, they're geniuses, Patrick and Todd. I love settings like that. The two nights that I was there in the church, and outside the church, as people were coming in and I was collecting tickets and everything, I stand there and watch one of the kids walk down the side, and I knew he was going to try to scam me out and sneak a bunch of his pals in. And with George Romero's, "They're coming to get you Barbara," Night of the Living Dead playing in the background. Oh, man. It was a treat. And there was a lot of fog. A smoke machine was making it atmospheric in the church. It was a great old Presbyterian church up there in Newburgh.

It's a very physical movie, too, because your character, Talbot, and pretty much everyone in the cast, has these really physical encounters with this Michael Myers type of character. It almost feels like the robots from Halloween III, where it's this indestructible kind of force. And it's really interesting how you guys really went for it in those physical scenes.

Tom Atkins: I love doing them. The night in the church, Todd said, "How do you do that?" I said, "What?" He said, "Run up the aisle like that, carrying that shotgun. That's a heavy shotgun. I know. I have it in my hands." And I said, "I'm old, but my knees still work and everything is still connected and lubed up and working okay. And I'm still able to do that and go up the steps with a shotgun to chase the evil Trick.

We had a great time, just a wonderful time doing that. And I was tickled that we only shot it in March, and it's already got a release date in October. That's attributed to Patrick putting it together and shooting it as he knows he wants to see it, so that makes putting it together and editing it all the easier.

In addition to Trick, it was announced that you're going to be in The Collected, the third Collector movie and I was just curious, is there anything that you can tell us about your character?

Tom Atkins: Sure, we're shooting in Atlanta. It's The Collected. It's the third in that series of films. I get to play the father of Josh Stewart's character, who is fighting the evil Collector. Peter Giles plays the evil Collector and Marcus Dunstan is directing. [There is] a lot of violence and stuff going on, but [it's] really good. I really liked the script. I thought, again, it's like Patrick's films and the films that I made in the ’80s, that you get to know the people in them. And you root for them, and you hope they come out the other end okay, and you hope they triumph over the evil. And do they? I can't tell you.


In case you missed it, read Heather Wixson's review of Trick, as well as our interview with co-writer/director Patrick Lussier.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.