We've lost another one. Another legend in the field.

It may seem silly to some, but when a horror personality dies, I feel as though I have lost a family member. I read about these people in Fangoria (and elsewhere) at a time when I had no family. Very few people in the real world meant anything at all to me. I felt much more of a kinship to horror writers and directors. Effects people. Artists. That sort of thing.

John Carl Buechler was always one of horror's brightest lights. His hands-on approach to special makeup effects was top notch, and I always revered the artists who crafted the horror creatures with conventional methods.

Buechler got his start as so many others did: working in the trenches with Roger Corman. Corman has gone on record as saying that John Carl Buechler was the best in the business. Old Rog may have meant the best he could get on the budgets he was willing to pay for, but the sentiment was good.

After a few credits with Corman, Buechler went over to the Charles Band factory at Empire Pictures. He did stellar work on Trancers, Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dolls, and others. Buechler moved on to working with bigger productions, like A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Halloween 4, Red Rock West, and even Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

As a director John Carl Buechler helmed Troll, Friday the 13th: The New Blood, and Cellar Dweller.

As time went on, Buechler worked on lower budget pictures, as interest and need for conventional effects lessened. Who wanted to pay to manufacture physical effects when some geeks could write programs for it instead? Well, every serious horror fan I know prefers old school work, but unfortunately we do not pay the bills for movie budgets.

I met John Cark Buechler once. It was at a convention and I shared an elevator with him. We didn't speak much. I often get tongue-tied with these people. Not so much with writers, who I feel I have a real connection with, but other genre professionals.

I said hi to John, and he replied in kind. I told him that I had enjoyed his work for years, and he gave me a warm and sincere smile. That was about it, but it meant a lot to me.

It was recently announced that John Carl Buechler had cancer, and a Go Fund Me drive was started up. I'm not a rich person, but I try to throw in a few bucks for this stuff. In fact I was the very first to donate to John's cause.

I guessed, or perhaps feared, that the money would not help his condition, but I'm certain that his widow can use the support. Death, as far too many of us know, is an expensive endeavor.

So, thanks to John Carl Buechler, for the years of great work. For being one of the ones who made horror a better place to be. May he never be forgotten.

Written by Mark Sieber



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