Well I first spotted Joe Zaso when I bought the DVD of Nikos the Impaler as I was curious of Felissa Rose's work. The film was very Z-grade and it lacked but both did a fine job in it. Then I realised that like Felissa, Joe also had a cult following too and gained a reputation in low budget horror films. Not only that, him and I got in touch and he sent me some of his filmwork like 5 Dead on the Crimson Canvas, Guilty Pleasures and And Then They Were Dead. He has a great attitude towards others and has his own film company too.

Joe Zaso was a native New Yorker born in Queens where many celebrities were born and raised in.

At the age of 6 Joe knew he wanted to be an actor and like to perform in school plays when he was 9 or backyard plays with the neighborhood kids where he lived. His brother - who is now a pediatrician - used to make home movies (sci-fi movies and vampire movies) and that inspired me to make his own. His first movies even as a child were horror movies and was a fan of them.

Joe got his first taste of professional acting when he was 21 years of age doing a regional theatre productions of I Hate Hamlet and Red Scare on Sunset as well as numerous extra work in TV and film. He also took some scene study and movement for actors courses.

Joe also made national and international appearances as Spider-Man, Captain America and The Incredible Hulk for Marvel Entertainment.

Not only that, Joe is also an avid bodybuilder and is cast mainly as tall, brawny villains

Joe's first horror film was The Hypnotisem which was a take-off on The Fury. The story was about telekenetic teenagers causing people to bleed and authories chasing after them.

Joe then formed his own film company titled Cinema Image Productions in 1996 and created the horror film 5 Dead on the Crimson Canvas as he played the title role named Bill Streeb which was a take on Italian horror films as Bill is an estranged brother of an artist who was murdered and tries to investigate it. The film was Winner of the 1996 FANTAFESTIVAL-Rome, Italy plus it was one of Joe's most memorable work.

Joe also worked on a short unfinished project titled Frankenstein Reborn which also starred Debbie Rochon when she was just getting her name out there before being crowned as a scream queen. She then starred with him in a few of his other projects like in Alien Agenda and Rage of the Werewolf. Both films have a following in the underground film industry and many viewers noticed him in the flicks.

A film moderator named Ted Georgehan enjoyed Joe's work in Rage of the Werewolf and got an audtion for him in an Italian/German horror flick planned to be shot in Rome named Demonium which was going to be directed by Andreas Schnaas as he has gained a reputation for directing ultra gory and cheesy German horror flicks most notably the Violent Shit trilogies. Joe planned a holiday trip in Rome and when he won the role as the brutish Russian artist and sleazy womanizer Viktor Plushnikov his visit there was longer than planned. Joe found it to be one of the most interesting and happy experiences of his life and very surreal working in Rome in real castles with the Italian crew.

While Joe and Andreas was in San Sebastian, Spain for a showing of Demonium the two of them discussed the possibility of Andreas coming to New York to make a video feature which returned to the style of his more successful Violent Shit movies as Demonium was not well-received and was a finanical failure due to lack of sales to foreign territories (mainly because of the lack of dubbing needed for the broken-English-speaing cast). So Andreas went to New York to shoot a slasher/splatter flick in the Troma Team vein titled Nikos the Impaler as Joe played a college teacher named Frank Heller and his girlfriend is played by scream queen Felissa Rose as they take their student to a museum to learn a history of a mutant barbarian who perished centuries ago but returns from the dead and slashes people away.

This project was stressful for Joe but it did give him publicity to gore hounds who enjoyed watching him in the film at the Weekend of Fear Festival in Germany.

Another film that was well received was a children's direct-to-video action/horror flick in the same vein as Goosebumps titled the Adventures of Van Helsing: The Lost Scepter. Joe has a supporting role in the film as Simon Magus is a fallen angel, the son of Lucifer. He is mainly a demon, but a vampire-style one. The film was a take on the popular motion picture Van Helsing but was released a week before. The film was produced by the Wal-Mart store company.

Joe continues to work with his film company and has recently worked more horror flicks. Recently what came to DVD was a horror anthology titled Red Midnight in which he plays a fallen angel named Lt. Angelo Santana disguising himself as an FBI Agent to track down a satanic killer in the final chapter of the film which was noted to be the best one of them all and the chapter was shot in Rome, Italy while the rest were shot in Long Island, New York.

A film that's now in post-production is titled Demon Resurrection which will soon be out as well either at film festivals or direct-to-DVD which Joe has a supporting role in it.

5 Dead On the Crimson Canvas 1996. The film that Joe got noticed. A nicely done film but very low grade. The flick was trying to aim towards the Italian horror genre.
Joe does well in this one as he plays an estranged brother of a brooding artist named Bill Streeb as he tries to investigate the killings as more are committed in a very gruesome way. He goes on numerous deadly adventures and even gets drugged at a cafe and starts hallucinating.
Joe also has a sex scene with the lead actress played by Liz Haverty who is the wife of his estranged brother.
Joe does a great job towards the ending where there's very intense scene when he finds out that his brother is still alive. At the end Joe's character goes crazy.
The film is very psychedelic and it won an award at the 1996 Fantafestival in Rome, Italy plus it had a great review on Cinefantastique Magazine in 1997 as best outlaw video when it had a video release after the film festival showings.

Gulity Pleasures 1997. 2 horror shorts onto one feature and what have you got? Guilty Pleasures.
Joe Zaso stars in the first one as a detective who helps a troubled woman named Silvia track down a killer who is giving her threatening phone calls and is slaughtering nude models.
Silvia has a steaming affair with Joe's character as Joe had to perform a nude scene in the film. Eventually we all find out that the mysterious killer is Joe.
The next short film was written & directed by Joe and is a better story too.
It kind of reminds me of a show written by R.L. Stine of a wannabe actress wanting to break into showbiz along with an old friend who wants a reunion even if she has to kill for it.
Joe did a great job with the story as it was well written and seemed to know what he was doing when he directed the piece.
The film was made on a very Z grade level and is a little uneven but for independent b-films that's to be expected.

Addicted to Murder 3: Blood Lust 2000. I had fun watching the first flick and then the second one lacked more. Yet this one was the best out of all of them about a transformed vampire hero named Joel Winter (Played by Mick McCleerly) trying to terminate all of the deadly vampires in New York City as Joe just has a special appearance in this one for about 4 minutes in two different scene's.
He is a little too over the top and acts a bit silly as a character named Dan who acts opposite of Sarah K. Lippman whom is a transformed vampiress from the second flick as Tricia and is eager to know on how to become one and then in the next scene he acts dark and evil and proves that he is not human at all.
There's an attack scene when she tries to bite him on the neck and someone destroys him with some powder as there's neat cheesy computerised lighting effects and he turns into a skeletal corpse.
Joe didn't seem too keen on this project as you could tell by his performance in it. It was made on a cheap camcorder and it gets confusing taking place mainly at a jail cell with different characters halfway through as it looked like a 2 story anthology but was alot of fun to watch.

Demonium 2001. Joe travelled to Rome, Italy to have a supporting role in this one directed by trashy German gore filmmaker Andreas Schnaas about an elderly man is murdered in his lavish Italian castle. When his friends and family arrive there for the reading of his will, the murderer has plans to continue his gory killing spree.
Joe plays an arrogant and obnoxious douchebag named Viktor Plushnikov trying to solve a case on what is going on in the castle and he fools around with women as well as treating them like crap afterwards. He delivers his part well by behaving this way. He appears halfway through the film and the ball is rolling a great deal when he struts his stuff.
Some well done stuff and shocking gruesome moments. His role defientely gets what is coming to him in the end as he gets hypnotised which is unexplainable as to how he was like this but others were as well and heading to his death bed.

Nikos the Impaler 2003. After Joe starred in 'Demonium' down in Rome with director Andreas Schnaas, Andreas came up to Joe's hometown of New York to shoot this film and casted him as the lead named Frank Heller who is a University teacher that takes his students to a museum to learn the history of this ancient cannibalistic mutant Barbarian named Nikos as legend was he said he'd return one day and with bad luck he did and slaughters his students at the museum.
Then him and his girlfriend (Who is played by scream queen Felissa Rose) are both on the run around Manhattan from Nikos.
Apparently Joe's character had a secret about him which Nikos knew about as he supposed to be a descendant of BERIX, who was around during the year 1000.
Joe and Felissa had great chemistry working together as a couple but the story was very rushed and of course, low grade but the film in general focused on just the gore and killings.
Joe had very mixed feelings about the film in general. In the beginning Joe started off happily enough and he worked VERY VERY hard on it. But after a few weeks of working on it, it indeed became the WORST experience of his life. He was the line producer (in charge of all issues with cast and crew and organizing and such) and the lead actor as well as the chauffeur, costume designer, etc. Joe had a few fans with this one.
The film reminded me of a Troma Team film as it had the same qualities such as the gore but like Troma Team horror film's had alot of slapstick comedy too as well as some nudity and extremely trashy too. Yet not as disgusting like Troma thank goodness. Not only that, the film had cameo's by many familiar b-film actors like Troma Team president Lloyd Kauffman. The music throughout the film had a heavy metal score too.

Machines of Love & Hate 2003. Instead of starring Joe turned to producing for this one as that pays well in the end (Think of Ron Howard, Shaun Cassidy or Rob Reiner as they moved from acting to producing or directing).
Joe did well for this one as I give him two thumbs up as a producer. Plus, he got great raves for his work on this.
The film has many twists to it of a hitchhiker who was run over accidentally by a beautiful woman and then taken to her home. There, he deals with a dysfunctional family that have some dark secrets and the hitchhiker goes through hallucinations and then they start to become real as he fears his death with them.
Very much like a British style production although it was in New York.

And Then They Were Dead 2003. While Joe was in production with 'Nikos the Impaler', he worked on this video project.
Joe plays an oddball guest named Dr. Mark Reinbolt who is also sexually attached to a maid named Gabrielle (Played by scream queen Darian Caine). But Reinbolt is married to a woman named Rebecca (Played by Lynn Macri who worked with Joe in '5 Dead On the Crimson Canvas').
He sees Gabrielle taking a shower in a peep hole while Gabrielle gets slashed. He also accidentally kills his wife in the film but gets murdered himself at the mansion he is at which is run by cannibals.
A bad film but has some interesting moments the odd time. Darian's shower performance is very similar to her shower performance in Nikos.

Red Midnight 2005. This is no doubt Joe's best performance as a fallen angel named Lt. Angelo Santana who disguises himself as an FBI agent looking for a cult follower who is doing satanic sacrifices in Rome including kidnapping a Nun before Hell breaks loose but he has a deadly plan himself.
I loved how Joe portrayed this character as he was very bad ass like in the film and shows great action sequences surrounding him. 'Red Midnight' is a horror anthology with three chapters including this one which was titled 'Pilgrimage' and his chapter was shot in Rome of course and was on the best budget compared to the other chapters as this was a very DV type flick.
Joe also produced this film with his own company. A film worth checking out if you don't mind no budgeters as all the stories are very unique and well acted none-the-less.