Born in Owatonna Minnesota and now a Tampa FL resident, Joel D. Wynkoop is an unlikely star – but there’s no denying his cult superstar status. He’s a favorite at every convention. His enthusiasm is a large part of it. This guy just loves making movies and the sheer force and joy behind his every project ignites the screen. He is NEVER boring. This man has a massive screen presence. And he is one of the nicest psychos you’ll ever meet.

Some of his projects include his fan favorite ‘Bad Cop No Donut’ as Officer Friendly as well as the sequels ‘Dirty Cop 2: I Am a Pig’, and ‘I Am Vengeance’. Additional projects include ‘Truth or Dare: A Critical Madness’, the ‘Scary Tales’ trilogy as Mr. Longfellow, his unforgettable Angus Lynch ion ‘Creep’, Joel “The Butcher” in ‘Serial Killer’, ‘Wicked Games’, ‘Beyond the Lost World: The Alien Conspiracy III’, Cope Ransom in ‘Alien Agenda: Endangered Species’, ‘Horrortales 666’, ‘Rot’, ‘Killing Spree’, the AMAZING ‘Kill Her Arnold’ segment from ‘Always Midnight’, his producing-directing-acting-writing tour de force ‘The Bite’, etc. The man loves to work and works most frequently is seen in the films of Tim Ritter and Phil Herman. As proof of his star status he’s even got an upcoming bio being penned by Frank Wales with the working title Stay Hungry: The Joel D. Wynkoop Story.  And from what I know of Joel’s life this is going to be a hell of a read!

A HUGE congrats goes out to Joel who got married the DAY before this interview was conducted to actress (and sometimes costar) M. Catherine Holseybrook! Lots of racksandrazors well wishes you two! And thanks Joel for taking time out from your honeymoon to answer a few questions for us!


Owen: So first off, did you always consider "cult superstar" as a job option?

Joel: Actually, I just wanted to make movies.  It wasn't till later when Tim told me "you’re getting quite a following, people like seeing you in movies man."  Now its cool!!!!  I want people to like the stuff I do.  

Owen: Did it happen by accident?

Joel: Yes, like I said, one day Tim just told me, "Look what’s happening man, people really like to see you in these things."  I'm doing these movies because they’re fun to do but I want the people that watch them to enjoy them also.    

Owen: And how did that label come into place to describe you? 

Joel: I think it was on the back of "WICKED GAMES" first, it said something like CULT ACTOR and then my work for other film makers started showing up on their work as well, things like B MOVIE STAR and CULT ICON which I don't know how true that is but its very flattering.

Owen: Hey, tell me about your new movie 'I Am Vengeance' now in post-production.

Joel: I did this along time ago and I'm not really sure when this is coming out or if I'm even still in it.  I reprised the DIRTY COP role in this flick and it was a lot of fun and the director (Richard Anasky) was really cool to work for.  It must have been three or four years ago when I did my scenes but I know either way when this movie comes out it will be a COOL watch with Anasky's direction. 

Owen:  Is it true there is an upcoming bio of you being written by Frank Wales?

Joel: Yes, I am slowly working on it now, in fact I have to get back to it soon or Frank will kill me.  I am actually recounting my life from around the age of 15 up until now.  Personal struggles and the moviemaking, how it started what I was going through at the time, I think it will be pretty cool and be a good read.  I think for the people that like my movies will enjoy it but it will also be an eye-opener to filmmakers starting in the business but it has something for everyone as well, I think enough to compete with any of the books out there now, and mine is real!!!!!  Everything in the book happened to me including me having to fight for my first wife, I had to kick the door down and take her from the people that were trying to sell her and when the cops pulled there guns on me and I turned to face them with a prop gun on my hand when they yelled "FREEZE".  In other words, I think anyone that likes to read would pick up the book and say "Man, what a life this guy led to make his dream come true and he is still working at it."  Just my personal opinion.  

Owen: You are a frequent guest at various horror conventions throughout the there a best and a worst part of the experience? 

Joel: So far there has been no bad about any of it.  I love doing these things and can't wait to do SCREAMFEST 2005.  Last year I had a line of people coming by saying things like I loved you in CREEP and DIRTY COP is my favorite.  I don't know what it is about DIRTY COP NO DONUT but a lot of people seem to love that thing.  I had a lot of fun doing that movie, that and the sequel, and the special edition.  One girl in particular came by and got my picture with her twice, she came by at the end of the con and said "Mr. Wynkoop, could I get another picture with you?"  Just makes you feel good ya know?   Or, if they don't know me they do by the time they leave my table, I try to say hello to everyone that walks by me, if they know my movies they'll stop, if I say hello they'll usually stop and talk, its a great experience all around.  

Owen: What do the fans usually expect when they meet you? 

Joel: I think they expect a madman.  I remember sending some footage to Phil Herman of Falcon Video once to put in his anthology movie TALES TILL THE END and his partner Ben Stanski said "I've got to edit Joel's part perfect or he'll come up here and kill me, he's a CREEP."  Phil had to convince him that I really wasn't a CREEP and went around killing people.  He still said to Phil "No, he's really like that, he's a CREEP and he'll kill me if I edit it wrong."  I'd like to think I'm one of the nicest guys around, I open doors for people, have something nice to say at all times, pretty much get along with everybody.   I've done a lot of characters now and there all pretty bizarre, people probably don't know which one is closest to me.  

Owen: Going along with that -- you were Angus Lynch in 'Creep', The Butcher in 'Serial Killer', Cope Ransom in 'Alien Agenda: Endangered Species', Hess in 'Addicted to Murder', Officer Friendly in 'Dirty Cop No Donut', plus your work in 'Horrortales 666', 'Rot', 'Screaming for Sanity', etc.  What film do fans most usually comment or ask about?

Joel: I'd say DIRTY COP NO DONUT, I had so many requests for that last year I felt bad because I forgot to bring any with me because it was a horror con and I didn't think anybody would want that, I was wrong, I can think of at least ten that asked for it.  Next would be CREEP, that was a movie that I think caught a lot of people attention, I really got to go off the wall on that one.  Cope Ransom from the ALIEN SERIES people like because I got to do the tough guy role of a SNAKE PLISSKEN type character.  SERIAL KILLER I haven’t heard too much about from folks, I loved that role and it would be cool to hear someone’s reaction to it.

Owen: One of your most famous characters is Mr. Longfellow from the 'Scary Tales' film series.  What were the main things you wanted to keep in mind when creating that character?

Joel: I think Mike Hoffman gave me the chance to create a new character, he didn't want an ANGUS from CREEP or a DR. OLSEN from ROT, he wanted me to come up with someone new and fresh.  I just played around with some different voices and came up with that.  In part one he was more repressed but by the second one he was really out there, I think Mike and I decided he changed because there was time for him to become more demented.  Mr. Longfellow was one of my more fun characters to play also.   

Owen: Have there been any repercussions to your starring work as Officer Friendly and Gus Kimball in the hilarious 'Dirty Cop' parody films?  Meaning, have you ever been pulled over and had some cop say, "Hey asshole, you're that guy making fun of us!" 

Joel: No, at least not that I know of, there is something in the book Frank is writing but I don't think that had anything to do with it, but, you never know.  I have had my run ins though, on the set of movies, on THE PART I had a cop call me over in the middle of a shoot, watch the credits in TWISTED ILLUSIONS TWO THE PART segment for "See ya dork, we were just making a movie."  Plus I'm prepared for that, its my failsafe, Gus was never a cop he just thought he was, he is just a guy that thinks he’s a cop.

Owen: What do you tend to think when you watch yourself in a movie?  Are you proud, embarrassed, hypercritical, objective and able to see things you can improve in future film work...?   

Joel: I do it with every part I finish, I look at THE BITE now and say "Man, I should have kept in character better", or "I should have blocked that fight scene better."  I think you’re always your worst critic.  I have done some things that were embarrassing which I won't talk about because there that bad, I am proud of the 9 minute fight scene I did in THE BITE, I don't think I'll ever be able to top that.  I always see things I can improve upon, that will never stop.  I'm watching things from "KILL HER, ARNOLD" for "ALWAYS MIDNIGHT" for Phil Herman and I'm already saying, "I should have done this or done that better."

Owen: So Joel, what does it for you or gives you that thrill factor - vampires, zombies, werewolves, psychos, cannibals, aliens, creatures, mummies, bad cops?

Joel: I guess everything!!  It’s cool to play the straight guy trying to fight off the aliens or monsters and its cool to be the hero with powers that has been chosen to fight off the monsters.  I've done a couple roles where I was just the regular guy like when I did a short for a friend called "ACCIDENTAL MEMORIES" I played a guard and it was okay but I wasn’t saving people or stalking women or fighting monsters, but the way I look at it its all acting and that’s what an actor does.  I try to make any role I am in a BLAST, because that’s what it's all about, having fun with your craft.

Owen: What projects do you have lined up in the future? 

Joel: Right now with KILL HER, ARNOLD finished for Falcon Video I'm just taking it easy and waiting for the next project to pop up, I have no plans for anything I'm doing except for SCREAMFEST 2005.  However I am always open to any offers.  Oh, and of course the book with Franklin E Wales, who can be checked out at

Owen: Frequently actors want to get into different areas of film production.  Do you have aspirations of writing and directing your own starring vehicle somewhere down the line and if so what sort of role would you like it to be? 

Joel: Like they say on the MOUNTAIN DEW commercials "DONE THAT” I directed LOST FAITH as well as produced and wrote.  I co produced WICKED GAMES and was assistant director the same for SCREAMING FOR SANITY THE BITE I wrote into a 30m-page script that originated from a 3-page synopsis from Phil Herman.  I also directed THE BITE along with newcomer Chris Conklin.  THE BITE I also produced with Cathy Holseybrook who recently became Cathy Wynkoop.  "KILL HER, ARNOLD was also written by myself and produced by Cathy and myself as well as starring the two of us.  I'd still like to do LOST FAITH 2 that has been a dream of mine since I finished the first one.  I'm open to all writing and acting as long as they’re not too boring, I'd want something to be going on at all times, keep it interesting.

Owen: So if you were going to give someone advice on how to be a "cult superstar" what would you tell them?

Joel: Do as much stuff as you can, don't sit around waiting for someone to give you thousands of dollars to act because it probably won't happen.  If you get a chance to do a movie and the guy says "I can't pay you but you'll be the lead” DO IT!!!!!  Don't sit around and say, "I'M an actor and I need to be paid."  If I waited to get paid on TWISTED ILLUSIONS I wouldn't have gotten the part of myself or Mike Strauber which never would have lead to Truth or Dare which never would have lead to KILLING SPREE which never would have lead to LOST FAITH which never would have lead to WICKED GAMES, see where I'm going with this?  If I had waited to be paid I'd have done nothing, period.  Because I have done so much now I do get paid, you have to do a little or sometimes a lot before it starts to pay off.

Owen: What is something that scares you in real life? 

Joel: People drunk driving, I worry for my family on the road -- people racing and zipping through traffic.  Things that are out of my control like being on a plane and the engines die.  Long painful death, let me go in my sleep and wake up with my Dad.  Being a regular guy, not having my interests in moviemaking and just being content with life.  I have to always be doing things towards my acting career or I feel like a failure, sometimes I wish I never got interested in acting and learned about cars instead, but I was bit by the acting bug and now its hear to stay so I'm doing the best I can.