I first spotted Thom portraying the role of Tommy Jarvis in 'Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives' as he did a dynamite job as someone vengeful wanted to put Jason Voorhees to an end. I watched this on TV as I always wanted to see if I wouldn't chicken out watching horror films as well I knew Alice Cooper played some songtracks on it since he's my rock icon.
I was of course 18 years of age and it was my grad year in highschool at the time so this was the film that got me into the horror craze and started renting more of the 'Friday the 13th' flicks at my local video store when rentals were big at the time.
I was disappointed that Thom didn't return to any of them as after part 6 Tommy Jarvis vanished into thin air and more new characters in each of them appeared in the rest of the sequels.
Then much later in my life on Halloween night I rented the comedy-horror parody 'Return of the Living Dead' and was excited to see him in this one as an employee at a morgue named Freddy. I found this to be my favourite zombie flick but then a year later saw him in part 2 as a different character and was disappointed on what a flop it was as it didn't have the same chemistry at all.
Mathews had a promising career in cult films and was interested in checking some of them and felt he deserved to be mentioned here.
I met him at Crypticon Seattle 2017 and found what an easy going fellow his is and does not have the Hollywood attitude whatsoever.
Then he accepted an interview by me when I got home and emailed him the questions which made my day big time.
Although he's not exactly a horror film actor full time he will always be remembered in the films that I mentioned him in since he did a nice powerful performance.
He however had a supporting role as the role of David in 'Midnight Cabaret' which was in the same vein as 'Phantom of the Opera' in 1990.
Rumor also has it that he was considered for the lead role in the 1987 flick 'Prison' but Viggo Mortenson was cast for it which is another shame since this would be another feather in his cap for a known horror flick.
Plus he became a cult icon by working steadily mainly playing heavy type roles in many of Albert Pyun's flicks such as 'Dangerously Close', 'Down Twisted', 'Alien from L.A.', 'Bloodmatch', 'Nemesis', 'Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor', 'Heatseeker', 'Mean Guns' and 'Crazy Six'
Also some trivia for you if you didn't know that he's a close friend of George Clooney during the 80's when he too was a struggling actor and lived with him for a while.
He's been a busy guy touring around the horror film convention circuits in many foreign areas as well.
He has been out of the loop from acting for some years but is still involved with the Screen Actors Guild. He also started a family of his own as well as owning his own company for architects and designers but is hoping to return to the acting field.
In 2017 he did use his voice for Tommy Jarvis in a 'Friday the 13th' video game made by Gun Media which is available for Playstation 4 as we will all love him for his role in that particular sequel.
Return of the Living Dead 1985. This would mark his first film project (Well beforehand had an uncredited role in 'The Woman in Red' but I wouldn't count that as a role) and had one of the lead roles in this one as he did a bang on job as a bumbling employee alongside with James Karen at a medical supply house named Freddy in which he makes a mistake on reviving a couple of corpses with deadly gas as well as burning up one of these corpses causing acid rain awakening the dead from a graveyard.
His character turns into a zombie himself slowly after what this gas does to him and knew on how to act wild and crazy.
Seems to do well freaking out in a slapstick way after he finds out that he is no longer alive and then is in a room alone with his girlfriend Tina (Beverly Randolph) and suddenly jumps into action with his drooling and vicious attitude as a born again zombie which he adds a nice versality within this and a memorable scene for the fans.
Also good effects on his face when someone splashes acid on him making him more and more like the living dead and tries to come after Tina while she locks herself up in an attic for her safety. He does well pleading and acting crazy at the same time with his moaning attitude.
This is for sure a nice start off to his acting career as he was powerful and outrageous in every way and form.
The film is an enjoyable comedy/horror zombie parody as well as a great party type of flick too. Worth watching on Halloween too along with a stompin soundtrack by punk rock/ rockabilly groups such as The Crammps, The Damned and 45 Grave.
Dangerously Close 1986. Thom has an effective supporting role Brian Rigletti in which he is a member of a gang called the Sentinels in which they seem innocent by day when going to school but causing trouble at night terrorising people that aren't in their clique.
An impressive beginning to the story in which we may think someone is going to be murdered by this gang near a river but gets killed accidentally in another case.
Then the story tends to drag for a bit as it got a little bland but things really sparked up especially for the crimes that start to occur as well as alot of the action that went on making up for the dull first bit of it.
Thom's character as Brian really shined off as someone who isn't agreeing to what they were doing so he came across as the good guy in the film and pulls it off quite well as well as showing some great energy with levels of intensity when confronting the Sentinel leader Randy McDevitt (John Stockwell) as well as his threats to him if he crosses the gang by wanting out.
Seemed to do okay while being emotional on stuff which struck out well when he had to behave this way to top it all off.
A tragic moment happens to him later on in the film which causes a spark with some of the gang members wondering who did this to him but we all guessed who was guilty for it.
The film was made on a low budet but had a good story with some fine acting too plus a huge soundtrack with many 80's pop bands which helped the film get out there.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives 1986. Another role fans such as myself remembered him in and a lead role too as tommy Jarvis since the previous actor didn't want to reprise his role but Mathews in my opinion is a better actor and seemed to study this role terrifically in which he is in the beginning driving to the graveyard and accidentally resurrects Jason Voorhees from the grave which looked awesome to watch and then tries to warn the law that he's alive again and heading back to Camp Crystal Lake in which the city renames the area Forest Green to forget about the Jason murders.
Mathews is great with his energy and is a suspect to Sheriff Garris (David Kagen) after some people at the camp were slaughtered which seems nicely done.
A real memorable moment is when he goes into a vehicle with Megan (Jennifer Cooke) and is on the chase with the police and Alice Cooper's unreleased track "Hard Rock Summer" was playing as this was one of my favourite scene's.
The suspense gets going big time when he enters the camp later on in the story when he plans to send Jason back into the lake which made me watch carefully if he's going to survive this or not. He put alot of enthusiasm into these moments too.
The story was getting really exciting but things seemed rushed and ended too quickly. Yet this marks my favourite out of the 'F13th' sequels.
Yes he became a cult icon for his role in this and was a shame the character didn't return for the rest of the sequels.
The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission 1987. A made for TV movie based on the series of novels by E.M. Nathanson as this is the third installment of the series based on the WWII as they do battles with the NAZI's.
There's lots of gun shootings and some explosions along with people in solitary about to being executed until Maj. Wright (Telly Savalas) gets them out to serve the army and do battles.
Mathews has a supporting role in it popping in and out playing one of the soldiers and has the odd speaking role in which you see him in training or attending a plan as to where they will do battle next as well as firing away or heading for cover when things get too much.
There's some nasty moments like a rapist in the army
Maurice Fontenac (Bo Svenson) nearly raping a woman in bed as well as some NAZI's hanging some people which isn't pretty but just shows their dangling legs and a shadow figure of these victims.
Mathews doesn't stand out greatly in this one but is seen on and off but is a part of the american soldiers serving WWII. He got to perform with name actors like Ernest Borgnine and so fourth.
Down Twisted 1987. In this one he portrays a hitman as well as a drug smuggler known as Damalas in which he seemed to do okay playing this character but at times is a bit much with his sneering aggressions but he does well acting slick and in your face.
He appears in the beginning with his gang and plans to travel to do other crimes and situations as the story at first turns out to be exciting while we watch the outcomes of these schemes.
Along in the story we have the lead character Maxine (Carey Lowell) who's profession is a waitress as she gets tangled in the criminal activities who are after a priceless San Lucas' relic.
Maxine's roommate was involved with these situations after her car explodes as she is on a chase with Mathews character in scene's where he drives a motorbike with his gang as well as her being kidnapped on his boat and tries to get away with someone supposedly kidnapped as well named Reno (Charles Rocket) only to be seen having unfinished business with Matthews role as Damalas as I suspected that reno himself was a spy.
After more chasing moments during a festive in Mexico the character Damalas gets killed off during a quarter of the story.
An okay thriller with different twists but the story gets to be a bit of a drag.
The movie earned a limited theatrical release in 1987 and went to home video in 1990. This was apparently a favourite to his fans in which he drew well onto the screen that I must admit. Also a nice attention grabber with the beginning of the film that we hear Oingo Boingo's songtrack classic "No One Lives Forever" being played as well at the end of the film"Suspicious Minds (Suspicious Mix)" by the Fine Young Cannibals which was another popular track that stood out too.
Return of the Living Dead II 1988. This is a disappointing one and not a true sequel to the original but some similarities as Thom acts alongside with James Karen once again as bumbling employees but this time as gravediggers in which they go to a morgue to collect jewelry from dead bodies and so fourth along with being in the middle of the dead rising as well as a deadly gas coming at them and turning them slowly into zombies themselves.
He knew on how to act sick and goofy like in the original but didn't seem to b e as powerful like in the original. Yet does a good job and admitted he loathed doing this one so that might explain stuff.
There's a moment when he wants to eat his girlfriends brain and in this one she eventually gives in especially when he tries to act sympathetic in a twisted type of way.
This one had more slapstick to it all with zombies putting on their glasses or doing other comedic moments including them driving an army jeep as they seem to be wiser in this one too.
The only thing better in this one is the soundtrack as there's a better selection of music. Otherwise you'd want to skip this one since you're not missing much. The only difference is that it mainly takes place in a neighborhood and a small town.
Alien from L.A. 1988. Thom has a supporting role less than 10 minutes long but it's a great one and really effective that got his name on the opening credits.
The story centers around a nerdy teenage girl
Wanda Saknussemm (Kathy Ireland) who is looking for her archaeologist father and falls into an underground world by living beings which seemed creative wondering if there's life in the center of the Earth and is considered an alien and a target for her to take hostage of.
Mathews comes in as one of these people wearing a turbin of some sort and saves her life and tries to help her out with stuff and there's a touching moment between the two of them.
He appears again towards the ending when he is on the top surface of the Earth reconnecting with her which was my favourite scene and it looked cool watching this moment.
The makers tried to make this a big time mainstream type of flick with strong composing for the music too but just didn't quite cut it at all. Also there was the odd special effects that looked mildly low budget too. Plus the actress got on my nerves as her looks did more of the talking and the story was a little pointless but simple. It can be a fun movie to watch if you're in the mood for it.
Midnight Cabaret 1990. Thom has a nice supporting role in this rather confusing tale on a Broadway show run by a producer Paul Van Dyke (Michael Des Barres) whom is the devil himself as he makes one of his actresses Tanya Richards (Laura Harrington) have nightmares but then they become real.
Thom plays one of the actors David whom becomes an interest in Tanya's life as he does well showing a sympathetic behavior into what he does for her. Offers a nice charming type of behavior and draws his lines very well. He comes off as a James Dean type of persona in a memorable scene when the two of them have tea together and has a noticeable death scene midway through the film.
Of course near the end of the film she is impregnated with the antichrist ready to be born which is a strange moment and what she does to prevent it from happening. Seems to borrow heavily from 'Rosemary's Baby'.
Alot of the characters and plotlines also borrow heavily from 'Phantom of the Opera', especially the Van Dyke character. It was interesting watching this movie but nothing too original and a hard one to understand. A very weird horror tale indeed.
Bloodmatch 1991. He portrays the lead role in this one as an obnoxious tough bad ass type named Brick Bardo who is on a mission to find out which one of the world's greatest kickboxers killed his brother.
The beginning shows him beating the crap out of someone in a deserted area as well as tying him down and torturing him in which he certainly knew how to roll his punches and act brutal as well as getting into your face with stuff.
Plus he has a scene with battling a woman Connie Angel (Hope Marie Carlton) in a parking lot which looked dynamic to watch.
However then most of the scenes in this film takes place with her and some other suspects taped down to some chairs in a boxing ring with him getting demanding with all of them as well as fighting one by one along with killing some of them in the boxing ring as it looked brutal to watch but the story becomes tiresome.
Yet during the near end of the film there's a good emotional confrontation between him and Connie as well as them battling one another which looked fast and powerful.
However this film was pretty much a bore but it did appeal to his fans. Just a storyline that seems to run out of ideas so it takes place in one area for the most part with people beating each other up.
Born to Ride 1991. Matthews gets to act alongside with some name actors in this one as he has a supporting role playing a biker Willis set in the late 1930's in which he is the second in command to the other gang lead by Grady Westfall (John Stamos) in which his scene's are all involved acting alongside with him.
The two of them along with the others appear during the beginning of the flick as well they start to cause a disturbance during some sort of an US army type of event. Then afterwards Grady gets arrested and has a choice to be a part of the military and train the army learn to ride motorcycle's for an important mission.
Matthews breezes through some other scene's visiting Stamos' character helping him out like serving beer to the military and acting drunk as well as partying wild.
After a couple other scene's he is not seen in the film anymore but his role was average sized.
In the story there's a heavy brawling scene with Grady and the head soldier Captain Jack Hallister (John Stockwell) as well as having a romance with one of the women working there Beverly Ann Devers (Teri Polo).
However the story is very dull and quite weak but quarter way through the suspense happens when one of the military students gets blown up on his bike and tragedy strikes as well as the others seeking revenge against the NAZI's for causing this to happen. Bit that's about it folks.
Nemesis 1992. A futuristic action/sci fi flick on a half human/half cyborg LA cop Alex (Oliver Gruner) whom is on a chase from terrorists and doesn't want to accept that he is becoming more of a cyborg becoming one of them and trying to escape from them to figure stuff out and find some data as well as searching for his lover Jared (Marjorie Monaghan).
Mathews only has two scene's in this flick but they're effective as he is a hitman Marion himself speaking coldly and slickly which he is good by doing so.
He approaches the Alex character near what looks like a boiler room acting deadly by telling him what he is going to do to him as well as there's special effects on his head opening up showing robotic effects with a gun firing at him.
Then I thought that was it for him as Alex is still on the run from other thugs trying to gun him down as well as a moment with a seedy hotel being shot down and moments like that.
Then he appears again in a somewhat abandoned building trying to track him down with someone else and firing away as well as getting into a brawl with him on some sort of a slide that creates cement but then during the end of this moment his character is destroyed and that's the last we see of him.
The chasings, gun shootings, explosives and special effects as some are even cheesy are the only films drawing cards as nothing much else was going for this in which the story was quite a bore.
Heatseeker 1995. Another futuristic action/sci fi flick but a nicely done one about kickboxing champions fighting against cyborg kickboxers as alot of action packed fighting happens here of a kickboxer Chance O'Brien (Keith Cooke) getting mugged and his fiancee Jo (Tina Cote) is kidnapped by the company and is forced to work for them.
Chance is stripped naked in the city when he awakens and almost hit by a car in which this is driven by Mathews character Bradford and later on runs into him again and tries to help him rescue Jo.
Of course Chance is forced to fight against the kickboxing cyborgs as well Mathews does a powerful performance as well strutting his stuff fighting against cyborgs as well at the tournament.
There's a scene when he goes into a limo and discusses business with the head of the company
Tsui Tung (Norbert Weisser) as it made me wonder if Mathews character is a villain as well and working as a spy.
Quarter way through the story his character is shot to death by the company which is sad to watch especially when he chokes out his words to the character Chance.
The story looked great afterwards near the end when he does his final kickboxing battle against a cyborg.
Although this flick never made it to theatre's it still marks a feather in Mathews cap as it was a solid paced storyline and uses his many talents in this one along with a great performance in which he had one of the main supporting roles.
The beginning of the film has fair special effects on cyborgs being created as well as when they try to look human but after a fight it shows some robotic features when they're damaged. KInda almost looked like a 'Terminator' boxing match.
Raven Hawk 1997. A mediocre made for cable action flick which centers around a native indian woman Rhyia Shadowfeather (Rachel McLish) whom experienced as a child that her family being murdered while white people take over their land, which looked very disturbing, and then being framed for murder.
Years later she seeks revenge against these agents which looked suspenseful on what she does in order by killing them as she certainly looked tough and knowing on how to brawl against some of these men for doing so.
A real suspenseful moment is when she is thrown in the water with one of them while the boat is running and this object comes crashing into him.
Thom has a very small role in this one and appears halfway through the story playing one of the nasty agents as he is briefly seen coming out of a helicopter after it lands and ready to do some nasty business.
Then is seen briefly again in some short scene's with him riding a horse or burning down a home.
But then we see him in action after he is thrown off his horse and he uses a gun to do some shooting and moments like that but then Rhyia kills him in cold blood which takes place in a forest. He had very little lines in this one.
Mean Guns 1997. A complicated mess this film was as legendary rapper Ice-T plays a head gangster who has a list of 100 people who screwed up at one point or another so he has a little fun and instead of killing them he puts them together in a high security prison, unarmed, and dumping bucketfulls of guns, ammo, and baseball bats on them and letting them kill each other.
Thom has one of the main supporting roles in this one as one of the thugs and he has a scruffy look to his role as he totally looked bad ass into what he did here as well as showing off some dark humor into his speaking or getting violent by assaulting someone with a weapon and so fourth showing great energy into everything that he did here.
He acted opposite with
Yuji Okumoto as his sidekick Hoss in which they struggle to stay alive with the gunfightings that go along their ways as well as having found one of the survivors Barbie (Tina Cote) joining them on their spree and then really gets into a gun war big time with others too.
Then there's the showdown with the three of them pointing weapons at one another making out that one of these have won this game which looked strongly done.
The film is violent with shootings and deaths but it was yet another boring Albert Pyunn flick that offered better acting skills than a plotline in which Mathews really delivered his stuff well. Never made it to theatre's to my knowledge.
The Peacemaker 1997. Thom teams up with his old buddy George Clooney in this one and so far this was the biggest budget as well the biggest mainstream flick that I saw him in. It's full of action packed fun and exciting to watch which is a shame not many movies like this are made much.
The story centers around
US Army colonel (Clooney) and a civilian woman supervising him must track down stolen Russian nuclear weapons before they're used by terrorists.
The beginning looked enjoyable with Russina looking NAZI's preparing a train collision crashing into one another which looked tragic as well as a bomb exploding offering terrific CGI effects.
Plus there's some stunt car work crashing into each other and colliding as well as struggles happening to find a way to get out of the madness which looked enjoyable.
There's even moments with him chasing after the terrorist in a school hallway causing a ruckus which you don't see in a film very often.
Now I was thinking to myself that Mathews probably only had a bit part in it but was surprised he had a bigger role than expected it was a small role but was in it for 5 minutes or less as he played Clooney's companion driving a helicopter and talking on his speaker requesting to cease weapons and things like that as well as helping Clooney's character with a cable to go down and attack his enemy while he's still driving a helicopter.
He even has a scene when someone is struggling from a bridge and it's a long ways down trying to fix a situation there. He showed alot of great dynamic energy and can be fondly remembered for his special appearance in this one.
The film has alot of action packed violence as well as good special effects on explosions as well as many suspenseful situations which makes you watch cautiously as to what will happen next.
Crazy Six 1997. The story in this one is complicated to understand but it revolves around drugs and gangsters as well as the title character Billie (Rob Lowe) whom is an American junkie who came to Eastern Europe to escape his problems and make some good money.
Once again rapper Ice-T plays a drug lord Raul who deals plutonium on his spare time and pushes drugs on others.
Mathews has the main supporting role and plays the role of Lowe's friend Andrew and is seen in the opening of the film talking business to someone else at a bar while we see recovered addict Anna (Ivana Milicevic) singing on stage and smoking a cigarette.
In this one like in most of Albert Pyun's flicks he portrays a heavy in it as there's many moments when he gets down and dirty like breaking into Raul's place and steals his drugs as well as Raul and his gang tracking him down and nearly shooting him. So there's lots of action that involves him as well as a friend of his being murdered and he is affected by this.
There's also a situation when he is tied up and having the crap beaten out of him but Billie manages to save him.
Plus disturbing moments when Raul ties Anna up with something forced into her mouth and finding it the only way to breathe with him making her smoke drugs which is quite disturbing as well as Mathews role torturing someone in order to find these drugs as well as kicking others asses to get to Raul and so fourth which looked a bit heroic.
The film wasn't my kind of a flick as I've seen better one's that had a similar plot but it looked very colourful and flashy like so it caught my attention while watching this as well as a nice song that Ivana performs near the end of the film.
Mathews name wasn't in the opening credits for some silly reason and very few were like Burt Reynolds as his role was smaller than his but again he's a big name so go figure.
Never Hike Alone 2017. A fan made film based on the 'Friday the 13th' legacy as I don't really review these kinds but yet this film seemed to be having alot going for it as it rode a few festivals.
It shows a hiker Kyle McLeod (Drew Leighty) going up a hill and discovering that he has trespassed at an abandoned camp known as what else Camp Crystal Lake and is struggling against Jason Voorhees eventually.
Matthews appears quarter way through till the end of it so he has a cameo in the this one by portraying the role he was famous for,Tommy Jarvis. This was exciting to see since I wondered as to whatever happened to him but he's grown up and a paramedic and even insults Jason at the end when his ambulance speeds away from him which I loved his one liners as how he insulted him in 'Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives'
The film is just under and hour long so barely passes as a feature film and made on a decent budget with well done moments making this a campy fun flick. Matthews did a good job and hasn't lost his touch.