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For Your Consideration: The 2015 Chainsaw Award Nominations for Best Supporting Actor

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With less than a month left to vote for Chainsaw Award nominees, FANGORIA believes that every nominee deserves a fair shot at the award in question. Yet when it comes to performances, the objective nature of cinema really takes a hold of the voter: fans of one kind of particular horror may disregard a contender altogether if they believe their project to be not their “type of horror.” Nevertheless, FANGORIA wants to shine a light on these nominees to give voters a better understanding of what makes their performances stand out within the genre this year.

Of course, as with most categories, narrowing down this list was no easy task for the FANGORIA staff. If CHEAP THRILLS and THE GUEST had categorized themselves as horror, there’s little doubt that David Koechner and Leland Orser would be making this list for their respective contributions to said projects. Meanwhile, other initial nominees included the likes of AFFLICTED’s Clif Prowse, LATE PHASES’ Tom Noonan and Ethan Embry and LIFE AFTER BETH’s John C. Reilly, all of whom ended up missing the cut via our various votes and discussions. And for certain films, the discussion of supporting vs. lead roles came into question: Jared Harris in THE QUIET ONES and the BIG BAD WOLVES actors certainly warranted a conversation as to which performer belonged where.

So without further ado, here are your FANGORIA Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Supporting Actor…

David Asavanond, COUNTDOWN

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While COUNTDOWN was a film seemingly missed by many FANGORIA readers (and admittedly even some of the FANGORIA staff), the staffers who had seen the film fought hard for Asavanond to get a Chainsaw nod. In the words of FANGORIA’s own Michael Gingold, Asavanond is “a force of rude nature in COUNTDOWN” who “keeps stealing scenes with his vicious charisma.” And in case you haven’t seen Asavanond’s commanding performance in COUNTDOWN, you can check out the film on Amazon right now and see what the hype is all about.

 

Tzahi Grad, BIG BAD WOLVES

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A bold and terrifying performance, Tzahi Grad’s representation of “justified” human horror was one of the most mesmerizing to come out of 2014. Offering humor, humanity and more than a little heartbreak, Grad’s bestowed a layered emotional complexity upon his tortured torturer, and his work in the film made his character’s actions all the more unpredictable. Yet Grad also showed a willingness to go beat for beat with his co-stars, no matter how dark the territory, which made Grad’s appearance a narrative boon when he would grace the screen.

 

Gene Jones, THE SACRAMENT

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A flat-out phenomenal performance, Gene Jones became a name to remember in 2014 when he stole THE SACRAMENT out from seasoned perfomers like AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz and Kate Lyn Sheil. A frightful force of nature, Jones wielded his natural charisma like the sharpest knife, using wordplay in a way that most director’s would use carefully constructed scare sequences. And when his character eventually shows his true nature, it’s not with anger, but acceptance and tearful resentment; an unexpected choice by an unpredictable and gripping performer.

 

Michael Parks, TUSK

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Say what you would like about Kevin Smith’s divisive TUSK, but there’s no denying that Michael Parks delivers a semi-underhanded, semi-thunderous performance that is not to be forgotten. Parks dominates his screen time, offering a natural rapport with his victims before turning into a maniacal madman at a moments notice. And Parks even offers a human side to his seafaring psychopath, instilling a broken soul inside his villain as a karmic justification for his homicidal tendencies.

 

Noah Wiseman, THE BABADOOK

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In another performance that was divisive among horror fans, Noah Wiseman was provided one of the most physical and involved child performance’s in years within THE BABADOOK, even if it came at the cost of the audience’s patience. Wiseman sells his belief in the titular terror with the utmost devotion, so much so that it lends itself to the audience’s voyeurism through Essie Davis’ Amelia. And above all, Wiseman’s performance was effective no matter what the atmosphere: whether he’s acting out among the others around his age or battling a force of evil, Wiseman brought his character to stunning life.


If you would like to vote for any of these nominees for Best Supporting Actor, check out the full ballot here and send your completed ballot to chainsaw@fangoria.com.

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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