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inmate profile: Shane Van Dyke

You had to figure I'd be hyping the crap out of A Haunting in Salem during the week leading up to its DVD release next Tuesday, October 4th; it is, after all, my first produced script. But a story's one thing. Turning that story into a full-fledged, quite-literally-3D reality is a whole different thing altogether. And so, to start off Committed's coverage of all things A Haunting in Salem, we take a look at the film's captain, triple-threat Shane Van Dyke.

I say triple-threat because not only is Mr. Van Dyke the director behind a few of your favorite Asylum films - Paranormal Entity, 6 Guns and Titanic II - he's also the writer of a couple more - P.E., T2, Transmorphers: Fall of Man, The Day the Earth Stopped and Street Racer - as well as an accomplished actor: after a 17-episode stint on "Diagnosis: Murder" alongside his father, Barry Van Dyke (6 Guns), brother Carey Van Dyke (Mega Python vs. Gatoroid) and grandfather Dick Van Dyke (I don't have to tell you what Dick Van Dyke's from, you know damn well who he is), Shane graduated to the film world, picking up a few roles here and there, most notably in the rad two-part miniseries Shark Swarm, before running into the fine folks at The Asylum. Apparently it was love at first sight, because over the last three years they've worked side-by-side on some of the studio's biggest projects.

Outside The Asylum, Van Dyke has a role coming up in another shark film, Super Shark, alongside John Schneider and Asylum-Hall-of-Famer Sarah Lieving (Beast of Bray Road, Monster, 9/11 Commission Report, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, King of the Lost World etc etc etc). Super Shark, interestingly enough, is directed by the famed Fred Olen Ray, whose son, Christopher, directed Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, Almighty Thor and 2 Headed Shark Attack, due in January. I wrote that one too, off a story by Ed DeRuiter. But I digress...

Also on the horizon for Van Dyke, the release of The Sacred, a film he and brother Carey wrote that stars Jeff Fahey, Jenny O'Hara and the legendary Sid Haig.

So, as you can see, Shane Van Dyke is a hyper-motivated, multi-talented kinda dude. For my money, 6 Guns was one of the best of the year, and Titanic II was much, much smarter than I expected. I'm not alone on that last one, because Committed readers voted Shane Van Dyke Best Script for Titanic II in last year's first annual Looney Awards for Excellence in Asylum Films, presented by yours truly.

What does this mean for A Haunting in Salem? It means the film is in excellent, capable hands. Honestly, the first time they told me he was directing, the first word that popped into my head was, "jackpot" (after "holy shit," of course). If you haven't seen his other efforts, check them out now, especially Paranormal Entity; it'll give you a viscerally-excellent idea of just how scared he can get you.

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