After a successful first season, the mystery thriller series “L.A. Macabre” is back with season 2 that is bigger, better, and more twisted. Following its release on Amazon Prime, we sat down to chat with one of the series’ stars, Ryan Hellquist who filled us in on the show, the new season, and much more.
“L.A Macabre” centers on three filmmakers that interview a former member of the defunct cult “The New Family” leading them down a path of mystery, kidnapping, and murder.
Hellquist stars alongside Corsica Wilson, and Aidan Bristow in the series written and directed by Dan Ast.
Horror Fuel: “You star in the series “L.A. Macabre,” whose second season is now on Amazon. What’s it about?”
Ryan Hellquist: “It’s a thriller, where my character is a part of a group of filmmakers who interview a former cult member. After the interview goes viral we start getting terrorized by the cult which escalates to people connected to us getting mysteriously murdered! I’m very excited to have worked on it. It’s amazing what we could put together with a micro-budget. It’s a really intriguing show. We essentially made three feature-length films’ worth of content on a very small budget. It’s incredible.”
Horror Fuel: “Season one is also streaming right?”
Ryan Hellquist: “Season one and two are both on Amazon Prime now. The first season started off as a found footage web series unraveling a mystery about a former cult.”
Horror Fuel: “Awesome. I love those types of stories. If you will tell us it evolves from season one to season two.”
Ryan Hellquist: “Season two we really expand the world. There are so many more interesting locations and the stakes are much higher. Season one. It features three filmmakers who have a show on YouTube called L.A. Macabre and they research the history of L.A. and they want to start investigating this former cult called The New Family. They interview this woman who is from the cult, played by Corsica Wilson.
In season two the world is expanding, the characters as well. There are so many new characters. We’re now on the hunt to rescue a kidnapped character.”
Horror Fuel: “Fill us in on your character, Ryan Holbrook?”
Ryan Hellquist: “Ryan is in L.A. trying to take care of his younger sister who is living with myself and my roommate Collin. After our parents died we were left in the care of our Uncle Randy, who is a prominent character in season two. He’s a former police detective and an alcoholic who eventually couldn’t take care of us and put us in the foster care system. Due to the disconnection with our uncle, I feel a strong responsibility to take care of my sister. I feel like she’s the only family I have left. I just want to help her and develop the true-crime show on YouTube. In the beginning, these characters are hopeful then through the course of seasons one and two, they are thrust into life and death situations.”
Horror Fuel: “With L.A. Macabre are there a lot of Hollywood true events involved?”
Ryan Hellquist: “In the first season and the web series within the show, we do talk about actual events that occurred in L.A. like the Black Dahlia, we talk about the Manson Family and that kind of stuff, the macabre is what the show within the show is about. Then, the New Family, the cult that’s in our show, is very much based on the Manson Family. We talk about real-world events then find ourselves living out this really macabre story.”
Horror Fuel: “Season two features fifteen episodes, is that right?”
Ryan Hellquist: “The whole series currently has fifteen episodes, three for season one and twelve for season two.”
Horror Fuel: “Can viewers binge-watch the new episodes or are they coming out one by one?”
Ryan Hellquist: “You can definitely binge-watch them. Season two picks up right where season one left off so you can go right through all fifteen episodes.”
Horror Fuel: “Awesome. You were the first assistant director on Fallout: Red Star. What was that experience like?”
Ryan Hellquist: “That was incredible. That was my first time being a first unit director. I worked my way up to the first assistant director. I’ve always pursued acting but I also wanted to behind the scenes. I’m a P.A. from time to time. I always want to be educated in all aspects of filmmaking so that I better understand each department’s process and I think that helps to be a better actor and a better filmmaker as well. But I prefer acting. That’s a dream that I’ve always had. It’s fun for me to be able to dive into a character, learn what they are about, learn the skill sets they have, and then when I’m on set I’m totally immersed and living in that world. It’s very exciting to be acting and being a part of their story. The film industry is great too. I would love to be a better director someday, but it’s not what I am focusing on right now.”
Horror Fuel: “Earlier we briefly discussed L.A. Macabre and true crime stories, if you had to pick one, what would be your favorite true L.A. crime story?”
Ryal Hellquist: “Oh man. I think Manson is really interesting. I’ve read Helter Skelter and a biography while preparing for this role. What’s interesting about him is that the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, written by Dale Carnegie, helped him to be able to manipulate people. The timing was amazing, during the late 60s there was this guru thing going on all throughout California and Manson used that.”
Horror Fuel: “I’ve read a lot about him. I can’t understand just how he was able to manipulate his followers to kill. I also find it crazy that he was able to sell so many songs to famous bands. It’s crazy, you know?”
Ryan Hellquist: “That’s kind of one of the dark tragedies. He’s definitely a disturbed person. He always wanted to be a musician. He was very tight with one of the Beach Boys. He always wanted to be in that band. He just never got his shot or was just not talented enough. I think that manifested into him wanting to be this leader. He wanted to be a rock star, instead, he became a cult leader. His whole upbringing was pretty messed up too.”
Horror Fuel: “He’s definitely an interesting cat.”
Be sure to check out season one and two of “L.A. Macabre” now streaming on Amazon Prime! Follow Ryan Hellquist on Instagram and visit his official fan site for a glimpse into the series and to stay updated on his projects.