Monday, June 11, 2012

Where Are They Now? Louis Tripp : A Freddy In Space Exclusive Update!!


Back in early 2010, I made a post that was designed to answer a question I've pondered for many years; what the hell ever happened to Louis Tripp, the child actor who played the loveable geek Terry Chandler in one of my favorite horror movies of all time, The Gate?

I had heard very little about Tripp's current day whereabouts and so I made that post to share a few of the nuggets of info I had heard, one which suggested he was last seen working at a call center and had changed his name to Twelve Twenty.  Basically all I could find were rumors such as those, and in the past couple years that post has turned up no new leads, aside from a guy who commented and claimed he was related to Tripp, and then proceeded to never reply to my e-mails requesting further info.  It seemed my hunt was dead in the water, and that Tripp would never be found.  At least not by me.

Cut to this past Thursday.  I get a Facebook message from a man by the name of Roy Gray, who is in charge of press and publicity for TTA Press, the publishers of various genre publications.  Presumably because he had Google'd the name Louis Tripp and found his way over to my Where Are They Now? post about him, Roy informed me that he had a press release he wanted to send my way, regarding a TTA Press project Tripp was involved in.  I of course became incredibly excited, even moreso when Roy told me that he would send over Tripp's contact details, if I was interested.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, the hunt was over.  And it has ended in a way I never in my wildest dreams imagined it to; with me speaking directly to Tripp, and now being able to exclusively re-introduce the world to the man who played, so many years ago, one of my absolute favorite characters in horror history.
Today, is a truly awesome day.
So here's the skinny.  Tripp currently lives in Australia, where he has resided since 2011, and he changed his name from Louis to Baph (short for Baphomet), which would explain why 'Louis Tripp' Google searches have for years turned up nothing but mentions of The Gate on blogs like my own.  Now 39 years old, Tripp retired from acting around the age of 17, and became so much of a recluse for several years that his agent apparently couldn't even track him down, to tell him about acting offers he was receiving.  Tripp spent those years listening to music and reading, and by the time he emerged from what he refers to as his "cocoon", he was no longer interested in acting as he once was.

Those reports about Tripp changing his name to Twelve Twenty were in fact true.  That was the name he gave himself before he made the change over to Baphomet around 10 years ago, and under that name he created 'confrontational, experimental' music, which 'occasionally resulted in the involvement of the humane society and the police'.  Tripp seems to have calmed down as he has aged, now preferring to spend his time doing the things one would ironically enough expect a grown up Terry Chandler to be interested in doing; creating underground music and, most recently, writing horror stories.  More on all that in a second.

I talked back and forth a bit with Baph last night and I'm incredibly happy to say that he is super nice, and he seems to be in a good place in his life, creating and putting himself back out there as an artist.  As I told him, you always worry when child actors vanish from the face of the earth, so it's awesome to know that Tripp is doing well.  In his words, he had this to say about that matter; "no doing-donkey-porn-to-pay-for-my-addiction-to-bath-salts child-actor syndrome for me. At least, not yet."   Phew, what a relief!!
One of the coolest things about our little chat was that I discovered that Tripp had actually read my post about him from a couple years back, and had thought to contact me and let me know what he was up to.  He never quite got around to it, but I guess fate made it happen regardless!

So here's a little bit more about the projects Tripp is currently working on, along with a photo of himself that was just taken and sent over to me yesterday.  As you'll soon see, Tripp went very much the direction I went in the looks department, transforming over the years from a bespectacled geek into a badass looking bearded dude.  I knew there was a reason I liked this guy!


The first project, which is the one the press release that started this all was about, is a short story Tripp wrote called Chodpa, which will be published in the June/July issue of dark fiction magazine Black Static.  Tripp has been writing for many years, but this is his first published work, and he credits the fact that he has been published for now giving him the confidence to do more writing.

 The story is being described as "A dark, unsettling meditation on alienation, blighted hope, and the uselessness of human consciousness. And insects," and will be published in Black Static 29, on newsstands in Britain this month.  For those of us outside of the UK, a subscription to the magazine can be purchased here.

As for Tripp's musical career, his other main passion, he creates dark industrial underground music under the name x.a.o.s.  Here's how he describes that project, per the official website...
Test still from an upcoming music video

'Imagine an abandoned, automated abattoir come to life. Dirty mechanical rumbles, piercing shrieks, distorted rants, electric & electronic instrumentation cut up and reassembled, then manipulated and spewed forth in an aural expulsion of disgust and despair.'

You can learn more and listen to his concept album 'Psychomachy' over at XAOS.CA.
And that about covers it.  This mission completed, I now move onto my next mission; convincing Tripp to hit the horror convention scene and feel all the horror fan nerd love that he's been missing out on all these years (at the moment, he is 'pondering' such a proposition).  You've got a lot of catching up to do, Baph, and I won't rest until you get out there and see just how loved and appreciated you are to all of us.  For now though, I'm just happy to know you're doing well.

I now celebrate the end of this long journey by rocking out in my bedroom to Sacrifyx's The Dark Book.  Backwards, of course.


Creepy Glowbugg said...

How fucking cool is that?! It must have been fate. Thanks for sharing with us, the strange yet not surprising road Mister Baph has been down.
Just watched The Gate the other day. Favorite scene is where the big monkey demon turns into a bunch of little putty monkey demons. That, and the eye in the hand. Waxing nostalgic over here...

Johnny said...

It just doesn't get much better than The Gate!

deadmenrise said...

Ironically I just saw the Gate for the first time today...what a crazy and fun movie. I'm really glad to hear that Baph is doing well and I hope to see him at a Monster Mania in the future! Great article.

MJ said...

ioving his life his way. Good for him. I've still never got round to seeing The gate. Growing up, I don't think it was on TV over in the UK, and I never saw it lying around Rental shops.

Maybe with my next payday I'll seek it out on DVD.

roy said...

Could I add that Black Static is now on Amazon Kindle, Smashwords and Fictionwise in E book formats and Baph's story will be in the issue (#29) due out July. (not June now as the schedule has been changed)
The links for e books are below but the print edition is on sale at some US newstands.
There are E book versions of Black Static on Fictionwise, Smashwords, and Amazon,

If you have an e reader and want to check it out Black Static #19 Smashwords E book edition is a free, or pay what you consider fair, download from Smashwords.

Johnny said...

Awesome, will spread the word.

Thanks for everything Roy!

Anonymous said...

so, is the guy an occultist or something? judging by his Crowley style bald head, the tattoo on his hand (which looks like something from Fullmetal Alchemist to me) and changing his name to freakin' Baphomet, I'd say it's a fair assumption

still, I'm glad to hear this guy's doing ok, The Gate rocks

blondsummer said...

Absolutely awesome!!! I can verify that THAT IS INDEED Tripp! He looks nearly identical as he did for the past 15 years. We were coworkers for approx 3 or so years, he also gave me advice about how to change my name etc - which I did, and he was and is an altogether awesome person, too bad it doesnt show his tattoos!! He has 1 on each side of his head that are fantastic!
His name was Twelve Five Twenty when I worked with him.

Anonymous said...

Did he by any chance mention anything about Detroit Rock City being his last film appearance?

Anonymous said...

Actually sad in a way. The guy has changed his name a couple times at least. Apparently, he has had problems having a real identity. Always a sign of discontent and emotional problems. Something we always see with people who grew up in the entertainment business. Getting away from it is always a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I read your original article a while back... and would check in every once in a while to see if there was anything new. Fast forward to today and I see this update. WOW. So cool! THANK YOU (and Tripp) for the follow up and for never giving up. As a big fan of The Gate as a kid I always wondered where he went to as well. Now that I know what happened to him etc.. I feel a bit of uneasy youth put to rest.

You rock... again... thank you!

Anonymous said...

His father was a teacher of mine. I went to high school with him. He was always kind of an odd guy. I used to play cards with him and once dragged him off stage during air bands with a fake machete to his throat. I went with him and some other friends to the premiere of The Gate II in St. Catharines. They made him pay to get in to his own movie. Haha!

I remember hearing that he'd moved to Vancouver and changed his name to Twelve Twenty. I didn't believe it at the time.

JACLYN said...

That's really fantastic that you got to speak to him! I googled his name over the years, I've got a big soft spot for The Gate. It was just one of those horror movies that stuck with me.
Glad to see that he followed his passion.

Anonymous said...

He was never in Detroit Rock City. The Gate films were his last feature film projects