Greyson Wolf will make your vampire dream come true

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2012

By Katie Scarvey
Angela Lomax is a big fan of the “Underworld” movies.
Think vampires. Think fangs.
When she heard that special effects artist Greyson Wolf was going to be at Dead Ed’s in downtown Salisbury recently, she knew she had to go.
Not just to meet Wolf, but to get him to make her a set of custom-designed vampire fangs — something that Wolf is known for. If you’ve ever seen the HBO series “True Blood,” you’ve seen some of his work.
But why would a regular person like Lomax — a mom with four kids — want vampire teeth?
“Just for shock value, just for fun,” she says. “Just to give somebody something to think about.”
She sat down at Dead Ed’s on a recent Saturday, face to face with Wolf, who got very familiar with the inside of her mouth.
Wolf wore a black bandanna on his head and a T-shirt that asked, “Have you seen my zombie?”
Wolf did a lot of grasping of Lomax’s teeth as he worked to design and craft a set of fangs for her — she wanted them to be “Underworld”-style, she told him.
If Wolf wanted to dress up, his imposing height of 6 feet 7 inches would perhaps argue more for Herman Munster than Bela Lugosi. His large hands can sometimes add to the challenge of a craft in which details are everything. “When I do it for long periods of time, they do start cramping up,” Wolf said.
As perfect as the name “Greyson Wolf” seems for someone who makes a living crafting the teeth of predators, it’s not one Wolf made up. It’s his real name, he says, and caused him to be picked on as a child. One imagines that was before he hit his growth spurt.
As Wolf works, he explains that every set of fangs he makes is unique.
“It keeps me engaged, so I don’t get bored,” he says.
Wolf travels up and down the east coast, helping customers indulge their vampire fantasies, working at shows and conventions like the recent Mad Monster Party in Charlotte.
His clientele is not always what you might think. His clients range in age from 12-73 years old, he says. He’s made fangs for doctors, lawyers, accountants and even dentists. He even made a set for a pediatrician who wanted to wear them for Halloween.
He was honored when he got to make a set for Bela Lugosi’s daughter.
He started making vampire teeth, which are basically precision-fitted crowns that snap or pop into place over one’s regular canines, back in 1997 at the Four Seasons Town Center in Greensboro, in front of a store called Halloween Express.
He already had one tool he needed — a Dremel tool — that he used to carve. His grandfather taught him how to carve soapstone, he said.
He began making his fangs with dental acrylic, he said. Now, he’s come up with his own patented mix of acrylic, porcelain and enamel, which he mixes up in a tiny stainless steel bowl. It no longer takes him an hour and a half to craft a set, as it used to, he says. Now, he can make a set in half an hour, or even 20 minutes if he’s really cranking.
At $100 or more a set, there’s certainly money to be made. Wolf estimates that he’s probably done 6,000-8,000 over the years. That number is based on the boxes of the liability forms customers must sign before he’ll make their fangs.
The fangs aren’t really dangerous, but Wolf does recall getting a 2 a.m. phone call from an emergency room doctor wanting to know the chemical makeup of the teeth. He was caring for a patient who had gotten drunk and accidentally swallowed one of her fangs.
The crowns can last quite a long time. Wolf says that he knows someone who still has fangs he crafted in 1997.
“Keep them away from cats,” he advises. “For some reason, cats are attracted to them.”
Wolf, who lives in Greensboro, is well-known in special effects circles.
Not long after he started, he was approached by Tom Savini and Todd Fisher, to work with them doing special effects. Savini is a big name in special effects for horror films like “Dawn of the Dead.”
Wolf has done post-production work on several movies, including “The Transformers” and “Underworld III.” He’s currently working on a movie called “The Hunt for Bigfoot.”
Wolf also does special effects work for a Charlotte-based performing arts company called Single Cell Productions — which specializes in “fetish entertainment.”
Wolf lucked out one day when Dan Rebert, who was working for the popular HBO vampire series “True Blood,” overheard him talking about making fangs.
“I’m lucky to have a big mouth,” he jokes.
Wolf got the chance to work with Rebert during the show’s first season to make the crowns that are worn by the actors on the series when they snap into vampire mode.
In addition to his special effects work, Wolf has worked as a chef for many years. He used to own the Reedy Creek Family Diner in Greensboro but had to give that up when his mother got sick and needed his help.
He doesn’t anticipate giving up the fang-making anytime soon. He enjoys helping people who want “something funky or different or weird or unusual.”
He doesn’t advertise a lot, instead relying primarily on word of….er, mouth.
By now, Wolf has a pretty good sense of what drives people to him.
“Some want to embrace a True Blood character or fulfill a vampire dream,” he says.
Others simply love the shock value he says, getting a kick out of wearing the teeth at a place like Chuck E. Cheese and flashing them to kids at the next table to “freak them out.”
Bottom line, some of his clients “just like to mess with other people.”
Wolf says he’s hoping to return to Dead Ed’s in a few months.
Wannabe vamps, take note.