The actor/filmmaker was on vacation when the Tickfaw River started overflowing, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage, but friends, fans and neighbours helped his staff save Schneider's most important keepsakes and his dogs - and he has already started the clean-up process.

"It cost us a couple of hundred thousand dollars in lighting and sound equipment and a bunch of time and effort, but, honestly, it's gonna be a better place because of it," John tells WENN. "It has forced us to do a lot of things we didn't do before. We've got two soundstages that now will have shelving three feet up off the floor. Nothing will sit on the floor anymore."

The worst-hit part of Schneider's studios was the barn, where he stages his Shakespeare in the Swamp shows, and where he and Dukes of Hazzard co-star Tom Wopat entertained fans at Christmas.

But thanks to the kindness of locals, much of the property has been saved.

"There was an outpouring of public compassion and people came with brooms and power washers and bleach... and just showed up in pick-up trucks," he recalls. "These are just good-natured locals who are excited about the fact that there's a movie studio in their neighbourhood."

And John jokes the flood may have been the Tickfaw River's way of cleansing the area after he shot new horror movie Smothered at the studios. Schneider actually bought the property while scouting for locations for the film three years ago.

"Every place we shot Smothered was completely underwater, so maybe the Tickfaw River was trying to purge itself from all memories of horror that happened," he laughs.

In the film, which is available on video on demand this week (beg28Mar16), Schneider recruited horror film icons like Kane Hodder and Don Shanks, who portrayed Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers onscreen, and pitted them against a psychotic woman out to kill them in a spooky haunted park.