Living Dead Magazine: Brinke, welcome to Living Dead Magazine. It is such a pleasure to have you. Brinke Stevens: Thank you. It’s a screamingly good publication and I’m excited to be part of it. LDM: Besides being a horror pioneer, you are a proclaimed science nerd and have a masters degree in marine biology. You also co-wrote a sexy science fiction anthology called Dangerous Toys. Can you tell us about the anthology, the writing process and your passion for science and biology? BS: I’ve always been far more interested in science fiction than horror. I remember my teachers being very concerned when I was 8 years old and reading mature books by Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. In high school I yearned to be an astrobiologist and explore alien worlds. It soon became clear that our space program wasn’t keeping up with my ambitions. Instead, I became an oceanographer because it was still a relatively unknown frontier. At first I specialized in dolphin communication experiments—sort of dealing with an alien species. Well, that got me kicked out of grad school. I immediately landed a job as an environmental consultant for a nuclear power plant. A decade later, I was the executive editor of Weird Tales magazine. While there, I wrote a serial with acclaimed sci-fi author A.E. van Vogt called The Pandora Principle. I segued into journalism, doing dozens of articles for Femme Fatales magazine. I wrote and sold several screenplays, such as Teenage Exorcist, which I also starred in. Meanwhile, I contributed novellas, short stories, forewords and chapters for books like Dangerous Toys, Hot Blood, Attack of the B Queens, Assault of the Killer B’s and so on. LDM: You are credited as a director of Terror Toons 3 and 4. Can you tell us about these films and what it’s like working behind the camera?
Brinke & Linnea
BS: Two years ago, filmmaker Joe Castro invited me to pitch an idea for his new Terror Toons 3 anthology. I gave him a brief synopsis for Personal Demons, which he really liked and [he] told me to go ahead and write the screenplay. Then, he liked the finished script so much that he asked me to direct it myself to stay true to my vision. For years I’d been slated to direct one project or another, but they all fell through, so I was thrilled by his offer. Last year, when we shot Personal Demons, I hired my pals Linnea Quigley and Debbie Rochon to co-star with me. It was fun and reassuring to work with my good friends on my very first director job. We shot the whole film against a green screen, which made it easier at times, yet more confusing at others. Like asking yourself, “Does the invisible door swing open this way or that way?’ I think Personal Demons will be released as Terror Toons 4. I also shot a new sequence in character for the tail end of Terror Toons 3 to lead into it.