Attack of the Scream Queens Contents Editorial: The Real Scream Queens ............................................................. 2 Jessica Cameron Interview By Trevor Wright ............................................. 3 Niki Rubin Interview By Trevor Wright ...................................................... 8 Melanie Robel Interview By Trevor Wright .............................................. 14 Deneen Melody Interview By Trevor Wright ............................................ 20 Shirley Dluginski Interview By Trevor Wright ......................................... 30 Susan Adriensen Interview By Trevor Wright ........................................... 35 Julie Anne Interview By Trevor Wright ..................................................... 43 Kitsie Duncan Interview By Trevor Wright ............................................... 46 Samantha Facchi Interview By Trevor Wright .......................................... 50 Monica Rae Autumn Interview By Trevor Wright .................................... 53 Associate Editor - Trevor Wright Cover â€œTornâ€? By Lubi Proof-read By Samuel Diamond All material contained within the pages of this magazine and associated websites is copyright of Morpheus Tales. All. Rights Reserved. No material contained herein can be copied or otherwise used without the express permission of the copyright holders.
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Editorial: The Real Scream Queens In the world of horror the term “Scream Queen” is thrown around as casually as gore in a Saw flick. We label each and every actress who emerges from obscurity to star in an independent feature, cameo in a studio film, or even serve as background fodder with or without a SAG card as the next big thing - the up and coming “Scream Queen” of the new generation. But, really, what is a Scream Queen? In the 70s and 80s the term applied to an exclusive club of actresses who had gotten their start, or even made their living, being stalked (a lot of times with little to no clothing) by some faceless killer or mutant monster. Women like Jaime Lee Curtis, Linnea Quigley and Brinke Stevens were the standard by which all others would be judged. Flash-forward to present day and the term hasn’t changed much in a lot of people’s eyes. Any hack filmmaker with a camera and too much time on his hands can make a horror movie starring an ex-girlfriend or buxom co-worker and label her the next “Scream Queen”. So why do we honor them? Because they look good? Because they know how to scream? When it comes to Morpheus Tales we pride ourselves on finding the cream of the crop. Within these pages you will soon discover that the term “Scream Queen” means a lot more today than it ever has before. These ladies love horror. They live horror. These aren’t just random women who were given the title. These women earned the title. Every bloody bit of it. These Scream Queens aren’t just actresses and models, but smart businesswomen who know how to play the game just as well as their male counterparts. They are producers, writers, directors… They breathe new life into their craft with their ambitious creativity and knowledge of their genre. In short, they really are the queens of scream. Jessica, Niki, Melanie, Deneen, Shirley, Susan, Julie, Kitsie, Samantha and Monica - They are horror’s modern day heroes. They are the real Scream Queens. Trevor Wright
Jessica Cameron Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favourites? I loved horror films, still do. For me nothing beats a good scare, its therapeutic. I still love The Wishmaster, it was one of my fave horror films as a teen. The concept (Be careful what you wish for) is fascinating to me. The film is very clever too. I adore Andrew Divoff and director Robert Kurtzman. I got to work with them too when I shot the film The Dead Matter (www.midnightsyndicate.com). It was a great experience to get to work with such talented, amazing people whom I have admired for so long. I also loved From Dusk Till Dawn (I adore all things QT), The Blair Witch Project (I know, I know...), Pet Sematary 2 (had a major crush on Edward Furlong! I know, I know...), and the list could continue. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? It was during my first audition, which was for the film The Dead Matter. This was a pretty big first audition (it was a 2 million dollar film!). The feeling in the audition room was such a high, it was electric and I never wanted to leave. Being on that film set further intensified my desire to be an actress, I just felt at home on the set. I only had a small role, but loved it so much that I came back to be a zombie as well. You know you love something when you are happily willing to spend 2 hours in a make up chair! Tell us about being nominated for Best Rising B-Movie actress earlier this year. Was this your first award nomination? What movie were you nominated for? This was my very first award and I am so blessed to have won it. I am so lucky to have such amazing friends and fans! I went to the B Movie Celebration last year and had an amazing time, I got to meet and spend time with many talented people. I knew then that I wanted to be a bigger part of the celebration the following year and told myself that I was going to win an award next year, so I worked really hard to make sure that happened. I was nominated for an indie film that I did called Absolution. Anyone who loves indie films should definitely check it out! www.bmoviecelebration.com What was it like working with Director Jeff Burr on his film Resurrection? Tell us about the movie. When weâ€™ll we be able to see it? I had actually met Jeff just a few weeks before at a horror convention, and was hoping to work with him. Everyone at the convention knew him and his work so well... he is definitely a legend in this industry. He is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is a director that you can talk to, and he actually listens to actors too! Here is the plot of Resurrection: A small town in middle America is gripped by a mass psychosis. The clues lead to a problem with the food chain. Soon it becomes apparent that the town's madness is part of a wider plot. I play Lenore, she has been born and raised in a small town and only wants what is best for her young son. As of right now I am not sure when 3
its release date is, but keep an eye on my facebook fan page for the details. Recently you worked with some friends of mine: Edward X. Young, Bryan Roberts and Nolan Ball. All of whom worked with me on my first feature The Green Monster. The movie you all worked on was called Mr. Hush. Tell us about it. You have just named some of my favourite people! Your film was mentioned on the set too, I can not wait to see it! I heard a lot of great things! The film, Mr. Hush, focuses on one man's search for his family, and his struggle to understand the horrible events that occurred one Halloween night. I play the lead character's loving and loyal wife. It is a great horror film that focuses on the story and character development, rather then the all too common blood, gore, tits and ass (not that there is anything wrong with that!).Edward plays the testicular role, and it was amazing to see him become a character who is so far from Ed in real life. Ed, the person, is incredibly nice and so kind... his character is not! Nolan and Bryan were amazing and so much fun on set. You meet the most fascinating people on film sets. What was it like working with genre veterans like Steve Dash (Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2), Brad Loree (Michael Myers in Halloween: Resurrection) and Steven Geoffreys (Fright Night, 976-Evil) on Mr. Hush? As is the nature of the movie business, I only got to actually work with Brad Loree since I didn't have any scenes with Steve or Steven. But I heard that they were both great! Brad was a riot on set, very funny and absurd in an endearing kinda way. He is one of those people who has to say exactly what is on his mind and he has amazing comedic delivery, without even trying! It was a set filled with laughter, most days! And he is a fellow Canadian, so it was great to work with someone from my home country! I miss the Canadian accents : ) What’s your favourite film (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? That is always a hard questions since every set and movie is different and special in it's own way. I had so much fun with the cast and crew on the set of Mr. Hush, so that project will always hold a special place in my heart. Everyone on set just got along so well, we did have a few tense moments but that happens. Some of the crew and cast even got matching tattoos! I went with Brad to get his, and for the first time in my life really wanted that tattoo also. But in the end I decided against it since I have been told many times that it is a good thing that I do not have any ink... one less thing for the make up people to worry about! What’s your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? Well I would rather not say the name of this particular project (after all that would be promoting the catastrophe). But I did work on a project that was very poorly organized, and everyone was treated very poorly by the producer. This producer even yelled at some of the people on set, and was yelling at them about things that were the producer's mistakes. Often on indie film sets you have to deal with less then perfect situations, but there is no reason to treat anyone with such cruelty. On top of that, locations were not locked down, there was no shooting schedule, crew were brought on under false pretences, there was no communication about locations or schedules... so no one knew 4
where to go or when. It was a train wreck. Luckily it was a very small and short shoot. But there is something to be learned on every set, so on this one I learned what not to do! Do you see yourself continuing acting in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? I always want to work in the horror genre, but I am looking forward to branching out as well. I have a great comedy sitcom coming up, The Singles, which focuses on a group of young people who each have a sexual issue which prevents them from being able to maintain a relationship. It is hilarious, I was laughing out loud when I read the pilot, I knew that I had to do this project... so I begged and pleaded to audition. I also have a heavy drama that I am committed to, The Perfect Child. Here is the plot, it’s really cool! After the Government passes a law requiring citizens to be genetically coded a couples dark past comes back to haunt them. With the birth of their son, and the father’s questionable genes, a couple must decide whether to ignore the new law and hope that their love is stronger than genetics, or get coded and allow the Government to control their fate and the fate of their son... I just love to act and take on characters that challenge me and stretch my boundaries. I just want to work on great projects, with interesting stories and unique characters... whatever genre they may be. What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? I think it is and always will be a popular genre since the fans are amazing and incredibly loyal. I am reading more and more scripts that go against the stereotypical genre formula and focus on character development while striving to be original. Independent horror always has and I think that it will continue to push the mainstream boundaries that studios are scared to approach. This is one of the many reasons why I LOVE independent horror, you honestly don't know what is going to happen...since anything and everything often goes. How can you not love the horror genre : ) We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? I am ready to see another horror movie icon, I feel like it has been too long since we have had one. Someone/ something with the same impact as Freddy, Jason or Chucky. I am also eagerly waiting for an awesome witches film, after all there are so many vampire and zombie films. I love the mythology of the witch, all the legends that surround them. And I would love to star in a witch film...hint, hint, hint! If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? Linda Hamilton in The Terminator and T:2. I love how her character developed throughout the series. She went from a naive young girl to a kick ass woman ready to take on the world. Her 5
physical transformation is also impressive and she was so intense. She really knows how to reach into a character and relate to the audience... you could feel her pain and frustration as she struggles with the truth while in the mental ward. I would love to work with her one day! What exciting projects are in store for Jessica Cameron? Besides the aforementioned The Singles sitcom and the feature film The Perfect Child here is what is up and coming... Prey To God – Here’s the tag line: “Cleansing the soul...purify the flesh”. I play the lead character Monica and I get to kick some serious butt! As Though Dead – I play a street smart, exotic dancer named Elizabeth. In this film the end is near and the rapture process has started. During this event the wrath of God will be revealed and the faith of others will be tested. A group of people come together in a church and they must take sides before each of them get taken one by one but the question is what one person believes is the rapture process could be something terrible. The future of our society is put in the hands of a few but they must find the faith and courage it takes to save what’s left. Black Ops – This is Tony Randall's (Hellraiser 2) next film, and I am so excited to work with him! This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favourite horror author and/or book? Sadly I have little time to read books, I have never ending supply of scripts, treatments to get through... I used to love reading V.C. Andrew novels, although I wouldn't consider her work horror, even though book stores do. She had such interesting story lines and makes you understand the characters as they proceed through extreme circumstances. I also loved Dean Koontz and Stephen King. What do you look for in choosing future roles? I always look for characters that have depth and a story to tell. I don't have to like or agree with that story, but they need to have one. I loathe one dimensional characters, and they are all too common for women in this industry. I look for characters that feel fresh to me, and give me something new to explore. Next I look at the script and those involved and determine if I feel that the project is marketable. Someone very wise once told me that even if you make the world's greatest film, it won't help anyone if it is never seen. I also do my research to make sure that those involved with the film are people that I want to work with. I hear that you’re also a fashion designer. Tell us about that. Will we see you hearing any of these designs in your upcoming movies? Yes I am. Fashion has always been a 6
passion of mine, and it is what I studied in University (what we call College in Canada). I have very little time to design and sew now, and usually when on a set the wardrobe people look after the costumes for the cast. I did get to wear my high school prom dress for my final scenes in Potpourri, and it was actually a bit too big! I told the producer that I had the perfect costume and they let me wear it. I was actually just offered a job at a large company to do design, but I told them that I had retired from the field! Perhaps one day you will see me on a red carpet in something that is my own original design, but for now it is on the back, back, back burner. How do you unwind in your off time? Off time?!? Can you please explain what you are referring to? I'm teasing, but in all seriousness this is the most time consuming and difficult industry that I have ever worked in! It is very rare that I do not have my laptop in front of me. Luckily my friends and family understand my crazy multi tasking ways! I am really kinda boring and just love to spend time with those that I care about. I have a great network of family and friends that I spend as much time with as I can. I have these two nieces that bring me instant joy, they are just so intelligent and fun. It is impossible to be bored when you are around them. My best friend also has the most beautiful little girl, I am her god mother. She is one of the most intelligent young people I have ever met! I also love paint ball, which will leave me covered in bruises since I am very competitive! I rarely get to play since bruises are a job hazard... Anything else youâ€™d like to add? Keep up with me on my facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711022670&ref=search#!/pages/JESSICACAMERON/142349905776861?ref=mf And my IMDB Page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2781723/ My website is coming soon!
Niki Rubin Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favourites? I used to love classic horror and I used to love to be scared when I was a little girl. Almost every horror movie I ever saw when I was young scared me... haha... not as much now. Now, I always want to laugh rather than be scared, but I still appreciate a good horror movie and I always appreciate being in a good horror movie. When I was younger, whenever, my friends would sleep over, we’d go scan the horror section in video stores and if we came to a box cover that looked creepy, we’d rent it! Alfred Hitchcock and his style were my favourite type of horror. I’ve always loved movies about ghosts too! Stephen King movies were always fun; Pet Cemetery and The Shining, in particular, really creeped me out. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? I think I always knew I wanted to be an actress and performer. When I was 5, I remember having stage fright and I’m the kind of person who likes to accomplish challenge. So, even though I had stage fright, I wanted to be in front of people more. I enjoyed the effect performing had on people and myself. It was therapeutic for everyone. The power of art. At home with family and friends I would create, organize, direct, and star in my own little improv’ and “rehearsed” plays and performances (singing and dancing included). Often, when I’d watch TV, I’d find myself acting out what I just heard and saw, doing it my way. I just loved getting lost in a character. When I think back, since pre-school and nursery even, I was always more interested in performing than anything else. My whole life, without even totally being aware it’s what I was doing, was all preparation. Since I could remember, I’ve been taking dance classes, voice classes, acting classes, piano lessons, even martial arts classes (all my choices). Being a huge Batman fan, I was ecstatic to find out that you’ve played Catwoman. Can you explain how this all came about? And what is your status as the character now? The man I used to be married to was a huge comic book fan and he loved to make fan-films. I’d been studying martial arts and I embody a bit of Catwoman as it is, so it seemed like a good match. And it was! I had no idea how great of an effect it would have on people. I was so honoured... still am! We went on to make a pretty good amount more, including a web-series. Once most people saw me as Catwoman, they would only refer to me as Catwoman. She’s a strong, sexy female and I worked very hard to bring her to life straight from the comics, so I’m proud of being acknowledged for playing her. I am now divorced and I think it’s safe to say, there’s no vision of working together with this person again. It would be incredible, though, to play Catwoman in a Major Motion Picture or TV show. I loved playing her and really got to grow and evolve with the character. As it is, playing her opened a lot of new doorways and avenues for me in the industry. Who is Lady Action? Tell us all about it. Lady Action (www.captainactionnow.com) is one of the doorways playing Catwoman opened for me. I never saw it coming. I always wanted this, but I didn’t predict it. Catwoman got the attention of Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn whom now own the rights to Captain Action (a toy collection from the 8
60’s and 70’s). They totally re-vamped it into a comic book series and all sorts of merchandise. We came up with the idea that I would be their spokes-model, help them by being the female counterpart to Captain Action, and call her Lady Action. Once we put the costume together, I became her and people went crazy over it. Before we knew it, writers and illustrators and comic book lovers were inspired and coming up with story lines. Tony Lee, a British writer, was inspired enough to write an entire storyline and back-story of the character. Lady Action got so much positive attention that Joe and Ed decided to make Lady Action a comic book series! I had to do a reference photo shoot. They used and continue to use the pictures as reference for any illustrations and I got to be on the cover of the first Lady Action issue, a photo cover of me as Lady Action. Now, Lady Action pops up in many Captain Action issues, the new Phantom issue, and all types of books about Captain Action... my pictures included. Trading cards are coming out and all sorts of cool Lady Action merchandise, including a 12” Figurine Prototype of me as Lady Action is in demands. It’s definitely been fun! The first movie I saw you in was Alex Pucci’s Frat House Massacre. You have quite a few “extreme” scenes in the film involving both nudity and violence. How was the experience on set? I limit myself to when I do nudity at this point. Alex’s sets are always beyond professional, especially when it comes to these types of scenes. It’s all very technical. Everyone’s concerned with their end of the project: the lighting, the angles, whether it looks real. I do not do porn or even close to it; I’m an Actress, and sometimes you have to do sex scenes and nudity. It’s my job to make it all look believable. When it comes to art, sometimes, we have to go to an extreme to get the effect out. If it’s an over-exaggerated look at the late 70’s, early 80’s like Frat House Massacre (www.screamkings.com), then you’re going to show extreme “sex” scenes and “violent” scenes to get the point across. Every time, after Alex calls cut, he was always making sure I was alright and comfortable. In fact, everyone, crew and cast are concerned with my comfort. That’s how it should always be! At this point, if I am needed to do these types of scenes, I know that if it’s with Alex, I feel safe, relaxed, and no worries. What’s your favourite film (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? I have a few films I’ve filmed that are my favourites! Liar’s Pendulum (www.liarspendulum.com) is always going to be very close to my heart; such a beautiful film to watch. I played a crossbow assassin in this film noir action drama and had to go through very intense rehearsals and weapons training to prepare for the role. There were so many layers to this character, which made it a challenge, but very real. I ended up receiving the award for Best Supporting Actress from the Action On Film International Film Festival (http://aoffest.com/winners.html) for this role in 2007. (Scroll down in site to Best Supporting Actress. My name was Niki Notarile when I was married.) I didn’t even know about this until four days before I won the award. So, it was a wonderful, unexpected surprise. Frat House Massacre will always be one of my favourite projects I’ve shot! An extreme perspective of the classic horror movie with suspense and mystery, set in the late 70‘s and early 80‘s when cocaine was becoming a sensation. You can even see that change in the movie. Everything had to look and feel like it was during this time: set decoration, the language, my hair, make-up and wardrobe, music, etc. I got cast for this film four days before I had to shoot it... four 9
seems to be a magic number right now... ha. My role started out very small. Draven Gonzalez wrote this feature as we filmed, and because it was a seasonal shoot, it took a couple of years to make. I was flown out to Columbus, Ohio quite a few times to shoot. Every time I went out there, my role got bigger, and eventually I became the lead chick in the film! I felt honoured. It was also one of the biggest cast and crews I’ve worked on, with some of the highest production value, and I loved everyone involved! The movie, itself is classic and so fun to watch! Another and new favourite for me to have filmed is a short film that you wrote, The One (www.screamkings.com). I love, love, loved filming this and it was a dream role for me! I wish this could be a feature in fact! Being the Queen Vampire (a Queen of the damned, Aaliyah-esque, strong, sensual, mesmerizing vampire) was such a comfortable fit and I really wanted to make her (my character) appreciated. Again, I was working with Alex Pucci’s amazing production value, and wonderful cast and crew. From what I saw on playback, it’s beautiful. There are a few other projects I worked on that are not movies that are some of my faves: Saints Row 2 (www.saintsrow.com) on XBOX and Playstation for example! I did the motion capture for the main female character, Shaundi, so I had to wear the suit with the motion capture balls. It took several months to film my scenes and was sooo much fun. The video game is awesome to play! What’s your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? Well, I don’t want to give names, but there were some films I did earlier in my career that I would never do again. Production value was terrible, and the content of the films was terrible. I’m much more picky now. I want to be proud of everything I’m a part of. There have always been projects I’ve worked on throughout my career where the people were just rude and awful to work with, or totally unprofessional. I’ve worked with people who’ve lied about aspects of their projects, which is just icky, and I’ve worked with people that had so much ego and thought they were the best. Everyone thinks they’re the next best thing, but, why do you have to have so much ego? Do you see yourself continuing to act in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? I’ve done a lot of different genres and types of projects and will continue to do so. I never want to be grouped into one type of genre. I’ve always seen myself as a versatile actress and a chameleon. If there’s a great script, a great role, a great project, something unique, something different, something that will make an impact, then I want to be apart of it, whatever the genre is! What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? I think a lot of people love the feeling of being scared and shaking themselves up. It takes a lot of ability to make great horror, mainstream and independent. Something I’ve learned, though, is that there’s a fan base for even the most awful of horror movies, and from what I’ve seen and heard, it’s more celebrated to make terrible independent horror movies than mainstream. I guess because there’s a lot more expectation for mainstream and rightfully so. Maybe why it’s so accepted, as well, in the independent world, is that there’s usually a more raw quality, which makes it feel more real, and that’s something a lot of mainstream movies lack. We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from 10
remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? Hmmm... I think people really like the realistic factor that we’ve been seeing recently; Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, it’s scarier when it’s like that. Thank goodness too. I was never into the torture porn craze... at all... and usually remakes are awful. The classics are classics for a reason. If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? I’ve always wanted to portray someone that already existed or still exists. Whenever I see a movie based on or about a real person, I instantly wish that one day I will have the chance to do that. To me, it’s a real challenge as an actress to portray someone who was living and breathing and experiencing and feeling. And then, to be able to just BE this person with no judgments, no criticisms, just show her as she is/was: this is the ultimate role for me. What exciting projects are in store for Niki Rubin? Well, as I mentioned in a previous question, I just finished shooting The One that you wrote! I star as the beautiful Vampire Queen and I am so excited to see the final product. I hope to have stills and behind the scenes photos soon. Since this short will be included in a set with a couple other shorts, I will probably be shooting a “wrap-around” in the fall that will tie the three shorts together. I’m gearing up to shoot another feature film, a thriller, with Alex Pucci, Draven Gonzalez, and the gang. In addition, I just finished shooting a psychological drama feature film called Phantom Images by Matt Doyle, as the main and only female character, an important role to the film. I am starring in another fantastic feature I am filming in late August, written by Draven Gonzalez and directed by Alex Pucci. I’m super-psyched for this thriller! There is also a photo narrative project I will be continuing working on later this summer with Alan Lupiani that will be featured in a gallery in NYC. Lady Action, the comic book character I inspired and modelled for is doing great! She has a comic book out in comic stores around the world and is featured in many Captain Action comics and books, as well as the new Phantom comic. There are trading cards in development and all sorts of merchandise, including a 12 inch statue of me as Lady Action. The second comic book in the Lady Action series is coming out soon. Amidst all of this, I have my own Yoga business to run, which is an incredible and huge project in itself. This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favourite horror author and/or book? Growing up, I loved reading Anne Rice, R.L. Stein, and Stephen King. These days, I don’t really read too much horror, but if I did, I’d look into these authors first, because I know I can trust them. Shel Silverstein is one of my favourite poets to this day (the writing was deep and sometimes dark and absurd in a dry humour way and some of those poems... as a little girl, reading them really freaked me out). What do you look for in choosing future roles? I find that as I experience more, I get more picky with roles that I choose. I love challenge and depth in a role. I like different and unique. If it’s something I’ve done or is too generic, then I’m just not interested. I love playing mentally strong-willed females. I have to see a role and be able to 11
bring a sense of reality to it. Human beings are very multi-dimensional. What we’ve experienced in our lives since babies is what makes us who we are in the present. I need to be able to bring that to any character I play. We all have meaning. So, the characters in a script should have meaning; even if they are there to support the main person, they should be a pivotal role in that character’s life. As an actress and artist, my purposes for my craft are to make people feel and think, to touch lives. At this point, any role I play has to be able to make that kind of impact. It also has to be fun! It’s fun for me to dive and escape into characters and explore, especially if they have real character growth. I learn a little about myself every time I work on a project; every time I become a character. I need to feel that from the script. I hear that you teach Yoga in New York. Tell us about that. I always believe acting and performing is a therapy for everyone, especially the observer; the audience. Sometimes, it can start to feel only about you. I wanted to do something in addition to help people. My way is Yoga. The philosophy of Yoga was always something I believed in and practiced... I just never knew it was “Yoga”. I had been studying and practicing yoga throughout my life, since a little girl, but mostly not by choice; it was a part of certain classes I’d take. I always thought it was just stretching, which is great and I’ve done that since I was little girl, so I didn’t realize what the big deal was. No one ever explained the meaning behind what I was doing. About five years back, I started modelling for a dear friend of mine, Mark Potter... I call him Mark Potter the Potter because he is an artist and potter. Our painting sessions always included discussion, meditation, and yoga postures and stretches, in no particular order. That’s when everything made sense and connected to me: having to hold poses and stretches, connecting everything to your breath, bringing these experiences into your every moment of your every day life, practicing them to be as positive and happy as you want to be. And you get to feel good doing it! I really wanted to share this. Now, I have my own Yoga business called Yoga Fusion, which I started over a year ago. I combine the philosophy of Yoga with my knowledge of the body (I studied holistic massage therapy), and the things I learned about the body through dance, gymnastics, martial arts, and yoga. Yoga Fusion is based out of JAO Martial Arts Academy in Brooklyn, NY. I have group classes several days a week for adults and kids and I teach private lessons to both. It’s tough owning your own business. My boyfriend, Jao Burgos is a great mentor and I’m learning and growing a lot. I am working on my official yoga certification as we speak. It’s so fun to keep taking passions to another level! Besides Yoga, how do you unwind? Well, Yoga is a way of life. It’s always helping me to unwind. In addition to that, creating in general keeps me sane and lets my thoughts and feelings float through to expressions. This entails painting, drawing, photography, writing music, doing things like taking walks, going to the beach (even in the winters, falls, and spring I meditate and practice Yoga at the beach), chilling out at home, spending time with my family and loved ones, surrounding myself with good people and energies, taking naps whenever I can (I heart naps), watching movies, plays, and performances, working on breathing, practicing Martial Arts, playing with my animals, laughing - all this helps me unwind. The truth is I only believe in spending my time doing what I love, what I’m passionate about, and what makes me feel good. My careers (Acting, Modelling, Yoga, and working in Singing little by little) are all what I love. They make me happy. When you do what makes you happy it 12
doesn’t take much to unwind, because every day is fun even with the annoyances and frustrations... Anything else you’d like to add? Please check me out on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2022125/ (though, not everything I’ve done is posted there). I am also on Facebook: Niki Rubin, send me a message with a friend request and I’d be happy to accept you as a friend. I usually post all my news (for example, a link to The One teaser) there because it’s so convenient and reaches out to a lot of people at once. There’s always exciting stuff going on!
Melanie Robel Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favourites? To tell you the truth. I am not a big horror fan, though I like some of them. I am more of a sci-fi, action and drama fan. The horror movies that have always been my favourite are Wait Until Dark and Rosemary’s Baby. I love thrillers where you have to think more than seeing girls running around getting chopped up. I was raised on cowboy and war movies, Star Trek, and history channel. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? What sealed the deal was when my dance career came to an end. My dance partner accidentally dropped me during opening night of Dracula, where I was a soloist. My partner was lifting a girl who didn’t have the partner training needed for her role. She was dead weight, so he over compensated with me, forgetting I had partner training. I cracked some ribs, bruised my back, wrapped everything in duct tape and finished dancing out my commitment to the show. However, between that and growing two inches, I could no longer be a soloist, and who wants to be in the back, “waving” a rose? I was very active with drama in high school. So I went to California to give acting a try. It didn’t work out; I was taking acting classes and doing the right things, but I was not marketed correctly, and was told go home and wait for my look to mature. So I did the school thing. Did a short called Grieve. Vowed I wouldn’t do acting again. Then I got asked to do more projects and here I am. I heard that you had a college scholarship -- when you were in middle school? How did that come about? Yes, I did. I get asked a lot if I was ever a part of a band. Well yeah I was, but not the kind of band you think. I was a classically trained bassoon player. In middle school I was in the top fifteen bassoon players in the state of Alabama and that included the high school players too. My older sister was one of the top five bassoonists in the state. My audition piece for a competition was the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which was a challenge. A college talent scout was there. I did my music solo audition, he grabbed my hand, we found my mum and he handed her a card and said that when I go to college, there is a scholarship waiting for me. We called them up and it was true. What ended that was a classmate saw me talking to her boyfriend at lunch. I was sitting down and she came up behind me, twisted my left arm up between my shoulder blades and caused damage to my tendons. I had to do a lot of physical therapy. It healed, but I couldn’t play using my left hand the way I needed too. With the bassoon your left hand has to move as fast as your right hand. It was very depressing. You seem to be very well rounded in your interests, especially since I’ve read that you’re a bit of a badass. You’re learning how to shoot guns, you want to get into knife throwing and also learn how 14
to use a whip!? I’m assuming you love the stunt work? Thank you for saying that I am well rounded. It’s really my mum and dad’s fault. Since we moved about every three years, we had to learn to be independent and to entertain ourselves. I do love doing stunt work, but I don’t do the hard core stunts, like falling out buildings, getting set on fire and things like that. That’s why I don’t have stunts written on my resume. I don’t believe in faking it until you make it. If it’s on my resume, then I have done it or been trained to do it. I learned to do basic boxing and kick boxing from my trainer. I’ve also had some stage fighting classes. A lot of the falling you see me do in my movies comes from being a ballerina. It takes a lot of trust, because if you don’t have trust in a partner then you are screwed. When people hesitate, that’s when you get hurt. You have to talk and walk through the scene more than once. Have to practice it, know it! I am big believer in safety first. If I can’t do it, I am the first to say I don’t know how, please show me how to do it. With my dad being ex army, he is teaching me how to use weapons. I have an extremely healthy respect for guns and I think everyone should learn how to use one properly. I love western movies and started playing with a bullwhip that we had. I loved Annie Oakley and when I saw her I wanted to be just like her. Funny, I know. You should Google her, she was amazing and you might be surprised. Tell us about Post Mortem America, 2021. Was this your first foray in front of and behind the camera (as a producer)? Nope, that wasn’t my first time in front of the camera. I did a short film called Grieve and another called For Nicole’s Sake. Post Mortem America, 2021 is my first full length movie, and I am very thankful to be a part of the project. The producer title is a courtesy title, in that I budgeted to help him out with some things, so he can get this movie done. I can’t wait to see it done, so I can see my scenes. Besides acting and producing do you see yourself branching out into any other field behind the camera? Right now, I am focusing on my acting, taking classes and learning my craft. I am not going to help produce another movie unless I am in it and teamed up with someone I truly respect and trust. In the future, I can see myself expanding. I really would love to be a casting director at some point. There will be a day where I don’t want to be in front of the camera and at some point I would love to have my own production company, but not right now. One movie I’m curious about is Astro Zombies: M3 – Cloned, not only because Ted Mikels (the director) is something of an indie horror icon, but because he once told me, not in so many words, that one of my scripts was an atrocity, worst thing he ever read, or something like that. ☺ What can you tell us about the third Astro Zombies movie? I am very sorry to hear that about your script. This was a fun movie to shoot and I was very happy that I got to be a part of it. I really have to thank my friend Kevin Sean Michaels for giving me the info about this project. He told me to email the Lesters right then and there. So I did and I got in. I loved it and it was so much fun. I was part of the Florida Second Unit team, and to be able to say I 15
was a Doll Squad member… well, it can’t get better than that. Working with Richard and Gary Lester, which was a lot of fun and I feel that I learned a lot. It was extremely professional and to see how a professional set is run was exciting. To be able to kick and kill Astro Zombies all day, who can beat that? I am huge fan of Ted Mikels. The Doll Squad is my favourite movie of his. What’s your favourite movie (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? That is a loaded question. Choosing my favourite movie that I’ve already filmed is like choosing who is your favourite child. You’re bound to cause problems. What’s your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? Oh wow! That’s another really good and loaded question. I am going to say every project has its ups and downs. However, what I will say is just be honest with everyone. For example, if you can’t afford to pay the actors or crew, just say so. Some people will work deferred and some won’t, but don’t take it personally because that’s the business. Please, Keep Your Promises. If you promise to get it on IMDB, then do it. IMDB, believe it or not, is so important. It’s the calling card of the entertainment world and people use it a lot more than anyone realizes. Also, it’s really okay to give your actors footage. Just a one minute clip won’t give away your story line, so if you don’t want to give it up, then don’t promise it. I was brought up with a great army saying. ‘You don’t have to respect the person, but you should respect their position,’ meaning if you don’t like Ron Howard as a person (which I can’t see) or how he does things, that’s fine, but you should respect that he is a great director and knows what he’s doing. In my mind he is Hollywood Royalty and you don’t have to take the job. You will work with people you don’t like at some point. We all have. I think the trick is to be polite, get the job done and if they ask you to go out to dinner, say no thank you, I need to study for tomorrow. Do you see yourself continuing to work in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? I did get my start in horror. I will always respect that and say that’s where my roots are. However, I want to try out other genres. I am discovering that I want to do sci-fi, drama and action. I am finding out that my “look” is more sci-fi than horror. Except for Jamie Lee Curtis, how many short haired girls with muscle definition are out there? It’s more believable to see me holding a weapon and fighting back than running away and screaming. I could even be the friend that lets the lead cry on her shoulder for support, but I would be the one that cries in private. So we will see where I wind up. Of course, if a good horror script comes my way and I am blown away by it, I will do it. What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? I think I like the mainstream stuff a lot better to tell you the truth, but here’s the thing. I feel that it depends on how the film is worked up in the pre-production stage. For example, you write and edit your script, make a teaser trailer that you use to get funding. Then you negotiate for your actors and crew. By the time that is all done you are ready to shoot. You can knock it out and get it into postproduction. Thought out, executed, on schedule and everyone is happy and you have a finished product for people to enjoy. I see nothing wrong with a film being put on hold to get better funding, so they don’t have to stop filming because they run out of money. Right now, anyone with a point and shoot camera can make a movie. That’s not always a bad thing, but I think a few bad apples are hurting the independent film market. Everyone remembers the negative a lot more than they do the positive. For example, you have a team making a movie that doesn’t have a schedule, doesn’t follow a script, takes years to film and doesn’t follow their promises. You know people are going to complain, everyone talks and it’s a smaller world than people realize. There are so many good films out there that can’t get funding, so they can’t be filmed. I have scripts on my desk right now: some horror and non horror scripts that are mind blowing. Two of them have a really good story with an amazing cast, but are waiting for funding. I view the indie film world... like a rattlesnake. The 16
venom can be used for good things, but watch out if the snake bites, because you can die from the venom too. Did I answer the question the way you wanted? We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? To be honest I am not really sure. I am really glad that torture porn is fading out a bit. However, it will never go away. Someone will always want to see pretty girls get chased, beaten up and cut up. They are cheap to make and there is a market for them. I am really hoping for more sci-fi horror. Look at Aliens and Splice. I feel there is more of a storyline and you can’t always figure out the ending. In the torture porn it seems that everyone basically dies. If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? Had to think about this one. To tell you the truth, my favourite would be from a TV show. I would be Starbuck from Battle Star Galactica. She is strong, tells it like it is, very sexy, athletic and she just kicks some major ass. My other choice would be Annie Oakley. I don’t remember the name of the move, but she was one of the first and greatest cowgirls out there. She could draw and shoot her weapons better than most of the men could. It’s really my dad’s fault, because he was the one who got me interested in her. What exciting projects are in store for Melanie Robel? The Deceit: Two Detectives are faced with the challenge of a lifetime. Have they come across the perfect serial killer? This is written by DeeDee Bigelow and Antonio Olivas. I am extremely excited to be in this cast. Have you seen who is in this? I can’t wait. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1325030/ Feed is written by Ricardo Vasquez and is being shot in Arizona. An experiment has gone wrong at the Harris Bio Center and the virus feeds on living organisms. The virus must be stopped before there is a worldwide outbreak of chaos, death and disease. In the film are Courtney Gains, DeeDee Bigalow and Ed Gary to name a few. I am Rachel Massey and I work at the local Inn. Zen Hunter is directed and written by Jim DeVault, who describes the film as “a sexy vampire tale set in modern day America.” Zen, the title character, is captured by centuries-old vampire Quintana, a descendent of Spanish nobility, to serve as both obedient servant and (if she has her way) Zen's eternal lover. As Zen becomes accustomed to her new life, a battle of wills rages between her and Quintana that can have only one victor! As they clash, Zen's best friend Joni and her boyfriend Brent follow a trail of murders to Zen and Quintana. For Joni, what she finds at the end of the trail will be the ultimate test of friendship. I am Joni. There is Nicole Kruex, Elissa Dowling, Tim Taylor, Sarah Virgina Brock, Larry Laverty, and Thomas Daniel who is Brent. Lucky me! Into The Basement is written by Norm Applegate and Nicholas Grabowsky. It’s based on the novel by Norm Applegate. Women are disappearing, hunted by a sadistic killer and the Police Department calls in an unlikely hero to stop the madness. I am Susie Smallwood, a very young “entertainer”. In the project are Courtney Gaines, Naama Kates, David Fine, DeeDee Bigalow, Larry Laverty, and Jonathan Breck from Jeepers Creepers. Between these projects and a couple of internet shows, I’m having a lot of fun. IncomingOut is written by Ben Meyer, who is extremely talented, new to the scene and is amazing. A teenage boy is fed prescription painkillers/anti-depressants/sleep aids for most of his life by his psychiatrist mother. He is helped out of his addiction by two hallucinations and his best friend, after his mother’s botched suicide leaves her comatose. I am Zelda, the best friend, and I am extremely excited about this project. Zelda will be a challenging character for me. 17
Voracious, The Creation is written/created by Randy Robinson, and the trailer was by Pat Tantalo. Walsh Industries has uncovered the body of Dracula and is using it as a source of a weapon against terrorism. The body has been exposed to the common tick, a blood-feeding parasite. Walsh Industries plans to use the ticks to create vampire soldiers. However, some of the ticks escape... Some of the other cast members are Tom Savini, Reggie Bannister, Kevin Nash, John Kyle, J. LaRose and Marc McCauley. If you go to YouTube, you will find the trailer. It’s creepy. This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favorite horror author and/or book? To tell you the truth, I am a nerd. I don’t read a lot of horror books. I have read Stephen King, but that’s about it. I was raised on stories from Norway about trolls that lived under bridges and ate the slow kids. Also, Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. To this day I won’t walk into woods or cross bridges at night alone, and did you know that the original Little Mermaid killed herself? Actually, I read memoirs about people I am interested in, quirky books by quirky writers, and Acting Method Books. What do you look for in choosing future roles? Something that will challenge me mentally, emotionally and physically. A story that will blow me away. When I get a script, I read it six to ten times. I look at the content, the story line and the relationships between the characters. However, I do have one pet peeve: if there are a lot of spelling and grammar errors, or I can’t figure out what is being said, then I will pass on it. If you don’t proofread your work, how am I suppose to know that you’re serious? If it’s a first draft and you are excited I can understand. I always have someone read over my words just in case, because my spelling and grammar sucks. How do you unwind after a long day on set? I hug my pets. I have two rescue kitties and they always put me in a good mood. I listen to music, like Tom Waits and Morrissey. Watch my DVDs of Law and Order SVU or Gossip Girl. Yes, I like Gossip Girl. I play teenagers a lot and I view it as research. I also make notes of how thing went that day on set and go to my acting coach to ask for help. I go over my notes and we talk about what I could do to make the scene more believable. As weird as that sounds, it does help me unwind. Where can your fans go to learn more about you? I am not on Myspace anymore, because it seems that whenever I go on there, I get a virus. I am on Facebook and I use that for networking and my international family members. So if you read my Facebook and there are comments written in a foreign language, please don’t add them, they are family. I do have a website, MelanieRobel.com, and I will be keeping that updated. I am playing with a new format though, so please be patient with me. 18
Anything else you’d like to add? Well, I know that I am a hard worker, I am polite, I show up on time and I can follow a script. I have been een told that I “tell it like it is” and some people have trouble dealing with that. I don’t think I am rude, but if you ask me a question I am going to give you an honest answer. So, if you ask me how you look in those pants, or how did I do, do I will give you my opinion. Just ust remember though, it is only an opinion. Also, if I ask you the same questions, then I would expect you to be honest too. I really love acting and take my craft seriously. I take acting classes, study and listen to those around me who give me advice. Thank you for letting me be a part of this project.
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Deneen Melody Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favourites? Oh, I definitely was a horror gal as a kid! Thank goodness my parents were letting me watch movies like Aliens, The Thing, and Day of the Dead even at 3-4 years old. I would spend hours watching stuff like My Little Pony, Beauty and the Beast, and The Last Unicorn, only to add something like Puppet Master into the mix. I wanted to be friends with Blade and Freddy Krueger just as much as Unicorns or Belle. Horror movies didn’t really scare me, they just entertained me. I always thought they were so much fun and even loved watching them right before bedtime. My favourite was, and still is, Day Of The Dead by George Romero. Even at a young age, I looked up to the Sarah character, portrayed by Lori Cardille. I knew she was strong, smart, and the sort of character who didn’t take any crap… and I liked it! The Romero zombies always fascinated me, too. (On a side note: I had a chance to work with Barry Anderson, one of the zombie makeup artists from Day Of The Dead, on the Figure 1 Jessi Tetzloff film As Night Falls. I was excited to have an opportunity to see a real master at work!) I also love the Alien films, especially the second one, and a lot of the good horror/thriller films of the 80’s. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? I actually didn’t get into film till a little over two years ago, but I think deep down a part of me has always loved acting and knew this was my ultimate destiny. Yes, I know, that sounds so incredibly cheesy, but it is true. Even though I trained for years as a ballet dancer and even danced professionally (it was my passion), I enjoyed being involved in theatre as much as possible. My schedule was always full with ballet classes and rehearsals, but I always managed to find some time to work on a few plays, do some drama competitions, and so on and so on. As far as officially stepping into acting, it wasn’t till I moved to Chicago and auditioned for a television pilot that I knew this is what I wanted to do. It was just a small role on a small set, but I fell in love with it right away. While I was inexperienced with film, I just kept auditioning and working on as many sets as possible to build up my resume and gain more experience. I’ve met so many wonderful people and have made some great friends in the industry that have really helped me out, and they are part of the reason I have so much love for what I do. I adore the creativity and art behind acting, but it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable if I wasn’t surrounded by so many great people. I cannot thank everyone enough for the support and encouragement to keep at it! 20
I’ve heard that you were originally a trained dancer. Is this a path that you wanted to pursue? Are you still dancing? Yes, you heard correctly! As I already mentioned, I trained for years and years in ballet and even danced professionally for awhile. Before film, ballet had always been my biggest passion and was the one thing I dedicated my life to while growing up. Honestly, I didn’t care much for school or any of the normal things a young girl would care about…all I wanted to do was dance. My parents were amazing and would drive hours so I could attend ballet classes in Houston, and they supported it 100%. While I sacrificed so much for it, they had sacrificed even more. I cannot express how much I loved being able to go to class and rehearsals and then to perform on the stage for an audience. It is such an amazing and rewarding experience. Even with all the negativity I had faced with certain instructors and schools due to my body (I was often told I was overweight and would never go far), I always loved ballet and never let anything or anyone keep me from pursuing it. It was always the path I had chosen for myself; however, as fate would have it, I injured myself pretty badly and could no longer put in the long hours that are required for a professional dancer. It was difficult to accept. In fact, I was extremely heart broken to the point that I packed up and just moved to Chicago. I needed a different environment and hoped to find another path that would still allow me to be creative and perform. Do I still dance? Not as much as I would like, but a lot of it is for personal reasons. My injury isn’t so bad that I can’t take classes every once in awhile, but that heart break is still sort of there. Instead, I like to do stunt classes in my spare time… or even do something like aerial dance. Stunt training gives me the same thrill, since the fight choreography is very similar to dance, and aerial is just so much fun… although I have the worst upper body strength ever. (I have such a difficult time with the silks! It may look easy, but you have to be strong for those things.) You’re also a model. How did you get started? Modelling was something, much like ballet, that I was involved in before I decided to pursue film. It really just started by modelling for a few photographer friends down in Texas, all for fun, but it wasn’t till I moved to Chicago that I looked into it more seriously. There actually was a period for about a year in which I was very active in the modelling scene and had the opportunity to work with many talented photographers and makeup artists around the Chicago area. This all led to meeting my now personal photographer and good friend, Jessi Tetzloff. She was looking for a red headed model for a Saint Patrick’s Day themed shoot, and of course, our paths crossed. We had so much fun and worked so well together, that we started setting up shoots all the time. Even now, while I don’t do as much modelling as I used to, Jessi does all sorts of promotional photos for me and I model for her whenever she needs something specific. We have a great working relationship, but it is even better that we are such great friends. You can find her work at: http://jessitetzloffphotography.com How did you make the transition into horror movies? Well, as previously mentioned, I have always been a horror gal! Truth be told, my favourite genre is actually Fantasy/Science Fiction, but there really aren’t a lot of independent fantasy films being made, now are there? When I first started getting involved with film, I was discovering that the majority of the auditions out there were for horror films, and after being cast in my first horror flick I just LOVED it! I also attended the Fangoria Convention in Chicago that same year and after meeting so many awesome directors and actors, I just couldn’t stay away from the independent horror scene.
As an actress, I find acting in horror films extremely rewarding. It is kind of frustrating that some people think the “Scream Queen” title is a negative thing or just don’t give actors in the horror community much respect. Some of the most dedicated and talented actors I have met are highly associated with independent horror. (Debbie Rochon, Jerry Murdock, Zoe Daelman Chlanda, Lori Cardille, Alan Rowe Kelly: they can act circles around that Hollywood crowd as far as I’m concerned!) Really, a lot of the films I have been in have required a strong presence, not to mention the fact that you have to run, scream, get covered in blood, and cry, all which is emotionally exhausting. It is more than just pretending to be scared and showing your boobs. Of course, horror isn’t the only genre I am interested in. I pursue dramatic films when I can, and, since I enjoy doing fight choreography and stunts, I love taking part in action films. Heck, I’ve even done a few comedies here and there. However, horror is definitely the most fun. I will never get tired of playing crazy, complicated characters, being around blood and gore, and having a good excuse to scream.
Figure 2 Jessi Tetzloff
You’ve been featured in comic books. Tell us about them and how this all came to be. I became involved with Comic Book Divas and Scattered Comic Studios when CBD creator, Jeff Hughes, approached me last fall about portraying a character in the horror comic, Fangs. Now, anyone that knows me could easily understand why I was so interested in this from the start, because I am a huge nerd. It is true, I can’t deny it. As a comic book fan, having the opportunity to actually BE in a comic wasn’t something I could pass up… especially one as awesome as Fangs, which is a vampire comic also featuring the gorgeous Devanny Pinn and Michelle Shields. I also fell in love with my character, Raven, because she is quite different than the other vampires and I like the fact that she is the bodyguard of Devanny’s character, Lily Le Sang. After becoming involved in Fangs, Jeff and artist Dennis Willman started to create a web comic called A Life Behind The Mask, which is a comedic take on various super hero/villain parodies. I was fortunate to become involved in this one as The Blackbird, the Batman-like girl of the bunch. She is intense and the ultimate crime fighter, but may take things a little too seriously at times. When Dennis put the first sketch of The Blackbird up online, I was blown away by the artwork and how much it looked like me. I mean, all the characters look exactly like the actresses/models that are portraying them, so much that you would think they were photographs! This is one of the reasons why Dennis has always been one of my favourite artists. He has a talent of not just drawing characters, but bringing a sense of realism to them. 22
The other major Comic Book Divas project I am involved in is called Ginger-Stein: Rise Of The Undead, which is actually created by Dennis. While it is through CBD, Dennis was the one to approach me about using my likeness to portray one of the main villains of the story. Her name is Nicole Harmony (a play on my name), and she serves as the right hand (undead) gal to the evil Mistress Morbid, portrayed by Cari Thomson. It is a great story and definitely a comic that will catch the interest of B-Horror movie fans, as Ginger-Stein herself is a B-Movie Scream Queen that kicks major butt.
Figure 3 As Night Falls property of Pop Gun Pictures
Apart from Comic Book Divas, I am also associated with Legion Studios, an independent comic book company known for their dark and horror-related comics. I play one of the main Devil girls in their film adaptation of the comic book Master’s Devils, and am also the cover girl of the upcoming XES comic by Jeremiah Buckel and Ryan “Master Legion” Mohica. They are a great group of people and I would do just about anything for them. What is Slices of Life? Slices Of Life is a feature length horror anthology by Anthony G. Sumner and written by Anthony, Eric Richter, and Alan Rowe Kelly. It includes three different segments (Work Life aka W.O.R.M, Home Life aka Amber Alert, and Sex Life aka Pink Snapper) and a wrap around story (Sketcher) that ties everything together. It has a fantastic ensemble cast that includes several talented actors from the Midwest such as Toya Turner, Marv Blauvelt, Debbie Di Verde, Helene Alter-Dyche, and Alan Rowe Kelly just to name a few. Really, it is such a large cast and everyone involved should definitely be proud of the work they created. The TinyCore crew (Eric Richter, Chad Norris, Keith Ehrenberg, Paul Mackey, Brian Raida, and Jill Young) also did a phenomenal job on this feature and their work will definitely show. I play the lead role in the Sex Life/Pink Snapper segment along with Galen Schloming and Judith Lesser, and honestly it is my favourite of all the segments. In fact, it is one of my favourite projects I have ever done and I am extremely proud of it. It is the story of a brother and sister who escape 23
from a sexually abusive home, find refuge in a beautiful Victorian mansion, and discover something far worse than they could ever imagine. That is pretty much all I can say without ruining the story, but I know it’ll have people on the edge of their seats. (And possible turning away in disgust.) Slices Of Life will premiere this fall in Chicago and will be making the festival rounds as well. You can keep up with screenings on the official website: http://slicesoflifemovie.com What is Psycho Street? Like Slices Of Life, Psycho Street is a feature length horror anthology by Marv Blauvelt and Raine Brown. It has the same concept of featuring three different stories and a wrap around written by Trevor Wright, Marv Blauvelt, and Anthony G. Sumner. The wrap around story, Come On Down, was directed by Arthur Cullipher of Clockwerk Pictures and stars Scream Queens Tiffany Shepis and Raine Brown. It is the backbone of the movie and leads into each of the segments: Hypochondriac by Pete Jacelone, No Rest For The Wicked by Raine Brown, and Lewis by Anthony G. Sumner. My segment, Lewis, is the finale of this anthology. (It seems I have a tendency to close out horror anthologies... with this and Pink Snapper. Haha.) It also stars the amazing Jerry Murdock, Susan Adriensen, Marv Blauvelt, and a wonderful cast of up and coming independent horror actors. Unfortunately, like with Slices Of Life, I cannot say much, but I can say that it is a nod to the classic occult films from the 70s and features some pretty intense scenes. Anthony did an amazing job directing this one, as always, and everyone involved - Musclewolf Productions, Clockwerk Pictures, TinyCore Pictures - worked their butts off. Plus, the cinematography by Eric Richter and Dominick Sivilli is top notch and looks amazing! I am excited for people to see this one. Psycho Street should be released sometime in the late spring/early summer of 2011. Two other films I’ve been hearing tremendous buzz about: Song of the Shattered and Dog Fight. What can you tell us? Song Of The Shattered is a psycho-drama/thriller that was originally supposed to be a short film in a horror anthology. However, without going into detail, the anthology fell apart but the money on the short was already spent and the talent was ready to go. So, some of the original cast/crew of the short (Devanny Pinn, Tara Cardinal, Brandon Slagle) got together and decided to make it into a feature. They literally had a handful of days to do this, but Brandon who is just amazing, was able to take the short and expand the script into a full length movie. At this point, other people were brought on to be a part of the project including producer Joe Hollow, director Wolfgang Meyer, actor Jess Weber, crew members Jimmy Creamer and Kaliafeh Wright, and myself. The movie focuses on Angela (Devanny Pinn), a victim of rape and abuse that begins a journey down a dark path after she kills her husband in self defence. It isn’t about the actual rape or beatings, but more about what a person goes through emotionally and mentally after being involved in something that brutal. (My character, June, plays a role in the emotional downfall of Angela.) Brandon, Tara, Jess, Joe, Devanny... everyone put 100% into their performances and the end result is really going to blow people away. Personally, it was a very rewarding experience to be involved in something this intense. Dog Fight is an upcoming feature produced by Tara Cardinal and Devanny Pinn, written by the wonderful Soska twins (Jen and Sylvia), and directed by Sean Michael-Argo. It is an action horror flick about women who are abducted, psychologically “broken” into living as rabid dogs, and forced to fight each other by a sadistic criminal network. At this point, I haven’t read the script, but we have some great talent involved, so it is sure to be a hit. As someone who does fight choreography and gets a kick out of stunt work, I’m definitely looking forward to shooting this one! 24
What’s your favourite film (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? I already mentioned that Slices Of Life is one of my favourites and a lot of that has to do with the fact that I love working with the TinyCore crew. Not only is Anthony my favourite director, but I work very well with everyone involved in that team. The great thing about this group is that I know every project I do with them is going to turn out amazing because they are just that good. I also loved my character in Slices because she was a lot of fun to play. At the start of the film, she seems somewhat plain and fragile, but she has all these different levels to her that the audience starts to witness as the film progresses. Plus, I got to be completely covered in blood and that always makes me happy. Aside from Slices, my other favourite project thus far would have to be As Night Falls by Joe Davison. This was a huge film for me. The character, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Croft, is one that I connect to on a very personal level. She is, out of all the characters I have played, the one most like myself. Not only is she a tomboyish fantasy-loving geek, but she is very maternal and protective towards her friends and loved ones. It was also a lot of fun for me because I had the opportunity to work with Debbie Rochon and that included having her throw me into a fence. People often ask me why I like talking about that so much, but I mean... hey... wouldn’t you be honoured to have Debbie Rochon throw YOU into a fence? Oh, and Barry Anderson from Day Of The Dead was on set during the zombie fight, so that was pretty awesome. I also have a soft spot for the web series by Cazador Productions, Western X. In a lot of ways it is the epic fantasy I have always wanted to be involved in, but with a Western flair. Michael Flores created a unique and supernatural world that has so many different elements mixed in. Plus, it is a great story, full of great characters portrayed by a great cast. I mean, aside from Dustin Hale and Richard Anderson as X and Colonel Lee, we have iconic actor Vernon G. Wells as The General. How is that NOT cool? This is one fans can check out online at: http://westernxtheshow.com What’s your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? I have to be honest; I don’t like focusing on the negative bits of this business, however, there has been one experience that actually brought me to tears. I’ve cried out of frustration before, but this was due to how I and others were treated on this particular film. I had worked with this person before and was always loyal, but the things that were said - before, during, and especially after filming - were extremely hurtful, unexpected, and not appreciated. I was accused of many things that were completely untrue, including not putting any work into the project. To be fair, at the time of filming I had other stuff going on, but my heart was still in the film 100%. In fact, I connected to this particular project on a very personal level. To be accused of such things and in such a mean spirited way really made me dislike my experience on that set. It was miserable. I wanted to enjoy and love the film so badly, but when people are treated like that, and I was not the only one, it is difficult to just shrug it off and pretend to have a good time. You can’t expect your cast and crew to give you a quality performance if there is so much negativity surrounding everything. This has made me cautious of the people I work with. I find it extremely important to surround yourself with the positive, genuine, and hard working people of this industry, the ones that will not yell at you and call you names if there is a concern, but the ones that will sincerely open up to you and work through difficult situations. I know some people think you have to be harsh to make it as an actor or filmmaker, but I completely disagree. Say I am inexperienced all you want, but aside from this one set, I have never had a director talk to me rudely or have things go down like that. Being mean doesn’t make you real or professional. All I see when people are negative is either an unfinished product or something that no one is happy with. If you are a filmmaker with 5-6 unfinished films, I think that really says something about your work ethic and it really isn’t fair to 25
blame your cast/crew each and every time. They may hold some of the blame, but not all of it, and certainly not in every case. Do you see yourself continuing acting in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? Oh, I will always do horror films! Would I like to go into other genres, though? Of course! As previously stated, I like doing all types of film. I mean, if I could really get a start into the fantasy/science fiction genre, that would be awesome, but even then I would still do horror. I have talked to a few actors that swear they will never do another horror film once they break into Hollywood, but I personally think they’d be missing out on a lot of fun by doing that. For me, the horror genre is where I got my start, so I will always be loyal to it. Besides, I love so many of the people involved and the fans too much to not continue. What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? Well, honestly the independent stuff is better than what is coming out of Hollywood, and I know a lot of people would agree with me. The thing with the big budget stuff is that there is a lack of originality. All you’re really seeing are remakes of foreign horror films and classics. I mean, really… does Let The Right One In really need to be remade? Absolutely not! The original film just came out a few years ago and it is beautiful. It’s the same thing with all the Japanese and Korean films, and most recently, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. There is absolutely no reason to remake these films over in America. They have already been done and are amazing just the way they are. Of course, that being said, yes, I am involved in the Don’t Look In The Basement remake. However, this is a film that is more than a few years old and, unfortunately, many people have never even heard of it. Plus, with Anthony Sumner and Alan Rowe Kelly behind it, you know they will do it
Figure 4WESTERN X, Aaron Flores, Skewed Iris Photography
justice! (Trust me fans of the original, I am one of you.) The independent scene may lack the big funds, but at least some filmmakers are trying to be 26
original. There are a lot of amazing films out there making the festival rounds, but some horror fans don’t always know about them due to the Hollywood stuff being forced down their throats. Frankly, most of the ultra-low budget films are more horrifying than anything you can see in a regular movie theatre, and I mean that in a good way. Horror fans want horrifying… enough with the watered down PG-13 flicks! We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? Hmmm. It seems that everything is being made into or trying to be made into 3-D, but I really don’t think it is going to last long. It is fun for certain things, but in the end it really is just a gimmick that would be more enjoyable if it was used correctly. I think that there are more and more independent films that are catching attention and hopefully, some of that originality will rub off on the Hollywood crowd. I’d personally like to see more thrillers or films that really make you think, like Inception. It isn’t a horror film, but it is something that makes you talk afterwards, and it’d be nice to see more of that in the horror genre. If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? I’ve been asked this question before and honestly, it has to be Eowyn in Lord Of The Rings. I absolutely adore those movies and would never want to see them be remade, but if I was able to go back in time and get that part, as lovely as Miranda Otto is, I would do it in a heartbeat! The Elven characters are actually my favourite, but I have always loved and connected to Eowyn and she would be the most rewarding female character in the trilogy to portray. She is a fighter - strong, determined, intelligent, but has a somewhat emotional and fragile side to her. Eowyn experiences so much from her journey. Plus, as a fan of the books, how could I not want to be involved in the films? At this point, I am pretty much dying to be in The Hobbit, so if anyone has any connections, can you help a gal out? If I could be involved in the Kill Bill movies too, that would be awesome. I would be happy to play any of the characters, especially The Bride, although I could never be as awesome as Uma Thurman in that role. She totally kicks ass! Oh, and I have always wished I could have been Oona in Legend. It would be fun to be in a movie that focuses on Unicorns and run around as a fairy, especially one as cool as Oona. What exciting projects are in store for Deneen Melody? Funny enough, with all this fantasy talk, I actually just got cast as the lead in Joshua Siegel’s A Midsummer Nightmare. It’s a feature film based around the events of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and is a mix of both classic B-Movies like Leprechaun or Wishmaster and darker fantasy films like Pan’s Labyrinth. My character, Marion, is such an interesting girl, so I was extremely excited when I was approached for the role. As far as the rest of the casting goes, I’m not too sure who else will be involved at this point, but I think horror fans are going to be pleased. I’ll also be providing the voice to one of the main characters of Jason Heath’s Astro Noir: The Fixers! It is an animated series that will consist of 13 8-minute episodes (per season) and focuses on a trio of characters that are working with the Galactic Intelligence Service. They are all fugitives who are working with the Service only so they can get full pardons from their unlawful pasts. My character, Valkira, is the independent and hot tempered one of the group, but she is also somewhat mysterious. (Not to mention incredibly cute! Still, you would NOT want to mess with her.) Kitsie Duncan and Brian Shirley are part of the main cast as Anara and G.T., and the show will also have several guest stars through out each season. The website can be found here: http://astronoir.com As far as horror films go, I have been cast as one of the leading roles in Mark Cray’s Girl Scout Cookies, which will be directed by Bobby Jones and shoots next June. It has lots of intense action 27
scenes, which mostly include all of the lead girls kicking major butt. I will also be joining filmmaker Shane Michael’s on his next feature film, Prey To God, in the role of Amber Robertson. She is such a fun and insane character; I know a lot of horror fans are going to enjoy this one. Also, as mentioned before, I will be playing the role of Nurse Janet Steele in the remake of Don’t Look In The Basement! by Alan Rowe Kelly and Anthony Sumner. There is also Joe Hollow’s Diary Of Death: Bloodstruck and Cut, which is co-directed by Wolfgang Meyer, Kevin Jamison’s Serial: Girls Night Out produced by Jim Bett and Mitchell D. Wells, and hopefully the feature film Stronger Than Death written by Trevor Wright and Marv Blauvelt. This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favourite horror author and/or book? This may not surprise many people, but I absolutely love Steven King. It started when I first watched Silver Bullet as a little kid. I loved that movie so much because I thought the werewolf was cute, haha. Then, I started finding out other movies I liked were based off his books and I finally got to the point where I wanted to read everything he had published. Some of my favourites include The Stand, Pet Semetary, and Needful Things. The Stand, which is also an amazing miniseries, is probably my very favourite due to the nature of the story. I have always had an interest in epic battles of Figure 5 Jessi Tetzloff good vs. evil, which is one of the reasons why I love the Lord Of The Ring stories so much. Also, I’m a fan of this writer known as Trevor Wright… maybe you have heard of him? What do you look for in choosing future roles? 28
First and foremost, I like playing interesting and complex characters, and I like playing ugly. So that is what I usually look for. Being the pretty girl next door doesn’t really grab my attention and neither does the love interest or damsel in distress. I prefer roles that have many different levels to them and also have that special something I can build on as an actress. Also, as I mentioned, I love playing ugly. The dirtier, grittier, more disgusting I can be - the more fun I have. This is why Susan Ballard in Slices Of Life was a joy for me to play. She isn’t the pretty girl; in fact, she is somewhat mousey and I didn’t wear any makeup for that role. However, as you will discover when you watch the film, she goes through many changes including the bloody gory bit I mentioned previously. I also enjoy playing the tough girl. This doesn’t mean she has to be a character that constantly runs around kicking butt, but I admire the characters that have intelligence and an inner strength. For example, the reason I was so drawn to my role in As Night Falls was due to the fact that Lizzy is such a well-rounded character. While she does have the opportunity to fight, she does it to protect her little sister and often puts herself in danger in order to do that. At the same time, the audience sees an emotional and softer side to her, so you understand that she isn’t just some badass tomboy. My character in A Midsummer Nightmare, Marion, is similar in that she is the girl that takes care of herself and ends up fighting back. She has experienced a rather negative and disappointing life, but instead of just feeling sorry for herself and letting that affect her, she takes everything in stride even when she is uncomfortable with her surroundings. I know you’re a big sci-fi/fantasy fan. So the question I’ve always wanted to ask you - Best trilogy: Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? And why? Some people hate me for this, however, I always have to go with Lord Of The Rings. It will always be Lord Of The Rings with me. I really do love Star Wars, at least the original trilogy, but if you haven’t figured it out already, I am truly a fantasy nerd. Give me swords, elves, and magic and you shall make me a very happy girl. While it may be a fantasy, there is also something very believable about the world of Middle Earth. Tolkien not only put so much detail into his work, but there is so much heart that just surrounds all of the stories. I mean, sometimes I think Tolkien stumbled across some old records from a time when Elves and Hobbits did exist, and that Frodo’s journey actually happened. It feels that real! However, I cannot deny my love for Vader. Where can we find more information on you and your upcoming projects? People can always find the best updates and news on my Facebook: http://facebook.com/deneenmelody There is also my Twitter: http://twitter.com/DeneenMelody As well as my IMDB page: http://imdb.me/deneenmelody I had a website up for awhile, but I was having a difficult time keeping up with it. For now, I find the best way to network and keep people up to date is on all the major social networking sites. I’ve met so many great people this way. Anything else you’d like to add? Just a thank you for interviewing me and giving me this opportunity. It means a lot! And also, I must give a shout out to all my fans and supporters out there. You guys are simply wonderful. Thank you for everything!
Shirley Dluginski Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favourites? I grew up in New York City and as a child of the seventies, I have a love for watching TV sitcoms like The Brady Bunch, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, and music variety shows like Sonny and Cher and yes, Donny and Marie! Oops... I am slowly revealing my age. LOL! I love Stephen King's Carrie. Honestly, I was really afraid to watch horror movies growing up. I even got scared watching Steven Spielberg's movie JAWS, which my parents dragged me into the movie theatre to see, and the movie trailer I saw on television for Michael Crichton's Coma freaked me the hell out for me for days. Then I got brave one night, and watched Kevin Bacon's death scene in Friday the 13th and, well, that was it for me! No more horror movies! Carrie is the only movie that I can seriously stomach without having to barf up like Linda Blair's pea soup. Now that I am part of the Horror movie industry/community, I am revisiting what I missed during childhood, and have been watching classic horror movies as a form of continued education. Now, realizing that every special effect created in a movie is a work of art as well as a science, I am learning to appreciate these movies with all the blood and gore involved. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? As a kid I always knew that I had a passion to entertain people. For instance, I would create makebelieve productions with my cousins by assigning duties to them and singing songs with them to the adults, as a form of entertainment during the family holidays. I can't really sing and I tend to make up words along the way, but no tomatoes were ever thrown at me, so my singing must have been okay to my family's ears. I have worked in the travel industry as a travel consultant for many years, and have always been moonlighting secretly as a band photographer and background actor for TV commercials and films. I got fully involved in the entertainment industry immediately after my divorce became final. I have moved out of Long Island and moved back to NYC in the Lower East Side. Acting served as a form of therapy for me, and as a means for me to make ends meet financially. Through acting, I have made new friends and discovered new talents that I never knew I had. I began by working in the movies for free, accepting multiple roles as a background actor for many scenes required, and on these sets I met many amazing people in the entertainment industry, who made big efforts to help me get to where I am today. I am forever grateful to these friends! Thank you! I’ll be honest You’re one of the most interesting women working in horror today. A lot of that has to do with not being able to place you into one particular category. You’ve done everything from actress to photographer to assistant director to production assistant. Did I miss anything? So what’s the story? What is your ultimate goal in the horror genre? Well, thanks for the compliment, Trevor! I love keeping busy, love exploring new opportunities in anything I can get my hands on... love working in films, whether it is working in front of the camera or behind the scenes in any movie genre. Yes, I have photographed local bands in the New York City, mainly at clubs in the Lower East Side and venues throughout the city. I have photographed bands for press and promotional photos, worked as an actress, which also meant that I auditioned lots by attending open calls and parties all throughout the city. These parties involve a meet and 30
greet with the people in the film industry. Then one night at a bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn I attended this open call/meet and greet party hosted by Director Thomas Churchill. I was given a name from a fellow actor friend whom Iâ€™d befriended on the set of Motion Sickness, Directed by Sam M. Kerstein, and he asked that I go to this meet and greet at this bar. I was told to meet this actor Mike Marino, who will introduce me to his director friend. And the rest was history... Thomas Churchill requested that I join his production team a few weeks after our meeting at the bar, and to take on the role of a production assistant working behind the scenes for his movie Emerging Past. I worked extremely hard during the first day of production, and with that noted, I got bumped up to the title of Second Assistant Director. I learned the duties quickly while on set and applied myself as a successful Second Assistant Director throughout the whole production and until the movie wrapped completely. After Emerging Past, David Lee Madison (Executive Producer for Emerging Past) requested that I work on his new movie project Mr. Hush, as the Script Supervisor and the On Set Photographer. Mr. Hush will premiere for the very first time at the Mr. Hush Weekend Of Fear on October 22-24, 2010 at the Best Western Inn in Matamoras, PA. The event will feature guest appearances by the stars in the film and many other horror icons. My ultimate goal is to act more, appear on screen more, and to continue to be involved in films, working behind the scenes, which is also what I love to do. I love working in Horror movies, as I have become addicted to the whole process of my production team creating realistic deaths on sets, which also includes stunts and special effects make up. I have learned lots from my dear friend and Special Effects Make-Up Specialist Edward X. Young, who is also a lead principal actor in the movie Mr. Hush. You do a lot of work as an Extra both in indie films and in mainstream films like the upcoming Smurfs movie and the remake of Arthur. Mainstream or indie, which is more rewarding? Indie films are more rewarding to me, in that they provide me with lots of emotional growth, satisfaction, and fulfilment. Because I get to wear multiple hats while working on an indie film, I get to explore new tasks and obtain bigger responsibilities; therefore, granting me more knowledge on the making of a successful film. I have a bigger voice in an indie and I feel much more confident that work will get done more effectively during production with my input and knowledge. In mainstream films, I feel limited to only act on parts that were assigned to me. I don't have the voice that I crave while working in an indie when working mainstream. With mainstream films, more is at stake. There are definitely more chiefs in the tribe, more protocols to follow, and the Indians have less power due to higher stakes. Mainstream films are fun. I do enjoy working in them. I get to appreciate the high technologies involved in the making of the movie, and there are famous actors to gawk at. My favourite scene is the wedding scene in the remake of the movie Arthur (2011), Directed by Jason Winer and starring Russell Brand. I cherished every moment that Brand strips down to his skivvies in the wedding scene at St. Bart's Church in New York with Jennifer Garner, Nick Nolte, and Helen Mirren. Five fun-filled takes.... each very yummy! Thank you Mr. Brand! Tell us about Emerging Past. What is it and where can we see it? Emerging Past is directed by Thomas J. Churchill. A psychological thriller which recently won the Best Horror Movie at the New York City International Film Festival 2010, starring Krista Grotte 31
(The Uh-Oh Show), Brooke McCarter (The Lost Boys), Stephen Geoffreys (Fright Night), Steve Dash (Friday The 13th Part 2), Tony Moran (Halloween 1978), Mike Marino (Devoured), and Edward X. Young (Sea Of Dust, The Green Monster, Mr. Hush). Pamela Garrett (played by Krista Grotte) is a photographer for a busy newspaper company, who has taken a life altering photograph. After her boss, Cameron (played by Stephen Geoffreys) hands her an easy assignment, she took some photographs that had her emerged in chaos. She seeks help with her fiend Dylan (played by Brooke McCarter) in a lost city with a dark mystery, and in this insane situation, she realizes that no one can help her. Emerging Past can be seen on October 22 to 24, 2010 at the Mr. Hush Weekend Of Fear event in Matamoras, Pennsylvania. You can simply log on to the Mr. Hush movie website to check out the guest list, to view trailers, and to read details on the screening of the movie Emerging Past, as well as the exclusive premiere of the movie Mr. Hush, Directed by David Lee Madison and co-produced by Thomas Churchill. Here is the link: www.mrhush.net There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the upcoming horror movie Mr. Hush. Tell us about it as well as your involvement in the production. Mr. Hush is a classic horror movie filmed in Pike County. PA. I am the Script Supervisor and the On Set Photographer for this movie, directed by David Lee Madison. It features horror icons Stephen Geoffreys (Fright Night), Brad Loree (Halloween Resurrection), Steve Dash (Friday The 13th Part 2), Edward X. Young (Sea Of Dust) and Jessica Cameron (Waiting Fear). Brad Loree plays the lead character, Holland Price. Holland Price is a devoted husband and loving father. But unbeknownst to him, evil and darkness have made him a marked man. The setting of this movie is an idyllic, small Pennsylvania town that serves as a background for Holland Price's epic battle between good and evil. What’s your favourite movie (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? My favourite movie that I have been in would be Zombies! Zombies! Everywhere! Screenplay written by yours truly, Trevor! The movie is directed by Pete Jacelone of Scream Kings.com. I portrayed a dominatrix, giving fellow lead character "Dan 'the man' Spencer" (played by Edward X. Young) his utmost pleasurable pain he desires in a compromising position! LOL! What’s your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? My least favourite would be portraying a pedestrian in a mainstream movie. There is a lack for creativity on my part to display. Walking is boring. I like to add some spice in my roles. Often, I would improvise my role as a pedestrian and walk with an action in mind, just to keep things interesting. Looking at my watch, talking on my cell, rummaging through my bag... walk slow, walk fast...
Do you see yourself continuing to work in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? Yes, I definitely see myself working in more horror movies in the future. I have tasted the fruitful labour of horror movies and love being on sets with special effects, the blood works and the gore. It's more interesting and fun to work on horror movie sets. So, I will definitely welcome them in my career with open arms! I also do see myself working in other genres. I would love to do a comedy one day! I love cracking people up and singing on sets, so I might just use my comedic sensibilities and talent on the big screen! Ha! What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? Sad to say this, but I feel that the current state of horror in mainstream movies, is that there is a lack of originality. All I see now are remakes. Like how many times can one remake another A Nightmare On Elm Street or another The Exorcist? There is definitely a lack of originality in Hollywood horror. And I always feel that the original movies are better than the remakes. Independent horror movies are more prolific in their storytelling. There are more creative juices flowing and risks being taken in the production of these movies. More writers are eager to getting their stories played out on the big screen, and have better chances of getting their scripts accepted by a smaller production company that creates these independent features. Weâ€™re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. Weâ€™re hopefully getting away from remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? I sure hope that we are getting away from remakes too. My prediction will be an influx of
psychological thrillers: movies that play on the mind and create fears from using one's point of view on an object or situation. Like Alfred Hitchock's style using the camera as the viewers' eyes in a form of voyeurism in order to achieve massive fears from within ourselvesâ€Ś If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And who would you play? Pulp Fiction, Directed by Quentin Tarantino, my favourite movie of all time! I love the role of Mia Wallace. The part of Mia is so glamorous, mysterious, sexy and very naughty. Plus, I love the dancing scene with John Travolta! What exciting projects are in store for Shirley Dluginski? 33
Well, being interviewed here for Morpheus Tales is very exciting! I consider this one of my most exciting projects. I am now tackling a new role as a celebrity/featured radio guest in Blog Talk Radio Shows. I look forward to attending the upcoming MR. HUSH WEEKEND OF FEAR event next month in Matamoras, PA and I’m so thrilled to be helping out with this big event with Director David Lee Madison. More acting and more fun are in store for me! So stay tuned… This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favourite horror author and/or book? Yes, my favourite horror author would be Thomas Harris who wrote The Silence Of The Lambs. I truly enjoy the movie too. The Alienist by Caleb Carr is also a favourite book, but it's a crime novel more so than a horror book. It tells a very compelling story involving an investigation of a serial killer and an intense profiling of the psychology of this killer who acted out his pain of being controlled by monstrous parents, thereby controlling and killing his victims, and seeking release that would never come. The book takes place in Lower East Side, Manhattan in 1896. It’s a wonderful period piece involving poor immigrants, combining valid facts on the history of New York. A beautifully written book by Carr. What do you look for in choosing future roles or in choosing which projects you work on behind the scenes? I tend to be attracted to roles that are unconventional. I like roles that are less mainstream; roles that I can relate to and yet are totally opposite my own personality. I enjoy challenges in a role, and that also applies to working behind the scenes. I enjoy tackling new projects with a new title and role. How do you unwind after a long day on set? I unwind by eating a good meal. Music is another means for me to wind down after being on set. I love attending live music shows, but that involves partying late and not resting, so I prefer relaxing at home and just listening to my CD collection. I do not own an iPod (yes, it's shocking), so my CD players really get a massive workout. Sorry neighbours! Where can your fans go to learn more about you? I am on facebook. I am also on the IMDB. Anything else you’d like to add? Why am I am hungry again? I just ate!
Susan Adriensen Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favourites? Not quite sure I can say I was a fan of horror movies as much as I was a fan of supernatural and scary and unusual things in general. I grew up with four older brothers who didn’t really watch scary movies with me around until I was in my teens, but I’ll never forget the night they snuck out to see a movie our mom forbade them to see. After seeing the movie, they walked in the living room door and their faces looked white and in shock. My mother started yelling, “You saw that movie, didn’t you?! I told you that really happens!” They had seen The Exorcist... So, I confess, because of my Catholic upbringing and my mother’s religious views, I was too frightened to see that entire movie from beginning to end until just a few years ago. Although I was a bit sheltered from scary movies as a kid, I have fond memories of sleepovers with my girl friends. We stayed up telling ghost stories, playing with Ouija boards (never again for me!) and trying to levitate one another – “light as a feather, stiff as a board.” Later, as teens, us girls watched horror movies on late night Chiller Theatre. My favourite was Psychomania. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? I wanted to act as soon as I sat in front of a television set. Haha! So, I was pretty young. Of course, I didn’t know it was an art form at the time. I just wanted to be like those characters on the cool TV programs. From the beauties on Charlie’s Angels to the crazy loons on Carol Burnett, I wanted to do it all! As for other areas of the industry, that’s a different story. My high school theatre teacher encouraged me to go to college for Broadcasting… instead of for Theatre. He knew a little something back then. So upon learning television production in college, I developed a love for storytelling with video and film cameras. I got infected with the writing and producing/directing bug pretty quickly thereafter! What is Steampipe Alley? Was this your first “big break”? Ah ha! Steampipe Alley was a broadcast television kids’ show starring comedian Mario Cantone which aired in the late 80’s / early 90’s. It was syndicated nationwide. I played various comedic characters and felt my dream of being like Carol Burnett come true! Was it a “big break?” Not sure. Not sure I had my “break” yet, but that’s all subjective too. I’m just having fun. There’s nothing like horror and drama, but I truly love comedy. You’ve done it all from acting to directing to writing to editing and everything in between. Which do you prefer? And why? Yikes! That’s the most difficult question. I like to write and edit, but it’s very solitary. I can do it for only short amounts of time. Directing and acting are great. They are in-your-face jobs with little time or chance to be alone. So, all of these combined make a well-balanced vocation for me. However, if I were to pick one, I’d have to pick directing. It’s creative and social. Writing would come at a close second. Tell us about Mavi Goz. Was this your first foray in front and behind the camera? 35
It was my first non-student film. Mavi Goz actually means “blue eye” in Turkish, as the movie also reveals. In Turkey, as well as in other countries, they have a charm that protects against the “evil eye” – the envious eye. It’s called a nazar boncuk and it looks like an eye and is usually blue and made of glass. You can find them all over Turkey, in restaurants, homes, on people as jewellery, in stores, etc. Anyway, Mavi Goz is about an American woman (“Lauren,” played by me, the lead - a big task as I also directed) whose memory of paranormal and telepathic occurrences is rekindled through a mysterious Turkish woman. This Turkish woman gives “Lauren” a nazar boncuk for protection, but she mistakes the meaning of the charm and gets caught up in herself and her psychic memories instead of heeding the Turkish woman’s warning.
If you really want to know, it’s based on a true story... my story. I’ve had some telepathic experiences in my life. A Turkish neighbour who sensed I was special and that I had a sixth sense was visiting me. She gave me several different nazar boncuks and instead of wearing them, I got caught up in my past psychic occurrences and started to jot them down, wondering if they had some meaning. I wrote the character of “Lauren” to do the same thing. So all the past occurrences “Lauren” has and all the flashbacks in Mavi Goz are all actual telepathic things that I experienced in my life. I hope to have the movie available online some time. Unfortunately, it’s a featurette and not a feature nor a short, so it’s difficult to submit the movie into film festivals or get distribution. However, I was actually able to make one of “Lauren’s” flashbacks into a short called “Raggy Doll.” This is based on something that happened to me as a child as I had a dream about my Raggedy Andy doll that had actually happened. It was an eerie dream. You can see the short on youtube.com at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORvt9uBSt_w or in Youtube you can type in “Raggy Doll Adriensen” and you can find the video. Mind you, it was my first film out of college as a Broadcasting major so be easy on me. You can also find the Mavi Goz trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXEGA2rntkA or search for “Mavi Goz Adriensen”. 36
You can find some of my other works and projects at www.youtube.com/adriensenarts I’m sure you have lots of stories to tell about Under the Raven’s Wing. Can you give us a little background on the movie and how it came to be? Well, I’ve been asked this question before... and it’s a good question, but I will tell you some things I’ve never revealed in an interview. Under the Raven’s Wing is my first feature film about three young women who are being followed around by an unseen filmmaker with a video camera as they share their warped theories of life and murder. It stars Kimberly Amato as “Raven,” Jessica Palette as “Jessie” (Jessica later appeared on Vh1’s Scream Queens), Kamilla Sofie Sadekova as “Angel,” and Coy DeLuca as the voice of the unseen filmmaker. First for the known facts: Back in 1999 or 2000, a friend of mine and I wanted to shoot a short Blair Witch style movie on my rinky-dink digital video camera. I don’t even remember the make or model; the camera’s long gone. But we wanted to do something simple and fun. We wanted to make a film about three Goth girls who commit a murder and we’d shoot the actresses improvising their stories. I had created an outline, a basic list of some shots, and an in-depth character outline on all three girls. Unfortunately, the project got shelved, but I dusted it off years later, wrote a script based on my notes and outline, and shot it in 2006. So, you see, never be discouraged! Sometimes shelved projects DO see the light of day. As for the way the three girls committed the murder, we didn’t have an idea at first. So, one night I was flipping through the channels and found a terrible made-for-TV version of “The Lottery.” I always loved the short story by Shirley Jackson, but the only good thing about this television movie was the look on sweet Keri Russell’s face when she started her unthinkable act – stoning! I thought, “That’s it!” I imagined our innocent character, “Josie” (the original name for “Jessie” – the neverbefore-told fun facts begin!), turning suddenly evil and throwing stones, and that’s how we got the idea for how the girls would kill. And it’s so primitive and, unfortunately, still going on in some parts of the world today. Aren’t some of the fanatical religions like cults? Are they much different from the characters “Raven,” “Angel,” and “Jessie” in Under the Raven’s Wing? Now for more untold facts! I was supposed to play “Raven.” Yes. It’s true. I had a black wig I was going to wear. If I dare give you photos from our day of shooting B-roll, you will see how corny I looked. The movie would have been over-the-top and campy. Instead, I’m proud it was intelligent yet quirky.
As for the character of “Angel,” she was originally supposed to be named “Patra.” Strange how things change! Anyway, there were different titles we toyed with other than Under the Raven’s Wing. My favorite was Scarlet Fever. Ok! Go ahead. Make fun! But the colour, scarlet, was significant in the film. It was the girls’ sign of whom they would “transcend,” or what we would consider... murder. As “Raven” said as she described the importance of the colour of scarlet, “Ah, the colour of blood. The colour of life.” Of course, that line came much later when I actually wrote the script, but the importance of the colour came into play early on during the previous shelved version. My partner was wearing a white and red (scarlet) striped winter scarf. That’s how we came up with the idea for the sacred colour and the article of clothing worn by girls’ “The Saved”... or what we would call victim... Where and when can we see Under the Raven’s Wing? Under the Raven’s Wing had unsuccessful distribution with Medicine Show Cinema (not to mention the co-owner of the company, David Williams, went to jail for unrelated embezzlement). It’s currently available at www.filmbaby.com and you can also visit my website, www.blueeyedproductions.com, for updates. Eventually, I will have a new DVD released that will include some insane behind the scenes footage and deleted scenes. I will consider a distribution company, but I’m in no rush. I’m excited about venturing onto new projects. What’s your favourite movie (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? “Lewis” (a short in the Psycho Street anthology) with The Blood Shed at a very close second. Why “Lewis?” ‘Cause it was kick-ass fun and dark and evil at the same time! I loved being in Indiana with Marv Blauvelt, Anthony Sumner, Deneen Melody, Jerry Murdock, and the entire cast and crew! I can’t wait to go back. or to work anywhere with them again! As for The Blood Shed, that movie was as fun in reality as it looks on screen. Alan Rowe Kelly is a friend and I just adore him and think he is brilliant. I felt like I was with family with the cast and crew. As far as my character, “Sno Cakes,” someone has told me that it wasn’t a far stretch for me (HEY!). I admit, it was fairly easy and I could really enjoy myself as “Sno Cakes” and I certainly felt comfortable in her shoes – spring shoes that is!!! What’s your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? Oh gee. That’s difficult because no film set is perfect. I was recently on the set of a movie that required the cast and crew to be available for 8 hours and they had no food! Nor water! That’s a big no-no, however, I did have fun with the cast and crew. But the worst film I was in was Prison of the Psychotic Damned, a Red Scream film. Red Scream was also a David Williams company (Medicine Show Cinema). I did have fun most of the time. I got to know the people on set and enjoyed working with them. Demona Bast is a rare exotic beauty with a great sense of humour! I’m still in touch with her and Alisa Lawson, the photographer. I also enjoyed working with Melantha Blackthorne and the rest of the gang. What was the problem? The 38
location! This is a perfect example of why unions form. I’m not in SAG or AFTRA, but I see why they exist. Actors and crew need to be protected against things like... uh... asbestos! Yes, there was asbestos in the building where we shot. I should have turned around and got back on the plane, but here I am, living and breathing and I hope that there isn’t any permanent damage... Do you see yourself continuing to work in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? With the ideas I have, I see myself sticking to the horror genre, but I’ll never say “never.” As for acting, I’m really not pursuing it and just doing it for fun for friends’ and associates’ projects, and since they are pretty much all in the horror industry, it looks like my acting will stay in horror. But again, I’ll never say “never.” We’ve worked together quite a bit on movies like Sculpture and the upcoming Psycho Street. Tell us a little bit about these films and when and where we can see them. Ah, and I’m so proud to know you, Trevor. You are a great writer and I enjoy the characters you create! Sculpture is a feature film by Pete Jacelone and Scream Kings starring Raine Brown, Misty Mundae, Dustin Kearns, Marv Blauvelt, Alan Rowe Kelly and myself. It also stars a slew of hot hunks and other talented actors and actresses. When “Ashley Steele” (Raine Brown) returns to her home for her father’s funeral, brutal and incestuous memories come flooding back and she uses her art to deal with the pain … and to BRING ON the pain! You have to see it for yourself. The DVD was released in October. www.screamkings.com Psycho Street is a really cool anthology of short films by Marv Blauvelt with Raine Brown. They are four twisted tales that lead to a dead end! The film has such a wide array of fantastic actors, directors, and crew that it would be too extensive to list. Please check it out on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1493823/ I was involved in two of the shorts, “Hypochondriac” and “Lewis.” And I am so honoured that Marv Blauvelt trusted me enough to cast me as two totally different characters. “Hypochondriac” is an insanely funny and sick little film about a small hick town medical clinic that just hired a big city doctor with a fear of germs, “Dr. Combs” (played by Marv himself). “Dr. Combs” is in for a big surprise when the usual red necks come in to seek his medical attention. I play “Babbs Barnsmelle,” the local loon who is expecting... something... from her foot! “Hypochondriac” was directed by Pete Jacelone and also stars Alan Rowe Kelly, Raine Brown, Carl Burrows, David Gilkey, Jeremey Mulkey Edward X. Young, Zoe Daelman Chlanda, and Colleen Cohan, and Harry Dugan as the reporter. 39
“Lewis,” directed by Anthony Sumner, is a sinister and twisted movie about a young woman (played by the lovely Deneen Melody) who is returning to the town she grew up in as an orphan. She returns to people who are not as they seem to be. I play “Sister Louise,” the nun with a dark yet insatiable erotic side, along with the partner in crime (and evil), Jerry Murdock, who plays “Father Lennox.” Again, please check out Psycho Street on IMDB for the full list of awesome actors, directors, and crew. Also look us up on Facebook groups and join in the insanity! http://www.facebook.com/?sk=2361831622#!/group.php?gid=100901606634542&ref=ts One movie that is close to your heart is the upcoming Vengeance is Cynthia’s. What can you tell us? I wrote a short script about a year ago called Vengeance is Cynthia’s. It seemed like a daunting task at the time to produce so I put it on hold. The reason for that is because it’s lightly based on my experience in losing my brother at a drug rehab facility. His drug of choice was alcohol. He committed himself and we never saw him again. He left the Marworth facility in Pennsylvania and disappeared, only to be found by hunters three months later in woods down the road from the facility. It was Hell for my family and me. I searched for him every way I could. We had a false lead from a woman who seemed to have wanted attention from what she thought was drama around my brother; she said he was calling her. We searched areas that had phones... and all the while, he was dying in the woods. That is the real story. Vengeance is Cynthia’s is a short script that I hope to make into a feature to produce when I’m ready, or perhaps I can just hand it over to have someone else produce and direct as it’s so close to me. I have written it in such a way that makes “Cynthia” go on a journey as she seeks revenge on those who contributed to her brother’s death. This journey is actually a journey into her own life, as if she it is seeing it for the first time. She sees her family and fellow churchwomen in a different light – a very strange and wicked light. This doesn’t mean she’s much different from them as the same evil spirits have entered her as well... I have great array of actors on board for the film including Zoe Daelman Chlanda as the title role, Edward X. Young, Colleen Cohan, Bob Socci, Alan Rowe Kelly as “Sissy Margret,” along with other talented actors! For more info on the movie: http://www.myspace.com/vengeanceiscynthias What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? Not scary! I’m sad to say that, but it’s true. Not all horror films need to be scary, but at least indie horror filmmakers take a lot more risks to be in-your-face. Mainstream? Eh, boring. I’ll enjoy myself at a horror film fest with films by independent filmmakers much more. We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? I wish I could use my telepathic skills to predict that, Trevor, but alas, I’m in a quagmire over that question. I sure hope more women come up to the plate and that the men can make room for them on the playing field. I truly believe that women can have some crazy horrific ideas, maybe worse than men. Perhaps that’s what the boys are afraid of. Heh heh heh!!! If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? 40
That is a hard question to answer because I always accept what a filmmaker gives the audience and never try to say, “Well, I’d do it this way” or “I’d do it that way.” I especially wouldn’t say, “I would have casted ME!” Haha! But the first movie that comes to mind is Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne. I would have loved to play “Selena.” But I’d want to play it just like Jennifer Jason Leigh and there’s no way I could replace that performance. But talk about a deep, challenging role. I have been blessed to have a loving family so I couldn’t rely much on experience, but one can always delve into the inner dark places of the mind to conquer up what it takes for such a performance. I’m sure that role was exhausting. Bravo, Jennifer! What exciting projects are in store for Susan Adriensen? Firstly, as you know, I’m re-releasing Under the Raven’s Wing, but as I write this interview, I’m planning a 5 week trip to Topanga Canyon, a section of Los Angeles, for the month of October to do some “zen-ing” out with some yoga and I will also be making the Halloween circuit with sexy horror friend, Heidi Martinuzzi of Fangirltastic, formerly Pretty Scary. Please check out their site www.fangirltastic.com/ I will also be focusing on editing my short, “Marinade,” about an abused wife who finds herself in an affair that leads her to some fiendish acts... and it includes some marinating, cooking, and... eating. It stars Marv Blauvelt, Colleen Cohan, and me as the abused wife. It’s going to be a sick little film and I’m damn proud of it and all those involved! Please check out our silly behind the scenes footage at www.youtube.com/adriensenarts This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favourite horror author and/or book? I just became familiar with H.P. Lovecraft. All I can say is “wow!” What took me so long to discover him? I’m currently reading a book of his short stories. But as a teen and into my adult years, I was always a fan of Stephen King. My favourite King book, believe it or not, is Pet Sematary. I read it prior to seeing the movie and I had fear paralysis while reading it. I asked my high school teacher if I could use the book for our book report assignment. Surprisingly, he said it was fine. I dissected that book and the psychology and obsession of the main character and I believe I got an “A!” What do you look for in choosing future roles? I’m happy to say that the directors and writers I’ve worked with trusted me enough to give me challenging roles. I like roles that are as far from my real personality as possible. I like bizarre and outrageous roles. Then again, maybe that is close to my real personality... Tell us about Mingle Mangle and how this relates to women in horror. Mingle Mangle: Horror Filmmakers and Fans was a group I ran a few years ago that provided a 41
networking platform for filmmakers, fans, musicians, artists, writers, actors, etc. etc. It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people and brought a lot of creative people together. I would have liked to see more women benefit from the group, especially behind the camera. I created a little spin off of the group called Freaky Female Filmmakers and the event was a lot of fun. I hope to regroup Mingle Mangle one day and have events for both men and women where both genders can network and thrive. Please visit www.myspace.com/minglemanglehorror for updates. I hear that you’re a bird lover. Tell us a little bit about this. Any animal causes or organizations we should be aware of? I have two parrots. A green wing macaw named Puppy and an African grey named Einstein. They are my babies, my children. I love them dearly and I hope to spread good parrot care information to anyone who needs. My advice to you all is not to get a parrot. They belong in the jungle. Had I known what I know now when I first got the birds, I would... well, probably buy them anyway because I’m a good momma, but they are a lot of work and a lot of people buy them in haste not realizing that they are not like cats and dogs. They need 99% more attention and time than most other animals. If you don’t give them proper attention, you could have a screaming, plucking, and ultimately bald bird on your hands. As for organizations, I think PETA is probably the best for animals. Some consider them fanatics, but your money will really go to helping animals. How do you unwind after a long day on set? Belly dancing, perhaps? I like to chill with the crew and actors, hopefully over a beer and pizza, but after we all go home or back to our hotels, I sleep zzzzzz! After I’ve rested, I always like to get out my dancing shoes (bare feet for belly dances), but I also like to be anywhere that involves nature. I love the sound of birds and crickets! Anything else you’d like to add? Nope! I think this interview covered a lot. You asked just the right questions, Trevor. Thanks so much to you and Morpheus Tales for your time. You guys are great! Keep on writing your great scripts, Trevor. The horror world is really enjoying them!
Julie Anne Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favorites? Horror is still my genre of choice and has been as far back as I can remember. My favorites growing up were A Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Return of the Living Dead 3, and Sleepaway Camp 2. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? I wanted to have involvement with the industry since before I was eighteen, and I actually sent in photos to be a Troma studios spokesmodel as soon as I turned eighteen. I helped out at conventions, modelled, and did stage shows for several years, until I got up enough guts to go out for an audition (I had no formal acting experience). I ended up landing my first role at about twenty two and haven’t stopped since. Tell us about how you got started in modeling. What was behind your stage name, Vanity Flair? I got my first serious modelling gig at a concert. The photographer was sort of recruiting. I would go and network online and set up shoots off and on, but my first real break was with Gothic Beauty Magazine. I did two issues with them, and went on to fashion stage shows and burlesque from there. Vanity Flair was the name I used for art and performance, and it was sort of a joke name actually. What were your responsibilities while working for Troma? I just worked at the booth, helped to raise morale, sort of cheerleaded at the Q&A sessions. I did a few burlesque shows for convention after-parties they appeared at as well. Besides acting do you see yourself branching out into any other field behind the camera? I have several screenplays that I am working on, and would love to see them come to life visually one day. I also have plans to try my hand at directing eventually. I try to help out behind the scenes as much as possible, so I’m interested in several possibilities. One movie that’s getting a lot of buzz is As Night Falls, which co-stars actresses I have worked with (and interviewed) in the past, Deneen Melody and Raine Brown. How was the experience? Can you tell us a bit about your role? It was amazing. Very professional, very fun. I absolutely love Deneen and it was really a joy to work with everyone involved on that film. I think it turned out very awesome! My character Olivia is sort of a bitch. She was written as more of a party girl, but I just feel she ended up being a buzzkill when it was all said and done, haha! She was fun to play, because her sarcasm and sort of stuck up attitude was somewhat comical, even if you disliked her.
What’s your favourite movie (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? I can’t really say. I have enjoyed certain things about all the films I have been in, and I have taken away something great from each. That’s all I can ask for. It’s nice to see them exist past post-production, so I do have to give a nod to the ones that I have worked on that I have actually seen. What’s your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? The whole finished product thing, that’s all really. And bad morale on set, people fighting, negative attitudes: those can create serious tension and problems. Overall, if we get through it and it sees the light of day, then it was worth it. Do you see yourself continuing to work in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? Definitely. I have, and will continue to work on other genres. Horror will remain my favourite though. Hands down. What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? I think it’s got the best following around. I think it will always be a guilty pleasure, but is getting a bit more respect in the mainstream community as of late. Or at least it is getting more notice, either way. We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? Grindhouse. If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? I really don’t know... Natural Born Killers. What exciting projects are in store for Julie Anne? I can’t really say until things are official. I hate to spill beans and then have to clean them up when a plan falls through. I have several projects that I have agreed to, but I can’t say for sure exactly how things will fall into place.
This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favourite horror author and/or book? I love books on Urban Legends. My favourite still has to be the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Series. What do you look for in choosing future roles? I would love to do more roles that require fighting and weapons training; strong, physically challenging roles. How do you unwind after a long day on set? Sleep. Sleep is something that is very precious when filming. Where can your fans go to learn more about you? My IMDB page. I will have a website up one of these days, I promise! Anything else youâ€™d like to add? Just thank you for your time and interest in my work!
Kitsie Duncan Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favorites? Actually no, but by no fault of mine. With good reason my mom wouldn’t let me watch horror movies. I was one of those kids who would watch something scary and have nightmares about it for weeks afterward. I think the first horror movie I saw was at a slumber party; it was the original Friday the 13th. A few years later I saw Poltergeist and that one really gave me nightmares. I then psyched myself out and didn’t watch them for years and years, until just a couple of years ago. Now I am absolutely hooked. I can’t get enough; I am always clamoring to get my hands on horror movies, especially the indie films. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? I’ve wanted to be an actress for years, actually as far back as I can remember (well, aside from that period in my life where I wanted to be Madonna). Me and my sisters and cousins always used to put on silly little made up plays for the family at Christmas time; we’d sing and dance and just put on a great show. Life led me in a different direction, and I have spent my time raising my beautiful children with my wonderful hubby. But, now that the kiddos are older, I have jumped at the chance to live out my lifelong dream. Tell us about Dark Rider Studios. What is it and how did it come about? Darkrider Studios came about when the idea for our first feature came to fruition. Lethal Obsession is the very first thing Darkrider Studios has done. Some friends, my hubby, and I were hanging out having a great time one night. I believe there were a few beverages involved as well. By the end of the evening, we had the storyline mapped out, and were trying to find out how to get the equipment needed to get production underway. We have since learned so much and have gone on to do many smaller projects, and are now in pre-production of our next feature film. Darkrider Studios consists of me, Chris Jay and Larry Mcatee. We are like a well oiled machine at this point and are ready to take on the world! What is Lethal Obsession and where can we see it? As I said, it is from Darkrider Studios and not only first feature film but our first project ever. The movie has screened at both Fright Night Film Festival and Cinema Wasteland to great reviews. It’s been described by viewers as a throwback to grind house films, mixed with the good old fashioned slasher feel of the 70s and 80s. We are currently self-distributing the movie. You can find it at www.LethalObsession.com, on Amazon, and at the several conventions we attend. We have just wrapped up a tour of signings at Family Video stores in southern Indiana.
Are you interested in being an actress first and foremost or would you rather continue to produce, edit, etc. like you did on Lethal Obsession? Acting is my passion, I have learned so much in the little time I have been doing so. I want to learn more and do more. It’s kind of like a drug. I’m a kid at heart, and it’s like playing dress up or house when you were a kid. I love getting to know the characters I play and becoming them while on set. It’s the best natural high there is for me. Tell us a bit about Mother’s Blood and how it came about. Mother’s Blood is a story my good friend Marv Baluvelt (Muscle Wolf Productions) had come up with a few years ago. I could not get this story out of my head once he told it to me. So here we are a year and a half later prepping for pre-production. The Mother’s Blood story has been described as a dark fairy tale with an iconic female killer. You can find out more about Mother’s Blood and see the featurette at www.MothersBlood.com. The move will be a collaborative effort between Clockwerk Pictures (Come and Roses), Darkrider Studios (Lethal Obsession) and Muscle Wolf Productions (Psycho Street). All studios are very excited to be involved in the project. What’s your favorite movie (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? This one is easy... I have loved every project I have been involved in thus far in my career. But Lethal Obsession is my baby. Being involved in every little detail and process taught me so much about filmmaking. In the process of filming Lethal Obsession, everyone did everything from acting, to gaffer, to camera person, to running for coffee and food. It really made me appreciate every job that is listed in the end credits of every film. What’s your least favorite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? I am a very positive person, and I can’t really say there has been a project that was my least favorite, or that I have had an un-enjoyable experience. I have honestly loved every project I have been involved in thus far. And I hope I will enjoy every project in the future as well. Do you see yourself continuing to work in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? Horror is so much fun. I would love to stay mostly horror at this point in my life. Yes, I would love to try some other genres, but horror is where my heart is. It’s just such a unique genre; I mean you can have comedy, drama, thriller, and heck, even a musical in a horror film. There’s such a wide 47
range of emotions that can be played out in one horror movie script. Not to mention the special effects are so awesome, and I love helping out with that as well. What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? This is an excellent question. I think Zombie films will be the next big thing, with the success of Zombieland and “The Walking Dead”. I don’t think Hollywood is ready to take the chances it used to; that’s why you see all the re-imagining of movies like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and Halloween. I think, in this economy, Hollywood is playing it safe and going with franchises it knows will make money. I personally am hoping this will turn around soon. I would love see more Independent filmmakers finding their work hitting the local multiplex theatre, but it will take the fans demanding it for that happen. We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? Ooops, looks like I answered part of that question in my last response. I would love to see more story driven horror movies out there. Of course, you still need the slash and dash in these movies. But I really think movie goers deserve more. I loved Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween; I saw it as a more in depth look into Michael Myers. At one point you actually feel sorry for him... as he’s bashing some kid to a bloody pulp. I love to be taken on an emotional roller coaster ride while watching movies, and I think your average movie goer does too. If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? Another great question! I really don’t know, oh wait, yes I do... back to Poltergeist. I would love to play Diane Freeling, the mom played by JoBeth Williams. Not that she didn’t do a fantastic job, I mean she MADE that movie. But the roll is everything I would love to do, and Poltergeist my all time favourite horror movie. What exciting projects are in store for Kitsie Duncan? There are some really great projects in store for me and I am very excited about all the projects I am involved in. Here goes: Mother’s Blood (Vivian), Girl Scout Cookies (Misty Banes), Reverie, Birthday Party Massacre, and hopefully many more to come. I have met some amazing film makers over the past few months and I am hoping to be able to work with them soon. * hint hint * This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favorite horror author and/or book? 48
I actually have some friends that are amazing horror authors, and I can’t choose just one, but I’ll name them all and you can choose for yourself: Michael West, J. Travis Grundon, Zack Daggey and Dan Dillard. Be sure to check them all out; not only are they amazing writers, but great people as well. What do you look for in choosing future roles? It’s all about the script and the character for me. I am not a twenty-something actress, so I am looking for strong female roles. I was raised by one of the most independent and strong women I have ever met, my mother. And I think there is a call for more rolls like that for women in the genre. I am always looking for a new script and character to get my head wrapped around. How do you unwind after a long day on set? Quality time with the family. My family is my life source. Chris and I always love spending time with the kiddos, and sometimes they love spending time with us, LOL. Where can your fans go to learn more about you? Well I am all over the place: www.KitsieDuncan.com, www.DarkriderStudios.com , and I am a social networking addict so you can find me on www.facebook.com/kitsiefans and www.twitter.com/kitsieduncan too. Anything else you’d like to add? I just want to thank everyone for their support on this new endeavour: the fans, my family, my friends, and the people who put their trust in me to be in their films. Thanks to you all for believing in me.
Samantha Facchi Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favourites? Yes, I was definitely a fan of horror films, still am in fact. The B movies on VHS like Slumber Party Massacre, C.H.U.D. and Silent Night Deadly Night were some of my favorites to watch with my girlfriends on Saturday night with popcorn and cokes. When it was date night I chose the more cerebral type thrillers. I loved Psycho, The Thing and Phantasm. Guys like a girl with a little bit of brains right? Wink wink. When did you know you wanted to be an actress (i.e. work in the industry)? As a child I loved acting. I put on shows with my dolls for my dolls. My mother wanted me to be a singer, but my stage fright was so intense I never quite made it, even though I sing quite well. Even though I began modelling in my teens, I was not satisfied and found it an empty life. Then I saw Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and I feel in love with the big screen and dreamt to one day be an actress. It took a while to grow up and gain the confidence needed. I’d say I got the professional acting bug in the mid 2000s. Tell us about Blood Night. How did you get involved? Blood Night is a throwback to the 80s slasher about the legendary axe murderer Mary Hatchet. I needed to get my inner psycho out so I auditioned for Mary and I guess I impressed the director and producers with my skills, and the rest is history. Your performance was certainly the highlight of the film. Any sequel talk and would you return? Thanks Trevor, you liked my blue veiny skin, huh? Sequel talk: well, there have been rumors, but I am in the dark about it all, waiting patiently with my hatchet of course. Besides acting you’ve also produced a couple of films including A Little Feast and The Abductor. What drew you to these projects not only an actress but as a producer? Both of these projects were in need of a producer so I offered. The Abductor was such an intriguingly sad story I wanted to help it be the best production it could be. Sadly enough, though, it was never completed by the director. I still have hopes he will do so one day. A Little Feast is hilariously funny in a sick way. I like outrageous and it likes me. Besides acting and producing do you see yourself branching out into any other field behind the camera? Indeed. I can’t wait to direct a screenplay that I have written. It is a short dramatic film, and as soon as I am through with a few other projects I plan to put the wheels in motion.
Tell us about Night for Day. When and where can we see it? What’s hot, sexy and bloody? Vampires. Ha! Yes, it is a vampire story of the finest quality. It has won several festival awards and is on its way to distribution. Go to www.nightfordaymovi e.com for trailers and other goodies. What’s your favourite movie (already filmed) that you’ve been in? Why? I have to say The Abductor, even though I’ve never watched a complete version. I portrayed three separate characters and that was a challenge I rather enjoyed. A haunting movie that still haunts me. What’s your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable work experience or less than stellar end product? Can’t really say that has been an issue so far in my career. I’ll get back to you on that one. Do you see yourself continuing to work in horror films or would you like to predominately do other genres? Look, work is work. If the story is good I’m game. Horror can be very beautiful and dramas can be very raunchy, so one’s no better than the other if either is done well. I can’t wait to see what my future holds, because I enjoy being on set so much I’ll take as many chances to be there as I can. What do you think is the current state of horror both mainstream and independent? Mainstream is getting a little overdone in my humble opinion, kind of like too much plastic surgery, but having said that I guess too much plastic surgery can be fun too. I like the independent ‘untouched’ look, with raw lighting with realistic scenarios. I hear the same from a lot of folks. So, we’ll see what ‘procedure’ is popular next year and what films will really make us jump out of our seats. Frank Sabatella, Director of Blood Night, and I were just talking about that the other night and he and I agree that Indy Horror is on fire. We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from remakes. Any predictions on the next big thing in horror? Uh, Purple Haze in Wyoming, Rise of the Giant Purple Peeps. Haha, never mind I have no idea. I’ll leave that to the critics. If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. “Fafafafafafva BEANS, yum.” What exciting projects are in store for Samantha Facchi? Right now I am shooting a film, Steel Cherry, produced by InSpirit Films, and up for a role in a pilot shooting in February. Other secret projects I can’t mention quite yet, but stay tuned.
This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favourite horror author and/or book? I would be a liar if I did not say Stephen King, but I don’t read much horror anymore. I watch the big screen for my thrills. What do you look for in choosing future roles? Good story, great dialogue. How do you unwind after a long day on set? Home, hot bath, hot toddy Where can your fans go to learn more about you? IMDB of course and my new website when it’s finished being under construction. www.samanthafacchi.com Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little. I bloody love Morpheus Tales and can’t wait to get back to talk to you about my next big role. Til then, Kiss.
Monica Rae Autumn Interview By Trevor Wright Growing up, were you a fan of horror movies? And if so, which ones were your favourites? Horror movies always fascinated me as a kid, mainly because I was forbidden to watch them, which made them all the more alluring. The first horror movie I ever saw was the original Friday the 13th and I was completely shocked - I was both terrified and awestruck at the same time. I really loved Child’s Play, I must have watched that movie like twenty times as a kid. And for some odd reason, the movie Leprechaun was a fave of mine too. My taste has since improved, I think. When did you know you wanted to work in modelling and how did you get involved? My mom was really interested in getting me into modelling at a young age. My parents used to drive me to different photo studios and even had me meet with modelling agents. Then I fell out of it, especially as I got older. I got into different things and modelling, I thought, was a thing of the past. Once I graduated high school and those awkward teenage growing pains passed, I thought to myself, “Hey, this just might be something I can pursue again.” I absolutely love it and I always did, and truthfully, I missed it. Seems like you do quite a bit of horror-centric modelling. How did this come about? Since I’ve decided to get back into modelling, horror movies and the like were something I was really into at that age right after high school... and I still am. So I decided, if I am going to model, I might as well have the photo shoots represent an image of who I am and do it my way. It was really just a hobby, but it seems to have taken on a life of its own, and I don’t mind one bit. :) Do you model at any conventions? I’ve modelled at a few horror conventions in the Chicago area, Chicago Horror Fest and the like. I generally prefer to attend conventions as a guest rather than a model, like Flashback Weekend — I always have a blast there! I think modelling at Fango-Con would be absolutely fabulous though. Throw in a good word for me, everyone! ;) Any desire to make the jump from modelling into movies? If so, any particular genre you’d like to try? I do get asked this question a lot. It happens very often, for someone to go from modelling into acting or acting into singing, etc., so I suppose it’s only natural to make that assumption. There are many parallels in the two, and it’s amazing how many of today’s celebrities started out as models and are now widely known actors. I am in the talking process with a few film companies right now, primarily (but not limited to) Satania Films/SGL Entertainment, who are responsible for the Jezebeth horror films. As soon as filming for the second Jezebeth movie happens, I’ll be able to talk more about my role in the movie. However, I can say that there will be some more promotional tours this summer, hopefully at Hot Topic again as well as some others. In addition to that, I’ve 53
been in very close communication with other film companies and you will definitely be seeing more of me in films and not just in print. I’m also trying to expand my television work, as that’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing. What has been your favourite modelling gig or shoot that you’ve been in so far? Why? I honestly can’t pick a favourite; they’ve all been fun in their own way. What has been your least favourite? And what problems can you site which led to the project becoming an un-enjoyable experience or less than stellar product? I won’t name the specific project, but I will say that it all depends on who you are working with. It makes all the difference in the world. What do you think is the current state of horror, both mainstream and independent? There are too many remakes in horror nowadays and not enough original horror movies. The remake, quality aside, is very “been there, done that”. They change the special FX, add a new cast, and it’s supposed to be better than the original? I have yet to watch a horror remake that I think has surpassed the intrigue of the original. There’s also that juvenile attachment to vampires ever since the Twilight movies. I’m not a fan of that either. It’s no Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire. Independent horror seems to be doing its own thing, which I love. Those films definitely grab my attention a whole lot more than the mainstream movies; [indie horror films] are focused on an old topic—Zombies, cannibals, monsters, ghosts, etc.—but they all put their own spin on it. I see a lot of independent horror out there and I’m like “I need to watch that!!!” Not so much with the mainstream movies. We’re slowly moving away from the torture porn craze. We’re hopefully getting away from the remakes. Any predictions for the next big thing in horror? I’m hoping suspenseful horror comes back. I know Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is pretty big now. I would not say it is horror, per se, but it definitely has some aspects of that in the movie. Another example of what I mean is the movie High Tension. We need more movies like this. 54
Enough with the high school/college horror: the kids at the parties that get slaughtered off one by one and they’re all running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to figure out who the killer is. How many times are they going to focus on that concept? Get away from it. Please! If you could be in any movie already made, what would it be? And whom would you play? Grindhouse Presents: Planet Terror. Cherry Darling. What exciting projects are in store for Monica Rae Autumn? I have my hands in so many pots right now, so it’s a little hard to say what will work out indefinitely in the long run. It’s a new year, so trust me, there is a lot that’s going to go on but you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. I hear you write poetry. Do you have anything you’d like to share with your readers? I don’t usually post my poetry, I used to a few years ago. You guys will have to come out to a poetry reading if I ever have one in the near future. ;) This magazine does a lot of interviews with horror authors and publishes a lot of horror fiction. Do you have a favourite author and/or book? Well, of course Edgar Allen Poe and H.P Lovecraft. I used to be into Anne Rice somewhat, but I’m not really a fan of her new work. My favourite horror book would have to be Carrie by Stephen King; I stayed home from school one day in junior high because I wanted to finish the book so bad. It’s most definitely one of my absolute favourites. John Skipp and the splatterpunk horror genre is always fun to read too. Doing research on you, I noticed that most interviews ask about your piercings. Why should I be any different? How many do you have and what is your fascination? I wanted to be a body piercer as a side gig because I love body modification, especially in the form of piercings. I have changed my mind since then, but it’ll always be something I enjoy. I have had seventeen piercings total, however, as of now I’ve only kept four of them. Any tattoos in your future? It’s possible. I have some ideas but it’s a matter of narrowing it down and executing it. I have had some cold feet in the matter of tattoos, only because I’m pretty indecisive at times and I’ve realized that what I wanted to get tattooed at eighteen is definitely not something I would want on me now. 55
So, we’ll see. I don’t think a tattoo is necessary, and to be honest, I’ll be perfectly okay with not getting tattooed at all. How do you unwind after a long work day? Light candles, open a bottle of wine (or make some decaf coffee - whatever mood I’m in at the time), and read a book. Or I’ll put on some loud music and zone out. Where can your fans go to learn more about you? My Facebook fan page :) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Monica-RaeAutumn/161737967174429