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A Life in Blood: Tales of a Horror Queen May 2017

genrossibannerA Life in Blood: Tales of a Horror Queen May 2017

Hunters and an interview with horror and mainstream actor Jason Vail

rsz_gr1While in South Carolina for Mad Monster Party I was able to catch up with Jason Vail and watch his new film Family Possessions. Jason and I recently worked together on Hunters, a film directed by Adam Ahlbrandt and starring legendary scream queen Linnea Quigley. I was fortunate enough to be acting on set for a few days in  Ahlbrandt’s crazy art house film, Hunters.. The cast also includes: Linnea Quigley, Tina Krause, SaunPaul Costello, Gordon Price, Jason Vail, Ellie Church, Haley Madison, Anthony Edward Curry, Tiffany Loretta Carroll, Melissa Heflin, Victor Bonacore, and many more talented actors and actresses of the horror genre. Horror fans that enjoy super disturbing horror can look for Hunter on Amazon.com, but it’s definitely not a film for the squeamish.

rsz_gr6It was a real pleasure to play the disturbing part of Edna in this sick, twisted film. It was great working with camera operator C. G. Noir and Ahlbrandt once again. Speaking of sick and twisted; look for me also in Ahlbrandt upcoming The Sadist, which also stars Linnea Quigley. Ahlbrandt explains Hunters, “In the year 1987 a group of film makers ventured into an abandoned coal mining town intending to scout the location… The depraved fates that they were to endure stand forever as a testament to the darkness within the hearts of men.”

I was really excited when I was offered the role of Edna. Horror fans will get to see me in my most disturbing, shocking, and challenging role to date! It was a really intense roller coaster ride of gore playing this character! I can’t wait for the horror fans to see Hunters! Prepare to be shocked and dazzled!
Some readers may also know Jason Vail from his work in Gut, Abraham Lincoln Versus Zombies, Hunting Grounds, The Cabin, and Family Possessions. In addition, Jason works on a lot of mainstream projects TAMMY with Melissa McCarthy, BOO A MADEA HALLOWEEN, AN ACTOR PREPARES with Jeremy Irons, ACRIMONY with Taraji P. Henson.

It was thrilling working with Jason on Hunters and seeing his performance in Family Possessions was so impressive that I decided to interview him for Ukhorrorscene!

rsz_gr2Genoveva: What are some of your memories of being on set of this brutal film called Hunters?

Jason: That it was a fun set, a lot of cool people to spend a day with in Long Island, NY. Got to drive an awesome car. I met and got to work with you (Genoveva Rossi) And thank god it wasn’t cold, because we were soaked in fake blood for most the night, lol. I think Adam is addicted to that stuff, after each take he would pour on twice as much as the time before, LOL. I was drenched down to my socks in it. A blast.

Genoveva: Can you tell us a bit about your experience working with Adam Ahlbrandt on his twisted artfilm Hunters?

Jason: Adam is a great guy, super chill but totally an artist in everything he does. He gives the actor lots of freedom to do their thing. Which is a gift. And his camera work is impeccable. The guy knows how to do so much with so very little. That is an artist.

rsz_gr3Genoveva: How did a clean cut guy like you come to get cast in a disturbing film like Hunters?

Jason: I knew Adam through some mutual friends in the horror community. We both respected each other’s work and heard great things about one another. I think it was just meant to happen.

Genoveva: What are some highlights of your work in horror? What films stand out most for you?

Jason: Abraham Lincoln Vs Zombies from the Asylum and indie thriller Gut (winner of the New York Horror Film Festival) came out at the exact same time back in 2012, both films were boot legged on the internet and were getting ten of thousands of downloads. My IMDB went from 80,000 to under 5,000 over night. It was crazy. I was getting fan mail from Russia, Northern Ireland, Michigan, Florida, you name it. It opened my eyes to the loyalty and love from the horror community, it was awesome to be accepted.

rsz_gr4Genoveva: What were your most challenging roles in horror?

Jason: Whom God Helps for sure, I was head to toe in special effects make up. Took between 5-7 hours some days. It covered everything. I could’t use the bathroom once it was on. So I started fasting 3 days before the shoot so I could go without peeing for 12-14 hours for 3 straight days of shooting. Mission accomplished. As far as acting goes…Gut is still one of the most emotionally demanding roles. To have to put your head in that place where my character went was not fun. It was brutal but an incredible challenge.

Genoveva: What was it like working with horror actor Bill Oberst Jr. on Abraham Lincoln Versus Zombies and Hunting Grounds?

Jason: Bill is just an all around stand up guy. He always makes you feel like you are the true star and artist…but really, no one can take that away from Bill, he is a horror icon through and through. And so damn talented. He’ll be a Horror National Treasure one day for sure if he already isn’t.

rsz_gr5Genoveva: Now you are also a very mainstream actor. What are some of you highlights from your nonhorror career? What was your favorite mainstream role?

Jason: Working with Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone was a major treat. The film was Tammy. It was only one day of work and a rather short scene, but to this day, if anyone asks me that horrid question that every actor gets asked, “What have you been in?” I immediately say…TAMMY! And everyone knows the film and better yet, remembers that bar scene where I reject Melissa McCarthy’s offer to…”buy me a drink and take me back to my room and bang?” So much fun, such great people.

Genoveva: How can fans of your work stay abreast of what you are doing?

Jason: Go to jasonvail.com. My imdb or feel free to hit me up on Facebook, I’m the Jason Vail in Atlanta, GA.

rsz_gr7Genoveva: What are some of your most recent projects?

Jason: In horror…Family Possessions in festivals, Hunting Grounds just came out on DVD and streaming sites. Other films…An Actor Prepares and Acrimony come out later this year.

Jason: Thank you always for taking the time to have me apart of your horror column! You rock!

rsz_gr8Thanks for reading this month’s A Life In Blood: Tales of a Horror Queen! See you ghouls next month for more tales of horror.

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website http://www.genovevarossi.com
Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

A Life in Blood – Tales of a Horror Queen #10 Shooting Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania

rsz_1bm1Shooting Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania in Calgary, Canada

Herschell Gordon Lewis may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. Thankfully he left horror fans with a parting gift: Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania! Lewis is truly a horror legend and his films will be remembered. In fact, he was recently remembered on Turner Classic Network for those we lost in 2016.

When I came out to Calgary, Canada to shoot Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania I thought this was the beginning of Lewis return to film, but sadly this ended up being his final film. It was a realization of a dream to be in Bloodmania; I was a big fan of Lewis and it was amazing to be leaving New York City to shoot in Canada. I am truly honored to have a celebrity cameo in his final epic film.

rsz_bm2I want to say what an honor it is to be included in a film by such a legendary film director of the horror genre! Lewis’ has made huge contributions to film! My favorites include Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, and Wizard of Gore so give them a watch next time your in the mood for some classic gore!

I arrived in December and was lucky enough to attend a special Meet and Great put together by James Saito, Vice-president of Development and Production at Diabolique Films and President at HGB Entertainment Ltd. I got to meet some of the brightest people in the Calgary independent film scene. It was wonderful to finally meet James Saito after speaking to him for such a long time about are mutual loves of horror, and filmmaking. I am very thankful for the opportunity to come out to Canada and get covered in blood!

rsz_bm3Then I had a very bloody photo shoot with the very talented photographer, Kenneth Locke. Angela White, Sara-Joy Goode, Donovan Cerminara, and I were part of an amazing promo photo shoot. I arrived, had my hair and makeup done by the skilled Ashley Godick, changed into something super sexy and then we were ready for some fun! It was a tantalizing blood orgy for the eyes! Horror fans can look forward to seeing Genoveva Rossi as you have never seen her before! It was a beautifully bloody mess of a shoot!

Next it was on to shoot my part for Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania! First I want to say what an honor it is to be included in a film by such a legendary film director of the horror genre! Lewis’ has made huge contributions to film! My favorites include Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, and Wizard of Gore so give them a watch next time your in the mood for some classic gore!

rsz_bm4One of the many of the high points of working on Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania was working with the amazing special effects expert David Trainor. Look for his work in the hit television show Fargo! It was amazing watching David in action! So much blood and gore for horror fans! It was also a pleasure to work closely with the multitalented James Saito.

When I learned of Lewis’ passing I cried. Perhaps we just all thought he was immortal. Certainly Lewis never planned on dying; he was simply too busy living. I am inspired that this was a man that lived creatively and fully up to the end and to the age of 86. He was a gentleman and a visionary who will never be forgotten. This horror queen is truly honored to be in his final film.

rsz_bm5Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website: http://www.genovevarossi.com

Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

News from the official press release!

rsz_bm6Herschell Gordon Lewis’ final film to be distributed by Monarch Films Inc.

Diabolique Films, and HGB Entertainment Ltd, are pleased to announce the signing of an exclusive worldwide distribution deal with Monarch Films Inc. for their horror anthology, “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania.”

“Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania” is the final film by legendary horror director Lewis, affectionately known as the “Godfather of Gore”, who passed away in late 2016, after a career in film spanning over fifty years.

“I am very excited to add Mr. Lewis’ final film to the quality package of new films we will be premiering at MIP 2017. We have already heard from many of our key TV and DVD buyers worldwide expressing their interest in licensing “BloodMania” for their territories. We will be making “BloodMania” available to horror fans worldwide via Amazon Prime and dozens of additional streaming platforms later this spring”. Art Skopinsky President,  Monarch Films

Diabolique Films and HGB Entertainment Vice President and Producer James Saito says, “It is extremely gratifying to work with Monarch Films to bring Herschell’s final film to his loyal international fan base, and to introduce his work to a whole new generation of horror fans.”

rsz_bm7The horror anthology film consists of four tales – each representing a different genre of classic horror cinema. Lewis himself described the film as, “… a perfect combination of horror and comedy”.

Mr. Lewis wrote and directed two segments. The other two were directed by Melanie Reinboldt and Kevin Littlelight. The anthology stars Roger LeBlanc, Stuart Bentley, Sonia Deleo and Caroline Buzanko.

A release date for “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania” will be announced shortly.

“All of my movies can be traced back to the work of H.G. Lewis”. Eli Roth (Director of “Cabin Fever”, “Hostel”, “”)

“A new film from Herschell Gordon Lewis is a treat for all horror fans!” Tom Holland (Director of “Fright Night”, “Child’s Play”)

Relevant Links:

Official Website: www.bloodmania.ca

IMDb:

Facebook:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BloodMania

Monarch Films: http://www.mfilms.com/

Diabolique Films: http://www.diaboliquefilms.com

HGB Entertainment Ltd: http://www.hgbfilms.ca

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website: http://www.genovevarossi.com

Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

A Life in Blood – Tales of a Horror Queen #9 – March 2017

genrossibannerA Life in Blood – Tales of a Horror Queen #9 – March 2017

rsz_gen1This horror queen had the recent unexpected honor of winning best actor Gold award at LA Shorts Awards film festivals for The Abducted. I found out about the win when director Larry Rosen posted it on Facebook. I met Larry Rosen in 2012 working on a project called Midnight Show. We exchanged contact info then years later Larry reached out when he had the perfect role for me.

Working with Genoveva Rossi is fun. She can identify the direction we are trying to take the [horror] film and brings in her brand of creepy horror to the role.”

The day we filmed The Abducted I awoke in New Jersey to the sound of screaming near my bedroom window. A while late there was a knock on my apartment door. In my normally peaceful neighborhood a man had been shot in front of my apartment and staggered over to the alley under my window where he died.

rsz_gen3Very upsetting news and my mind was scared and confused as I tried to get ready for my film shoot. I got outside and my car was parked in a crime scene. I called the director to let him know I would be a few minutes late because I had awoken to a murder and now the cops had to let me know when I could remove my car from a crime scene! A man shot probably a couple yards from my parked car. Unbelievable.

I got to the set of The Abducted already in a pretty intense, fearful mental state and perhaps that only helped be to focus for my performance as an abducted and abused woman who tries to fight back. I remember Larry Rosen saying on set that this was a pretty interesting filming story; art imitating life.

The Abducted has won 14 awards at film festivals so far including best short, actor, and director. It will also be part of Larry Rosen’s upcoming anthology feature Death At A Barbecue and Cries and Pleads.

rsz_gen7Genoveva has a good idea of what works in horror and how to implement it.” –Larry Rosen

Later Larry and I worked on You Can’t Predict Fate, which is a short going to film festivals. . I am the lead in this film and my character pays homage to Kathy Bates in Misery. I jumped at the chance to play such a disturbing character. I am a huge fan of Misery; I have read the book and seen the movie. Kathy Bates is so perfect in the role and an amazing actress in everything she does. It was great fun to get inside this role and let out my dark side. As an actress, I love playing unconventional female roles and I was honored that director Larry Rosen offered me the part..

As an actress in horror I want to see myself playing roles that express the darkness in the souls of women. Women capable of perhaps great love, but also great evil.” –Genoveva Rossi

rsz_gen2DEATH AT A BARBECUE (2017)
A group of friends get together for a barbecue. They decide to start telling horror stories around the fire. Although not everyone at the barbecue will make it home alive. As they tell stories, a killer begins to kill them off, one at a time. The feature acts as a wrap-around for an anthology of short films. The short films featured, have won combined, over 23 awards on the festival circuit.

Lloyd Kaufman and I also shot a cameo in Rosen’s upcoming feature Into The Outbreak. It’s a dramatic horror feature with zombies. The characters are really well developed and alive. It was fun acting in this with Hamza Zaman.

rsz_gen5INTO THE OUTBREAK (2017)
Macy and John are nearing the end of their relationship. Mandy and Steve just had a one night stand. Then an infectious outbreak starts turning people into cannibals. Now each of these survivors must deal with their issues as they attempt to survive the outbreak. Low on food, no law enforcement, infected cannibals eating people in the streets, fear grows of what is outside and what might come through the door next. Film is on the festival circuit and anticipating a dvd/vod release late Fall 2017.

The film business is all about building creative relationships and bringing the best out of each other. Films are a team effort and it’s always a pleasure to be part of director Larry Rosen’s team! Thanks for reading this month’s A Life In Blood: Tales of a Horror Queen! See you ghouls next month for more tales of horror.

rsz_gen6Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website www.genovevarossi.com
Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

A Life in Blood – Genoveva Rossi Interviews James Balsamo

rsz_gr6A Life in Blood – Genoveva Rossi Interviews James Balsamo

This horror queen recently filmed a few scenes on James Balsamo’s newest film, The Litch. I was on set two days playing a sexy fortuneteller in Acid Bath Productions newest horror comedy. We had a lot of fun shooting my scenes with the cast and crew. The Litch is a supernatural tale with chills and thrills. Dave Stein is “The Litch” makeup by James Balsamo, and teeth by Tom Fang

Then right after we shot my scenes I went to a resort in Mexico for some much needed sun and fun. Director James Balsamo moved to Los Angeles where he was able to secure a shoot with the great Tom Sizemore in record time! I am truly honored to be in The Litch with Sizemore. Also look for Acid Bath Productions film veteran and accomplished actor Robert Arensen (pictured) in The Litch with Tom Sizemore.

rsz_gr1While working on this article I reached out to Tom Sizemore and he asked that I mention that he is the ambassador for a film festival called Filmchella (filmcoachella.com), which will take place in California Sept 22-24. Sizemore is extremely passionate about this film festival so check out the website, submit your film, and attend.

Balsamo and I began our long horror relationship back in Oct 2011 when we had a scene together in a cornfield in Jennifer Valdes’ Jack ‘O’ Slasher. We became instant pals and in 2012 I acted in his now well known film I Spill Your Guts. That was a really challenging movie for me because it was my first big gore scene AND my first big romantic scene. But with our fearless director walking us through each scene with a sense of humor and calming disposition everything came together perfectly.

rsz_gr2Later we worked on Cool As Hell and when we shot my scenes my blood curdling screams brought two police cars to the scene. Balsamo called that a true testimony to my acting ability.

Next we shot Catch of the Day, which I play a hot tempered drug dealer in. Then it was Balsamo’s vampire flick Bite School that I play Suck-A-Rella in. My character was like a cross between Peg Bundy and a vampire. I had a super fun time shooting that one. Then I was a surfer in my red bikini and sunglasses for the recently released Killer Waves. Another fun day working with James Balsamo on another wacky and wild horror film. Working on one of his films is always an adventure!

Balsamo and I have also acted in a few films after Jack ‘O’ Slasher. In Sheriff Tom Versus the Zombies I play Jojo, the sex addicted séance leader and Balsamo was the hilarious Chad. In Manny Serano’s Blood Slaughter Massacre I play Angela Baker, a seasoned T.V. reporter and James is Ken my cameraman. We also pop up in Burn in Hell with Comic Book Men pal Ming Chen.

rsz_gr5A bunch of us genre actors have been working with James Balsamo for years and think of him as horror family: Bob Socci, Edward X. Young, Robert Arensen, Robert Youngren, and Jennifer Valdes. I think I speak for all of us when I say thanks for the screams, fake blood, and laughs. I hope to see James shortly in Los Angeles.

Actor and director James Balsamo and I discuss his life in horror:

1. What was it like working with Tom Sizemore on The Litch?

It was on honor working with Tom Sizemore! Tom was such a professional, and he gave me some amazing tips on some new blocking techniques. I guess you could say I’m a real block head now ha ha Ha!

rsz_gr32. What inspired you to become a horror director and actor? 

Tom Savini was my inspiration growing up. I read Tom’s “Grand Illusions” makeup books, and my love for Tom’s work and wanting to make creature features, and star in them really Spawned from that. I guess you could say Tom created one more monster by inspiring me. That’s why I was so honored when Tom Savini appeared in my film “Cool As Hell”, which we are currently filming a sequel to now!

3. What are some fun memories of working with me Genoveva Rossi?

Working with Genoveva is always a pleasure! We had a great time filming for “The Litch” in front of a waterfall that was featured in one of my favorite horror films “Alice, Sweet Alice”. Genoveva is always fun to have on set and always plays an amazing character in any of the films that she is in!

4. Where can fans find Killer Waves? And when can we expect The Litch? 

Killer waves my surf slasher masterpiece (I say masterpiece because it will leave you in pieces!) Is currently available at acidbathproductions.com! Look for my film “The Litch” featuring Dave Stein, Tom Sizemore, Genoveva Rossi, and yours truly James Balsamo coming out later this year!

rsz_gr45. How can fans keep up on your wild and exciting adventures?

Follow me on Twitter @acidBathproduct, or find me on Facebook! I am James Balsamo and I want to be your friend!
You can always see what conventions I’m gonna be at under appearances on acidbathproductions.com come see me in a town near you!

rsz_gr7Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website http://www.genovevarossi.com
Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

(The great pics with green screen are by StrongtreeImages.)

Genoveva Rossi Interviews Elvira PLUS A Festive Holiday Photo Shoot!!

genrossibannerElvira Mistress of the Dark book review and interview. Plus a special holiday photo shoot with horror queen Genoveva Rossi

This horror queen braved the cold to head out to New York City to meet up with Elvira and get a signed copy of her book. Previously I had met and interviewed the Mistress of the Dark at Walker Stalker. I am a huge fan of Elvira and I am deeply inspired by her story.

gr4This book isn’t simply a book though; it’s a big, beautiful, and heavy coffin table book filled with wonderful pictures and some quick passages to tell the story of Elvira. We learn how it all began with applying to be a horror host and the rest is horror history!

This book is a must buy for any Elvira fan. The book opens with her first photoshoot as Elvira and the development of her costume and look. We see photos from some of the most memorable shoots of her career and through those pictures we learn a bit more about the woman under that black wig. You see Elvira sexy, silly, and fun, but you also see pregnant Elvira and her as a mother. We get to read some short, personal stories from her 35 year career. A truly beautiful book for any fan of the horror genre, but it wouldn’t be complete without Elvira’s autograph so I suggest you find a way to meet Elvira.

About This Book. Celebrating 35 years of a cultural icon, this large format photo retrospective contains 240 pages filled with hundreds of photos of Elvira, from the very beginning of her career through present day – some never before seen. This is the ultimate collector’s book for fans of the “Mistress of the Dark.”

An interview with Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and horror icon (aka. Cassandra Peterson).

Genoveva: I just want to say as a horror actress and genre fan, Elvira has always been a true inspiration for me; a unique and amazing woman in horror. Great meeting you and thank you for your time. Elvira or Cassandra Peterson? What do you prefer to be called?

Elvira: Well yesterday Elvira and today Cassandra. It depends on what color my hair is.

Genoveva: Depending on how you are dressed. Do you ever get tired of dressing as Elvira? Do you wish you could be yourself more?

Elvira: I like being Elvira because it makes people happy. They love the character. The only bad part is the two hours of make-up, clothes and wig and that can get a little old.

gr5Genoveva: How long have you been Elvira?

Elvira: This year it’s 35 years.

Genoveva: Where do you see Elvira going in the future?

Elvira: I see her going home to bed and eating dinner. (haha) I don’t mean to brag, but I see Elvira has reached this iconic status. That Elvira is a strong image that can carry on without me with merchandizing and such.

Genoveva: So what are the plans for Cassandra?

Elvira: Oh me! Like I said sleeping and eating; all those things. Going on lots of vacations. I imagine I will be doing this for a few more years. As long as I can fit in my dress.

Genoveva: Would you ever want to do a movie about your life or autobiography?

Elvira: I am in the middle of my autobiography. I have been writing it forever. It’s going to be as thick as the bible. Just to mention I have a coffee table book coming of 35 years of all my photographs. From the first day to present. Awesome book; like an autobiography in photos. This you can get now and my biography who knows when I get time to finish writing it.

gr6Genoveva: If there was a movie of your life who would play you?

Elvira: I want to play me even if I’m 95. I will just do that whole Joan Rivers thing and play myself from 14 years old on up. Me or Lady Bunny.

Genoveva: I am a big fan of your films both Elvira Mistress of the Dark and Haunted Hills. Any plans to do more films?

Elvira: Plans for an Elvira animated television show. Animation is the way to go; I don’t have to look good. Don’t gave to dress up and I read the dialogue; I love it!

Genoveva: What was it like making out with Bob in the movie Elvira Mistress Of The Dark?

Elvira: It was awesome! Daniel Greene is so hot and an ex football player. We had a lot of fun. Just don’t tell my husband at the time.

Genoveva: Tell us a a bit about Coors,, which isn’t covered in the book.

Elvira: There are many books on the Coors company out there you can get. A very religious company, which is why they sold beer. When the company was at the top and during there largest advertising campaign with me the owner decided he saw demons in my new Elvira standee. People thought he was kidding and asked if the demons were green or red ones, but he said “out out” and that was the end of my campaign.

gr1-pngGenoveva: You are known for your assets. Any tips for fans?

Elvira: My advice for making your boobs look more like Elvira’s is to stuff everything you can find into your bra. Toss it all in even gym socks. Sometimes they look bigger than other times because I find more to put in there and other times less gets stuffed in.

Genoveva: Tell us a bit about the birth of Elvira.

Elvira: My friend Robert Redding. It was the 1970s, I was in NYC in a band called the Mamas Boys with seven gay men playing disco music at club in the village. Robert was part of the show; in addition to being an amazing singer and dancer he was also a brilliant artist.

Once I got the part as a horror hostess he designed the makeup and hair. He was a big fan of Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes and he wanted me to have hair likes hers. So I got my knowledge bump in my hair and he designed my dress. Robert was my best friend and sadly passed away during the AIDS epidemic. In fact, 6 of the 7 guys in the band ended up dying of AIDS. Pretty bad, right? That was very sad.

Robert Redding changed my life; he created the look for the character. I had input, but he was the artist. In the beginning of the book, Elvira Mistress Of The Dark you will see his sketches for it. His quick sketches only.. He did art for Broadway, Katherine Hepburn, Lions in Winter and so much more. He did the Elvira makeup for the first time on himself then did it on me.

gr2Genoveva: When did you realize the character of Elvira was here to stay?

Elvira: Things took off pretty quickly although I was pretty sure when I started that the show wouldn’t last a week. I was like this is not working I’m acting like a goofy valley girl and they want me to wear this outfit. This so doesn’t go together.

The first week of the show I had everyone calling me because my name was in the phone book. Yeah some of your readers may be old enough to remember using a phone book. Back then that was what you did. I had to change my number and I was like this is crazy.

The next thing I know I get invited on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. That was like the only talk show then and I was like something is happening here. It was and I had an actual job paying $300 a week, but it was a job.

Genoveva: Any amazing story and a spooktacular book. Any final thoughts to leave us with?

Elvira: Well yeah go to Elvira.com and check out everything I am up to. And I have a lot of merchandizing. You can find out where I am, what I’m doing, be my friend on Facebook. Be awesome; at The Real Elvira. Also on Twitter and Instagram. That would be awesome.

gr3As a special treat this month I did a fun and festive holiday themed photoshoot with photographer Jennifer Maggio and horror acting pal Robert Jackson (left). I loved my red velvet Christmas dress with animal print trim! Meow! Hope you enjoy the photos and happy holidays ghouls!

Thank you all for reading another installment of A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen! I hope you ghouls had as much fun as I did and stayed tuned for next month.

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website www.genovevarossi.com
Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

A Life in Blood – Genoveva Rossi Interviews Robert Mukes

genrossibannerHorror Queen Genoveva Rossi interviews the Great Robert Mukes from House of 1000 Corpses and Westworld

This horror queen recently had the pleasure of being a guest with horror legend Robert Mukes at two spooktacular horror conventions: Scare-a-con and Monsters and Robots. While at these incredibly busy events we managed to find a few moments to sit down and discuss Robert Mukes’ exciting acting career both in horror and in the mainstream acting world.

rmGenoveva: 1. You are an actor with an impressive background, but fans know you the most for House of 1000 Corpses. How did you come to meet Rob Zombie and to work on the film?

Mukes: I booked the role Rufus Jr, of House of 1000 corpses through the auditioning process, after I got the role I met Rob Zombie during the wardrobe fitting.

rm1Genoveva: 2. What was it like working with Rob Zombie? Any interesting stories?

Mukes: It was awesome working with Rob Zombie on House of 1000 Corpses. First of all it was a Universal Studios movie. Rob Zombie picked an amazing cast and he was extremely laid-back and professional to work with.

Genoveva: 3. Recently you acted in an episode of the new TV series Westworld? Tell readers a bit about your character and your time on set.

Mukes: Westworld was an amazing experience! From the cast, crew, catering service, and the actual seen that I participated in was amazing! I played a Behemoth Robot and I’ve got my fingers crossed to return for next season.

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Robert Mukes panel moderated by Genoveva Rossi at Monsters and Robots. Pic by Todd Staruch

Genoveva: 4. In addition to Westworld you’ve acted in Weeds, Justified, and Bone Tomahawk. Tell us a bit about what it was like being in these spectacular projects.

Mukes: I’ve been very fortunate to have worked on some big budget projects, and I’ve done some smaller budget projects as well that were just as amazing.

I just really enjoy acting! The excitement of hearing the director say action and then cut, that is such a thrill for me.

Genoveva: 5. Horror fans know and love you. In fact you travel the world going to horror conventions. It was an honor to be a guest with you at four conventions so far. What appearances do you have coming up? Where can fans go to follow your work?

Mukes: It was a pleasure seeing you at the conventions as well Genoveva. It was also lots of fun having you moderate a panel with me at Monsters and Robots recently. I anticipate my popularity in the convention scene increasing. My website is very user-friendly and is always current. – robertmukes.com

rm2Genoveva: 6. What upcoming horror films can readers look for you in?

Mukes: Coffin 2 and Valentine DayZ, are the only two at the current moment, but I anticipate many more as I continue my journey with health, fitness, and professionalism.

Genoveva: 7. Any final words to leave our horror readers with on you amazing career and your status as a legend of horror?

Mukes: I really enjoy being a part of the horror scene and I’m looking forward to meeting more fans and adding to my resume. Happy holidays everyone, and thank you for your time!

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Robert Mukes panel moderated by Genoveva Rossi at Monsters and Robots. Pic by Todd Staruch

Genoveva: Thank you all for reading another installment of A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen! I hope you ghouls had as much fun as I did and stayed tuned for next month. Happy holidays!

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Robert Mukes panel moderated by Genoveva Rossi at Monsters and Robots. Pic by Todd Staruch

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Scare-a-thon

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website: www.genovevarossi.com
Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

A Life in Blood – Tales of a Horror Queen #8 – Nov 2016

genrossibannerA Life in Blood – Tales of a Horror Queen #8 – Nov 2016

Traveling horror queen: Genoveva Rossi meets Sergio Stivaletti in Rome, Italy and is a guest at Fantasia in Montreal, Canada!

Genoveva Rossi is at café in Rome with the great Sergio Stivaletti

When recently on a beautiful trip to Rome, Italy this horror queen had the honor of meeting up with the great Sergio Stivaletti, whom lives in the ancient city. We met up twice to discuss his life in horror. It was a pleasure to meet up for pizza and espresso with a film legend.

Sergio Stivaletti is an Italian director, producer, make-up artist and one of the greatest European special effects experts. He is considered one of the pioneers in introducing computer effects to the silver screen. During the rich 30-year career on film, television and theatre, he worked on more than 50 movies with some of the biggest names of Italian cinematography, like Dario Argento, Michele Soavi, Lamberto Bava, Roberto Benigni and Gabriele Salvatores. He also runs  Fantastic Forge: Special Effects and Applied Arts School.

Sergio said Dario Argento’s Creepers was really his starting point and his first important work. He got to really create and experiment to create the amazing special effects in the film. Jennifer Connelly was very young and very nice to work with. Looking back Sergio wished that they had been able to connect more on set, but he was so deeply involved in his consuming work on the film.

genrosnov2Also working on Demons and Demons 2 were great experiences. He recalls Demons as being a wonderful challenge for him at the time. He started doing more difficult effects in this film and using animatronics. Argento’s Opera really stands out for him too. He worked on some amazing digital effects with Asia Argento that were really unique for films in Italy at that time. In a short time his career became very rich and diverse.

Wax Mask is the first film Sergio Stivaletti directed and Dario Argento produced. Originally Lucia Fulci had been chosen to direct the film, but he sadly died before he could direct the film. It was intended to be a team of Argento and Fulci, but Fulci died. It was a tough film to direct, but Sergio put a lot of himself into it. In fact much of it was shot in his home and workshop. It was an important film for Stivaletti because it was the start of something new in his career; directing.

With his extensive experience, Stivaletti still has his heart very much in horror and he has a a unique project currently in development. He wants to remake Bela Lugosi’s Devil Bat from 1940. He wants to bring new life to this classic film. Also Sergio is working on an artistic horror film called The Muse. He is trying to do something very different and exciting in the horror genre. He believes in using both the digital effects and practical effects to create the best of both worlds.

genrosnov3We often forget that horror movies are art. This is especially true with the special effects.  It is like a cross between being an artist and a mad scientist. –Sergio Stivaletti

For many years I have been a huge fan of Dario Argento and Italian horror. In fact years ago I had been in the audience at the Italian Horror Panel at the Chiller Theatre Expo in New Jersey. Sergio Stivaletti was part of that panel. Now years later  it was spectacular to get to meet up and speak with him in Italy. Bellissimo!

Fantasia 2016

This year was my second year as a guest at Fantasia in Montreal, Canada. For those of you who don’t know of this two week long film festival it is accurate to say it is the “Sundance of horror film festivals”. It is an opportunity for me to see some of the best and brightest new films of the genre. Here are some reviews of the films I saw.

genrosnov5Kaijyu Mono
This film clearly was intended to pay homage  to classic Japanese monster movie. Think Godzilla. I grew up on Godzilla so I found this film a fun reminder of my childhood. I loved that it was virtually untouched by modern special effects and that the monster was obviously just a guy in a monster suit stepping on a train set. If you love camp and this genre the film will be monsterous fun to watch.

Train to Busan
This was one of the strongest films I saw at Fantasia. Just when I thought the zombie genre was getting a bit overdone I see this film and I am captivated once again. This film falls under the category of dramatic horror. The characters are very well developed and this is a tearjerker of a zombie film. The story reminded me so much of an old film starring Sophia Loren called Cassandra’s Crossing, which is about a person carrying a deadly virus and getting on a train. I would be shocked if that writer hadn’t seen that film since they are essentially the same film, but with zombies.

genrosnov6The Unseen
This was an interesting family drama with the focus on a man and his daughter. Things get a bit odd when we realize that they are both quickly becoming transparent and that this is actually a modern interpretation of The  Invisible Man. The acting was solid and the special effects amazing. Some of my favorite moments has to do with an Asian herbalism as a pliable cure. My eyes I need to start taking herbal remedies.

Shelley
A dark, Gothic tale of exactly how far a childless couple will go to have a baby. Perhaps to hell and back. This film  is reminiscent of Rosemary’s Baby and packs a bunch. A rich, peculiar couple pays their immigrant maid to carry their child. The maid is badly in need of money to provide for her family back home and to be reunited with her child. It’s an offer she cannot pass up, but has she made a deal with the Devil?

genrosnov7Embers
Set in the future a virus has infected the world and everyone exposed to it has lost their long and short term memory. Human history has essentially been wiped out and people now have as much memory as my of goldfish. All new experiences are fleeting since no one can remember much from one day to another. The film focuses on a young couple trying to figure out what they may have been to each other before the virus; siblings, friends, lovers, spouses? What are their names? Who are they? Thee only people unaffected are a father and daughter in an underground bunker and they seem the sole historians of human history and culture. This film seem to ask: even  without memory, does love still find a way to blossom in the human soul?

Man Underground
A eccentric man decides to film an  autobiographical film about his work with UFOs and government conspiracy. He casts his best friend and a local waitress as leads then starts shooting. He tells these extraordinary stories of coming face to face with aliens and spaceships. He believes the government wants him dead for what he’s seen and what he knows this the film is needed to release this secret information to the public. The audience is left wondering until the end if he is a paranoid nut or a man on a quest to reveal the truth.

genrosnov8Let Me Make You A Martyr
As I approached the theater I couldn’t help, but notice the line around the corner of Marilyn Manson fans costumed in black  waiting to see this film. And Manson’s performance didn’t disappoint. Evidently this film was a labor of love and took years of work to get it pulled together and Manson was brought in as supporting cast a mere  two days before they shot his scenes. With a short amount of time to prepare for the role this Antichrist Superstar rose to the occasion and nailed a cleverly unstated performance as a hired assassin. It was a unique film with great style and  with a host of interesting characters. Afterwards filmgoers described Marilyn Manson as their favorite part of the film and only wished he had more screen time.

The Greasy Strangler
This was a really, really wacky horror comedy about a guy that absolutely loves to eat super greasy food then strangle people. Yeah, pretty wacky. The style seems to be very 1970s. If a prize was awarded for the most bizarre comedic nude scenes in a film this movie  would win it for the full frontal nudity of men. If you like penises and your like silly movies this is your film.

I had another great year at Fantasia. The people, the films, and the festival are always great. I look forward to next year! Save some Poutine for me eh?

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website: www.genovevarossi.com<http://www.genovevarossi.com/> [2]
Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen – A Tribute to Herschell Gordon Lewis

genrossibannerA Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen – A Tribute to Herschell Gordon Lewis

A true legend of the horror genre has left us. I am saddened to hear of the passing of the “Godfather of Gore”, Herschell Gordon Lewis. I was assured that he left this world peacefully at the age of 87. This horror queen is honored to have acted in his upcoming final film, “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania”. Today we speak with the producer of his final film, James Saito. Saito isn’t simply a producer though; he is also the Vice President of Development/Production for Diabolique Films, the film division of Diabolique Magazine, a lifelong horror fan, and was a close friend of Lewis.

Interview with Producer James Saito

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5297304/?ref_=ttfc_fc_wr3

grhgl11. What was the first Herschell Gordon Lewis’ film you saw and how old were you?

My Uncle took me to a drive-in where I saw, “The Wizard of Gore”. I would have been ten years old, but the film opened my eyes to a new kind of horror – very bloody horror! It was an epiphany for me, and provided me with an affection for splatter which has stuck with me all these years later.

2. How did you come to meet and end up working with Lewis on “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania”?

I was volunteering as a guest booker and head of marketing and promotion for a horror convention, and I received an email wondering if we would be interested in having Herschell attend. I was stunned. I stood looking at my phone trying to digest what I was reading, my hand began shaking. I called and spoke to Herschell about arrangements, and we ended up chatting for quite some time. I told him of my lifelong love of his films (he could listen to that sort of thing all day)…

grhgl5He then proposed that we make a film together. We decided that we would produce a script he had written some years earlier entitled, “Mr. Bruce and the Gore Machine” A.K.A. “The Stainless Steel Butcher”. Things progressed, we had found investors but some interference from an outside source made these investors nervous. It was back to the drawing board. I thought I would let things settle for a few months, and approach it again.

One evening I was at a theatre for a Raven Banner one night screening of a film. They showed a short horror film before the feature, and it was not very good at all. “A guy has to be able to do better than that”, I remember thinking to myself – that was when the idea for an anthology film took hold.

3. How has knowing Lewis so closely affected your life? What wisdom has he given you?

Where does one start? From a business and marketing standpoint he was a wealth of knowledge. Herschell had a saying, “it’s called show BUSINESS, we are here to make money”. That may or may not be my own stance on the matter, but he is entirely correct.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

During production I was guilty of watching his every move, trying to burn the experience into my memory. The man was being accurate when he stated in interviews, “Two words that you will never hear on my set – Take two”. He knew the shots he wanted, and he was usually satisfied with one take. By today’s standards this means no extra coverage which is an editor’s nightmare. You are left with very linear storytelling, but I wasn’t overly concerned, fans expect this, and indeed treasure this about his work.

I am writing this a day after his passing, so I am heartbroken and probably still in shock somewhat. There are so many wonderful memories for me to take to the grave with me:

Listening to Herschell recite a selection from, “A Shropshire Lad” by English poet Alfred Edward Housman:

“When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
‘Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.
And I am two-and-twenty
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true”.

So moved was he that he wept during his recitation.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Herschell was a gentleman of the kind that this society rarely produces anymore. He was a kind and gentle soul. I always smiled when I was in his room late at night looking at dailies, before bed he would call his wife Margo and do that thing all of us guys do. At the end of the call he would lower his voice and say, “I love you” to her hoping that no one else would hear.

He told me about a time when he was around the age I am now. He was in a bad way, as men our age can be sometimes. He considered his film career over, there was no place to harness his creativity. He was working a job he didn’t particularly care for, and was admittedly at the lowest point in his life. Thoughts of suicide had even crossed his mind briefly, but he said he couldn’t do that to his children.

Then one day out of the blue a woman walked into the office where he worked and changed his life forever. He went on to marry this young woman Margo, and he said she was the best thing that ever happened to him. They shared everything together.

One day Herschell sat beside me, put his arm around me and said, “Jim, what I want most for you is to find a woman who can be your partner in life and in business just like Margo and I have”. He knew of a deep and abiding love that I had for a woman of our mutual acquaintance, and that we had recently gone our separate ways. He wanted so badly to play Cupid, but I kept telling him to leave it alone. Two days before his passing he was still inquiring about her and hoping for good news.

I recall a time that he asked me, “Do you know what made me want to work with you”? I told him I had no idea, but his reply was, “Because you have a command of the English language”. My response was, “Really, that’s all it took”?

Recording the opening theme to BloodMania which Herschell wrote entitled, “Gory Story” was an unbelievable thrill. I got to sing some backup vocals on the chorus. When we walked into the studio a band was waiting to record, we had lyrics and only an idea of the kind of arrangement we were looking for. 90 minutes later the song was in the can. The amazing part was watching Herschell sitting at a piano and basically writing the song on the spot.

grhgl2He was an exceptional piano player, and believed that a home wasn’t a home without a piano in it. He made me promise to buy one, even if I never learned to play. I will honor this promise when I move into the home where I will spend the rest of my days’

Sometimes a situation or scene would have to be reworked for any number of reasons. One day an entire scene had to be scrapped and a new one written. The two of us wrote four pages in half an hour. The creative flow that we shared that day is something I will always treasure.

The last time I saw him in person he was in a wheel chair at the airport because his knee was giving him grief. The last words he spoke to me were, “I love you Jim”. I told him I loved him too, bent down and kissed him on the forehead.

Herschell once said to me, “Occasionally a person comes into your life, and they are an “Architect of Destiny”. He went on to explain that some people have a direct impact on a person, shaping and altering the rest of their existence. He has certainly been such an architect with me.

There were still so many things left unsaid. I hope he knew how much gratitude I had for the privilege of spending so much time with him, the difference he made in my personal outlook on many levels, and that for too brief a time I was able to be that ten year old boy again watching one of my heroes in action.

4. What can you tell fans about Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania, the legend’s final film? Any idea when to look for it? Where can fans find updates?

Diabolique Films stance on this is that we were never in any rush to just get the film released ASAP. Behind the scenes there are a great many projects and planning that has been taking place. We are looking at becoming a horror film distributor ourselves. I think though that the decision about release has become moot with Mr. Lewis’ passing. I have been deluged by emails from interested parties all day, and we will make a formal announcement as soon as I sign the paperwork.

Updates on the film can be found at:

Official Website: www.bloodmania.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloodManiaMovie/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BloodMania

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3995464/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

grhgl45. Any experiences on set you’d like to share with readers?

A great many, but they are going to have to wait until the release of the Special Edition Blu-Ray for those. We are getting ready to shoot new interviews, commentaries, and put together some behind the scenes footage that will blow fans minds. I promise every fan of Herschell’s work that this will be one bonus feature packed disc for the ages!

6. Any final thoughts on Herschell Gordon Lewis and the legacy he leaves behind?

As Herschell always said, “the crystal ball is murky”, it would be hard for me to predict how he will be remembered in generations to come. He did invent the “Splatter Film”, and is “The Godfather of Gore” no one can ever take that away from him. For those who knew him he will be remembered for his sagacity and his humanity. The world needs many more men like Herschell Gordon Lewis, not one less.

I want to say it was a huge honor to be an actress in “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania”. Thank you James for your time and words. May Lewis’ legacy and memory live on through us, the horror fans!

Also tune in next month for another chilling installment of A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen and hear more about my life in horror!

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my new website: www.genovevarossi.com [2]
Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

A Life In Blood – Tales of A Horror Queen by Genoveva Rossi #7 – Walker Stalker & an Exclusive Interview with Elvira

genrossibannerA Life In Blood – Tales of A Horror Queen by Genoveva Rossi #7 – Walker Stalker and an Exclusive Interview with Elvira

grws4As I approached the location of the New Jersey Walker Stalker Convention I was a bit taken aback by the the line of cars down the road anxiously waiting to get inside. I knew horror fans all over the world loved The Walking Dead, but I didn’t realize quite how much evidently. After parking a long walk away from the convention center I then noticed the line to get in and was thankful The Digital Dead got me a press pass.

Inside fans were waiting on long lines for hours to meet Walking Dead star Norman Reedas. Last year while in New Jersey Reedas was bitten by an eager or perhaps hungry female fan. It amazes me that women happily wait on line 6 or 8 hours to meet him as though they will climax once they are face to face with him.

grws2All press was forbidden to interview any current members of the cast due to The Walking Dead’s fear of any spoilers accidentally going to print so my interviews with cast mostly focused on those that has died on the show. I found that every actor felt very differently about their character being killed. Walker Stalker was a fun filled weekend for fans of The Walking Dead and zombie enthusiasts. It was a great event.

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and horror icon (aka. Cassandra Peterson). I just want to say as a horror actress and genre fan, Elvira has always been a true inspiration for me; a unique and amazing woman in horror.

Genoveva: Great meeting you and thank you for your time. Elvira or Cassandra Peterson? What do you prefer to be called?

Elvira: Well yesterday Elvira and today Cassandra. It depends on what color my hair is.

grws1Genoveva: Depending on how you are dressed. Do you ever get tired of dressing as Elvira? Do you wish you could be yourself more?

Elvira: I like being Elvira because it makes people happy. They love the character. The only bad part is the two hours of make-up, clothes and wig and that can get a little old.

Genoveva: How long have you been Elvira?

Elvira: This year it’s 35 years.

Genoveva: Where do you see Elvira going in the future?

Elvira: I see her going home to bed and eating dinner. (haha) I don’t mean to brag, but I see Elvira has reached this iconic status. That Elvira is a strong image that can carry on without me with merchandising and such.

grws3Genoveva: So what are the plans for Cassandra?

Elvira: Oh me! Like I said sleeping and eating; all those things. Going on lots of vacations. I imagine I will be doing this for a few more years. As long as I can fit in my dress.

Genoveva: Would you ever want to do a movie about your life or autobiography?

Elvira: I am in the middle of my autobiography. I have been writing it forever. It’s going to be as thick as the bible. Just to mention I have a coffee table book coming out Oct 1st of 35 years of all my photographs. From the first day to present. Awesome book; like an autobiography in photos. That will be this Oct and my biography who knows; when I get time to finish writing it.

grws6Genoveva: I am a big fan of your films both Elvira Mistress of the Dark and Haunted Hills. Any plans to do more films?

Elvira: Plans for an Elvira animated television show. Animation is the way to go; I don’t have to look good. Don’t have to dress up and I read the dialogue; I love it!

Genoveva: Any final thoughts to leave us with?

grws5Elvira: Well yeah go to Elvira.com and check out everything I am up to. And I have a lot of merchandising. You can find out where I am, what I’m doing, be my friend on Facebook. Be awesome; at The Real Elvira. Also on Twitter and Instagram. That would be awesome.

All pictures kindly from Stas Pix !!

A Life In Blood – Tales of A Horror Queen by Genoveva Rossi #6 – Apocalypse Kiss Exclusive!

apock1A Life In Blood – Tales of A Horror Queen by Genoveva Rossi #6 – Apocalypse Kiss Exclusive!

Apocalypse Kiss was just re-released and it now available online on Amazon Prime so I thought it would be a great time to talk about the film, interview the star D.C. Douglas and director Christian Jude Grillo. Apocalypse Kiss is a different kind of film for me; it encompasses the sci-fi, suspense and horror genres.

It was not only a chance for me to play a part completely different that anything I had done before, but it was also a chance to be in a film with such talents as Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Tom Atkins (Lethal Weapon), and D. C. Douglas (Resident Evil). I play Clara, a very pregnant hippie working at a café the main characters have some important scenes at. It was a challenging role that included me giving birth on film.

I remember walking onto the set and seeing D. C. Douglas for the first time. I have to admit he looked rather striking as his serial killer character Adrian. For the role, Douglas has his hair dyed a gorgeous shade of blonde and he was bronzed with a luminous fake tan over his whole body. On set, I decided to go over and introduce myself to Douglas. At first, he thought we had already met because I looked so familiar to him. Then it hit him, he had seen me before! He’d seen the footage of my birth scene. He told me that I did a great job and that “no one gives birth like you Genoveva.” I was very flattered that such an accomplished actor was impressed by my work.

apock7It was such an fantastic experience working with the entire cast and crew of this film. Christian Jude Grillo is a great director. His wife Carmela Hayslett Grillo and Tammy Jean were wonderful as the lesbian murderers that add a lot of spice to the film. Their scenes are very edgy, and disturbing.

“It was one of the best experiences I ever had working on a film. Everyone on the cast and crew were so in sync with each other. We all supported each other and helped each other. We were like one, big, creative, happy family,” recalled Carmela Hayslett Grillo.

“Well, it was cold! lol I swear it was colder inside than outside. But those are the sacrifices you make on a small budget film. We had heaters but they made so much noise you couldn’t use them when you were filming. I remember the coldest night was the sex scene with Plex and it was daylight savings time so by the time we left that night it was like 4 am. And everyone kept asking me between takes if I was OK, and I just kept saying, I’m fine, just keep shooting. But you couldn’t have picked a better set to fit the movie. That old mill was perfect and they completed transformed parts of the inside at times for different scenes. I was flattered Christian took a chance on me because it was my first major speaking role. It definitely will always be remembered as the kick off acting wise for any roles to come for me in the future,” remembers Tammy Jean.

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Tom Atkins

An Interview with D.C. Douglas

Genoveva – How did you come to get involved in the film Apocalypse Kiss?

D.C.: I got an offer to be in it via my agent. Out of the blue! Turned out it was due to Carmela Hayslett who was a fan of my work as a voice over actor in the “Resident Evil” franchise. I voice the villain Albert Wesker. They offered me the choice of two roles and I opted for the delicious role of Adrian.

Genoveva – This was a really unique role for you and you give a powerful performance. A serial killer with OCD and you do have a sexy scene or two in the film. You looked fabulous as Adrian. Tell us a bit about how you prepared for the role?

D.C.: Well shucks! Thank you. Well, knowing my butt would be seen on camera I immediatly set up a training schedule in the gym and got my middle-aged body into something film-able over the 6 months prior. Closer to the production dates I mentioned to the director that since the film is futuristic and the only reason I’m in it is because they loved me as Albert Wesker – why not have me blonde like him? They were stoked so I went VERY blonde and tanned up, as well. I was going to change my eye color but one of the contacts didn’t fit right so I said, “cool! He’s like David Bowie, but he hates his ugly brown eye!”

The director, Christian Grillo, was very cool to work with and gave me freedom with my dialogue (I had a lot of long lines, etc) so I was able to explore Adrian’s quirks and desires even deeper. And having the couple months with the final script helped out a lot. Very different than my TV gigs and especially voice overs.

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DC Douglas

Genoveva – What were some highlights of working on the film?

D.C.: Having the costumer from the film “Tommy” dress me?! That was cool. To be honest, I loved every bit of it. The whole crew and cast were great to hang with and Christian’s ingenuity with camera and sets is astounding. And so damn smart. They rented an abandoned mill and converted it into a multi-level film studio!

Genoveva – I was recently on a date with a Resident Evil fan and he was a big fan of yours. Can you tell us a bit about your amazing career? Perhaps some of the things you are most proud of.

D.C.: You’re very kind, but I think of my career as your average unknown actor career in LA! Aside from AK, I really am excited to see “Isle of the Dead” on SyFy later this year. I play the main antagonist in this and had a blast being rather neurotic and dangerous. I also am very proud of my film short, “The Crooked Eye,” which is narrated by Academy Award winner Linda Hunt. You can find it on iTunes. TV wise there’s Boston Common – a sitcom in the 90’s where I played “DC” in 11 episodes. In voice over, I always have to tip my hat to “Resident Evil” and “Mass Effect” since they brought me so many fans. And, of course, my first and only series regular role as Chase on “Transformers: Rescue Bots!”

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Tammy Jean and Carmela Hayslett Grillo

Genoveva – Also let us know what to look for you in and how to follow you. What are some of your current projects and where are you appearing?

D.C. I mentioned “Isle of the Dead” with Joey Lawrence, Maryse MIzanin and myself. I have a small disturbing cameo in “Smartass” with Joey King. I can also be seen in the recently released “KILD TV” as Milton/Dr Preseco. That’s a fun one for horror fans. You find out more about upcoming projects at www.dcdouglas.com, on twitter @DC_Douglas and on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mrdcdouglas

An Interview With Director Christian Jude Grillo

Genoveva – Why is your background in filmmaking? How did you get started?

Christian: I started with a background in music. When not in a band, the music that I composed in the earliest days of computer recording sounded most like soundtracks to a film. I always loved the way that music played an integral part of telling a story. Wanting to do a film score wasn’t enough. I needed a film to score. So I wrote and produced my first feature film “Belial”. This was the beginning of my film career.

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Michael Berryman

Genoveva – Can you tell us about about how the original idea for the script was born? What was your creative process?

Christian: We had finished Deer Crossing, our film with Doug Bradley and Ernie Hudson. As happy as I was with this movie, I felt that I hadn’t reached for the stars yet (mind the pun) and I felt that as a director/writer I was ready to go big or stop trying. My favorite genre has always been Sci-Fi, but “dark” Sci-Fi. I have always been utterly impressed by Richard Stanley’s film HARDWARE. This was a low budget concept that honestly is amazing visually and creates a distopian world with small sets and a perfect soundtrack. It’s a metal head’s sci-fi. But doing another “Hardware” kind of film would not be enough at this point in time, I wanted the BIG PICTURE feel.

I wanted BLADE RUNNER. So I began to write a pre-apocalypse film with the heart of Hardware and the Look of a “poor man’s” Blade Runner. The only problem with was, there isn’t as much of an outlet for free press for indie Sci-Fi as there is for horror, so… I had to write in a horror element, that’s where the battling serial killers came into play. I have an odd way of writing… I come up with a name first and build the story from it. With a name like Apocalypse Kiss, the story had to be “end world”, “sexy” and and stylish.

Genoveva – One of the most striking things about this film is how visually stunning it is. Tell us a bit about the construction of sets, art direction, and wardrobe design.

Christian: Well, if I was gonna go big… I had to really give it everything I had. This means that using the world around me would not be enough. There had to be completely fabricated locations in this movie that set it apart from the normal everyday. The sets in Apocalypse Kiss are characters in themselves. In the entire film we constructed nine sets, two of these sets were over 40 feet long. Here’s the problem, we only had about three thousand dollars to build all of these sets. The majority of the sets were built out of cheap construction materials. I scheduled the shooting days so that we could tare down a set and use it’s pieces to construct new ones during production.

The art design was that of an aged world that lost it’s infrastructure. I wanted the sets of Apocalypse Kiss to feel used, rusted and held together like a flea market vending area. This look and design also works well when you have no money.

As far as the wardrobe goes, I felt that I can’t build a new world without creating the look and fashion of it’s people. I hired a local well known wardrobe designer Leonard Pollack to handle the fabrication of some of the special pieces like “The Wizard’s Robe”. Leonard was also responsible for wardrobe management on each shooting date based off of a wardrobe chart that I put together for him. One of the other notable things about Apocalypse Kiss is that every person in the movie was in a wardrobe that either I or Leonard put together. There were 35 extras and over 20 cast members in Apocalypse Kiss so that was no small task.

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Genoveva Rossi

Genoveva – You assembled a truly amazing cast including: Michael Berryman, Tom Atkins and D. C. Douglas. What was the casting process like? Any fun stories you’d like to share from set?

Christian: Well as you can imagine we didn’t have a lot of budget for big names, but I wanted some recognizable faces in the film to help it sell. We decided in true Apocalypse Kiss fashion to go for many small genre names instead of a couple bigger names. The Name Genre cast was made up of D.C. Douglas (a video game voice over legend), Lloyd Kaufman (The godfather of indie film making and my personal hero), Michael Berryman (Horror Icon/Sci-Fi legend), Tom Atkins (Hollywood Cop), and Steven Blum (another great cartoon and video game name). I figured with this ensemble of genre players I had a better chance of spreading the word at conventions than any other in my league. As far as funny stories….Lloyd Kaufman came onto set shooting his own behind the scenes short film for Troma about the level of our low budget set building. You can see this at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAzCqAwCEg4

Genoveva –  What do you think makes Apocalypse Kiss unique in the world of indie film?

Christian: I like to believe that the story is unique, most people get distracted trying to judge the film against the likes of multi million dollar films like Blade Runner, Equilibrium, Star wars, and so on. I heard comparisons of all kinds. But the fact is, the world that we created in AK is the backdrop. The characters of Apocalypse Kiss and the story they tell are what I think are unique. Future killers with different agendas fighting for their own piece of a dying world and a broken cop caught in the middle. Tie in the fact that the entire budget of Apocalypse Kiss was $35,000 and that makes it the most unique movie on the planet. Show me a film made for that budget that’s as ambitious.

Genoveva – Where can film fans see Apocalypse Kiss?

Christian: Well with our New Distributor SGL Entertainment, Apocalypse Kiss is now available on AMAZON Prime. It will also be available for purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD this January.

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Pregnant Genoveva with some of cast

Genoveva –  Tell us a bit about your creative collaborations with your wife Carmela Hayslett-Grillo and the future of Potent Media.

Christian: Carmela and I have always taken on many different roles on each others projects. Sometimes we co-write, sometimes we co-direct. She plays different roles in my films that I direct and I shoot her short films and web series.

As far as what is coming in the future, I am beginning production of my first TV Series, LAW OF PERDITION that will be going direct to Amazon Prime through our distributor SGL Entertainment. Carmela is beginning production simultaneously on ROXSY’s HOUSE OF HORRORS, her new web series that is a docu-comedy in the style of Modern family and the office with the Horror/Comedy antics of the Roxsy Tyler team.