A Life in Blood – Horror Queen Genoveva Rossi Sits Down With Horror Icon Sid Haig

genrossibannerrsz_sh1Horror Queen Genoveva Rossi Sits Down With Horror Icon Sid Haig

I was truly honored to be a guest with Sid Haig at Monsters and Robots in New Jersey, Scare-a-con in New York State, Scare-a-con in New England, and at Mad Monster Party in South Carolina. In South Carolina it was an epic treat to see him a marry some horror fans dressed up as Captain Spaulding. Oh yeah, in addition to being an actor he is an ordained minister.

Genoveva: Amazing meeting with the great Sid Haig today. We are both in Death House, which is a film developed by Gunnar Hansen of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Were you friends with Gunnar Hansen?

rsz_sh2Haig: Yes we were friends and had known each other at least ten years. He was a good guy. I am excited about it actually.

Genoveva: Everyone that is anyone in horror seems to be in it: you, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Dee Wallace, Barbara Crampton, Adrienne Barbeau, Bill Oberst Jr, . . .the list goes on and on. I am honored to have a cameo.

Haig: And Vernon Wells. Yes everyone is in Death House.

Genoveva: So Sid I think everyone would be curious to know what your first acting role was and when?

rsz_sh3Haig: When I was about 12 years old I played the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

Genoveva: Very cute

Haig: That’s how I am. I just do things. I see something and I do it.

Genoveva: A fascinating part of your film career is your work in black exploitation films especially working with Pam Grier.

Haig: That’s not work haha. We did six films together. The director found her working as a secretary and came up to her. He actually talked her into becoming an actress.

Genoveva: Amazing here you are an actor since childhood and Pam Grier had to be convinced to go into acting. And then you ended up in six films together. It’s interesting how everyone gets into acting for different reasons.

rsz_sh4Haig: I actually got into acting as a kid because I was growing so fast I had no coordination so I couldn’t do sports so I got involved in the theater! Then my parents wanted me to take dance classes. I know ballet, tap, jazz, and more stuff. I have danced in a number of films.

Genoveva: Tell me a bit about how you came to meet Rob Zombie and get cast in House off A Thousand Corpses?

Haig: Rob Zombie was a big fan of Jason of Star Command a TV series that aired 1978-1981 and I scared him in the show. Rob said to himself if I ever make a movie I am putting that guy in it and when he was casting his film he reached out and offered me a role.

rsz_sh5Genoveva: What was it like working with Rob Zombie?

Haig: He was great; really laid back and lets you do what you want, gets out of the way, and lets you do your job.

Genoveva: He puts a lot of trust in his actors.

Haig: And that’s how a director should work. You can the right people and then let them do their job.

Genoveva: Tell our readers a bit about what it was like working on House of a 1000 Corpses? And playing Captain Spaulding?

Haig: I met Karen Black at the premiere. Unfortunately, we had no scenes together and shot on different days. The clown character has become the role I am most known for. People think it was my first role, but it was probably my 100th. Now all these years later I go to conventions and see people dressed up as Captain Spaulding, with t-shirts, hats, and even tattoos. It’s amazing. There must be 100,000 people with Captain Spaulding tattoos. I go to Spain they’re there, Germany they’re there; all over the world.

rsz_sh6credit_-_todd_staruchGenoveva: What was being on set like?

Haig; Well the companion disk for House of 1000 Corpses is called 30 Days in Hell because for 30 days we worked in 103 degree heat. I developed an appreciation for women that waxed. With all the dried blood on my chest and body I was ripping out my body hair every time I took off my shirt. My nipples were hard and painful. It took 45 minutes to brush the crap off my teeth.

Genoveva: What was is like working with Ginger Lynn? I was on her radio show once about a year ago and I have to admit you came up when we were discussing our experiences doing sex scenes in films.

Haig: Again, that’s not work. I have the most pre-eminent porn stars of the 1980s riding me like it was the Kentucky Derby. I remember telling Rob Zombie that I have to wear my underwear for this because if I go skin to skin with her it’s going to be a whole different type of movie. Haha. I told Rob I wanted to do something in my sex scene that would piss off every woman watching; leave my socks on during sex. Sex is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. You help another person undress and when it’s over you dress yourself.

rsz_sh7credit_-_todd_staruchGenoveva: That’s a good point Sid. Everyone’s on their good side until they’ve gotten what they’ve wanted. Haha

Genoveva: Looking back at your long career and everything you’ve done what is the one thing you’d want to be the most remembered for?

Haig: Wow! (pause) Spider Baby. When I was a kid I would wake up Saturday morning and watch Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolfman then all of a sudden there I am working with him. For the first couple days I couldn’t even speak. He loosened me up and became my mentor actually. He taught me a lot and gave me some good advice I appreciated at the time. I was a huge fan of Universal Studio Monster Movies and would rush out to see them when they came out. That is my best moment in film and what I’d like to be remembered for.

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.

Yours in screams,
Genoveva Rossi

Pictures 6 & 7 credited to Todd Staruch

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

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 42: The Russian Sleep Experiment

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA – PART 42: THE RUSSIAN SLEEP EXPERIMENT

There are a small handful of Creepypasta stories that have taken on an almost mythic quality with fans. Stories that are so highly regarded, so captivating, that they become an integral building block of the community. I’m not just talking cool characters (which is arguably the appeal of the likes of Slenderman or Jeff the Killer), I’m referring to stories that capture the imaginations of the reader and become a form of internet mythology, actually disseminated as fact by some.

One of the most popular – and chilling – of these is The Russian Sleep Experiment.

The earliest incidence of it online that I can find is this post on 8 August 2009 at Rip&47’s WordPress blog here (https://rip747.wordpress.com/2009/08/08/russian-sleep-experiment-the-best-short-story-ive-read/) However, I have also seen claims that it was first posted on 4chan by a user named Orange Soda in May of that year (http://i.imgur.com/l9znS.png) The story itself details a scientific experiment conducted in Russia in the late 1940s. The subjects of the experiment were prisoners, extracted from jail and promised their freedom in exchange for their participation, if they were to stick at the project for the full 30-day duration.

rsz_russian-sleep-experiment-1The doctors conducting the experiment had a simple aim — to test a stimulant gas designed to keep subjects awake and simultaneously monitor the effects of sleep deprivation. Five inmates were selected and sealed within an airtight chamber, where they were observed via a two-way mirror.
The first few days passed without incident, however, the subjects’ attitudes changed around Day Five. First they became irritable, then paranoid as they turned on one another. On the ninth day some of the subjects started to scream, running back and forth gripped with a manic energy. More disconcerting still was that some proceeded to rip the pages from the books provided, plastering them to the two-way mirror using their own excrement. And then they fell silent.

Unable to monitor the events inside the chamber, the scientists were unsure how to proceed. Finally, after three days of silence, they communicated with the subjects via the intercom, saying that they were entering the chamber to test the microphones and, should the subjects comply with the researchers’ instructions, one would be granted his freedom. A single voice replied: ‘We no longer want to be freed.’ Finally, after two further days, the experiment was aborted and the scientists (along with their armed guards) entered the chamber. However, they were not prepared for what they would find inside…

The Russian Sleep Experiment is a fascinating pasta with a lot of cool hooks for readers. Like many early pastas, it was circulated as a true story for some time. There were a number of decidedly unethical medical experiments conducted both during and just after the Second World War, in a host of locations including (but not limited to) the Soviet Union. The film Experiments in the Revival of Organisms depicts a number of disturbing 1940s experiments conducted by Russian researchers, including one which saw a machine used to keep a decapitated dog head alive.

It doesn’t feel like much of a stretch for the experiment described to have been conducted in this era, particularly by a regime notorious for the harsh manner in which it treated political adversaries. Much like Where The Bad Kids Go, it is a story aimed at Western, primarily American readers, and relies a great deal on their lack of experience with the East to boost its believability. ‘Something that horrible could never happen here in the “civilised” West,’ readers might think. ‘But over there, in those dark, cold, alien, lawless countries that have seen such terrible trouble and turmoil? Well, that’s a different matter altogether…’

Except it really isn’t.
The Russian Sleep Experiment is a work of fiction. It’s a clever and well-written one, but it is fiction nonetheless. As well as the flaws its own narrative (the KGB wasn’t actually officially formed until 1954, the number of prisoners doesn’t tally up at the end), there are actual, documented cases of sleep deprivation that have not lead to incidents of superpowered, undead, poetry-spouting uber-monsters.

In 1964 San Diego man Randy Gardner stayed awake for 264 hours (that’s 11 days). He became a little dizzy, had trouble with his concentration and short-term memory and even reported the odd hallucination. He did not eat himself. That same year Toimi Soini of Hamina, Finland, stayed awake for 276 hours, an effort that saw him included in the Guinness Book of World Records right up until 1989, when the entry was removed amid fears that people attempting to break the record could cause harm to themselves. Nonetheless the BBC has since run a blog by Cornish man Tony Wright in his attempt to stay awake for 266 hours more recently (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/articles/2007/05/15/aboutcornwall_sleeplessdiary_feature.shtml), while unverified reports claim that a woman from Cambridgeshire, Maureen Weston, actually went without sleep for a staggering 449 hours (that’s 14 days, 13 hours) as part of a ‘rocking chair marathon’. Not one of these individuals has since been reported as ripping out their own internal organs or speaking on behalf of the darkness at the heart of human nature.

Yet even with these facts easily findable online, the story gained plenty of traction. Some just liked it as a horror story, posting it to the Creepypasta Wiki on 16 August 2010 (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Russian_Sleep_Experiment), while others have questioned its validity, such as those who posted it to Reddit’s WTF sub multiple times. One of the earliest examples as this post by redditor thatguynamedguy, posted on the evening of 2 March 2010 which drew plenty of speculation from the community (https://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/b8ev3/russian_sleep_experiment/)

In 1 October 2013, YouTuber IReadCreepyPastas posted a reading  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEwbfnCpKA4&feature=youtu.be) accompanied by a series of spooky black and white photographs, which have become an iconic and intrinsic part of the lore around the story. The most striking of these is that of a deranged, grinning ghoul, said to be one of the subjects of the RSE. This image is often touted as photographic evidence of the horrifying events described in the story. I can understand how it could be quite compelling proof to those already unnerved by a legitimately scary story, but once again, this ‘evidence’ can be quickly discredited.

The picture is actually one of a Halloween decoration named Spazm, which is available here (https://www.costumesupercenter.com/products/animated-spazm-prop) among other places. It’s not quite so frightening when looked at more clearly — a clear example of the power of using a good filter on your images! Despite the overwhelming evidence to disprove the Russian Sleep Experiment as a factual account, the story is still widely circulated and remains one of the most popular creepypastas to this day. It captures the imagination of the reader and, in some cases, even inspires further works of deeply unsettling art.

These range from the usual YouTube readings, such as this classic by the inimitable Mr CreepyPasta (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1EW4r6Kiiw&feature=youtu.be), which has clocked up an astonishing 848,000+ views since it went live on 24 November 2011.

rsz_russian-sleep-experiment-spazmFellow YouTuber Creeps McPasta loves the pasta so much that he even penned an unofficial sequel to the story, The Russian Sleep Experiment 2, which he narrated on his channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6JvgOsZy54
However, one of the Russian Sleep Experiment’s greatest legacies is that it served as the inspiration for the quite fantastic novella of the same name by UK author Holly Ice, which you can read about here: http://www.russiansleepexperiment.net . Published by Almond Press in August 2015, The Russian Sleep Experiment is a fantastic expansion on the original pasta, one that remains faithful to the source material, effortlessly addressing (and in many cases rectifying) the flaws of the original.

In a very clever move, Ice steers clear of the pseudo-supernatural mumbo jumbo of Orange Soda’s story, instead focusing on the personalities and relationships of those involved in the experiment. The novella is split into three sections, each taking a very different approach to describing its horrors. The first chapter focuses on the subjects, especially the stoic Mikhail and his optimistic comrade Alexei, their lives in a hellish Siberian prison camp and the selection process that sees them taken away to the shadowy Dr Glukhov’s laboratory.

The second chapter is the one that will be most familiar to fans of the pasta, detailing the events of the experiment from both the point of view of the subjects and via Glukhov’s log. The final chapter focuses on one of the researchers, Luka, in the days after he returns to his isolated rural home in the frozen Russian countryside. Luka has been left with physical wounds from his ordeal, yet it is his mental scars that are deepest. Can anybody truly survive the Russian Sleep Experiment?

As a published author, Ice is a wonderful wordsmith and her take on this story is captivating, compelling and very, very disturbing. As a professional writer her product is so much smoother and better-structured than your average pasta, which is often the work of enthusiastic amateurs.
The novella shows intelligence, tight plotting and some genuine emotional heft. In short, it really is a must read. You can buy it direct from the publishers here: (http://www.russiansleepexperiment.net ) or via Amazon for Kindle: (http://amzn.to/2rSczzb)

I was blown away by the novella, so I was delighted when the kind folks over at Almond Press arranged for me to speak with very talented and charming Ms Ice.

Our interview follows below.

UK HORROR SCENE: Hi Holly, Thanks so much for agreeing to speak with UKHS. First, please tell my readers a little about your novella?

HOLLY ICE: The Russian Sleep Experiment novella is loosely inspired by the Creepypasta of the same name. My publisher and I wanted to pay homage to the original story but create our own interpretation of what a disturbing sleep experiment could be like. We wound up downplaying the supernatural angle in favour of the science, for example.

It was exciting for me to explore the idea of human experimentation within the cold war, as I have family from that region of the world and had read a lot about the history of the area during the world wars. I wanted to get into the setting and explore the areas this experiment could have taken place in, plus the characters and character conflicts which may have arisen. As a result, the focus is on the psychological impact on the characters more than the horror of the sleep experiment itself. Because of this, I explored the narrative in terms of before and after – where the characters were coming from and how they put their lives together after the experiment (or didn’t). This required my characters to have families, loves, hopes, and their own motivations to participate in the experiment.

There’s a greyness about everybody, from the scientists to the labour camp prisoners and the experimentees. There’s no pure evil here. It’s human decisions and failings behind this experiment.

rsz_russian-sleep-experiment-bookUKHS: Why the Russian Sleep Experiment? Were you familiar with the story before you started the project?

HI: I was actually approached by the publisher. They wanted to support a novella loosely inspired by the short story and came to me with the brief as I had worked with them before. It was a bit of a departure for me. I had previously written sci-fi, romance and fantasy stories but this was my first in-depth foray into horror fiction. However, while writing the book, I realised horror gets at the core of what I love to write about – the unknown, and the magic, or trepidation, it so often brings.

UKHS: By focusing on different narrators, each of whom plays a different role in the experiment, you were able to give a very human face to an otherwise quite out-there horror tale. Was it this element of the story that most fascinated you? What was your motive behind telling the story in this way?

HI: Thank you! Yes, it was this element which most inspired me. The human angle was not fully explored in the short story because the focus was different – a philosophical, internal message questioning the core of what a human is. For this message to work as well as it did, the short story author needed the characters to represent everyone that read the story, and so they avoided giving too many individual character details. I wanted to explore individual lives and motivations, the real-life story behind what these people may have experienced in the historical context, and the implications of this story never getting out into the history books.

UKHS: Are you a fan of Creepypastas? If so, are there any others that you like?

HI: I think Creepypastas are generally great reads. Many create or perpetuate urban legends, and most are atmospheric encapsulations of horror that are perfect for an evening read – if you’re not too keen on sleep! I don’t have any particular favourites as I’m still relatively new to the horror genre and have much more to read.

UKHS: Who are your favourite writers? Who inspires your style most?

HI: That’s a really difficult question, particularly because I came to horror late. I was inspired to write by fantasy and crime, so my favourite authors are people like Naomi Novik, Laurell K Hamilton and Enid Blyton, but my years in university instilled a great love for the Gothic. Henry James’ Turn of the Screw was a particular favourite for me during my GCSE and A Level years. I also really enjoyed Carmilla, one of the first interpretations of the vampire story. I have no idea who I most resemble in terms of my writing style. I don’t consciously try to imitate anyone, so much of this will come down to my subconscious mind and the associations readers bring when they come to my work.

UKHS: Which work of your own are you most proud of? Why?

HI: I’m most proud of my current work in progress, a fantasy series loosely inspired by old Welsh poetry which refers to King Arthur as a soldier involved in a supernatural world rather than a King. I’ve mixed this loose idea with Arthur rising from the dead into the modern world. This event coincides with a number of deaths in rural Britain which may be linked to the Fae.

The first book in this particular series, While I Slept, is one I have been working on since 2012, on and off. I’ve learned a lot in the production process, particularly about structure, and am proud of the progress I have made as a writer. I’m also really enjoying blending cultures and creating societies. It’s a complex process but one I’ve become fully immersed in. I’m hoping it comes together as I want it to in the next year or so, and I am hopeful the sequel will come together much more easily. I tend to move on from pieces once they are published and put my passion into the next project on the horizon, so this favourite will likely change in future!

UKHS: Would you consider returning to the RSE story in the future? Or possibly adapt another online horror story?

HI: I don’t think so. For me, the story came to a logical end in the Siberian wilderness. I also don’t think I would reinvent another online horror story unless something really hooked my attention. As much as I enjoyed the experience, readers come to reimaginings or reinventions with expectations based on earlier editions. That’s completely natural and expected, but I’d like to focus on other areas going forward, and not in the horror genre exclusively. As well as the fantasy series, I’m currently working on a number of horror short stories which (fingers crossed) will be out in the next year or so.

rsz_holly-ice-author-small1UKHS: Where is the best place for my readers to find out more about your work and upcoming projects?

HI: Readers can find my published works on Amazon, with my novella available on a number of other online retailers, including ibooks and kobo, with PDFs available direct from my publisher’s website for the book here: http://www.russiansleepexperiment.net/
To keep up to date with upcoming projects, readers can check my author website’s work in progress page http://www.hollyice.co.uk/works-in-progress
The site has a mailing list to update readers on new publications here: http://www.hollyice.co.uk/mailing-list

I’m also on a number of social media sites, including:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Holly_emma_Ice
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/HollyIce
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HollyIceTheAuthor/
Wordpress: https://hollyemmaice.wordpress.com/

UKHS: Thanks so much for speaking with us!

As well as literature, the Russian Sleep Experiment’s very visceral visual nature lent itself to film adaptations.
One of the most highly-regarded of these is Let Me Out, an italian web-series that actually sticks pretty closely to the original plot of the story. You can find the first episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAUFAB8ID2g&list=PLS1tY8LybT6Tjck9G6QaqyqoDjJLsYBMs

However, arguably the finest cinematic adaptation of the story is Framed Pictures’ The Russian Sleep Experiment, which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr4C_cLgXR0

Helmed by talented director Timothy Smith and starring a great cast of actors including Gary Brunner, Michael Bugard, Zach Ross and Brett Solferino, the 28 minute short film looks fantastic and manages to tell a story that, while it differs in some aspects, absolutely nails the tone of the original. Originally released early last year, the film has recently been posted to YouTube to watch for free and has already racked up nearly 50,000 views.

I’ve become quite the fan of Horror Shorts in recent months, and Smith’s film is a sterling example of what the ambitious filmmakers currently plying their trade on the scene are capable of.

I was lucky enough to speak with Timothy Smith about the creation of his film. The interview follows below.

UKHS: Hi Timothy, and thank you for agreeing to speak with UK Horror Scene. So, what drew you to The Russian Sleep Experiment?

TS: I wanted to make a film about The Russian Sleep Experiment because it had so much interesting content for a story. Since it was written in log forms it left a lot of creative freedom to develop characters.

UKHS: Why do you think fans enjoy the story and your adaptation of it?

TS: I think what draws fans to the story (as well as what drew me to the story) is that RSE is a unique approach to the psychological thriller genre. While the blood and guts are a staple in the genre, the setting of a post-WW2-era Russian experimentation camp is a bloody playground that may have never been explored in a horror film before.

UKHS: Are you a fan of Creepypasta? If so, what are your favourites?

TS: I’m a huge fan of Creepypasta, RSE attracted me to the following years ago. My favorite Creepypasta currently is The Song and Dance Man.

rsz_10351302_779404245471643_6669191330715530978_nUKHS: Your adaptation is very faithful in terms of tone and feel, but there are some plot changes. Would you care to explain your decision-making process?

TS: Probably the most notable change I made for the film from the story is regarding the prisoners. In the original story they were Russian prisoners of war held by their own country. I personally found it to be much more interesting to make the prisoners Nazi war criminals as it adds a bit of irony to their torturous capture. I also wanted to avoid the cliché of the purely evil Nazi and made them a bit more humane which I personally find more terrifying. If we can sympathize with monsters then what does that say about us?

Another change I made regarding the prisoners is that there are three instead of five in the original story. I chose three for aesthetic purposes and since none of the characters in the original story had names or characteristics it was an easy decision to make.

UKHS: What were the major challenges of adapting the story? And what were your favourite moments during the filming/editing process?

TS: The major challenge in filming this short was the planning. We had a very tight budget and had to stretch the money as far as we could. Since time is money in film (and everywhere else) we had to shoot the whole 28-minute film in two days. It was a sleep experiment for the cast and crew as we stayed awake for 2 days straight to get everything we needed. The shooting process, while exhausting, was by far the funnest and most enjoyable time I’ve had onset. Despite the dark melancholy content of the story, we had lots of laughs and ridiculous banter on set. Maybe we were getting slap happy from the sleep deprivation?

UKHS: Do you have any plans to adapt any other creepypastas into short films?

TS: I would like to make another short based on another Creepypasta in the near future. The fan-base of Creepypasta has been very supportive and being able to contribute to such a wonderful community is incredibly rewarding. I’m currently working on an original short film that is currently in the pre-production phase.

UKHS: And finally, where is the best place for my readers to find out more about your work and upcoming projects?

TS: You can follow us on our youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK4qB18nDgz17UZZV8wonBw) and Facebook page
(https://www.facebook.com/rsefilm/).

UKHS: Thank you once again.

TS: Thanks so much for the questions. I’m incredibly grateful for the morbid curiosity!

Even today, The Russian Sleep Experiment is finding a new audience and collaborators. On the IMDB there is a listing for a Russian Sleep Experiment movie, currently in production in Australia, due to be released this Halloween. Perfect for viewing after you’ve finished setting up your Spazm decoration!

A strong story that has inspired arguably greater works of art, The Russian Sleep Experiment looks set to remain popular for many years to come.
Join me next time when I shall be covering not just a story, but a whole lore adopted and embraced by the pasta community.

Until then, sleep well.

UK Horror Scene Frightsight – Hanging With… James Webber

UK Horror Scene Frightsight – Hanging With… James Webber

Welcome to a series of video interviews as UKHS writer Tony Sands and his crew hang with talented British folk from across the horror spectrum. They will be bringing a number of interviews across 2016 that will hopefully give you an insight into the UK indie horror scene and you will hear just what it takes to get a project to fruition.

Here the UKHS Crew Hang With James Webber – James is a UK Director, Producer, Editor, Writer and much more. James talks about his career making short films and also talks about his new feature – watch to find out more!!

Twitter: @DirectorJWebber

IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3662284/

Film links: Prey: https://www.facebook.com/CryptTV/vide…

Hushy Bye: https://vimeo.com/201697987

lnstagram:
https:// directorjwebber

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TONY SANDS (host/producer)
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/TonyRDB?s=09

TONY SANDS
Official website:
https://tonysandsofficial.com

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DAVID CHAUDOIR (titles) twitter: @TheChaudoir www.badacidf|lm.com

ANDY DEEN (associate producer)
Twitter: @AndyDeen666

IVAN TROOPA (sound/producer)

Twitter:
IvanTroopa  https://twitter.com/IvanTroopa?s=09

lnstagram:
IvanTroopa
https://www.instagram.com/p/4mOfSIPLu5/

YouTube:
IvanTroopa: play on Troopa
https://youtu.be/gL2lHRqnwCE

ANTOINE LASSALLE (camera/ producer) Flickr.com/antoinelphotos/sets

lnstagram:
ANTOINE LASSALLE
https://www.instagram.com/antoinelpho…

SARAH D’CRUZ (make up) http://www.sarahdcruz.com

lnstagram:
SARAH D’CRUZ
https://www.instagram.com/sarahdcruzmua/

OLIVER TURNER-LEES (composer) http://www.olivertlmusic.com

UKHS:
http://www.ukhorrorscene.com

Twitter: @UKHorrorScene
https://twitter.com/UKHorrorScene?s=09

……………………………………………………..

Everyman Cinema
Location: Fortis Green Rd, Muswell Hill, London N10 3HP

https://www.everymancinema.com

Enjoyed the video? Subscribe to our
channel and find out more, about the UK horror industry.

 

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 41: Normal Porn For Normal People

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA – PART 41: NORMAL PORN FOR NORMAL PEOPLE

Hey Dark Web readers, sorry for the lengthy delay between features, but I’m glad to be back with a look at one of the most disturbingly believable web horror stories out there.  This story is Normal Porn For Normal People.

The story was first published on 7 June 2011 by DeviantArtist CosbyDaf, the same creator who gave Creepypasta fans NES Godzilla, as featured here at Dark Web before (http://www.ukhorrorscene.com/dark-web-steven-hickeys-essential-guide-to-creepypasta-part-36-nes-godzilla/).

For those unfamiliar with the story, it takes the form of a first-hand account of a casual web-browser who receives a strange unsolicited email. The email contains a simple message:

Hi there found this site

is very nice thought u might like

normalpornfornormalpeople.com

pass it on, for the good of mankind

rsz_npfnp1 Acting despite his better judgement, the narrator clicks on link and finds himself at a rather shoddy and decidedly basic web site. The page consists of a large block of text, headed by rather strange tagline (Normal Porn for Normal People, A Website Dedicated To The Eradication of Abnormal Sexuality) a rambling rant that at first seems a dead end.

However, on closer inspection each separate word of this text is revealed to be a hyperlink, each leading to a video. At first these appear to be bizarre but harmless, but as the storyteller and other web visitors begin to explore the site in more depth, these videos become increasingly unnerving, leading to a final shocking scene…

You can read the full story here: http://cosbydaf.deviantart.com/art/Normal-Porn-For-Normal-People-212168120

As most of you are reading this feature on the internet, I think it’s safe to say that you are pretty tech-savvy. Also, as web-browsers, I’m pretty sure that plenty of you will have previously disappeared down the rabbit warren of clicking on questionable links, following ‘click-baity’ heads until you inadvertently click on that one last link that takes you to a dark corner of the web that you really wish you could unsee.

I’m not just talking the more stomach-churning internet phenomena such as ‘2 Girls 1 Cup’ or goatse.cx, or even the more unsavoury gross-out sites. No, as it’s title might suggest, Normal Porn For Normal People brings to mind the more disturbing and extreme erotica sites out there. Arguably the biggest strength and greatest aspect of the internet is that it is free, easy to access and barely policed, allowing people to share art and ideas quickly and without fear of persecution. However, this comparative lawlessness is also the most dangerous aspect of the World Wide Web.

It’s no secret that a vast amount of illicit, illegal and immoral material is shared via the internet. From sites spewing bigoted and hateful rhetoric to terrorist guides on how to create explosives to the sickening images recorded by paedophile rings, it’s a sad fact that, as well as being a tremendous source of information, the internet also houses the very worst of humanity.

With this in mind, the site described by CosbyDaf in his story is chillingly realistic, and as such the tale itself becomes more believable. I’ve written about how much more frightening a story becomes when you are given reason to believe that it might be true, and that you might also find yourself falling victim to the horrors described within. Normal Porn For Normal People cleverly combines the bizarre and the grotesque, qualities that ‘extreme web surfers’ will be all too familiar with.

The imagery described in the videos is unsettling, moving from almost comically surreal to utterly repulsive with a slow and steady escalation of tension.
What’s more, CosbyDaf cleverly refrains from robbing the story of its mystery, of neatly explaining each and every part. Instead the creator of the site, its purpose and the mysterious forces that seem to be intent on keeping it hidden are never explored, never revealed. The author encourages the reader to use their imagination, a storytelling trick which has always proven to be one of the strongest tools available to horror writers.

NPFP3It doesn’t matter how great a writer is at describing and detailing atrocities — the reader will always imagine something far more upsetting, far scarier, because they will tailor the story to match (and manipulate) their own worst fears. In short, Normal Porn For Normal People is an exceptional creepypasta that is wonderfully written and works on multiple levels.

Fans have flocked to the story, and with good reason.

As Redditor TatchM wrote in a post about why Normal Porn For Normal People is so scary: It relies on less common tropes than a lot of other creepypastas and the ones it does use are done relatively subtly. It makes it seem less formulaic and thus more believable. What really makes the writing clever is that it does not leave clear answers. It provides a lot of evidence of what is going on with the site, but it does not draw conclusions because the narrator has limited perspective. This allows the reader’s imagination to try and fill in the blanks. The subtext might be lost on some people, but for others it will cause their minds to race and they start putting the pieces in place. I know I spent 10 or so minutes doing as much.

As an example of one way the subtext can be interpreted for those who may not have picked up on it: Let’s start with the title. Normal Porn for Normal People. The first thought when reading that is to assume “normal” means “common.” However, if you interpret “normal” as a group (normies if you will), like gay or trap is for gay porn and trap porn, then the title takes on a different meaning. It then implies that the site is a fetish and the filmier(s) are sharing their home movies as a cry for help. It basically can be seen as a collection of home fetish movies.

dianna.avi implies that the filmer or an associate of his gets off on the interviews. Stumps.avi implies that the filmier enjoys watching people do mundane or repetitive tasks. It puts peanuts.avi, and tonguetied.avi into perspective. privacy.avi, lickedclean.avi, and useless.avi also shows an interest in voyeuristic behaviour. Of course, the tagline “Normal porn for normal people, A Website Dedicated To The Eradication of Abnormal Sexuality” could be seen as a cry for help. The creator of the site uploaded it and sent a bunch of emails stating “pass it on, for the good of mankind” as a confession; a hope that he/they would be found and caught. The “eradication of abnormal sexuality” might mean their incarceration before they could hurt more people as is shown in useless.avi and implied in jimbo.avi and stumps.avi.

Well, that’s at least one interpretation of the subtext. Even if they do not pick up on the subtext, there are still enough off-putting events to creep people out. It’s a good balance.

This smart plotting and skilled writing saw the story’s popularity soar. In October 2011 it was posted at the very highly regarded Creepypasta Wiki (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Normal_Porn_for_Normal_People), where it undoubtedly found thousands more readers. Following that it spread to Reddit, first appearing at r/WTF (https://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/oryk2/this_is_most_wtflike_story_youll_ever_read_its/?st=1Z141Z3&sh=81a033a5 ) on 22 January 2012. It subsequently appeared on the more traditional horror fiction/Creepypasta subreddits, including r/NoSleep on 19 March 2012 (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/r36yf/normal_porn_for_normal_people/?st=1Z141Z3&sh=81a033a5) and r/Creepypasta on 15 April of that same year (https://www.reddit.com/r/creepypasta/comments/sawr0/normal_porn_for_normal_people/?st=1Z141Z3&sh=81a033a5).
A sure sign that a pasta has hit the big time, the ubiquitous Mr Creepypasta reading was posted on YouTube on 22 April (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTucWL05zV0). It’s a particularly good one too.

rsz_npfnp2Bizarrely, on the very same day that the story was posted on r/WTF, the domain normalpornfornormalpeople.com was registered. The site has since gone live and very closely resembles that in the story. It is run by one ‘Dr Richard Van Buren’, who claims to be a part of ‘The Need for Normalcy Project’. ‘Van Buren’ claims to be the true creator of the site, claiming that the pasta is in fact a fictional/exaggerated account of his own true work. There has been quite a mystery about this ‘work’, revealing the site to actually be part of an ARG — an ARG that rather rudely piggybacks on the story created by CosbyDaf.

In many ways this is the ultimate compliment — Normal Porn For Normal People has become such a huge cultural phenomenon that people have become inspired to write and present their own version of the mythos.

But let us never forget where this story originated — CosbyDaf, the creator who has given creepypasta fandom two of its most enduring stories.

CosbyDaf was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to speak with UK Horror Scene about the phenomenon that is Normal Porn For Normal People. Our interview follows below.

UK HORROR SCENE: First, in your own words, can you tell my readers a little about Normal Porn For Normal People?
COSBYDAF: A url is sent to a guy by mistake, and he looks at a bunch of videos that he really shouldn’t have.

UKHS: What served as your inspiration for the story?
COSBYDAF: It used to be fairly common (and still is to an extent but more regarding the deep web) of clicking suspicious links and seeing something that the person really wishes they hadn’t seen. I liked the idea of it starting out non-criminal, yet unsettling at first, and then the content escalates.

UKHS: Are you a fan of Creepypasta? If so, what are some of your favourites?
COSBYDAF: Yes, though lately I’ve gained more of a fondness for listening to stories about people’s (supposedly) real experiences with incidents of high strangeness. Tied into that subject is my new favorite Creepypasta. Get some popcorn, it’s a long one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhkgXOUDetc

UKHS: Why do you think Creepypasta, and especially Normal Porn For No People, is so popular with readers?
COSBYDAF: Normal Porn, unlike NGC, is fairly close to something people can experience in real life. I’ve definitely had experiences where I clicked a link to watch something, only to wish later that I could unsee it. Unfortunately, you can’t delete events from your memory like you can with an internet browser. As I mentioned before, there’s a concern about stumbling into hidden evil on the internet.

Also I saw this mentioned a while afterwards, people would ask if the website was real on places like Yahoo Answers, only for their question to be deleted. The actual reason being because it’s pertaining to a porn site, but this happened to coincide with how the story ends, and this led to a lot of people thinking it was a real thing. I can’t take credit for this, it was completely unintentional, but it gave me a good laugh when I heard about it.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about the story. Are there any examples of fan art, such as images, films or readings, in particular that have impressed you?
COSBYDAF: Not really, I hadn’t been searching around for fan content as much. I might be missing out.

UKHS: While doing my research on your story I discovered the ‘real’ NPFNP site. I can see it was opened significantly after the publishing of your story. Can I please get your thoughts on the site?
COSBYDAF: I’m not a fan of it. Nobody asked my permission to make the site. And from looking it over, it seems to be some mad scientist roleplay thing that discounts the original story as an “inaccurate telling”. Meh.

UKHS: And finally, will you ever return to the story in the future?
COSBYDAF: I did have ideas for a sequel, particularly another disturbing ending video. Though I kept thinking that it would be uninspired to write basically the same thing over again, and the “I’ve seen disturbing videos” type story has gotten a bit stale since the original came out. And I’m sure the majority of the audience would prefer that I put the effort into completing Godzilla: Replay, rather than starting something else!

Of course Normal Porn For Normal People isn’t the only pasta to inspire readers to adapt and embellish on the story in their own way. If anything, this ‘communal’ quality is one of the best qualities that the scene has, it means that these stories belong to each of us, especially when dealing with older pastas where the original author might be unknown or no longer active.

Come back next time when I’ll be looking at another creepypasta that has provoked much thought and adaptation from artists — one which is widely regarded as one of the greatest pastas ever written.

CryptTV at Tribeca Film Festival: Genoveva Rossi meets and talks with Eli Roth and CryptTV CEO Jack Davis

 

genrossibannerrsz_gr1CryptTV at Tribeca Film Festival: Genoveva Rossi meets and talks with Eli Roth and CryptTV CEO Jack Davis

This horror queen was honored to attend the legendary Tribeca Film Festival and watch Crypt TV’s Monster Madness shorts block. After the screening I was able to get a few words with Eli Roth and CEO Jack Davis.

Crypt TV’s Monster Madness features some of the best and biggest character shorts from the digital brand’s scaremakers.” -Tribeca Film Festival

A few words with Eli Roth:

rsz_gr4Q: What attracts you to horror?

What scares Cronenberg isn’t what scares Wes Craven. What scares you varies. Horror is very personal.” –Eli Roth

Q: Where did the inspiration for CryptTV come from?

Roth: I graduated from NYU 1995 and wrote Cabin Fever. I know that dates me, but I am old. Even then I felt like horror had a big audience like the Comic Cons. We are seeing that now with Walking Dead. What I want to create is a platform that I wished existed when I was getting out of film school, back when filming a short cost a minimum of 10k. Now we can shoot shorts for much less and even on our phones. So we created something to showcase horror shorts that serves the genre’s audience.

Q: Roth wants to help other filmmakers.

Roth: After the success of Cabin Fever and Hostile I was in a position to help other filmmakers with films like Clown and The Last Exorcism. I really enjoy helping people I like. CryptTV is part of that.

rsz_gr3rsz_gr2Interview with Jack Davis CEO of CryptTV

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about CryptTV for ukhorrorscene!!! I am sure our readers are anxious to check out your great horror programming. First off I want to say it was really inspiring meeting you and Eli Roth at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City for the CryptTV screening and panel.

Genoveva: Tell us a bit about what CryptTV is and what makes CryptTV unique in the horror genre? 

Davis: CryptTV makes mobile scares. We specialize in creating original scary stories and creating our own monsters in three to four minute videos perfect for watching on your phone. Crypt is the only brand creating original, short form programming every day for people watching on the phone which is why I think we are unique in the horror genre.

Genoveva: How did the great Eli Roth come to be involved with CryptTV and what exactly is his role?

Davis: Eli Roth is the co-founder of CryptTV. We launched Crypt together and he plays an integral role in content and brand strategy as well as giving his input on general company operations. Eli has been at the cutting edge of the genre for decades so having his insight is invaluable for Crypt.

Genoveva: What is your own background in horror and what inspired the creation of CryptTV?

Davis: Knowing and loving the power of scary in film and TV I was inspired to co-found CryptTV because there just was not a great destination for original scary that could be enjoyed on mobile.

Genoveva: What can horror fans look forward to seeing on CryptTV in the near future?

Davis: More monsters. We are going to start serializing our fans’ favorite content very soon.

Genoveva: Where are the best places to look for updates on CryptTV? Also how can aspiring horror filmmakers get involved? 

rsz_gr6Davis: Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CryptTV & sign up for our newsletter on CryptTV.com which we will be bringing back soon. Aspiring horror filmmakers email submissions @CryptTV.com with your work!

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.

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 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

UK Horror Scene Frightsight – Hanging With… Stephanie Price !!

rsz_1488969150652UK Horror Scene Frightsight – Hanging With… Stephanie Price !!

Actress Stephanie Price, star of ‘Cleaver’, joins The Hanging With Crew for a chat, some of it even about film! Stephanie was born in San Antonio, Texas.  Since her move to London in late 2012, she has performed in leading roles at various theatres across London and, more recently, in independent films.

Links:
http://www.stephanieaprice.com/

Crew:
https://tonysandsofficial.com/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/antoine…
http://www.ukhorrorscene.com/

Twitter:
@ivantroopa
@TonyRDB
@antoinelphotos
@ukhorrorscene

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

Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 40: Laughing Jack

creepypastaSTEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA — PART 40: LAUGHING JACK

Pennywise. 100 Tears’ Gurdy. Killjoy. American Horror Story’s Twisty. The Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Long before scary clowns started terrifying members of the public on both sides of the Atlantic, the grease paint-wearing circus ‘funny men’ have enjoyed a nightmarish relationship with horror fans. The term Coulrophobia, while not a strictly recognised specific phobia, has been coined to describe a fear of clowns. Whether this is an officially recognised phobia or not, it is one of the most common fears. You almost certainly know somebody who will use the term ‘creepy’ to describe clowns. So it will come as no surprise to any of you to hear that Creepypastas have their very own diabolical clown.

The story of Laughing Jack was first posted on DeviantArtist Snuffbomb’s page back on 3 March 2013. You can read it here: http://snuffbomb.deviantart.com/art/Creepypasta-Laughing-Jack-357523173 It’s a haunting story about a single mother caring for her five-year-old son, James, who starts to talk to her about his imaginary friend. Dismissing the talk as merely childish exuberance, the boy’s mother laughs it off. However, that night her dreams are haunted by wounded, malevolent childish figures and the old nursery rhyme, Pop Goes The Weasel. From here James’s behaviour takes a bizarre turn, and a series of strange events around the house causes our narrator to start to worry. Each time she asks James about the source of these disturbances she receives the same ominous response: ‘Laughing Jack did it.’ Finally, one dark night, after witnessing a terrible atrocity, the poor mother discovers that Laughing Jack has one last trick in store for her and James…

The reasons Laughing Jack works are plentiful. Of course, there’s the obvious elements — the uncanny valley aspect of clown visages that causes discomfort in onlookers. Clown face paint offers a unique juxtaposition in that it presents an exaggerated expression, yet also hides the true face of the wearer. It is both overwhelmingly open and a mask all at once. It is a look certain to cause a degree of confusion due to its self-contradictory nature.mThe evil clown trope (and the Laughing Jack story in particular) also utilise that Creepypasta staple of subverting and warping childhood innocence to unsettle and unnerve the audience. I’ve covered this phenomenon at length here during the course of this series, so I shan’t go into too much depth once again. Suffice to say the imagery of Laughing Jack (the toys; the hard candies; and the nightmarish theme park) plus the recurring Pop Goes The Weasel motif, all use this storytelling device to fantastic effect.

rsz_ask_laughing_jack_by_felishaus-db030qtHowever, it’s not just the obvious elements in Snuffbomb’s tale that instill fear. It also touches on the very real fear we all nurse deep inside of losing touch with reality and sanity. The protagonist finds herself unable to trust her own senses, forced to accept the impossible situation in which she finds herself as true, and even at the end unsure as to which, if any, of the story’s events are real. We all rely on our senses, to comprehend the world and to keep ourselves safe from harm. But what happens if our senses and our minds lie? In that situation, the world becomes a very, very dangerous place indeed. The story also makes very clever use of the fear that all parents feel towards protecting their child, plus the general fear of protecting those closest to you. This fear is one used in plenty of horror movies in which adults struggle to protect their children (The Babadook and The Monster are recent high profile examples of this), and in this case (SPOILERS FOLLOW) the horror is worsened with the final reveal that not only does the mother fail to protect her child from harm, she’s actually the one to inflict it.

Whatever the reason, Laughing Jack has proved to be a VERY popular pasta. So much so, in fact, that Snuffbomb returned to his story to create an origin story, which you can read here: http://snuffbomb.deviantart.com/art/The-Origin-of-Laughing-Jack-419616829

It’s an interesting tale, one that starts back on the cobblestoned streets of Victorian London and introduces an abused young boy, Isaac Grossman, Laughing Jack’s first playmate. Originally an innocent and fun figure, Laughing Jack becomes corrupted by his conduct with the boy, who in turn was corrupted by the horrors of his own upbringing. As the young and naive Isaac becomes the worst kind of monster, Laughing Jack looks on, learning, until the day he once again faces his ‘old friend’…

This story is certainly more intense than the previous one, and includes some truly sickening sadistic moments, but then that’s entirely the point of their inclusion. It’s also startlingly original. So many ‘origin’ stories feature the monster as an all-too-human moping teen. They lose so much of their mystique (see Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s Halloween), and it can often come across as a little bit ‘Mary Sue’-ish. This is certainly not the case with Laughing Jack who remains a mystical and decidedly monstrous otherworldly entity. In short, it’s a clever, well-written expansion to the mythos that enhances the story, rather than detracts from it in any way.

With this in mind it will come as no surprise to hear that the story has struck a chord with literally thousands of fans. The growing fandom has produced numerous works of art, many of which are excellent, while the demand for more of the character — from unofficial spin-offs and crossover stories with other popular pasta icons (some of which are surprisingly entertaining, others… ahem… less so), and the ubiquitous YouTube readings. It’s a testament to the popularity of the story that there are over…. Laughing Jack videos there, with readings by all the biggest names on the scene such as Mr Creepypasta, who has covered the first story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZSvPU8HzY8) and the origin tale (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54XPnDaCtwo)

That’s not to say that all the additional Laughing Jack material is unofficial fan fiction — far from it, as the hands-on and hard-working Snuffbomb has continuously reimagined his creation in multiple formats. One of these was the popular Youtube web-comic, Creeps, which he created with deviantartist SabrinaNightmaren. Jack himself plays a major role in the comic, and displays a more playful side to his personality, complete with dark quips and decidedly off-colour jokes. You can find the first part of the comic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cItO2pQ3kQs

It was in the pages of Creeps that a strange offshoot of the LJ mythos was introduced — Laughing Jill. With an eye-catching visual design, the chainsaw-wielding dark clown can almost be viewed as the Jane the Killer to Jack’s Jeff. While not ‘officially’ regarded as canon, Jill has captured the imagination of a segment of the fan base, and a host of (often contradictory) origin stories have cropped up online, such as this one: https://www.quotev.com/story/4647633/Creepypasta-Origins/14 , this: https://www.quotev.com/story/5633756/The-origin-of-laughing-Jill/1 and this: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10738044/1/The-Story-of-Laughing-Jill

Unlike the antagonistic relationship between Jeff and Jane, Jill is often romantically linked to Laughing Jack, and regularly portrayed as his spouse!
Laughing Jill does seem to have caused some conflict in the fandom, with some fans (often teens) using the character to romanticise a character that many fans prefer to keep as an inhuman monster. For the most part the fans tolerate each other, but sometimes heated arguments have been known to break out between the two camps, those who are Pro-Jill and those who Anti-Jill.

Either way, it’s pretty obvious that plenty of fans are very passionate about the Laughing Jack character and the mythos surrounding him.

rsz_b61aaf161063aea425eaf5d36eaa77bbHowever, this popularity has also been linked to tragedy. On 23 July 2015, in Indiana, a 12-year-old girl fatally stabbed her stepmother, Maria Torres, then set fire to her family’s home. Later, during questioning, she claimed that she had committed these terrible crimes because Laughing Jack told her too. Media reports have likened this incident to the infamous Slenderman stabbing, in which two teenage girls brutally attacked a classmate, the crime at the heart of the acclaimed HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman.

Of course the perpetrator of the crime is a deeply disturbed individual and her actions in no way reflect those of the huge majority of the Creepypasta community who are a creative, welcoming and passionate group, many of whom have been of tremendous assistance to me in the writing of these features.

One such individual is the imaginative, outspoken and very personable Snuffbomb himself, who was kind enough to speak with UK Horror Scene about Laughing Jack, Creepypastas and his exciting future projects.

Our interview follows below.

UK HORROR SCENE: Hi Snuffbomb, please allow me to extend my gratitude for agreeing to speak with me.

SNUFFBOMB: Thanks so much for this interview! I’ve never been interviewed before.

UKHS: The most obvious first — In your own words, tell us a little about Laughing Jack?

SB: Laughing Jack is what you get when you cherry-pick all the things kids like such as clowns, toys, laughter, fun, etc. then twist and pervert them into all the things that kids fear, such as clowns, creepy dolls, darkness, jagged crooked teeth, exaggerated features and so on. He is the bump in the night in your child’s bedroom sending them into a panicked dash to your room for comfort. The thing that tells your child to hurt the cat or to break mommy’s expensive china. At the end of the day however, I think Laughing Jack is simply what he is. A clown. He wants to make the world laugh, whether they are willing to or not. He sees human life like a joke and humans as props in his routine. He is much like a child himself in a way, mirroring the same (if not somewhat distorted) views of the world where most of what he sees is new to him.

UKHS: What served as your inspiration for the character and the story?

SB: I came across Creepypasta in early to mid 2011, back when Slenderman was but a haunting whisper on forums and blogs. This was a huge inspiration, the “grit” and overall obscurity added a great deal to the creep factor in those days. The most inspiring story for me was The Rake. In fact for a week or so Laughing Jack’s “in development” name actually was The Rake, almost as tribute of sorts. I liked how visceral the character was in leaving behind mostly entrails and broken families like sick reminders of loss and terror.

On a more visual level Laughing Jack was inspired by a little known marionette stage play called The Fortune Teller. One character in particular in fact. I think anyone who looks it up will know exactly which one I’m talking about as the two bear slight similarities in appearance. As for personality and even voice, I always pictured a cross between Beetlejuice and the Crypt Keeper with a dash of Freddy Krueger for good measure. Finally, as for his powers and abilities I just like to think of him as a homicidal genie. Once released from his box all hell breaks loose, a bit like Stephen King’s IT, but less spider-monster and more circus clown.

UKHS: Which idea came to you first, the image or the story?

SB: The image certainly came first, actually about a year prior to the story being written. I originally did a rough sketch of him on a piece of notebook paper, and although I was proud of it at the time, he honestly looked like the lost member of KISS and I knew this wasn’t what I was going for. He went through several design changes before he became the clown he is today and his design is still being tweaked and tinkered with, like a painting I just can’t leave be.

UKHS: Are you a fan of Creepypasta? If so, what is your favourite Creepypasta by a creator other than yourself?

SB: When it comes to my taste in Creepypasta I definitely prefer the classics, such as The Rake and Russian Sleep Experiment. The Tall Man was one that always stood out due to its bleak, dark ending which explains that the most horrific things can still happen to the most innocent and undeserving of people. I have a few guilty pleasure pastas though as well, like Happy Appy and NES Godzilla. With Creepypasta I feel it’s less about how much it scares me, and rather more about how much I enjoyed reading it.

UKHS: Why do you think Creepypastas in general, and especially Laughing Jack, have been so popular with the fans?

SB: The stories themselves have always been the heart of Creepypasta, but I believe that it’s the visuals that really pull people in. I think most people see a picture of Slenderman, Jeff the Killer, Laughing Jack and so on first then become intrigued, which leads them to the stories and other content. I think a lot of core creepypasta fans (those who write and read the stories) dislike this.

They want their stories to stick out on their own, rather than live in the shadow of Slenderman or Jeff the Killer. Honestly, I think more people are drawn to Laughing Jack because of his personality and character rather than the two semi-average stories I wrote about him. Laughing Jack himself has grown exponentially more popular than his stories, which is why I believe the stories are often called “overrated”. I agree in a sense. Laughing Jack evolved, almost growing up in a way. He went from being this pure simple horror character to a horror-comedy icon. No longer does he make fans afraid to sleep with their lights off, but rather makes them laugh at disgusting humor and grotesque acts, all of what dark comedy has to offer. This transformation is much like the ones of horror-comedy icons you see on the big screen, like Freddy Krueger and Chucky. Horror and comedy go hand in handy really, something jumps out at you, you scream, you realise you’re not in any danger and just shrieked like a banshee in front of all your friends, and everyone laughs about it. People wouldn’t like horror if it didn’t make them feel good in some way, and that mindset is one I keep when I’m making my content.

rsz_laughing_jack_by_shadowkisses91-d5yfa02UKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?

SB: This may sound cliche as all hell, but I really love the writing in the old Tim Burton movies. Most films and stories focus on a normal person going on a journey of some type. The old Burton movies focused on someone odd and eccentric trying to find some sort of normality in their life — Beetlejuice, Batman, Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands. If anyone reading this gets a chance, look up “Tim Burton Hansel and Gretel”. That short film was incredibly inspirational for me and my work.

UKHS: What work of your own are you most proud of?

SB: Obviously I’m most proud of creating Laughing Jack, I often joke that he’s like my child. Honestly though, I don’t think I could point to any work I’ve done and say: “I’m proud of that!”. I see everything I do as an improvement of what came before it. I always look at my work as a critic and figure out what I did well and what could have been improved, then I revise it all and use what I’m left with to do a better job next time. If I had to pick however, I’d choose The Origin of Laughing Jack. I think It succeeds the first story in just about every way, though it is still far from perfect.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about the character. Are there any examples of fan art, such as images, films or readings, in particular that have impressed you?

SB: This is a hard one to answer because I think just about everything the fans do is pretty incredible. It was really amazing to see my stories translated and narrated into so many different languages, and seeing PinkStylist do his take on the Laughing Jack makeup (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv3E8dqi3RE) was very flattering as well. I absolutely love what Mr. Betty Krueger does with Laughing Jack in his audio dramas, I think it’s hands down one of the best interpretations of the character (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0EzTotOGhE&feature=youtu.be). As for traditional art, I could fill a book naming all those who do absolutely stunning and even horrifying illustrations of Laughing Jack. To know that my character inspired thousands and thousands of illustrations from so many talented artists across every website on the internet is really indescribable.

UKHS: While looking at your DeviantArt page I noticed a comment from you in which you voiced displeasure at a segment of the fandom that seem to have twisted your creation into a friendly (and, in some cases, sexy) pin-up. This is something that other Pasta creators, such as sesseur and Jason the Toy Maker’s Kristantyl, have bemoaned in interviews with me. Would you care to elaborate on this point here, to give the comment a little more context?

SB: This is a strange area for me. On one hand, I don’t tell anyone they can’t use my character for whatever they want, but on the other hand the weird fetish stuff makes me kind of uncomfortable. Canonically Laughing Jack is like a ragdoll and has no internal organs or genitals, so you might as well try to have sex with Woody from Toy Story. Honestly though, I just try to ignore it and let people do what they want. I don’t think the smut is shoved in other people’s faces or anything, so it’s really not a big deal.

UKHS: Sadly, this next question is a little uncomfortable, but I’d be a terrible journalist if I didn’t at least ask you about it. I was deeply shocked and saddened when I read about the Maria Torres stabbing in Indiana, especially when I read that the alleged perpetrator supposedly committed the crime ‘for Laughing Jack’. Obviously no creator should ever be held accountable for the actions of a seriously disturbed individual, so I don’t believe you have any duty to address the situation, but I just wondered if you would care to comment?

SB: It’s very unfortunate what happened to Maria Torres, and extremely unfortunate what happened to her step daughter. This case is often compared to the 2014 Slenderman Stabbing, however they couldn’t be more different.

The Slenderman incident was perpetrated by two misguided teens who knew full well the horrible crime they were committing, and the Torres incident was committed by a very mentally sick little girl who, according to the reports, begged for help days before the incident. This girl is the real victim, she was failed by everyone even after pleading to her parents and school for help. Her illness was reaching a destructive boiling point and that was going to happen whether or not Laughing Jack was a part of it. I’m very upset with the slant the media put on this incident with articles titled “Indiana girl killed stepmom to please Laughing Jack”. This is a story about a sick girl who was failed by the world and needs serious help, not one about a devoted fanatic who sacrificed her stepmother at the request of an evil internet clown. My heart goes out to all those involved in this incident.

UKHS: Can I get your thoughts on Laughing Jill?

SB: Laughing Jill was created as a spoof genderbend of Laughing Jack. She was created by me and the original artist of my old Creepypasta comic, Creeps. She was meant to be a joke, parodying the uncreative trend of making a romantic interest or sibling for a character simply by switching their gender. Laughing Jill was never meant to be anything more than a single drawing, however some of the fangirls felt differently. The original artist of Creeps wanted to develop Jill into her own character, however I strongly disagreed as I did not want Laughing Jack to have to share his spotlight with a cheap imitation.

rsz_laughing_jack_by_snuffbomb-d5wsy9wUKHS: Your artwork is incredible. Where did you learn to create such evocative images? How do you get inspiration for the creative process?

SB: First of all I would not describe my art as “incredible” but I’m glad someone out there would! In all seriousness though, I have always been a very artistic person. Art classes in middle school, creative writing and theatre in high school, film major in college, I’ve had my hand in art all throughout my life. One thing I always disagreed with all my teachers and professors about is that art has a set of rules — it has suggestions but not rules. The day that people say this one way is how all art/film needs to be made, is the day that the creative process dies. Where most desire to be a “professional artist” I desire to be an “unprofessional artist.”

I often do the opposite thing professional artists tell you to do. “Don’t write creepypastas in 3rd person” — I wrote Origin of Laughing Jack. “Use only the best makeup and materials” — I used hot glue and acrylic paint. “Make a clean convincing set and use good lighting” — I hold my set up with duct tape and use cheap $10 lights I got from Walmart. Art is about challenging rules, not coloring within the lines.

UKHS: Will you ever return to the story of LJ in the future? What else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead? And finally, are there any sites or projects that you’d like me to send my readers to for more of your work?

SB: I think the future is going to be bright for Laughing Jack. I want to drive him in a whole new direction and remove him from the Creepypasta scene to stand on his own as a horror-comedy icon alongside a cast of new characters I think my fans are going to love. I’ve completed production on the first episode of my new series, The Snuff Zone (You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1VDdersmGE ). It’s a comedy series starring a heavily distorted caricature of myself (Snuff Bomb) and his insanely lovably hateable, not-so-imaginary friend Laughing Jack, along with an assortment of colorful original characters.

It’s a buddy comedy series about a sociopath and a psychopath who seek fame online but can’t seem to stay out of trouble. It also features the talent of Mr. Betty Krueger as “The Producer” and BaptismOnFire as the clinically depressed and suicidal teddy bear “Spencer”. So far the first episode has puke, pee, satanic rituals, AIDS, an actual decapitated deer head, and enough subliminal messages to turn Mr. Rodgers into Charles Manson. This and a slew of new content including the controversial SnuffCast is coming real soon. I greatly encourage everyone to subscribe to me on my youtube, SnuffBomb (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClLWpLHAP-Hv-TRCgiKeEBQ) and follow me on twitter at @TheSnuffBomb to see all this great new content.

UKHS: Since the Snuffzone has going live and it seems to have found a very appreciative audience. What has the feedback been like? How does it feel to see your work finding new fans in a different medium?

SB: Well my favorite genre of horror is retro horror-comedy. The cheesy and often comedic practical effects and over the top monsters from the 80’s horror movies really inspired me in making The Snuff Zone and shaping the personality of everyone’s favorite killer clown. I’ve often said “Scaring people is fun, but making them laugh is a lot more satisfying. So why not do both?” Once The Snuff Zone went live, the fan reaction was immediate. Fans are finally seeing the Laughing Jack that they’ve been wanting to see since they first read the stories. One that can creep them out one minute, then make them smile the next.

With a refreshingly down-to-earth attitude and some very original ideas on how to build on his character’s success, SnuffBomb is ensuring that Laughing Jack will go down as one of the classic Creepypasta stories.

Be sure to check back next time when I’ll be covering another classic story — and one of the most acclaimed of all time.

An Interview with Emma Dark by Gary Hindley

rsz_ed5Hi there, I’m Gary Hindley, Writer for UK Horror Scene.

Thank you very much for agreeing to speak with me, I hope all is well with you.

I want say congratulations on your success, with the award winning ‘Seize the Night’. It’s a fantastic piece of film, and thoroughly enjoyed. The writing and directing of film, is something you look to be thriving in, and each project you take on shows more ambition and your drive to try new, exciting things.

Q: What were the influences that got you interested in the horror genre?

I’ve always liked horror, from a very early age. My Dad was a butcher, and as a small child I used to go into his walk in fridge in the butchers shop to see the animals. Not in a particularly grim way, I wanted to see if any of the animals still had heads on and stroke them. Thankfully I actually didn’t turn out to be a serial killer, in fact I’m not even a big fan of slasher movies to be honest. The first horror film I saw was Albert Pyun’s “The Sword and the Sorcerer”. Strictly speaking it’s probably classed as a dark fantasy, but the horror elements are very strong, even as an adult viewer it’s pretty horrific in places. As a BBFC 18 rated film, I don’t know how I managed to convince my Dad it was a kids movie in a video store in the 80’s but somehow I did!

rsz_ed2Q: You’re a celebrated alternative model, and multi award winning director, writer, actress and producer. After being so successful with your modelling career, what was it that attracted you to film making?

With the modelling, the end results are great, frankly who wouldn’t want fantastic photos of themselves, however it’s not your art, not really, it’s the photographers. I’m not saying I don’t like modelling, I still do it from time to time, but I certainly wouldn’t devote all of my free time to it again the way I do with the filmmaking, although of course I’m very grateful for the amazing portfolio I’ve built up over the years.

Filmmaking gives you full creative control over telling a story. I guess I could have written a book or started doing more of my own photography (it would have been significantly cheaper), but I love film, I love using my mind to problem solve, and I love a challenge. Producing/Directing (and in my case also editing, marketing and all the rest) presents me with many challenges.

As far as the acting goes I’d really like to be offered a few more interesting serious parts. I do get offered roles fairly frequently but I have the problem of generally being earmarked what I’d call more of the ‘bimbo’ style of Scream Queen roles (being a model looking type I guess), which surprises me really as the character I play in my own film “Seize the Night” is so very far removed from this. I’ve just had the pleasure of acting in Comedy/Horror short film “Frankula” (available on Amazon Prime), co-starring with Hammer’s Caroline Munro and Judy Matheson, TV’s David Barry, “Carry On Screaming” star Fenella Fielding, and newcomer Martin Rudman, so interesting roles are out there. Many thanks to Stuart Morriss of Misty Moon and Jason Read of Robo Films for casting me in that. I’d actually really like to play a serious, smart, take no BS kind of heroine role in a high production value film, think Ripley in “Alien”. Wouldn’t we all, but if it’s out there that’s the ideal kind role for me in all honesty.

rsz_ed1Q: Seize the Night, saw you gain critical acclaim internationally, from some of the biggest horror magazines, and television channels. What has life been like since its release?

It did! It’s been a pretty amazing journey. It’s been covered at various stages of production by the likes of the Horror Channel, Dread Central, Starburst, Digital FilmMaker Magazine etc. It’s had some great reviews, including one from UK Horror Scene (which I actually quoted on the DVD cover). I can’t say I’ve suddenly been propelled into superstardom from one short film (who would be), but I am being taken more seriously as a mind and not just as a face now, I hope. I have signed as an official guest at lots of horror and sci-fi conventions across the UK, including MCM, which I think is pretty unheard of for an indie filmmaker/actor so I must be doing something right! The film’s also just been nominated for a prestigious iHorror award, so we’ll have to see what happens with that. Of course you have to take the good with the bad and the success does garner a certain level of negativity at times, especially (rather frustratingly) from industry peers I’m sad to say. I did let that bother me at one point but there are so many lovely genuine people out there who are extremely supportive that the others aren’t really worth worrying about in the grand scheme of things.

Q: Your next short film is ‘Salient Minus Ten’, is currently in post production. What can you tell us about your new venture?

It is, I’m finishing the edit now as we speak actually. I can tell you it looks absolutely amazing! I was lucky enough to have world renowned Director of Photography and DSLR guru Philip Bloom join my ‘Salient Minus Ten’ team as DoP. Philip is extremely talented and passionate about what he does, and like me is a bit of a perfectionist, so as you can imagine the shots looks amazing. The fact that Philip was requested to work on George Lucas’ feature film “Red Tails” should tell you everything you need to know about his beautiful cinematography style.

rsz_ed3Then there’s the star of my film, the amazing Alan Austen. Alan is perhaps best known for playing one of the Stormtroopers responsible for placing Han Solo in the carbon-freezing chamber in “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”, although his acting career actually spans almost 40 years and he’s had a variety of film and television parts. I’d originally cast another actor in the role (although I won’t go into that here, details are public on my Indiegogo campaign for those who need to know), when it came to recasting and I auditioned Alan I knew that he was the one to play the lead character of Adam Harper. Alan’s performance really blew me away, he’s absolutely fantastic, he really is, and I hope he goes on to win an award for his acting in my film.

I was also very lucky to have onboard named Special Effects artist Mike Peel of Rogue Creations. Mike has worked on a number of high profile films including “The Zombie Diaries”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, “V for Vendetta” and Jake West’s “Evil Aliens”.

The next stage in the post production process is to now finalise the edit and record the ADR for the film with my Sound Recordist and Designer Chris Collier of 24 Foot Square. I really want the sound design to be very creative and present, as beautiful as the cinematography really, so Chris has a very prominent role on the film.

You can find out more about the rest of my cast and crew (many of whom are ‘Seize the Night’ alumni) on the film’s IMDb page.

As far as the story goes I guess I’ve kept that fairly secretive. It’s a short film after all so I don’t really want to give away the entire plot. My brief storyline reads “Adam Harper is an average man. And on an average day he suddenly finds himself catapulted into the strangest, reality changing game… A game of time and chance, where the stakes are a matter of life and death.” I’ve written a very dark Sci-Fi essentially with horror elements. It’s cerebral, classy and somewhat abstract. I don’t really believe short films have to be any less than features in terms of quality of content, so expect something beautiful with depth.

Q: When can we expect to see the release of ‘Salient Minus Ten’?

A public release won’t be for some time. First it has to do the festival run, which gives it the greatest chance of being seen by those in the industry, and hopefully it will pick up a few well deserved awards along the way. I do hope fans can make it along to festival screenings.

rsz_ed4Q: You are an advocate of ‘Women In Horror’. Were you involved in WiHm 2017?

Yes absolutely, I sat on Jonathan Hughes ‘Women in Horror’ panel at his London based ‘United in Blood’ event talking about a range of film and industry related subjects, and how they affect/what they mean for women in film. You can find video coverage of the panel here http://bit.ly/2mjKwdG. Also MorbidlyBeautiful.com interviewed me as part of Women in Horror Month here http://morbidlybeautiful.com/inspiration-women-horror-3/.

In Autumn last year I wrote a seven page article on ‘Women in Film’ published in issue 39 of Digital FilmMaker Magazine, which talks about my own perspective and the experiences of other prominent UK based female filmmakers. It’s well worth checking out, as an issue of great importance it made the headline article with a dedicated front cover.

Not entirely part of Women in Horror Month but the MMBF Trust have also just opened submissions for the Emma Dark Horror Award. It’s the second year running after a successful 2016 and aims to support all aspiring filmmakers.

Q: What projects do you have planned after ‘Salient Minus Ten’? What are your plans for the future?

I do have another self Produced/Directed short film planned for later this year which has a famous name attached, but if I told you about that I might have to kill you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us!

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