An Interview with Luciana Faulhaber by Dean Sills.

lf6An Interview with Luciana Faulhaber by Dean Sills.

UKHS – Olá Luciana, I am very excited about this interview, thank you for chatting with us at UK Horror Scene. You truly have a gift because you are not only a beautiful, talented, young actress from Brazil but also a model, singer, writer and producer. Can you please tell us a little about your early life in your native Brazil, growing up in Rio de Janeiro and how you became an actress?

LF – Sure. I was born and raised in Rio as the youngest of four. My father passed when I was very young and my mother raised us on her own. My parents always believed in the empowering value of education and my mother made sure we took an array of classes. I was a curious child and ended up wanting to try everything and did pretty much did
even if just for a few days. I ended up sticking to a few different after school classes like ballet and modern jazz, signing, language learning and swimming. If you live in Rio you must learn how to be a confident swimmer otherwise you’ll miss out.

My mother always made me feel like I could do anything and that is something I still carry with me today. Then as a teenager I discovered the theatre. In Brazil there are no arts programs in school and there is no good structured acting instruction. I always look at kids in America and think how lucky they are to do art so young. I took acting classes at a local theatre in Ipanema after classes during high school and once I was a freshman in college I ran to the University’s theatre for their afternoon program.

It was just a little seed to feed my soul. Then I got a scholarship and moved to New York to finish college in a total unrelated field. I finished the degree I felt I owed my parents and took the job that would keep me around while I used all the little free time I had to act. Then I watched Bill Esper speak about the Meisner technique on a panel and he became my teacher. I remember the first day of class like it was today. He said: “Look around you. Look at the people seating next to you. Your life as you know it is about to change.” He was so right. And here I am.

 

lf1UKHS – Can you tell us a little about your role as Emily Diaz in the Horror movie ‘The Last Boat to Alcatraz’ and what was it about the character and the script that convinced you to take on the role?

LF – Emily Diaz is a girl from a privileged upbringing who got in trouble by following her bad boy boyfriend. Being a skeptical and non believer in the supernatural, Emily was down to explore Alcatraz as a joke on her boyfriend’s birthday. What drew me to the part is that she was clever and fought till the end to try to survive. I love the horror genre and shooting in Alcatraz was something I could not turn down. I grew up with so many stories of the supernatural and it fascinates me.

The whole idea of this film sounded like fun. Executing it though was not easy. It was spring in San Francisco, we shot nights at Alcatraz island and it was as indie as indie can get. I definitely give the filmmakers credit for being so ambitious with the project and I hope it gets through the post process. This experience made want to go out and make my own movies. I approached a friend about writing a story into a script and a year later we were fighting that kickstarted battle to get it off the ground. We finally get to shoot Don’t Look this May and could not be more excited!

lf8UKHS – How did you get involved with the movie ‘The Night Crew’ and did you enjoy working alongside talented actors like Luke Goss and Danny Trejo?

LF – “The Night Crew” is a project that already has a special place in my heart. I got involved the old fashion way. I heard about the film, I auditioned and got the part. The director Christina Sesma and I definitely saw Rose eye to eye and he was amazing at helping me explore the role. Rose is strong, independent, kind, but don’t step on her toes. She can certainly fend for herself. And in this film you get to see all parts of her which makes it for a very human character.

Working with Luke and Danny was the cherry on the Sundae. Luke Goss was a true mentor. He would take time to rehearse our scenes and fine tune fight choreography before we shot to make sure we looked badass on screen. I learned a lot from both watching and working with him. Danny Trejo was the life of the set. He’d been shooting all morning by the time I arrived. I introduced myself and we started cracking jokes. He looks at me and says: “I think I just met my future ex-wife.” The room bursts into laughter. He made acting feel like a walk in the park. I hope to work with both Luke and Danny again in the future. There is nothing like working with dedicated people who love what they do.

lf4UKHS – OK, let’s talk about your new movie ‘Don’t Look’. You are not only starring in this but also producing and writing the movie, congratulations Luciana. The story is about five friends who leave NYC for a weekend they’ll never forget. Where did you get the inspiration from for the story?

LF – “Don’t Look” is based on a true Pennsylvania Dutch family story. The legend says only one death by gun in the family is unaccounted for. The story of a mysterious murder that happens on the family’s garage in the 60s. A gun shot is heard and the body is lying on the floor in a pool of blood. No one thought twice at the time and the scene was erased and the mess cleaned. The cops were never called and what happened in that garage is still a mystery. I listened to this story next to a fireplace after the most amazing thanksgiving meal. The single most American holiday a foreigner can experience. I looked around the room and it dawned on me, as a city child, that I never seen guns, animals hanging on walls, and western pictures.

It was like watching a movie. So the idea for Don’t Look was born. A group of city outsiders come to Amish Town, PA and uncover the family’s dirty secret costing them their lives. Since supernatural things are now so popular as a joke we call “Don’t Look” a good “old fashion” horror. Just people killing people. Back to the basics. The Kickstarter campaign was a success and we continue to look for partnerships and sponsors to make this the best (and scariest!) movie we can make.

lf7UKHS – I very much enjoyed the trailer, In the movie you play Lorena, can you tell us about your character and the challenges she will face during the movie?

LF – Lorena is the glue that brings the group together on this trip down to the countryside. Nicole, her roommate since college, is like a sister to her so when Nicole had to return to the farm Lorena would not let her do it alone. Lorena is always the life of the party but also says it as it is. There is no sugar coating anything. If you don’t wanna hear it don’t ask. She finds a way to have fun no matter what situation she is to her own demise. Lorena is also loyal and definitely will never leave her friends behind.

Her biggest challenge in this film is to believe the risk that they are in. She thinks its a prank since its something she would do; scare them shitless for the fun of it. But then it gets so very real. Lorena’s fight is not only physical for survival but emotional too. She is torn between saving herself or trying to save the only family she has while trying to overcome the guilt of not believing in them. She struggles with the guilt of what would happen if she had done things differently and that is something we can all relate to in our own private lives.

lf5UKHS – You have done many amazing projects as an actress including playing Deputy Lennox in ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ and a Mandarin Party Girl in ‘Iron Man 3’ along with many short films and theatre. What is the hardest role that you have had to play and do you go to extreme lengths to prep for your parts and stay in character?

LF – The hardest role was definitely Rose in “The Night Crew” so far. Not only was it a role with great emotional range but it was highly physical. On the first day of shooting (the first scene I shot!) Christian Sesma, the director, walks over and tells us to jump out of the moving car. I was like “got it” and then tried to just look like I’ve done that before. There were many fight scenes and the bruises definitely added up by the end of the shoot. I went to visit my family immediately after wrapping and they were shocked. They questioned if I was “acting” why did I have bruises. All the fights were very real and it takes practice to get it right. Rose was very close to me since I’ve been a tough girl taking care of myself for a long time. So preparing for the role involved understanding Rose’s life story and living it to discover how Rose would experience and express herself.

The writer gave me wonderful insight on her personality and if those elements were true, I asked myself what else was true about her? What if is an important question when developing character. As a Meisner trained actor I live in my imagination, in living truthfully under imaginary circumstances which involves study, day dreaming and action. Many actors lean towards method acting which involves using personal experiences to trigger emotions and to live the situations in real life to generate those emotions. I think opening those gates in your personal life is not healthy and you can only cry about your dead puppy so many times.

lf3UKHS – What’s your favourite Horror movie and what’s the scariest movie scene you ever saw?

LF – This is a tough question! I became a horror fan as a child so its tough to beat those memories. My big sister would have horror movie marathons with her friends and I would sneak in to watch it too. I was terrified of the Poltergeist movies, Friday the 13th and The Chainsaw Massacrer. Chucky to this day still terrifies me! Evil Dead is a classic one I love and I wasn’t very happy with the recent remake. On the other hand that version had some of the best death, kill and resurrection scenes I have seen in a long time! I loved it for that. So instead of picking one scene I recommend people watch this particular remake for its bloody messes all together. I am not particularly fan of remakes in general but it does allow for using new techniques and special effects that weren’t available back then which makes it for a whole new experience.

UKHS – Before you go Luciana I have got to ask you about the World Cup. One of my friends Aline is from Brazil, she loves soccer especially watching Brazil play. Do you share the same passion for the beautiful game and will you be watching the World Cup?

LF – I am a huge soccer fan! When I was younger I used to watch all the games of my local team Flamengo wearing their jersey and everything. I even cried at the end of the games! The world cup is even more intense and I always had a fun group of fellow Brazilian filmmakers I watched the games with when I lived in New York.

Soccer has been a main source of pride and entertainment for the Brazilian people. The country shuts down to watch it in a way that it turns into a carnival but better. The energy and the celebrations on streets make it for the most unique experience. Hosting the world cup will raise that to a whole new level I wish I could be a part of. But I am excited to watch it no matter what. Tickets for the games has been impossible to get for over a year now. I will be for sure with my Brazilian family and friends wherever I am in the world cheering on for my country.

lf2UKHS – “Obrigado pela entrevista e boa sorte com seu futuro” . 

Thank you for the interview and good luck for the future.

Image courtesy: Luciana Faulhaber

https://www.facebook.com/LucianaFaulhaber

twitter/instagram: @lufaulhaber

www.lucianafaulhaber.com

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzMOm0JhE1Vvxq1rPP5rcTQ

 

Machete Kills (2013) BluRay Review

mk1Machete Kills (2013) blu ray review

out Feb 17th (Lionsgate)

 

Director: Robert Rodriguez

 

Starring: Danny Trejo, Amber Heard, Sofia Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez plus loads more famous actors

 

Plot: Machete (Trejo) returns to seek vengeance on those who have done some horrible deed. Machete and Sartana (Jessica Alba) try to stop a Mexican drug cartel from buying weapons from the US military. Discovering what appears to be a WMD, Sartana is blasted with a laser gun by a masked man, who promptly runs away when the US police arrive. Machete is wrongly arrested for Sartana’s death but is eventually given a ‘free pass’ by the President of the United States (played by ‘Carlos Estevez’ in his big screen ‘debut’). The Prez wants Machete to help stop a man named Mendez (Demain Bichir) who has a nuclear missile that he will fire if the US government don’t assist in stopping all the drug cartels. If Machete does this, he will be granted American citizenship, no questions asked (“None of that hand on bible bullshit” to quote the president). And so Machete goes on another bonkers, all out, action adventure that doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘restraint’…

For those who ‘get’ the charm of Machete Cortez this movie will be an absolute joy. For those that don’t, you may enjoy the countless scantily clad women (or not even that). Machete Kills is one hell of a ride either way.

mk2It starts on a hilarious note with a ‘preview’ for a future Machete sequel titled, rather amusingly, ‘Machete Kills Again…in Space’. Many consider a film franchise having a sequel set in space to be a sign that the producers or studio of said franchise have ran out of ideas. Leprechaun in Space, Critters 4, Jason X and Hellraiser: Bloodline all fall into this trap. But with the Machete character ‘jumping the shark’ is part of the lure and going into space seems like a perfect match for Trejo’s role. The ‘trailer’ features plenty of jokes that will have many laughing within seconds. The best being the announcement that a shoddy looking robot named Bleep will be played by ‘Justin Bieber’. Bleep is promptly destroyed by Machete.

The film itself is not afraid to hold back as it’s often flimsy plot is supported (or greatly enhanced to some) by the usual gore and over-the-top kills. One man has his intestines ripped out of his stomach by Machete and flung into the spinning rotor blades of a helicopter. This causes the rest of his guts to be whipped out of him and wrapped around the blades, yanking him into them and the hapless guy is splattered to pieces. Vergara (of Modern Family fame) is a whorehouse owner named Desdemona who is one of the many trying to kill Machete. She often attempts this by firing knives and bullets from her breasts thanks to her various deadly bra’s. Later she fires from a strap-on gun by thrusting her crotch.

Speaking of breasts, the many shapely women, who wear very little, all fall over themselves to try to have sex with Machete. Miss San Antonio (Heard) gladly jumps on him for a good time which prompts text to flash on-screen advising viewers to put on their 3D glasses (obviously none of the movie is in 3D). Heard, as the beauty queen with a dark side, is stunning with her long flowing blonde hair and pout. Vergara will have many staring at her boobs for the already mentioned reasons (although some viewers would have looked anyway as they are hard to miss). Vanessa Hudgens, of High School Musical fame, is more eye candy. Lady Gaga is also in the movie but her involvement is kept to a minimum, thankfully.

mk3The end of Machete Kills feels as if Robert Rodriguez is trying to see how bonkers he can take his creation. The site of Machete riding a nuclear weapon feels like it is some sort of phallic symbolism that is to illustrate that Machete has a massive penis and is therefore extremely manly and cool (as if this movie and its original can’t make it any clearer that Machete does indeed have a big trouser snake due to his woman shagging, bad guy killing ways). The end also takes the viewer back to ‘Machete Kills Again…in Space’ which must mean Rodriguez feels its ready to take the cliché one step further.

Over the top mindless violence, one-dimensional stereotypes and bimbo women all in one movie that actually works despite its un-PC feel. Yet isn’t that the whole point of a Machete film?

8 out of 10.

Extras include a brief message from ‘Carlos Estevez’, a brief feature on Robert Rodriguez and interviews with various cast and crew members.

Rise of the Zombies (2012) DVD Review

RISE-001

RISE OF THE ZOMBIES (2012)
Dir. Nick Lyon        89 mins
Anchor Bay
UK Release: 13th May 2013

Ok – so I have to start this with a confession. I own every single Asylum film that’s been released in the UK. Shoot me ! For the uninitiated, The Asylum are renowned for riding on the coattails of studio blockbusters with similarly titled b-movies – Paranormal Entity for example, American Battleship, Snakes On A Train etc. Read any online review of one of their movies and you’ll subject yourself to jaw-dropping levels of hatred. This is normally due to the contributor of said hate falling for the clever marketing trick of The Asylum and taking home the movie presuming it’s the big money box office draw. To me though that’s akin to buying economy cola from the supermarket and taking it back the next day saying you were conned into thinking it was Coke as the label was red. It was also 8p. Take a little notice once in a while!

Anyway, to their latest offering – Rise Of The Zombies. One thing about movies from The Asylum is that you can always expect a worthy cast of genre actors. Here we have the excellent threesome of Danny Trejo, Mariel Hemingway and Ethan Suplee. We start in San Francisco in a gore laden beginning as an SUV tumbles down one of the city’s famously steep streets only for most of the passengers to be pounced on by a baying hoard of zombies. As the camera pans away we see Alcatraz Island where we find Dr. Snyder (Hemingway) busily trying to formulate a vaccine to stop the spread of the zombie virus.

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Among the other temporary residents on the island are Caspian (Trejo) and Marshall (Suplee) who in contrast to Dr. Snyder, favour a more survival orientated plan. Following the arrival to the island of some escapees from the mainland, they discover one is bitten which prompts a full scale lockdown – as well as a gore-soaked relentless action sequence. The solution they feel, is that they have to get off the island, but the raft can only carry a certain number of people. Dr. Halpern (LeVar Burton) volunteers to stay, primarily as he feels he has the perfect opportunity to discover the causes of the virus with so many samples to do tests on – one of whom is the zombified body of his daughter.

As the raft arrives back onto the mainland, Snyder is determined to make it into the city where she is sure she can find an already formulated vaccine. Marshall however is vehemently opposed, and says it’s not worth the risk, instead preferring to fight for his own survival by finding food, water and weapons. As the group splits into two, the bets are on as to who will successfully navigate the zombie infested streets of San Francisco to reach their goal.

Now in their 16th year, The Asylum have become gradually more successful, and it seems that they are putting their success back into their films as the look of Rise Of The Zombies is very impressive indeed – specifically the make-up and gore. Nitpickers will always have an agenda with an Asylum movie, and take aim at the CGI (not bad here) or the predictable script or the stilted performances regardless of how good the movie is, and to be honest this really is one of their best.

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With the inclusion of actors like Mariel Hemingway and Danny Trejo, Rise Of The Zombies is lifted from a crowded market of DTV living dead flicks that endlessly populate the shelves of your local video store. If you’ve been unfairly put off watching movies made by The Asylum, you could do a lot worse than picking this title to begin your introduction to this budget label.

6 out of 10