Debra Sullivan

Secret Santa: A HoTS Review

Secret Santa: A HoTS Review

The holidays may be over, but great horror is timeless.  Earlier this month, Adam Marcus released his latest film Secret Santa.  The movie has received rave reviews and has been featured at conventions for the fans to get a sneak peek. Co-written by Debra Sullivan, who also stars in the film, Secret Santa tells the story of a family getting together for Christmas.  Most of us know that getting several family members together for any holiday can be stressful.  Secret Santa makes us all live vicariously through members of this family.  I won’t be delivering spoilers with this, rather give you enough incentive to see this film for yourself.

Quick plot with no spoilers.  April and her boyfriend Ty list April’s mother Shari (played in a memorable performance by Debra Sullivan).  Shari, a very organized woman wants things done a certain way and does not tolerate anything less.  April’s sister Penny fills the role of outcast of the family.  This is key later.

Secret Santa by Adam MarcusDuring dinner, the family plays a game of Secret Santa.  A gift is given to a family member and they must all figure out who bought the gift. April and Penny’s father attends the dinner however, to the disappoint of Shari.  During the game an argument ensues, April has a dark secret about Penny and dear old dad attacks Uncle Carter.  From here, a good old fashioned slasher rears its head.  Who takes responsibility gets revealed in a very interesting string of events that makes this film work and work well.

Secret Santa by Adam MarcusThere is the plot.  Time for my thoughts.  This movie is a 5 star holiday instant classic.  There are original kills, laughs throughout the whole movie and the right amount of blood horror fans crave.  I laughed through the entire film.  The dialogue, creative.  Each character represents someone we all know.  Secret Santa delivers  great surprises and even when you believe you figure things out, a curveball comes at you.

Adam Marcus gives a tremendous gift to the fans with Secret Santa.  His writing and directing leave you wanting more and the movie flies by with little to no lull.  This movie is the best holiday horror film since 1984.  I absolutely loved it from start to finish.  I guess if I had one critique, it would be maybe a backstory or two on a couple of the characters.  Let me qualify that by saying that I am really reaching to find a critique.  Secret Santa is fun and will be the standard for what horror fans will watch during the holidays moving forward.  Everyone involved with this movie deserves a round of applause.

Overall Grade: A+

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #26 – NerdGirls

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #26 – NerdGirls

Tonight’s PSA comes from thesis topic about abortion generic4all cialis free business plan templates for word need a ghostwriter see personal statement essay source link thesis powerpoint examples go here go here cialis e priligy insieme priligy usa cialis marketing case study buy essays aim and hypothesis example topics for cause and effect essay type my top best essay online essay writing help paano gumawa ng thesis kabanata 1 follow how to write a cover letter for online job applications source site Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, and Bryan Sexton.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the awesome twenty-sixth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:


By Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, & Bryan Sexton


A native of New York and Connecticut (a feat in itself), at 11, Adam was a PA on his first studio movie. At 13 he was apprentice editing for Columbia Pictures. At 15, he created the Westport Theatreworks Theatrical Company, directing and producing over 50 shows in 7 years. At NYU he won Best Picture in for his film, “…so you like this girl”. At 21, Adam set up his first feature film at Disney and less than a year later he had been hired to write and direct New Line Cinema’s “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”. At 23 he was the youngest director ever hired by a major studio to write and direct a feature film. He then turned his attention to writing and he and writing partner </ strong>Debra Sullivan, wrote scripts for Paramount (the adaptation of James Patterson’s “Virgin”), Fox (the original “Black Autumn”), and Lionsgate (the box office #1 “Texas Chainsaw 3D”).
In 1995 Adam created the Skeleton Crew TheatreWorks where to this day he trains some of the most talented actors in the industry. This troupe has been the backbone of Adam’s theatrical and cinematic casts.
In 1998 Adam directed the indie comedy, “Let It Snow” starring Bernadette Peters. The film was a critical and festival darling at AFI’s LAIFF (where it won several awards), Sundance, New York/Avignon, the Deauville festival in France among many others. At the same time Adam sold several TV series to Kevin Bright Productions, Imagine Television, NBC, Fox and The WB. Adam then directed the Sony Pictures feature film, “Conspiracy”, which he co-wrote with Sullivan. Starring Val Kilmer, Jennifer Esposito, and Gary Cole. The latest Marcus/Sullivan project written by the duo, is “Momentum”, starring Olga Kurylenko, James Purefoy and Morgan Freeman.
Recently episodes of Adam’s web series, Connected was the winner for best short subject at three separate festivals.
He and Sullivan have recently partnered with long time producer Bryan S. Sexton to form Skeleton Crew Productions. They already have several films slated for release next year and 2 new television series slated for mid- 2018.
As a director Adam has three new films in the pipeline, “The Plantation”, “The Harvest” and “Dread”.
“Secret Santa” is a return to the genre Adam loves dearly. He’s so thrilled to be back, knee deep in blood and madness!


When I was in film school at NYU, there were two films that would change my idea of artful storytelling. The first was Katherine Bigalow’s “Near Dark”. It was a dark, scary, romantic adrenaline rush. As a young man I was not accustomed to seeing a film this kick-ass made by a woman. A woman who not only gave James Cameron a run for his money when it came to action but was far more interested in the connection between it’s characters than the average horror movie. It knocked my socks off. Then I saw Luc Besson’s “La Femme Nikita”. It was a mash-up of all the things I loved about French Cinema and American Movies. At it’s center was the story of a lost young woman who is as bad an anti-hero as you’ll find. But you love her. She is a murderer who is trained to use her pathological talents for the “government”. We’ve seen this story a thousand times and it’s always a bit ham-fisted. Why does this one work? Because it is the story of a woman and the complications of being a woman used by a world of men for their purposes, that’s why! She goes from being owned by the male-constructed system to owning herself. And it was written and directed by a man. It showed me that a man can tell stories about strong, kick-ass women that still get to be feminine. And that was it… I was hooked.
Since then, I have struggled to do the impossible in Hollywood… tell stories about strong women. For twenty-five years I have tirelessly written movies about women, in every genre. Many of those scripts have been bought, but only a few have even been made. Most sit on shelves in studio offices.
Before it was chic to make stories about women, I wanted to.
No, I yearned to. Every time I’d sit down with my brilliant partner, Debra, and come up with a new story, the response from our representatives was always, “For the love of all that’s holy, can’t you please write something with a male protagonist”? That’s something they don’t teach in film school, or in three day seminars on writing movies… if you want a movie to get made, write about men.
Well… fuck that! Seriously. Fuck that!
A couple of years ago, Debra and I wrote a project based on a wonderful novel our company optioned named, Nightspinners. It was the story of twin sisters who can speak to each other telepathically. Again, it’s about ownership of one’s identity. It’s about strong women. One heroic and one psychotic. But both will not and can not be ignored. When we went searching for our director, I said, “It has to be a woman. This is story that should be told by a woman”. We started making a list but our list got tossed out the window when we found out that Jen and Sylvia Soska were repped at our same agency. After much hemming and hawing (“they’ve seen every twin story out there”) they sent them the script. Twenty-four hours later we received a two line response, “Fuck yeah we’ll do Nightspinners! Cause it’s fucking awesome”! Thus began the beautiful friendship between the Twisted Twins and Skeleton Crew.
When the Soskas came to Debra and me to create something for WiHM, we could not have said, “YES” faster. We got to work immediately on hatching our PSA. Enter the NERDGIRLS!
NerdGirls is a film series that Debra and I created over a year ago. It’s about a young woman, Alex, who since childhood has been obsessed with what she was always told was “Boy Stuff”. Comics, Kung-Fu Movies, Superheroes. Her best friend in grade school, a super-serious tom boy, Maxine, even used to beat up the boys in school who taunted Alex for playing with Giant Robots rather than dolls. When Alex was eight, her father left the family and she blamed herself, thinking she was a bad daughter and not “girly” enough. So she abandoned and threw out everything she loved. Her comics and toys and worse of all… Maxine. 15 years later, Alex’s life is a mess. She’s forced herself to be what society thinks of as a “girl”, all the while still daydreaming of comic books and obsessively sketching on anything she can. On the day that she is robbed at her day job, finds her boyfriend in bed with another… man, and is kicked out of her apartment, she stumbles upon a shop selling the same GIANT ROBOT she abandoned years ago. She rushes into the store to find… Maxine is running the place! Rekindling their friendship, Alex finds a new home and the real adventure of her NerdGirl life is about to begin.
Our WiHM PSA is a horror episode of NerdGirls. It’s about the snakepit that is Blind Dating and the power of friendship and ass-kicking femininity! Oh, and did I mention there’s lot of blood?
I’m so excited to be a part of this year’s Blood Drive and WiHM! Not just as a man who loves stories about women, but as a human being who loves stories about all of us!


Debra is an actress/writer/producer. As an actress, over the years, she has appeared in countless plays, films, television shows and commercials. This 2nd generation Los Angelino has played lead roles in comedies, dramas and musicals. In television, she has had lead and/or recurring roles on “Criminal Minds”, “Private Practice”, “Big Love”, “ER”, “Days of Our Lives” and “Cold Case”, as well as many others. Some of her favorite films roles include, “Conspiracy” with Val Kilmer, “Let It Snow” (a Sundance Winner) with Bernadette Peters, “Bring It On, All or Nothing” with Hayden Panetierre, and “Brewster’s Millions” with the late Richard Pryor and John Candy. Recently, she starred opposite Steve Guttenberg in the film, “Lookin’ Up”.
When not acting, she and her husband/partner, Adam Marcus have written over 50 screenplays, including, “Conspiracy”, “Momentum”, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “The Plantation”. Their latest script, “Secret Santa” is a film she not only performs in but co-wrote and co-produced with Marcus and their producing partner, Bryan S. Sexton.
“Secret Santa”, a scathing “horromedy”, is burning up the festival circuit right now and is the first feature out of the gate for the trio’s newly formed production company, Skeleton Crew Productions.
Creating Skeleton Crew with Marcus and Sexton has been one of the most rewarding aspects of her career in the business. The company is committed to making entertainment, at all budget levels while giving opportunities to those who haven’t had their “breaks” yet or to work in the field of the business they’ve always wanted to. They currently have several films and television shows in the pipeline, the majority of which have strong female protagonists, something Marcus and Sullivan have always specialized in.
You can follow Debra on Twitter and Instagram @debsullivanm, and on Facebook as Debra Sullivan.


I am so excited to be a part of this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive. As a woman in the industry and one who has done the majority of her work in the horror genre, I am honored to support the talented and ever amazing Soska Sisters in this annual event.
While we had a lot of fun making our film, our true heart was in the message we’re helping to send out to the world, the importance of donating blood. When you donate, you save lives, period. In these unpredictable times we live in, with more and more things happening, we have to stick together and be there for each other. The horror community has always been a source of people who care. So let’s care together. Go out and donate. You’ll be blessed that you did.
Let the blood-letting begin!!!

Cast & Crew:

The Nerd Girls
Anna Sondall………Alex Travalian
Paris Wise………Kit Kapinski
Michelle Allaire………Mickey Montgomery
Debra Sullivan………Mrs. Virginia Summerbottom
Mesa Kronhaus………Maxine Kotzwinkle
Kristin Wall………Georgia Washington
Ryan Leigh………Seaton Pickles

The Vampires
Scott Maguire………Cassian
Sassan Saffari………Derek
Rissa Kilar………Chantal The Vampire Queen
Nigel Lawes………Abatu The Gatekeeper
Darren Dupree Washington………Baka The Guardian
Jerusalem Girma………D.J. Cyrus
Joshua Kwak………Chiang-Shih
Erika Lane Enggren………Kali
Russ Ferri………Amon
Charlit Dae………Balam The Protector
Ed Nathan………Mecate Cacus The Protector
Pat Destro………Evanora The Vile
Petra Areskoug………Agate
Nick Barajas-Torres………Deumus
Gabriel Fiorindo Bellotti………Cherufe
Glennthomas Camba………Forneus
Melissa Corkern………Eris
Kate Enggren………Gatrea
Gilbert Feliciano………Kappas
CJ Feldbau………Azazel
Scott Fleetwood………Gremony
Troy Fromin………Halphas
Timothy D. Harris………Malphas
Mitch Narito………Marax
Breann Johnson………Hecate
Jeff Karr………Orobas
Gabi Mayorga………Salome
Daryn O’Patry………Moloch
Candace Quirk………Cerys
Jon Daniel Schwartz………Uvall
Anna Yosin………Onodine

Adam Marcus………Director/Co-Writer/Editor/Co-Producer
Debra Sullivan………Co-Writer/Co-Producer
Bryan S. Sexton………Producer
Fidencio Casas………D.P.
Freddy John James………Stunt Coordinator
Timothy D.G. Eilers………Composer/Vfx
Joshua Kwak………First A.D.
Chris Gonzaga………Gaffer
Gregg Furuoka………A.C.
Jorge Ramos………Key Grip
Kristy Munden………Wrangler

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Alan Smithee in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments