Women in Horror month

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WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #2 – B[e] Positive

Happy second PSA of Women in Horror Month, Souls! House of Tortured Souls is pround to present the second entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Los Angeles writer/director Joe Magna.

Oh, and before we continue, here’s the 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 😉

And without further ado, behold the amazing second Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

B[e] Positive

By Joe Magna

MINI BIO:

Joe Magna is a Los Angeles-based Writer & Director, specializing in surreal fantasy and candy-coated nightmares.
Joe’s creative work spans through Television, Film and Theme Park development.
In addition to recently writing and directing the short film “B[e] Positive” for the Twisted Twins’ WIH Massive Blood Drive, Joe Magna will be releasing two additional short films that he wrote and directed, coming soon in 2018.
Joe Magna is currently working in creative development on several Theme Park attractions overseas.

ON WiHM:


I celebrate Women in horror month every month. Without the wonderful women of the horror genre, we would have no Frankenstein [thank you Mary Shelley]. We would have no Creature from the Black Lagoon [thank you Milicent Patrick]. And we would cease to exist.

I think these days more than ever, we need to remind ourselves that each of us emerged bloody and crying from the womb of a brave and strong woman.

It is my pleasure to be a part of this collection of short films that celebrates the wonderful women of Horror.

ON BLOOD DONATION:


Blood is life. It’s in all of us. For most of us, it flows in abundance.
But there are those out there less fortunate.
Donating blood means donating life. Now more than ever, we need to band together to help our brothers and sisters in need.
Not all of us can donate financially. But nearly all of us can donate the fluid of life to help someone else live theirs.
It’s truly in you to give . Thank you for donating blood. Thank you for being a true hero.

CAST & CREW:

Writer, Director, Editor: Joe Magna
Cinematography, Music, Sound Design: Richard Trejo
Production Design: Alex Napiwocki

Starring:
Jill Evyn
Stephanie Gail Williams
Christina Westbrook
and Noel Jason Scott as Harvey Winesnob

Check out the first PSA:




Posted by Alan Smithee in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

WiHM: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Cassandra Peterson as Elvira / Fair use doctrine.On September 17, 1951, the world was gifted with The Mistress of the Dark. Born in Manhattan Kansas, Cassandra Peterson a.k.a. Elvira started her life with a mishap that led to her success. As a toddler, she had accidentally pulled a pot of boiling water down onto her. This burnt about a third of her body and left permanent scarring. After moving to Colorado Springs, CO, at age 7, she endured the harassment of other school children and was extremely shy due to the scarring. She would later use this experience, a place she quoted as “all the freaks come from” to help inspire her Elvira persona.

Growing up, Cassandra’s mother ran a costume shop and she loved playing model for her. She told Biography.com:

I would pick out whatever was the hot costume that year — Ginger from Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeanie, Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke — and my mom would make one in my size, so I would wear costumes to school all the time. Everyone thought I was a total freak. But I knew I would grow up and wear a costume one day, and that’s exactly what happened.

Cassandra Peterson as Elvira / Fair use doctrine.At 17, she became the youngest showgirl in Las Vegas in a show titled Vive Les Girls. After stints overseas as a singer and dancer, she came back to the United States as a star of her comedy show. This led to years of her being part of the best improv groups in LA, The Groundlings, working with famous comedians such as Paul Reubens and Phil Hartman. But, in 1981, the true star was born. She auditioned for a role as a horror movie hostess for a local LA TV station. The show was called Movie Macabre and her hostess name was Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark. She became a household name in no time.

Everyone loved the wickedly vampish hostess and her quirky commentary for the B movies she showed. She was never cruel or mean, just enough of a jab to make it hilarious. She also never took herself too seriously. She loved the persona of Elvira and helped it come to life not just on TV but with successful movies and home videos as well. 1985 brought us her home video series known as Thriller Video. The feature-length film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark was released in 1988. Cassandra co-wrote, produced and starred in it. Next came Elvira’s Haunted Hills in 2001, which she also co-wrote and produced. She is a lady of many talents and quickly became an icon in the horror/Halloween world.

Funko Pop Elvira / Fair use doctrine.Now, over three decades later, Elvira is still adored by millions. You can find Cassandra on the convention circuit where she loves meeting fans. Her licensed image can be found on shirts, purses, pinball machines, Pop dolls and more. A recent photobook Peterson released celebrates 35 years of beauty with over 350 images of the Queen of Halloween. And I suspect that she will hold that title forever.

Your adoring fan forever,
ZombieGurl
Cassandra Peterson as Elvira / Fair use doctrine.

Posted by ZombieGurl in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #28 – The Newish Testament

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #28 – The Newish Testament

Good evening and happy twenty-eighth night of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the final entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Tonight’s PSA comes from Jamie DeWolf.

The following may be offensive to some, but in the immortal words of mister John Cleese, “Some people deserve to be offended”….

Without further ado, behold the wicked final Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

The Newish Testament

By Jamie DeWolf

SYNOPSIS:

An irreverent romp through the Garden of Eden, on a quest for the origin of the First Blood.
Directed, shot, written and edited by Jamie DeWolf and Sharkey Stiletto

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

For this short, we wanted to confront widely held fairytales through a critical eye.
This lead us down some zany paths, on a quest of what makes blood magical and what makes it absurd.

STARRING:

A.J. Kirsch as Adam
Sadira LadyLiquid as Eve
Jordan Ranft as God
Asher Kennedy as Sampson
Zoë Rountree as Delilah
Jamie DeWolf as Joseph
Nazelah Jamison as Mary
ChaCha Burnadette as Goddess
Dre AKA Duke Bossman as Jesus Christmas

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

JAMIE DEWOLF is a writer, performer, film director, show producer and circus ringmaster from Oakland, CA. A filmmaker since his teens, DeWolf wrote and directed his first feature film Smoked, a “fast paced, smart, witty dark comedy crime caper” about a botched Cannabis Club robbery in Oakland. The film is described as “Mean, bloody and demented. It’s also piss-your-pants hilarious, maddeningly nihilistic…and an insanely energetic romp.” Smoked was picked up for international distribution by Indican Studios, who also released the cult film Boondock Saints.
DeWolf’s original short films, known for their provocative and boundary pushing subject matter, have won multiple awards from “Best Acting Performance” (A Girl and a Gun Briefs 2013), “Most Terrifying Storyline” (U Turn Scream 2013), “Best Cinematography” (Ricochet in Reverse Scream 2014), and “Best Writing” (Rio Grind 2014). His short films Hey Baby Hey and OK Monster! both won the Grand Prize Audience Award the year of their premiere. His shorts Double Agent and Black Out were both chosen to be featured at the CineKink Film Festival in NYC. His short U Turn was selected for The Invoking 2, a feature length horror film anthology franchise by Ruthless Pictures. He was voted “Best Film-Maker” by the East Bay Express in 2016.
DeWolf has made a dedication to intertwining cinema and social activism, shooting and directing over 32 films for the Bigger Picture Project, an acclaimed, statewide series of films on the youth prevention of Diabetes. The series was featured in the NY Times, the PBS NewsHour, Colorlines and KQED. He’s helmed national film campaigns for the Raise Up Project focusing on the high school drop-out crisis, the Write Home Project which was coupled with a writing program on youth homelessness, and the Off/Page Project in partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting. The Off/Page Project resulted in the trilogy Whispers from the Fields, This is Home and Locked (in), acclaimed for creating a new hybrid of “lyricism and facts”. His films have accumulated over 5 million shared views across the world, winning the Real Food Media Grand Prize two years in a row with the films Thin Line and Home Flavored, and received the Spirit of 1848 award from the American Public Health Association. He continues to direct and shoot a variety of projects from documentary, music video and narrative films.
Currently DeWolf hosts his variety show Tourettes Without Regrets every First Thursday in Oakland, tours with NPR’s storytelling series Snap Judgment and is writing his next feature film. You can find his CD Vaude Villain featuring his comedy performances on Itunes .

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Alan Smithee in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM Interview: The Inimitable Barbie Wilde

WiHM Interview: The Inimitable Barbie Wilde

Woofer here, Souls, and it’s my great pleasure to introduce this interview. When discussing Women in Horror Month with my assistant editor Spencer, we decided that as fans of Hellraiser – both as the Books of Blood and the film franchise – we would be completely remiss if we didn’t reach out to Barbie Wilde. Being both talented and gracious, she consented to be interviewed and is our final focus for Women in Horror Month.

Barbie Wilde - Female Cenobite Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

Well, that’s enough of my yammering. You’re all here to find out more about the lovely, talented, and kind Barbie Wilde, so keep on reading.
House of Tortured Souls: Did you ever think you would become a horror icon?
Barbie Wilde: I never did… And it’s a bit ironic that I nearly didn’t go to the audition for Hellbound Hellraiser II, because I found the first Hellraiser film so disturbing. (Although I did love the character of Julia. I’m a sucker for obsession! And the Cenobites were such original and unusual monsters.)
However, I’ve very glad that I did go, obviously. Being in Hellbound was a great experience and, speaking as a short blonde person, I’m truly thrilled that I’ve managed to scare so many people over the years.
HoTS: What is your favorite memory from working on Hellraiser II?
BW: Meeting Ken (Dr. Channard) Cranham for the first time. I walked up to him in full Female Cenobite makeup and costume, when he was in full Channard Cenobite makeup and costume — and on the phone to his wife as well! For some reason known only to the infernal powers below, I said: “Hi Ken, I’m Barbie. Do you want to get married and have babies called Pepper and Skipper?”
Why I thought that this was an appropriate way to introduce myself for the first time to such a venerable actor as Ken, I don’t know. Especially since he was English and had no idea that there were these famous American dolls called Barbie, Ken, Pepper and Skipper. (In Britain, the Barbie Doll equivalent is called Cindy.) In my defense, I do say this line to every “Ken” I meet, because for some strange reason, I think it’s hilarious.
Anyway, Ken was gobsmacked and whispered to his wife, “Darling, an actress is talking to me… I’ve got to go.” I apologized profusely and we’ve been good friends ever since.

The Lovely Barbie Wilde

HoTS: What was it like working with Tik and Tok?
BW: The years with Shock in the early 80s were fantastic. It was the most fun that I’ve ever had as a performer. Working with Tik and Tok was wonderful, as well as performing with Robert Pereno, LA Richards, and Carole Caplin. The high point for us was supporting Gary Numan at Wembley Arena, but we also toured with Depeche Mode and supported Ultravox as well.
HoTS: Who are some of your greatest influences?
BW: As a writer: Rod Serling, Patricia Highsmith, Clive Barker, Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, Colin Wilson.
Directors I admire are: Guillermo Del Toro, Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, the Soska Sisters, Ann Biller, Katherine Bigalow, Mary Harron, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Patty Jenkins.

Barbie Wilde's Blue Eyes - A Film By Chris Alexander

HoTS: How do you prepare for a role? Is it different for each?
BW: I approach each role in a new way. I don’t use any particular “method”. I’m very intuitive and I take a lot from the text…
HoTS: Why horror? What drew you to it?
BW: To be honest, I didn’t choose horror, horror chose me! I had moved from acting into presenting, writing and hosting TV shows when I was cast in Hellbound. It was my first horror movie. (Although I suppose being in Grizzly II: The Concert (1983) was my first appearance in a horror movie, but it was never released.)
It’s interesting, because until Paul Kane asked me to write a story for the Hellbound Hearts anthology, I was more interested in exploring the criminal mind in writing novel like my diary-of-a-serial-killer novel, The Venus Complex (published by Comet Press), than writing horror. But I had so much fun writing my Female Cenobite origin story (“Sister Cilice”) for Hellbound Hearts, that I continued writing horror, contributing short stories to various horror anthologies over the years, culminating in my illustrated, full color, short horror story collection, Voices of the Damned (published by SST Publications).

The Venus Complex (2012) by Barbie Wilde

Saying that though, I’ve always watched horror movies, ever since I was a kid, especially Sci-fi horror. Those films really shaped my twisted imagination! And TV shows like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits also made a big impression on me.
HoTS: What are your favorite horror films?
BW: I love the old black and white horrors like: The Thing From Another World (1951), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Innocents (1961), The Haunting (1963) and Night of the Demon AKA Curse of the Demon (1957). I also like visceral horror such as Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) and Alien (1979). Other favorites are: American Mary (2012), Sinister (2012), Audition (1999), The Lure (2015), Cronos (1993), Mimic (1997), Crimson Peak (2015), etc. (I’m really looking forward to seeing The Shape of Water and the Soska Sisters’ reimagining of Cronenberg’s Rabid.)
HoTS: What drew you to writing? Do you prefer it to acting?
BW: I’ll always love acting, but now I prefer creating my own worlds, my own characters and my own mythologies.
HoTS: When did you realize that you wanted to dive into the arts?
BW: I was a very shy kid, but when I was cast in a school play when I was 12, I was hooked forever. People were laughing with me, rather than at me. I loved it.

Voices of the Damned (2016) by Barbie Wilde

HoTS: What is something outside of art that you’re passionate about?
BW: Wine… Margaritas… Martinis… you see a pattern here? Actually, those are just hobbies! Seriously, I’m fascinated by archeology (it was my Minor at University) and I love what’s happening in the world of science with all the innovations that are happening, medical discoveries, etc. And I’m a tech geek. I never would have guessed that I’d love gadgets so much. I suppose it’s the Star Trek fan in me!

Barbie’s books and other works:

Out now:

Voices of the Damned, an illustrated short horror story collection published by SST Publications. (Publishers Weekly: “…sensual in its brutality.” “…a delight for the darker senses.”) Each story is illustrated in full color by top artists in the horror genre, such as Clive Barker, Nick Percival, Daniele Serra, Vincent Sammy, Tara Bush, Steve McGinnis, Ben Bradford and Eric Gross.

Barbie Wilde - Female Cenobite with knife in Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

The Venus Complex, Barbie’s debut dark crime, diary-of-a-serial-killer novel, published by Comet Press. (Fangoria: “Wilde is one of the finest purveyors of erotically charged horror fiction around.”)

In pre-production:

A feature length horror film called Blue Eyes, based on a short story by Barbie. It’s co-written with Chris Alexander (Blood for Irina, Queen of Blood, Female Werewolf, Blood Dynasty, Space Vampire) and will be directed by Chris. Starring Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy.

Work-in-progress:

Film Script: “Zulu Zombies”.
New real life horror novel, working title: The Anatomy of Ghosts.

Plans for the future:

To find a publisher for graphic novels based on Barbie’s short stories “Sister Cilice” and “Zulu Zombies”.

The Offer (2017) - Barbie Wilde

In 2017, Barbie returned to acting after 17 years in The Offer, the first episode of the horror series, Dark Ditties, produced by Cult Film Screenings.

Barbie Wilde Social Media:

Barbie Wilde - Classic Beauty

Posted by Alan Smithee in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM Salute: Deborah Voorhees

WiHM Salute: Deborah Voorhees

Deborah VoorheesWhat’s in a name?  If you are the subject of this latest Women in Horror Month piece, the answer can be everything.  In 1985, Deborah Voorhees (then known as Debi Sue Voorhees) was an unknown actress and former Playboy Bunny, whose biggest acting gig was a 7 episode run on the TV series Dallas.  That changed when she went for an audition of the fifth installment of Friday The 13th.  She would beat out future Friday The 13th alum, Darcy DeMoss for the role of Tina in Friday The 13th: A New Beginning.

Deborah VoorheesIt was in the role of Tina that Deborah would have one of the most memorable deaths in the franchise.  Her eyes were sheared by a pair of hedge clippers.  Unfortunately, A New Beginning is often the most criticized film in the series.  Why?  Because Jason isn’t the killer and it is the disgruntled ambulance driver, Roy? (If that is a spoiler for anyone, the movie came out 33 years ago, so spoiler rules don’t apply.).   What is funny about Voorhees (who was going to be cast in the movie one way or another because of her last name) is when you talk to her about horror movies, she is an admitted scaredy cat.

Deborah VoorheesSo what has happened to Deborah Voorhees since Friday The 13th Part 5?  She has tried her hand in a couple different fields.  Voorhees was a teacher and also has worked for The Dallas Morning Times.  She has also began writing, producing and directing films for her own company, Voorhees Films.  Just recently, she ran a contest where fans could submit a “kill” for her upcoming Horror/Comedy, The List.  Deborah Voorhees also runs and moderates a Facebook Page called Deborah Voorhees Shear Horror Group.

As far as what is in store for Deborah Voorhees.  She has hinted at a new project.  Not much is known about this mystery project except that it incorporates some of her fellow Friday the 13th Alumni.  So we have something to look forward from Deborah.  Deborah also has attended some Conventions in the last year, including Texas Frightmare and Horror Hound last year.

So please join me in saluting the Deborah Voorhees (Tina in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning) and let’s wish this multi-talented woman a very Happy Women in Horror Month!

Deborah Voorhees

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #27 – The Love Swallows

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #27 – The Love Swallows

Good evening and happy twenty-seventh PSA of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the nxt entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Tonight’s PSA comes from Nicole McClure.

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-seventh Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

The Love Swallows

By Nicole McClure

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Nicole McClure is a writer, director, editor, colorist, and VFX artist. A woman of many talents, Nicole’s body of work is as diverse as she is. Regardless of what position she holds on a production, her work always elevates the pieces to a whole new level.
A two time WiHM Massive Blood drive director before this with her partner, Aramis Sartorio, the two have a hilarious, often shocking, and blood fantastic take on horror to get you in the mood to donate blood.

Cast:

Megan Duffy
Matt Mercer
Aramis Sartorio

Crew:

Production Design………George Hale
Gaffer………Miles Kittrege………
Photography by………Nate Liquor
Pony Gold
Nicole McClure

Special Thanks:

Matt Suchesi
Kaeli Quick
Michael Snyder
Sebastian Love
Mylissa Ftizsimmons
Blame Mercury
Jen & Sylvia Soska

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
WiHM: Interview with Rakefet Abergel of Jax in Love (2017)

WiHM: Interview with Rakefet Abergel of Jax in Love (2017)

Hey horror fans, Horrormadam here with a Women in Horror interview with the amazing stand-up comedienne, actor (Superbad, Just Go With It, and My Best Friend’s Girl), director (Girls on Girls), and writer (Jax in Love, Live) Rakefet Abergel. We are here to discuss the wonderful short film Jax in Love.
First, let me give you the premise:
A mysterious and lonely young woman, Jax (Rakefet Abergel) is traveling through the expansive desert of the American West, in search of some tangible connection, a kindred spirit or like-minded soul with whom she can bond. When her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, her journey takes a dangerous turn, and we learn this seemingly sweet woman may not be who she seems at all. How far will she go for love? Will she make it out of the desert alive?
—Written by Nick Laskin
I really loved this film and apparently, I am not alone. The awards that are already pouring in are illuminating.
  • Best Actress in a Short — Nightmares Film Festival
  • Best Horror Short — Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival
  • Award of Merit — Best Shorts Competition (Leading Actress)
  • Award of Merit — Best Shorts Competition (Women Filmmakers)
  • Award of Commendation — Canada Shorts Film Festival
  • Best Thriller Short Nominee — Women in Horror Film Festival
  • Best of Fest Nominee — Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival
  • Best Actress Nominee — Independent Horror Movie Awards
JAX IN LOVE was directed by Academy Award Nominee (Best Short Film, Live Action, Seraglio (2000)) Colin Campbell and produced by Jory Weitz, the executive producer of Napoleon Dynamite. It also stars John Gammon (Corey and Lucas for the Win, The Middle), Ben Kacsandi (Rio, Please Tell Me I’m Adopted), Devi Veysey (Breaking Fat), and Laura Wiggins (Rings, Shameless).
I certainly do not want to give too much away but one of my favorite things about the film is the role reversal over what we normally see in these kinds of thrillers. So well acted and engaging, this horror short grabs you from the beginning and leaves you wanting more. It is all-inclusive as a short but the action made me hope that not only would it become a feature but hopefully a series. We need more of the main character out there. So let’s get to it.
House of Tortured Souls: My first question for Rakefet, what was your motivation while writing Jax in Love?
Rakefet Abergel: The whole idea stemmed from the desire to write something for myself that was dark and dramatic versus the comedy roles I was used to booking. I also wanted to cast myself in a part I would never get cast in just because of my type. I want to change the way we look at what a “leading lady” is.
HoTS: Are you a big fan of horror and what made you want to do a horror film?
RA: I actually grew up hating horror films. Lol. Not because they’re bad but because they are so good at scaring the crap out of me. And I don’t like to be scared! Of course, that begs the question as to why I made one, for which the only answer I can give is that it wasn’t intended to be a horror film. I didn’t even know it would become one. But based on test audience reactions I quickly realized that I had the genre wrong. I still don’t necessarily consider it a horror film, it has so different tones to it. But attending all these horror festivals has allowed me to watch more horror films then I’ve seen in my entire life combined and I realized that I have a place in my heart for horror now. I kinda get it now. The allure. Especially with the quality of the genre really changing now more than ever.
HoTS: Do you have any favorite horror films?
RA: I actually do love some horror films. Identity was one of my favorite. And The Sixth Sense. Split. Teeth was really good too. I liked the message. Get Out was incredible. I really like psychological horror. Not so much into all of the blood. But a good mind-sc4.
HoTS: It is Women in Horror Month, who are some of your female real life/ fiction influences in horror or other?
RA: All of the women filmmakers I’ve met over the last few months are so inspiring to me! As far as influences, I don’t know. I suppose I’m influenced by everything I’ve ever seen!
HoTS: You have played a lot of diverse roles. Do you have a favorite?
RA: Jax is probably one of my favorites. If not the favorite. As far as comedy, I really enjoyed playing Jodi Flooger on iCarly. That was a fun role. And getting to work with Adam Sandler in Just Go With It and wear a prosthetic nose was pretty cool too.
HoTS: Have you faced any difficulties being a woman in film?
RA: Sometimes as a woman in our society it’s hard to be taken seriously. That’s been something I’ve come up against. That our stories maybe aren’t as important as the ones men want to tell. That we are too emotional or sappy or feminist or whatever. But I don’t generally care that much about what other people think. Or I try not to. I experienced an inappropriate comment on my own set by a crew member. That was shocking. I was his boss. Paying him. And he decided to make a comment about my body and considered it to be a compliment. Unfortunately, since I didn’t want to jeopardize my film and we were on location and I couldn’t lose a crew member, I couldn’t do anything about it. And that was very frustrating. Even when a woman is in power, she can still be harassed and have no real recourse. It’s very unfortunate.
HoTS: In the movie, can you tell me about the tattoo?
RA: Yes! It’s a heart with a set of car keys inside it. It symbolizes Jax’s love for the road and her quest for love and how she goes about it. We give out replicas at the screenings and people really love the idea, so that’s fun. It was designed by my former editor and forever friend Lindsay McKenna!
HoTS: Is this going to be made into a feature?
RA: Possibly. Or a series. I haven’t decided yet. But I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jax.
HoTS: I love that a great stand up artist went so dark, any plans for more along the same lines?
RA: Thanks for the compliment! 🙂 Yes! I love dark. It’s why I wanted to act. I love the drama. Comedy is fun too, but this is a more satisfying genre for me. I’m writing two very, very dark screenplays at the moment that I hope to also star in, so I’m sure there will be more where Jax came from.
I really recommend that you check this film out. It was a lot of fun and I so enjoyed Rakefet’s performance in it. I want to thank her for taking the time to talk with me and to let her know the darker the better for us! And dear readers always keep this question in mind: How far would YOU go for love?

Rakefet Abergel's Jax in Love (2017)

Posted by Alan Smithee in IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #26 – NerdGirls

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #26 – NerdGirls

Tonight’s PSA comes from 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:

NerdGirls

By Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, & Bryan Sexton

ADAM MARCUS
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY,
WRITER, DIRECTOR, CO-PRODUCER GUY:

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!

ADAM MARCUS STATEMENT – WiHM BLOOD DRIVE

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 SULLIVAN:

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.

DEBRA SULLIVAN, ARTISTIC STATEMENT:

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
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #25 – Kirby, A Hero

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #25 – Kirby, A Hero

Morning, Souls! It’s the twenty-fifth morning of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the twenty-fourth entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

The twenty-fifth PSA comes from the devilicious mind of Nicholas Burman-Vince.

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 brilliant twenty-fifth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Kirby, A Hero

By Nicholas Burman-Vince

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT:

When I was 19, I had major reconstructive surgery on my face and during the operation half the blood in my body was replaced via transfusion. For years I thought that was an extraordinary amount, but through the my involvement with the Soskas Blood Drive PSA, I’ve learned this is common – which help put into perspective just how urgent the need for blood donations is. Particularly as surgery isn’t the main use for donated blood. In the UK 67% is used to treat medical conditions including anaemia, cancer and blood disorders. So, people regularly need blood to survive.
I particularly like the current promotion by blood.co.uk #Date2Donate, encouraging people to donate with a friend or family member. What could be more romantic. Getting to know if your partner has a phobia about needles and helping to save someone’s life?

Cast & Crew:

Nicholas Vince – Writer and Director

Nicholas Vince played The Chatterer Cenobite in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser & Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Kinski in Barker’s Nightbreed. In 2016 he was awarded the London Horror Society Award for Outstanding Contribution to UK Independent Horror. He is Patron of the London Horror Festival.

His first short film as writer and director, The Night Whispered, screened at festivals in the US, UK, and France and is now available on Reelhouse.org. His second film, Your Appraisal, is on its festival run and a third, Necessary Evils, will be part of the horror anthology feature film For We Are Many, from Hex Media.

He still acts and recently starred in The Offer, with others from the Hellraiser films. He also stars in the independent feature film, Hollower (dir. MJ Dixon), and numerous short films including the award-winning Mindless (dir. Katie Bonham).

He hosts the weekly YouTube show Chattering with Nicholas Vince, where he interviews independent film makers and actors.

His two collections of short stories, What Monsters Do (rated 5*) and Other People’s Darkness are both available on amazon sites. His short story ‘Prayers of Desire‘, a new origin story for The Chatterer was published in Hellraiser: Anthology – Volume 2 by Seraphim Inc.

Holly Boyden – Rebekah

Recent graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Holly Boyden previously studies at Goldsmith’s College, University of London and the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.

She is known for The Night Whispered, @MovieGeek and One In A Million.

She is a trained dancer, specialising in Classical Ballet and Ballroom and Latin American. She speaks fluent Spanish.

Dawson James – Kirby

Film maker, actor, cinematographer, performance capture artist and photographer Dawson James, is known for Scale Down, Ophelia, The Night Whispered and his science fiction short, HUD, which is on its festival run. Later this year he stars in Burying the Mother in Law

He is the creator of the young YouTube channel, Fluffy Dog.

Patrick E. Fagan – Composer

Patrick graduated from The University of West Scotland in 2002 with a BA Honours degree in Commercial Music. Since then, Patrick has worked in many roles within the music industry from music management to event organisation and is now currently working as a music teacher.

After many years performing in various bands, Patrick decided to move into creating music specifically aimed at film, TV and Media.

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
Women in Horror Month: Women in Film

Women in Horror Month: Women in Film

I have always been a huge cinephile and in so being have always tried to champion not only my favorite genre-horror but also women in film and independent filmmaking. So for Women in Horror Month, I wanted to reach out to some different women in the industry to get their feelings on the subject du jour. I was lucky enough to have been on Twitter when I came across a hashtag labeled #femalefilmmakerfriday. I just put up a tweet asking if any women in film would like to answer some questions for me, and I was so grateful to get many wondrous women volunteer to answer my inquiries. I do want to stipulate that I am not disparaging men in the business but celebrating women’s contributions to film which can oftentimes go unheralded. It shouldn’t need to be said that any actor, director, writer, etc…should be judged on the work that they put out, not on their gender, race, or sexual preference. But that is usually not the case. I heard a great quote this week from Danai Gurira from Black Panther this week, she said that “if you create excellence it will be responded to.” And I truly believe that should be true. So I will let you know my questions, and introduce you to the extremely talented women who answered them for me.

My first question: Do you approach directing/acting differently as a woman?

Katherine Filaseta Director: Black Panties Web series about women’s intuition and black girl magic, and mini-documentary The Loud, Proud Voices of the Women’s March on Washington. www.kayfilums.com

The main thing that makes my directing unique is that I never thought of film as a career choice growing up – and this is, indirectly, the result of me being a woman. Coming from an academic math-centered family, the only inspiration I had was whatever books, film, & TV I consumed, and unfortunately when I thought of film directors (or even just actors or authors) it didn’t even feel like an option for me because I only ever saw names like Scorcese or Tarantino or other white men in those positions. I was always a storyteller and played with writing stories and books, but I never thought about doing that professionally, even up through and beyond college. So I have a really varied background – I studied a lot of biology, math, chemistry, anthropology, history, music… I pretty much touched everything else before realizing that film was a thing. And all of that comes into my directing style. Even though it took a long time for me to figure it out, I’m really glad I had those experiences because I think if I had been a white man, or just been born into a different family, I would be viewing film from this “film school perspective” instead of just as an audience member and consumer, and I, of course, prefer my own perspective that I’ve figured out through trial and error and consumption over trying to emulate anyone else.

Noomi Spook-Independent producer/director of film, documentaries, and music videos. Nominated for Best New Media Entertainment. LTNT-Boss Lady, The Glowing Divide, Vodum-Spirits Past. www.noomispook.com

My gender influences the creative decisions I make as a director in so much as, I care about how women are represented on screen. I find it repulsive that most women characters are often defined exclusively by their relationship to the male characters (most likely the protagonist)- the wife, the mother, the love interest. They have no agency, and most of the time they have no brains and no personality either – they are functional plot devices. Therefore I chose to work on projects that show women as fully rounded, flawed, human beings. I thoroughly enjoy any opportunity I have to show a woman being badass – and that doesn’t always mean beating the shit out of someone or behaving in a stereotypically “masculine” way, to me being a badass woman means to constructively wield one’s own power, and to not take any shit for doing that.

My next question was “what challenges have you faced as a female director or actor?”

Nihil Noctem: Izzy Lee Director/Author.  My Monster, Rights of Vengeance, Innsmouth (on Shudder), The Lake Children in “Hydrophobia: A Charity Anthology Benefitting Victims of Hurricane Harvey and a new PSA for the Soska’s Blood Drive www.nihilnoctem.com

Getting a producer to want to go on a cinematic journey with me. Getting funding. Guys thinking that my husband is the director, not me.

Noomi: I’ve been told to wait to be hired by an ad agency to direct commercials because they didn’t have any girly adds, nothing with perfume or flowers etc. Fuck that. I want to do something with tanks in it! Another problem is navigating the sexual minefield. I’ve been inappropriately touched, propositioned and humiliated in business meetings, by powerful men who offered to finance my projects if I performed sexual favors on them. And as a result, now, I always have my guard up whenever I am meeting a man who could potentially support my career.

Third Question: Do you ever have trouble with the men you direct or act with as a woman?

Emily Sheskin Director Damon at 86th Street, There She Is, and Girl Boxer: Jesszilla about Jesselyn Silva a 10-year-old boxer hoping to win gold at the 2024 Olympics. http://www.emilysheskin.com/jesszilla

Once I had an actor mansplain calling action. He was a bit of a dumdum though and I laughed it off and noted as an actor in such a competitive market, correcting a director is not the best way to keep getting jobs. I’ve also experienced older, male DoPs sometimes talk down to me but that’s been rare since I choose to work with DoPs and crew members who I know and have a good history with. In those situations, it’s hard to know if it’s me being a woman, or me being “young” that has them speaking to me the way they initially do.

Question number four: What women in film influenced you?

Ariel Hansen Bad Cookie Pictures, Actor and Director specializing in Sci-Fi, Horror, and Grindhouse Nepenthes, Ready To Burst, Paint the Town Red https://twitter.com/BadCookiePics https://www.facebook.com/BadCookiePictures/

Living in Vancouver I’m very lucky because I get to rub shoulders with some really awesome women in the horror side of the industry who constantly inspire me like Jen & Sylvia Soska, Tristan Risk and my friend Gigi Saul Guerrero who taught me the basics of directing before we started shooting my first film. I’m also inspired by Karyn Kusama’s horror films, especially The Invitation, and Mary Lambert’s Pet Sematary really disturbed me as a kid

Katherine: I had the opportunity when I was first starting my career to attend the NYWIFT Muse awards where I got to hear Dawn Ostroff speak, so she has inspired me from the beginning of my career. What she did to grow CW into a network where young women could actually see stories that interested them on screen is basically what opened the doors to me being able to do what I do now. I also, through NYWIFT and very early on in my film career, heard Annetta Marion speak about her journey, and getting to know her – an incredibly kind, confident, beautiful woman who had a non-traditional path into the industry similar to mine and isn’t afraid to demand what she is worth – has been inspiring to me as well. Lastly, my favorite director of all time is Bollywood director Farah Khan, whose films all contain reverence for the Bollywood industry while also containing yet incredibly intelligent mockery of it. I also super respect how she always has her entire crew featured in a really fun credits sequence. I wish all directors had that much respect and admiration for every member of their crew, even the ones whose names would otherwise pass by in the credits totally unnoticed by the audience.

Nihil: Jennifer Lynch, Karyn Kusama, and my friend Jovanka Vuckovic. Other directors that made me think I could do this too: Maude Michaud and the Soskas. Another friend, Jill Gevargizian, is inspirational with the sheer amount of talent she has.

Noomi: My number one female filmmaking hero is Lynne Ramsay. I saw the Ratcatcher when I was in college and it broke my heart, I’ve never been more moved by a film, before or since. However, in terms of my personal style, I have always been more influenced by John Carpenter, David Lynch, and John Waters. They are all much bigger influences on my style and the kinds of films I aspire to make.

Emily: Amy HeckerlingClueless, words don’t express how much I love that film or how important it was to me growing up. Also, Penny Marshall who directed Big. Those two women managed to shelter me from the fact that not many women directed films. As a kid, I just knew that I loved these two movies and they both were by women…no big deal! It was only later that I realized how rare their existence was. Sailor Moon was also huge for me as a kid and it was created by Naoko Takeuchi (who I believe was a pharmacist before she found success with her manga). That show made me believe not only that women were great storytellers but that storytelling is universal. I figured if a show from Japan (an island I’d never been to or thought much about as an 11-year-old) could bring me such joy and impact my life in such a positive way, people are not so different and stories can bring us all together. That show made me want to do what she did for me for someone else.

Question number five was is there anything you have experienced as a female director/actor that is a great story?

Emma Dark, Award-winning filmmaker, actress, and model specializing in Horror and Sci-Fi Salient Minus Ten, Seize the Night, Island of the Blind Dead www.facebook.com/SalientMinusTen www.twitter.com/SalientMinusTen

As a female director, the fact that we have wonderful events and interviews for movements such as Women in Horror Month. We need more of this!

Nihil: I was onstage at a film festival where I was the only woman with about 8 or 9 guys. An actor who was repping the film he was in was the first to get the mic, and said, “I’m so happy to be up here with all these fine young men.” I mean, what?! When I got the mic as it was passed down, I wiggled my pinkie in front of crouch, and looked at my husband in the crowd and said, “Hey Steve, sorry, but I seem to have gotten a sex change while I’ve been up here.” You have to call people out when a situation is as egregious as that.

Question number six was “If you could direct a film about any famous woman, who would it be?”

Gemma Wilks, Actress, Alien Outbreak, Harvest of the Dead, Skullz  https://www.spotlight.com/2537-0194-7453

She’s not famous, but I am developing a story inspired by the life of my grandmother who has now passed away. My dream is to write and produce it as a feature film/tv series one day, perhaps Anne Mensah will come knocking! The themes are around my grandmother’s struggles growing up in the 20th Century when her youth was ripped away by the war. Being a WAF officer with a particular instance involving Churchill. Living through technology changes that were baffling. Watching people you cared about die as you age. There is more that I can’t go into but she was an inspiration and her tenacious spirit certainly contributed to make me the person I am.

Emma: Grace Jones was given a tough time in the 80s and treated with a degree of sexism, based on my understanding given the interviews with her that I’ve watched. Her avant-garde style and diverse creative skillset would have been something held in higher regard today. So maybe there’s a story to tell there!

Ariel: There are a few different women through history that I’d love to make films about, like the sniper Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko from WW2, Boudica, or since they’re finding evidence of women being a part of Viking raiding parties, it would be so cool to make a film about female Vikings.

Nihil: Not sure, but a biopic about Sigourney Weaver or Charlize Theron before either made it as an actor would be cool. The story of the “radium girls” is horrific but compelling.

Emily: There’s a documentary on Bret the Hitman Hart (Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows), and now that Ronda Rousey has signed a contract with the WWE I’d be very curious to document her transition out of MMA to WWE. I have been so curious how she feels about leaving a sport that she helped open up to other women in the way she left it, and how she feels about this next chapter.

Noomi: Rosa Luxemburg. That’s a no-brainer for me, her politics were so ahead of its time, she was a genius, a fighter, a real revolutionary. She was sexually free at a time when people didn’t do that, and she stood for something she believed in, even up the point when she was murdered for her beliefs. people were terrified of her. And she was only 4foot 10 with a limp. She was a total badass.

And my last question: What does a woman bring to the film industry that a man doesn’t?

Gemma: Men bring a huge amount to any industry, but I think from my experience women bring organizational skills which help things run smoothly. This then allows them to look beyond an issue and see a series of options available beyond the confusion of daily functioning. They have an empathy and understanding of individuals circumstances which they can take on board whilst making sure the job still gets done and standards aren’t compromised. Obviously, there are men that can do this too but this is in my experience. Oh, and women don’t generally take no for an answer, even if they pretend they have!

Emma: In terms of horror the audience is increasingly female. I believe having more of an equal balance of men and women in cast and crew will help bring more diverse themes, ideas, and creativity to the table.

Noomi: Anything they can do, we can do bleeding

Katherine: I recently got the opportunity to work with an all-female cast and crew through the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge, and it was such a wonderful experience. In general, I think women and other minorities have had to be exceptional at their jobs to be taken seriously at all, so everyone had an incredible work ethic and was amazing to work with. Also, I think a lot of the stories we see are repetitive and formulaic – which is not an issue, because formulas work and it’s so cool to see what different people do with those formulas. But most of the people we’ve seen play with those formulas are men, and it’s so cool to see what a female perspective brings to those formulas. Women have a ton of stories that simply haven’t been told without a male gaze on them, and it’s exciting that finally, we are getting the opportunity to tell those stories on our own. We’ve seen a million great coming of age stories, and yet Ladybird touched me in totally new ways and honestly told an entirely different story – just because I finally got to watch a coming of age story about myself, for literally the first time ever. Which is completely ridiculous given the number of coming of age novels that are required high school reading but ONLY ABOUT BOYS.

Ariel: Women bring our own diverse experiences and stories to the industry which has been very homogeneous in what you see on screen for far too long. Having those stories told on the big screen are crucial in creating an equal society and helping the next generation to know that women can be more than just “so and so’s love interest” not just in films, but in their own lives as well.

Nihil: I hate to generalize, but I would think that empathy and multitasking could be it.

Emily: I think being a woman just gives you a different experience. There are small things that we take for granted that men never think about. It’s the reality of living in this body and going through life socialized the way we are. I think women are trained to be more sensitive to the feelings of others and as a result, tend to make very thoughtful inclusive films. This is a sweeping generalization though and I have a hard time answering this when experience varies so greatly.

In preparing for this article and putting feelers out I got a response from the very talented actor Eddy Shore (Murrays Run, White) who had such an insightful comment on the subject that I wanted to include it here:

As we all know there shouldn’t be a differentiation between genders in job opportunities, pay, etc. But there is a huge difference in the emotional connections those two genders have. Women are much more in touch of certain (deep) emotions which men are often not (or often are not allowed to be in a stereotypical image) and this emotional connection brings a whole different point of few to stories. If we keep having dominantly white male directors, we will keep having white male points of few to the majority of stories. I’m to 100% certain that women will pay attention to different details, will focus on different statements they want to portray and this which will show in a film. In my opinion, there is a huge need for a fresh wind in the film industry.

So I want to thank everyone for their very valuable time and the thought that went into their answers. All of these amazing women answered all of the questions, but so this did not become a novella I have chosen to just feature a few from each. Hopefully, this has given you some insight and awareness into the world of women in film but always remember that they are, as far as the film industry should be concerned with, they are writers, directors, producers, actors, etc… first and foremost and their vast talents are paramount.

Posted by Alan Smithee in DOCUMENTARIES, EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, OPINION, TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #23 – Surprise Egg!

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #23 – Surprise Egg!

Morning, Souls! It’s the twenty-third PSA of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the next entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

This PSA comes from Hannah Neurotica.

From the official Press Release:

Nine years ago, this next artist decided to change February forever with the very first Women in Horror Month. The founder of WiHM, Hannah Forman, has been growing this event, this celebration, this unity for nine years before it was in vogue to support female artists in the industry.
Without WIHM, our first film wouldn’t have gotten its first two screenings which became life changing events for us. I’ve watched her work tirelessly every year to promote people’s work and raise awareness about artists across the globe in the past, present, and setting up for the future.
I’m over-joyed that she was able to be a part of these 9th Annual WiHM Massive Blood Drive PSAs. Bless you for everything you’ve done, Hannah. Love you to bits!

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 incredible twenty-third Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Surprise Egg

By Hannah Neurotica

Credits:

Claymation

Hannah Neurotica




Music

33 Music Boxes
Public Domain

MINI BIO:

Hannah Neurotica is the founder of Women in Horror Month, the Ax Wound Film Festival, and published the world’s first known print feminist horror publication, Ax Wound ‘Zine. She is a mixed media artist, writer, and experimental filmmaker whose appeared in Newsweek, The GuardianComplex.com, Rue Morgue, Bitch, NPR, CBC Radio, and other pop culture media. She has been invited to speak or moderate a panels at events such as Geek Girl Con, Horror Rama, and Horrible Imaginings.
From event organizing to creative projects, Hannah’s passion is rooted in educating and empowering women to share their stories in all artistic forms, while simultaneously creating new spaces/opportunities to amplify what they have to say.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

I am honored to be part of this massive blood drive undertaking. My father passed away right before the first WiHM in 2010 and it was especially meaningful when Jen and Sylvia Soska told me they wanted to start encouraging people to donate with horror/gore themed blood donation PSAs. I’d just watched my dad get bags of blood from people I will never be able to thank but whom I am grateful for everyday. All you have to do is make an appointment, sit in a chair, and then you get a cookie. Being a hero has never been easier! Please consider taking that brave step and share that good red stuff in your veins.

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
WiHM: Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa

WiHM: Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa

Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa She Wolf of the SSThis next lady’s contribution to horror may be a little controversial, but I still feel that Dyanne Thorne’s character Ilsa deserves some love during women in horror month.

I found myself struggling to write this to not sound like a Nazi sympathizer and to not glorify the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. I hope that before the social justice and keyboard warriors attack, they consider the reasons I choose to salute her.

Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa She Wolf of the SSIn case you aren’t familiar with the Ilsa character she starred in a triology of cult/Nazisploitation films called Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, and Ilsa, the Wicked Warden. The first two films are directed by the Canadian (yay Canada!) director Don Edmunds and the third by popular Spanish cult director Jesus Franco. Thorne plays a tough female leader as Ilsa in all three and they’re all great movies, but She Wolf of the SS is my favorite and will be my focus in this tribute.

Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa She Wolf of the SSIlsa She Wolf of the SS is the only Nazisploitation film in the trilogy and is by far the best, but I’d argue that it’s more about feminism and female sexuality than Nazis. Ilsa is a Nazi Komandant, in charge of a “medical” camp. She is hell bent on proving that woman are inherently stronger than men and have a much higher threshold for pain. She works endlessly to prove this by inflicting all kinds of sadistic torture upon the women who enter her camp. It’s nearing the end of the war and Germany is in desperate need of reinforcements and she wants to demonstrate that women would make far greater soldiers than men. She finally proves this after subjecting the women to gangrene, whippings, gang rape, an electrified dildo (and I don’t mean it vibrates), genital mutilation, and syphilis. She’s gratified when she finds a star test subject who can withstand all of the above and still fight back.

While Ilsa works hard during the day she also works hard at night choosing a different male prisoner each night to sexually satisfy her. When they fail to meet her needs, she has them castrated until she finally comes across an American prisoner who is able to hold an erection indefinitely. Her sexual prowess leads to her unfortunate demise as the American ends up seducing her and killing her.

Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa She Wolf of the SSA couple of fun facts regarding Ilsa:

The set of She Wolf was actually the recycled set of Hogan’s Heroes and since the show had already been cancelled they were allowed to burn it to the ground for the final scene of Ilsa, saving them the cost of having it demolished.

Dyanne Thorne now performs weddings in Las Vegas and rumor has it that if you pay enough she will dress up as Ilsa.

I’ll always love Ilsa for her ability to command respect, her strength and indifference when it comes to her work and most importantly for her shameless sexual expression.

Posted by Candace Stone in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #22 – It’s In You To Give

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #22 – It’s In You To Give

Evening, Souls! It’s the twenty-second PSA of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the next entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

This PSA comes from Ama Lea.

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 amazing twenty-first Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

It’s In You To Give

By Ama Lea

Cast & Crew:

Actors

Lara Jean Mummert
Colton Wheeler

Writer/Director

Ama Lea

Cinematographer

Diego Madrigal

Editor

Eric Thirteen

Special FX

Sheila Mia Seifi




VFS

Adam Lima

MINI BIO:

Ama Lea grew up in Stephen King Country- Bangor, Maine where she naturally had an inclination to the horror genre from a very early age. She spent her youth making films on old Camcorders, editing between VCRs and taking pictures in cemeteries.
After High School Ama moved to Boston where she majored in editorial photography at New England School of photography. She was Valedictorian of her graduating class. Soon after which she attended grad school at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California where she majored in Fashion Photography and Film Studies. She was again, Valedictorian. After college she went on to become a celebrity photographer for many top magazines such as Inked, AP, Revolver, Zink and many more. She worked within the horror industry shooting a fine art photo exhibit entitled The Bloody Best which included portraits of legends in the horror industry which lead to her accepting the position as photographer for Fangoria Magazine where she had the honor of shooting the likes of Roger Corman, Wes Craven, and many more. She went on to create Year of Fear, a sexy parody horror calendar company that releases products annually. Meanwhile she kept her toe in film making by writing and directing several shorts and participating in ABC’s of Death 2.5 for Alamo Drafthouse as well as just finishing a huge festival season with her award winning short film, From Hell She Rises.
Ama is currently working for various publications as an editorial and celebrity photographer.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:


When asked to be a part of the Soska’s annual blood drive, I was honored! It’s a great cause that’s been a tradition for women in horror and the Soska’s for years. I began to think about the theme…”be a hero.” Obviously capes and tights come to mind first but breaking it down to something even more simple. A hero in your life every day. To me, there is something so heroic about giving your all to another person. So many men have zero idea how to really be a great partner and furthermore, a great lover. To me the ability to give unselfishly to another person is heroic and it’s the same as giving blood. The simple act of donating blood can help save lives. Nearly 4.5 million patients need a blood transfusion a year in the US and Canada alone and only 10% of the population donates per year. If we could increase that number by even 1% the blood deficit in America would disappear. This is a call to arms for the horror community. It’s in all of us to give!

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
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #21 – Just A Prick

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #21 – Just A Prick

Early morning, Souls! It’s the twenty-second day of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the twenty-first entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

I’d like apologize personally for the delay on this release to Tonjia Atomic & Mi Chelle Nessk. I am having technical difficulties as well as issues with one of my fangs…
–Woofer McWooferson Source: Internet / Fair use doctrine.

From the Official Press Release comes this introduction:

I’ve known Tonjia Atomic for many years and I am very happy to announce her and Mi Chelle Nessk’s next instalment for the Women in Horror Month Massive Blood Drive PSAs.
These two are incredibly talented directors, multi-talented artists, and astonishingly hard-working professionals. I don’t want to give away anything about their PSA, so just keep an eye out for cameos and lots of other fun (I guess grown up) stuff. Not 18A, but it gets pretty murdery.

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 powerful twenty-first Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Just A Prick

By Tonjia Atomic & Mi Chelle Nessk

Cast:

Westin Halvorson – Christopher James Phillips
Tristan Risk – Hailey Vesper
Michelle Nessk – Zee Monsta
Jackey Raye Neyman Jones – Pamela Knickknacks
James Grixoni – Johnathan the Lonely
Tonija Atomic – Cam Date Blair
Rachel Jackson – Audrey Swinging Electra
Hiromi Cota – Gurgling Man
Benjamin Barton – Bear Double
Ygal Kaufman – Zee Monsta’s Victim

Extras:

Christina Lynn Hendricks
Benjamin Barton
Ygal Kaufman
Heather Geer
Britt Byrtus
James Mahoney
Evan Christopher




Writers/Directors

Michelle Nessk
Tonjia Atomic

Producers

Gloomy Sunday Productions
Roux-ga-roux

Executive Producers

D Kirkness
James Mahoney
@ThuNiCo

Associate Producers

Vicki Woods
Angie Faro
Jimmy Weinholz
Charity Becker
Linda Kay
Gary Washington
Shannon Devine
Chrystal Doucette

Sound

Jeff Morales

DP

Conn Buckley

Editor, 2nd AD

James Mahoney

1st AD

Nadine L’Esperance

3rd AD

Angie Faro

1st AC

Britt Byrtus

Audio Editor

Ken Webster

Score

Bryce Kain & Michelle Nessk

Color Correction

Dave Patterson

MUA

Christina Pezzo

Grip

Ygal Kaufman

Key MUA, Wardrobe, Styling, SFX, Assistant Editor, Casting Producer, Art Director

Michelle Nessk

Wardrobe Assistant, Casting Producer, 2nd Art Director

Tonija Atomic

Lighting

Nick Shargas

Hair

Heather Geer

Art Poster Illustrators

Mark McKenna
Cesar Feliciano

Blood Logo Graphic Designer

Christal VanEtten

Production Assistants

Christopher Barnes
Rachel Jackson
Benjamin Barton
Heather Geer
Evan Christopher

SPECIAL THANKS

Kevin Van Walk
Chrystal Doucette
Joshua Phenicie
Joe Sherlock
Women in Horror
Twisted Twins Productions
Blue Mouse Theatre
Crypticon Seattle
PromoteHorror.com

Sponsors

Digital Soaps
Shannon Devine’s Illustrated Stories
Value Village
Sinful Audio

TONJIA ATIMIC’S BIO:

Tonjia Atomic is an award-winning filmmaker, actress, musician, and writer. Her films include Plain Devil and Walking to Linas. Her writing has been featured in several online and print magazines. She’s in the bands Duet To-It, Huh-Uh, and Filthy Issue. Her most recent film, Manos Returns, is the sequel to the 1965 cult film Manos: The Hands of Fate.

TONJIA ATOMIC’S STATEMENT:

It means a lot to me to be a part of the Women in Horror Month blood drive PSAs. As an anemic I am unable to give blood. Participating in the PSAs is a way for me to be able to contribute something by encouraging others to donate blood. I’m proud to be a part of this group of talented filmmakers. What better way than horror to remind us that we all bleed? After all, it’s in you to give.

MICHELLE NESSKS’ BIO:

Michelle Nessk is an award-winning indie horror filmmaker, dancer, musician, and artist out of the Pacific Northwest. Best known for their well-regarded & controversial first full feature film: O. Unilateralis, as well as the annual showcase series Horrors of the PNW. The showcase has premiered at Crypticon Seattle every year for the last five years, where Michelle plays horror host Zee Monsta. Much of Michelle’s work is laced with social commentary regarding rape culture and is often connected to charities and non-profits that focus on domestic abuse survivor advocacy. Their band ANU performs at various horror and sci-fi festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Michelle is the owner of production company Gloomy Sunday Productions and the horror publication The Blood Shed.

MICHELLE NESSKS’ STATEMENT:

I’m so grateful to have gotten to participate in the 2018 Women in Horror Massive Blood Drive PSA. I don’t give blood, I take it. Because I’m severely anemic, I depend upon the generosity of others to give in order to survive. This project has not only given me the opportunity to work with the incredible Tonjia Atomic (who also happens to be anemic), but to truly show my gratitude to all the heroes who open their veins to save lives. Thank you so much for letting us be part of this.

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
WiHM – The Soska Sisters

WiHM – The Soska Sisters

Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) from the Soska SIstersOn April 29, 1983, the horror and comic worlds were blessed by not one but TWO women. Identical twins Jen and Sylvia Soska, collectively known as the Twisted Twins were born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on their mother’s birthday. As young girls, after watching the film, Poltergeist, they were hooked. They decided they wanted to work in films and went into acting. In 2009 while in school, the Soska Sisters wrote and directed a film for a project. They made the movie for less than $3,000. Despite critics bashing the film, Dead Hooker In A Trunk has since drawn a huge cult following on DVD. It has also recently been released on Blu Ray. From Dead Hooker In A Trunk, the Twins went to make American Mary, starring Katharine Isabelle in 2012. They then directed See No Evil 2 starring WWE Superstar Kane, Danielle Harris, and Katharine Isabelle.

In 2015, the Soskas hosted the popular show Hellavator for two seasons, and in 2016, the Soska Sisters began taking the reigns of directing the reimagining of David Cronenberg’s 1977 classic, Rabid. Recently, it was announced the film will be distributed by Shout! Studios.

American Mary (2012) from the Soska SIstersIf that was all we knew of the Twisted Twins, that would be enough for them to be saluted this month. However, these two ladies are so much more than just talented filmmakers. They organize the Women In Horror Month Massive Blood Drive PSA Film Fest (Check out our coverage here). They also write daily inspirational messages and thought-provoking posts.

The Twisted Twins have become fan favorites due to their extremely caring personalities, their love for all people regardless of race, religion, orientation, etc. They love their fans and have become so beloved that not one but two t-shirt companies have produced Soska Brand T-Shirts. It has to be two; everything is always doubled with these amazing women. Fans can buy these various shirts from Fright Rags and also Atomic Cotton. Both companies feature a Dead Hooker In A Trunk shirt (not bad for a movie that was bashed and for which the Twisted Twins took a LOT of nasty criticism by alleged experts).

See No Evil 2 (2014) from the Soska SIstersThis past weekend the Soska Sisters attended Mad Monster Party (watch for my con review) in Charlotte, NC, and also made an appearance on Good Day Charlotte on the local Fox affiliate. All weekend, both Jen and Sylvia met with their fans, signed autographs and showed everyone their love and appreciation for the fans coming out and supporting them.

These women show that we should all go “follow our stupid f—ing dreams” and to show love and respect. They are advocates for equality and have been outspoken with scandals that have been an embarrassment in the entertainment industry. They have not just sat back, but they have informed their fans and followers about the stories that have emerged. The Twins have also spoken out against hate daily.

So please join me as I salute Jen and Sylvia Soska and wish them a Happy Women In Horror Month!
Hellavator (2012) from the Soska SIsters

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #20 – Blood Bride

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #20 – Blood Bride

Hallo, hallo, hallo, Souls! It’s the twentieth PSA of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the next entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Michelle Romano.

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 wicked twentieth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Blood Bride

By Michelle Romano

RESUME HERE

MINI BIO:

Originally from Boston Massachusetts, Michelle Romano is an award winning Actress and Producer. Making her Directorial debut with this year’s Massive Blood Drive Campaign, “BLOOD BRIDE” stars Jennifer Jostyn (“House of 1000 Corpses”), Robert Catrini (“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”), Heather Grace Hancock (“Wicked City”), Sarah French (“The Night Watchmen”), Renee Dorian (“The Funhouse Massacre”), Alice Ko (“Exposed”), and Corey Tourigny (“My Uncle John is a Zombie”). In the past, Romano joined forces with Patricia Chica in producing two of her PSA blood drive segments. She is thrilled to have this opportunity to direct her own this year!
Romano and Tourigny (writer of “BLOOD BRIDE”) produced this film in Los Angeles. “I am beyond humbled and thankful to all of the people who donated their time to this project, and to everyone who trusted me to direct them in this film. This whole process has been a dream come true for me, and I hope that there will be many more to come!”
Romano serves as an honorary board member for several Women Empowerment campaigns and strives to motivate and empower women in any way that she can. Her annual Roman Media Hollywood event (February), champions Women in Film and Diversity in Entertainment.
Romano is currently in pre-production on several feature film projects with her company, Roman Media.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

It is an absolute honor to be a part of the Women in Horror Massive Blood Drive Campaign. We are raising awareness for such an important cause, and what better way to spread this message, than by doing it while making horror movies!?” In the words of Jen and Sylvia Soska, “If we can inspire even a few people to start donating, what a difference that would make in the World.

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
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #19 – The Red Death

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #19 – The Red Death

Howling good evening, Souls! It’s the nineteenth PSA of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the next entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Mary Rangel.

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 wicked nineteenth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

The Red Death

By Mary Rangel

MINI BIO:

Mary Rangel is a young filmmaker from Southern California whose passion for the Horror genre spans throughout her work in the Haunt and Film industries. Alongside her team of amazing friends and boyfriend who share the same passion for the genre and to bring scary stories to life, she has written and directed a total of five short Horror films, including the latest, The Red Death, for WIHM Blood Drive PSA’s 2018. She is involved in many Horror/Sci-Fi projects in many roles including Hellevator Seasons 1 & 2, John Carpenter’s Utopian Façade Music Video, Into The Black short film, Mystic Cosmic Patrol, amongst many others.
The Red Death is a short horror film inspired by The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe. This is Mary’s favorite Poe tale and The Red Death is one of her favorite symbols in the genre. With that, it seems a perfect match to UNLEASH a tale of The Red Death imbued with witchcraft, cults, an Elizabeth Bathory inspired villain named Theda played by Sara Raftery and Rachael Tucker, terror, Love for the Horror genre and with the message to encourage people to donate blood. It is truly a wonderfully Sanguine Nightmare. The main team of production for the project consists of Mary Rangel (Writer/Director), Timothy Dennison (Producer), Natalie Molina (Script Supervisor/1st AD), Jenn Langley (Key Makeup/SPFX Artist), and Christopher Blake Hannan (Melodies of the Macabre Composer).
With an amazing cast including but not limited to Olivia Grace Morales as the lead/protagonist Pamela and Daisy Hydar as The Red Death, together they conquer the evil that is Theda. Hope you enjoy the story this team created together with the passion for the genre, have a wonderfully spooky time. Thank you and be sure to donate blood this month and save lives.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

There’s a certain magic that binds us Horror Fans together. Women in Horror Month is not only the time to appreciate the Scream Queens, Monster Makers, Haunters, and Filmmakers who contribute so much to our favorite Films, TV shows, Haunts, and much more within our favorite Genre. They do it with Passion, Skill, and Love for Horror and for the Things that Go Bump in the Night. Also, during Women In Horror Month, is the time we band together to bring light in our dark world the way we know best… by creating art within the Horror genre.
That is why my team and I am proud, excited and beyond grateful to be apart of The Twisted Twins’ Women in Horror Month Blood Drive PSAs as a Director for 2018. Blood is NECESSARY for us to live. Hospitals are always in need for blood, ESPECIALLY, during time of crisis. I was taught growing up, that donating blood is important to help others in need and save lives. With that, I have always loved the Saw Franchise’s campaign for blood donations in the past; Horror is such a perfect platform to encourage people to donate. There are SO MANY creative ways to do so. The Soskas have their amazing annual Blood Drive PSAs, bringing the Horror Community together, inspiring people to save lives by donating blood. Every year, they are always wonderfully sanguine and spooky.
This year we join the Soskas for the WIHM Blood Drive PSAs by creating The Red Death, which is inspired by The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, the film by Roger Corman, and Lon Chaney’s portrayal of Erik as The Red Death in Phantom of the Opera. We give the tale a sanguine and wicked twist by bringing The Red Death plague to our time period and the story revolves around how people react and the choices they make with the pressure of death looming all around them. With the theme of, “Be a Hero”, for this year’s PSAs, even though there is ‘darkness and decay’ surrounding the characters… one can still rise above the evil that is festering out of desperation. I am beyond happy for you to watch our interpretation of the story and having The Red Death to be apart of the message to encourage Horror fans and viewers to donate blood. To have the amazing opportunity to create this PSA with friends who share the love and passion for the genre made the experience even better. It would not exist without the hard work and talent of the amazing people of the cast and crew. Be sure to Donate Blood TODAY, because Sara Raftery as Theda informs us in the PSA, ‘blood will save us all.’ Thank you for reading and watching. And have a wonderfully spooky day.

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
WiHM: Dana Scully

WiHM: Dana Scully

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge this next woman’s contribution to the horror/sci-fi genre. Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Dana Scully simply has to be honored or else I have to turn in my license to practice horror.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files

If you see Ripley as the mother of the strong female character in horror/sci-fi film (as I do) then it follows that Scully is the continuation and growth of that same standard. The X-Files was already groundbreaking television but Dana Scully kicked the shit out of the way we view women in the law enforcement field.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-FilesThe pilot episode of The X-Files aired in September of 1993. I was 11 years old and still remember a young fresh-faced Dana Scully arriving at the FBI. An immediate difference that I noticed as a kid was the amount of respect she commanded from her peers and even superiors. She was a highly intelligent, well-educated doctor and undergraduate of physics – a no-nonsense scientist that wasn’t a second banana or a sidekick to a male lead. Scully always held her own and in many ways was made to look superior to Mulder (David Duchovny). She was sent to essentially babysit him and disprove his work. Although she was never fully convinced and was always the female Spock of logic, she handled the situation with grace. She respected Mulder and acknowledged his intelligence and ideas even though they were counter to her own beliefs. She didn’t scoff or belittle and even grew to have affection for him.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-FilesI believe in some ways that Chris Carter the creator of the show went out of his way to make Scully’s importance stand out. At times I almost feel it was reverse sexism and Mulder was made to seem a bit of a mimbo (male bimbo). I’m not complaining because it was successful in shattering previous notions of “the boys club” and that women could only be secretaries and were too delicate to be out in the field. Scully excelled in the field and never shied away from getting her hands dirty – not to mention she was a great shot. Both roles did an excellent job of highlighting a healthy partnership. Mulder was always able to give Scully credit and admit when she was right, and Scully would do the same even if she couldn’t always get on board with his crazy. The other thing I felt was so important to the purity of the Scully character was the fact that she and Mulder refrained from “extracurricular activities” if you know what I’m saying. In case you don’t I mean, they kept it professional instead of getting to sexy time by the end of season one as a lot of other shows did. It created a new formula that is still popular on television today, the “will they won’t they” phenomenon. It makes every touch and every subtle glance all the more exciting for the viewer.

If you loved Scully and can’t get enough Gillian Anderson then I highly recommend checking out some of her other work. Some of my favorites were Bleak House, The Fall, and American Gods. Gillian Anderson is also an accomplished writer having written a trilogy: A Vision of Fire, A Dream of Ice, and The Sound of the Seas. Most recently she co-wrote We: A Manifesto for Modern Women and co-starred in Season 11 of The X-Files.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files

Posted by Candace Stone in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #18 – Saviour

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #18 – Saviour

Good evening, Souls! It’s the eighteenth PSA of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the next entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Paddy Murphy.

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 killer eighteenth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Saviour

By Paddy Murphy

MINI BIO:

Paddy Murphy is an Irish film-maker known for his short films Cuppa, Retribution and The Sad Ones as well as the feature film, The Three Don’ts. Paddy comes to film with a background in video game development having spent years as the CEO of Ireland’s largest independent indigenous development company, Open Emotion Studios. Paddy is currently developing shorts for a variety of anthology feature films including Hex Media’s For We Are Many anthology, as well as starting work on his second feature film. Paddy co founded Celtic Badger Media with Barry Fahy, Aaron Walsh and Brian Clancy in 2016 and has been developing projects there ever since.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

When I required surgery in 2010 for the removal of an anomaly in my body, one of my biggest concerns was that my blood type was rare… AB Positive to be precise. So if anything happened to me, there may not be sufficient blood available. Due to this, I made a commitment to give blood whenever I could, to ensure that others with my blood type would never be stuck for a bit of plasma. Whether your blood type is rare or normal, please donate regularly to ensure that people will always have a fighting chance of surviving the worst. Thank you. And massive thanks to the Soska Sisters for this fantastic movement, which encourages the bloodletting in a fun, artistic way!
The other reason this event is so important is that it supports and empowers women in horror. This movement is super important, especially in the wake of the numerous assaults against women in the industry continue to come to light.
Highlighting powerful female directors, actors and crew is essential in making the environment more tolerant and less toxic and is the only way this industry can progress forward.

CAST & CREW:

Writer/Director: Paddy Murphy
Producers: Paddy Murphy, Barry Fahy.
Editor & DOP: Barry Fahy.
Music: Evan Murphy.
Production Designer: Kathy Murphy
Assistant Director & Casting: Courtney Mckeon.
BTS Stills: Stephen Tubridy.
BTS Video & DIT: Aaron Walsh.
SFX Makeup & Creature Design: Bekki Tubridy.
SFX Assistant: Shona McMahon.
Sound Op: Luke O Doherty.
Sound Mix: Paddy Murphy.
Assistant Camera: Andrew Moore.
Colour Grade: Barry Fahy

Starring:
Noelle Clarke
Aoife Meade
Rob Moran

Special Thanks: Jen and Sylvia Soska

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
WiHM & Black History Month: R. Shanae Williams

WiHM & Black History Month: R. Shanae Williams

For Women in Horror Month and Black History Month, I’ll be taking a look at black women in the horror genre. First up is the amazingly talented filmmaker R. Shanea Williams. A Richmond, VA, native, Williams holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia and an MFA in dramatic writing, focusing on screenwriting, from NYU. Williams, who now lives in Queens, New York, has produced two haunting short films, one about mental illness and the other about sleep paralysis, that pull no punches, and both are available at the Vimeo links below.

The first, Contamination, is a 2013 film about Jade a (expertly played by Cherise Boothe), a young woman in self-imposed exile in her apartment because of crippling germophobia – the pathological fear of contamination and germs. As with most germophobes, Jade has developed obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and allows only her aunt into her home to bring food and other necessities. The film relies heavily on the believability of Boothe’s performance, and she makes it more than believable. She also makes it real, and the viewer suffers alongside her as she deals with the possibility of contamination from the outside world. Contamination is beautifully shot although everything takes place in Jade’s apartment by necessity; it’s her entire universe. In addition, the use of a heartbeat overlay to reflect Jade’s terror is extremely effective as are the visual effects that depict her perception of things as altered by her fear. Indeed, I found myself holding my breath a few times as Jade’s fear was palpable. I would love to see Contamination made into a feature-length film.

Cherie Boothe in Contamination (2013) from R. Shanea Williams

Cherie Boothe in Contamination (2013) from R. Shanea Williams

As with Contamination, Paralysis is shot almost entirely in one setting – the protagonist’s apartment, but unlike Contamination, there are signs that what is happening to Jessica may be real. Recently divorced Jessica (superbly played by Nia Fairweather) has moved into a new apartment. Her father worries about her and her sleep patterns as she has been having issues since her mother died when Jessica was only 10. We later learn that her sleep issues are so intense that she stayed married to avoid sleeping alone. As Paralysis progresses, we are given hints that what we see happening may have paranormal underpinnings, but the end is ambiguous and leaves one wanting to see it again to look for clues.

Nia Fairweather in Paralysis (2015) from R. Shanea Williams

Nia Fairweather in Paralysis (2015) from R. Shanea Williams

Williams, who was a quarterfinalist in the 2007 Slamdance Screenwriting Competition and one of top five screenplay finalists in the Urbanworld Film Festival Screenwriting Competition in 2011, has just been named a recipient of the Tribeca CHANEL Women’s Program THROUGH HER LENS along with Nikyatu Jusu. They will receive a full production grant for a film they co-wrote entitled Suicide by Sunlight, the tale of a day-walking Black vampire who is protected by her melanin from the sunlight but finds it difficult to control her bloodlust when a new woman is brought around her estranged twin daughters.

Paula Weinstein, R. Shanea Williams, Nikyatu Jusu, Mira Nair, and Rachel Weisz at THROUGH HER LENS / Image: Tribeca

Paula Weinstein, R. Shanea Williams, Nikyatu Jusu, Mira Nair, and Rachel Weisz at THROUGH HER LENS / Image: Tribeca

From TribecaFilm.com:

Jusu is an award-winning Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker. Her screenplay Free the Town participated in the Sundance Institute’s inaugural Diverse Writers Workshop and was selected for both the 2013 Durban Film Mart and Film Independent’s Fast Track. Her short film Flowers won the HBO short film award and is her third film acquired by HBO.
Williams attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing Program and earned her MFA in 2008. Upon graduation, she was honored with the Venable Herndon Graduate Screenwriting Award for Excellence. Partnering with producer Anthony Davis, she wrote and directed two award-winning short films Contamination (2013) and Paralysis (2015). Williams currently resides in Queens, New York.
R. Shanea Williams and Nikyatu Jusu / Image: Tribeca

R. Shanea Williams and Nikyatu Jusu at THROUGH HER LENS / Image: Tribeca

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