When Death Meets Domestication-An Interview With The Homicidal Homemaker

Whether it be Doctor Frankenfurter carving a turkey, or Hannibal Lechter munching on a human thigh, food and horror have a connection. Eating and fear are deeply sensual experiences that stimulate our nerves and delight our senses in ways that evoke intense reactions.  And from cannibalism to vampirism, the consumption of eerie edibles can evoke the greatest gut instinct for fear or flight.  And in this carnivorous contradiction comes one of the most unique and entertaining horror hosts of the 20th century, The Homicidal Homemaker. From when she first began her blog in the days of MySpace to now being a feature contributor to Rue Morgue magazine and a popular horror host on YouTube, she has dazzled fans with her demented, delicious delights.  It was my pleasure to have a chance to conduct a chat with her about horror, cooking, and life. Daniel: What made you love horror, what was your first experience?

Kaci: Well this may shock a lot of people, but I was not a horror fan right off the bat. One of my earliest memories is watching the original version of The Fly, as well as the 80’s remake and I was so scared! I hated horror movies when I was very little, but my parents were huge fans. They used to go to dates in the drive in and see stuff like The Gates of Hell, Dead and Buried, and The Funeral Home. So some of my earliest memories are of watching horror movies-and then they’re sending me to bed by myself.  I was probably three years old, maybe a little younger. But I always did have a fondness for things that were creepy; my earliest memories of having a favorite film was the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors musical. I always had a fondness for Halloween and dressing up. But as for horror movies, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I remember my mom showing me the 1983 The Making of Thriller, and I was scared, but not of the zombies. It was of Michael Jackson in that final shot with the yellow eyes. That’s kind of how it became a fascination. I was like ‘Okay, if I know how it’s done it won’t scare me.’ And that’s really how I became a horror fan. It fascinated me.  So now, like I disconnected it from the character and

Daniel: Now, to your other passion, cooking?

Kaci: Well another early memory of mine is of watching PBS and they had Julia Childs and Yan Can Cook. At my grandparents house I would watch The Addams Family and The Munsters, and then I’d watch Yan Can Cook. These are things they still play on television now, and its so nostalgic for people but it still holds up. I remember watching that and enjoying listening. And then I would help my grandmother in the kitchen. The first thing I remember learning how to cook were crepes. Most people say I learned how to make a grilled cheese or scrambled eggs, but I remember making turkey and swiss cheese crepes. And I would get to spend time with my great grandmother, and we got to enjoy what we made. She would make these dinners for every holiday, and it was so impressive. You never really know how much work that is until you attempt to do it yourself. And after she passed away in October of 1997 I started going through her recipe cards and I wanted to learn to make things I had grown up enjoying. I started watching Food Network. One of the first recipes I printed out was Alton Brown’s brownie recipe. They didn’t turn out very good (laughs). I’d watch Bobby Flay, and he did a vegan recipe that I thought was really cool. It was just something that was very rewarding to me, ‘I followed the instructions and now I get to enjoy it.’ It was the learning experience and the process, how ingredients interact with each other. I’m a huge geek when it comes to science and history, so that played upon my love for science. I started reading on forums about other people’s mistakes and how to avoid them, and learning from my own mistakes. It was very rewarding. From there, when I was 19 or 20, I started wanting to make cakes because I had a little brother and I wanted to make him cakes, whatever theme he wanted. Or if I wanted to make a gift for someone it would be something personalized that they would know was made specifically for them. And that is how I got into bringing the artistic element into the cooking and baking. And I just ran with it.

Daniel: Discussing your fondness for cakes and pastries, you were a finalist for Food Network’s Halloween Wars. Could you tell us about that?

Kaci: When I first got the email from them, I ignored it. Then I got another one, and another one. They were like “Hey, we looked at your YouTube channel and you’re perfect for this!” I was going to ignore them because I don’t want to do reality tv. I think it would ultimately take the fun out of it. When you go at your own pace and have your own expectations its totally different than when you are under pressure and time constraint in an unfamiliar place. Daniel: When it becomes a job?

Kaci: Pretty much. So I did email them back and told them I didn’t really have an interest. They asked “Can we talk to you on the phone about this?” I get it, that’s their job, they are a casting company. They want to find THE person. I’m sure there is an incentive for them if that person gets selected. And they said “Just try it.” I told them I’m not a professional, I’m self taught and these people are professionals. They have production skills that I don’t have because these are people that do this every day, they’ll bake 200 cupcakes for one order, that’s normal. But they said “Just try it” and submitted some pictures of my work that I emailed them to the next tier up. They were very excited, “We want to meet with you.” They started posing challenges to me and it was very stressful. Working a full time job, having all my various hobbies, and they are asking me “Can you make this and have it to us tomorrow?” I made it happen, I don’t know how. I missed an award ceremony for a family member and they didn’t seem to care. They wanted to know that I could make traditional pastries. And after a very lengthy process, having Skype calls with the Food Network team, I finally got an email telling me I was selected to move on if I wanted to. I decided it was something I didn’t want to do. I had a couple sleepless nights wondering, ‘Am I walking away from a big opportunity? Am I making the right decision?’ Ultimately I decided it was something I didn’t want to do. If something doesn’t feel right you probably shouldn’t go with it.  I think a lot of people should go with their gut instinct. My heart just wasn’t into it, and it wasn’t really me. I looked at the experience is a personal challenge, because I didn’t think I’d make it through the first round, let alone all the applications and interviews. I’d rather do this and have control over what I do,  and do things thing’s that people can be inspired by and get advice from me to have recipes that are going to be tried and true, because sometimes it takes six tries before I’ll release a recipe. Every year since then I get contacted about every show. I don’t want to sound unappreciative, its flattering that they would even consider me and want me to try out again. But I’d rather focus on my own stuff right now.

Daniel: I admire your creative integrity. That would have been a big opportunity to raise you profile. The fact you walked away just because you felt you weren’t interested and wasn’t what you wanted takes guts. So kudos for that.

Kaci: Thank you. I didn’t tell anyone about it until after I’d made the decision. I told some people it wasn’t me walking around from ten thousand dollars, because I don’t think I was going to win it to begin with. I don’t think I would have made it past the first round. I look at how those people are almost cracking, you can feel the pressure watching those shows. I don’t want to put myself through that, I’m stressed enough. Daniel: Concerning horror and cooking, is there any particular project you are proud of?

Kaci: Oh my gosh, I have so many recipes I haven’t even shared yet! When I think about the recipes I’m not only thinking of the final results, I’m also thinking of the process and how I develop the recipe and how it came together to make a video for it. I think one I was exceptionally proud of was the Brain Macaroni Salad, that was so much fun to film. And it was the hottest day of the summer in central California, it was a very hot day and everyone was in masks and costumes but they were super awesome about it. As far as recipe, the Twin Peaks Black Lodge Pie was something I hold dear to my heart, as well as The Shining Red Rum Roll Cake. Those were two I had up my sleeve for a long time. These are recipes I developed and never shared. There are hundreds I’ve had ideas for and even photographed but never caught up. That is something I’m trying to be a little better about; content that I’ve done but haven’t shared. The Shining Red Rum Roll Cake was one that I was surprised about. I knew would like it because it’s the Shining inspired, but I didn’t think it would get the coverage that it did. A Chicago news station covered it!

Daniel: In terms of horror movies, do you have a favorite genre? Universal Classics, 80’s slashers?

Kaci: I love 80’s slashers! I’m a kid of the 80’s so that’s nostalgic for me. The 80’s were lots of boobs and lots of blood. I’m also into mid-century psychological flicks like Hitchcock, William Castle, I have a very soft spot in my heart for those. Its not just about the films themselves or the actors that portrayed the characters. I love to look into the marketing for those films at that time. Just seeing the gimmicks that William Castle did to build up to the premier of his films, even when the people were in the audience, the things he did is so fascinating to me. The Ghost Viewer for 13 Ghosts, things like that. It makes me wish I could go back in time and attend those premieres with those people in the audience. But I also think the Hollywood Hack sub-genre, films like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Straight Jacket with Joan Crawford. I think what I really like about those films is I saw them when I was younger and they made a really big impression on me. I specifically remember my mom showing me that film, and the part where she is singing her song and catches her reflection and screams in terror messed me up! Daniel: As far as your channel goes, are there hopes you have for the future? Celebrity guests, collaborations, cross references you want to do?

Kaci: Absolutely! We do have some guests that have expressed interest. Its such a weird thing to say and a weird thing to read. I don’t like to share any names until after, but even then people that I’ve grown up watching in a movie or I’ve listened to their scores on movies and it transports me to back to childhood-having them notice me and say “Hey, if you’d ever like to have me as a guest!” I’m scrolling up and thinking “Did I just read that?” Their work is what inspires me to do what I do, and to have them pay attention and watch is a huge compliment. I am working on coordinating some of that. Especially people that are heroes and icons to me.

Daniel: To wrap things up, is there anything you want to say to the people out there, perhaps some content coming up? 

Kaci: Well we do have some content coming up but I don’t want to say what. Just be sure to subscribe on youtube and click the notification bell.  Every other month I have a new episode on Rue Morgue TV’s channel, the Rue Crew are doing great things. Its an honor to be immortalized in the pages of that publication because I’ve been a huge fan for a long time. They are a great team of people to work with and are very supportive of people of all sizes. I’m on DreadCentral’s show Chronic Horror. There have been so many who have supported my career over the years, I’d like to thank them all but it would take forever because there are so many rad people out there. If nobody liked it, I wouldn’t have a reason to do it. Thank you to everyone. Keep an eye out on YouTube and Rue Morgue for more from Kaci. To share the sentiment, eat drink and be scary! 

Posted by Daniel Ryan

I am a 36 year old man from New Jersey with a lifelong passion for horror, science fiction, true crime, and cryptozoology. I will do my utmost to be a worthwhile contributor to House of Tortured Souls.

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