Monday, February 28, 2011

The Violence And Gore Gets It's Recognition In Vegas!

DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK made her Las Vegas premiere at the Pollygrind Film Festival in 2010 and we were unbelievably honored to have been awarded 'Favorite Feature', 'Best Screenplay', and Everette Hartsoe's 'Bad Girl Award'.

As if that wasn't enough of a privilege, I just found out today that the Polished Apple Awards aka The Pollies were given out to nearly 30 films for their contributions and accomplishments.

Amongst the winners - check the whole rad list and article here - was a very flattering and incredibly generous award to DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK --

There was a huge focus on the film to have great gore and violence despite the modest budget. To have this recognized and appreciated means the world to us. We had an amazing group of people come together to selflessly make this movie look seriously cool in the realms of violence and gore. Thank you to everyone who checked out the film and dug what they saw.

Jen and I are total horror nerds and as young girls we based 'good horrors to watch' as films with high action and gore sequences, so it rocks that DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK (buy the DVD filled with rad extras here) would get a shout-out like this.

Thank you, you the rad people at Pollygrind, for bestowing this great title upon us! Thank you to Chad Clinton Freeman who first brought HOOKER to the Pollygrind - it made her smile. Every hooker loves Vegas and the Pollygrind Film Fest is just one more reason.


Gerry Button Reviews Our Dead Hooker In A Trunk

Once upon a time, we had a dream. It was to make a film that was absolutely ridiculous, but pure enjoyment for our audiences. Then, to share that film with as many people as possible. Before we had anything, we had an idea. A title. A simple sentence that would stick divide our audiences and rightfully so. If you don't like the title, I can't imagine there being much else in the film that would win you over (aside from maybe our little pug dog, but he eats a severed penis at one point so that probably ain't gonna help). The film is our beloved debut, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK.

It has reached across the world, won numerous awards and honors, been seen at film festivals both big and small (it's even played at pubs) and now, we are approaching it's ultimate release. In fact, on May 23rd in the UK, you will be able to bring home your very own DEAD HOOKER. You can even pre-order now.

As you all know, and really ought to know, Kristy Jett, writer extraordinaire and all 'round badass, knows some pretty spectacular folk. It comes with the turf of wicked awesome-ness. She was kind enough to introduce us to one Gerry Button of BACKLASH HORROR. He was most kind enough to review our film. It truly means so much to us each and every time we hear that someone has taken the time (and usually gone out of their way) to watch DHIAT. He was also wonderful enough to review the film. He gave us his whole-hearted and honest opinion and we respect that. We are happy to say that he did, indeed, love the film.

I could go into further details on his review, but he beautifully gift wrapped it in video form so you don't even have to worry about that pesky reading.

Just click below and enjoy.

Thank you so much, Gerry, for your kick ass review! Just wait till you see AMERICAN MARY...

Bloody Best!

Hannah Neurotica

"Hannah Neurotica is not just the mouthpiece for the Women In Horror movement but she is also the epitome of what young women should aspire to be. She rises to the occasion when challenged yet she can calm the most riotous of storms with her words. Hannah uses her power not to promote herself but to give a voice to all of the women she honors with her work. Hannah changed my life with the amazing network of women she opened me up to, and for that I am forever grateful and humbled." ~ Kristy Jett, Fangoria, The Bloodsprayer

It is only fitting that we conclude our 28 days covering inspirational Women In Horror with the woman who founded the celebrations just one year ago. Hannah Neurotica, of Ax Wound Zine and founder of Women In Horror month, saw the need to celebrate and recognize women and their outstanding contributions to film, horror, and art.

Did everyone just jump on the band wagon and have that be that? Far from it. She was met partially with, as you may guess, support, but also with opposition. Anything from "women have enough" to "February is already _____ month". Well, my dears, please tell me a month that isn't already "taken" in celebration of other months. The month has spawned not only the obvious, women being acknowledge for their work, but also has given way to multiple amazing film festivals, special events, articles, interviews, and charitable events. It has gotten female artists in touch with one another and encouraged us to work together, learn from each other, and strive to be better.

In a single year, the event has grown tremendous proportions. More festivals, more blood donated (fuck yeah!!), more special events, more interviews, more articles, more coverage, and more people taking part! It's a beautiful thing.

So, what does the future hold? What does the woman behind the month have to say? Well, I was lucky enough to score an interview with the wonderful Hannah Neurotica. Standing in the front lines for gender equality, this woman has taken the good with the bad, taken names, and kicked some serious fucking ass.

Without further adieu, my favorite femme fatale, Hannah Neurotica.

Hannah, I know you've been asked this time and time again, but for those who are tuning in a but late, I must ask again. You have been a dedicated feminist for pretty much ever. What drove you to start Women In Horror month?

Hannah: The idea for Women in Horror Recognition Month came to me one day chilling on my parent’s awesome comfy chair in the living room. I was home a lot during this time because my dad (Michael H. Forman) was sick and in the dying process. I was probably in PJs during the afternoon and I remember just saying out loud -probably to myself (or half to whoever wasn’t paying attention to me)- “We need a time to recognize women in horror. We need a Women in Horror Recognition Month.” As a woman with a serious case of Attention Deficit Disorder and being Bipolar I am constantly shitting out ideas that most people close to me have learned to tune out. I mean, really- I will just throw random ideas out all the time and only a tiny fraction ever become a reality. Something was different about this Women in Horror Recognition Month idea though- the moment I had that thought I felt a physical sensation that just took over and I knew it was something I had to at least try and make happen.

My dad was not himself so much anymore – having died January 19th 2010 he missed the inaugural success of WiHM. Actually the last viewing experience he had was me trying to show him (your) Twisted Twins original blood drive video. He was attached to machines and all sorts of tubing everywhere in our house. In fact he died in the same room his mother (my grandmother) had passed away in only a year or two prior. We now call it The Death Room. (Note: that is now the title of a story I'm writing about death and loss). Anyway- I remember him watching your video half alive/half dead and smiling. It makes me cry to think about that but not mentioning my daddy would be goddamn cruel because he is responsible for my love of horror. He never got to see WiHM take place and I want so much to show him it didn't turn out to be another one of my fleeting ideas but something that stuck and is making a difference. When my dad knew he was going to die but was still able to function I remember us sitting on the bench in front of the house. It was just the two of us and the IV port he had to have in permanently was covered by a white gauze sleeve he had to wear to help reduce infection. He had lost the ability to eat and had to get nutrients from an IV directly into to his bloodstream. It was a big process to hook up and we had to be so careful with cleaning it because we were putting something directly into his blood (eventually this would cause him to get e.coli on top of everything). It was pretty traumatic.

We sat on the bench and I said to him "I am going to have a hard time when you die. I won't be able to share my accomplishments with you. Or call you and tell you funny things that happen." He reminded me that a lot of people don't want to lose loved ones for selfish reasons like that. "When I die you will just say things like 'dad would have laughed at this' or 'dad would have loved that'. " He had this amazing way for a while at the end of his life embracing buddhism and trying to accept suffering and impermanence as the essence of life. Because only then can you really find happiness. I remember when he was in the hospital bed before he came to this mindset and the team of doctors came in to explain to us for the first time that my father would never be able to eat again; that he had a disease so rare that his odds of living very long were slim to none, that there was no cure and no clinical trials he could qualify for because the version of this disease he had was so fucking rare nobody had a clue what to do with him. To this day he is one of if not the only case of this illness at that hospital. He burst into tears (as we all did) and fucking the first thing he said was "Hannah, this is going to be the hardest on you. Who will you watch movies and hangout with?" He said "I'm not ready to leave you guys. I'll never get to see grandchildren" My dad was pretty much the person I called every day and my favorite movie watching buddy ever on planet earth. Nobody could ever fucking replace that.

Those reading this will notice my answer to this question is very long and very different then previous answers. I get asked all the time why I started WiHM and my answers are always pretty much the same. I wanted to dig deeper and my dad also taught me this: I asked him once "how do I answer the same question multiple times and not bore the hell out of people?" He gave me this nugget which I am utilizing right now- he told me something along the lines of "You don't have to answer the question exactly- you can respond however you want and mold the question to fit whatever answer you want to give."

Those who are not aware of how close we are- Jen & Sylv are family to me. You got to know my dad. My dad loved when you called yourselves my Guardian Devils. He even actually said how it made him feel better knowing he was leaving the world but that I had met the two of you. And I love knowing that you both were friends with him on Facebook. He was so excited the first time he spoke with Jen and made a joke out of it like "I talked to Jen Soska today." In a teasing voice of nah nah nah nah nah. And I asked "what was said!!?!" and he wouldn't tell me "its between us Hannah. Not your business." He was so funny.

My dad taught me everything I know about writing, he taught me to think critically, and was an avid fucking feminist. Lots of my Ax Wound work was bounced off him because he was very knowledgeable about philosophy and ethics. His last career was a college professor. Unlike other people in my life he would sit and discuss horror movies in an academic fashion with me all the time. This is why I feel it important to talk about my father and his death in relation to the birth of WiHM. I had taken the month of December and January off work to spend with my dad as the reality of his dying unfolded. Needless to say there was a lot of time I would be sitting with my laptop while he was sleeping or out of it on morphine. This was when I did the bulk of the work to get Women in Horror Recognition Month off the ground. I had all this free time and all this fucked up shit going on in my life- I needed something that I could dive head first into as some sort of healthy distraction from the intense pain my whole family was experiencing.

For a more specific answer and the answer I usually give: WiHM was triggered by being a panel member during a CBC Radio segment about women and horror fandom. The amazing Jovanka Vuckavic was the only panelist in Toronto so she was actually in the studio. Myself and Aviva Briefel (Bowdoin University Professor and horror writer/theorist) were calling in from different states. Jovanka is a beautiful woman and she has gorgeous tattoos and bright colored hair. The segment for our interview was only 30 mins and when you take sound bites and movie clips into account that is very little time. Half way through the interview the interviewer began to comment on how Jovanka looked for “those not in the studio.” She literally took fucking time away from a potentially fascinating conversation to condescend and belittle female horror fans and artists in a passive aggressive way. She basically made up in her mind that female horror fans were really a small niche of weirdo women who didn't fit the mold of what a girl was suppose to like. And she made it seem like only body modified girls were fans and a "normal" girl couldn't possibly be one of us!

One of the missions for WiHM is to fight the notion that all women are is a set of bloody tits and we are more then hot horror babes of the month. And here this lady was now objectifying us and making assumptions about how we must look as fans! So no matter which way you look at things in this situation women are being judged physically. This is a very deep wound in our culture that won’t end quick. When the anger was building up from the CBC experience I wanted to do something about it with immediacy I can’t get from making Ax Wound. Ax Wound is print and doesn’t reach as many people. I got so pissed the only way I knew how to handle it was picking up the fucking bullhorn, tapping into my Riot Grrrl/DIY roots, and saying it is time for a serious fucking change here! I should not have to keep explaining that women like horror after almost a decade of making a feminist horror magazine. Something has got to happen and we need some kind of movement; cohesion; networking; joined forces; a goddamn army. And from the looks of things we fucking have one. And it's growing each year. That is pretty spectacular.

Can you tell us what the initial response was last year?

Hannah: Since my initial answer was a novel the rest of my answers here will be short. I promise. The initial response was overwhelmingly positive. I kept expecting someone to say something in opposition, bracing myself for mean comments to my manifesto and they just never came. (that isn't the same for this year though). I think maybe one or two people had issue with the month but it was just something that people got behind really fucking quickly. I believe it is because it isn't about one person or one film or one book or one event. It's about making change, its inclusive on so many levels, it encouraged creativity that not only benefits women but the industry as a whole. So, it gave a chance for lots of people to get involved in something that never existed before and an excuse to create brand new grassroots film festivals, conventions, art shows, blood drives, clothing drives, and an influx of rad blog entries galore all with support and networking behind it from women who never had known of each other before. It was fucking spectacular to witness I must admit.

I will say though that I was worried it would be a one shot deal. I really am overjoyed to see that people wanted to continue this in 2011 and I can only hope the same for 2012 and beyond....beyond until we don't need it anymore.

What has been the response like this year?

Hannah: This year more people knew about it, more media coverage, more opposition regarding it being Black History Month (which btw is a very bizarre argument consider Feb is home to American Heart Awareness, Children's Dental Health Awareness, and a whole laundry list of others). The most god awful ridiculous fucking anti-WiHM response: get ready for it y'all: someone actually complained that February was a bad month because of the weather! How funny is that? Funny because what does the weather have to do with anything? Funny because bad weather makes you wanna stay home and watch horror movies? Funny because clearly this person is incredibly narcissistic to think the whole world is experiences the same weather as herself- I mean, this is not a national holiday. This is fucking international. We had events in US, UK, Canada and today the final event in Scotland!

This year also proves fascinating because more people were joining the conversation which lead to some good and even heated discussions about what WiH Month actually means when put into action by people who might not have even known there was a manifesto written.

It was almost like a weird game of telephone to see the different ways the month was interpreted. I don't mean that as a negative- just an interesting thing to observe.

What has been the proudest moment for you in this process?

Hannah: Actually seeing women (and men) creating there own film festivals and events, giving screening opportunities to female filmmakers. I am proud that I had some sort of hand in helping to get people more exposure and aware of other women working under the radar; allowing for networking. I am proud to see all this blood being donated and money from events going to good causes. My dad needed blood in the ICU and so its a very important cause to me personally. I’m damn proud of you ladies for the release of Dead Hooker in a Trunk on DVD one year after the success of the film launching big time during WiH festivals in 2010. Just goes to show how much power we have when we join forces in a DIY grassroots sort of way.

With the good always comes bad. What have been the challenges you have faced?

Hannah: The bad would be learning had to handle sometimes vicious criticism as mentioned above. I got emotional over some of it and maybe was a bit unprofessional in my venting but women like Debbie Rochon, Jovanka Vuckovic, Shannon Lark, Heidi Martinuzzi, Amy Lynn Best etc gave me nuggets of wisdom along the way about how to handle stuff like this. I am so grateful to be in contact with so many strong, confident, brilliant and influential women. How did I get so lucky?

It's an interesting challenge to learn how not take things personally – women in horror month is no longer something I have control over in anyway. I don't mean that I had actual control initially but I was able to keep up with all the events, postings, and answer questions. This year so many more people were in the know that articles would come out having no idea where WiH Month originated from. That feels weird to come up with an idea, put it out in the world, and then have it take on a life of its own. It's not a challenge in it of itself but its an odd thing to experience and watch happen. You do have to let go of some control feelings. I can't go around now to every single person and say "no!!! that isn't what I had in mind, etc" It is what it is now and all I can do is keep making Ax Wound, keep updating the manifesto each year, and keep up with the facebook page and radio shows to build a focal point for people as much as one person is capable.

How do you see this event evolving in the coming years?

Hannah: I can only hope it can keep growing every year to the point that it is no longer needed.

Who are some of the women that you would encourage others to look into or keep an eye out for?

Hannah: I learned this month that naming names gets me into trouble because I ALWAYS forget someone really important and then walk around feeling like a major douche bag. Here is just a couple but this list could go on forever: Jen & Sylvia Soska, Shannon Lark, Elisabeth Fies, Devi Snively, Jovanka Vuckovic, Maude Michaud, Izabel Grondin, Amy Lynn Best, April Monique Burrill, Heidi Martinuzzi, Nurse Hatchet,Lindsey Petersen, ahhh, okay I need to stop because I already know I'm forgetting important people! Just keep up with Ax Wound: Gender & The Horror Genre for my opinion on this subject as I will always highlight women we need to keep an eye out for! Damn you for asking me that question, Soskas!!!! ;)

What was the first horror movie you ever saw? Did you know from that moment that you were hooked for life?

Hannah: Again, I'm gonna go with a non-traditional answer. I actually talked about this in another interview but not sure how many people read it. The first thing to really scare me wasn't a film. It was an episode of Burt and Earnie. If you wanna know that story check out my interview with Geek Girl On The Street.

Actually I don't know if I ever shared this: My grandma (dads mom who passed away right before my dad did in the same damn room in our house) took me when I was a little girl to see the sequel to The Wizard of Oz. It was called Return to Oz and I got so fucking freaked out when the rocks started talking I told my grandma we had to leave. And we did. I got scared wicked easy as a kid and I would have horrendous times trying to sleep-- thinking the purple library ghost from Ghostbusters or the vampire from Salems Lot was in my closet. Its actually funny I grew up to love it so much. My dad actually told me as a kid "if a movie is that scary you should watch it again and maybe again after that- it won't have as much power anymore." Random answer. But there you go !

Tell us about Ax Wound Zine.

Hannah: Ax Wound is a hand made cut n' pasted feminist horror fanzine that I started almost a decade ago. “Ax Wound” is a derogatory term for a menstruating vagina and so seemed like a great title. It is my hope that the zine will and does create a dialogue about gender in the horror/slasher/gore genre — a genre typically thought to reinforce patriarchal values and ignore women as creators and fans. I want the ‘zine, radio show, and website to provide a safe, stimulating environment for feminist horror fans of all backgrounds to discuss the themes of gender, sexuality, and culture in the genre both past and present. Ax Wound also serves as a platform to help promote and bring together women in the horror industry. I am currently working on the SEX AND HORROR theme issue. You can still submit work and the exciting part is soon I will be launching a crowd funding campaign to raise money to publish it in color/glossy and in large numbers for more far reaching distribution and visibility. I am seeking help with this and the zine for those interested.

I am forever in debt to H.G. Lewis, Eli Roth, Jovanka Vuckovic and many others who helped me reach a larger audience. (Damn, did I mention I hate naming names!?!)

Who inspires you?

Hannah: My dad (RIP) my mom and my brother. My sisters Jen & Sylvia. Artists would be Lydia Lunch, John Waters, Gregg Araki, Cindy Sherman, Richard Kern, Courtney Love, Sarah Jacobson, Carol Clover, Kathleen Hanna, Frank Henenlotter, Shannon Lark, and just like with the "who should we keep an eye out for" I will DAMN YOU AGAIN SOSKAS for making me name names! I am so inspired by so many different aspects of life that I cannot give a real answer without feeling the dread of missing something.

What do you think are the greatest challenges for women today?

Hannah: I will end up writing a list of all the fucking challenges if I let myself get going so I will just say one thing: The way Planned Parenthood/family planning has potentially just lost its funding- women face so many challenges right now beyond film we are literally fighting for our own bodies. For a large majority of women having the ability to afford screening for cervical cancer, get screened for sexually transmitted infections, and the goddamn bullshit of "re-defining rape" so if you are drugged, etc it doesn't count are the definition of horror.! I'll tell you- if ever there was a time to watch and/or make Rape Revenge films for catharsis now is it.

Horror comes on strong during cultural & political upheaval and right now we are certainly at a crisis point. I will be curious to see how this affects the next wave of horror films. Especially if it will propel more women to make art expressing the fear and concern we all should have about the history of our bodies. We are losing control of them again and so many people are complacent. Please please take the time to sign a petition, write letters, anything- something like signing an online petition takes like less then a minute....time that you probably are spending on farmville! =)

What advice do you have for women that want to try follow in your footsteps?

Hannah: Take your medication as prescribed.

Don't give up when people are shitting on you.

Don't try to please everyone.

Don't be afraid to ask for help and reach out to other people for support/networking/etc.

What do you have to say to say to people who say "what can I do for Women In Horror month"?

Hannah: Attend an event, create an event, write something, make art, give blood, anything your amazing brain can think of!

Where do you see the future of horror going? Do you think we can expect a shitload of remakes in 3D?

Hannah: American Mary! (and I'm totally only saying that because I have a small part in your film). But seriously, I think American Mary is going to inspire a lot of women but also show Hollywood what horror fans really want: some damn intelligence and originality with their fear! Women are the future of horror. We will breed new life into this genre because we have different perspectives that have yet to be explored in a big way. Watch the fuck out!

What has been your favorite "kill" ever in a film?

Hannah: Honestly there are so many badass once but going with the theme of women in horror I had a serious body reaction to the last scene of the original I Spit on Your Grave. I literally fucking got off the couch and did a fist pump in the air. This isn't really a kill scene but one of the coolest fucking scenes was the head between the legs in ReAnimator! Ya know what else? The death by fucking in Bad Biology. That was pretty badass.

What are your favorite horror movies?

Hannah: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Pieces, Halloween, Friday the 13, Motel Hell, Black Christmas (original), Poltergeist, The Orphanage, The Evil Dead, The Doom Generation, Nowhere, Serial Mom (horror comedy), Carnival of Souls...... I could go on forever.

What would you like to say in closing for Women In Horror month?

Hannah: HOLY FUCKING SHIT YOU GUYS!! Look what has fucking happened in the last two years. YOU have made space for all of us! Let's keep this up all year long. February is a month to recognize that we need recognition all year long. Keep fighting! Keep creating! Keep making noise!

Where can people see your work?


Thank you, Hannah. So much. To have been able to do so much under such difficult circumstances. To have persevered and kept going despite overwhelming odds. You are the living personification of strength. We have so much admiration for you and your unyielding dedication to gender equality and the advancement of horror, in all art forms, as a whole. I know that in 2012, Women In Horror Month will continue to grow and evolve. I hope many, like us, are already making plans and schemes for next year's celebrations. But this is not the end. We can continue to celebrate all year 'round and there ain't a damn reason we shouldn't.

Women In Horror month truly is its on living entity now and future generations of women will have their voices and visions seen and heard more than ever. Yes, February is at an end, but that doesn't mean things have to change by any means. We can continue the celebration. We can recognize independent artists who are striving to make horror something more. Now, more than ever before, we live in a "Yes, we can" era. And it's a beautiful thing. The power is in our hands. Anyone can make a film, start a blog, chase their dreams, and make a difference.

In the words of independent film making legend, Carlos Gallardo, I leave you with this.

"Don't just talk about it. Go do it."

Happy Women In Horror Month, everyone!

Bloody Best!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dread Central Gets An Exclusive on American Mary

AMERICAN MARY is coming, boys and grrls, and you'd better watch the fuck out.

Thanks to the outstanding horror community and their unending support, not only is DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK coming out so y'all can have your very own DEAD HOOKERS in your living rooms, but making our next film, AMERICAN MARY, is a possibility. And, beyond that, a reality. Without your support and the way you have embraced us and our work, none of this would be possible.

Not surprisingly, we intend to thank you with AMERICAN MARY. We hope that it will change the way people look at horror. We intend to make horror history with our new girl. And don't worry, there will be plenty of WTF moments.

Sean Decker, of Dread Central, has indeed scored some inside info on the film. Curious?

Read on...

And do stay tuned. LOTS more in store for AMERICAN MARY.

Bloody Best!

Ten Women That Are Brutal As Hell

"How did I choose the ladies on this list, pulling them from the hundreds of others?
First, I wanted there to be a personal connection for myself. These are all films which I admire and have seen more than once. They are ones that I would call favorites. I wanted to eliminate the distancing effect of picking a film because it’s important on a larger scale, or to the majority of genre fans, but not necessarily important to me. When all is said and done the most significant impact a film can have is that of the impact upon an individual. A film succeeds in being most powerful in the intimacy that comes when you’re pulled into it completely.
Second, with the field narrowed I looked at films where women rose above both adversity and their pre-determined station to overcome whatever conflict was presented. I eliminated films where weak women became strong in a final moment. I looked for those films where the woman never backed down, was always strong, always a force to be reckoned with, even if she fell as a victim and was overpowered by her oppressors. Horror as a genre is one that rings truthful, more than any other genre, that good does not always triumph over evil. In spite of this truth, it should never take away from the inherent virtue in fighting for good." ~ Marc Patterson, BRUTAL AS HELL
As Women In Horror recognition month winds to an end one thing has become evident. The appreciation and celebration of women and their countless contributions to horror will not be coming to an end. The month has taken on a life of its own and, as a result, women are being appreciated and recognized more than ever. The founder of this month, Hannah Neurotica, will surely have an indestructible smile on her crimson lips.

Marc Patterson, owner and editor-in-chief of the abso~fucking~lutely brilliant site BRUTAL AS HELL, has taken this opportunity to honor TEN WOMEN IN HORROR THAT BREAK THE MOULD OF CONVENTION. This list contains some of the most badass, inspirational, take-no-shit-from-nobody women to ever grace the screen. Yes, you bet your sweet ass Ripley is on there.

As a supreme honor, both myself and Sylv are also included amongst the list of these incredible women. Not us exactly, but more accurately, BADASS and GEEK are honored. We are just blown away by this great distinction, especially taking a look at the fellow femme fatales to appear on the list. Just, wow.

Thank you so very much to Marc Patterson and BRUTAL AS HELL for this. We are speechless and that special kind of happy that Bruce Willis is in PULP FICTION when he lays eyes on that Katana.

Of course, we've given away already too many ladies to appear on the list. To see the FULL LIST and FIND OUT WHY, read on!

Obviously, I must now go watch PULP FICTION.

Bloody Best!

It's An Honor To Be Nominated

Today is the 27th of February which means several things. It was my incredible grandmother's birthday - she is eight four years young. I got to spend the day with family which is really special because we really don't get enough time to see each other. And today was the 83rd annual Academy Awards - which by doing the math means it started when my beloved Anyu was a rambunctious one year old.

The Academy Awards are considered extremely prestigious and often it gets one thinking about their own accomplishments in the film industry and where one's career may lead them. After a long day, I return home, turn on my cheery MacBook Pro, and see a new notification for National Horror Examiner's 1st ever 'Fear, Fright & Fret' Horror Awards! Holy shit, cool. I click and start to read ahead --

Best Lead Actress 2010 - Nominees: Ashley C. Williams (The Human Centipede), Jen Soska (Dead Hooker In A Trunk), Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker In A Trunk), Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism), Christina Ricci (After.Life), Emma Bell (Frozen)

AMERICAN MARY will have our last scheduled appearance as actors in film, so we can focus on writing and directing. It's something Jen and I have talked a lot about it and it makes sense for us now. But before my inner Black Swan leading lady dances her closing number, it is pretty fucking cool to be nominated with Jen for Best Leading Actress for our performances in DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK. A huge fucking honor. We did not win, but it put a smile on my face and made me feel a swell of pride. I also loved the reasoning --

The Winner is: Emma Bell (Frozen) - This was another very difficult decision for me to make. The Soskas were awesome in Dead Hooker In A Trunk but chosing between the two was an impossible task, and one that I refused to take part in. It was their first film and they both kicked major ass in the film. Sorry ladies, I know this wasn't fair of me, but I just couldn't chose between the two of you. You are both awesome! Emma Bell's plight in Frozen was a very realistic one, and Ms. Bell made me actually care about her character. More often than not, the characters in horror films are annoying and I actually want to see them perish, but I wanted to see Bell's character make it home alive.

I kept reading the list - which is a pretty fucking rad list mixing up indie and big studio horror alike in a hip, humorous, and fun way - read the entire list here and bask in the awesomeness. Then I got to the Best Directors of 2010 category --

Best Director 2010 - Nominees: Abel Berry (Kodie), Christian Grillo (Booley), Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker In A Trunk), Tom Six (The Human Centipede), Adam Mason (Pig), Evan Makrogiannis & Brian Weaver (The Super), Júlíus Kemp (Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre)

The Winner is: Jen & Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker In A Trunk) - It seems that each category is harder to chose from than the last. Abel Berry and Christian Grillo are, without a doubt, two of the most talented directors out there, and they'll both go on to have huge careers. Berry's Kodie, and Grillo's Booley are easily two of the best films of the past 15 years. The Soskas' work on Dead Hooker In A Trunk is nothing short of amazing. The film is among the best pulp/grindhouse films ever made.

If you didn't see this earlier article catch up here, but this is the second time Scott Ruth, the Horror Examiner, has made me cry. Happy tears.

It is a very humbly and gracious opportunity to be nominated in this category and to win leaves me almost speechless. A very humble thank you to you, sir. There was an incredible team that came together on this film that really truly love making movies more than anything else. They came together and worked there asses off for nothing on an insane idea coined by two first time directors. The class and the support of these fine men and women made this film what it is today.

The horror community who dug the flick and stood behind it - you guys are the reason we can do this and make more films. I can never thank you enough, but making AMERICAN MARY a fucking good film will be the start.

Thank you for this sincere honor and privilege, Scott. Your support has been tremendous. Thank you kindly!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Liberally Dead and Loving It!

First allow me to properly introduce the gentleman that is Justin LaLiberty. A small blerb that will make you dig this gent as we also do --

Student of the Selznick School of Film Preservation in Rochester, NY. I spend too much time on social networking websites, watching sexploitation flicks and reading (and re-reading) anything Garth Ennis has put his name on.

See? Rock and roll, totally awesome gentleman. He loves Ennis which means he and we could probably talk for hours about The Preacher series, but onto the actual point - I do often take the scenic route to get there.

Justin was cool enough to take some time to chat with Jen and I for a Women In Horror Month Interview. It was very hip and here's the very flattering and kind intro --

Women In Horror Month 2011 is almost at its end. This is unfortunate as the past twenty-four days have been an incredible experience for myself and, seemingly, for the horror community as a whole. It is time, in these final days, that we hear from two women/sisters/twins/filmmakers/actresses/stuntwomen and all around inspiring people: The Soska Sisters. I could write at length about how awesome these two, and their work, are. However, I decided I’d allow them to do it for you. What follows is a rather lengthy interview between myself and Jen and Sylvia. This is no mere fluff piece either, there is some serious thought and dedication present in their answers here, so take the time to read it through and enjoy the last few days of Women In Horror Month 2011!

Justin knows film and has excellent horror knowledge. His wit and intelligence are evident in his conversational questions that really delve into indie filmmaking and our goals with the work. Read the entire lovely piece here and get your HOOKER news, MARY news, and inside look at how a pair of girls from Vancouver, Canada, made a movie with a great team, crazy idea, and relentless ambition. Thank you for this gracious piece and interview, Justin. It was very cool to talk with you, sir!


Got Head Cheese?

We have a lot of fun talking to the wonderful James DePaolo. Here are some past moments for those of you late to the friend-ship. We had the pleasure of sitting down with James and having a great, lengthy chat with some fucking rad, unique questions. Here is a little morsel of that rad --

You both are workaholics. You do the blog, website and podcast circuit it seems by the hour. When you are not promoting you are working on American Mary or touring with Dead Hooker, you barely have down time. Do your regular jobs understand this, or do you guys quit a job and then when home get another?

S: Oh gawd, this is embarrassing. We are still waiting for HOOKER to get sold and we're still a couple of weeks away from being able to just focus on MARY, so we do have day jobs. It's a very humbling experience to be hiring all these incredible people for the team and all the excitement that comes with a career that is developing so extremely well, then put on your apron, and wait tables so you can pay all these bills we've accumulated over the last three years.

I will never forget for a moment how lucky we are to be doing this and where we came from. You get a lot of rude people when you wait tables - and it can be rough work. Be nice to your waitresses and tip them well. I got a generous tip during Christmas of sixty dollars and I almost cried because I knew it meant I would be able to pay for presents for my family.

J: I was actually working for HMV when I started this all. I liked it because I got to see check out and, of course, stock their film selections and they had a ton of cool world cinema and horror titles. I had scheduled to have our first day on DHIAT and booked the day off a month in advance. When schedule time came, it turned out they had still scheduled me. When I tried to tell them why I couldn't come in, they told me either I come in that day or I don't come back. It was shitty. I left and thought how I couldn't wait for them to carry our DVDs. I'll be sure to go check it out when it happens.

We are pretty much married to our careers. All work, very little time for play. So we make damn sure to spend our down time wisely. We work day jobs together which know about our careers and they really do try to help accommodate our schedules. I do look forward to having only the career to worry about. Multiple jobs do suck a bit. I wouldn't want it any other way, though. I think the time we put it makes a lot of difference. We make sure to respond to every email we get. the only ones we don't respond to are either "show me your tits" or "make me famous".

See? Delicious interview piece for Cinema Head Cheese. Get your fill on the full piece here. A big humble thank you to James who has been a huge supporter of us and our work who always takes the time to do cool interviews. Thank you kindly, sir!


Zelda Rubinstein

"I had to do something creative. It was an internal feeling that I was sabotaging myself." ~ Zelda Rubinstein

This woman should have scared the shit out of me.

When I saw my first horror movie ever, POLTERGEIST, she was one of the first examples I ever saw of a character that was creepy, but by no means nasty.

Sylvie and I used to love to run into the horror section of video stores. We'd turn over the boxes and try to find the scariest images and then share the "good ones" with one another. There was a card board cut out of Edward Scissorhands in one and he scared us something FIERCE. But then our mom, a very horror savvy lady, told us that he was the good guy and he only looked scary. From then on, we weren't so quick to write off a creepy individual as a bad guy.

Or gal, in this case. She was a woman who often appeared as a psychic or medium in film and television and had that "other worldly" presence about her. Her Tangina Barrons entered the first installment of the POLTERGEIST franchise as an experienced medium who was no stranger to dealing with dark forces. In the third film, she sacrificed herself to save the young Carrie Anne. Outside of film, she has tirelessly fought for human rights specifically in regards to the equality of little people and the fight against HIV/AIDS. She believed firmly in equality.
She was one of the first celebrity AIDS advocates and attended the first AIDS Project Los Angeles AIDS Walk in 1985.

Standing at 4 feet 3 inches, she was often verbally abused at school and learned at an early age to meet people "head on."

"Little People are societally handicapped. They have about two minutes to present themselves as equals—and if they don’t take advantage of that chance, then people fall back on the common assumption that 'less' is less." ~ Zelda Rubinstein
"Zelda Rubinstein gave up a long and stable career in the medical field as a lab technician in order to strive for something more self-fulfilling as middle age settled in. At the age of 45, the feisty lady gave up the comfort of a stable paycheck and to attempt an acting career, a daunting task for anyone but especially someone of her stature and type. Within a few years, she had beaten the odds and became a major movie celebrity thanks to one terrific showcase in a Steven Spielberg horror classic. In the process she served as an inspiration to all the "little people" working in Hollywood and forced to toil in cruel and demeaning stereotypes.

Born on May 28, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Zelda was the youngest of three children and the only "little person" in the family. Her childhood and teenage years were decidedly difficult in terms of coping with her "interesting variation," which was caused by a pituitary gland deficiency. With no designs on acting at the time, she went the normal route of college and received a scholarship to study at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her degree in bacteriology and worked for a number of years as a lab technician in blood banks." ~ Woody Yanders

Zelda gained additional attention and respect, if not popularity (her career suffered for a time as a result), as an early and outspoken HIV/AIDS activist. As the poster mom for AIDS awareness, she valiantly appeared in a series of maternal newspaper/billboard advertisements imploring her gay son to practice safe sex. The series of ads ran from the mid-to-late 1980s.

Many would have told her to count her blessings and keep her mouth shut. To have been able to break into acting with what many would consider to be multiple disadvantages, it would have definitely put her career at risk to speak her mind. At the time, it was incredibly unpopular to speak out about AIDS awareness, but this woman never backed down from a challenge. Despite what the repercussions were to be.

Zelda not only lent her support to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center—before it was popular for celebrities to support AIDS and LGBT organizations–she volunteered to star in a groundbreaking HIV prevention campaign for us. The image of her on billboards and posters, saying to a shirtless guy holding an umbrella: ‘don’t forget your rubbers,’ is now iconic.” ~Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

She was a fearless woman. Sadly, she passed away early 2010 on January 27th. A couple of months before her death on January 27, 2010, Zelda suffered a heart attack. Complications set in (kidney and lung failure) and she passed away at age 76 in a Los Angeles hospital.

She was a strong, inspiring woman who is very worthy of admiration. Not only is she a horror icon, but, much like many badasses and femme fatales, was a very kind-hearted person. She devoted her fame to helping others. She made unpopular decisions before the rest of the world woke up and saw how popular those decisions really were. In spite of over whelming odds, she fought to follow her dreams and never let anything hold her back.

I'll leave you with her most unforgettable, iconic performance in the role that landed her forever firmly in horror history.

Please enjoy.

~ Jen