Entries Tagged 'Ghostella’s Haunted Tomb' ↓

so i made a movie: VOYEUR, part one

Dear y'alls,

I bet you've been worried about me, right? Wondering where I was and if I'd ever come back from my vacation...why, I'm sure you weren't even able to celebrate July 4th to the fullest because of all the concern. "No, friend, despite the fact that I love American independence and the thought of powdered wigs, I cannot even fathom a hot dog right now for I am concerned about Final Girl. What if she never comes back? What if she's taken to the woods like Nell and she's off doing nudie midnight swims and tayyynnnn innna wiinnnn-ing ? Which useless website will I read then, friend? WHICH I SAY."

Well, don' worr', chickbayyyyy, I'm back...although the prospect of fleeing to the woods and finding a lake for my nudie midnight swims was indeed tempting. Tomorrow, as you may recall, is Film Club Day, so go get yer Italian zombie action on!

But first, behold, Part One of So I Made A Movie: Voyeur, which is a short film written by, directed by, and starring Shannon Lark, which we shot whilst I was away. We just know how much you dug our silly write-ups for Ludlow, so we decided to continue the series. See what you've wrought? This is what happens when you pay attention to us.


SHANNON LARK: It seems as though the filmmaking process of Ludlow went so well between Stacie Ponder and I, that I decided to call upon her to film a short script I wrote titled Voyeur.

It was a perfect situation: I had just enough money to film this small beast, and Stacie had an itching to get the hell out of LA for a couple days. We made a deal for the exchange of services: she does the cinematography for my short and I see some big ass trees with her.

Fuck yeah.

STACIE PONDER: I learned two things (and two things ONLY) whilst making Ludlow: 1) Peperoncinis and peanut butter is a fucking delicious combo, and 2) Shannon and I mesh together creatively, like, super duper wicked awesomely. I’ll jump at any chance to work with her, and the fact that Voyeur came along so soon after Ludlow wrapped had me psyched. I was duly honored that she asked me to DP for her, but after saying yes I have to admit to a little panic. I’d never shot anything for anyone else before. I was going to be essentially responsible for her film (particularly since she’s also the star and wouldn’t be behind the camera with me), and for a while I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task. If I shoot my own movie and it sucks, I can just bury the tapes out in the New Mexico desert next to all those Atari E.T. game cartridges and no one ever has to find out. If I shoot someone else’s movie and it sucks, I’ve ruined her movie and I’m a big jerk. It’s a lot of pressure especially since, as I mentioned, it was my first time. I could only hope that Voyeur would be gentle and would still love and respect me in the morning.

Besides, the idea of seeing the big ass trees in Sequoia National Park after the shoot was too delicious to pass up, so it was on.

SHANNON LARK: I had written the script last November while I was still living in San Francisco (more like surfing on friend’s couches) and I was working at the Starlight Room in downtown SF. My boss, Harry Denton, who is like…famous and stuff, has an amazing apartment in a 40’s motif that I had read about in the papers. I wanted to write a story about a woman who is raped, and it’s really fucked up. I’ve always felt there weren’t enough rape films, especially male on male sodomy scenes. There aren’t any male on male sodomy scenes in the movie, but Harry Denton had the perfect apartment to match, so I was sold on the idea of shooting in the city.

I left San Francisco on January 1st, and drove like a madman straight to New Mexico to live, and like…have a home and a shower and stuff.

STACIE PONDER: Fucking diva.

SHANNON LARK: Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors hit and the shooting date fell though on two separate occasions for different reasons. Ugh. It’s a short film for Christ’s sake! And dammit, Christ wanted me to make this movie!!

STACIE PONDER: It’s true, Christ wanted her to make this movie. I read about it in the Bible.

Okay, not in the BIBLE Bible, but I read about it on a website about the Bible. It said something like “And lo, Shannon Lark shall maketh a film about a woman who is raped, and lo, it shall be good. And fucked up.”

SHANNON LARK: I got the crew together (which is all female, so it kinda rocks) and cashed in a free flight from Southwest, due to my nifty little rewards card. Stacie picked me up from the airport in Burbank and we hit the grocery store. I don’t eat gluten anymore and I had a great time telling Stacie allllll about it.

STACIE PONDER: Holy crap, if I hear about gluten one more time I’m gonna puke my pants. Shannon is worse than a born again! Actually, it’s kind of amazing how she managed to work it into virtually EVERY conversation:

“Shannon, what time is it?”

“Umm, it’s 5:30. That’s so weird, because I stopped eating gluten at 10:30 three weeks ago!”

“How is that weird?”

“I don’t know, it just is. By the way, I don’t eat gluten anymore.”

SHANNON LARK: She had arranged a screening for Ludlow and the Ghostella films that evening so we grilled up veggie shishkabobs and I drank wayyyy too much wine. I don’t drink that often and since I don’t eat gluten anymore (hehe), I can’t drink beer. C’mon! I grew up on beer!!

Stacie just drank herself sober…on beer.

STACIE PONDER: My goal for the evening was basically to get drunk. This would serve two purposes: one, the booze would soothe my jangled nerves and I’d be able to watch Ludlow and all my other crap in front of people. Two, I was looking to relax after countless hours and long nights editing that fucking movie, and three, it was also a sort of birthday party and to celebrate my FINALLY turning 21, I thought it would be neat to get drunk legally for a change.

Yes, I realize that’s three purposes but I’m a girl so math is hard.

My plan worked for a while, and I was indeed drunk. In fact, I was going around letting people know as much: “Look, I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m a little bit drunk.” The next thing I knew, however, I was unexpectedly and disappointingly sober. The sudden transformation truly counts as one of life’s mysteries.

SHANNON LARK: Everyone loved Ludlow, I think. Except maybe that one guy who wandered off into the night when it started to play.

STACIE PONDER: No one knows who that guy was! No one claimed the random drunk guy. Maybe he was a mass hallucination, or a ghost. That’s probably it. He did talk about peoples’ auras an awful lot.

SHANNON LARK: The crowd went crazy over Stacie’s short films and I ended up passing out on her bedroom floor directly after Ludlow screened. I spilled wine on her favorite blanket and water on her bed before falling asleep under a curtain that I pulled from my suitcase.

STACIE PONDER: Yeah, I think people had a good time. It’s an amazing feeling to have people react positively to something I made- it kinda makes me feel like a three-year-old who busted out some glitter-covered macaroni art and mom loves it- or claims to- and hangs it on the fridge.

After the movies were over, people wanted to tell Shannon that she was fantastic in Ludlow (because…you know…she IS), but she’d disappeared. I found her drunk on my bedroom floor, managed to get her outside to greet (read: slur at) her public, then tucked her in for the night under her beloved curtain. The wine spillage wasn’t discovered until a week later, after we’d returned from our Voyeur adventure. It really doesn’t matter to me- it’s just a fucking blanket- but what I find most amusing is that Shannon tried to convince me that the blanket wasn’t even mine and that she’d brought it with her.

SHANNON LARK: It looks just like the blanket I was supposed to bring! Honest!!

And so the adventures of Voyeur began, just like Christ said on that one website about the bible.

so i made a movie, part six

I'm, like, totally in "post-production" on Ludlow. Since I went way overboard with the info sharing regarding the shoot, I figured, you know, why not indulge myself and share way too much info during the entire process of putting this movie together? It's what The Internet is for. Well, it's for sharing too much information and it's for LOLcats.

So, WARNING: this is all about me and my big ideas for Ludlow and seriously, it’s so boring, I’m falling asleep whilst typing ittttttttttwiooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Oh, if you have no idea what the fuck a "Ludlow" is, click here and catch up. Or don't and remain clueless. Whatever, man, that's totes your beeswax.

During filming, Shannon Lark looked far into the future and yawned upon reading this boring post.

If you’ve watched any of my previous…uh, let’s call them “films” for lack of a better term, shall we?…then you may or may not be surprised to find out that they’re all edited on l’il ol’ iMovie5. See, I’m always about 6 or 8 steps behind the curve when it comes to computers due to the fact that I’m not a millionaire. It’s true! Though I exude exquisite class and glamour all over The Internet, I am little more than a humble pauper.

Another example of exquisite class and glamour.

As such, I plod along all humble pauper-style working with programs from 5 years ago and everything’s generally cool; I’m a big proponent of the idea that your equipment doesn’t entirely matter, but rather it’s all about what you can do with it. *sexual innuendo, wakka wakka* The point is, geez… the first three episodes of Ghostella’s Haunted Tomb were shot on VHS, and they’re…largely coherent, at least.
SHANNON LARK: Stacie never gives herself enough credit. "Lack of a better term?" Her movies are wonderful! And they actually make sense. Especially her latest with that wedding dress-thing.
In related news, did you know that NOBODY uses VHS anymore? Weird, right? I just don’t understand this modern world! VHS is so cool. Why I remember the day I stepped up to VHS from using this thing. Oh, what a day that was. Electric Youth!

I’ll readily admit that top of the line equipment would be swell to own- after all, there’s no arguing that stuff shot on the Red One (fancy, expensive) looks better than stuff shot on VHS (not fancy, obsolete). But again, I’m not a millionaire and thus I make do. Sometimes, though, you just gotta bite the bullet and upgrade your crap to crap plus.

Sorry, VHS. I mean, you don't look THAT bad and I still love you and all...

Sometimes, upgrading is all about ease. After those first three episodes of Ghostella, I dumped my VHS camera for a cheap (but kick ASS) mini-DV camera. In addition to superior picture quality, this meant I could simply import footage directly from the camera into iMovie rather than burning a DVD from the VHS tapes, extracting the footage from the DVDs, converting the file types, and THEN importing to iMovie. I still make out with my little camera every night as my perverted way of thanking it for saving me so much time and hassle. The making out is also my way of letting it know that I think it’s pretty.

...but this is a little sharper...and widescreenier...and insanier.
SHANNON LARK: I agree that you should make out with your equipment. It makes it function better (as long as no saliva hits the mother board) as the good vibes permeate its mechanical consciousness.
I’m trying to make a…well, a GOOD MOVIE here with Ludlow. Relatively speaking, natch. I want it to look beautiful, and I want as much as possible to avoid the deadliest of pitfalls that frequently lay waste to no-budget movies: shitty audio. Whether or not I’ll achieve these goals remains to be seen, but to give myself a leg up I used Shannon’s fancy-pants camera to shoot the film (although not wanting to neglect my own beloved camera, I brought it with me to capture behind the scenes shenanigans and, you know, to make out with). The second part of this mathemagical equation involves post-production and my decision to…dun dun dunnnnn…upgrade from iMovie 5 to Final Cut Express 4. This is roughly the equivalent of upgrading from sitting on your ass all day to going all nutcake and doing the Ironman Triathlon in under an hour.

I don’t know if that makes any sense, or whether doing the Triathlon in under an hour would indeed indicate a level of nutcakedness, but perhaps you get the point.

What? No, I’ve never done the Ironman Triathlon. BIG DEAL. It’s not like I’ve never done ANYTHING. I mean, this one time I stayed up for two days straight and lemme tell ya, it broke my fucking brain! It was during a road trip with my friend Jim, and the highlight of the trip was probably the moment when my mind completely melted and I couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant where we’d had breakfast. The restaurant was called Country Pride (gross, awesome), but the closest I could get to calling it that was to blurt out “Purity Face”.
SHANNON LARK: Hahaha! I went to a place like that recently. It had a giant pig in front of it, which I rode.
"Purity Face" is clearly not even close.


Look, I’m not trying to knock iMovie Version From 5 Years Ago, believe me. I’ve done some cool stuff with it, if I do say so myself (and clearly I do say so myself). However, the program is largely aimed at people who want to make a “movie” of their kids pooping at the beach and Ken Burns-style photo montages set to the tune of Jim Croce’s “Time In A Bottle” to give as a gift to Nana and Pap Pap for their 60th wedding anniversary- and that’s…you know, mega-cool. But for Ludlow, I want more control than iMovie can provide; I want to filter audio and correct colors and all that deluxe good-time jazz. Lo, I say unto thee, this is a story about control. Control of what I say, control of what I do- and this time, I’m gonna do it MY way. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Are we ready? I am- ‘cause it’s all about control…and I’ve got lots of it.


"I will fuck up your dreams!"

Sorry, wait…mmm. Err, where the fuck am I going with this?

Oh yeah- so I upgraded my computer and now my stupid big fat scanner is no longer compatible with my system (it sits, useless and mocking) which means I can no longer scan in…you know…STUFF FOR MY LIFE which includes COMICS and I’ve got Final Cut Express but it’s super complicated and I don’t know what I’m doing and I hate not knowing what I’m doing and I feel my self-imposed deadline looming and I’m totally freaking out.

SHANNON LARK: Girl, you are gonna get the freakin' stupid editing system BLAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Just keep working at it. You are super smart and you do things and you have the BESTEST blog on the intarweb where people send you fanmail and some of them even try to look up pictures of me naked just because you have let me go blablabla on your blog about masturbation and Ludlow. This is just Ludlow trying to bring you down, man. Fuck Ludlow. Fuck it with an iron fist and conquer this program till you hit yourself in the face cause your fist goes right through it, all transparency-like.
SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP did I really write all this just to bitch about how my new editing program is OH SO HARD and WAH WAH WAHH and IT’S GOING TO TAKE ME SO LONG TO LEARRRRRRRRNNNN? Hmm. I guess I did.

Well, I SAID it was boring…and YOU read it anyway! SUCKER!

Sorry, that’s not very nice at all. I’m going to go make an iMovie video featuring a Ken Burns-style montage of all our favorite Final Girl pictures from over the years, and I’ll set it to the tune of Icy Spicy Leoncie’s “Man! Let’s Have Fun” as my way of apologizing.

Actually, that video sounds pretty cool. Wow, I should be a jerk more often!

And please don’t remind me that I’m bitching about editing movies on my computer while the world is riddled with people who have no homes or clothes or perhaps not even eyes, because I feel guilty enough about my meager entitlements already. I BID YOU GOOD DAY.

If you thrilled to the exploits…

...of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb, then perhaps you'll enjoy this new trailer for Deadly Dress 4: Never A Bride. Surely you recognize the title from my list of 50 Horror Films I'd Like to See. Surely you'll recognize some familiar faces: there are Ghostella alums Heidi Martinuzzi, Elissa Dowling, and Bridget McManus; there's Bobbi Sue Luther of Laid To Rest; there's Shannon Lark of Ludlow; and there's Lena Headey of...well, enough stuff to make you wonder what she's doing in the trailer for Deadly Dress 4: Never A Bride.

If you like what you see, head over to Funny or Die and vote 'funny'. Frankly, I'm no longer sure if it's actually funny or not, but if it's not...I swear I can do better! Just please don't make me DIE because of it. I mean...it DOES feature a crazy townsperson, without which no horror movie is complete!

Also, you know, if there's enough public interest I'll TOTALLY make the prequel film, The Whiskeytown Dress Murders. Which...is something.

DEADLY DRESS 4: NEVER A BRIDE trailer - watch more funny videos

so i made a movie, part two

I recently made a short horror film called Ludlow, starring Shannon Lark and Elissa Dowling. I thought I'd share all the boring details about how that came to be, because...you know...sharing is caring and if there's one I thing I do, it's care. Part one of the saga is here.

Before I’d even made it home from hanging out with Shannon on the Queen Mary, my brain was working full throttle to come up with some sort of idea for this movie we’d suddenly decided to make together. The first and foremost thought in my mind was that I didn’t simply want to make another episode of Ghostella’s Haunted Tomb; not that I don’t love Ghostella with every fiber of the fabric of my life, but because I thought it would be a good thing to stretch my repertoire a bit, as it were. If I have one…which I’m not entirely sure I do. At any rate, I wanted to use this opportunity to push myself outside of my Z-grade comfort zone and make something…well, different. Profound, I know- but as I’m sure I’ve mentioned once or twice or a million times, man…my rivers run so effing deep!
SHANNON LARK: While Stacie was pulling her hair out, I was going on some tirade about chronic masturbation, and wrote a beautiful script that deals with me...and my vagina! Yay! In a frenzy, I took off to Oklahoma during the recent snow storm and almost hit a jacknifed semi. Some guy in a funny hat came along and pulled me out of the ditch and I made it to a small town called Arnette. I was cared for by a very nice motel owner, who I think wanted to make me his wife and we hit up the local bar, where it was a "serve yourself" sort of thing. They also cooked chili but I declined. The next day, the mentally impaired brothers outside the gas station let me throw snow balls at them.
Alright, great, so I wanted to make a movie that’s a bit more serious than my usual fare. Truth be told, this simply added another layer of…well, not stress and anxiety, exactly, but another layer of lite concern to the process. Stepping outside my comfort zone (which, it just so happens, is across the street from Vanessa Williams’s Comfort Zone; I saw her once when I was getting my mail, but I don’t think she saw me)…oh my gawd, is this boring? I think this might all be boring. I’m not one to…you know, really share stuff beyond my love of Melrose Place and Icy Spicy Leoncie, so giving a peek behind my creative draperies feels self-indulgent, boring, boring, and self-indulgent. But I’ve started, and I told Shannon I would be doing this “production” “diary” thing, so I’ve got to continue. Now’s your chance to jump ship if you want.
SHANNON LARK: You are not boring! I love your brain! Sometimes I even wish I could sit on it.
So, uh…the anti-Ghostella movie. As you may have surmised, I didn’t start with any concrete ideas regarding plot; rather, it was a matter of not wanting to re-use any of the locations I’d used before. I’m so tired of the same backgrounds, the same spaces, the same Golden Girls couch lurking behind the action, I wanted to shoot anywhere else besides my house or my friends’ houses…and it grew from there. Find a new location, and keep the cast extremely small.

It sprang to mind almost immediately that I’d like to shoot somewhere in the desert. I fucking love the desert. It’s so strange and bizarre and harsh and deadly and beautiful, I can’t get enough of it. It’s the closest I’m ever gonna get to living on Mars, and the fact that it’s an hour’s drive from the comforts of my home means the world to me. The desert both attracts and births wackadoos, and it’ll kill you in a day if you're not careful. What better place to shoot a horror film? About a week after our napkin contract was signed- less than 3 weeks before we were set to start filming, all I had was a vague idea of a location. “How do you feel like holing up in the desert to shoot this thing?” I wrote to Shannon. “It's all coming together a bit in my head, and 'middle of nowhere' sounds fucking awesome to me.”
SHANNON LARK: I love the desert too! Born and raised, yes siree. I completely understood the feeling she was going for, simply because she mentioned the desert. It reminded me of tailgate parties and so much isolation that I would go through suicidal waves that left me crying in the closet.
I’m not one to share ideas, really, before I’ve got a completed project. I’d rather hand you something I’ve finished than talk about it before I’ve begun making it. This is largely due to the fact that I’m pretty terrible at articulating what’s going on inside my head- while it’s all crystal clear up there, when it comes out of my mouth it sounds like a bunch of crap. In general, I’d rather keep it all to myself during the “process”; this time, however, I tried to keep Shannon in the loop as much as possible. Of course, all that did was highlight the reasons why I keep shit to myself. What is someone supposed to think when I email her vague ideas and random sentences, and all I’ve got worked out plot-wise is “…and then something something something stab stab something the end"? Better just to hand off a finished script, which I finally did about 10 days before Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors. All that remained was naming it.
SHANNON LARK: The first time Stacie told me the plot she said something to the effect of, "Oh...I don't know...it would be in the desert...and you know, something would happen...and then...I don't know...stabstabstab the end." I thought it was cinematic genius, particularly the stabstabstab part. I believe in Stacie and what she can do. I would have done a Ghostella episode, for all I care. It didn't matter. What was important to me was getting to work with her. So when she sent over the script I fell for it like pecans and ice cream. I did my best to learn the insane amount of dialogue over the next few days, while preparing for Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors. I had lost my mind. The script went up into the air like falling snow. Every time I opened it something overwhelming would fall in my lap and my brain turned to goo. Stacie called to find out if I even liked the script and all I could muster was "yes...I do! I like it! Yes!"

What a douchebag.
I don’t want to give anything away, and I’m exceedingly terrible at loglines and short descriptions. If I were tasked with writing the copy on the back of DVD cases, the sleeve would be a four-page gatefold, you know? Let’s just say that in the end, this movie is, to an extent, kind of influenced a bit, maybe, perhaps, a little, by Repulsion and Bug. It’s a girl holed up in the desert- I’m really into exploring…I don’t know, isolation and madness, I suppose. Visually, I wanted it to be as pretty as a film I’ve been completely obsessed with lately called The Dead Girl. Ob. Sessed. Seriously, you should check it out, even though it’s not horror. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and a little bit phenomenal.

With the script finished, all that remained before Shannon’s arrival was something...you know...totes minor: finding a place to shoot the damn thing. I needed an out-of-the-way, borderline-fleabag motel and a diner, the more isolated, the better. After the slightest bit of research (in a BOOK, of all places!), I decided to simply get in my car and drive east out into the Mojave. A couple of hours later, I exited in Ludlow, and lemme tell ya, it was as if that place was crapped out by my very own brain. There was a borderline-fleabag motel and a diner and a gas station, and that’s about it. Maybe 10 trailers out behind the motel, some train tracks, and a wide expanse of nothing. Ludlow’s story isn’t unfamiliar: a brief boom during the mining days, then nothing. Once Route 66 was surpassed by I-40, it was all over. It’s essentially a ghost town, although “town” is probably too generous a term.

In other words, it was perfect.

SHANNON LARK: It really reminded me of home: hittin' up the chili cook offs or the rattlesnake rallies. Yeehaw! Although I think this "town" was too small, even for a bat parade! It truly was perfect.
The motel office has been abandoned for quite some time, and to register for an overnight stay, one must go to the new-ish, shiny-ish Chevron station across the street.

I requested a couple of rooms for a couple of days; the girl behind the counter wrote down my info on a cash register receipt and shoved it in the drawer and that was that. Yeah, a receipt…and by “info” I mean she wrote STACEY 2 ROOMS APRIL 21-23. It was really a sign of things to come, but at the time I was just clueless and ecstatic and ready to go...as you can tell by this nail-bitingly, breathtakingly amazing update to my Twitter upon my triumphant return from Ludlow:

Are you following me on Twitter? I can't imagine why you wouldn't be. I mean, how else are you going to get such scintillating insights into the deep mysteries of my life, such as this, from April 7:
Roof of my mouth has been itching all day. Am I dying?
(answer: no)...or this, from March 27:
Man, I can fuck up some Pepperidge Farm Milanos.
Really, people, this is why the internet was invented.

Anyway, now we just had to shoot this damn thing, which suddenly had a name...yeah. Ludlow.

Lena Headey is my number one Top Friend

As you may or may not remember, the season finale of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb, "Top Friends", featured a Person You May Have Heard Of, one Lena Headey of 300 and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. After the episode aired, I really dug reading speculation on a couple of websites regarding how I possibly could have gotten her on my show. Blackmail? Did someone owe me a favor? Was it a mafia thing?

Alright, so I fueled that last rumor myself. But still, people wondered about it...but the answer is quite simple: I got her in Ghostella the way I've gotten everyone who's been in Ghostella in Ghostella. We're friends, and I thought it would be fun so I asked. Mystery solved- rest easy, internet! See, a mutual friend introduced us at San Diego Comic-Con and that was that.

LH: Quite sober, I think. We laughed, I remember, Ponder, and I was feeling very fond of you immediately.

SP: You made fun of my drink.

She did, and since I spent the night drinking whatever candy apple red thing it was they were giving away free, I probably deserved it.

We watch horror movies, we play video games, we both like Dallas, she gives me Toblerone, and neither of us can resist a photo booth. It's like having anyone else for a friend, except my mom gets excited because she'll go to Best Buy and, like, see Terminator: TSCC on the shelf.

Believe it or not, there's a point to all this, I swear! That point is, Lena stars in The Broken, one of After Dark's 8 Films to Die For, hitting a store shelf NEAR YOU on Tuesday, March 31. For my AMC column this week, I attempted to sit down with her for an interview. Upon transcription, however, I realized that what I'd recorded was an hour of...of...well, not quite madness, I suppose, but certainly nonsense. I cobbled together what I could and you can read it now at AMC.

But...AMC has, like, rules and stuff about length and format, you know? And there's an editor. All those ellipsis? That's where they made with the chop chop...which is fine, that's their bag. However, I think people (myself included) like to read interviews that aren't so TV Guide, Q & A boring. Cutting out quirky speech patterns or whatever makes everyone sound the same, and it's strictly dullsville. Take the last question, for example, where I ask her about being paprazzied; I think her full answer gives her a little more, you know, personality, and I think it makes the whole affair more interesting for someone who might want to learn more about the actor.

LH: I think I’ve been paparazzied twice in my life since I’ve been out here and it was sort of…horrendous, do you know what I mean? I don’t go anywhere. You know me. I’m such a big spaz, I’m happy to sit here with my dogs and hang out with people I like. All that doesn’t appeal to me. I do think it is a conscious effort of keeping your head down so you can remain anonymous. It’s very funny, I feel like I have this thing where they’re like, “She’s Sarah Connor!” Nobody knows what else I do or what else I’ve done. It’s funny to me, and it couldn’t be farther from me. But I do love shooting stuff!

Or maybe the question where I ask about The Sophisticates, the short film that marked Lena's writing/directing debut, the film she hopes to expand into a feature:

LH: As you know, directing is a long road and I’ve got many ideas and the movie that I’ve written, The Sophisticates, which is a comedy. Yeah, all these other things are exciting, but you know, I’ve never directed before so I need to make sure that people know that I can do it. In terms of that, The Sophisticates is a small ensemble comedy and I hope it’s charming and funny. I think female directors, first timers, always seem to set out and do a drama, a two-person drama. I think, oh fuck it, I wanna make a goofy movie. And I think making people laugh is really fucking difficult. Part of the reason for me writing The Sophisticates was sort of that Wizard of Oz element. I want people to go in and have a treat, be uplifted and charmed, and have a colorful thing to stare at for a minute. And not to please this sort of short memory we’ve got. But you know, I get into trouble for that, for saying no to things.

But anyway, I'm not going to go back and forth, comparing and contrasting. Rather, I'm going to post here what didn't make the cut...the ridiculous nonsense. Why? I don't know. It's like DVD special features or something.

SP: So if life was like The Broken, what would you do if you were out on the street and you saw someone drive by and it was, like, kind of…you? What would you do?

LH: I would just punch her in the face.

SP: “There’s only room for one Headey in this town!”

LH: “Stop trying to be so pretty!” Actually, I’d probably just ask her where she got her hair done. But if she had a better car than me I’d fucking steal that. If it was a Volvo PS 1800 I would kill the person that looked like me and I’d take it.

SP: I don’t even know what that is.

LH: It’s the coolest car ever made. Just that.

SP: I’m sorry, I thought The Love Bug was the coolest car ever made.

LH: No, not Bernie. What’s his name?

SP: Herbie.

LH: Ernie. Barbara!

SP: It should’ve been Barbara!

LH: Yes! “Love Bug 2: Barbara’s Revenge”. She kills Herbie. She makes Herbie go bananas, is what she does.

SP: Well played. Let’s get Hollywood on the phone. Lindsay can star in it again…

LH: Johnny Depp can play the car…

SP: You’re very much…umm…

LH: Kind.

SP: Very kind. You have a certain grace about you.

LH: Like a kindly swan.

SP: What’s your historical disease of choice: consumption, the plague, or the vapors?

LH: That…but do you die from the vapors?

SP: No, just…people fan you and then you’re fine.

LH: Well, it’s not really a disease, is it? Just attention seeking. A narcissistic disease.

SP: Mental illness and corsets…

LH: I’ve done a few movies in a corset, and let me tell you: no. You can’t eat a Fatburger, you can’t have a pint of beer.

SP: Let’s talk about The Cave!

LH: Alright, let’s do it, Ponder. Is that your favorite film of mine? Or of all time?

SP: It is. I’m not gonna lie.

LH: It’s got amazing power.

SP: Yeah, it really spoke to me.

LH: It changes lives. It does.

SP: They play it in children’s sick wards…

LH: When people do charity walks, they play it at the beginning to get everyone pumped up. I think they play it on Romania’s travel website…

SP: The impression I have of you…you know, you go on your first press junket and you listen to all the actors and you think, “Wow, this is so interesting!” Then you go on your second press junket and you realize that they’re all saying the exact same things that everyone on the first junket said. It’s all these standard answers, and it’s so boring. But knowing you beyond a press junket, it does honestly seem to be about the work with you. You’re always talking about ideas, we’re always talking about ideas, you’re up for anything, you know what I mean? So it’s cool to know that you’re out there.

LH: It’s a strange thing about acting- people almost think it’s some bestowed sort of honor, but it’s like, you’re fucking human. The fact is, it’s happened for us and there are many more talented people out there who haven’t gotten the work. But yeah, I don’t ever want to stop being curious about it, because when I do it’ll be over for me and I’ll go make cakes or something. Really shit cakes. But I love it. I love actors, I think there’s obviously and element of narcissism involved with being an actor, but I think there’s a bravery to it. The cinema for me is such a therapy. Even a silly movie- the lights go down and for that hour and a half you’re kind of lost. I love that. And to give people that experience- movies that move you, or make you laugh, or scare you, it’s just such a joy. And to come out of a movie, having really had an experience, that’s part of what makes me really want to direct. Working with actors, it’s a privilege to direct. Some directors don’t feel that- it’s just an excuse to yell and seek revenge for a playground experience.

We talked a bit about the internet and how there's up-to-the-minute, behind-the-scenes this and sneak peek that, how there's no waiting for a movie anymore, no real anticipation...you know, just general old people vs the internet bitchery.

LH: I have such a hard time on the TV show because they want me to do publicity for every single thing, speak to everybody, and I can’t- for me, it takes away everything that acting’s about. Why can’t we have mystery anymore? Why can’t people go and watch it and decide for themselves? But actors aren’t the advertisers, and I don’t think we should have to go and do all that. If I can sit like this and talk about everything, you know, that makes sense to me. But the sort of generic repetition…

SP: Well, you’re supposed to want the attention.

LH: Maybe that’s it. I have no interest in that.

SP: Alright, I think we're done.

LH: Are we? Did you get enough? We didn’t talk about anything, did we?

SP: It’s fine. I can weave some magic.

LH: You can. I don’t care what you say.

SP: Don’t worry, I won’t make you look any worse than you actually are.

Then we had pizza and watched Session 9. Holla!

i am just saying.

Have a super weekend. I'm still hard at work on stuff that is not Final Girl (sadness), but I plan to (hopefully) pop on out...or come on down...or...something on something something to the Paranoia Film Fest this weekend. You should, too. It'll give you a chance to see Heidi Martinuzzi's short film Wretched on the big screen. Yes, Heidi Martinuzzi of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb...err, "fame".


the sads

My AMC column this week is all about characters in horror movies that I actually care for- those who, when they die, make me bust out a little "Aww". It's sort of a modified version of what the Mighty Arbogast started with his "The one you might have saved" blog-a-thon-ish-meme thing. I wouldn't necessarily save these characters- not like good ol' Barbra- but their deaths give me the sads. Check out my little list at AMC, which includes the likes of Eleanor Lance from The Haunting.

Actually, that photo should look like this:

I mean, I like Eleanor, but Theo's where it's at, baby!

Anyway, here are a few more characters I would have added to my list but didn't for various reasons:

- Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), Candyman
- Alice (Adrienne King), Friday the 13th Part 2
- Brenda (Laurie Bartram), Friday the 13th
- Bubba (Larry Drake), Dark Night of the Scarecrow
- Harry & Becky (Ted Danson & Gaylen Ross), Creepshow
- Ruth Mayer (Susan Hogan), The Brood
- Madame Mabel (Particia Hamilton), My Bloody Valentine
- Beth (Alex Reid), The Descent
- Barb (Margot Kidder), Black Christmas
- Fran (Heidi Martinuzzi), Ex

And you?

i know it’s not horror…

...but I'm telling you all about it anyway. If you head over to the WB's website today, you'll see that they've launched a new show called Joni & Susanna.

You should watch it. It's hilarious, and I'm not just saying that because the Joni half of Joni & Susanna is my friend, I swear. I mean, if Charlie Sheen was my friend, I wouldn't be all "Go watch Two and a Half Men!", because that show fucking stinks. In other words, trust me. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for appearances Ghostella's Haunted Tomb regular Bridget McManus as well as her Top Friends co-star Julia Miranda. We all...like...support each other and shit. AWW.

Wait, I mean AWW.

That's better. Anyway, to relate this post to horror a little tiny bit, I'm going to trot out my tried-n-true photo of the football with a sword attached, aka the greatest horror movie weapon in the history of ever. And with that, I bid you good day. GOOD DAY.

fer yer watchin’…pleasure?

The season finale of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb has been posted! Check out...dun dun dunnnn.....


As savvy horror buffs, I'm quite sure you'll pick up on my loving homage to Friday the 13th. If you're an extra-savvy horror buff, mayhaps you'll notice my homage to The Cave, which I put in there pretty much solely for the purpose of giving Lena Headey a hard time about it. That, my friends, is how I roll.

Thanks for watching, if you watch it. If you don't watch it, well...I guess you're just a jerk. What's your deal, anyway?

urgh! (a new blog post)

I say unto me, woe, my friends, for October has come and gone with nary a peep from yours truly. NARY A PEEP I SAY! It's a sad state of affairs, to be sure, when my most favoritest time of the year fails to spark a fire in me. But spark it did not! I've been experiencing...not exactly writer's block, per se, but rather, perhaps, writer's blah...as well as watcher's blah. Supreme unmotivation. I've hardly watched anything lately, and when I have managed to park it ("it" meaning "my ass") in front of a movie, it hasn't been horror-related. Sure, the recent Lifetime Movie Network Tori Spelling double feature got me all ten kinds of pumped (umm...back-to-back Co-Ed Call Girl and Awake to Danger, y'all...that's some mid-90s primo Tori action right there! Oh my god, I love Co-Ed Call Girl, especially when Tori's pimp starts talking about the incredible power she seems to have over men...), but that's not really Final Girl fodder. Or is it?

Meh. Though I haven't been jazzed enough lately to put cyber-pen to cyber-paper, I suppose it's time to get back on the cyber-horse. Maybe November can become the new October or something, and my love affair with horror movies will burst into passionate flames once more and I'll wonder why we ever spent a moment apart. Recommend something for me in the comments and maybe sparks will fly.

Lest you think I've simply been sitting here staring at the wall instead of posting, let me assure you: that's only 68% true. I've still been giving AMC their weekly dose of me...I just haven't been talking about it here. But today is the first day of the rest of my life, yes? Yes! So here are links to all the columns I've neglected to mention in recent...holy crap, in recent weeks. Fucking A, I suck!

- I wrote about William Castle and the lost art of gimmick movie-making.

- I created a DIY slashers guide, expanding a bit on my original Slashers 101 series.

- Great moments in gore, y'all.

- Resident Evil! I love Resident Evil!

- A wee recommendations guide.

- I reviewed Roger Corman's The Haunted Palace, starring Vincent Price and Lon Chaney, Jr. It's currently available to watch at amctv.com.

So, I've been writing. I've also been working some Ghostella's Haunted Tomb "magic"; I'd finished and uploaded the season finale, only to discover a need for reshoots. It's totally my fault and it's not really a big deal, but it's a pain in the arse all the same and the episode won't be up until next week, most likely. I can totally tease you about it, though, by saying this: I've got a special guest star! My special guest star is Lena Headey! Yes, the same Lena Headey who stars as Sarah Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Yes, the same Lena Headey who starred as Queen Gorgo in 300. Yes (and perhaps most importantly), the same Lena Headey who starred as a super-sexy cave-diving scientist in The Cave. Lena Headey in Ghostella's Haunted Tomb? As the kids today might say, WTF? I wouldn't believe it either if I were you, but here's some photographic evidence in the form of a "screen" "cap" from the film.

I don't know why I put that in quotes; this really is a screencap.

I know; I still don't believe it, either.

So there's that. I've also been painting a bit. For all my fellow BioShock nerds out there, I made this set: a Little Sister and a Big Daddy:

FYI for all you citizens of Squaresville out there, BioShock is a video game.

I made this dizzazzling set for a friend's birthday: it's 4 glass coasters that double as picture frames, featuring Television's Greatest Geriatric Detectives!

Neat, huh? The pictures are about 1.5" square, and they come in the sweet-n-spinny holder rack thingy. If anyone is interested in...say, a set featuring horror type folks or what have you (I mean, like, coasters featuring Freddy, Michael, Jason, and Leatherface? Or Universal Monsters? Fuck yeah!), just get in touch with me. I'm open for coaster commissions and painting commissions, and I've got galleries on my MySpace and Facebook pages for you social networking goons out there.

Anytinkle, that's about that. Yeah, I think it's high time I made out with Final Girl again, don't you think? I've been so lax I have nary a clue as to what's going on in the horror world at all; I haven't checked the news in weeks. What have I missed? Have they remade the remake of Dawn of the Dead yet? Is Saw MCMVII due anytime soon? I'm so out of the loop; let's catch up over a coffee, preferably one from Dunkin' Donuts.

Oh, and one more thing before I go: You probably haven't heard much about it, but tomorrow is Election Day here in the US. I don't know what your political stripe is, and (aduh and adoy) Final Girl isn't about politics. Regardless, I'm urging any Californians out there to vote NO on Proposition 8. Let's not make discrimination legal, okay?

Here's one particularly eye-opening TV spot, which just so happens to star someone you're probably familiar with by now, Bridget McManus (stand up comedian, talk show host, Final Girl Film Club member, Ghostella's Haunted Tomb star, and my pal).

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find something to watch.

go have a hot dog

Well, I've decided not to labor much on Labor Day, which means VHS Week continues tomorrow. I certainly use the word "week" in a very broad sense, non? What can I say? I live hard and fast and play by my own rules!

There's (finally) a new episode of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb up for your viewing "pleasure" at After Ellen- 3 eeeevil trailers to keep you awake at night! Mua ha ha!

In other news:


The Powers That Be have finally posted the newest episode of Ghostella's Haunted Tomb, "The Tape". It's my Rope! Kind of, in a way. You'll see. Maybe. Or not. Geez, what's your problem?

In other news, I wanted to post this painting I did for a friend's birthday- I've briefly spoken about the amazingness of Weng Weng in the past, so it was only a matter of time before I found an excuse to immortalize him on canvas. He's such a petite potato!

As always, you can see more of my paintings in my MySpace gallery, and I'm free for commissions. Well, I mean I'm free when I'm not out doing exciting, danger and intrigue-filled things. Doy.

the wednesday bee bee dairy

Bee Bee Dairy was a small chain of those coffee shop type restaurants that was one of my haunting grounds when I was in junior high and high school. It was the kind of place where old people sit at the counter all day nursing a corn muffin and a cuppa, so obviously it would appeal to me. I couldn't find any pictures of it online, and it seems that it might not even exist anymore. Despite the fact that I (unfortunately) don't get home all that often and when I do Bee Bee's never figures into my plans, the fact that it might be gone still made me a bit sad. I'm getting old. Where's my corn muffin?

I love corn muffins.

In other news, Wednesday is AMC day! This week I talk about horror comedies I didn't know were horror comedies. Slap my face and call me Myrtle!

Whatever that means.

This week in Ghostella's Haunted Tomb news, I give you...outtakes. Who doesn't love an outtake? Jerks don't. Don't be a jerk.

Over at his rad blog*, author Vince Liaguno talks about and links to his enlightening interview with Todd Farmer, the screenwriter for the upcoming My Bloody Valentine remake...and The Messengers...and Jason X. Go read it- Farmer divulges some info on the reality of horror by committee. The genre has had that antiseptic boardroom feel for years now, but it doesn't make the notion of it any less depressing. We need a horror revolution NOW!

Attention mall shoppers Film Club Folks: I'm changing the due date on this month's pick, The Car. I'll be in San Diego for Comic-Con the weekend before the original due date and I'm freaking out about everything I have to get done. Freaking out, I say! So, let's talk about The Car on Monday, August 4, shall we? I know lots of you are excited about this one, and so am I. By Brolin's beard, it will rock our faces off- so say we all!

In lieu of a photograph of Bee Bee Dairy, here's a photograph of a big bee that accompanied my review of The Swarm. That's probably better than a picture of Bee Bee Dairy, anyway.

*"rad blog" makes me sound young and hip, don't you think?

the friday wednesday

Greetings one and all. You have my sincerest apologies regarding the lack of updates around here, but I'm only just now emerging from the grip of a serious blog ennui...bloggui? I haven't touched my computer in days- in days, I tells ya- so consider this humble offering a step, at least, in the right direction.

It's not as if I've been watching all these awesome movies and not telling you about them, believe me. In fact, I have no idea what I've been doing with myself for the last week. Where have I been? What time is it? What is that doing there?

Well, no matter. A thousand pardons if this is old news, but AMC posted another of my columns this week. This effort is an admittedly cracked-out treatise on shark movies other than Jaws, and shark movies I'd like to see. It's groundbreaking!


It's also Ghostella week, hooray! Go forth now and watch Ex, a slasher film of sorts about one woman's long night dealing with her ex-girlfriend...and ex-girlfriend who really wants to get her lamp back. Or does she? Mua ha ha!

I don't even know if that make sense. The point is, watch it and see if you can spot my thrilling homage to Friday the 13th Part 2! First person to find it gets a virtual high five, which will make you the envy of all that you meet.

Speaking of being the envy of all you meet, check out what I picked up!

There is SO MUCH about this to love! Look at that cast! It's a sky full of stars, baby: Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, William Shatner, Keenan Wynn, and Ida Lupino? Please. I'm all over it.

Note the grammatically incorrect tagline. That apostrophe in "Devil's" ruins the whole thing. If they mean that there will be a bunch of devils, like, raining down, then there shouldn't be an apostrophe. If they mean we should all watch out because the devil's rain can, like, melt your face off or something, then they need to complete the thought. "Heaven help us all when the devil's rain falls, because it will, in fact, melt our faces!" No, it's not catchy, necessarily, but it's more grammatically delightful.

What's best about this, however, is the bold declaration "The most incredible ending of any motion picture ever!" Sure, you may be shaking your head as if to say "Really? Really, The Devil's Rain? Ever?", but bear in mind that this film hit in 1975, meaning that Killer Workout, which can, in fact, boast the most incredible ending of any motion picture ever, was still 11 years away.

I can't wait to watch this. It really is a video treasure!