Vanessa Grasse [Interview]


Welcome to Day 24 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

Today’s interview subject is an absolutely brilliant actress who has taken the world of horror by storm with some pretty incredible performances. From big budget films like Leatherface, to a more modestly budgeted but equally impressive It Came From the Desert, and right back to some brilliantly hilarious and thrilling SyFy originals. Vanessa Grasse is the type of performer who has truly herself to be a genius in the world of horror, but is obviously geared up to move on to the next level. Grasse is simply too obvious of a talent to be pigeonholed into one genre. But, as a hardcore horror fan, I hope she doesn’t leave us for good! Have fun expanding your career that you surely deserve….but don’t forget about us!

So Folks, please enjoy some words from the sensational actress we adore so much, the wonderful Vanessa Grasse!

What inspired you to get into the world of acting? Was it an early aspiration to do so, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I’ve always enjoyed doing impressions of people and different accents to make my friends laugh; I was a bit of a class clown at school. I’ve also always loved the idea of being someone else and taking on another persona. But it wasn’t until I was 14 that I discovered acting. I auditioned for the annual school play with my friends and I got the main part! I was so surprised but I absolutely loved being on stage, and from then on continued doing school plays and eventually also got a drama scholarship. Deep down I wanted to act professionally but a huge part of me thought it would never be possible, given how popular and competitive it is. So I studied English and Theatre at university but after that moved back to London to get an agent and pursue acting. I knew if I didn’t at least try I would regret it for the rest of my life, and luckily, so far it’s been going okay!

We have a real love for SyFy Original films here at TWS, and have featured several folks who have been involved with them. And we are doing so again! You appeared in the brilliant and hilarious film Roboshark! So how was that experience for you? What sets working on a SyFy film apart from other projects you have worked on?

That was my first ever acting job! We shot the entire film in 2 weeks in Bulgaria, so everything was fast paced with no room for mistakes. It was great to be thrown into the deep end and the cast, particularly Alexis and Isaac, were so easy to get on with. The script was very over the top and silly so everyone on set had a relaxed attitude.  It was fun to be part of a spoofy/tongue in cheek movie, similar to another project I worked on called It Came from the Desert.

Vanessa Grasse in “Leatherface”

 

In 2017, you appeared in the amazing installment to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, known as Leatherface, which was co-produced by our dear friend Christa Campbell. So what was it like to dive into this absolutely legendary franchise?

It was very overwhelming! I watched the original TCM when I was younger and knew the franchise was adored by many. It’s one of the best horror films of all time so there was pressure to do the franchise justice.  The cast and crew were an absolute dream to work with, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to have on a job when I was still learning and starting out. The most challenging aspect was probably being covered head to toe in fake blood every day for about two weeks! It would dry but get very sticky so my legs and arms would get stuck together or I’d get stuck to a chair if I sat down! I learnt so much on this film and met some amazing people who I still speak to every week. It was an incredible experience and I’m so thankful to be part of such an epic franchise.

Vanessa Grasse in “Open 24 Hours”

While the world of horror is not the only one you work in, it is our Month of Horror Showcase after all, so I am inclined to ask you how you enjoy working in this genre? What sets it apart from other genres?

You say that, but most of the films I’ve done so far are horrors! I have two more horror films coming out over the next few months, one is called Astral and the other is Open 24 Hours.  For some reason I keep getting cast in horror films. When I was growing up my mum and I would watch all the classic horrors so maybe somehow it’s rubbed off on me! I really enjoy working in this genre. Even though the material might be dark or disturbing the atmosphere on set is always light and fun.  You also get to do awesome things like learning stunts, using weapons and prosthetics and being chased either on foot or by car. I feel like some films may have given the horror genre a bad reputation but recently I’ve seen some horror movies that have blown my mind!

What is your favorite scary movie?

The most recent horror film I saw was Hereditary. I went to watch it on my own in the cinema, which I thought would be a great idea, until I realized I was the ONLY one in the entire movie theatre! It was one of those screens with hundreds of seats so I was freaking out and considering leaving but then luckily a couple came in just before it started. Even though it was terrifying I absolutely loved this film and couldn’t believe it was Ari Aster’s directorial debut. I love how he shot it and thought the entire cast were phenomenal.  I also love Don’t BreatheThe Conjuring and Get Out.

What are you plans for the upcoming Halloween? Any kind of traditions you try to uphold each year?

Every Halloween is different for me but I’ll always do something to celebrate. One year I dressed up and did the parade down Santa Monica Blvd in LA which was fun! I’m not sure what I’m doing this year yet but I’m sure it’ll involve dressing up. I’m not the kind of person to do a Ouija board or anything, I wouldn’t be able to sleep!

Vanessa Grasse in “Open 24 Hours”

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

I’ve got two films that should be coming out in the next few months, as I mentioned earlier. One is called Astral, a British independent horror film about astral projection, spirits and demons with Frank Dillane (Fear of the Walking Dead) and Damson Idris (Snowfall). Paranormal horrors are my favourite because they’re usually really jumpy.  The other is called Open 24 Hours where I play Mary, a mentally unstable woman whose just been released from a psychiatric hospital, and her serial killer ex boyfriend is tracking her down for revenge. Even though I love horror films I’d love to branch out into comedies or period dramas.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

A dog compilation on YouTube.

Check out this trailer for Vanessa’s upcoming film, Open 24 Hours:

Shay Astar [Interview]


Welcome to Day 23 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you all today. Today we have a terrific interview with a very talented child star turned teenage sensation turned adult human actor who has been entertaining the masses for almost as many years as she has been alive. It’s Shay Astar! Shay was a regular figure for me as a young boy growing up in the 90’s, and I will admit that she was indeed one of my first celebrity crushes from that era.

Shay appeared in one of the best Halloween films of all time, in my and many other’s opinions I am sure, which would Ernest Scared Stupid, when she was but a child. And let me tell you people, these Ernest movies hold up! I literally shared this wonderful film with my three daughters, and they absolutely LOVED it! It’s a pure-hearted silliness that is so hard NOT to love.

I watched this particular Ernest movie a whole lot as a kid, and it was such a great when she became a regular on a television show I loved alongside the brilliant Joseph Gordon-Levitt known as 3rd Rock From The Sun. So yeah, Shay was a pretty big deal to me then, and remains so now. She has continued to work extensively in the world of film and television, and we are so happy that she was able to share some words with us all here today as we near the end of our Month of Horror showcase that has been so great to share with you all.

So, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Shay Astar!

What inspired you to get into the world of film and television? You have been at it for a quite a while, so was it always something you aspired to do?

There are a lot of performers and writers in my family going back generations so it’s in the blood. I started dance lessons at 3 years old and I took practice and performance very seriously, even then. I would also put on variety shows for my family, performing skits and doing original songs at four years old. I think it was obvious to my parents that I was going to be a performer one way or another and I’m incredibly grateful that they helped me find a disciplined, structured approach. I just love it, I always have, it’s a huge part of my life.

In 1991, you appeared in what would be one of my favorite Halloween movies, but just one of my favorites in general. And that would Ernest Scared Stupid, the most superior of the Ernest films in my opinion. It’s just so damn silly and entertaining (I still sometimes call milk “miak”…it’s almost been 30 years!). So what was it like as a young person to work on such a brilliantly silly film?

You know, I took the work very seriously. I always wanted to do the best I could and to make the people I worked with proud. Jim Varney was such an interesting, intelligent man and he was also deeply kind to me. I took my cues from the adults on set about how to behave and Jim would joke around with us in between takes but was focused and devoted to his craft in every moment. And we also had the legend Eartha Kitt on set and she was also extremely focused and serious about her work. So, even though it is absolutely a hilariously silly film, I was there to work and to learn and I was very lucky to with with such skilled actors and comedians.

While the world of horror is not the only one you work in, you have given some great performances in the genre.  And it is our Month of Horror Showcase after all, so I am inclined to ask you how you enjoy working in the world of horror or thrillers? What sets it apart from other genres?

The most interesting thing I’ve noticed about working in the world of horror is that the people involved have proven to be the most well-adjusted, kind-hearted, good-natured people I know. It’s amazing! I wonder if it’s just that horror is fantasy, so there’s a wonderful element of childlike play and imagination involved. I don’t know what exactly it is but all the people I’ve worked with have been sunny, happy people. Isn’t that funny?

What is your favorite scary movie? 

I hate to admit this but I actually do not like scary movies! The last horror move I watched was The Ring in 2002 and it took me like 3 years to get over it. Some of the more recent “horror” movies I’ve worked on are most psychological horror that involve the monster within, and those I can watch. But anything involving ghosts or monsters or demons or anything, NO THANK YOU! Way too scary for me- my imagination runs wild and I turn into a kid again, thinking there are monsters in the closet.

What are you plans for the upcoming Halloween? Any kind of traditions you try to uphold each year?

I really enjoy going to Olvera street in downtown LA for the Dia de Los Muertos. I love the idea that it’s the one day of the year when the lines between living and dead can be crossed. Like the wonderful movie Coco. I also love seeing all the little kids in their costumes. I’ve gone to the Hollywood parade a lot and that’s also so so fun. One year, many years ago, I went to the re-release of The Exorcist on Halloween and after that I had to sit Halloween out for like 5 years. This year, I have a new baby so I’m probably going to dress him up in something ridiculous and take a bunch of pictures.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Thanks for asking! I have a short film I wrote and directed that will hopefully be starting to make the rounds by the end of the year. As long as you guys will keep googling me or follow me in instagram, I’ll keep updating with my new work!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My 5 months old son finds the word “Potato” to be the world’s most hilarious thing and his joyful laughter makes me smile every time :).

Joleigh Fiore [Interview]


Welcome to Day 22 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!


It is another fine Monday here at Trainwreck’d Society, and we are kicking off this week like we do most weeks, with a wonderful interview from a brilliant person from the world of horror and beyond. Today we have some great words from the talented actress Joleigh Fiore! She has portrayed the character Jenna in the film Hatchet, as well as the film’s sequel Hatchet II. And that is why we thought her to be perfect for our Week of Horror. Of course, she is also an accomplished actress outside of the world of Horror, working on projects like Tennis, Anyone? with our dear friend & comedian Kirk Fox, as well as numerous other films like Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders and Trespassers. Not to mention TV appearances in shows like Nip/Tuck, CSI: Miami, The Mentalist, and more!

She is a wonderful human being, and we are so excited to have her on the site today. So please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Joleigh Fiore!

What inspired you to get into the world of film and television? One would assume you had a close influence in the world, but that isn’t really fair. What was it about this world that, to you personally, really drew you in?

I’ve always been a very outgoing, dramatic & exuberant person, even as a child. Whether it be a school play ,family gatherings or just a random grocery store trip, I was always “putting on a show” as family would say. As far as close influencers go, my Grandmother was my biggest supporter and co-signer of me pursuing acting professionally.

Additionally, Jim Carrey, is a close second to being the most influential  in my decision to purse acting professionally. He was, is and will always be the reason that I decided to make my dream a reality. I saw him on In Living Color for the first episode and was like “THAT’S what I want to do, I want to entertain like him”.

I really enjoyed both of the fantastic Hatchet films you worked on. It’s one of the best modern horror series around right now. So I am curious to know how it was to work on such a damn fine couple of films spawned from the mind of Adam Green?

Well thank you for that generous compliment! It truly is so amazing working with Adam F’ing Green (as we like to call him;). His visions are so ahead of his time in my opinion. I would describe him as a creative genius who is simultaneously the most down to earth, funny and twisted (in a good way), director/writer/performer and now friend, I’ve ever worked with. He’s just great, he’s “Adam F’ing Green!”

Beyond the world of horror, you worked on a wonderful film that was co-written by and featured a dear friend and past TWS guest, comedian Kirk Fox, entitled Tennis, Anyone? I am curious to know what the set life was like on a project like this? Was it as fun to work on as it was for viewers to watch?

OMG what a great time I had on that set! Kirk and Donal are both each so funny naturally

On their own, so when you put those two together on a set the improv and laughs just kept coming! They had the whole crew in stitches on and off camera. Kirk is someone who makes me laugh the min I hear his voice or see his face, he just has that “thing”!.

While the world of horror is far from being your mainstay in the world of film and television, you have had some great success in the genre. And this being our Month of Horror showcase and all, I am curious to know what it is you enjoy about working in the more frightening world of suspense and horror? What sets it apart from other projects you have work on?

Horror and Comedy have always been my 2 favorite genres of film to watch as well as act in.

Horror is just so amazing because of the Fans! As a fan of horror  myself, I know first hand all of those scary, suspenseful feelings that are deep within us and then invoked when watching a horror film. So knowing that I loved horror movies so much and how much of a role they played in my childhood memories, and then getting to be part of them is what makes my job so great. The Horror genre has the best Fans, just saying!

What is your favorite scary movie?

Halloween, HANDS DOWN! Oh man that Michael Myers! I tell ya, he’s still haunting me in my dreams! I seriously til this day will have this reoccurring dream that I get a call and the person tells me that Michael Myers is coming for me and to be on the look out and so I sit and wait all night for him and I see him start coming towards me from across the street like he does when he’s Heading to the Doyle’s house for Laurie Strode. There is something that gets me real good when I watch Halloween!

What are your plans for the upcoming Halloween? Any kind of traditions you try to uphold each year?

Well, I absolutely love Universal Studios Hollywood Horror Nights.

The mazes are so good and the actors are so scary and do not break character at all! I have such a fun time, so I do that every year. This year one of the maze themes is a tribute to none other than my favorite movie Halloween! I cannot wait to see what they’ve come up with this year! surely, it won’t disappoint! Speaking of, I’m super excited to see the highly anticipated release of the new Halloween! I hear it’s the best one! That’s some tough shoes to fill so let’s see!

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Lots of good stuff happening, I’m traveling to Vancouver for a film which shoots in early November then off to NY for some more filming and catching up with fam, to which I will be keeping fans updated via my Insta @jofiore23, on all the things 🙂

What was the last thing that made you smile?

This interview of course!!! Oh and playing with my Sharpei-Bully mix, Haddie! She’s the best!

Sunday Bloody Sunday Matinee: Dead Love [Film]

Welcome to Day 21 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

“Brandon is a young train engineer whose world is upended when his mother suddenly takes her own life. At the funeral home, he meets Fiona, a beautiful and mysterious mortician who takes a strong interest in him. Soon they discover they share a passion for music. And when Fiona serenades him with an ancient folk song, their lives become entwined for eternity.” – October Coast PR

This might very well be one of the hardest films to ever truly explain. First and foremost, it is a brilliant tale. Whether or not it is technically a horror film is not really a necessary argument, as it is just a damn fine piece of art. Sure, it’s pretty easy to classify it as a thriller and just go on about our lives. But I honestly just don’t work like that. I’m not hung up on categorizing films…that much. But, I do believe that the genre blending of Dead Love is one of the finest elements of the film. It is a dramatic thriller with a twist of horror elements involved.

I’m not going to spoil what the dark secret may be that leaves the main characters with their “lives becoming entwined for eternity”, but it is suffice to say that a whole lot of you are not going to see it coming. Myself included. I watch a lot of horror movies, as you could guess, but I have never seen anything quite like this. Again, it could be possible this is because it isn’t a proper horror film, and actually isn’t advertised as such. It’s just…just…just fucking watch it! I want everyone I know to watch this film with one of the best endings ever made so I can TALK TO SOMEONE!!

One element that makes this brilliant film such a delight also comes with a heavy surprise. The film’s female lead is one Nicole Elizabeth Olson. Not aware of work? Do not feel bad, as this is her first film! And I am not over exaggerating when I say that she NAILS IT in her role as Fiona. I became immensely engrossed in Dead Love to the point where I couldn’t stop watching it, but I kept it in the back of my head to look up who this Olson character was, and where I could find her other work. Turns out, there is no other work! I was just privy to the fact that this was her first on screen performance, and almost refused to believe it. It seriously took someone from the film’s promotion team to ensure this to me. I seriously could not believe it. And I truly hope that Nicole understands what a huge talent she is, and she has so much to offer the world of performance. Should all the stars align, this woman is going to be a star! The talent is undeniable, all she needs is opportunity. Which, sadly and an entirely different subject, can be the biggest pain in the ass of all. But, here is to hope!

And back to the idea that the film is so uncategorizable is really a tribute to the genius that is the film’s team of talent that brought this story to life. Writer’s Emanuel Isler and Chad Israel wrote one hell of a story, and directors Colin Floom and Greg Nemer did a superb job at giving the visual respect that the story deserved. Luke Askelson eye should not be disregarded as well as it was quite good.

Overall, Dead Love is an indie masterpiece, and one of the finest films of 2018. I need you all to see this gem, and get back to me on your thoughts. We have covered some great films this year at Trainwreck’d Society, as recently as just one week ago, yesterday even. And this is most definitely one of them, Folks. Check it out!

Dead Love is available now on DVD and VOD. Check out the trailer below, and purchase the film wherever you get your viewing pleasure:

Splatterday Special: Bonehill Road [Film]

Welcome to Day 20 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

“Emily and Eden Stevens escape one violent situation only to dive head first into another. Terrified and alone they are stranded in the dark woods only to be chased into a horrific scene in a house or horrors. They must work together to get out alive. But what is worse? What is on the inside or out?” – October Coast PR

Welcome to another Splatterday Special here at Trainwreck’d Society! Today we are featuring a true low budget delight of a film. We are talking Bonehill Road, a wonderful part werewolf and part psychological thriller from the mind of the legendary B-Horror filmmaker Todd Sheets. It’s part cringe-worthy, part silly in a dark kind of way, and ALL superbly done. The cast even includes our dear friend Linnea Quigley who you may remember from a couple of Month of Horror showcases ago. She is fantastic, and is surrounded by a wonderful group of peers in this film. Big shout out to Millie Milan, who puts on one of the finest “frightened as fuck!” performances I have ever seen.

When it comes to low-budget horror films, you can’t get much better than the legendary Todd Sheets. He is of the class and caliber of so many damn fine filmmakers we have had the pleasure of showcasing here. But Sheets has his own unique style that is very prevalent here in Bonehill Road. The blood flows like a chilled box wine, and the suspense is as exhilarating as “that one couple” arguing for hours as the sun gently drapes over the trailer park. I really, really loved this film for being exactly what it was supposed to be: a wonderful piece of B-Horror art that both entertains and frightens. It’s what we have come to expect from a guy like Todd Sheets, and he once again did not disappoint!

Bonehill Road is available now on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing, with a digital release coming soon. Check out the trailer here:

Hank Braxtan [Interview]


Welcome to Day 19 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

What inspired you to get into the world of film and television? Specifically in the field of visual makeup effects? Was it an early aspiration to do so, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Well as a kid that worshiped Halloween, I always loved November 1st almost as much as Halloween…because all the make up and costumes were like 75% off!  I used to stock up.  As a young do-it-all-myself filmmaker, I learned some special make up effects by necessity.  I also used to love behind the scenes documentaries, so I would often try to emulate what I saw in those. 

I am very intrigued by one of your latest projects entitled Snake Outta Compton. It’s such a unique sounding project that I feel compelled to ask one of the most basic questions: What made you want to put a project like this out into the world?

The title, really.  I had a couple of bad bounces as far as projects go, and needed something that I could just have fun with and be creative.  Snake was a good opportunity for that, and the timing was perfect.  Of course, it ended up being so much work (and so little pay), that I ended up spending almost 2 years on it.  Very stressful project…but I really like the film, and the cast and crew are great people.

You are an extremely multi-faceted person in your line of work. There doesn’t seem to be many gigs that you haven’t done, from writing or directing, to editing and special effects. With that in mind, I am curious to know what your favorite part of creating a film? If you were only able to work in one field for the rest of your career, what would it be? Why?

That’s tough…I can’t imagine myself not doing almost everything on set…especially in micro cinema where you don’t have budget for all the proper positions.  I suppose in this hypothetical, I’d have to be on big budget stuff, in which case I’d have to say directing would be my main goal.  Then again, I really enjoy producing for other directors.

While the world of horror is not the only one you work in, you have done some pretty amazing work in the genre.  And it is our Month of Horror Showcase after all, so I am inclined to ask you how you enjoy working in this genre? What sets it apart from other genres?

It’s probably my favorite (other than Sci Fi and Comedy…but I like to mix those into the Horror) mainly because I grew up with it.  The effects, the monsters, the mood…it’s all so fantastic.  Plus, horror fans are so forgiving…they want to like your movie, and so lower budgets can deliver a satisfying experience.  I think a lot of horror fans have suffered through a lot of tragedies in their lives, or themselves were outcasts as youth…horror is a great escape.

What is your favorite scary movie? 

It’s hard because not many of them scare me.  As a kid, I was pretty terrified of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, and also the super low budget “Monster Dog”…probably because I was 5 or 6 years old when I was watching them.  As an adult, I don’t think anything has given me nightmares like The Ring (or moving, ha ha ha!).

What are you plans for the upcoming Halloween? Any kind of traditions you try to uphold each year?

There are some parties I like to go to in LA, and of course, I like to cram the whole month with horror viewings…something about October just feels right.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Watch Snake Outta Compton with an open mind…then we’ll see what comes up next.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I think it was a cat video.

Caleb Emerson [Interview]


Welcome to Day 18 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

We are trucking along here folks, and it has been a wonderful winding road thus far. Today we are chatting it up with a wonderful filmmaker who made waves in the indie horror world in 2005 with the brilliant film that he wrote and directed entitled Die You Zombie Bastards! It’s Caleb Emerson Everyone! Caleb has worked not only behind the screen, but has done some amazing in work in front of the camera as well, including a great role in 2012’s I Spill Your Guts which also happens to feature our new friend Genoveva Rossi! Not to mention his work in the wonderful world of Troma that he did alongside our other new friends Asta Paredes and Catherine Corcoran on the wonderful film Return to Nuke ‘Em High.

We talk a bit about these projects, and so much more in this wonderful interview with the great Caleb Emerson. You’re going to love it! Please enjoy some wonderful words from this amazing artist!

What inspired you to get into the world of film and television? Was it an early aspiration to do so, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

It was pretty early. I grew up during the VHS boom of the mid eighties and I spent a lot of time at our local video store, so I got excited about movies at a pretty early age. Genre movies and comedies were always my favorites. When I got a little older and started reading Fangoria and Gorezone I read interviews with horror film makers and realized it might actually be a possibility to make one myself. Bad Taste in particular was the one that really got me to thinking I could do it. Peter Jackson pretty much hand-made that whole movie over a long period of time with his friends and local talent and Haig and I set out to do the same with Die You Zombie Bastards! I taught myself how to do make up FX, we both made most of the props and sets. We were lucky to be around so many talented people who could lend their skills to that movie. 

You have worked in the wonderful world of Troma Films, one that we have covered excessively here at TWS, and always love to hear more! So how was it working under the guise of someone like Lloyd Kaufman and the wonderful bit of weirdness that Troma has brought to the world?

Lloyd is amazing and he’s the real deal. Just watch any of the “making-of” features that accompany his movies. It’s really, really hard work to be involved with one of his productions, and isn’t always pleasant, but it’s really rewarding and you can learn more than on any other set. It is 100% what you make of it. Some people show up thinking it’s going to be a party, and those people usually wind up going home. Lloyd is like a slave driver, and a cult leader and he can be frustrating to work for…but when it’s all over you realize he’s a genius and he’s one of the most generous people I’ve ever know with favors and with his time.

Probably one of your best known works would be the brilliant cult classic of a film, Die You Zombie Bastards! How did you come up with the concept of this film? And is there anything about this film specifically that makes it special to you?

Thanks. It was written kind of stream of consciousness-like by myself and Haig Demarjian, and a good deal of the material came from or was at least inspired by the lead actor, Tim Gerstmar. I made a series of short film in college starring Tim where he played the character Red and Die You Zombie Bastards! sprang from those. They were mostly just jokes between me and Haig and Me and Tim brought to life. It took a little over 2 years to shoot (not straight…a few days every couple of months)  and another year and a half to edit. It’s a really personal film to me and  it was a pretty major part of my life. That may sound silly saying that about that kind of movie, but it’s true.

 

Outside of the world of horror, you have had a long running gig as an editor on the very popular Comedy Central series, Tosh.0. How has it been working on a show like this? Is it as hilarious to work on as it is to watch?

Tosh.0 has been a fantastic job. I’ve been on the show for 8 years and it’s provided me the stability to pursue other projects while having a normal life as well.  Is it hilarious to work on? I guess, compared to most other shows…I get to be on it all of the time and I have done some pretty ridiculous stuff on TV.

 

While the world of horror is not the only one you work in, it is our Month of Horror Showcase after all, so I am inclined to ask you how you enjoy working in this genre? What sets it apart from other genres?

One way in which it’s different is that there is such a huge, crazy fan base that in some ways it’s easier to find an audience and interact with them. I’m not saying that it’s necessarily easier to make a living doing that, but if my first film had been a romantic comedy, or a western…there aren’t conventions all around the country to go to to promote your film, and fans aren’t clamoring for t-shirts and toys related to your movie. It’s a very interactive scene and I’ve met a lot of great people.

 

What is your favorite scary movie?

Movies rarely scare me, but my favorite movies that are considered straight horror movies are The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Exorcist. The stuff I make is nothing like them, but I would say that those two films are essentially perfect. Each is like nothing that came before it and each has been endlessly copied (unsuccessfully) and even though it may not be obvious on the surface, each was a big influence on me.

 

What are you plans for the upcoming Halloween? Any kind of traditions you try to uphold each year?

My wife and I usually make the rounds to Universal Halloween Horror Nights, Knotts Scary Farm, and those kinds of things. Los Angeles is an amazing place for Halloween. There are so many haunted attractions, and clubs that do Halloween events. This place is crazy and filled with crazy, wonderful people. We also have a son now who is just getting to the age where we can take him to do Halloween stuff so we’re figuring out what to do with him this year. Probably a few parties and trick or treating around our neighborhood in Glendale.

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readres?

I have a somewhat secret TV series in development that I can’t talk about, but my partner Dan and I are pitching it to networks as we speak. If it happens, it’ll be the most amazing show ever…exactly the kind of show I would want to watch. We also have an adult animated series that we’ve been shopping around. I  probably won’t make another movie in the way we made DYZB and the way I made my second movie “Frankie in Blunderland”…the raise all of the money, do everything yourself and then try to sell it method. It drove me crazy and I don’t know if I have it in me to do again, so I’m trying my hand at doing things a little more traditionally. Keep an eye out…I have many things brewing!

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Probably something my son said. That kid cracks me up every day and I can’t wait to see what kind of brilliant weirdo he turns into.

Check out this trailer for 2005’s Die You Zombie Bastards! and check it out on whatever platform it is available: