are your earliest recollections of the horror genre? What were
the first films or characters you remember really scaring &
having an impact on you?
I was raised on horror EARLY on... I was watching 'The Twilight
Zone' and 'Outer Limits' at like age 2, then by 5 I had seen 'THEM'
and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', by 7 I had seen the Exorcist
- to this day the ONLY film that still really, really scares me,
but it also addicted me to horror. I was a huge fan always, especially
of the late 70's - early 80's were the best though. 'Maniac',
'Mothers' Day', 'Basket Case', 'Dawn Of the Dead.' They all had
a HUGE impact on me!
According to your bio, you have pretty extensive acting experience
in various television shows and feature length films. Can you bring
us up to speed on some of the productions that you're the most proud
of? Or even ones that were just the most fun to work on?
Working on a
television sitcom was really an amazing experience. It's about
the most fun someone can have,and I wasn't being paid that much!
(laughs) I also had a great time working on the Vampire
film 'Strange Things Happen At Sundown', not only were the cast
& crew great to work with but playing a Psychopathic Mafia-Vampire
was a blast! And obviously working opposite Al Pacino (in Sea
Of Love) was and is the highlight of my career, especially since
he is my inspiration to act in the first place.
|The thing that
really drew me to 'No One Gets Out' (aka 'Aunt Rose') was your
sharp writing. At what point did you start focusing on writing,
on top of acting?
First, thank you for the compliment. What happened was I found
myself not working enough. The frustration became so unbearable
that I decided to write my own damn roles. So, I wrote some small
one-act plays, that lead to me writing full length off-off Broadway
plays, and that lead to feature length films.
Tell us how you hooked up with director James Tucker and formed Savage
I had written
a play called 'Savage Roses' that had a nice but short off-off
Broadway run. A short time afterwards, I saw an ad online from
a director looking for a low-budget, character driven script.
I thought, if I could put it onstage I'm sure I can film it
for a VERY low-budget. He read the script and liked it enough
to want to shoot it. We were in correspondence over the internet
for like 8 months, then he flew to NY and we shot the entire
film in 6 days. And it's a feature. Once we sold the film the
distributor changed, the name to 'Locas 4 Life.' So, we used
Savage Roses for the name of out Production Company. I would
never have been able to make my films without James. Not only
is he extremely easy to work with but he is a great director
and all around filmmaker. He has taught me so much and I can't
wait to work with him again!
|The two of you
have worked on 4 films that you've written & starred in. All
of them slightly different in tone and genre. What led you to
make your most recent collaboration a horror film?
Our first film was a lesbian love story set in the world of Latina
gangs. Our second film was a dark, psychological thriller, &
the third was romantic comedy. None of those sell very well in
the market. I have found 2 things do sell; Movies with star names
attached and horror films. So, since we have very little money
and NEEDED to sell our next project and since horror is my absolutely
true love and hobby anyway, I thought it was time.
What were some of the main influences you drew from when writing 'No
One Gets Out'?
This one was
definitely an amalgam of all the horror films I watched in the
70's. I actually tried to get that 70's vibe with the actors
I chose and the overall feel of the movie. I even went for the
"thing in the attic". (laughs)
Again, the writing really stands out. There's really
good consistent dialogue, and a great pace overall in 'No One
Gets Out'. There are also monologues & scenes that show
the shallowness of actresses, the effects of a horrible upbringing,
a parent's point of view and even a rationalization of a lesbian
relationship. Did you draw from real life experiences when it
came to writing 'No One Gets Out'? And are a lot of these monologues
ways of you to sprinkle out your own personal opinions thru-out
|No, thank goodness
none of this movie came from my real life.What kinda sicko do
you think I am? (laughs) It's weird, when I start writing,
everything just comes out from the characters perspectives. Probably
a lot of it is, in some way, a reflection of my beliefs or personal
ideas or just me reformatting much of the cool stuff I watched
in the late 70's. I do use monologues a lot in my films. Must
be all my theatre training. Oh, and for some reason there is ALWAYS
a lesbian in my films. I think it was a passed life thing. (laughs)
What exactly did you shoot the film on? I want to say video, but
certain portions look like film. Set the record straight.
We shot it on the Panasonic 24P DVX100. A great little camera! It has
a built in film look to it.
You've played in bands for years (we'll get back to that in a bit)
and in your cast was the lovely Velocity Chyaldd who fronts the band,
Vulgaras. Did you know her from playing shows in NY or did she audition
for this role?
|I had seen photos
of Vulgaras and seen Velocity around a bit in the NY club scene.
Honestly, you can't miss her. When I first saw her, I didn't
even have the balls to say hello to her. But when I wrote the
character of Robin for 'No One Gets Out' ('Aunt Rose') I basically,
without realizing, wrote it for her exact image. I auditioned
a ton of actresses for the role but none that fit that wild,
sexual, sick, charming, vicious yet lovely tattooed bitch that
I needed. I said, I want someone exactly like Velocity. Then
it dawned on me... Why not ask Velocity to audition? I saw her
band Vulgaras perform (www.Vulgaras.com)
and watching her perform on stage was all the audition she needed.
By the time the blood was dripping down her naked breasts, I
knew I had my female lead villain!
Speaking of, had you always written this with yourself in mind for the
Hell yeah! At least I know I'll get the job!! I am an actor first and
foremost so I do try to write things with myself in mind.
Overall, you had a pretty great cast. How long did the casting process
take and was it difficult putting together this group you had envisioned
|Thank you!!! Casting
is so important to me. I don't care how well a script is written
or how well it's shot or how much damn money you have to make
it, a great film is ALWAYS due to it's cast. I was so lucky to
get the people I did for this film. Not only did I luck out with
Velocity but the film also features stars of other horror films
like Raine Brown and Frank Franconeri, both great actors!!! I
was also extremely proud of Kevin T. Collins and Elizabeth Cooke,
my other leads. I can guarantee you those 2 will become huge names
in the near future, they have such star quality!!!! I was really
lucky to have such a wonderful cast.
What would you consider the most difficult part of putting together
an independent feature, such as 'No One Gets Out'?
Money & more Money! Well, the lack of it anyway. It's hard
to get the things you want without a lot of money. We made this
film on a tiny budget, but with a LOT of pre-production and
a very understanding cast & crew, anything is possible.
Our great asset on this film was the Special Effects Artist
Jeremy Selenfriend from Monster In My Closet. Not only were
his FX amazing but he really knew my financial limitations and
went above and beyond by giving me major effects and a very
big discount! (cheap plug - www.Monsterinmycloset.com)
|I noticed a lot
of subtle nods in your film to Italian horror. (Not to give away
too much, but for example, the red eyes). Was this intentional
& are you a fan of Italian horror?
Not my intention but I'm sure things come out of my subconscious.
Yes, I am a fan of Italian horror, primarily Fulci!
Can you tell
us a bit about plans for release for the film? It's gone under
the name change of 'Aunt Rose', correct?
Yes, once again the distributors changed 'No One Gets Out'
to 'Aunt Rose'. I'm not crazy about the title but the box art
kicks ass!!! It should be available in Blockbuster video stores
across the country just in time for Halloween!
|Getting back a
bit, you've also played for the band 'New York's Finest' and you
currently manage a band. What are the biggest differences for
you creatively between writing films, acting and making music?
Does one medium influence the other?
Well, I'm not involved with music in any way anymore. 'New York's
Finest' was just another example of my frustration of not being
a working actor. We dressed up like cops and put on a great show
filled with lights and sirens, strip searching audience members.
(female's only) - you get the idea. Problem was we cared more
about the show than the music. We looked great but sounded like
we needed more work. I'm just a performer so I needed an outlet.
Music seemed like a good choice.
A lot of people say that you have to be in California to "make
movies", yet there's a dozen or so fantastic filmmakers here on
the East Coast. (Most of which we're featuring this month on Icons).
What's your take on the currently growing (and promising) local independent
You can make
a film ANYWHERE!!! Romero made history by shooting in Pittsburgh!!!
It's easier to work in NY and/or L.A. because of all the resources
but there are talented filmmakers all across the country and
in every small town. All you need is to be driven and dedicated.
Then find some talented people and get going! New York has some
of the best indie filmmakers around, and I'm proud to be a part
of the New York scene!
So, what's next on your slate? What are you currently working on?
|I have the pleasure
of working on a great new Zombie film tentatively titles 'Last
Rites' by Insane-O-Rama Productions. (www.Insane-O-rama.com).
It's one of the most creative zombie films that you will see.
I think it will change people's perceptions of what low-budget
horror films can be. It should be out in early 2006. I also hope
to be working on Allan Rowe Kelley's (I'll Bury You Tomorrow)
new film 'Unhallowed Ground'. He is another amazing filmmaker
that will probably hit it very big shortly. In closing I just
wanted to thank you so much for this opportunity. You have such
a kick ass website and I'm honored to be a part of it!!!
We're honored to have you, Joshua! All the best!