Welcome, my morbid little miscreants! Join me, your cryptress, Lili DesGhoules, as I dig up and dish out the devilishly delightful dirt from the dark side of the entertainment industry!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Interview/Review: Filmmakers , Fever Night

[Disclaimer: this post is rated R for some nudity and bad fucking language.]

And now for something completely different. This little piece of weirdness is a cross between a movie review and an interview, but not one of my typical interviews. It's a video interview-kinda-weird-bastard-child-thing-a-ma-jig.

Hmmm... For once I'm speechless, so just move along and read, and watch the bloody thing, my creepy little creatures.

Fever Night Aka Band of Satanic Outsiders has to be one of the most WTF (in a good way) kind of movies out there at the moment. It's acid horror at its best, reminiscent of a Dario Argento, Susperia-type movie.

It's the perfect example as to why you should never listen to the friend who says: "Hey - let's go into the spooky woods that have a bad rep, practice some satanic ritual using 'substitute' ingredients, raise the Devil, and try to get away in that piece-of-shit auto we know is going to die on us. Sound cool?"

Then, as one of the idiot friends, you say:"Sounds stupid, isn't going to work, but OK."

DUH.

Then they wonder why very bad shite happens. Weird, and very bad and weird. Did I forget weird?

Everything about this movie from the acting, to the lighting, to the cinematography was brilliant, but you had to get it. If you don't get what these two young brilliant film makers are trying to do, you won't like the movie. You have to take it as a romp on the WTF side. Go with it, let it get under your skin, and you too will see how truly amazing and talented Andrew and Jordon are.

I can't wait to see what they come up with next, and I seriously hope they get "discovered," because the horror film industry in particular needs a new influx of super-creative and talented individuals with a vision to the future like Andrew and Jordon have.

Interview first in two parts, and then the trailer to the movie Fever Night:





Friday, 30 October 2009

Interview: Michelle Belanger

Do vampires really exist?

If you ask Michelle Belanger you would hear a resounding "Yes."

You see Michelle is a real vampire. A "psi-vampire" to be more specific.

She is the founder of House Kheperu, noted occult author, singer, frequent guest on the television show Paranormal State, and she lectures around the country.

Michelle took time out of her busy schedule to do an interview with us here at the Lair. Oh, and by the way: she is a very real, intelligent, and cool person to have a conversation with. Michelle is a five star personality to say the least, and I hope to feature her again here at the Lair.
    Lili's Lair: Michelle, You consider yourself a psi-vampire. Could you please explain what that is, and what that means to you on a personal level?

    Michelle Belanger: A psychic vampire is a person who needs to regularly and actively take human vital energy in order to maintain their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Psychic vampires are psychic, in that they have an innate awareness of this energy in the first place. It is an energy that people in our culture are generally only aware of on an unconscious level, but it is something that is integral to many Eastern practices, such a Tai Chi, Reiki, and Qi Gong. For me, “psychic vampire” is just one of many labels that can be used to describe an aspect of my life – but it’s a big aspect. A lot of my work with energy and magick as well as all of my psychic abilities tie to this one thing. It is not a negative thing, in my opinion, but an integral part of who I am, and I’ve made it a part of my life’s work to educate people on what real vampires are, dispelling the myths and misunderstandings that grow up around such a culturally loaded term.

    Lili's Lair: How did you come to the decision to form House Kheperu?

    Michelle Belanger: In the mid-90s, I ran something called the International Society of Vampires, and, as the name implies, it was a worldwide organization with a large number of members. We had a newsletter, the Midnight Sun, and what amounted to a penpal network. But in 1996, after working with Jeff Guinn on his book, Something in the Blood, I realized that I’d never really gotten to know many of the vampire folks local to me. So that fall, I started to turn my attention from the ISV to a more local group, based out of NE Ohio. The group that resulted – although nameless at first – eventually became House Kheperu. We were simultaneously a group of friends and a study group, sharing our theories and experiences of psychic vampirism. Eventually, I chose to share those with the world in my book, The Psychic Vampire Codex.

    Lili's Lair: What advice would you give to others who may think they are vampires as well?

    Michelle Belanger: First, rule out all possible medical conditions. There are a lot of very real physical ailments – as well as a few psychological issues, like clinical depression – that have symptoms some mistake for vampirism. Once you are certain that what you are experiencing does not have a root physical or psychological cause, then look into the possibility that it comes down to vital energy. Pay attention to how you interact with the energy of the people around you, and pay attention to how that energy impacts your health and well-being. Spend some time getting to know how this works for you, and track your ups and downs. Don’t look to so-called experts to tell you if you’re vampiric or not (not even me!) – in the end, only you can judge for certain.

    Lili's Lair: You have been a guest on the T.V. show Paranormal State. How did that happen, and what role do you play in their investigations?

    Michelle Belanger: Two cast members of the show, Josh Light and Eilfie Music, were fan of my books before there ever was a show. They brought me out to speak on psychic vampirism as an event hosted by the Paranormal Research Society. Through this convention, I got to know the rest of the team as well, and they came to trust my expertise on a variety of topics, including the history of the occult. When PRS got its own show, I often got calls on the sidelines where they sought my expertise on some of the hauntings. They brought me in as a regular guest starting in second season. Although I’m billed as a “psychic medium” I still also serve as an occult expert and a go-to person when checking up on folklore and paranormal history.

    Lili's Lair: What is the strangest/scariest thing that has ever happened to you whilst investigating, either on Paranormal State or on your own?

    Michelle Belanger: Maybe I’m foolhardy, but it takes a whole lot to really scare me. When objects move on their own when we’re investigating, most peoples have a natural startle reaction. Me, I tend to giggle and ask the ghost to do it again. I guess I just have a really different perspective. We have done some pretty dark cases, where very malevolent entities are involved, and those can be a little intimidating, primarily because, as the psychic, my job description pretty much involves going into the heart of all that darkness with my shields down so I’m as open as I can be to any impressions I can get of the entity. On one of the cases on fourth season, this may have led to me getting attacked. That doesn’t usually happen, but in this case, I felt so bad in the house, I had to step out for a while and pull myself back together.

    Lili's Lair: You also conduct lectures around the country. How did you get involved with that?

    Michelle Belanger: I’ve actually been doing lectures at colleges since 1996. I started as a guest speaker for the local Pagan group at Case Western Reserve University. Since then, I’ve spoken at colleges around the country, and these days I am represented by an agency that helps manage to bookings. Although I still do appearances for small groups on campuses, most of my bookings these days are for the whole school, not just one club. I lecture mostly on the vampire – its evolution through folklore and fiction and how it has become such a powerful pop culture image today. Since I originally had intended to become a college professor when pursuing my degree, these lectures are great fun for me, as they allow me to educate college students on a topic that I love – and I have the freedom to be a little edgy with that topic, since I don’t have to worry about tenure!

    Lili's Lair: Do you find the time constraints lecturing to be difficult considering all of the projects you have going on?

    Michelle Belanger: Time has become more and more of a luxury for me. Between the lecturing and the travel to film with Paranormal State, my schedule is busier than it has ever been. What has really suffered from this is my writing – I find I have less and less time to devote to finishing my books, and that can b difficult. I’m one of those writers who really needs a little quiet time to get going – I like to be home, settled in with my cats. I simply don’t have that luxury these days. So I find myself having to really budget my time and learning to write while on the road so I continue to pursue my first love: my books.

    Lili's Lair: Michelle, you are a very busy woman. You are also a published author of ten books to your credit, why did you decide to write?

    Michelle Belanger: I don’t think writing was so much of a decision for me as a calling. I remember putting my first book together when I was four-and-a-half. It was about my aunt’s dog, Alfie, who had just died, and I wrote, illustrated and bound it myself – though I seem to remember asking for a little help with the stapler! But seriously, writing has been the thing I need to do rather than want to do. The fact that I get my stuff published is simply a side benefit. I’d write no matter what.

    Lili's Lair: How long does it generally take you from start to finish to write one of your books?

    Michelle Belanger: I write at what I’m told is a ridiculously fast rate. When I’m really focused and can devote myself 100% to a project, I can complete the rough draft of a book in a couple of weeks. Of course, that’s after I’ve done all the research, and many of my books are pretty research intensive. Now, all of this does not count how long I will often take to revise and fiddle with the book, changing sections, expanding on concepts and so forth. If left to my own devices, I am perfectly capable of editing and revising the same work for years until I’m completely satisfied with the finished product. So I guess that evens things out. These days, I’ve tried to go a little easier on my books, leaving some of the work for the editors at my publishers’ offices. Because of the pace of publishing, generally speaking, if I’m working on finishing a book right now, readers won’t see it till this time next year.

    Lili's Lair: What do you find the most difficult aspect of writing is for you?

    Michelle Belanger: Believe it or not, I have the hardest time writing fiction. Non-fiction is easy – all the facts are there and there is a very logical way that things go together. I don’t have to worry about what comes next. The facts do that for themselves. But with fiction, even though it’s my first love when it comes to writing, it’s so much harder for me. Plotting out a book, making certain that my characters are realistic and true to life – that take a lot of effort for me. To give you an idea, my recently published novel, This Heart of Flame, was first written in 1998. It’s taken me six or seven full rewrites to be completely happy with the plot, the characters, and how everything goes together in the end.

    Lili's Lair: What is a typical busy day like for you?

    Michelle Belanger: I have two kinds of busy: writing busy, and travel busy. On a writing day, I’m at home. I get up around two in the afternoon, make myself some tea and settle into my writing nook with my two cats, Cornelius and Katya, curled up around me. I’ll write for five or six hours. Sometimes it’s closer to ten. I get up for tea breaks or food, but otherwise, I spend the whole day writing. When I’ve done all the writing I can, I take care of email, phone calls, etc., (fortunately any members of HK that I need to call and talk business with tend to keep late hours like me). A travel day is quite different. I get up way early in order to drive to the location or to catch my plane. If I’m filming with Paranormal State, I can’t always predict when they’ll actually need me that day, but I have to be ready at the hotel and on call. I sleep when I can and I eat when I can because life on the road is unpredictable. I get writing done in the hotel room if I can manage it, otherwise I bring my notes and a few books and do some brainstorming or research.

    Lili's Lair: Of all of the things in which you are involved, which is your favourite?

    Michelle Belanger: Writing, as I’ve said, is my first love. I’d write whether my work got published or not. There’s a poet whose work has had a huge impact on me – Rainer Maria Rilke. He wrote prose in addition to poetry, and he is famous for this collection of his correspondence with a friend, Letters to a Young Poet. Pretty much, the young poet is asking Rilke how he can know whether or not he’s cut out to be a writer. Rilke responds with the advice that he’ll know he’s a writer when he can’t not write. I’m a writer by Rilke’s understanding of the term. I can’t imagine my life without writing something every day.

    Lili's Lair: What would you like the future to hold for Michelle Belanger?

    Michelle Belanger: At the moment, I want the near future to hold the completion of a rather ambitious book project I’ve undertaken. Because of some of the issues with “demonic entities” on Paranormal State, I decided to do this very research-heavy work that catalogues all of the demons given proper names in the Western tradition, from the Bible through the magickal grimoires of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It’s part dictionary, part history of Western demonology – from a scholarly perspective rather than a theological one. I may really have bit off more than I can chew with this one, and since I’m a stickler for sourcing primary materials, it’s a good thing I can read French and Latin passably well, since my research has taken me to some interesting tomes in those languages. After I finish that book, I hope to continue my relationship with Paranormal State and I really look forward to expanding on my fiction. This Heart of Flame is intended to be the first novel in a series, and I would love a chance to revisit the urban fantasy world of the incubus Matthew Newkirk from that novel.
You can find out all about Michelle at her web site

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Interview: Nathan Head, Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders

Nathan Head is not just another actor. His outside interests run deep, obscure, and intellectual.

Nathan is the quality-type character actor who could easily pull off playing Sir Anthony Hopkins' role of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs
, or any A-list cast character actor's part for that matter.

The mainstream film industry in my opinion needs to stop casting no-talent A-list actors who make millions for no good reason , and turn to undiscovered talent like Nathan who, if given the right script, would be a definite box office draw.

Nathan Head is one of the actors from Manchester UK's own horror movie phenomenon Mark Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders. He is also one cool guy, and one hot talent.

Make sure to visit Nathan's personal website after the interview, my minions; and if you happen to bump into him some foggy night, go buy him an ice cream and have a chat about the Lost City of Atlantis.

    Lili's Lair: What was your driving force in becoming an actor?

    Nathan: There are a few things really, I always wanted to perform when I left school. It was my dream to work in either theatre production or radio dramas. But through some very wrong choices and bad relationships it sort of got delayed until I started DJing and performing in cabaret acts. I guess this gave me the confidence and drive to get back into acting and really make a go of it, I don’t want to be old and have too many regrets, I’m no where near thirty yet and I already have a few. So I’m just giving my work my full determination and trying not to miss out on the career that I dreamed of. I have been lucky enough to work on some fantastic productions like Doctor Who and The Archangel Murders, working with some amazing people, I say to myself “it would be silly to quit now after all my hard work.”

    Lili's Lair: What do you think is the best bit about acting?

    Nathan: I guess for me the best part about acting is the response, either from an audience while onstage or from the fans when they watch the movie/TV show. It shows that what I am doing is getting noticed and people enjoyed what they saw.

    Lili's Lair: What did you enjoy most about being in Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders?

    Nathan: Well I think it was mainly the friends I made during filming, CM films are such a great crew to work for and they hired some amazing people. We’ve all stayed in touch, I really hope to work with them again someday, they know what they are doing and really enjoy making movies.

    Lili's Lair:
    Do you have a certain routine you follow when preparing for a role?

    Nathan: Well it depends what the role is, for the Archangel Murders the guys had a specific character idea and they told me to research a character from the X-Files for delivery. I was familiar with the show anyway and knew they meant “Tombs,” Korkinsky had to be calm and relaxed, yet slightly possessed - almost like he is watching the world through a webcam, and he isn’t really there. So for preparing for a role, that is what I mainly do. I research films and TV of a similar genre to help me get a feel for the character.

    Lili's Lair: What is your favourite genre of movie to act in and why?

    Nathan: Oh simple, horror. I think it’s my parents I have to blame for that; my sister’s birthday was in the summer. So as kids, she always had a big party in the garden with cakes and a picnic (sometimes a BBQ). Yet mine was in October, so it was too cold for a garden party. We would wait for Hallowe’en and have a joint Hallowe’en / Birthday celebration, my parents would decorate the place like a haunted house and all my friends would dress up and we would have spooky party food and music on. It just made me love anything spooky and ghastly from an early age. I now have an enormous interest in the occult and the darker aspects of mythology, that’s why I enjoy watching and working on horror movies. Ha ha, does that make me macabre?

    Lili's Lair:
    In Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders, did you prefer playing Kinski or the monster?

    Nathan: Hmm tough one, I have fond memories of both for different reasons. I think I enjoyed playing Korkinsky because he was more of a main part and I got to really know the character over the months. When I donned the latex, it was only for that one scene as the original actor who played the Archangel was unavailable. It was a bit uncomfortable, but now I can say I have played a made-up movie monster and I would do it again and again. At first I was a bit embarrassed to admit it was me under that make-up and I told everybody it was Charlotte, who played Christina, under there! (Sorry Charly.) But both characters had lots of gore and fake blood and black goop, which was nice and messy. I love getting messy for a role. Aaaah.

    Lili's Lair: What was the special effects process for getting you into monster mode?

    Nathan: Well it was quite complicated, as I said the suit was cast for a different actor and it was ‘ahem’ a little on the snug side (I’ve since lost weight, so it would probably fit better now). The makeup team had to cut away the entire lower half as I couldn’t even get my legs into it. The back wouldn’t fasten and the nose wouldn’t stay stuck to my skin, it kept flicking up like a beak! It took a very long time to get all this to fit me well enough to look convincing on camera, and then they had to blend it into my skin with white, grey and yellow makeup using little stipple sponges. Which are little grey sponges with large holes, so you get a patchy-uneven sort of blotchiness. Also the wing harness was a bit tricky, I could only wear the wings while stood up. There was a brace that attached to my torso and sticks were rammed in to support the wings. It was a lengthy process, but all part of the effect and it was incredibly interesting to watch the transformation.

    Lili's Lair: Nathan, what is your ultimate goal as an actor, and where would you like to see yourself a few years down the road?

    Nathan: Well when I first started acting full-time, my main two goals were to A) be in a b-movie horror flick, and B) be in a cheap DVD in the bargain bucket at the supermarket. Bizarrely enough, I have achieved these goals without even realising it, so now I have to think up some new ones. I guess I would just like to make a name for myself in the horror genre, it would be nice to be known for bigger roles on TV, but that can be so temporary with the way dramas and soaps work. But I wouldn’t turn down a role as Peter Barlow’s evil twin in Coronation Street! It would also be nice to work with one of my idols, Doug Bradley, Ashley Laurence or Xenia Seeberg, watching their work has always inspired me and I really admire them all as performers.
You can check out all things Nathan by clicking here: http://www.nathanhead.tv

Movie Review: Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders

Interview: Ryan McDermott

Interview: Paul Newbery

Interview: Scott Benzie

Interview: Ashleigh Edwards Pitt

Visit http://www.archangelmurders.com to order your very own DVD and to have a look-see at all things Macready.

Facebook Fan Page Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Interview: Gina Ramsden, Zombies Anonymous

Classically-trained Gina Ramsden has been in the "industry" since she was 11, and she not only acts but is a dancer as well. She is much more than the two-dimensional characters she has portrayed over the years. She is humble, funny, and very passionate about any endeavour she gets involved with.

Gina and I had a lovely chat last week, and if my respect for her acting abilities was not enough, my respect for her as a human being rose like cream to the top.

Although Gina is currently working on other projects at the moment which do not involve the film industry, I still stand behind the statement I made in the review of the movie Zombies Anonymous: Gina has more talent in her little pinky than most A-list actresses have in their entire plastic-and-silicon bodies. Gina deserves to be cast in a well written, major motion picture.

Oh, and by the way, minions: When the Zombie Apocalypse does happen, I am going to make sure my little band of survivors heads over to rescue Gina, because it is a toughtask these days to find decent people out there lurking about.

Go, my devilish deviants, read the interview and build shrines to worship Gina Ramsden.

Lili's Lair:When you were a little girl did you imagine you would be an actress?

Gina Ramsden:
Ever since I can remember I knew Iwanted to be an actress and NOTHING could deter me.

Lili's Lair: Many actors and actresses have other actors and actresses whom they admire, and try to emulate. Do you find that to be true in your case as well? And if so, whom?

Gina Ramsden:
I have actors who inspire me and careers I admire, but I do try to stay true to myself and what I can bring to a role that no one else can. Johnny Depp, if I had to pick one person - I think he is fearless. Helen Mirren comes to mind as well.

Lili's Lair:
How old were you when you got your start in acting?

Gina Ramsden: I have danced since I was 3 but started acting at age 11.

Lili's Lair: Did you always know you wanted to be an actress?

Gina Ramsden: As far back as I can remember. I was very ambitious at a young age and always knew what I wanted.

Lili's Lair: You are a very good actress. Did you have professional training, or is acting something that comes naturally to you?

Gina Ramsden: Thank you so much. My first acting class was Musical Comedy when I was 11 but I quickly became more serious and started taking the Meisner technique at age 14. I was doing professional musical theatre as a teenager but decided to focus on stage & film for college. I have a B.F.A. in Theatre from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. I continue to take class from Allen Savage and Master Scene Study with June Stein in NYC.

Lili's Lair: I'm not so sure about everyone else, but I have often wondered what the audition process is like from start to finish. Could you tell us about that please?

Gina Ramsden: I LOVE auditioning... really... it's kind of thrilling and it gives me a chance to act even if it's only for 30 seconds. The whole scene makes me laugh actually - there are the quiet ones who look scared shitless. Or the ones openly rehearsing, which I despise!! Or the over-the-top ones who chat with everyone. I'm like: "Really?! Can't we just cut the bullshit? It's all just going to come down to the color of our hair!"

Lili's Lair: What is your favourite genre to act in, and do you consider yourself a specific genre type of actress?

Gina Ramsden: Well... I have the most success and experience with Horror... which is funny considering most of my life I couldn't watch it. But I have had the time of my life shooting Horror films but I have to give that credit to Marc Fratto & Insane-o-rama because they are the best to work for. I love them. I am a stronger actor because of them. But I do not consider myself a specific genre actress at all. I love comedy, especially physical comedy; drama; you name it, really. It's about the story - if I want to tell that story & I care about the character I don't care what genre it is.

Lili's Lair: How did you find out about the part for Zombies Anonymous?

Gina Ramsden: Marc Fratto the director/writer wrote the role for me after doing a small role in his previous vampire film.

Lili's Lair: Was there anything special you had to do mentally or physically to prepare yourself for the role?

Gina Ramsden:
I had to lock myself in a room before we would shoot, listen to my iPod, and go to really dark places. Music really triggers it for me. My character Angela in ZA has to buy into some crazy shit & doing take after take at that level of intensity takes enormous preparation if it's going to be believable.

Lili's Lair: Parts of the movie were very action driven. Did you do your own stunts?

Gina Ramsden: LOL... First time I have ever been asked that question. The answer is yes, of course, but I loved that aspect of ZA because I have a very physical background having danced my whole life.

Lili's Lair: What did you enjoy most about making Zombies Anonymous?

Gina Ramsden: NOT the BLOOD!! Actually, my peeps at Insane-o-rama! They are like my film family. I have known them it feels like forever. Working with Marc Fratto is an actor's dream. He just knows how to get my performance out of me.

Lili's Lair: What appeals most to you about the acting profession? And which direction would you like to see your career move into?

Gina Ramsden: It's not so much the profession I love, it's the acting itself. I get to see life through other people's eyes, tell stories that inspire or move people... I get to play!
As far as my career goes, it will always be film. I am starting to write my own work -I want to make my own films... indie all the way!


Lili's Lair: Is there anything new we can expect to see you in?

Gina Ramsden: I just turned down Insane-o-rama's next film which was heartbreaking for me - it just wasn't the right role for me at this time... Reading Series at HBO Theatre in NYC... My manager and I have a few film scripts on the table, so we'll just have to wait & see!

Lili's Lair Reviews Zombies Anonymous

http://www.insane-o-rama.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/insaneorama

Monday, 26 October 2009

Interview: Entities-R-Us Creator Terri J. Garofolo

With a bio so complete on her Entities-R-Us site, I thought to meself: "What the bloody hell am I going to ask Terri J. Garofalo that she hasn't already answered herself?"

Well, after fixing a cuppa and taking a few appreciative sips of me Barry's proper Irish tea, the thought dawned on me: Don't ask her anything she's already answered herself. DUH. See, me granny always said a cuppa fixes everything.

With this being October, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to add this little interview to my spooky melting pot, and Terri was considerate enough to agree.

So, my maggoty minions, enjoy the interview, and then visit Entities-R-Us to read all the cool stuff.
    Lili's Lair: Terry, could you please give the readers here at the Lair a little bio on each of the characters in your Entities-R-Us comic strip?

    Terri J. Garofalo:

    Arno Alkaloid: Team Leader/Founder of Entities-R-Us, Ghost Hunters.
    He is a paranormal junkie of sorts, very interested in uncovering the truth behind the mysteries of the world. Arno is, for better part of a word, a nerd. Yet, he is confident in his nerdiness wearing his pullover knit turtleneck with dignity.

    Merv Shwermble: Tech Manager
    Merv is a techy. He is more interested in the equipment than the paranormal. Historically, Merv was a sound guy in the “Hair Band” industry. When that dried up, Arno discovered him, in a local Radio Shack, hocking batteries. Merv tends to experiment himself into sticky situations. He plays the “goofball” to Arno’s “straight man.”

    Erna Eggleston: Psychic Medium
    She is the Zen of the bunch. Her feminine energy irons out the kinks in the team. She is quite patient with the crew except when they stray, weekly, onto the Ouija Board for Ouija Nite (Ghost Hunter Guys Night Out). Erna knows that the Ouija is nothing but trouble. Erna is the main communicator between the physical and the metaphysical worlds.

    Vlad: Demonologist
    Vlad is in charge of all the “get-ridification” practices, such as exorcisms, etc. His skills at this are a little suspect, especially when he uses random Latin phrases quite randomly… Vlad is a bit egotistic. He thinks he’s pretty cool with his high-collared cape. He rarely talks and mostly glowers. And, he sports a wicked sense of humor sometimes.

    Vera: Investigator In Training
    Vera is a practicing Wiccan. She is also very sensitive to the fact that witches were persecuted through the ages. So, she is perpetually on guard for any minor slight. This offers Merv a fair amount of opportunity to tick her off. Vera’s anger management problems, coupled with her energy vampire tendencies, keep her at the training level. Until she learns to stop draining the batteries and committing battery, she will not move up in the ranks.

    Carl & Thor: Ouija Nite Ghosts
    These two entities are Ouija Nite regulars. Thursday is Ouija Nite for the ERU boys. Carl and Thor show up to communicate false information and to terrorize Arno and the guys. Carl was a Roman soldier with insecurity issues in his last life. Thor was a beer slugging Viking.

    Office Entities
    Ms. Henpeck: Arno’s former kindergarten teacher.
    She haunts Arno personally because of all the awful things he did in her class. Arno was known to freak out the youngsters with ghost stories. He once told a fellow student that the poor kid was abducted by aliens. Henpeck swore she’d haunt him when she died. She is true to her word.

    Imps: Nature Spirits
    These mischievous entities were accidentally brought back with the luggage from a ghost hunting trip to Ireland. They wreak havoc on the office.

    Lili's Lair: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with new ideas for your strip?

    Terri J. Garofalo:
    They just show up. I tend to carry a pad with me in case I get an idea deluge. Sometimes I resort to napkins. Many of my ideas come from personal experiences on paranormal investigations. Some result from watching paranormal TV shows or reading material. The material mostly just occurs. Apparently I have my own personal connection to the insanity of the Universe… which I appreciate since it makes life a lot more fun.

    Lili's Lair: When you first began Entities-R-Us did you have a continuous story line you wanted to work with over a period of time?

    Terri J. Garofalo: Entities grew from a story line based strip called “In Spirit”. The ERU crew was invented as a quick solution to needing a ghost hunting group. They just ran away with the strip. So, I extricated them from the comic and created “Entities-R-Us.” “Entities” is mostly a gag strip. It is versatile enough to support story lines in the form of investigation series (often based on actual ghost hunts). It’s the best of both worlds for me. I can tell stories and I can shoot out a joke.

    One of the unique things “Entities” does is Guest Draws. I will actually draw a celebrity into ERU as a Guest… They are shown character sketches, which they must approve. Then they are shown the final comic, which they approve. This allows them a say in their portrayal. They are also welcome to use the sketches and final comic on their websites, etc. So far, Brian Harnois, Barry Fitzgerald, Shannon Sylvia, Dustin Pari and Kris Williams have participated. Coming soon is Amy Bruni, as soon as I get it colored.

    Lili's Lair: Do you prefer writing and/or drawing any one of the characters over the others?

    Terri J. Garofalo: I have no preferences for any of my characters. I tend to use Arno a lot as he is the lead investigator. And Merv is often drawn to take much of the abuse… (There are not laws on the books regarding character abuse in comics… Snicker.)

    I love drawing ghosts. First of all, they are EASY – squiggly vapors of manifestation. That cuts my inking time down considerably. Second, they are like extras invented on the spot for a situation. I can get pretty creative with these guys.


    Lili's Lair:
    Do you have plans to put all of your current strips into book form to sell?

    Terri J. Garofalo: Currently, I have a book in the works. The intention is to have it out by mid-November. I’m in the process of moving so that is pushing my back against the wall. This will be more than your average comic collection. I am including personal paranormal experiences as well as the ERU story.

    Lili's Lair:
    Do you have any cool new projects you are working on that you can tell us about?

    Terri J. Garofalo: I am going to update the website… I want to make some changes. That involves me getting a web designer under my jurisdiction. I can art direct it, but I am allergic to code. I’ve mucked this site up enough; it’s time to call an expert!

    Comic-wise, I’ve been in talk with the Shanley Hotel and Brian Harnois about doing comic books. I’m not sure how this will unfold, but I’m open to suggestion from all parties. It’s a seed right now. I’ve watered it. We’ll see what it grows into.

    AND, I’m going to open the Entities-R-Us store… Finally, folks will be able to get their favorite ghost hunter goofballs on T-shirts, mugs, etc… In time for Christmas! (Man… I better get crackin’!)
You can visit all of Terri's creepy creations by visiting Entities-R-Us

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Interview: Ashleigh Edwards Pitt, Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders

Ashleigh Edwards Pitt was fortunate enough to work with some amazing people in a brilliant horror/comedy called Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders. Ashleigh plays Friday the daemon-ette who helps Macready land the murderous daemon dubbed "The Archangel."

I have had the pleasure of interviewing several of the cast and crew from Macready here at the Lair, and I am happy that I get to add one more of its terrific cast to my roster. You can check out my review of the movie and interviews at the end of this article, along with a few Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders movie links.
    Lili's Lair: Why acting? Why not another profession?

    Ashleigh Edwards Pitt:
    I’m the sort of person who gets bored very easily and within the acting profession every role and every rehearsal is different. You can’t predict it. Acting is my life and I couldn’t function without it. Anyone who acts will know that nothing can compare to how you feel performing live on stage or watching back something that you have created. It’s as if you enjoy becoming someone else and feeling that their emotions are yours, so I guess that’s why I’m an actress, I enjoy creating and entertaining.

    Lili's Lair: If you had to choose another profession what would it be and why?

    Ashleigh Edwards Pitt: Although acting is the only profession that has excited and intrigued me, If I had to choose another career it would be in Animal Care. I’m incredibly passionate about animals, I love them, but I don’t think I could stick needles in them and I suppose that’s why I chose acting.

    Lili's Lair: How did you get involved with the making of Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders?

    Ashleigh Edwards Pitt: I’d applied for a completely different part in Mark Macready quite a long time before I heard back from Ryan. Apparently my CV was sat on his desk for about 6 months, circled as a possible cast member. Unfortunately he never got around to finding me a place on the first round of shooting and then when the original actress couldn’t come back he remembered my face and met with me. We read the script and then I was cast. I suppose casting me changed the role completely in the space of a week. The film was heading in a different direction and with me on board it headed further away from what was originally a film noir scene, it became an action packed dialogue driven exposition scene that would add a whole new level to the pace of the film.

    Lili's Lair:
    What was the most difficult aspect of playing Friday in the film?

    Ashleigh Edwards Pitt:
    I think the hardest thing about playing Friday was that I wasn’t the first person to play her as another actress had shot the scene before me, however it was more of a film noir scene that didn’t fit with the reshoots that was taking place, so I had to add my own stamp on the character. Which I think I did when I first met Ryan, what we read at the table read was very different to what he presented me with on set. Ryan said I added a element of feist to the character and that was written in, it also became clear that I was a demon, which was only alluded to in the script. My version of Friday was a whole new character and I had to make sure that my version was the right one for the film. It was also tough balancing my characters loyalties, although she’s perhaps a “baddy” she does aid Macready and I had to ensure that came across convincingly enough to audience.

    Lili's Lair: Do you find it more demanding when doing a short than a full length movie?

    Ashleigh Edwards Pitt: No, shorts are usually much more fun, more personal. Especially on independent shorts, you really get to know everyone and bond so well. Your all there to do a job but learn from each other so it’s not really demanding, the filming itself can of course always takes its toll, it’s long hours but I find doing a short film is much more personal and your usually on that set because you believe wholeheartedly in the material.

    Lili's Lair: What was the most memorable moment for you personally in the making of Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders?

    Ashleigh Edwards Pitt: It would have to be filming the secret scene at the end of the film. Only about six people knew about it and we all had to keep it very very ‘hush hush’ from leaking. We filmed the final scene early this year, it was the last thing to be shot and it was filmed in the pitch black night, under a train bridge. The fact that the only lights were headlights from the cars gave us all the sense that someone or something was watching and that helped me become emotionally attached to how Friday would’ve felt. It was amazing to see everyone’s reaction to the scene at the premiere. The scene gave my character another twist which is brilliant for discovering more about her, we revel that she is working with the baddies and the information she gave Mac earlier in the film was planted... but again was it? Did she give him too much information, even I’m not sure only Ryan, Sean and Paul know where Friday’s true loyalties lie and it’s something I hope to explore in the future.

    Lili's Lair: What projects have you been doing since finishing Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders?

    Ashleigh Edwards Pitt: I have worked on Chris Lumb’s comedy feature film Tuck Bushman and the Legend on Piddledown as a short comedic role. I actually met Chris on the set of The Archangel Murders so it was nice to team up with him on his film. Before and after playing the role of Friday I have appeared in several short films, provided voice over work and took part in modeling shoots.

    Lili's Lair: What would you like to work on next?

    Ashleigh Edwards Pitt: I would like to work on more films and continue acting on stage, TV roles would also be interesting and I’d love to carry on working alongside CM Films, as before they made The Archangel Murders they were known for th eir more comedic films so if they return to those I’d love to appear! I’d also like to see the character of Friday expanded, I know that they are discussing turning Macready into a feature film so I’m looking forward to seeing where my character will end up.
Movie Review: Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders

Interview: Ryan McDermott

Interview: Paul Newbery

Interview: Scott Benzie

Visit http://www.archangelmurders.com to order your very own DVD and to have a look-see at all things Macready.

Facebook Fan Page Mark Macready and the Archangel Murders


Ashleigh's Website


Friday, 23 October 2009

Interview : Douglas Clegg

Douglas Clegg is the author of many horror and dark fantasy novels, several having landed on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

His new book, Isis, is a great read that will simultaneously give you the creeps and tug at your heart strings. Isis not only has its own website, but also a fun game to play as well. Yes, I have played it and the illustrations are beautiful.

Douglas Clegg is a true renaissance man with many other talents besides writing. You can find out all about Douglas on his web site.

Not only is Douglas Clegg a brilliant writer, but one of the things I admire most about him is the fact that he makes himself extremely accessible to his fans. Not many New York Times Bestselling authors can boast of such a thing. He is a gracious man, the kind of person you would like to have over to chat over tea and a couple of scones.

So my fiendish followers, after reading this interview I suggest you visit Douglas Clegg's links, and go out and pick yourself up a copy of Isis.
    Lili's Lair: How did you happen upon the realization that you wanted to become a writer?

    Douglas Clegg: When I was eight years old, a pet mockingbird died. I felt terrible and drew the bird over and over again. My mother sat me down with a little typewriter and said, "Write a story about it." I did. I learned to type at the same time. After that, I just wrote story after story after story -- and I've never stopped. Before writing, I told stories -- mainly ghost stories -- to friends. Sometimes, I made up tall tales about life. My mother was very wise to get me typing them out.

    Lili's Lair: Was there anyone whom you admired that you feel inspired you?

    Douglas Clegg: Any writer whose work I've loved has inspired me, but no one in particular. Studying literature in high school and college helped a lot -- because teachers nudged me toward a wider view of the world through reading.

    Lili's Lair: Why horror/suspense?

    Douglas Clegg: Because I enjoy it, and my imagination tends toward the fantastic -- I love supernatural stories more than any other kind.

    Lili's Lair: Is there any other genre you would like to write?

    Douglas Clegg: If there are, I'll find out when a story occurs. I don't limit myself to a genre, but I do write what I feel a story requires.

    Lili's Lair: Where do you get your stories ideas from?

    Douglas Clegg: Life, mixed with the internal combustion of imagination. Everything I've written is pretty close to an observation or experience, but then exploded through imagination and a dramatic exaggeration in order to find the truth of the actual experience -- through playing it out in fiction.

    Lili's Lair
    : The characters in your stories are very intense. Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating such multidimensional characters?

    Douglas Clegg: Again, life. I spend my life observing and dissecting human nature, and I hope I bring it into my stories. I usually can't write a story until I actually see the character I've created in my mind as if he or she is a real person.

    Lili's Lair: How did the idea form for creating a game to coincide with your new book Isis?

    Douglas Clegg: I wish I could claim credit for that. My friend Matthew Schwartz of Shocklines.com and I were talking one day. He had seen the early illustrations for the book and suggested the game. He put me in touch with Adam Schroeder, who made and distributed the game. Then, my publisher saw the possibilities in it, so it was a go. As of today, the game has been played 1.8 million times by more than 1.6 million people.

    Lili's Lair: Can you tell us about your new book Isis. The concept, creation, illustrations and such?

    Douglas Clegg: Glenn Chadbourne, who has illustrated for Stephen King, among others, created all the interior illustrations as well as the cover art. He is a master -- all of the art is pen-and-ink and reminds me of a cross between Edward Gorey and John Tenniel (who created the most famous of the Alice in Wonderland illustrations.) But Glenn's signature style is here -- no one has created art quite this stunning for a gothic tale. Regarding the conception, it came from life, of course. I've lost people I've loved in life through death and other means, and I began to think about wishing them back to life. It seemed very Victorian to contemplate bringing someone back to life -- from Poe to W.W. Jacobs to the gothic novels themselves... so I knew that Isis would live at the end of the 19th century. Since Cornwall is among my favorite places on earth, it's beauty seemed a fitting place for such a dark tale. Here's the brief encapsulation of Isis's story: From childhood until her sixteenth year, Iris Villiers wandered the stone-hedged gardens and the steep cliffs along the coast of Cornwall near her ancestral home. Surrounded by the stern judgments of her grandfather—the Gray Minister—and the taunts of her cruel governess, Iris finds solace in her beloved older brother who has always protected her. But when a tragic accident occurs from the ledge of an open window, Iris discovers that she possesses the ability to speak to the dead... Be careful what you wish for… it just may find you.

    Lili's Lair: Do you feel growing up in New England influenced your writing?

    Douglas Clegg: I didn't grow up in New England, but I did spend a good part of my childhood there in a formative way and I live there now. I grew up in the South, and have lived in California, Connecticut, Virginia, and even Hawaii. I also traveled to Europe and Mexico a bit when I was young, and all of these places have influenced my writing.

    Lili's Lair: What's next, now that Isis is out?

    Douglas Clegg: My next book comes out in April. It's a southern gothic tale of childhood games and family secrets -- two of my favorite themes. It's called Neverland.
Check out Douglas Clegg on the web:

Douglas Clegg
Isis
Isis Game

Monday, 5 October 2009

Interview : Witching Hour U.K.

Witching Hour UK is one of my favourite bands, and I was fortunate enough to have Trevor Barnes agree to an interview.

With their tenebrous sound they set the mood for a picture-perfect picnic in your favourite cemetery.
    Lili's Lair: When did you decide to form Witching Hour U.K. ?

    Witching Hour U.K.: We formed back in 1991, with myself on vocals and guitar, Alys on bass and a chap called DB on keyboards. It's just Alys and me now.

    Lili's Lair: Did you start the band knowing straight away it was going to be a goth band?

    Witching Hour U.K.: Absolutely. I had tried previously (several times) to get a goth band started, but Witching Hour was the first serious and successful effort.

    Lili's Lair: When did you both begin playing instruments?

    Witching Hour U.K.: I started playing guitar when I was 12 years old and Alys started bass just after she moved here in 1989. She had played Violin as a kid, so the bass was a natural progression. I only seriously started writing songs and singing just before we started Witching Hour

    Lili's Lair: Who does what in the band, and do you produce your own music?

    Witching Hour U.K.: I write all the lyrics and most of the music, but we both contribute ideas. In terms of production, this is something I take care of and I do the engineering on all our recordings as I used to be a sound engineer and I'm very good with recording technology, computers and software etc.

    Lili's Lair: Who have been the most influential people in your life with regards to your music?

    Witching Hour U.K.: Musically, I would say people like Robert Smith, Wayne Hussey and Siouxsie have been a big influence but Alys and I are both influenced by many many things. We are both science fiction, fantasy and horror fans and we watch film, T.V and read lots of stuff that falls into this genre. I'm also heavily influenced by the old Hammer movies, Vincent Price and of course the work of Tim Burton.

    Lili's Lair: Why goth?

    Witching Hour U.K.: Why not goth? Seriously though, I don't think it's something that we think too much about, we are what we are and we are proud of what we are!

    Lili's Lair: Where do you draw your inspirations from when creating your music?

    Witching Hour U.K.: All sorts of stuff really, old horror movies, literature, everyday life, other peoples music etc.

    Lili's Lair: What aspects of creating music do you find the most enjoyable?

    Witching Hour U.K.: I really enjoy both the lyric writing and the music composition. I enjoy the recording too, but this can be a bit tedious and I know that Alys really dreads recording!

    Lili's Lair: Is it difficult having a working relationship with someone you are married to?

    Witching Hour U.K.: No, not really. In fact it works really well and solves all the usual problems of being away from each other when gigging etc,

    Lili's Lair: What is the technical process you use when creating a new CD?

    Witching Hour U.K.: We do all the recording ourselves using Cubase on a P.C. When the final thing is mixed, this is mastered for C.D and for digital download via iTunes and Napster etc. The CD master is sent off for duplication. We distribute for iTunes and Napster via Tunecore, so it's just a case of uploading to their servers and they take care of the rest. Simples :)

    Lili's Lair: What is the biggest hope you have for the future of Witching Hour U.K.?

    Witching Hour U.K.: Well, we are working on a brand new album called Raven, so I think at this point, I will be glad to get it finished, but it should be out on Halloween if all goes to plan. I think we want to do more gigging, certainly here in the U.K, but I hope we will gig more overseas. We would also very much like to play at Whitby and Leipzig at some point also.
You can visit them online:

http://www.myspace.com/witchinghouruk


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