Monday, October 21, 2013

Interview with Erin Russ.

Erin Russ - Still from Upsidedown Cross
Photo credit:
Jackie Cerniglia.

Full Name:
Erin Russ

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
The Russ.
I was chatting with Bill and he mentioned that and I thought it was funny because I’m often referred to as The Lefebvre. Twinsies!
I think it’s weird. HAHA!
I think it’s awesome! I kind of like being The Lefebvre.

Burbank, California

Current hometown:
Bloomingdale, NJ

Favorite city and why?
New York City because of the diversity and energy.

March 2, 1981

Hair Color/Eye Color/Race?
Vampire Red/Blue/Alien

Sexual orientation?

Religion, if any?
Fuck that.
Fuck that indeed.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
No, I’m not superstitious. My phobia is Fulci worms.

Do you smoke/drink?   If so, what?
No/Yes. I drink blood.

Current occupation/Dream job:

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Watch horror movies with my boyfriend.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I’ll make friends with Bub and hope that he’ll protect me from the other zombies.

Did you go to college?
Yeah, I went to Scumbag College.
I heard you were the valedictorian of your class.
You heard right!

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have two cats named Alan and Anya. They’re named after Alan and Anya Ormsby from one of my favorite films, “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”.

What is your favorite animal?

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?

Favorite/Least favorite Food:
Pepperoni Pizza/Indian food.

What is your favorite quotation/motto/saying?
“I love dead. Hate living.” Frankenstein’s Monster

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
William Hellfire.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
My Mom’s suicide.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Move to the East Coast.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I stabbed my brother one time when we were kids. We laugh about it now.

What do you do?
I act in movies and watch movies.

How did you get started doing what you do?
I was trained to be a Shakespearean actress when I was 15 years old. I acted in a couple of plays at The California Shakespeare Company. My first role was the Third Witch in “Macbeth”. Acting at The California Shakespeare Company was one of the happiest times in my life. My first onscreen role was the title role in a faux movie trailer called “Devil Sister”. It was my first time playing a “possessed” girl. I played another “possessed” girl in a trailer for a movie called “The Devil’s Hostage”. That movie never got made, but you can see the trailer on YouTube. I once again am playing a “possessed” girl in my latest movie, “Upsidedown Cross”. I think I’ve been typecast and I’m totally cool with that.
I would be totally fine with being typecast as a possessed girl too.
Who wouldn’t?

David Yow & Erin Russ - Upsidedown Cross
David Yow & Erin Russ in a screen shot from Upsidedown Cross. Charles Scandura

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
None, really. William Hellfire got me into the business. I have been fortunate enough to get acting roles without auditioning for them thanks to him and who he knows.

Poster for Upsidedown Cross by Michael Gancarz.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
Give us a little history if you will.
I actually started out as a model for Alternative Cinema when I moved to the East Coast. My first gig was for the DVD cover of a movie called “Stash”. I had to act high, which was easy for me because I had a Mom who was addicted to prescription drugs since I was a pre-teen. Paige K. Davis was the director of the shoot. After seeing me act, she decided to direct “Devil Sister” and gave me the starring role. Shortly after that, I was given the starring role in another movie trailer called “The Devil’s Hostage” for Media Blasters. I acted for Media Blasters a second time when I played one of the “Party Monsters” in a film called “Late Fee”. My next feature was a horror/comedy called “Porkchop”, directed by Eamon Hardiman. I acted in two short films after that. The first one is called “Blood Wings: A Satanic Fantasy”, directed by Victor Bonacore. The second one is “Dogshit” a.k.a. “The Bunnyman”, directed by Jimmy Screamerclauz. Neither of those films have been released yet. I have continued to model over the years. I had my own photospread in Girls & Corpses magazine, called “Autopsy Light on Erin Russ”, which featured William Hellfire as my corpse. Michael Raso was the photographer. Mike also photographed me for the DVD covers of “Book of Lore” and “Defiled”, and most recently for the “Video Violence” T-Shirt Ad, which ran in FANGORIA magazine for a while. I took a break from acting until Paige K. Davis and Michael Raso asked me to play Dracula’s Daughter in a short LomoKino film called “Daughter Dracula”. You can see it on YouTube. I did another LomoKino short for them, but it hasn’t been released yet. William Hellfire and I star in it together. I acted in Jimmy Screamerclauz’s new animated feature called “When Black Birds Fly” last year. I always wanted to do voice over work, so that was pretty cool. My latest and greatest project is a film called “Upsidedown Cross”. It’s directed by William Hellfire and stars myself and David Yow. I play a young woman whose Mom believes she’s possessed and hires a preacher (David Yow) to exorcise her. I am so lucky to have been given such an amazing role in a Hellfire picture. Acting alongside David Yow was so much fun. I think everyone who meets David falls in love with him.
Your history is like a walk down memory lane for me. Turns out we know a lot of the same great people but that really shouldn’t come as a big surprise. The decent people working in the industry tend to find each other.
The more I hear about Upsidedown Cross the more I know I need to see it. Please keep me posted!

I know you’re friends with Victor Bonacore. I’m not sure if you know this, but he’s in “Upsidedown Cross”. He plays one of my clients at the polaroid brothel. Victor is one of my favorite people in the world. I love him.
I did not know that! I also don’t know what a polaroid brothel is. I am way too excited to see Upsidedown Cross already. You’re just making the anticipation worse!

Girls & Corpses Photo Spread by Michael Raso.

What projects are you working on now?
I’ll be heading to the studio soon to record the score for “Upsidedown Cross”. I also host the Alternative Cinema Podcast with Michael Raso, William Hellfire and John Fedele, which you can listen to on Alternative Cinema’s website.
When you say you’re heading into the studio to record the score for “Upsidedown Cross” what role will you be playing in the recording of the score?
I’ll be doing vocal parts.
Who is doing the score for Upsidedown Cross?
Mike Hunchback and Bill. I'm supposed to do vocals with Miranda Taylor from The Hunchback.

What are you watching?
Horror films and The Addams Family TV Series.
I just remembered I have to download The Addams Family and The Munsters! Thanks for the reminder!
Those are my favorite TV Shows. I own The Addams Family: The Complete Series. I need to get The Munsters: The Complete Series. I also love The Vampira Show, but there’s only one episode available.
Yeah, I love Vampira!
I love her so much I did a series of four portraits of her.

What are you listening to?
Fiona Apple and The Jesus Lizard.

What are you reading?
Television Horror Movie Hosts.

Favorite author?
Elizabeth Wurtzel.

Favorite band?
Fiona Apple.

Desert Island Music/Movies/Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
Music: All four of Fiona Apple’s albums: Tidal, When the Pawn, Extraordinary Machine, The Idler Wheel. Goat by The Jesus Lizard.
Movies: May, The Doom Generation, Friday the 13th, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, Black Swan
Copy Cat: And A Litter Of Other Cats
The Jesus Lizard Book
Little Girl Lost
Prozac Nation
More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I would be a singer if I wasn’t so shy.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive: Mike Patton
Dead: Vincent Price
Fictional: Blacula

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Actress/Retail jobs.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
David Yow! You can find him on Facebook.
I tried to contact David Yow about being interviewed to promote the film, but since he’s full up on imaginary friends on Facebook my Friend Request bounced off and when I messaged him it probably got diverted into his “Other” box. If you want to put an icepick in his ear about the interview I’d love to do one with him.
David wanted to make room for more friends, so he did a search and deleted everyone who likes Creed. I’ll ask him if he wants to be interviewed. There’s one catch, though. You can’t like Creed.
That’s fine. I though not liking Creed was a given. Friends don’t let friends listen to Creed.

Got any questions for me?
What was the first horror film you saw?
That’s a tough one. I used to like watching a program called “Creature Feature” on a local network, WLVI 56, but that was mostly Godzilla/Kaiju films. I know I had watched a fair amount of horror movies as a kid because I stayed over at my uncle’s as a kid a fair amount and he had a decent collection of horror movies he had taped off of HBO and he was of the philosophy that as long as I could handle it I could watch whatever I wanted to so I saw all of the Friday the 13ths and Nightmare On Elm Streets at a WAY age inappropriate time of my life. But I guess my first real memorable horror movie experience was sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night and watching George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) on late night TV. It was so realistically done that it totally freaked me out and I never forgot that delicious fear and I’ve been chasing it ever since. What was the first horror film you saw?

That’s so cool! The first horror film I saw was Friday the 13th. I watch Friday the 13th movies on every Friday the 13th. The only Friday the 13th film I don’t own is Friday the 13th (2009). I hated it. The best Friday the 13th movies are parts 1-4.

Follow-up questions and thanks:

In your “About the Interviewee” section you mentioned you did “two brief stints at a junior psych ward”. What was that like? I’ve always been on the other side of the door in that situation, so it would be interesting to know what it was like being locked into a psych ward from the other side of the door.
I hated being there. I remember begging my parents to let me come home. They had us on a structured schedule. We had to wake up and go to bed at a certain time, eat at a certain time and go to group therapy and one on one therapy. They put all of us on medication. I’m an actress, so I pretended to be better and was subsequently released. I have one fond memory of that place. One night I ran around my room, screaming and laughing with another mental patient. We roomed with two other girls, who just laid there in silence. They must’ve thought we were insane. The night orderly opened our door and threatened to put us in the isolation room where they would strap us down if we got unruly. We shut up and went back to bed.

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
My pleasure!

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.

About the Interviewee:
Erin Russ is an actress/model who has been featured in Girls & Corpses magazine and stars in William Hellfire’s new horror film, “Upsidedown Cross”. Born and raised in Southern California, Erin was an outcast at school because she was the only “goth” girl. She did two brief stints at a junior psych ward during that time. Erin became a recluse and smoked marijuana for ten years, then packed her bags and moved to the East Coast. Erin enjoys acting in horror films, hanging out in graveyards, and avoiding people at all costs. If you see her, don’t say hello. She only speaks to the dead.

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
You can check out the blog for the book here:
You can check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
You can check his author profile at:
You can follow him at GoodReads here:
You can check out his electronic music here:
And here:
You can check out his videos at:
You can check out his IMDB profile here:
You can follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
You can follow his Tumblr here:
You can check out his Etsy here:
You can join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
You can stalk his Facebook at:
You can e-mail him at:

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