Many were contacted, few responded.
As 2011 comes to an end, what better way to end the year at Horror Society than to catch up with some of our favorite scream queens? For this article, and all following wrap up articles, the genre’s best scream queens will update everyone on their highlights of 2011 and what their hopes are for 2012. This article will feature horror actress, writer, and budding director Kelsey Zukowski. Also featured in this article will be New Jersey’s own Ruby LaRocca!
“2011 was a year packed full of horror projects for me. One of the highlights was definitely What They Say, from working with producer/star, Heather Dorff, on bringing out her vision just right in the script, to filming, to the premiere in September at The Chicago Horror Film Festival. It’s probably the film I’ve been involved with that I’m most proud of. There really isn’t much I would change about it if I had complete control, which is pretty amazing since most films stray so far from the script by the time the final cut of the film is put out there. It really doesn’t look low-budget and captures the dark dramatic turmoil of the character and her situation while still being bloody, intense, and surreal. There were so many talented people involved; making every component just as strong as the next. I’m really looking forward to where it goes from here on the festival circuit. Next up will be The Indie Film Festival in Chicago this March.
Other highlights included crime writer, Kevin Jamison’s gritty and intense serial killer short, Inhumane, which stars myself, Heather Dorff, and Marv Bleauvelt, with some seriously disturbing effects by Jim Bett. Another fun experience was working on Travis Legge’s grindhouse-style trailer, Monster Mash, also starring Kitsie Duncan and Melissa Revels.
2012 is already proving to be a year of long term projects pushing forward. I’m extremely excited for an upcoming short I wrote, Words Like Knives, which will be directed by Legge. Saying it’s dark is a vast understatement. It’s extremely discomforting, dealing with taboos and extremely uncomfortable situations. I have always been more interested in examining the ugly things in human nature. Horror is the perfect avenue for that. Words Like Knives is about a rumor spinning out of control and how it can take over and seem real whether it is or not. There is a lot of debate whether this rumor is true and exploration of all avenues of the possibilities emerge, all of them invading one girl’s sanity.
Another project I’m anticipating in 2012 is The Hazed, which is based on a short that Jonathan A. Moody wrote. We’ve been long time collaborators but The Hazed is actually the first thing we ever wrote together. The film is inspired by institutionalized torture method known as hazing. I have always found sororities and fraternities to be extremely pointless and cruel. The Hazed goes a step further to show a deeper darkness in the sorority sisters, worsened by an inability to let go of the past or take responsibility for one’s problems. It starts as a gritty slasher with tedious and extravagant deaths and turns it in to something far more psychological. This will also be my first time directing. I’m thrilled for the chance to bring my vision to life in another aspect of filmmaking. Casting and crew additions are under way. Even in these early stages, it’s clear that there will be an incredible team working with me to make this film reach its full potential.”
**Kelsey attached some photos from Inhumane in her email. Sadly I couldn’t find a way to insert them into this article, but you MUST follow this film on Facebook (click here) to see these amazingly disturbing pics! Also provided by Kelsey is the newly released poster for Words Like Knives (which is pictured above).**
And now for Ruby LaRocca’s 2011 update:
“Where to even begin, I suppose January would be the appropriate place, but I won’t give a month-to-month recap or this won’t be a recap it will be a novel! That being said, I’ll start by saying that at the beginning of 2011 I had just recently gotten out of the hospital and was in physical therapy relearning to walk, speech therapy relearning to talk, and occupational therapy relearning to write and tie my shoes among other things. I couldn’t be happier to say that just a year later I am better, but more then that, I’m better than ever! With a new lease on life, my head in the clouds dreaming of all things possible, but my feet planted firmly on the ground, I am ready to take over the world! Monica Puller and I just started Snatch Devil Devil Snatch Productions and our first short will be released in 2012. We will also be working with the unbelievably talented Rachael Deacon whose movie, A Fever and a River, is currently on tour with my short Belated byValentine’s Lover through the Viscera Film Festival and tour. Viscera is amazing! They have gotten my movie played all over the world. At the Mascara & Popcorn Festival in Montreal Canada, the festival organizer Florence Touliatos was so inspired by my movie she adapted it into a play titled “Redheads for Valentine Lovers” and it will be playing in NYC this spring. Please check my website for the dates because it is so unbelievable and humbling that my movie was turned into a play and I want the world to see the play and I will definitely be there!
Back to SDDS, we will be doing everything ourselves from writing, acting, directing, editing, and scoring with original music. It’s all extremely exciting and I know people will dig it. (I have to add that Monica is also a photographer, a website designer, my manager to some extent, my muse, and my badass beautiful girlfriend who I don’t deserve but I am so lucky to have.) Going backwards into 2011 for a quick recap, and there is so much stuff that I’m going to have to quickly rattle off a bunch of things so I don’t leave anything or anyone out. My first role I took was in Slaughter Daughter, starring the gorgeous and uber talented Nicola Fiore. It was bloody and for me the more blood the more fun! The second was a voice over for the animated short The Mask that Monsters Wear, which was the third installment of animated shorts byJimmy ScreamerClauz. I also did voices in the first two. The trilogy is titled Where the Dead Go To Die and has recently been picked up to be distributed by Unearthed Films. I also acted in a live action movie by Jimmy called Dogshit or The Bunnyman on IMDB (who wouldn’t add a movie called dogshit to their prestigious site) coming out in 2012. The Super, directed by Brian Weaver and Evan Makrogiannis, came out this year and has been winning awards all over the country including “Best Film,” “Best Actor” Demetri Kallas, “Best Supporting Actress” Manoush, “Best Cast” who besides myself included Lynn Lowry, Brandon Slagle, Raine Brown, Ron Braunstein, and others. It is definitely one of the best movies I have ever been in and I am very proud of it.
Both Porkchop and Zombie Babies I had starring roles in came out this year and were directed by Eamon Hardiman. Coming out in 2012 Witch’s Brew directed by Chris LaMartina, one of my absolute favorite directors to work for and he is an amazing person and it doesn’t hurt that he is extremely talented at what he does. Also coming out in 2012 is The Sickness directed by Brandon Brookes, The Cemetery by Adam Ahlbrandt, and a top secret project involving a hero director of mine that Doug Mesner, myself, and BUFF held a screening of an original 16mm print of his infamous movie Deadbeat at Dawn. Unfortunately, that is all I can say for now about that.
Lastly, looking forward into 2012 I can say I have never been so excited about a new year in my life. All the art I plan to make, moving to Pittsburgh, doing more events with Doug Mesner, doing all my regular conventions such as Chiller Theatre, Saturday Nightmares, Rock & Shock (thank you Kevin Clament, Mark Tierno, Mike Lisa, and Kevin Barbare) as well as doing conventions I’ve never done before, and going to Australia to star as the lead in a sure fire insane feature length horror movie. Can I just say Australia one more time? Australia! In addition, I am very happy to report that RubyLaRocca.net is now .COM!!! Hopefully by the time you read this I will be announcing I am Gore Hunny of the YEAR on TheGoreHound.com, I am still writing for KillerReviews.com, the site for Snatch Devil Devil Snatch will be up and running very soon, and of course for any and all news go to RubyLaRocca.COM. Lots of Love and Lots of Blood in 2012! As always I have to end with my personal motto: I support dangerous art, fearless hearts, & the monster inside. Thanks, Horror Society!”
Thank you Kelsey Zukowski and Ruby LaRocca for your updates. I wish you all the happiness and success in the world in 2012. (And thank you for the above-and-beyond responses and awesome pics!)