First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of my
readers who don't already know you?
Well, my name is Deneen
Melody, an Irish-Scottish gal from Texas that now lives in the Chicago
area. I am also a huge nerd that acts in indie films, especially
horror… because I love being covered in blood and kicking butt. Oh, and
The Last Unicorn and Lord of the Rings are two of my favorite things in
the entire world.
with Devanny Pinn in
Song of the Shattered
You are featured in
the much buzzed about but not yet released Song of the Shattered.
What can you tell us about the film and your role in it?
Song of the Shattered
psychological thriller directed by Wolfgang Meyer [Wolfgang
Meyer interview - click here], written by Brandon
Slagle [Brandon Slagle
interview - click here], and produced by Joe Hollow [Joe
Hollow interview - click here] that I worked on this past summer. It
was originally a short film that was part of a feature length horror
anthology, however, after a few set backs involving the anthology… the
people involved in the short (Brandon, Devanny Pinn [Devanny
Pinn interview - click here], Tara Cardinal [Tara
Cardinal interview - click here]),
decided to go ahead and make it a feature. Brandon did an amazing job
transforming the short version of the script into a full length and added
some wonderful characters such as Tara’s character, Melanie.
lot of people think that the film is about rape/abuse, but actually, Song
of the Shattered focuses on what happens AFTER a person experiences
such events. The main character, Angela (portrayed by the amazingly
talented Devanny Pinn), has escaped from her abusive husband at the start
of the film… only to go through a traumatic event that completely changes
her life. The story is heartbreaking, showing how such trauma can affect
not only the victim, but everyone around them. It is about the downfall of
a victim that cannot move on.
the film, I play a sweet young pregnant woman named June. She is Eric’s
(Brandon Slagle) wife that opens up to Angela and tries to help her when
she and Eric come across her on the side of the road. However, something
extremely awful happens at the start of the film, and that eventually
comes back later to haunt Angela. As an actress, I liked playing June
because she is different than what I usually play. I often play the crazy
characters, or the kick butt chick, so to play a genuinely kind and
somewhat innocent figure was a nice change… especially since there are
some creepy moments in there as well.
Song of the Shattered recently
screened at the Sacramento Sci-Fi/Horror Show this past September. The
audience really enjoyed it and had lots of positive comments and questions
for Brandon, Devanny, and Tara. (I also just learned that the first
screeners have gone out!)
of much buzzed about movies: The Soska Twins-scripted Dog Fight isn't even
filmed yet (I believe), but it's already getting quite a bit of attention [Soska
Twins interview - click here]. Is there anything you can reveal
about that movie yet?
are correct, Dog Fight hasn’t been filmed yet, but it is in
pre-production and looks like it will start filming sometime early 2011.
Here is the plot from the IMDB page:
who have been kidnapped and "broken" and psychologically turned
into rabid dogs are forced into vicious competitive fighting by a sadistic
criminal network. “
honestly don’t know much more at this point, but we have a fantastic
cast that includes Devanny Pinn, Tara Cardinal, Rachel Grubb, Brandon
Slagle, Shannon Lark, Keith Kraft, and Elske McCain [Elske
McCain interview - click here] just to name a few.
(Jen and Sylvia Soska make an appearance in the film as well!) I also know
that I am playing a very wild and animalistic character named Doll, and
that the script is brutal, gritty, and full of action. If anyone wants to
keep up with the film, I suggest “liking” the page on Facebook, as
news and information will be updated there.
You are also in Joe Hollow's
yet-to-be-released Blood Struck [Joe
Hollow interview - click here]. A few words about that movie?
Blood Struck is the first part of the Diary of
Death trilogy, written and created by Joe Hollow. Here is the
plot from the official website:
is a suicidal schizo on a downhill spiral. He is a closet case
necrophiliac with the profile of a serial killer. Blood Struck is an
obsessive love story gone wrong. Johnny is insanely in love with 2 girls
who are not in love with him. In a world full of drugs and violence, we
follow Johnny as he faces an old enemy now a big time crime lord, the 2
girls who broke his heart, and the Death Dealers twisted games! It’s a
visually stunning ride with twists and turns from start to finish! “
have a fantastic ensemble cast that includes Chris Burchette, Devanny
Pinn, Cleve Hall, Joe Hollow, Rachel Grubb, Tara Cardinal, Linnea Quigley,
and Brinke Stevens. One of the best things about this trilogy is that all
the characters are interesting and unique. So much time has
been put into developing the background and history of each
one… especially the Demon characters. I absolutely love my character,
Selene, as she is a mischievous little thing with a great character
design. I’m looking forward to bringing her to life!
have shot segments for two anthology movies of late, Psycho Street and
Slices of Life, both directed by Anthony
G.Sumner [Anthony G.Sumner
interview - click here]. A few words about
these films and Mr Sumner?
Slices of Life and Psycho Street are two of three feature length horror anthologies that have been/are
being shot in the Midwest. (The third is Gallery of Fear by Alan
Rowe Kelly [Alan Rowe Kelly
interview - click here].) Each film consists of three different stories, a “wrap
around” that ties them all together, and a fantastic ensemble cast.
Slices of Life, directed by Anthony
Sumner and shot by Eric Richter, actually just had its world
premiere at the Horror Society Film Festival in Chicago. We had a pretty
large crowd and all the reviews have been quite positive, so we’re
happy! The segment I star in along with Galen Schloming and Judith Lesser,
Sex Life (aka Pink Snapper) has especially been getting lots
of attention. It is about a young brother and sister that escape from a
sexually abusive home, only to discover something much worse in a
beautiful Victoria mansion. It is the bloodiest of all the stories in Slices
and is one of my favorite projects thus far.
Psycho Street, created by Marv Blauvelt
and Raine Brown, is just about finished with filming. (From what I hear,
there are just a few scenes in the wrap around left!) Hopefully, it should
be completed by spring 2011. Like with Slices, I play the lead in
the final segment of the anthology, Lewis, which was also directed
by Anthony. My character, Amanda Reece, is a young mother that revisits
the town she was born and raised in, suggested to her by her priest
(played by my favorite actor, Jerry Murdock) after she catches her husband
(the wonderful Marv Blauvelt) cheating on her. However, the town isn’t
quite what it seems, and some rather evil and demonic things start to take
place. I loved doing this segment due to the fact that I got to meet so
many wonderful people, such as the Clockwerk Pictures crew, the beautiful
Susan Adriensen, and several new up and coming actors.
for working with Anthony Sumner, well, honestly he is one of the few
people I trust 100%. Aside from these two projects, I have worked with him
on several other smaller things, will be working with him on a few
upcoming projects, and hope to be involved in just about everything he
does. Anthony is obviously extremely talented, but he is also such a fun
person to be around. He, along with all the guys over at TinyCore (Eric,
Chad, Keith, Paul, Brian, Taylor, and the lovely Jill), always make me
laugh… being on set with them is the best.
Anthony Sumner will also be
co-directing the remake Don't Look in the Basement with Alan Rowe
[Alan Rowe Kelly interview -
click here]. Even if the actual shooting of that film might still be months
away, is there anything you can give away just yet?
I can tell you that this
film is going to be a good one. Seriously. There really isn’t anyone
better than the Kelly/Sumner team to remake this grindhouse classic… and
Alan has come up with a fantastic script that not only stays true to the
original, but offers some amazing twists and turns. We also have an
extraordinary ensemble cast featuring Debbie Rochon, Zoe Daelman Chlanda,
Jerry Murdock, Raine Brown, Marv Blauvelt, Susan Adriensen, Terry M. West,
Jeff Dylan Graham, Alan Rowe Kelly, Katherine O’Sullivan, Carl Burrows,
and Caroline Williams as Nurse Karen. I’ll be playing the role of Nurse
Janet Steele, which was the role portrayed by the beautiful Rosie Holotik
in the original version.
In As Night Falls, you star opposite B-movie icon Debbie Rochon. What can
you tell us about that collaboration?
with Debbie was wonderful! Truth be told, I was quite stressed at times
after filming each day, but she was always there for words of wisdom as
well as support. The first night Debbie arrived, she talked with me for a
while about some of my personal frustrations, and I can tell you that I
am very thankful for that opportunity. She is someone that I look up to
and greatly respect.
As Night Falls is also one of my
favorite projects. Aside from the fantastic crew that worked their butts
off (I wish I could type out all of their names, they deserve it!), the
cast was wonderful and I made so many great friends. Joe Davison [Joe
Davison interview - click here] was
always watching out for me, just like a real big brother, and I became
very close with the beautiful Lily Cardone, who played our little sister
in the film. Dwight Cenac, who portrayed by boyfriend Otto, was a blast to
hang out with and always made me laugh. It was also such an awesome
opportunity for me because the Elizabeth character was so fun to
play… she is the one character that is most like me. Not only is she into
video games, RPGs, comic books, and cool weapons like swords and
shotguns… but she has an appreciation for classic cars (I always have to
give a shout out to my stunt driver, Frank!) and is super protective of
her loved ones. Oh, plus Debbie got to throw me into a fence… and that
was probably one of my favorite experiences… EVER.
official website for the film can be found here:
A few words about Master's
Master's Devils is a film based off a
story by Spider C. Guffey of Legions Studios, an independent comic book
company by Ryan “Master Legion” Mohica. Basically, it is the story of
5 Devil Gals, reminiscent of Charlie's
Angels or the Spice Girls,
who put a bar full of sleazy, piggish, sinful men in their place. It is
cool because each girl is different and brings something unique to the
film. I portray the insane and animalistic Devlynn Envy… and had the
opportunity to kick some major ass. (Needless to say, I enjoyed it.) We
also have the legendary Ari “First Jason” Lehman in the film as the
Angelic Pimp… and I won’t spoil what happens to him. Mwhahaha.
would like to give special recognition to our leader and Mistress of the
film, Lyxi Brinkman. She may not be with us anymore, but she was someone
that truly believed in and loved this project. Her performance is
unforgettable and her presence will never be forgotten. We love you, Lyxi.
is the official website for the film: http://mastersdevilsthemovie.com
What can you tell us about Distortion?
Distortion is the first feature film by Chicago filmmaker Richard
Diaz [Richard Diaz interview
- click here], who is just
amazing. Not only did he direct this film… he did EVERYTHING. It is his
script, his lighting, his cinematography, his casting… everything. He put
so much into this film, and it shows as the quality is simply amazing! I
became involved after talking with Richard after the Fangoria Convention
in Chicago last year. (We didn’t meet there, but we both attended and
thought it was funny that we didn’t bump into each other.) He had one
scene he needed to shoot and asked me if I would like to do it, and after
seeing the trailer, I couldn’t say no. We filmed my stuff in just a
couple of hours, as we had to fight both the lack of light and the fact
that is was going to rain at any second… and it was so much fun! You can
find out more information on DISTORTION here:
is also working on his next film, Dark Light, in which I will once
again be making an appearance: http://www.darklightthemovie.com
also have a role in the web-series Western X. What can you tell us
about that project, and is the Western as such a genre that appeals to
the interesting thing about Western X is that it isn’t really
just a Western… it is a post apocalyptic story that has many different
elements mixed in through out. There is a bit of horror, science fiction,
fantasy… it is all there. Michael Flores, the creator of the series, did
an amazing job creating a unique world for the characters. I recently had
the opportunity to see the first three episodes at the Sacramento
Sci-Fi/Horror Show, and was completely blown away by how epic the series
has turned out. I honestly felt like I was watching on par with Lord
of the Rings.
Western X focuses on a mysterious man,
known only as X (played by actor/stuntman Dustin Hale), that is struggling
to find out his identity while fighting an evil army. My character, Hecate
Freya, is just as enigmatic as X during the first season, and you don’t
really know what her true intentions are till later on. I love this
character because she has an ethereal quality about her that I have always
wanted to play. The rest of the cast includes Richard Anderson, Aaron
Ginn-Forsberg, Kaily Alissano, Jerry Eselgroth, Jayson James, Anthony
Tempesta, Ted Goodman, Angelique Deuitch, and Vernon G. Wells as The
General. There is also a spin off from Western X in the works
called A Six Gun for Lobo, which features Western X cast
members Dan Dice Narciso and Victoria Paege.
first three episodes of Western X will be premiering online very
and is the Western genre something that appeals to me?
Having talked about your present and future projects
extensively, let's go back all the way to the beginning of your career:
I've heard before appearing in movies, you have been a ballerina. What
made you change to acting?
Well, it is a long story,
but I basically injured myself pretty badly and had to quit dancing. As
much as I love ballet, it just got to the point where I couldn’t do all
the rehearsals and classes that are required at a professional level. This
hit me pretty hard, so I packed up all my stuff and moved to Chicago on a
whim… just to see what else I could find. For awhile, I did belly and
aerial dance, which I loved, but the second I went to a film audition… I
was hooked. There is just something about morphing yourself into different
characters that I absolutely love; I’m extremely passionate about it.
Film is the first thing I have felt this strongly for since I stopped
How would you describe your
approach to acting as such, and did you ever receive any formal training?
actually have not had any professional training, such as going to
classes or anything like that, at least not for film acting. In school, I
was heavily involved with theater, but I think a lot of my skill actually
comes from ballet. A lot of people do not realize how much emotion and
acting is required in classical ballet… some of it is very intense. Some
of my most dramatic roles thus far have been during my dancing years, and
I tend to just transfer that over to the screen in a more subtle manner.
can you tell us about your experiences on the set of your first movie,
which was, I believe, 9 to 5?
you certainly did your research! Yes, 9 - 5 was my first movie and
definitely a great one to be a part of. It was made by the talented team
of Kobo Films, and I was a last minute replacement for another actress. I
remember being a little nervous since I had only done a television pilot
at that point, and I really wasn’t sure how everything was going to turn
out. Thankfully… Francis, Danny, and Joseph were all super nice and I had
fun playing the role of the young FBI agent, Candace. I also met the
beautiful Sherri Savage on this set, who is extremely talented, as well as
Harold Dennis, an extraordinary actor from the Chicago area.
it was my first movie, my performance could have been better, but it
helped me gain experience and I am so thankful for that opportunity. I had
an awesome time working with the Kobo crew and would love to work with
them again in the future.
9 - 5
Any other films
you'd like to mention, any future projects we haven't talked about yet?
Thank you! One project I am super excited about is an animated series by
Jason Heath (The Chtulhu Key) called Astro Noir. It will
consist of 8 minute online episodes surrounding the adventures of The
Fixers, a group of fugitives with shadowy pasts that are working for a
secret arm of the Galactic Intelligence Service. My character is named
Valkira, the loyal, independent, and somewhat feisty member of the group.
The other main characters are Anara, voiced by the beautiful Kitsie
Duncan, and GT, voiced by Geek Tyrant’s own Brian Shirley.
project I am super excited for is the dark fantasy horror feature, A Midsummer
Nightmare, by Joshua Siegel of Bloodwood Cannibals.
When I was first approached about the project, I knew instantly that I
wanted to be a part of it. I mean, come on… Shakespeare, fantasy, blood,
gore, action, comedy… it has EVERYTHING! I just fell in love with the
script and was thrilled to be cast as one of the leads, Marion.
casting news and updates will be provided on the website: http://midsummerfilm.com
am also cast as a lead in film called Girl Scout Cookies by Mark
Cray and directed by Bobby Jones that will be filming next summer. It is
an action packed horror flick with lots of talent that includes Monique
Dupree, Jessica Cameron, Tara Cardinal [Tara
Cardinal interview - click here], Kimberly Ross, and Rachel Grubb. I
cannot tell you much about the story, but I can say I play a fun character
that has some pretty awesome scenes. When I read about the different
characters, she was instantly my favorite, so I’m excited to portray
Here is the official website for news and information: http://girlscoutcookiesmovie.com
was also announced recently that I have joined the cast of Shane
Michael’s Prey to God, which also stars Jessica Cameron, Amanda
Deibert, Lynn Lowry, Edwin Neal, Dax Spanogle, Greg Fuller, Andrew DeHart,
and Eileen Dietz. Website: http://preytogod.info
from these films, I also have several projects lined up with the Muscle
Wolf Productions team, including an intense horror thriller called Stronger
than Death, written by the talented Trevor Wright and Marv
Blauvelt. It is basically like Requiem for a Dream but with a super
natural twist and lots of gore. This particular film will feature an
amazing ensemble cast and I really do think it will blow people away. It
is one of the few scripts I have read that has actually made me cry… it
is that emotionally intense.
We are also in the process of getting ready
for a new anthology that features a particular monster… and that is all I
will say about that.
of the films you are in are of the horror variety. Is this just
coincidence or do you have a special fondness for the genre?
little bit of both, actually. Horror is the most fun, in my opinion, and I
love the people associated with the genre… so I definitely enjoy doing
scary movies. I think a lot of it, however, is due to the fact that horror
is the most popular genre in independent film. It has a huge fan base,
conventions, festivals… all dedicated to horror… and because I have
established myself into all of that, most of the film offers I get tend to
am starting to focus on dramatic work to challenge myself as an actress
emotionally, and also hope to be cast in more fantasy/science fiction
projects. Fantasy is really my favorite genre, and my ultimate goal is to
be in something like the Lord of the Rings. (Although,
Western X does come pretty darn close!)
in horror are almost automatically labelled scream queens. Are you happy
with that label, and your thoughts about women in horror as such?
get asked this a lot, and really, I find it very flattering to be known as
a Scream Queen. I mean, some of the actresses I look up to have that
label! Debbie Rochon, Lori Cardille, Linnea Quigley, Debra Lamb, Susan
Adriensen… these ladies are all so extremely talented and to be placed in
the same category as them is an honor. Besides, I don’t think just
because a woman acts primarily in the horror genre, doesn’t mean all she
can do is run and scream… especially nowadays. The roles for women are
more and more intense. You are starting to see more females playing the
insane killers, more women kicking ass, and just more women in general.
being said, I have noticed that all a girl needs to do is cover herself in
blood and act in one horror film to be considered a Scream Queen. In some
ways, I don’t think the label is as “special” as it used to be. I
haven’t been doing this that long, only a couple of years, but even
then… it does appear that almost every other actress is called a Scream
acting, you also do quite a bit of stunt work What can you tell us about
that aspect of your career?
interest in stunts and fight choreography started when I was cast in an
action short a few years back. I didn’t want to look silly trying to do
the fight scenes (though I think I ended up doing so anyway, haha), so I
went to Boot Camp and trained with fellow actor/former Marine Joe
Caballero. About a year after that, I also started to do classes with
Emmanuel Manzanares of the stunt team Lazy Brown Productions here in
Chicago. Manny, along with Shawn Bernal, Alex Hashioka, and Keith Min,
really pushed me and helped me become more interested in the stunt aspect
of film, especially fight choreography. Alex even took the time to do some
one on one training with me, which I really appreciate. He is fantastic!!
Since my schedule is so busy, I do classes every once in a while with a
stunt team known as Asylum Stunts, as well as Lazy Brown. Honestly, I wish
I had a little more time to do more training, but I always make sure I am
well rehearsed and prepared before doing any stunts on set.
of the more fun stunts I have done include sword fighting, falls, and
being thrown into a fence in As Night Falls, as well as several
scenes in other films that include fight choreography and gun handling.
I’ll also be doing some pretty big stunts in two of my films next year, A
Midsummer Nightmare and Girl Scout Cookies… which I am
extremely excited about. Oh, and I recently found out I will be doing more
sword fighting, but that project is secret at this point!
You are currently also a
model for comicbooks. Now how did that all come about, which comics are
you modelling for, and are you fond of comics in your private life?
involvement in comic books first started when I was cast in Master's
Devil by the folks over at Legion Studios. As mentioned above, the
movie is based off one of their comics, and I have since then modeled for
their upcoming horror comic, Xes.
far as Comic Book Divas is concerned, the creator, Jeff Hughes, approached
me about a year ago to be a part of their vampire comic, Fangs. I
love comic books and vampires, plus I always wanted to portray a comic
book character, so it was just perfect! I am also part of the A Life
Behind the Mask web comic as Blackbird (the Batman-like super hero),
Dennis Willman’s Ginger-Stein: Rise of the Undead [Dennis
Willman interview - click here], and some other
awesome comics I cannot talk about quite yet.
Jason Dube, and everyone at Scattered Comic Studios/Comic Book Divas have
been so very supportive of all the actresses/models involved with their
projects, and I dearly appreciate them. Jeff makes sure each girl is well
taken care of at each convention or festival they attend, such a
other aspects of your career I forgot to touch?
I have recently started a pod-cast with Geek Tyrant’s Brian Shirley, Terror
Tyrant Radio, which airs every Friday at 10:00 pm central time. While
is mainly focuses on the world of independent horror, we tend to talk
about lots of different things in the geek culture. (In one episode, we
talked about our favorite cartoons from the 80’s… such as She-Ra
You may listen to it here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/alienbee
also start writing a column over at Geek Tyrant as well, focusing on
various topics involved in independent film. Some of it may also be pretty
random, but I’m not too sure yet. I should have the first write up on
the site in the next few weeks!
website, MySpace, Facebook, whatever else?
is the best way to keep in touch! I love having new friends and will
always give back support. However, you can find and follow me at any of
these networking sites:
indeed actors who inspire you?
lot of the actresses that I admire have been listed above, but as always,
I must point out that I become inspired by most of the people I work with.
Whether they are extremely experienced or a newcomer, I find myself being
able to work very well with those that are passionate and have a good
attititude. Actors like Jerry Murdock, Tom Lodewyck, and Brandon Slagle [Brandon Slagle
interview - click here] have such a strong and natural presence, and I enjoy working opposite of
that. And actresses such as Devanny Pinn [Devanny
Pinn interview - click here], Toya Turner, and Erica
Soto… they are so kind, sweet, and talented without ever trying to be
far as Hollywood ladies go, I find Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, and Cate
Blanchett to be very inspiring. (Especially Kate Winslet. She is bold,
emotional, and can pull off just about anything.) I also adore Abbie
Cornish and Emily Blunt; two very beautiful and talented ladies that I
definitely think are going to go far with their careers. I also really
like Noomi Rapace.
Your favourite movies?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Last Unicorn
are my very
favorites, which is funny, because the books are also my favorite books. I
simply love fantasy and most of my favorite films fall in that genre, such
as Labyrinth, Legend, Hook, and The Dark Crystal.
However, I also love the Kill
Bill movies, Brotherhood
of the Wolf, Finding Neverland, the new Millenium movies, and more.
If it is a good movie, I like it.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
horror films, though? Day
of the Dead, Aliens, The Thing, and the original Let
the Right One In are my absolute favorites.
of course, movies you have really deplored?
I don’t like talking bad about other movies, to be honest. BUT, I have
to admit I was highly disappointed with The Vampire's Assistant. I
usually love movies like that, but it didn’t keep my interest at all.
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
have recently found out that the folks of Dark Carnival Film Festival have
nominated me for Best Supporting Actress for my role in Slices
It is such an honor to be nominated, especially since three of my
co-stars, Toya Turner, Helene Alter-Dyche, and Susan Adriensen, have also
been nominated. Anthony Sumner [Anthony
G.Sumner interview - click here] has also been nominated for Best Director
for Slices of Life… way to go, Anthony!
The festival happens November 19th-21st
in Bloomington, Indiana: http://darkcarnivalfilmfest.com
for the interview!
No, thank YOU! I am quite honored and flattered that you would
interview me for the site. Thank you so much!