Women in Horror: A Look at the Ladies Crafting the Worlds of Fear!
Elizabeth Piper S.
- What first drew you into the world of horror?
My older siblings and cousins were all huge fans of 80’s horror movies which started my love for them. A lot of the movies that we watched didn’t have the type of ratings that they have today so we got away with watching a lot of scary films at a young age. Some of the earliest films I had seen were films like Jaws, Poltergeist, Nightmare on Elm Street, IT, Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc. I’ll never forget my younger cousin showing me the famous head explosion scene from scanners. I must have been around 4 when I saw my first scary movie. I grew to really love the B horror films since they had so much humor, gore, and scares all in one movie.
- What film/book/show was the biggest influence on you?
Many films that I watched when I was young had a huge influence on me. Watching Harrison Ford go from Indiana Jones to Star Wars made me realize at 3 years old, that I wanted to be in film. I thought it was the coolest job in the world, being able to go from outer space to a crusader, looking for treasure. At the same time I was always fascinated by the darker parts of those movies that had spfx makeup in them like the heart scene from Temple of Doom. I was always fascinated with how they did that since I knew it wasn’t real. I would watch the creepier kids films like Labyrinth, Mr. Boogedy and was in love with anything halloween based or that had that scary vibe. Then I would watch films like Fright Night with my sister and we would talk about how they were able to do all the fx in that movie. Till this day, Fright Night is one of my all time favorite films.Vampire films in particular I always loved. They always seem to have a more hidden depth to them and usually touch on some great topics like; eternal love, addiction, lust, greed and of course fear. Shows Like Forever Knight and Dark Shadows were some of my favorite shows growing up.
Even when it came to books I would gravitate towards the horror. I started with a kids version of Phantom of the Opera and headed in the direction of RL Stine and Christopher Pike. I would usually get in trouble checking those books out at the school library since I was a little too young to read them lol.
- What actor/director/writer do you consider your biggest influence?
Steven Speilberg was my favorite director as a kid since he was a household name. Even at age 7, I knew he was the director of Jaws and some of my other favorites. I always loved John Carpenter’s Halloween and his style that he brought to all his movies. Since I’m from Michigan, Sam Raimey was a household name. Every horror fan or moviegoer in my home city had seen the Evil Dead movies. Sam had always been an inspiration to people from Michigan since he was able to make it big. Romero was always a major inspiration. I loved the creative gore elements that Romero and Savini put into his films but also the taboo subject matter. He was a pioneer in that way of discussing certain topics that no film dared go near and I really love and respect that.
Marcus introduced me to Bob Clark and his film style which I loved. All of his films are very different but they all have an amazing scene where people are laughing naturally in the background like in, Black Christmas and A Christmas Story. Tom Holland was a big one as well and I liked that he worked with a lot of the same actors.
I have a pretty long list of actors that influenced me over the years. I had siblings that loved horror/ sci-fi/action, a father that loved slapstick comedy, and a mother that loved romance. When it came to actors that influenced me I have a long list ranging from Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp, Arnold Swartsenagar, Ben Cross, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Chris Sarandon, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, Mila Jovovich and of course Jaime Lee Curtis. As I see new films, my list changes but these actors were always my favorites. I love actors that are different and stand out among the others.
- Who would you consider to be your horror twin?
LOL, Well I would love to be Milla Jovovich’s twin. Fighting Zombies alongside her would be pretty fun lol.
- What do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t involved with the horror community?
If I wasn’t part of the horror community, I would definitely feel a gaping hole in my heart since I have been a fan of horror for a really long time. I, unfortunately, didn’t realize there was a horror community till late college. If I wasn’t a part of it I probably would continue writing and making films as much as I could until I could find a community where I belonged.
- Plug some of your past, present, and upcoming projects.
My current project that I’m doing is THE DARK OFFERINGS that my company INTO THE LABYRINTH LLC is producing. It is the first official quarantine feature film, with all social distancing guidelines. It was made here in America and not only did I produce but acted and did the fx makeup in it as well. My company is also doing a web series called Janice and the Golden Fleece which you can see on youtube. We are currently editing the second episode which also has actors from The dark Offerings in it. Marcus Slabine and I are also currently on the film festival circuit for the Last Call which has won several awards including Best Screenplay, Best Director, The Felissa Rose Award for best film, Best actor, etc. One of my side projects is selling my own fx blood, Cine Blood: Type O that comes out of everything and it’s edible. You can order my product online at www.cinebloodtypeo.biz. My day job is being a union makeup artist working on television and films. I was fortunate enough to work on: The Enemy Within, Marvel’s Punisher, Wonder Woman 1984, Burn, Alterscape, Orange is the New Black, and more.
- Where do you like folks to follow you on social media?
They can friend me on Facebook at Elizabeth Piper S. or on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok. I’m on my Instagram the most with both my pages, @cinebloodtypeo for my fx blood company, and @Elizabethpipers for my personal page.
- Where can folks find your work?
They can see some of my bigger makeup fx work in films such as Burn, Alterscape, Ten, The Living. I believe most are on Netflix and Amazon. You can see my blood product on episodes of the CBS hit show EVIL. Marcus and I will be selling DVD and digital copies of The Last Call now that we are finishing up with festivals. We are also currently talking to distribution companies while we are finishing up the post for The Dark Offerings. We will definitely announce when the film is picked up and let everyone know where they can find it.
- Which horror icon would you most/least like to go up against?
Hmm, hard to say, I’ve only had nightmares of Freddy from Nightmare on Elm Street buuut I think I could take him. I would love to go up against the EVIL DEAD demons. That just seems like a lot of craziness and fun, especially if I got to team up with Ash aka Bruce Campbell.
- Any advice for young ladies aspiring to become involved in the horror community?
Absolutely! It’s important to do your research on old and new horror films. Learn every department in film so you have a well-rounded feel and knowledge of what film is all about. Knowledge is key since it’s not as easy being a female in horror. People will assume you won’t know the genre very well, so it’s important to be confident and be yourself. Thankfully the horror community is very welcoming and a very happy community of people, so just start up a conversation about horror films and you’ll have a blast.
- Who is on your Horror Mt. Rushmore? This can be actors, writers, directors, characters, etc.
I love this question. For film survivors, I would say Ripley (Sigourney Weaver-Aliens), Ash (Evil Dead-Bruce Campbell), Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton-Terminator), or Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell-Scream, Alice, (Milla Jovovich Resident Evil). For Fun villains, it would be IT, Freddy Kreuger, Michael Myers, and Chucky/Jason.