Interviews Philly Film — 11 October 2011 » Written by
INTERVIEW: Terror Film Festival’s Princess Horror // SINedelphia: 31 DAYS OF HORROR, DAY 11

From the Terror Film Festival’s official site:

Born on the planet TFF in the screamnebula galaxy, Princess Horror is an intergalactic visitor who travels millions of miles each year through time and space to come to Earth.  Her mission is to bring the very BEST in genre films for complete Halloween enjoyment.  Her belief is that only through these great genre films can the good people of Earth find true happiness.

Cinedelphia recently sat down with Princess Horror to talk about the TFF, her favorite horror films, and what she does during the other 11 months of the year.

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CINEDELPHIA: What were some of your early exposures to the horror genre?

PRINCESS HORROR: I started watching horror films when I was two.  I was a hyperactive kid.  My parents somehow found out that horror films were the antidote to my hyperness.  They realized that when they popped in a horror film I’d be still for a good two to two and a half hours.

C: So the excitement of those films counteracted your hyperness?

PH: Yeah, I was just bouncing off the walls all the time until you put a Michael Myers or Freddy Kruger movie in.  I was too young to remember, but my parents said that I wasn’t afraid of those characters, they were just like Santa Claus to me.  And that’s how I started getting involved in the horror genre.  I watched everything, the black and white horror classics, the Vincent Price and William Castle films.  Just recently I was watching the 1961 The Innocents, it was really good.

C: So your love for horror didn’t dissipate with age.

PH: It did not, something just fascinated me.  As I got older I became enthralled with these films.  When I was maybe 9 or 10 I picked up a video camera and filmed my own little horror films with friends, which led into filmmaking.

C: Are you still a fan of any of the films from your formative years?

PH: Absolutely.  I love Psycho, I love The Tingler.  William Castle’s House on Haunted Hill is definitely my all-time favorite.  I love John Carpenter’s Halloween.  I watch it every year on Halloween, I know that’s such a cliché, but I do.  I love Nightmare on Elm Street, all of those films.  The Thing, I love Carpenter’s and the original.  I like the psychological thrillers too, The Bad Seed.

C: Can you comment on how these horror films have shaped your personality?

PH: I knew at a very young age that these horror films weren’t real.  I knew the people weren’t actually dying, somehow I knew that they were actors.  I think what it’s really taught me is that it’s easy for me to be inspired by simple things, it makes us think about life in a different perspective.

C: At what point did the Princess Horror persona come about?

PH: Princess Horror was a character that developed at the beginning of the festival.

C: So you found a way to channel this life-long love of horror films into a character.

PH: Yes, we have a background story for Princess Horror.  She’s from the planet TFF and she travels through time and the galaxy every Halloween to enlighten the good people of earth with her films, she brings a batch of films every year.  The purpose is to bring happiness to earthlings.  We have her as this mystical, otherworldly person.

C: It sounds very theatrical.

PH: I was actually involved in theater when I was young, I was involved in a lot of musical productions.  I did some Shakespeare stuff, I also sing and dance.  Claw and I also have an album, we call ourselves E2 Angels and we have our first album out called Pimp.

C: And you’re also an accomplished ballet dancer.

PH: I am.  I’ve been studying ballet for over ten years now.  I’ve performed with the Royal Ballet of London, they did [local] shows of Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet and I did both of those shows.

C: So you obviously stay busy outside of Princess Horror.

PH: I do dance in a company right now that I recently joined.  We also stay busy with the festival, it’s pretty much an ongoing thing with now being the busy time.  We’re watching the submissions year-round and we also make plans for the festival trailer, we do a two or three minute trailer every year to promote the films that are playing.  I’m the face of the festival, Claw works behind the scenes.  We believe that this event and film festivals in general should be about the filmmakers.

C: What are your roles behind the scenes?

PH: It’s a collaborative effort, we all dabble in everything.  I’m very active in reading the scripts for the script competition.  We all watch the films.  I’m aware of all of the filmmakers, we always try to greet them by name.  It’s a warming feeling for them when they walk into an environment where they’re already known.

I host, I introduce every program, and at the end of every program I bring the filmmakers up for Q&As.  There’s about 20 or 30 minutes between every program where guests and attendees can mingle.  Most people stay for all of the programs.

C: Do you spend a lot of time at the event posing for photos and signing autographs?

PH: I do.  I like to get pictures with all of the filmmakers and all of the fans.  We like to post the pictures up on the website afterwards.

C: I assume you have fans yourself?  I saw a t-shirt of you online.

PH: I do have a little bit of a fanbase on Facebook.  These are real horror-goers, they really love the genre, so they definitely love any kind of character that represents that genre.

C: What are some of your proudest moments as Princess Horror?

PH: I went to HorrorFind in 2007 or 2008.  We had our own little Terror Film Festival table, which was awesome to have, and we had it in the celebrity room of all places.  I was tickled pink.  We were literally right across from a table of cenobites from Hellraiser.  And Robert Englund was there, we had so much fun that year.  We did a raffle every hour where we gave away tickets and t-shirts, I had so many pictures taken with me, it was just awesome.

C: You seem appreciative, as if you didn’t think the character would take off to this degree.

PH: We didn’t really think the festival would take off to this degree either.  It was a horror film festival in Philadelphia.  I was kinda the person who pushed to do it, it was my idea because we already have so many other festivals in Philadelphia so I figured that a horror-specific festival is something that Philadelphia doesn’t have.  We weren’t sure how people would react to it, I just thought we should take a chance.  The draw has been phenomenal.  One of the screenwriters this year wanted to submit his script so bad that he submitted it from his hospital bed.  He was about to go into serious brain surgery and the thing he had in his mind was that he had to get his script into the Terror Film Festival.  We were amazed by his story when we heard that.

C: Are there any moments from the past five years that you’re particularly proud of?

PH: Well, I think I have them every year.  Every year it seems to get better.  I will say this:  over the years we’ve had people come back time and time again and we’re starting to see regular people come back every year.  We have repeated submitters that submit something every year and we get to see the growth of their work, it seems like their craft is getting stronger every year.

C: Do you have plans to take the Princess Horror character to a level beyond promotion?

PH: Oh sure.  We’ve definitely gotten ideas to use the character in other ways.  We have a television series in the works.  I have gotten some offers from other filmmakers for parts so it’s something that is always growing.

C: It seems like a natural extension to what you’ve been doing.

PH: Sure.  And people know the E2 Angels even though I have a different name, a different character, a lot of people know that I sing.  So that’s also an extension, just not a direct extension.  We don’t necessarily associate it with horror, but it’s still me.

C: Is there anything at this year’s festival that you’re particularly excited about?

PH: They’re all awesome.

***

The Terror Film Festival runs from Thursday, October 27 through Saturday, October 29 climaxing with Saturday night’s Claw Awards.

Check back tomorrow for your chance to win one of ten VIP passes to attend the festival.

Official site.

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About Author

Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He's served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.

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