Exclusiv-Interview with Horror-Host and Author Lianne Spiderbaby

Lianne Spiderbaby is a writer for FANGORIA magazine, and she is working on her first book, GRINDHOUSE GIRLS, about exploitation and horror actresses. She is also the host of horror web-show, FRIGHT BYTES. Here is the interview for our english native speaking readers. Enjoy!

Cat : When did you start to take a interest in HORROR?
LIANNE: Growing up, I was the only sister to three brothers; horror films were a regular weekend routine. My father would take us to the suburban rental store to visit the creepiest in-shop horror house any of us could ever imagine. It looked like a dungeon, a terrifying little room in the middle of the rental shop, full of VHS and BETAs like CHOPPING MALL and THE PROWLER ready and waiting for our living room television screen. To be honest with you, I can’t remember whether I really loved the films at first, or if I just watched them so that my older brothers would think I was cool. Reflecting back now as an adult, I know it’s the former.

When I grew up and went to the University of Toronto for their cinema studies/film history & theory program, most of my fellow students were writing essays about German expressionism, Italian neo-realism, and French new wave. Alternatively, I was writing about the break down of family values in Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Nixon’s Watergate scandal in relation to Damiano’s DEEP THROAT. I’ve been into horror since I was 6 years old (at that point, I was watching things like HAUNTED HONEYMOON and THE MONSTER SQUAD, and I was finally allowed to watch HALLOWEEN when I was 8 ) and I got into exploitation films when I was about 20 or so.

Cat: What’s the story behind your name „Spiderbaby“?
LIANNE: Spiderbaby was a name I took on when I first started writing in university. I got really into films by Jack Hill (who also directed THE BIG DOLL HOUSE and THE BIG BIRD CAGE, two of my all time favorite exploitation flicks) and I saw SPIDER BABY, and I was completely blown away by it. For a film that was made in the 60s, it is really something. I thought the name was feminine, but also dangerous and mysterious. The film itself is really smart, so I figured it would be a perfect pseudo name for me. Really though, I was also trying to hide. The first article I ever published was on Deep Throat and I just didn’t want to throw my real name on it because I was thinking about going into education at the time, and becoming a teacher. I didn’t want an article I wrote on a porno flick to come bite me in the ass years later. To this day, I still live a double life; on one hand, I write for Fangoria, I work in horror films, and I’m writing a book about exploitation films. On the other hand, I horseback ride, I’m a school teacher, and I hang out with my family most weekends.

Cat: You’ve write for a few websites and you are a writer for Fangoria. How did you get to these awesome jobs?
LIANNE: I was really fortunate to have gotten the Fangoria job after I approached the new editor, Chris Alexander and asked him to read some of my articles. I knew Chris from way back, because he worked for Rue Morgue Magazine for several years when I was volunteering there. We met and got into a huge discussion about Herschell Gordon Lewis, who I was personal assistant to for a weekend in Toronto. Years later, I asked Chris for some advice on my writing, and he loved my stuff, and asked me if I would jump on board with the magazine as a regular contributor. As far as the websites go, I think if you’re willing to put yourself out there and you can market yourself well and be genuine with people, most websites and web managers are willing to have a look at your work and publish it on their site.

Cat: You started to write a book called GRINDHOUSE GIRLS. What is it about?
LIANNE: I’m almost finished now! I’m so excited! Over the past two years, I’ve been writing the book, entitled GRINDHOUSE GIRLS: CINEMA’S HARDEST WORKING WOMEN which profiles 17 actresses who were working in exploitation in the 1970s-early 1980s. I have conducted personal interviews with more than half of the women. The book features Pam Grier, Barbara Bouchet, Roberta Collins, Tura Satana, Dyanne Thorne, Cheri Caffaro, Camille Keaton, Riko Ike, Christina Lindberg… I don’t want to give ALL of the actresses away just yet, but there some great women featured. I’m very excited, it’s completely a labor of love, and I’ve made some of most remarkable new friendships because of the book – I’m very lucky.

Cat: What type of music do you listen to?
LIANNE: My favorite bands of all time are THE SMITHS, JOY DIVISION, THE CLASH, BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, BAT FOR LASHES, and NEKO CASE. I also really love big band stuff from the 1940s like ARTIE SHAW. My guilty pleasure is HALL & OATES. I also really love old doo-wop stuff from the 1950s like FREDDIE & THE HITCHHIKERS.

Cat: You get a role in the upcoming movie TBK: TOOLBOX MURDERS 2. How was the shoot?
LIANNE: It’s such a small role – I’m a dead body with a name, really! It was great fun, though, I enjoyed every bit of it and everyone there was just so awesome and friendly. The shoot was great, I showed up to do press for Fangoria, and they put me in the movie.

Cat: Brian Krause is also responsible for STEPHEN KING’S SLEEPWALKERS and CHARMED. I think he is fantastic. How was the collaboration with him?
LIANNE: Brian is such a friendly, humble dude. He grooved with everyone on set, from the script supervisor to the people who brought us lunch. He was awesome, and we still keep in touch on facebook. He just finished shooting two films in Canada, where I live, so I hope to see the films one day!

Cat: What’s your favourite horror movie/s?
LIANNE: My favorite horror films – that is a very hard question! I have so many, and for so many very different reasons. It changes everyday, but today I really love Hooper’s TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, Weine’s THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, Hill’s SPIDER BABY, Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, Roth’s CABIN FEVER, West’s HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, Martino’s HE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH, Simón’s PIECES, Lustig’s MANIAC, Aranda’s THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE, and Fulci’s SEVEN NOTES IN BLACK.

Cat: You are the Host of the Horror Web-Show FRIGHT BYTES. Tell me (and the readers who don’t know the show) a little bit about it.
LIANNE: FRIGHT BYTES is my horror web-show (www.youtube.com/frightbytes) that I started back in March. I just wanted to get some more on camera experience, and film some of the interviews I was doing already for Fangoria, so I started it with my friend Jay, and then Jay became really busy with his other show, so my brother, Steve, became my co-host. It’s very cool, because my brother and I have been watching horror films together since we were kids. We also live together, we’re like best friends, and the set is in our basement. We do horror reviews, interviews, we cover conventions, and we explore old horror films and genres within horror. We also try to make the show funny, because we are big goofs in real life.

Cat: What are your plans after the book publication?
LIANNE: I’m so happy you asked this question! I’m going to get started right away on my women-in-prison screenplay, which sounds cliché and silly, but I have some really great ideas, and I’ve been researching for this screenplay for a year now. I’ve also had in depth conversations with actresses like Judy Brown, Sybil Danning, and Dyanne Thorne, who have all starred in awesome women-in-prison films, and they have inspired me. It’s not going to be as exploitive as the old 70s films, but it’s going to be controversial and smart with a lot of character development.

Cat: Thank you for taking the time. We hope to see you soon in Germany!
LIANNE: Thank you so much!

Liannes official FACEBOOK-PAGE

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