Switchblade Sisters

Switchblade Sisters provides deep cuts on genre flicks from a female perspective. Every week, April Wolfe sits down with a phenomenal female film-maker to slice-and-dice a classic genre movie - horror, action, sci-fi, bizarro and so many others! Along the way, they cover craft, process, and how these films actually get made. Mothers, lock up your sons, the Switchblade Sisters are coming!

Switchblade Sisters Episode 97: 'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer' with Producer Heather Buckley

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Guests: 
Heather Buckley

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Heather Buckley is a grand maester of film and horror. The first feature she produced, Jenn Wexler’s The Ranger, for Glass Eye Pix and Hood River Entertainment, premiered at SXSW and played numerous festivals on an international run before it was released in NYC and LA. Heather’s work as a film analyst and journalist spans over a decade, with bylines in Vulture, Dread Central, and Fangoria. Her background in SFX work includes: Circus of the Dead, Dead Still, and We Are Still Here. She is currently a Blu-Ray special features producer, creating documentaries for Kino Lorber, Lionsgate/Vestron, Arrow Films and Shout Factory releases, including John Carpenter's The Thing, Barton Fink, The Long Riders, Saw 10th Anniversary Reissue, and Army of Darkness.

The movie that Heather chose this week is a real doozy - Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Heather talks about how she believes it's one of the most important films ever made. She discusses how this film forces the audience to root for violence. She elaborates on the fact that this movie has no moral center, and how it's the audience's job to gauge morality. And she and April also discuss the controversy this film sparked upon release and why the movie was initially difficult to get a hold of.

You can see Heather's work all over the place. Plus, you can watch The Ranger on Shudder.

And if you haven't seen Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer yet, be careful.

With April Wolfe and Heather Buckley.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 96: 'Dead & Buried' with 'Riot Girls' Director Jovanka Vuckovic

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Guests: 
Jovanka Vuckovic

Dead & Buried

Jovanka Vuckovic is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. In the past two decades, she has worked as a visual effects artist, earning a Gemini Award, and cemented a reputation as a genre film authority—she was twice named one of the most important women in the history of horror, serving for a time as editor-in-chief of famed Rue Morgue Magazine. In 2016, she spread her wings into the US film market, joining the DGA after directing a segment of XX, the first-ever all-female horror film anthology from Magnolia Pictures, which had its premiere at Sundance 2017. Her debut Riot Girls, written by Katherine Collins, will see its release this year. The film tells the story of two young women who must save a young man from the clutches of a little psychopath on the wrong side of Potter’s Bluff — a town divided after a mysterious disease wiped out all the adults.

The movie that Jovanka has chosen to discuss is a grossly underappreciated classic - 1981's Dead & Buried. Jovanka talks about how she named the small town of Potter's Bluff in Riot Girls after the Potter's Bluff of Dead & Buried. She even goes as far to say she envisions that both films exist in the exact same town. Jovanka also opens up about her intense fear of death and how that influences her films. And she and April discuss the struggles of getting a movie made as a female filmmaker.

You can see Riot Girls in theaters and on demand on September 13th.

And if you haven't seen Dead & Buried yet, you simply must!

With April Wolfe and Jovanka Vuckovic.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 95: 'Heathers' with 'Jawline' Director Liza Mandelup

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Guests: 
Liza Mandelup

Heathers

Liza Mandelup is an award winning film director from New York residing in Los Angeles. Starting her career in photography, she graduated from New York’s School of Visual Arts and embedded herself in fascinating communities for photo series that culminated in two photo books. In 2018, Liza received the prestigious Sundance Documentary Fund grant for her film Jawline, following a handful of online teen heartthrob boys to chronicle the curious rise of a burgeoning yet fleeting economy. Jawline premiered at Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker. She was also named by Filmmaker magazine as one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema in 2018 and one of 10 Documentary Filmmakers to Watch by Variety.

The movie that Liza chose to discuss ties in effortlessly with her own film Jawline - that would be 1988's dark comedy Heathers. April and Liza discuss the nature of being a teenager and just how serious everything feels. Liza talks about interviewing all the wannabe influencers for her film Jawline and how, no matter the place, everyone dressed the exact same. She also discusses the effects of "follow culture" and how that is demonstrated in both Heathers and Jawline.

You can stream Jawline on Hulu now.

And if you haven't seen Heathers yet, watch it now!

With April Wolfe and Liza Mandelup.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 94: 'Hereditary' with 'Pet Sematary' Director Mary Lambert

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Guests: 
Mary Lambert

Hereditary

Mary Lambert is an Arkansas native and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. There she became enfolded in the music scene, and her experimental shorts led her to the world of music videos. In her early career, she directed some of the most iconic videos of the time. A short list of these includes Janet Jackson’s “Control” and “Nasty Boys,” Madonna’s “Borderline,” “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” “La Isla Bonita,” and “Like a Prayer.” Other artists include Tom Tom Club, Whitney Houston, The Go-Gos, Sting, Annie Lennox, and Debbie Harry. From there, Lambert ventured into feature films with her debut narrative, Siesta, an adaptation of Patrice Chapman’s novel by Patricia Knop. After that film, Lambert went back to music videos until she got the call that Stephen King was adapting his book Pet Sematary. She got the big OK from King and Pet Sematary was a hit. Most recently Lambert directed episodes of Step Up: High Water, Arrow, and The Blacklist.

The movie that Mary chose to discuss is TOO scary. She chose Ari Aster's Hereditary. Mary gets mystical on us - she examines witches, spells, and the subconscious tokens in art that are felt and not spoken. Plus, she talks about working with actors that have very different approaches. She and April dissect the inner workings of a melodrama. They celebrate the performances in Hereditary, particularly Milly Shapiro and Toni Collette. And Mary reveals the difficulty in cutting something she loves out of one of her projects.

You can stream Pet Sematary now.

And if you haven't seen Hereditary yet, be careful.

With April Wolfe and Mary Lambert.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 93: 'Rebecca' with 'The Wind' Director Emma Tammi

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Guests: 
Emma Tammi

Rebecca

This week, the wonderful Katie Walsh returns to chat with director Emma Tammi. Emma is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, whose most recent documentary films include Election Day and Fair Chair. She made her narrative feature directorial debut with the Western horror movie The Wind, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018, and was released in April by IFC Midnight.

The movie that Emma has chosen to discuss shares a number of similarities to her own lonely-haunted-woman film - Alfred Hitchcock's sole Best Picture winner, Rebecca. She and Katie discuss all of the masterful aspects of the movie - the mood, the set, the acting, the lighting. Emma shares how many of these attributes inspired her decisions on The Wind. Plus, Katie reveals some hilariously volatile memos between producer David O. Selznick and Alfred Hitchcock. And Emma talks about her all-time favorite Hitchcock films, and what makes him such a genius.

You can stream The Wind now.

And if you haven't seen Rebecca yet, run - DON'T WALK! - to see it.

With Katie Walsh and Emma Tammi.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 92: 'American Psycho' with 'Satanic Panic' Director Chelsea Stardust

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Guests: 
Chelsea Stardust

American Psycho

Chelsea Stardust has been a horror film fan since the age of 10. After working for comedy legends Ivan Reitman and Judd Apatow, Chelsea found her horror home at Blumhouse Productions, where she served as the executive assistant to Jason Blum for several years. Chelsea’s first feature film, the science fiction thriller All That We Destroy, was part of Blumhouse series 'Into The Dark' and is currently available on Hulu. Her second feature film, the horror comedy Satanic Panic, written by novelist Grady Hendrix, and produced by Fangoria and Cinestate, releases nationwide theatrically, on VOD and digital HD on September 6th.

The movie that Chelsea chose to discuss is near and dear to our hearts - Mary Harron's American Psycho. She and April go in deep on the making of the film - from the writing of the script by former Switchblade Sisters guest Guinevere Turner, to the studio's objection to the casting of Christian Bale. They dive into the film's portrayal of male vanity, the performance of Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, and the difficult job of balancing horror and comedy in one movie. Plus they also discuss Chelsea's latest film Satanic Panic.

You can see Satanic Panic on September 6th.

And if you haven't seen American Psycho yet, go watch it!

With April Wolfe and Chelsea Stardust.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher. Edited by Jordan Kauwling for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 91: 'The Innocents' with 'The Babadook' and 'The Nightingale' Director Jennifer Kent

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Guests: 
Jennifer Kent

The Innocents

Jennifer Kent is probably best known for directing her 2014 film, The Babadook. The film screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014 to critical and audience acclaim, and has won over 50 international and domestic awards, including the Australian Director's Guild award for Best Director, the Australian Academy Award (AACTA) for Best Direction, Best Screenplay and Best Film, and the New York Critics Circle Awards for Best First Feature. This year now sees the release of her second feature, The Nightingale, a brutal colonial revenge tale about a woman who loses everything and joins up with an aboriginal tracker to find and inflict punishment on the men who wronged her.

The movie that Jennifer has chosen to discuss is the 1961 classic, The Innocents. Jennifer elaborates on the aspects of the film that she used as direct influence for her own films. She talks about taking the young actor Noah Wiseman to the zoo in order to prepare him for the truly horrifying scenes in The Babadook. Plus, she divulges how the misconceptions about her film The Nightingale have really hurt her personally. She tells a story about how one journalist at the Venice Film festival even called her a "whore" for directing the film. And finally, if you listen all the way through the episode, you get to hear Jennifer's impeccable impression of a Tasamanian devil.

You can see The Nightingale in select theaters now.

And if you haven't seen The Innocents yet, go watch it!

With April Wolfe and Jennifer Kent.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 90: 'Little Shop of Horrors' with 'The Last Time You Had Fun' Director Mo Perkins

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Guests: 
Mo Perkins

Little Shop of Horrors

Mo Perkins earned an MFA in directing from UCLA’s School of Film and Television. Her master’s thesis film, Piss Hat, was nominated for a student Academy Award. Her writer/directorial debut feature was an independent film called A Quiet Little Marriage starring Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Cy Carter, Jimmi Simpson, Michael O’Neill, Charlie Day and Melanie Lynskey. On the festival circuit, it won many awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance, and it was distributed by IFC. Her second feature film was a comedy called The Last Time You Had Fun starring Demetri Martin, Eliza Coupe, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Charlene Yi and Kyle Bornheimer. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was distributed by Gravitas Ventures. Most recently Mo directed the second season, six episodes, of a romantic musical comedy called I Ship It for the CW.

The movie that Mo has chosen is just a delight - 1986's Little Shop of Horrors. Mo discusses how this movie meant so much to her personally, as it was one of the first films she saw after leaving her commune. April and she talk about the two different endings of the film and how the original was roundly rejected by preview audiences. Mo also elaborates on being flexible during shoots, working on low budget films, and facing the scenes that she was scared to direct.

You can see I Ship It on the CW.

And if you haven't seen Little Shop of Horrors yet, go watch it!

With April Wolfe and Mo Perkins.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 89: 'Donnie Darko' with 'Braid' Director Mitzi Peirone

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Guests: 
Mitzi Peirone

Donnie Darko

Mitzi Peirone was born and raised in Turin, Italy. After high school Peirone left Italy to study theater in New York City at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She ended up writing and directing a short film called “Chaosmos,” and directing another short called “Versperlings” while she geared up for a feature. The screenplay for Braid rapidly became her main focus, and in 2016 Peirone partnered up with entrepreneur Joseph Lubin to create a new business model to finance her film, which became the first one ever to be fully financed through a cryptocurrency equity crowdsale. The sale raised 1.7 million dollars in two weeks. The film premiered at Tribeca in 2018 and won Best Picture at the Lausanne Underground Film Festival. Braid, which tells the story of two women who decide to rob their wealthy psychotic friend - but must participate in the friend’s perverse game of make believe, received worldwide distribution via Blue Fox Entertainment. Mitzi then signed with ICM, and her next directorial effort is a sci-fi thriller set in a tech-apocalypse, starring Bella Thorne.

The movie Mitzi chose to discuss this week is a real mind bender - 2001's cult classic, Donnie Darko. Part of the reason that Mitzi loves this film is that, much like her own movie Braid, it can be hard to tell what is real and what is imagined. She discusses her unusual fundraising technique for the movie which involved a cryptocurrency equity crowdsale. Mitzi also emphasizes the need for filmmakers not to concern themselves with whether the audience will completely understand their vision. Plus, she talks at length about her belief that there is no difference between reality and dreams - a conversation that makes April's brain explode.

You can see Braid streaming now.

And if you haven't seen Donnie Darko yet, go watch it!

With April Wolfe and Mitzi Peirone.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 88: 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' with 'Grown-ish' Writers Melanie Kirschbaum & Alexandra Decas

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Guests: 
Melanie Kirschbaum
Guests: 
Alexandra Decas

Drop Dead Gorgeous

Melanie Kirschbaum started her LA career working for Jeff and Jackie Filgo, and then Vali Chandrasekaran on Modern Family, while Alexandra Decas was with Jonathan Groff on Black-ish. The two met when their bosses were working on a pilot together, and they decided to join forces when they found themselves standing outside of their offices at Disney, bemoaning their crappy Tinder matches. They wondered, presumably aloud, "If Elizabeth Smart has it all figured out — a husband, a career, great hair — what’s our excuse?" So they wrote a one-act play entitled "Smart" to get to the bottom of it, as well as a comedic one-act about 9/11 called "Center of the Universe." After that, they joined the Netflix/Dreamworks show The Boss Baby: Back in Business as staff writers, but then hit some network gold when they were staffed on the critically acclaimed hit show Grown-ish, a spinoff of Black-ish that follows Zoey Johnson as she navigates college life. Grown-ish was just renewed for season 3 and can be seen on Freeform.

The movie that Alex and Mel have chosen to discuss is an important film for Minnesotans everywhere - 1999's Drop Dead Gorgeous. The two of them and April marvel at the fact that this movie is so inappropriate by today's standards - but still so funny! The two writers open up about how their writing process used to be incredibly unorthodox. One of them is outed as a frequent "office cryer." And, of course, the conversation covers something April is very passionate about - the eyebrow styles of the 1990s.

You can see Grown-ish on Freeform.

And if you haven't seen Drop Dead Gorgeous yet, go watch it!

With April Wolfe, Melanie Kirschbaum and Alexandra Decas.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook.

Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.

Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.