“I made the choice to do indie films, and I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve had much better roles than a lot of the women that are working in Hollywood because I get to do the sort of crazy, nutty characters… like in American Nightmare I play a psycho serial killer. Very seriously. Not for laughs. I get to play really good roles, and that’s why I’ve always been drawn to it.”
That quote was from a 2008 interview with Debbie Rochon. Seeing how we’re celebrating Indie Horror Month here at Dread Central, I thought it would be nice to focus this month’s Tip of the Scalpels on indie stars (don’t worry, Stephen King fans, we’ll get back to him very soon). My deliberation process on just who should get the Tip of the Scalpel nod during Indie Horror Month lasted about two seconds. There was no question that it would go to one of the greatest scream queens of modern time, the one and only Debbie Rochon.
Debbie’s entire professional career has been about horror. If Howard Stern can lay claim to being the King of All Media, Ms. Rochon can certainly be called the Queen of All Horror. Her career accomplishments are simply mind-boggling. For example, let’s just start with her cinematic endeavors. Debbie has appeared in over 200 films. Two hundred films?! Are you kidding me? Let’s just break that down for a moment. She started acting in movies in 1988; that’s 24 years ago. We’ll round down and credit her with 200 films… that’s over eight films a year. Let’s see Angelina Jolie try to maintain that pace for more than two decades.
And let’s consider the range of Ms. Rochon. Debbie can play the damsel in distress just as well as anyone. But she can also play the psychotic bloodthirsty killer just as effectively and anything in between. And if you’re going to act in over 200 productions, you’d better be able to mix things up a bit.
But that’s not all. We must not forget that Ms. Rochon has also spent time as a radio personality. She brightened many a long Friday night commute for me during her tenure on Fangoria Radio with Dee Snider and Tony Timpone. And speaking of Fango, her column, Diary of the Deb, is just one of dozens of magazine contributions she’s had over the years, not to mention appearing on 45 magazine covers. That’s incredible for someone who has spent her entire career in horror… 45 covers!
When you dedicate yourself to something as fully as Ms. Rochon has with the horror genre, people take notice. As we’ve said above, she’s put in nearly two and a half decades of acting, radio shows, magazine covers and columns, and throughout all of this she has given every bit of herself for the genre. In 2003 she suffered a brutal injury at the hands of a machete on set, but that couldn’t keep her down. Debbie Rochon just continues to pump out work. She currently has 14 projects either filming or in post-production. The hardest working woman in horror, indeed.
And the genre has recognized her efforts. Debbie Rochon has been honored with multiple awards and recognitions throughout her illustrious career. To mention just a few, Debbie was named the Barbarella Award Best Actress in 1997, she was the 2002 Phantom of the Movies Videoscope Best Psychette, in 2003 she was named Draculina Magazine’s Scream Queen of the Decade, in 2004 she was named to the B-Movie Hall of Fame and just to prove she’s still on top of her game, Debbie Rochon won Best Actress at the 2011 Buffalo Screams Film Festival for her role in Bart Mastronardi’s The Tell-Tale Heart.
You can check out Deb in several current projects. She appears in “Wet Dreams”, the Tom Savini-directed segment of the new anthology film The Theatre Bizarre; she stars in Mel House’s film Psychic Experiment and she can be seen as the recurring character “Blondie” in the web series The Chainsaw Sally Show. Debbie can also be seen regularly at horror conventions so you might just luck out and get to meet the amazing Ms. Rochon in person someday soon.
Movie star, writer, radio personality and overall ambassador to the horror genre, Debbie Rochon has redefined the role of scream queen to encompass so much more. She is, without a doubt, a gorgeous reminder of just what indie films bring to the table: style, creativity and the courage to stretch boundaries and challenge the norms. So it’s with great pleasure that we give this Tip of the Scalpel to Ms. Debbie Rochon.
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