On the heels of a successful film festival run, the award-winning horror-comedy From Hell, She Rises has bowed online, and you can watch it now at the top of the article!
The 2017 short film, written by Michael Varrati and directed by LA-based filmmaker Ama Lea, revolves around sultry vampires Marguerite and Alessandra (actresses Sarah Nicklin and Emma Julia Jacobs, respectively) who abduct a girl (Zena Gray) from her home on behalf of a deranged cult leader (actor Patrick Falvey), although as its revealed, the undead duo have a motive all of their own.
Actor John Humphrey joins them in the clever ode to classic Hammer Horror films, which was produced by Hayley Pogue, and which toured with the Etheria Road Show and which won ‘Best Horror Comedy’ at the Axe Wound Film Festival.
Says the whirling dervish of creative energy that is creator and filmmaker Lea of From Hell, She Rises, “It was a passion project and a collaboration between artists from the very start. Michael and I both have a deep love for Hammer horror, and we also prefer to make films for those less represented within the genre.”
In successfully recreating that Hammer aesthetic, one historically comprised of gargantuan sets and lush production design, “We didn’t have a budget or anyone behind us, so we just called our friends and used what we had available,” offered Lea, who in addition to currently working on photo projects for Fangoria magazine and serving as a guest editor on the upcoming issue of Delirium magazine also runs the boutique horror lingerie company Poltergeists and Paramours (when not developing feature film projects).
“We built the set in my living room, and everyone pitched in to light candles and throw blood! It really just felt like a weekend away with friends, as the vampire roles were written for specifically for Nicklin and Jacobs from the start. They’re both in just about every project that I make, and are incredibly talented actors, and I’m just so proud of this little film and everyone who worked on it.”
Added writer Verrati of From Hell, She Rises (his other credits among many include the flicks Dragula and Tales of Poe), “I adore Ama, and think she’s an amazing artist, so I always love when we have the opportunity to collaborate. When we discovered we both had a mutual love of Hammer Horror, it felt like a no brainer for us to come together in order to craft a love letter (to it). In writing the script, I, of course, leaned into Hammer’s aesthetic, but also used it to explore some aspects of queer relationships and marginalization, and how we can use our otherness to stand up against the world to declare we won’t be put into boxes by their rules. That, and just lots of blood.”
You can check out the film, poster and couple of stills below, and you can follow Ama Lea on Instagram and Twitter @MissAmaLea for more.