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Exclusive Interview with Crazy Bitches Writer-Director Jane Clark

Seven former sisters of the Alpha Kappa Pi sorority and their fabulous gay BFF reunite for a getaway weekend to celebrate a birthday. A few margaritas into the first night, a dark secret is revealed… The cabin they’ve rented is the site of a gruesome mass murder of teenage girls on a sleepover 15 years earlier. Needless to say, the sorority sisters get picked off one by one, and as their number dwindles, so too does their trust in one another.

Crazy Bitches, which debuted to an audience of 800 at Hollywood’s historic John Anson Ford Amphitheatre at Outfest 2014, has since screened in several festivals and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray just in time for Valentine’s Day. It was written and directed by Jane Clark (2014’s award-winning drama Meth Head), and we were lucky enough to catch up with her and haze her with our oh so hard-hitting line of questions:

Dread Central: With a title like Crazy Bitches, how do you explain what this movie is about to people who have never heard of it?

Jane Clark: Well, here’s the fun truth. Whether I’m at a party or a business meeting,  when someone asks me what I’m working on and I say, “I just finished a movie called Crazy Bitches,” the response 99% of the time is, “I’ve got to see that.” Usually followed by “I am a crazy bitch” or “My girlfriends and I are crazy bitches.” Or “I know one of those.”

After that, if they want to know what the movie is about, I give them the logline: Seven women and one fab gay guy go to a remote ranch for some R&R, but things go horribly wrong when one by one they are killed by their own vanity.

That usually seals the deal.

DC: I love that you have Guinevere Turner in your movie! Did you know her before, and what’s she like to work with, especially since she is a writer-actor like yourself?

JC: I met Guinevere at a party. We got into a nice long conversation, but neither of us knew the other. Then one of our mutual friends said, “Guinevere, Jane’s making a movie called Crazy Bitches.” And Guinevere said, “I have to be in that.” And our friend said, “Jane, you HAVE to put Guinevere in your movie.” I was like, “Stop badgering me!” Casting is hugely important to me, and I am never going to just stick someone in a movie. But Guinevere is pretty hard to say “no” to, and I had a role open. I finally caved. Besides, by then I’d watched a few things and realized she’s a really good actress. Plus, she had the dainty fragility I had written for the character, and subversively, I loved that this lesbian icon plays a character teetering on homophobia.

I will admit I was a little nervous sending her the script because she’s also an awesome writer. And I breathed again when she emailed and said, “Okay, this is great, and I have to do it.” After that she put her writer aside, and from rehearsal through production Guinevere showed up as an actor ready to work. She’s easy, intuitive, and receptive to direction – all the things I treasure in an actor. I’m looking forward to many more films with her in the future. We’re even toying with a project that she’d write, I’d direct, and we would produce together.

DC: There’s more than just Crazy Bitches in this movie… there are a few dumb dudes as well. Can you talk a little bit about how you shaped the male characters and which one is your fave?

JC: Each of the dumb dudes were written for a friend so… not that I’m saying they are dumb, just… oy. Let me start over. I thought about all the lovely qualities each of the actors brought to the table, and I wrote the opposite. Seriously. I thought each would like the opportunity to play something a little against their truth. As to my fave? I love them all for different reasons and all the actors are terrific, but I’d have to say Gareth, the randy ranch hand played by Blake Berris. Mostly because he says some of the most ridiculous lines that I just think are funny.

DC: I see elements of Urban Legends, “Desperate Housewives,” and Friday the 13th in Crazy Bitches… but you’re the writer so please talk a little about your influences and how they manifest in the story as the movie plays out.

JC: Friday the 13th was the first horror movie I ever saw. It was a stay-at-home date, pizza and a movie sort of thing, and it worked just as I am sure the guy planned it. I screamed and grabbed on to him and tucked my head on his chest when it got too scary. That experience was definitely an influencer. I would say the Scream series, most specifically the first one, were influences. I also really love the old school films like The Shining and The Omen, which leaned more on tension rather than gore. And one of my all time favorite films is Pan’s Labyrinth, which strangely enough, I didn’t recall was categorized as horror until I started researching genre films. In all honesty, though, I didn’t seek out horror to watch, nor did I ever imagine that I would make a horror film. Once the idea popped into my head, though, I went back and watched a mother lode of genre movies to educate myself and to figure out what worked in other films and what didn’t so I could apply it to my own project. Since Crazy Bitches is also a comedy with a Mean Girls edge, I also had in mind films like Bridesmaids and Heathers.

DC: The press release says, “Perfect for Valentine’s Day!” Um… I disagree. I know that the PR is often different from what the writer-director might have intended… so, what do you think about how the movie is being presented, and who is the ideal audience?

JC: The downside to being a truly indie filmmaker is that you do everything yourself. The upside is you get to do everything yourself! Though our distributor, Gravitas Ventures, has had an influence on marketing materials like the poster, my producing partner and I came up with the Valentine’s Day release idea because after many festival screenings, people talked about the movie’s playfulness and sex appeal. Then we looked at the calendar, and it was Friday, the 13th of February! So we planted a stake in it.

It might seem counter-intuitive to watch a horror movie on what is traditionally a hearts and chocolates day, and yes, there are some gruesome and at times creepy kills (one slow death scene still creeps me out after watching it dozens of times), but I see that as a Valentine’s lube, if you will. It’s like watching Friday the 13th with my date and snuggling up. I mean, why not watch a film that a) gives you jump-out-of-your-seat moments and squirm-in-your seat murders geared to cause the covering of eyes and clinging of bodies and b) makes your lover a little horny. And if you don’t have a lover, screw it. Get your friends together, have a cocktail or two, and laugh your asses off while you watch a bunch of bitches get whacked. Either way it’s all good.

You’ll be able to find the film On Demand via Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, AT&T U-verse, and Dish Network among other platforms and on iTunes, Amazon, and more beginning Friday, February 13, 2015.

Crazy Bitches, a comedic horror film with a heart, is the perfect, sexy way to spend Valentine’s Day. The film was written and directed by Jane Clark (2014’s award-winning drama Meth Head) and stars the following “bitches:” Candis Cayne (“Dirty Sexy Money”), Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, “The L Word”), Cathy DeBuono (Along Came Lola, web series “We Have to Stop Now”), Blake Berris (“Days of our Lives”), Samantha Colburn (Best Night Ever), Andy Gala (Outsourced), Liz McGeever (The Conjurer), Victoria Profeta (North Country), Nayo Wallace (“Shameless”), and Mary Jane Wells (How to Train Your Dragon 2).

For more info visit the official Crazy Bitches website, and “like” Crazy Bitches on Facebook.

Synopsis:
Seven women – sisters of the Alpha Kappa Pi sorority – and their gay best friend reunite for a weekend to celebrate their pal Alice’s birthday. But at the remote ranch where they settle for leisurely days of gossip, girl time, and grub, something soon seems amiss.

A number of margaritas into the first night, a dark secret is revealed. The cabin is the site of a gruesome mass murder of teenage girls on a sleepover 15 years earlier. Blood still stains the floor under new carpets, and the killer still runs free.

The women take the ghost story for what it seems – a tall tale on a stormy night – and at first, the story only adds to the romance of the ranch. One girl sneaks off with the hired hand. Another seeks to rekindle her old college flame. But after a third turns up – dead – the story no longer seems silly, and sex is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

One by one they are cut down, victims of the particular vanities they flaunt in each other’s faces. Soon the girls turn on each other, accusing one another of jealousy and murder. As the fun-filled weekend turns into a race against death, they wonder: Which Crazy Bitch will make it out alive?

crazybitches - Exclusive Interview with Crazy Bitches Writer-Director Jane Clark

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