Sunday, June 7, 2009
Getting to know ... RedVamp
Classic Tales - Boris Karloff
In her personal life, RedVamp is a happily married mom with children. In fact, she just gave birth a new member of her family. She has a unique gothic look for the 21st century but adds a dash Carrol Borland's "Luna" mystery and Vampira's poise. Besides her modeling and film-hosting career, RedVamp has a degree in psychology and donates her time working with autistic children, as well as other challenged youngsters.
We wanted to get to know her better, so we sent her a list of questions that she was kind enough to answer. So, enjoy getting to know RedVamp. (Her Web site, http://www.redvamp.com/ is currently under construction, but there's a link to her MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/redvamp )
The RedVamp Interview
1) You live your Red Vamp persona and that makes you distinct from Elvira, who is a character. I'm wondering, what similar person is an inspiration for you? I regard Vampira as an entertainer who lived her life like her persona. Was she an inspiration for you? What about Carrol Borland?
I do admire women such as Vampira and Elvira and I suppose that I have a similar look to Carrol Borland’s character in Mark of the Vampire, but honestly, my style and persona are simply just me being me! The RedVamp persona and look just naturally came about from my own likes, tastes, and interests. That really is who I am in everyday life. As far as horror hosting, I can take some inspiration from those such as Elvira and Vampira, but I have never tried to mimic or be like any one particular person.
2) What influenced you to pursue gothic modeling and fashion? Also, tell us about some of the items, jewelry, that you sell.
I’ve modeled on and off since childhood, but the gothic modeling came about as an adult, when I no longer fit the mainstream look. The style, fashion, and look was, again, just naturally what I liked and who I was, so various designers, websites, magazines, etc. in the gothic world thought that I was a good fit for them. I don’t personally sell any items, but I have modeled for various designers that sell gothic clothing, jewelry, and accessories such as Gothica by Amira, After Dark Jewelry, Azrael’s Accomplice, Crimson Empress, Deadamore Handbags, Madame LeGoth, etc.
3) When you had the ScreamTV host show, you went to some cult films/horror trade shows. What was that like? Is it interesting to meet people that are a part of the genre, either by association (Bela Lugosi Jr., Sara Karloff) or industry persons, such as the late Vampira or Forrest J. Ackerman and others?
Meeting people in the industry has been one of the greatest benefits of making appearances at conventions. I’m such a huge Lugosi, Karloff, and Chaney fan that I was thrilled to meet the offspring of these greats and get to know them a little bit. The celebrities, themselves, are great, too. I was honored to meet Ben Chapmen, before he passed away, and Julia Adams from the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Those associated with the classics have been my favorites to meet, but I’ve also enjoyed meeting many actors from the modern films, as well.
4) You mention you enjoy early horror and 60s horror genres. What it is about Nosferatu that makes it a classic for you? The same for Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein ... What are some other films that you consider significant in the genre. I'm interested in films that you like from 40s, 50s and 60s.
Nosferatu was basically the original vampire film and Count Orlok, one of the first monsters of film. Nosferatu, along with Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, etc. paved the way for the genre and had a huge influence on the public’s perception of the vampire, the monster, etc. Who does not think of Lugosi when they conjure an image of Dracula or who does not visualize and image of Karloff when thinking about Frankenstein? These movies are classics because they created these images in our minds. Even though there have been modern remakes, the images of the modern versions have not dethroned the originals. For example, the average person is not going to think of De Niro’s portrayal of the monster in Frankenstein, but rather Karloff’s. Other films that are most definitely significant and are classics are Phantom of the Opera, The Wolfman, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and a multitude of Vincent Price films and Hammer films with actors such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, just to name a few.
5) How does having a degree in psychology and working with autistic and mentally challenged children enhance your life. Is it a help to your gothic and film genre work? You have a family, including a new baby. Does your genre work have an influence in your home and personal life.
I haven’t really put the degree to work much, out of choice, but I am quite proud to have completed it and I may someday pursue a doctorate in neuroscience or other medical science, as that is where my interests in the field truly lie. Working with autistic children was very rewarding for me and I am blessed to know many special needs people and also have a special needs brother-in-law. My oldest daughter is now involved with working with special needs kids and adults and wants to be a special education teacher, so I am very proud of her. I don’t know that I would say having a degree or working with special needs people has been a help in gothic or film genre work, but personally, it has helped shape who I am, what I perceive as important, and what I am sensitive to. In regards to my family, my children, my new baby girl, etc., they are the number one priority in my life and everything else will always take a backseat. I wouldn’t say that my genre work really has an influence on my home and personal life, because I do always make sure that my family and marriage come first, so other than the occasional magazine, poster, photo, etc. the kids don’t see much of it and they are used to my own personal style, our home décor, etc. being influenced by the gothic genre and classic horror, because that is just who I am and how they’ve always known me.
6) What are your preferred tastes in gothic, horror and fantasy literature?
I don’t do much reading these days being busy with a new baby, but I do love Edgar Allen Poe and I am also a fan of Anne Rice. I also like to read “haunted history” type books about different haunted locations all over the world.
7) You mention that one advantage of the old films is there's less gore and more atmosphere. Is that why you don't tend to focus on newer genre films, although you mention you like the 92 Dracula?
Exactly! However, films such as the ’92 Dracula are in the same vein as the classics and don’t really have the gore either (not on the level of most modern horror), which is exactly why I like it. It remains true to the storyline. Unnecessary gore takes away from a good storyline, in my opinion.
1) You mention you enjoy Vincent Price films. His talent, someone said, was that he could both be scary and keep his tongue in his cheek. What are some Price films you enjoy the most. Some I love include Tower of London, Masque of the Red Death and Witchfinder General?
There are so many Price films and I’ve seen so many over the years that it is hard to pick particular favorites, but House on Haunted Hill, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Bat, The Haunted Palace, Witchfinder General, and the Abominable Dr. Phibes are a few that I’ve seen in recent years and enjoyed. I also absolutely loved his role in Edward Scissorhands, although it was much smaller than planned due to his health, and his narration in the Tim Burton short “Vincent”. In addition, I appreciate Vincent Price for his TV appearances, voice work, and radio work as much as I do for his movie roles.
2) What is your favorite Poe story and why?
Once again, it is difficult to choose, but the first one that comes to mind is the Tell-Tale Heart. I also enjoy his poetry. The Raven and Annabel Lee are a couple of my favorites. I’m currently reading the complete collection of Poe and have quite a ways to go, so my favorites may change as I work my way through.
3) Finally, I was intrigued you like Haunted History. I confess to being addicted to Ghost Hunters although I'm not sure I believe what I'm seeing. What are some historical "hauntings" that fascinate you and why?
I love to read about haunted castles and haunted locations in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, as well as Europe, in general. When I was about five years old, my parents took a trip to England and came back to tell me about all the haunted castles that they visited and the history behind them. I’ve been intrigued ever since. I am also very interested in many US locations, and have taken a particular interest in hauntings in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where my husband and I have visited regularly. We have made it a point to stay at many of the haunted hotels there, take the haunted history tours, etc. We have also sought out visiting other haunted locations around the US, such as St. Augustine, FL, San Francisco, etc. I would eventually like to visit other historical haunted sites in the US such as Gettysburg and Salem.
We thank RedVamp for taking the time to speak with Plan9Crunch. Here's one more clip from her cult horror hosting show: Classic Tales of Horror - The Terror