Friday, February 19, 2010
Interview with Central Valley Horror Club Founder Kaci Hansen
Kaci Hansen is an artist, musician, writer, performer, dancer, director and special effects makeup artist, with a passion for all things horror, who tries to find as many ways as possible to integrate her love of the genre in with everyday life. Kaci was one of 13 lucky finalists in Fangoria Magazine’s nationwide search for their 2010 Spooksmodel, where she came in first place in the first fan-voting segment of the contest.
Kaci works with Nothing is Safe Films where she not only acts, writes, and directs, but also aids in production and special effects makeup. She recently completed her roles in The Orchard and Side of the Road, and is working on a five-part film project called The Apartments where she not only stars in one segment, but also directs her own segment and aids in FX/makeup on all of the segments.
Kaci also founded and dances with Central California’s first and only horror-themed dance troupe, The Horror Dolls.
In 2008 she founded the Central Valley Horror Club (the first and only horror-themed organization in Central California), who host numerous horror-themed events throughout Central California, including free movie nights and concerts. This past year, Kaci and the Central Valley Horror Club hosted their city’s first-ever Zombie Ball, Vampire Ball and Monster Mash. The Central Valley Horror Club has had an enormous amount of support from the community, being featured in several in publications, and hopes to continue offering horror themed entertainment for a long time to come.
In 2009, Kaci began working with Comic Book Divas on her very own horror-comic, titled Kaci Hansen Presents… The comic will be available for purchase in early 2010 through ComicBookDivas.com
Kaci is currently in the process of writing music with her band The Homicidal Housewives, doing various horror conventions promoting The Horror Dolls and Kaci Hansen Presents…, and is working on various screenplays for films that will soon be available from Nothing is Safe Films.
Fatally Yours: How did you fall in love with the horror genre?
Kaci Hansen: It actually began at a young age, when I fell in love with television shows of a darker aesthetic, such as The Addams Family and The Munsters. I would often stay at my great-grandparents’ house, and they didn’t have cable, so I often would watch reruns of these shows. I was always a big fan of the Halloween season and all of the spooky things that accompanied the holiday. What can I say? I ate the monster cereals for breakfast as often as I could, with Count Chocula being my favorite (it has since shifted over to Boo Berry).
My parents are actually huge horror fans, and they would always make me watch films with them. I would be absolutely terrified, sitting with my hands covering my eyes, occasionally peeking through my fingertips…and as scared as I was, I couldn’t get enough of it. As I got older, my interests peaked even further; my mom would always tell me, “It’s not real, you don’t need to be scared,” so naturally, I was fascinated that one could obscure that line between reality and fantasy, and create such an emotional and visual impact on the viewer. I believe that is what intrigued me to get involved in special FX artistry, prop making and development, and eventually, writing and directing my own projects.
Fatally Yours: How and when did you get involved in the horror genre?
Kaci Hansen: Many people just did not (and still do not) understand my fascination with the genre. I’d often bring up films or scenes from movies, and people would stare blankly at me, not having a clue what I was even referring to. I decided to change that, so in 2008, I founded Central Valley Horror Club – the first and only horror organization in Central CA. I began having free, public all-ages movie nights at a pizza place, so I could meet other horror fans, and hopefully ‘convert’ a few more. Our first event brought in over 60 people, and the support has been continuous! One thing we really try to touch on is playing lesser-known movies, to expose them to new horizons within the genre.
In 2009, I decided to introduce my city to something else they had never experienced before – horror-themed concerts and events. I hosted Central CA’s first Zombie Ball, Vampire Ball and Monster Mash in 2009. To say that I was humbled by the support and appreciation that the community showed towards my efforts, would be an understatement. I literally receive emails every week asking when the next event will be.
In 2009, I also formed The Horror Dolls, which is the first and only horror-themed dance troupe in Central CA. I wasn’t sure how the community would react to it, but a local publication actually featured us on the cover of their October 2009 issue, and wrote an entire article on us.
I also became involved with Nothing is Safe Films in 2009, where I not only act, but I also write, direct and do makeup/FX. I had a small role in the films The Orchard and Side of the Road. I am currently working on a project titled The Apartments, where I am acting in one segment, writing/directing another segment, and doing makeup for all of the segments. It’s been a tedious project, with a lot of hiccups, but it’s been so much fun working on the set. We have a good group of people at Nothing is Safe; I love them.
I have a horror comic coming out through ComicBookDivas.com in early 2010, called Kaci Hansen Presents…Hello Dollies.
Fatally Yours: What is one thing you’ve done within the horror genre that you are most proud of?
Kaci Hansen: I would have to say that forming Central Valley Horror Club would be exactly that. Hearing people thank me for making fun, affordable and unique events in our area makes all of the hard work and planning worth it. People would often complain that there was nothing ‘cool’ or ‘fun’ to do here, and it was my goal to change that. And I truly believe that I have.
Fatally Yours: How would you convince people who aren’t horror fans to give the genre a try?
Kaci Hansen: I always suggest watching a really, really cheesy horror flick – the kind that make you smile, even if it’s not supposed to. My recommendations would be Slumber Party Massacre II or Dead Alive…not that I think those are necessarily considered cheesy, but I have witnessed them bring smiles to the faces of many.
Fatally Yours: Do you feel women in horror get the proper recognition when compared to their male counterparts?
Kaci Hansen: It really depends on what role you’re referring to. In the past, it seemed that films written or directed by women were not taken too seriously, but I have seen what appears to be a tremendous change as of late. With film festivals like VISCERA, the creation of Women in Horror Month, and the unity between females involved in the genre, that is rapidly changing.
Fatally Yours: As a woman in horror, have you found it harder to be taken seriously in a genre that seems to be dominated by males?
Kaci Hansen: Actually, quite the opposite. Occasionally, people seem to be taken aback a bit at first, but once they talk with me and see what a passion I have for the genre and what I do within it, they seem to hold a lot of respect for me, what I do, and why I do it. From time to time, people still seem surprised that Central Valley Horror Club was founded by a woman; they love it.
Fatally Yours: Since you’ve been involved with the horror genre, have you noticed a change in women’s roles within horror whether it be roles in horror films, women behind the camera, women writers, etc.?
Kaci Hansen: Absolutely. I’m really excited that more women are getting recognition for being behind the camera and utilizing their creative sides.
Fatally Yours: What women in horror do you admire?
Kaci Hansen: Oh, there are so many, and for so many reasons…I’ll end up typing here all evening if I don’t narrow it down to one! I’m going to go with Bette Davis for this answer. I recently watched Dead Ringer again, and just love the way she could turn-on/turn-off that crazy, psychotic side yet appear so kind and sweet directly after…much like her role in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? I have always admired her work.
I also love the iconic horror hostesses – Vampira and Elvira. Most people seem to only like one or the other, but I think they’re both great.
I also want to take this time to give a huge thank you to Hannah Neurotica for her efforts for Women in Horror Month, Shannon Lark for her efforts with The Chainsaw Mafia and VISCERA, and all of the other amazing women out there who are taking action every day to unite us all.
Fatally Yours: What inspires, influences and motivates you?
Kaci Hansen: Every film I watch is an inspiration to me to work hard, and to do my best. I always try to remind myself that EVERY film used to be an idea in the back of someone’s head; it was all up to them to put forth the effort to execute the idea.
I also just flat-out love what I do, and seeing how I’ve made a change in the community here really makes me happy. Seeing the support that Central Valley Horror Club has gotten is enough to make me continue working hard to enrich our city for horror fans.
Fatally Yours: What are your favorite horror films and books?
Kaci Hansen: This is the question I’m asked the most, and it’s always the most difficult one to answer!
I already mentioned my love for Slumber Party Massacre II…and if you can’t enjoy a guy who looks like the love-child of Andrew Dice Clay and an Elvis-impersonator swinging around a guitar with a drill on the end of it, then I don’t know what to tell you. I really love The Tingler, Mr. Sardonicus, House on Haunted Hill (you’ve gotta see the RiffTrax version of it!), Night of the Demons (1 and 2), Demons, Sleepaway Camp, Day of the Dead, Dead Ringer, The Gates of Hell, Return of the Living Dead…the list goes on and on.
Fatally Yours: Outside of horror what do you enjoy doing?
Kaci Hansen: I’m a Fine Art major, so all things related to art really interest me. I really love graphic design, web design, cooking and baking. JELL-O brains seem to be a staple in my household. I love animals (I have four dogs, and one kitty). I’m very close with my little brother (he’s 10) and have done a splendid job with exposing him to the genre so far. He actually led our zombie walk that took place before our Zombie Ball. I also love music – whether it be listening to it, playing it (I play guitar/keys), or going to a concert.
Fatally Yours: What are your goals for yourself within the horror genre?
Kaci Hansen: Just to do whatever I can to help artists, filmmakers, actors and actresses to get involved and recognized, and to unite other horror fans. Also, to continue bringing fun and exciting horror-themed events to the area. I really would like to get more involved with acting, as I have really enjoyed being in front of the camera as much as being behind it.
Fatally Yours: Where can people find more info on you?
Kaci Hansen: Feel free to add me on Facebook, or on Myspace. My website, www.kacihansen.com, is currently being renovated, and with all of my projects going on, it’s taking me a little more time than I anticipated.
Central Valley Horror Club on Facebook
Central Valley Horror Club on Myspace
The Horror Dolls on Facebook
The Horror Dolls on Myspace
Kaci on IMDB