Exclusive Interview with Scream Queen Jamie Bernadette!

Photo by Paul Van Kleef

Greetings fellow Insomniacs! There’s a lot of excitement around the drive-in tonight. We are presenting an exclusive interview with Jamie Bernadette, who has been featured in over 35 features!

She grew up in Kankakee, Illinois just 70 miles south of Chicago per her bio on her website jamiebernadette.com. She resides in Los Angeles now building a great filmography and producing, writing, and conversing on Twitter. 

This is where the Insomniac Drive-in’s own Ed Davis happened to posting some tweets on the remake of I Spit on Your Grave. Jamie is going to be starring in the sequel to the original film called, I Spit on You Grave: Deju Vu out later in 2016. After some conversing, Ms. Bernadette graciously agreed to take some time from her busy schedule to answer some questions on the the sequel for our review. After concluding the interview, we decided to share it by itself and not try to tack it on to the review, to let it stand on it’s own. 

We here at the Insomniac would like to express our thanks to Jamie for the interview and look forward to seeing the finished product in the future!

INSOMNIAC: What was it like to work on a sequel to one of the most iconic horror films? To be doing it alongside original Star Camille Keaton and Writer/Director Meir Zarchi?

JAMIE BERNADETTE:  It was absolutely surreal.  I had seen the 1978 original “I Spit on Your Grave” film way before I ever knew of any sequel and auditioned.  I fell in love with the film because of the stark honesty in which the story is told.  There is nothing hidden or glossed over in this film.  Meir took the harsh reality of rape and told it truthfully in all of its pain and horror, which I respected and the world has grown to respect over the years.  The film that was once banned and called “trash” is now highly regarded and taught in film schools.  When I went to the second audition, the callback, and Meir was sitting there in the room, I was happy.  I told myself before the callback, “Whatever happens as far as getting the role or not getting it, if I get to meet Meir then I am happy”.  So to work with him and then to meet and work with Camille was something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  Both of them are exceptionally kind human beings and a joy to work with.  Camille and I have become best friends and talk nearly a couple of times every week.  We really are like mother and daughter and best friends, just as we are in the film.  I just adore Meir and he is keeping me updated on the status of the film, as is his son and producer of the film Terry Zarchi.  Meir and Terry are like family to me.    

IDI: What was the best advice Camille Keaton gave you?
JB: Camille gave me a lot of advice while we were on set about love, life, career, everything.  She still does.  She loves to tell me not to “sell out”, meaning she wishes the best for me in my career.  She tells me to reach for everything that I want and not give up and she always has positive words to tell me about my acting abilities, which encourages me to try to get as far as I possibly can in this business.  I always appreciate her beautiful energy and just the fact that she believes so much in me and my work.  
IDI: You’re playing Christy Hills, daughter of Jennifer Hills from the original film. Can you tell us anything about her character and what drew you to her?

JB:  Christy is a strong woman, just like her mom.  She’s a model who just wants to be done with her career.  She finds the business to be shallow and pointless and aches for something more meaningful in her life.  She longs for a husband who loves her and children.  I tend to be drawn to characters like Christy, whose strength and wisdom are tested in the direst of circumstances.  It is a challenge for me as an actor, an artist, and I love to be challenged with a multifaceted role like Christy.    

IDI: What would you like to let people know about this film?

JB:  The script is fantastic and all of the actors I worked with on this are phenomenal.  Meir and the producer Terry Zarchi saw hundreds and hundreds of actors for only eight roles.  I, myself, went through three auditions, totaling about six hours.  So, I have not seen a cut of the film, but with a fantastic director who has a very clear vision, a solid script, and great actors, I hope we bring justice to the original 1978 film with a very strong sequel.  

IDI:  What else are you working on?

JB: just wrapped as the lead female in “Sinbad and the Furies” from The Asylum, the company that brought us the “Sharknado” movies.  It’s a mythological story that takes place in present day, starring John Hennigan (aka John Morrison), written by Scotty Mullen (Zoombies) and directed by Scott Wheeler (Milf).  

I am preparing to begin shooting in “4/20 Massacre” as the lead female, a tough martial artist who is very kind and down-to-earth.  The synopsis reads: “A group of five women go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana grow operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.”  I had been wanting to work with director Dylan Reynolds for years after attending the premiere of his film “Nipples and Palm Trees”, which I thought was witty, funny and very dark all at the same time.  His artistry in film I find to be very original.  I am so excited to work with him on this horror film.  

I am in full marketing mode on “The 6th Friend”, the film I wrote with director Letia Clouston, produced with Chantelle Albers, and act as the lead actress “Joey”.  Here is the synopsis: “In this slasher film with a paranormal twist, six college best friends throw their own private graduation party when the stoner of the group orders in a psychedelic from her drug dealer, who sticks around to join in their fun.  Drugged and disoriented, the girls’ special night quickly becomes a dark, foggy nightmare of blood and violence. Five years later, the girls gather together once again in hopes of rekindling that close friendship that they once had, only to find themselves being hunted by who, or what, they do not know.” We have submitted to many film festivals and are connecting with potential distributors.  I am very proud of this film.  It turned out really well and I hope to bring it to the world in 2017.  Follow the film on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates.  We are releasing film stills slowly and a trailer will soon follow.     

Lastly, if you would like to check out some of my work, watch the feature horror/thriller film “All Girls Weekend”, which is available on Comcast, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, VUDU, Xbox, Cox, Cablevision and Dish.  I play the lead as “Nancy”, the dark, melancholy one of the group of five girls.  The film reminds me of “The Blair Witch Project” meets “The Descent”.  There is a powerful message about the environment behind this film.  Writer/director Lou Simon delivers that message creatively and brilliantly.    

 We here at The Insomniac will be adding some movies to our ques the next few weeks! Look up Jamie Bernadette on Twitter and Facebook for all kinds of updates on the above projects. Until next time when we will review the I Spit on You Grave remake,  we’ll see you around the drive-in!

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“American Conjuring” Conflicting Emotions

Greetings fellow Insomniacs! A new horror film hit the streaming and on demand services called “American Conjuring”recently. Watched it tonight and I wanted to like it, I really did.

The film follows the Harrison family as they move into their new home. Only they don’t know, the house used to he an orphanage where horrible things happened. The original owner hung herself and continues to haunt the house. A birthday party prank goes wrong, and one of the orphans kills the rest of the girls, possessed by the spirit of the dead owner. And now, the new owners begin to have their share of problems.

I was really excited starting this film. It starts a few years in past, and sets up the premise for the main part of the film well. I was almost reminded of the game of the bloody murder in the beginning of “Prom Night.” At least, in the feel of the scene. I thought the whole first half of the film was really going on all cylinders. I was wrapped up in the story. The look and feel of the scenes reminded me of some of the great and not so great lower budget 80s horror films like “Rock and Roll Nightmare”, “The Newlydeads”, and some of the Troma films. A good score and hints of the ghost haunting the place kept me interested.

But, the second half just loses steam for me fast. I felt some of the scenes didn’t follow the continuity of what the characters were dealing with in the scene before. The dad played by Darren Mattheson goes off into full George Lutz Amityville zip code. In one scene, his wife played by Lynn Csontos, is telling him that she is taking the kids and leaving. He goes full psycho, threatening her and pinning her to the wall roughly. She starts crying and cowering with the youngest daughter. In the next scene, he climbs into bed and she’s all smiles. They joke and then get down to some bedroom business.What?! He was attacking her just a short time ago! She should be as cold as ice! Then, while they are attempting to make love, ghostly stuff happens. He freaks out and finally she gets mad, throwing him out onto the couch for the night! You think? And then in the next scene, it is the following morning. The dad comes into the kitchen. She smiles and offers him breakfast! It was these kind of discrepencies that ruined some of the film for me.

The acting was decent. Csontos was the best of the cast. This, I believe, is her first full length role and hope to see more of her work in the future. Mackenzie Mowat has the angst teen daughter down and Eliza Faira creeped me out as the younger daughter. This is a good thing! Harrison seemed somewhat stiff in delivery of the lines. This may be what the director wanted thoughnas he fell under the spell of the ghost.

Speaking of the ghost, Matt Lutz did a great job with the make-up for her. It had a very Rich Baker feel and I am a huge fan of practical effects over CGI. All the effects and tricks were a pleasant treat and added to the appeal for.

The screenplay by Ken King from a story by Dan Walton is intriguing. It has a lot of good beats to it among some questionable scenes. I did like the ending the Directors, Walton and Dan Zachary came up with. Nice out of left file that made me smile in a good horror movie way.

So, that’s what I think of “American Conjuring”. If you get a chance to see it, let us know what you think. Until next time, we’ll see you around the drive-in. 

Email: monstersandmemories@hotmail.com

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Twitter: @InsomniacDI

Injustice For All

Hello fellow Insomniacs! I have not had the opportunity to see a lot of fan films, but if they are half as good as “Injustice For All”, sign me up!

This film tells, for me, the loneliness of being The Joker and and the depths someone will go to when they love someone. That someone being a Miss Harleen Quinzel aka Harley Quinn. And this is a dark,very real feeling dangerous love between them. Kudos to actors Chris Newman and Erika Hoveland for their portrayals. Newman plays The Joker scary. Forget clown prince of crime, this is the king! He takes out a long standing supporting DC character at the end without remorse in his eye. He does terrible things to some unsuspecting ladies, and just rocks the screen. Hoveland plays Quinzel with a nice touch of madness. In a non-comic world, I could see this being how Harleen would be. She is scarred by her time with her puddin’, yet there is something beautiful there. 

Jamie Bernadette plays our favorite Gotham City alley feline, Catwoman. She looks the part and I would have loved to seen the cat in action. She has an emotional scene withe Joker, and I hope we get to see Catwoman her revenge.

Directed by Danny Mooney, Injustice paints a good real world feel for the DC Universe. A strong story by Donovan Davis and Joseph Bryce Hart keeps you interested, making you wish for more as the credits roll.

Kudos to all the cast and crew for a great film, and I look forward to more from them all.

The film can be found on YouTube at: https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=2571p04pf#/watch?v=okx_-z9G9QY

until next time, see you around the drive-in!

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/InsomniacDriveIn

Twitter: @InsomniacDI

Email: monstersandmemories@hotmail.com

Lights Out vs. Suicide Squad

Greetings fellow insomniacs! Had a chance to check out a couple current movies recently. One I loved, and the other was just decent.

Lights out is the latest horror film to grace the big screen. I went in with some trepidation. It didn’t appear to be breaking any new ground in the trailer. And when I went to go see it, it only confirmed this. It was a paint by numbers horror film that I found to be predictable in parts. It remined me a lot of Darkness Falls.  There were two good jump scares, but not much more meat to it horror-wise.

The story revolves around a family plagued by this strange creature that only exist in the shadows. It wants the mother, played be Maria Bello, all to herself. Bello is a gem in this film. She plays a woman who has already broken down once and is on the verge of doing so again. She has great acting chops and glad she got to use them here. We learn the creature was her friend once and is back from the grave with a real obsession about keeping her to herself.

The effects are decent, but dark as it needs to take place in the shadows. It’s an alright film but I expect more from horror films, I guess.

On the other hand, Suicide Squad was a whole lot of crazy wrapped in a big ball of fun. There’s been a whole lot being said about it and I enjoyed the whole thing.

I’ve been waiting for DC to get their expanded cinematic universe going. This seems like a good start. I enjoyed Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman. I agree with some of the critics that the first half of this film is stronger then the second. I loved the introductions of the Squad. Margot Robbie nails Harley Quinn. Having watched Batman: The Animated Series, I think her creators would be proud. Will Smith’s Deadshot brought a lot of depth to The character. I ended up enjoying him more then I thought. Jared Lego brings a new take on The Joker. With the original photos released, I couldn’t put my finger on what they were doing withe character. But, he is homicidal! I cannot wait for a proper showdown with Ben Afflack’s Batman.

The story involves the squad being formed to save the trapped Amanit Waller. The enchantress and her brother work on a machine that will do…something. Still not clear what it was supposed to and it reminded me entirely too much of Zod’s machine in Man of Steel. That may be my only gripe. El Diablo has an awesome scene in the last act, and made him that much cooler.

Some scenes looked like they came right off the comic page and some of the dialogue feel right at home there too.  A post credits scene sets up the next movies nicely, and I am enjoying the DC universe so far.

They strived to make something different from the last two films. They did. Not as angry a film and loved the use of music in it. It was a fun ride!

That’s all for now, insomniacs! Drop us a line at monstersandmemories@hotmail.com we’d love to hear from you. We’re also on Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/insomniacDriveIn and twitter @InsomniacDI

See you all around the drive-in!