Notorious Vancouver: Gigi Saul Guerrero

So I’ve always got my eyeballs peeled for cool people and projects in my fair city of Vancouver. Terminal City is fast getting a reputation as a breeding ground for cinematic talent. Whether it’s a community that fosters this, the scenery that inspires or someone put something in the water, no one can deny the quality of work this next generation is bringing to the screen.

One of these people is Gigi Saul Guerrero, the La Muñeca Del Terror, of Luchagore Productions. I came across her work a few years ago with her short that screened at the Rio Dead On Film Festival. Since then she has gone on to produce and direct some amazing work that has been killing it on the festival circuit. Ever interested in seeing the growth of my cinema sisters, I managed to nail her down to ask her a few questions….

#LaMuñecaDelTerror

#LaMuñecaDelTerror

1. You are a delightful addition to the Women In Horror sisterhood
between kicking ass at film festivals and making films that don’t shy
away from the extreme. What was your ‘lightbulb’ moment when you
wanted to pursue this as a career and not just a hobby?

GSG:  I actually started out as an athlete! I was convinced I wanted to be either a Cartoonist or an Olympic Gold medalist in swimming, volleyball, or at the track field! Haha random right? But ever since a little girl “scary” things always interested me, even if I was terrified of them! For example, I has a HUGE obsession with watching surgeries on TV, anything to do with the Ouija board or paranormal events I wanted to know more. Then in High school I got into a lot of theater acting and slowly went into film and said to myself… yup film is what I want to do. So I started with making only comedies in Film School and then slowly added more and more blood and BAM!! I couldn’t tell you how great it feels to work with blood, guts and gore behind the camera. It simply feels… right?

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2. Your from Mexico City, and live in Vancouver. Do you find as a
female filmmaker, particularly in horror, that there are any cultural
differences in attitude towards your choice in subject matter, or do
you find that both are supportive?

GSG: Being born and raised from Mexico has really helped me in staying close and true to my culture. So far all the films I have made have a big or small “Hispanic” reference/twist to it. Now being a female filmmaker has never faced me to be a negative thing, but instead I see it as an other obstacle a filmmaker has to face. No matter where I come from or what sex I am – at the end of the day  my goal is to be recognized as a “Great Filmmaker”.

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3. Your work is haunting and beautiful but also doesn’t pull any
punches. When your work has screened at film festivals do you find
that your audience gravitates more towards the beauty of the horror
you show or the gore?

GSG: The beauty of it! So far what I have noticed in the audience’s reaction to the films I have Directed is more in the look and style of the film and that I have to give a big shout out to my best friend, Luke Bramley, who is an absolutely amazing cinematographer. Not to mention, people have always commented how they love that our films always bring a mexican twist to it, and it is always so fresh and original.

4. Who are some of your major influences and inspirations for your work?

GSG: I am a huge fan for the Three amigos (Mexican Directors: Guillermo Del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron, and Alejandro González Iñárritu) . But man when it comes to films that go from shocking people, to crossing on the extreme, to simply ebing f*cked up I am in love with Robert Rodriguez, Rob Zombie, and Quentin Taratino.
Don’t get me wrong, I could give you a list of my top 25 Directors, haha but these are big influences.

The whole family is here...

The whole family is here…

5. As a modern and young filmmaker, do you feel there are more
advantages with current technology, or do you prefer old school
methods, equipment or styles? Do feel that modern technology has
helped or hindered movie makers?

GSG: This day and age anybody can “call themselves” a filmmaker: Camera’s are more affordable as well as getting your work online is accessible. So in a way technology has really made it easier for Indie filmmakers to get their name and work out there. Now that I think about it, without any social media I don’t know how any of my work could’ve been seen. 
Now even though today’s amazing technology has created history in the way films were made, I am still not a huge fan of CGI or Visual effects when they are over used. Sure it’s amazing what can be done today, but I like to remember how in especially Horror movies it was all about the practical/special effects done live on set! 
My team and I try to do that as much as possible or practical effects and use Visual Effects to slightly enhance someting on screen, or not use Visual Effects at all.

6. Where can we see more of your work?

GSG: My work can be seen on my Fan page on Facebook and Twitter at  and can always use the hashtag #LaMuñecaDelTerror!

Be sure to check out let latest film, TESTEMENT, winner of Best Cinematography and Best Fucking Death in the Phrike 72 Hour Film Festival.

XOXO

Little Miss Risk

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Daily Grindhouse: Sorority Babes At The Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama

Been catching heat lately for my role as Yumi in the Twisted Twins’ ABCS Of Death 2 segment, ‘T Is For Torture Porn’. Evidently, being a tentacle rape monster is somehow beneath me. If I wasn’t such a lady, I’d say ‘balls’. But it’s got my back up a teeny tiny bit in regards to what other people perceive as ‘ladylike behaviour’.

With this in mind, and brimming with vitriolic feelings, it might not have been the best time to rewatch Sorority Babes At The Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama for Daily Grindhouse. Given that the film was done in the hey-day of 80s slasher flicks, I might have found myself slithering up onto my soapbox… To be fair, this was my first time not viewing the film under the influence, and without the fuzziness of various intoxicants, it lost a little bit of it’s shimmer for me.

You can read my feelings about it here, and if you happen to have a lot of intoxicants, you might want to check it out…

XOXO

Little Miss Risk

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October Sass

Ah, October. Without a doubt, my hands-down favourite time of the year. Not for the little joys of watching everyone take on my oeuvre with the spooky, nor the nail-biting drama that comes from the thrill of watching pedestrians narrowly miss stepping in dog poo concealed by fall foliage… There is genuinely so much fun and awesome festive things happening, it feels like a more united celebration for us horror folks than Christmas for Christians.

Berlin, Halloween 2010

Berlin, Halloween 2010

With that said, I’ve a few events I’m appearing at and performing in that I wanted to keep you abreast of…

Thursday October 2nd

Sweet Sip Thursdays (Vancouver, BC)

(burlesque performances)

 

Sunday October 5th

Dr. Sketchy’s Vancouver – Don’t Fear The Reaper (Vancouver, BC)

(burlesque performance and life modelling)

 

Wednesday October 8th

Projection Booth: American Mary (online, PST)

(Podcast with Jen and Sylvia Soska)

 

Friday October 10th

The Monster Bash (Victoria, BC)

(Burlesque performance)

 

Thursday October 23rd

Sweet Sip Thursdays (Vancouver, BC)

(Burlesque performance)

 

Friday October 24th

ABCs Of Death 2 screening @ The Rio Theatre (Vancouver, BC)

(Hosting, Q&A with Jen and Sylvia Soska)

 

Thursday October 30th

Heavy Hitting Horror Festival (Whistler, BC)

(Hosting, burlesque performance)

 

Friday October 31st

Madhause vs Glamour Trash @ The Hindenburg (Vancouver)

(Burlesque performance)

Happy Halloween everyone!

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XOXO

Little Miss Risk

 

 

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Little Miss Risk Tete Et Tentacle with Dread Central

You really hope and pray, as an artist, that when you do what you do that you have, if not the attention of the public, then at least that of your peers. Of late, I’ve been getting spoiled with both from either camp, but I’m flattered as hell that Dread Central was kind enough to want to interview me on these matters and give me a platform to discuss them.

So I’m very pleased that to post the link to Dread Central that makes me feel kind of rush I get only onstage, bereft of clothing, and holding an audience’s gaze. So thank you Scott and DC for the pleasure.

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Autumn Glory

I can feel the shift and it sends a wonderful shudder down my back like the hypnotic glance from an attractive stranger. The air ceases to be heavy and damp with summer humidity, and shifts to crisper coolness with the acrid scratch of smoke in your nostrils. The leaves blush before beginning their own striptease, drifting from branch to ground as the trees stand proud and stark before sunsets that happen earlier and earlier.

Autumn is upon us.

Of all the seasons I love autumn the most. Everything from the temperature change, the coziness of the time, the fall food of the season that’s ripe in tune with the harvest, and of course Halloween. For all these reasons, I’ve always loved this time of year for not a sense of death and dormancy, but a sleepiness following the summer madness. The leaves turn, we gather the harvest, and the spirits stir.

Shy autumn proceeds in the late thrall of summer...

Shy autumn proceeds in the late thrall of summer…

Living on the West Coast in our well-wooded city affords me many walks and a chance to wander the forest primeval. Throughout the year the trees change their fashion to suit the wear; cherry blossoms blooming or flashy summer greenery, red and gold autumn hues or sleek minimalist for winter. But in that shift from summer to fall watching the trees whisper the change to one another in their silent communications, you’d swear that faeries were their jungle drums.

Trees really amaze me. Not only do they all send out a pheromone to each other to all agree to turn at the same time, but if there is a onset of insects, it warns the other trees. Not only that, but if the tree has the insect land it, it will be able to secret a substance that is repellant to the insects. If that doesn’t make them seem even more enchanted, I don’t know what will. Interestingly enough, I was thinking about this when I pulled a Tarot card earlier today. It was the Lady Of The Forest.

One of my favourite faery Tarot cards...

One of my favourite faery Tarot cards…

If you are graced with the presence of the Lady, you are being asked to look deeply at the feminine within yourself and the feminine aspects of any relationship you are in. How do you feel? What does the relationship feel like? This can be a relationship with a person, place or idea – whatever is manifesting itself in your life at the time. Connect with the emotion of what is occurring. Go back to the source of the relationship, the dream that began it, and think about what is happening right now. When you change on a profound level, those changes take a long time to become manifest in the world. You may or may not see the changes in your life immediately but they will happen in your life.”

Kind of heavy sentiments, but true. Since shooting American Mary a number of autumns ago, the things that have always been successful flames for me go the slow burn, usually from something that happened this time of year. So I’ve learned the despite what are usual challenging economic times in my line of work, to keep my ear to the ground and pay attention to that little whisper that comes in my ear round about this season. It’s served me well this far, and like those trees that listen to non verbal cues of seasonal shift, so now do I.

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XO

Little Miss Risk

Photos: David Denofreo @ Black Opal Images

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