As the interviews continue to roll out here on the blog, I am thrilled to be able to show off new aspects of the horror genre with each interview.
Today, we meet a woman who is taking the role of horror by the horns and making it all her own.
Amy Fear is the proud owner of Crispy Zombie Productions. Along with her husband, this horror tandem is revolutionizing the role-playing game scene, incorporating our favorite film genre and bringing us ‘Director’s Cut Survival Horror‘, a game that pits the players forced to survive horror films while the director of the film tosses all kinds of monsters and gory obstacles in your way.
I’m ready to get my copy!
As a horror fanatic who has dedicated her livelihood to the craft of gore, Amy is working hard to spread the word of her company as well as the projects currently in the cauldron.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Amy Fear…
What roped you into the world of horror?
I wasn’t exactly roped into it. I mean, I sort of fell in love with it at an early age. My earliest memory of something scary is watching Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on TV while I was only 3! It scared me…terrified me, but something was planted at that moment. Fast forward about eleven years and it’s Halloween night and I’m officially too old to go trick-r-treating. So I’m stuck at home with my dad and he started flipping channels and he puts it on “Halloween”. I had never seen “Halloween” before. I didn’t know who Michael Myers was. But I was sucked into this movie from the start. So much so, that we watched “Halloween II” right after. I couldn’t look away. I was fascinated by how suspenseful it was. I rooted for Jamie Lee Curtis’ character Laurie Strode. I loved it! Off and on through the years, I continued to watch horror movies with my dad…”Scream” 1 and 2, to name a few. He even took me to see “Halloween: Resurrection” when it was in the theatres. It was our way of bonding. I have loved it ever since!
As a woman in horror and with so many talented women in the genre, why do you feel people still associate horror with being a boys club?
I think some people still associate horror as being a boys club because so many of the classic horror directors were men. Some of the actors were men. It wasn’t that there were no talented women directors or actresses. Quite the opposite. It just seems to take women longer, working harder to get noticed than their male counterparts. I do believe that trend is changing. There are some great women in the genre and they will eventually get their due attention and respect.
Who are some of your women in horror heroes?
I mentioned Jamie Lee Curtis, and that is because she is my favorite. I loved her in the “Halloween” movies, “Prom Night”, “Terror Train”…She knew how to scream and she knew how to show her characters emotions and feelings well. I am partial to Danielle Harris, partly for her work in “Halloween 4” and “5”, along with “Urban Legends”. I also enjoyed her role in “Hatchet 1” and “2”. I liked Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby”, I loved Sissy Spacek in “Carrie”. The list goes on. I have a soft spot for classic horror.
What is your favorite horror film franchise?
If you haven’t guessed it by now, it is “Halloween”. I also liked the “Friday the 13th” franchise. I kind of like the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series, although some scenes from the original film continued to haunt me for years after I watched it back in ’89. Back to “Halloween”…here is a killer that needs to say nothing. The characters around him say it all. They react to his slow strikes and patient blade swipes. He is the Boogeyman. That said, my husband can’t stand Michael Myers. He’s more of a Freddy fan. I also enjoyed the first 3 “Saw” movies and the very last one. My husband and I had this odd way of celebrating our anniversary by seeing the latest “Saw” movie for the last four years, since it always fell around our date.
How did Crispy Zombie Productions come about?
My husband and I ran a website dedicated to scream queens. We also ran a website that allowed amateur and professional film makers and actresses an outlet to show their works. We allowed horror film shorts, without fear of censorship. We heavily support the indie horror movement. That was back in ’07 and we went by Zombie Popcorn Productions and we learned another company had that name. So we brainstormed and came up with Crispy Zombie Productions. Our company really started to establish itself when we came up with an idea for a horror movie role-playing game. Initially we wanted to create a horror movie card game, but we had trouble figuring out how exactly to produce it. So we thought role-playing. Tabletop role-playing with some dice rolls. We have written three movies for our survival horror role-playing system and have plans for more. Then we thought, why not do a horror movie card game? We could even adapt our movies over to card deck scenarios and have archetypes with skill stats. And here we are.
How did you get into the RPG scene?
I have always had a strong imagination and RPG was something I fell into. I got involved with medieval role-playing with foam-padded weapons a short while before I met my husband David. He introduced me to D & D, D20, All Flesh Must Be Eaten. I was hooked. I still game regularly when I have the time!
Where do you hope to see the company in 5 years?
My husband and I have a lot of plans. We hope to help people produce horror short stories and novels, as well as art. We have plans for photograph books. We want to put out more movies and card game expansions. What I am really hoping is that we can produce a horror movie board game. You’re the first one I’ve told that to! Another thing is that we hope to hit all of the major horror conventions and show the public what we can offer!
Well thank you for the first word! The horror conventions are such a huge advantage these days for independent artists. How many conventions has the Crispy Zombie army been to thus far over the years?
So far, the Crispy Zombie army has been to 2 conventions and we have big plans to hit at least 3 more this year. That doesn’t even include Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012 next month, which people will be able to catch us at, with the Directors Cut movies and Card Game.
What are some projects the company and yourself are currently working on?
Currently, we are working on finalizing “Spirit Catchers” for the role-playing game and the card game. We are working on a Monster Book that can be used along with the role-playing system. We have plans for “Carnival of the Damned”, another horror movie that we are writing and hope to adapt over to the card game. And then there’s “The Game”. Watch for that one. It’s going to be a treat to write!
You guys are doing some really awesome, innovative stuff! This is the kind of thinking the horror world needs- enough with remakes and microwaved themes. It’s time for original foundations for the new generations to celebrate and build on! Is Crispy Zombie Productions your full-time job?
Yes, Crispy Zombie Productions is my full-time job. Thinking up new movies and monsters keeps me busy.
‘Director’s Cut: Survival Horror’ The Card Game is gaining a lot of attention thanks to the fundraising campaign as well as the online chatter. How long has this project been in production?
Our card game has been in production for about five years. We have brainstormed and dreamed of the card game and the role-playing system. We actually debuted our Directors Cut Survival Horror role-playing System at Gencon 2011 and it was amazing, how well it was received. I can’t wait to see how the Card Game does!
You’ve been in the horror business for quite a while now. What are your hopes for the future of horror?
My hopes for the future of horror are many. I am hoping that major studios stop remaking horror classics that don’t need a reboot! We need more original horror movies with stellar plots and great acting. I am hoping that more indie horror companies get more recognition, for doing work that big companies do, but with smaller budgets and effects. Like I said, I have many hopes for the future of horror.
Thank you very much to the rockin’ Amy Fear for her time and support with this interview!
Please keep your eyes peeled for everything Crispy and gory!