Cooking Up Horror: An Interview With Lisa Coffelt.

“Hi I’m Lisa, and I make horror

Women In Horror Month was started three years ago for a number of reasons. Sure, highlighting films made by some of the most talented filmmakers on the planet was a big reason. There’s no doubt about that.

But it’s the tight knit bond forged between these immense talents in other projects that really show just what this movement stands for.

Unity. Compassion. Charity. Friendship.

For those who have wondered what exactly the celebration of Women In Horror is all about, look no further than a shining example such as the ‘Have A Heart For Horror Cookbook‘.

The fantastic idea that mixes horror with h’orderves is a big reason tonight’s featured Woman In Horror, Lisa Coffelt, is spotlighted on the blog.

Besides a blossoming career behind the camera that has already included credits as a director, writer, producer, cinematographer, composer and editor, Lisa brought forth the downright awesome ‘Have A Heart For Horror Cookbook’ idea.

Who wouldn’t want to make delicious goodies concocted by the coolest ladies in the splatter industry? Better yet, who wouldn’t want to help a charitable cause?

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the book’s sales go to benefit Project Get Safe, which is a non-profit corporation that strives to prevent true life horrors such as domestic violence, teen youth shelters and abuse, among other issues.

So not only is Lisa keeping it creepy with shorts like Scorn (beware the candle wax!) and Quarters (demons rarely play nice during drinking games), she’s also making a difference in other’s lives.

For those out there who think horror fans are all weirdos and nut jobs, get to know Lisa Coffelt. She’s a perfect exemplar for the Women In Horror movement.


1. As a woman in horror, what is the biggest inequality still facing women

Well when you’re a woman and you say, “Hi I’m Lisa, and I make horror
films”, people stop and they don’t know what to say, the look on their
face is astonishing.  They are shocked, and don’t believe you, or they
say “but you’re a girl”.  It’s always funny to see their faces, but
the truth is people hardly realize that women make movies, let alone a
“man’s genre” like horror.  I think that people apply labels, and
horror director for a women is just not one of them, it’s almost like
we don’t exist but yet it’s very obvious that we do.

2. You’re another BleedFest alum. How important is that event to the
progress of the women in horror campaign?

Bleedfest, along with Viscera are some really great film festivals
dedicated to helping women in horror.  It’s definitely really
important to keep these film festivals going, not only to show what’s
great coming from women in horror, but to also empower the camaraderie
between all of the women.  The network is so strong and all of the
women are so supportive of the other women, and it’s film festivals
like these that keep that going.

3. Is there a specific film you hold nearest and dearest to your heart?

In reference to my own films, I have a few that are pretty close to
me. Curmudgeon: The Five Stages Of Hell, was a dark comedy that I can
quote from beginning to end, and it’s about 25 minutes long.  I’m kind
of in love with it because it was one of my firsts.  But the films
that I hold closest are the ones that I write.  I actually just
finished a film called  Internal Thoughts, that has already shown in
San Diego at the February Women’s edition of Horrible Imaginings Film
Fest and at Jennifer’s Bodies in Scotland.  The story is very close to
me, because it’s autobiographical to a point.  It makes me think of a
time in my life that was so terrifying, I never want to go back to
that. So this film serves as a reminder of what could have happened,
had I not stopped to realize what was going on.

4. Who are some of your women in horror heroes?

Hero is such a strong word to use, but pretty much all women in horror
are inspirational.  With the “Have A Heart For Horror Cookbook”, I’ve
met so many great women, from artists, writers, filmmakers and so many
more.  But I have to say that two women I really admire are Heidi
Honeycutt & Shannon Lark, without them and The Chainsaw Mafia, I would
have never found out about all of these great women.  Before I heard
about these ladies, I thought I was pretty much alone.

5. What are a few of your favorite horror films?

Well I have to say that my favorite horror film is hands down The
Exorcist.  However, I grew with classic Roger Corman, Vincent Price
films, and I still love those til this day.  It’s those stories that
hooked me into horror and made me into wanting to make horror films.

6. Are you more of an “in your face” horror or “what’s behind the
closed door” terror type of horror fan?

This is an interesting question.  I think it really all depends.  I’m
not really into the boo factor, however I do enjoy a good freak out
every now and again.  But I also enjoy gory movies, at the same time I
love the idea of the imagination taking hold things that you have to
piece together.  I love horror flicks that make you put things
together, and when you do, it becomes so much more creepy.

7. Horror is an excellent tool for social commentary. Do you ever
intentionally add social opinions to your work or is it mere
coincidence if one were to point out something like that in one of
your films?

I try to make a statement through certain films, this is true.
However, sometimes it happens to be a coincidence that certain ideas
relate.  We normally discover these things during production or post
production, so I don’t think anyone could surprise me after the

8. What one woman, alive or dead, would you most like to collaborate
with on a project?

Hmmmm…interestingly enough I would have loved to have done something
with Audrey Hepburn.  Although, she’s not someone of horror, I feel
like she could have brought a since of class and elegance to horror,
had she’d been in the right era for it.

9. ‘Quarters’ is a film that just sounds awesome. How does a film like
this pop into your head?

If it’s not something that I’ve already written, it normally comes
about with one idea.  The idea was demons, and then normally it’s a
back and forth brainstorming session between myself and the co-founder
of Crimson Stained Lace, hubby James Coffelt.  I think demons came up
and then drinking games with holy water.  But then we took a strong
influence of our circle of friends. For instance, each demon is named
after a personality of each of my friends who were in the film, things
such as Flamboyant, Sarcasm, Fun, Meek and Obnoxious.  You write what
you know, and the people around you can definitely help to inspire.

10. How important are sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter for this
generation of filmmakers, in your opinion?

Well we’ve done two films where we’ve tried to get funding through
IndieGoGo, and it’s not been overly successful for us, however I don’t
have a ton of time to market things the way I should, and you probably
shouldn’t try to set up something at the last minute hoping to get a
huge response. I believe that later on, for us, when we get more of a
following, it’ll be easier to use things like IndieGogo.  I know that
a lot of my friends and family look at the funding pages for my films,
and go “can i just give you cash?”  So we end up getting a lot more
cash than actual funding through the site, but at least people know
you’re looking for funding.  It is really important for it to continue
and help out filmmakers, and it’s also important to not get
discouraged, and just keep trying it with different marketing tactics.

a still from Coffelt’s baby, ‘Internal Thoughts’


11. With a nice list of acclaimed projects under your belt, what’s next for you?

So the film I mentioned before Internal Thoughts is my baby, it is
very much a part of me.  So I want the world to see it, so we’re
taking a little bit of a break to really help promote and push this
film.  But we have a ton of super secret stuff lined up.

And I’m working on a documentary about board gaming, but that’s going
to take quite a while to complete.  Beyond that, besides films we have
the “Have A Heart for Horror” cookbook that I compiled and was
released for WiHM 2012 and you can find out about it on our website.  It’s all recipes by women in horror and
we’re really excited to share it and donate all of the proceeds to
Project Get Safe that works to prevent real life horrors such as abuse
and domestic violence.  It also has a foreword by Heidi
Honeycutt/Martinuzzi.  This past year has been crazy hectic with
projects on top of projects, and I think its finally going to pay off.
Thank you Justin!

Lisa was a wonderful sport throughout this interview process, and I sincerely thank her for her time and words!

Please check out the Project Get Safe link.


About Justin Hamelin

I am a freelance writer, mostly of horror and everything macabre. As a die hard fan of the genre with a particularly deep affinity for Women In Horror, I write film reviews, short stories, screenplays and conduct as many interviews as I can with the fantastic people who make the horror genre my absolute favorite!
This entry was posted in Have A Heart For Horror Cookbook, horror, horror authors, horror films, independent filmmaking, Uncategorized, Women In Horror. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s