She's been called the Queen of Horror in the Bay Area, but I would like to up Reyna Young's status to that of patron saint. This woman is doing an amazing amount to help celebrate, facilitate, and promote the genre. Reyna's love of independent horror has given birth to the annual horror short film festival 'A Nightmare to Remember' which has horror films under 20 minutes as well as prizes, raffles, awards, special guests, etc. Her own Last Doorway Production Company has done such films as 'Uninvited' and 'Out of Print' as well as 'The Last Doorway Show' which is a 30 minute MySpace TV show dedicated to indie horror which Reyna hosts as Miss Misery. Like many of her passions this show is about helping independent horror artists get exposure and get their work shown. She is also working on a feature length documentary on women in horror called 'Welcome to My Darkside!' which includes pieces with women involved in every facet of the genre and she is even hosting a Women in Horror Convention in SF in 2010. Ms. Young has even had time to release a book of dark poetry. This is a one woman dynamo and she's here for this exclusive interview. All hail Queen Reyna.

  Reyna, why don't you start us off with a visual and describe the place where you are answered these questions?

Well, I am in my office surrounded by pictures and posters of me all over the walls. I have figures still in there packaging pinned onto another wall, a stack of ghost rider comic books on one side to me, and an axe on the other. Inglorious bastards is playing in the background and a hot chocolate in front of my keyboard with marshmallows of course...

So tell me about your production company, Last Doorway Productions. First off where does the title come from?

It's a name I thought of when I was younger and it kind of just stuck with me, I have tried other names but kept going back to this one, its like when you watch my films you will be stepping into the doorway to your imagination. I did have negativity towards the name when I first started using it but that's by people I know and well I don't listen to what other people say, I just do what I want!!

And does Last Doorway have some sort of mission statement or umbrella goal or goals you would care to share?

Yes!! Last Doorway productions is a film company that I started to help promote myself and my films and everything I love and want to do. As the company grew I wanted to do the same for other Independent artists. Our Mission is to help promote the unknown and help them out any way we can. We have a news section where we throw up all of our press releases, newest indie films, internet radio, anyone and everything that has to do with independent horror. I love helping out anyway I can and I get several e-mails a day from independent artists wanting to make a film but don't know how to start. I give them the best advice that I can and try to help them out with any situations they are going through. Anything I have learned on the way I share with them. Our goal is to help build the independent horror community.

I also want to hear about The Last Doorway Show?

I have always wanted my own type of twilight zone show, so I started The Last Doorway! A show dedicated to Independent horror. I host under the name Miss Misery and what my husband John and I do is we go to conventions and I do interviews with independent filmmakers, artists, celebrities and anyone we can get our hands on. We also show independent horror shorts and help promote anyone who wants to be on the show. We advertise for them and we have so much fun making the show. We have about 60 episodes and more to come. We also go around to sets and film the making of independent horror shorts and interview the cast and crew. The show from day one has been pretty popular, I'm always shocked when someone says they watch our show, it's just so cool how far we've come. John does all the camera work and editing, it's just us two but damn we get a lot done. So the Last Doorway Show is kind of like my type of 'Twilight Zone' show I've always wanted to have.

So tell me about shooting your first film 'Uninvited' in 2004. How did that come about and what influence did it have upon you?

To keep the story short (laughing). I was helping a friend do his films; I thought to myself I could just do my own. I bought a camera, wrote a script, had a bunch of friends help out, did a casting call, bought filmmaking for dummies, and started on my way. It didn't go so well though, my friends didn't help out to much it was all fun and games to them; I fired the two lead actresses, and then fired the crew. Hired two new girls and shot the whole thirty minute flick by myself in one night. Had my friend edit it for me and he was awesome by the way. People seemed to like it and yes I did get teased a lot, but hey it was my first attempt. Then I had a jealous boyfriend at the time who didn't like me being away filming so I stopped for a while and got back into filming a year later. I liked shooting with no crew, I guess I just like doing everything myself ...

You also host/do a short film festival called 'A Nightmare to Remember'. I want to hear how that started and what your reasoning is behind it?

One day I thought to myself "I want to throw a film fest!" So I put together a short horror film fest press release and said we were going to have awards and guests and a raffle and door goodie bags. I released it and then told my husband we were doing one. His jaw dropped. "Do you know how to throw a fest together?" I said no, I'll learn as I go... I did! There was so much to it but for some reason it was a breeze because I just went with instinct and with what I've seen at other fests and it came out great. My first guest of Honor was John Stanley, horror host of creature features; it was a successful night and I we almost sold out the place. The fact that anyone showed up was just so cool. I had it in San Francisco because there aren't really any short horror film fests at all and I did exactly what I would want to see at a fest. The second year was bigger and better, we knew what to do and putting it together was smoother and we had Mr. Lobo of Cinema Insomnia and Tony Moran, the original Michael Myers. We had first 20 people in line get a goodie bag and free raffle and prizes for the audience. We were ten seats away from selling out again. I'm trying to get in touch with more local filmmakers by doing this and of course helping out with exposure. I am so proud we are going into our third year with Guest of Honor Brooke Lewis. More to come on our website.

Tell me about the documentary you are making about women in horror called 'Welcome to My Darkside'. Who have you talked with thus far, what sort of things have you you see any common elements emerging among these women?

I wanted to make a documentary that was about the up and coming women in the horror genre. The actresses, radio personal, directors, fx, photographers, and horror websites run by women. I wanted to learn more about these women, why they are doing what they are doing. What is it about horror that intrigues them and how do they feel about a male dominated genre, or what does the name Scream Queen mean to them? I have learned a great deal from these women and how they feel and the different views and answers, it\rquote s really interesting and so far it's coming along great. It will be released February 1st. It is done and I am just going through some minor glitches and making the cover. I have Dai Green, Elske McCain, Michelle Fatale, Bianca Barnet, and so many more girls who are just so extraordinary and I am so happy to have met and gotten to know them. I cannot wait for them to see it. They are all so talented and I can see each one of them going far in the genre.

Why do you think the horror genre, seemingly more so than other genres, has been so welcoming of women not only as actresses, but also as writers/directors etc?

I think it's because in horror everyone has the love of blood and thrill and the drive to be scared. Women are welcomed because women have always been there from the running and screaming to the shower scenes, to the getting cut up several different ways on screen. Men in the genre love Women covered in blood so they welcome it with open arms, because that's what they want to see. Women Directing and producing is just a whole new element of surprise and I think the genre just loves seeing new things and there's so many men in the genre why not make room for the Women. Men love Women! That's all there is to it...

Reyna, you've been labeled 'The Queen of Horror in the Bay Area'. So what duties and rights do you have and plan to enact with such a lofty title?

I was shocked when I read this title and very honored. My duty is to do everything I can to keep the horror alive in San Francisco and beyond in that matter. Keeping my film fests going, I had a Zombie prom; I'm throwing events when I get a chance and always seeking actors and shooting around San Francisco. I'm going to be starting a little segment on Creepy Kofy Movie time which airs on Kofy 20 Saturday nights at Midnight. Helping out all local filmmakers and hosting events, that's always, fun. There's just so much and I plan on doing my best to keep horror alive in the bay area.

I also want to hear a little bit about your poetry. You've published a book of poetry. What sort of thing attracts you to it as an art form and what sort of things do you tend to write about?

I have always and will always be in love with Edgar Allan Poe, I started reading his works when I was a little girl and he helped contribute to my madness. I have always been a writer, and I love it. I write dark poetry and my two poetry books I have self published are poetry I wrote throughout high school. It's everything from break ups to I hate people to I hate life. What every teenager goes through pretty much. I'm working on my third which is going to be a lot darker, I write when I'm really mad. HEHEHE! More comes out of me when I'm angry and it turns into some really dark stuff. It is very therapeutic. I want to share all of my talents with everyone and writing Poetry was another talent of mine.

Do you have any other upcoming projects you want the racksandrazors readers to know about?

YES! I have a Women in horror Con coming in February in San Francisco, it's Women in horror recognition month in February so I thought about throwing an event together to celebrate all the local horror females. More info on my site and it's a free con! There will be Michelle Fatale, Dai Green, Kaci Hanson and more. Each Woman will receive a Women in horror recognition month award. It's going to be a blast! Working on my third annual Film Festival, getting ready for conventions to start up and I will be a guest this next coming year at a lot of them. More films to come as well, and also my feature film "Out Of Print". Stay tuned because who knows what else I will pull out of my sleeve...

Vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, creatures, aliens, telemarketers...what does it for you horrorwise Reyna and why?

It's the thrill of being scared, I love it and I guess I'm sick in that way. I love the feeling of my spine tingling and my eyes widening in fear and the nightmares I may have after watching a horror flick that got to me. I'm sick and twisted and full of sick thoughts myself and I guess I need therapy! It's hard to explain, it's more of a feeling than what I can describe to you but I have always been like this ever since I was a little girl living in a haunted house.

What was the first movie to scare the shit out of you?

I snuck into my fathers VHS collection early one morning and pulled out the first film I saw, John Carpenters 'Halloween'. I wasn't ever allowed to watch horror films but at the tender age of 8 I watched, I got scared and I fell in love with it. I then grabbed more and more out of his collection early every morning and watched until one day I threw up over 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part Two'. I tell you after that every time I was bullied at school I would imagine Leatherface going after the bullies for me, I started writing stories after that and then reading some of Mr. Poe I got into poetry heavily. Halloween though has always been my favorite.

Okay, we're pulling into the Reyna Young Drive In. What three horror flicks are on the triple bill for tonight and what goodies are they going to be serving up at the concession stand?

Great Question because this is one of my dreams! Drive in called "Stab In" Zombie waitresses on Rollerskates serving food to your car, Hot Dogs called an "Intestine dog" Popcorn called "Blood corn" and the butter will be dyed red, which would be cool. Of course we'll have Freddy Burgers, and Camp Crystal Fries! Also an order of your favorite drink, Blood! HAHA!!! All drinks will just be blood. Let's see, you get your order and the movie starts, a short two minute indie flick by someone local before the film starts. The feature will be tonight Halloween; every person who orders food will receive a Michael Myers mask. Then the second film which will be Alice Sweet Alice, while the movie plays I will hire people to walk around in raincoats to scare everyone at their car windows. Then for the final film, Texas Chainsaw massacre, order your chainsaw tenders which are served in your very own Chainsaw shaped box. Now how cool would that be...????

What is your dream (or nightmare) horror movie role?

Well wow! Hmmm. I would love to be in the 'Alice Sweet Alice' remake, if there's ever going to be one and I want to be the main creepy girl. I think that would be freaking awesome. Other then that I just cannot wait to be in a role where I just kill people! I would love to die in films but killing people is my goal...

What's the best Halloween costume you ever had?

When I was 10 I was Elvira! I loved that costume and I have no pics of it either which really sucks.

What scares you in real life?

Getting run over by a Muni bus! They really don't know how to drive. Getting caught underneath and dragged would not be cool. If I was followed home and raped that would not be good, I walk home at night from work with pepper spray in one hand and a knife in the other. I'm always prepared with an axe and a butcher knife near my bed. I have weapons hidden around the house to get too if needed. Real life murder scares me, anything that has to do with people being kidnapped. That is scary shit!!!