An Up and Rising Scream Queen: Denise D. by Dale Pierce

Denise D is relatively new to the Indy acting scene, having little formal acting training herself and with a reputation better known for writing commercials for small businesses for you tube and the like. She considers herself a writer more than an actress, but nonetheless has had her share of parts in varied low budget shorts and features, with more to come. She essentially started acting to help friends in the independent film world.     



Q. You have played small roles in a number of Indy films now?

A. Yes, but I have never had a speaking part in any, which is odd. It makes it easy to not have to remember lines. I do not consider myself an actress. I do not even run a web page for myself or anything on that line. I entered the Indy film world as a fluke.  I have had some interesting experiences, but do not consider myself  a major player by any  means, even on the Indy scene. I am surprised you want to do an interview. 

Q. How did you get started in Indy film?

A. I took part as an extra without even wanting to be. I was sitting out at a table drinking coffee and this guy came up, shooting some kind of film for either the Indy  scene or a college project and said he needed  extras. He asked if he and my fiancé at the time could just sit at this table and drink coffee, so he could have people in the background, but NOT look at the camera. He saw to it we signed model releases and brought our lunch.  What the film was or what became of it, I have no idea.

Q. Your first film you were credited for was 'Museo Taurino'.

A. I played a ghost. I was in one scene in this basement, where I materialized, looked in disgust at the main character, who was this hopelessly psychotic killer, prone to long winded tirades talking to himself. the lighting made the scene look really creepy. That was it.  It was nothing to brag on.  Since you  want to consider me someone worth interviewing, I will play along,  but there was nothing extraordinary about the role. All  I had to do was walk on, stare and leave. 

Q. This was for what company?

A. Blue Kat Boneyard out of Canton, Ohio. This is run by a guy named Jeff Stoll.  He has made other shorts and features since and has done  other stuff since, mainly taking stills 
for different people in canton and helping with their projects. He has done
 a lot of camera work for other companies.  I have been in three of his  films.

Q. What is it like to work for this company?

A. He has a budget that makes Ed  Wood look like  Tim Burton. However, he is passionate about what he does.

Q. You again played a ghost in another Blue Kat picture?

A. Yes. The  Monster Within. It  was a short about a man ;living in a haunted house.  The ghosts want him to commit suicide so he   will be able to join them in a  bunch of spiritual orgies in the afterlife.   The female ghosts lure him to knife himself and join  them. A real simple plot.  

Q. You again had no speaking parts?

A. True, but there is one scene that really did come out creepy. The man we are haunting opens a basement door and sees me standing there, just staring at him. He screams, shuts the door, and reopens it, where I am gone. It worked out better than anyone hoped, by accident. 

Q. Is it true this short was banned from a couple festivals?

A. Yes, a couple of libraries in Ohio refused to run it because of  profanity and an incest theme thought there  are no sex scenes at all. That's Ohio for you. One would think libraries would be against censorship, but not in Ohio.  This still disgusts me. The hypocrisy knows no bounds. You are in Jesus Country   there and  the mentality of ,many of the people is like in some comedy movie, only for real.         

Q. You have a new film being released from them now called 'Zealot'?

A. Yes. This time I play a murder victim though my death is  not   shown on   screen. I take  part in like a five minute or more stalking scene, to music, where I am being followed by this creepy looking guy. I sense something is wrong with him, but like a typical murder victim in a horror film, I pay no mind and die. I stupidly walk into a tunnel on the bike path I am on.  He follows me, the music continues and then you see him hurrying out of the tunnel and it is not confirmed whether I am dead or  not. The next scene has him bragging in a private  prayer session about the kill. He says to god or whoever, 'Did you kill for Jesus today? I did.' I think they  are using that phrase as a tag line for the DVD.

Q. They change the ending of this  film, right?

A. Yes and I liked the original ending more. In this the killer realizes he is about to be caught and kills himself. Jesus then appears to him and welcomes him into the joy  of the Lord. that is, Jesus approves of his killing spree. Stoll nixed that and has the guy end up in hell. i swear he has done this just to be able to use  these fire special effects he got from somewhere, like a kid with a new toy.

Q. Zealot is in post production?

A Yes and it took forever to do.

Q. They have been talking about doing some film fests and Indy shows when this is out. Do you plan to do public appearances with them?

A. Maybe. I again do not consider myself a major player, but if  they want me to do so,  I will. I like attending film fests and especially horror fests more than being a guest at them. One of my favorites,  which is not being done any more, is the Ghoulardi fest up in Cleveland. I attended one  of the last ones., Met the Ghoul, sort of a Ghoulardi clone and also Conrad Brooks. I was really glad to meet the latter as I love the Johnny Depp film, Ed Wood and love the old Ed  Wood films.

Q. You don't think Ed  Wood was the worst director of all time?

A. No. In his own way he was a genius ahead of his  time, tackling problems way before they became commonplace or points of discussion. The transgender scene, atomic warfare, teen crime....but he had no budget and had his hand in  too many things in  his films. He was spread too thin.

Q. Do you have any more films upcoming?

A. Yes. I am tentatively set to be killed again in another Blue Kat film to be called Forcado. I may even get to speak in it, but who knows when it will get done as Blue Kat is  also notoriously slow at times. I am also supposed to be in something called Nutty As   A   Fruitcake.  I am also looking at the possibility of taking art in a documentary on pro wrestling. The funny thing is I never really wanted to be in Indy films, ever,  but stumbled in to all of this.

Q. Do you   love the horror genre?

A. Not exclusively. I especially am unimpressed with a load of modern horror releases   I like the old Hitchcock and Fritz Lang psycho killer films. I also love those horribly bad horror films like they used to run on MST 3000.

Q. Anything you would like to say in closing?

A. I am still a little baffled over doing this interview as I really do not consider myself a major participant, even in  the independent circles.