Bad to the bone Interview with Geretta Geretta by Greg Tiderington

Geretta is certainly a cult item in the Italian horror film industry in which she was famous for her role as a bad ass tomboy named Chocolate in the 1984 strange sci-fi/horror flick 'Rats' in which the poster art was quite an attention grabber and was the best out of the whole cast in her performance.
Then a year later she went on to perform as a prositute named Rosemary in what seems to be a tribute to the George A. Romero zombiefest known as 'Demons' which was directed by Laberto Bava and produced by Italian horror legend Dario Argento in which she was a first victim to turn into a demonic type of zombie in the movie theatre where they were showing a horror flick and she was one of the audiences watching and got her skin cut by fooling around with a sharp metal mask that was displayed there. Suddenly all hell breaks loose when she turns as well as everyone else being trapped in the movie theatre with no escape.
She is a working actress who was actually born and grew up in Portland, Oregon in which she became interested in acting during her school years then moved to New York and took on a role in an off-off Broadway theater scene at the Theater For the New City and the improv comedy group Rusty Nails and acted in Off Broadway productions and afterwards moved to Los Angeles before she travelled to Italy where she lived for over 10 years making a full time acting career appearing in over 20 films (Most of which were non-horror). After acting in 'Demons' she graduated from the The American Film Institute MFA Screenwriting Program.
She returned to Los Angeles working as a writer and director for many of her own films along with winning some awards for her work.
She also travelled to Ireland in the early 1990's where she taught a number of cross-community writing seminars for first-time and professional writers fropm both the Prostant and Catholic communities.
One of her notable film's she wrote, directed and had a part in was a 2001 comedy romance flick titled 'Sweetiecakes'. She also plans to make a horror film that's in pre-production which sounds very exciting. I met her at the Weekend of Horrors in Burbank, California in which she was one of the sweetest people there and very sociable as well. Not one of those Hollywood types at all. She's very talented at what she did and had the honor to get an interview from her. Also you can check out her sites at and


At what age did you see yourself as an entertainer?

About nine, I participated in a community theatre opera in Portland, I was a flower or something and I realized "I like this". Also, I loved grade school "show and tell" and would bring something almost everyday.
Did you see yourself acting in horror films?

No, not really I thought I was more for the stage for years.
 What was your first horror film?

Hmmmm, I think it was "Texas Gladiators 2010."
What was it like playing the role of the tomboy Chocolate in 'Rats' as you were the best one in the cast?

Haha Thank You, But that's not saying too much as we're all kinda of awful. It was my first lead and you can sure tell. Playing Chocolate was really fun as at that time I was always running around doing sporty stuff so it seemed natural to be killing rats and monsters.

How could you relate to your scares and frights when you were being invaded by the Rats?

The 'hits just keep on coming."
What was your most challenging scene to do in the film?

There is scene where I am supposed to be 'attacked' by the rats. I couldn't do it. They had buckets and buckets of these creatures and they'd yell "Action" and throw them at your face: I dropped my gun every single take. I think they had to cut it. Could not do it. Although in the audition I swore I could do it and wasn't scared of "small animals". Yeah, right.
Which scene was most struggling to do?

Kissing 'Video" was pretty nauseating. We had been friends and hated each other by then.
Who did you enjoy working with the most?

Cindi Ledbetter, Jean Christophe of course Ottaviano (how can you NOT like someone whose name is "Eighth"? Massimo Vanni, Giselle, Henri, Moune... basically everyone.
What kinds of feedback from fans did you get after the showing?

I never saw any of my films when they were originally shown. Too busy, not paying attention, out of town... who knows why.
Did anyone think while seeing the poster art that it was an Italian take on 'Ben' or 'Willard'?

Yeah, sort of. Michael Jackson toured Italy around that time too.
Let's discuss your role as the prostitute Rosemary in 'Demons'. Did you get this part in this great cult classic due to your work in 'Rats'?

I don't know. I was working alot at the time and I was around. Directors knew me.
You were definetely a drawing card for the story there since you were fooling around to putting on that silver mask only to be cut by it and be the first one to turn into a demonic type of zombie. Do tell us the juicy details while working on that set?

We were all young. It was summer we were the 'it" kids of Rome. We were at all the functions and we were all pretty well known for various strange 'claims to fame'. One fellow was a Prince, another is the son of the singer of 'Volare', the female lead had just appeared in the largest grossing film in Italy "Water and Soap" although she's American... it was just a magic time.
Was it fun clowning around in the movie theatre and being rebellious?

I was taking it all very, very seriously and wasn't clowning around at all. I was deeply trying to be as scary and horrifying as possible. I went for it.
What was the environment like working on the set?

Dario and Lamberto Bava are serious professionals. You come to work and do your job. And you make friends forever.
What was racing through your mind when you were feeling sick and turning into those creatures while being in the girls washroom?

Getting it right so they wouldn't have to do many re-takes because of me.
What was Bobby Rhodes like to work with since he played your Pimp named Tony?

Bobby is a doll.
Did you ever see it on the big screen when it came to theatre's? 

No, but I did see it last year, finally at the New Beverly Cinema, in L.A. The one that Tarantino is part owner of, on Halloween at midnight with a Q&A after. That was brilliant.
Did the film have mixed language and some of it was overdubbed by English when it hit theatre's in the US as well as vice versa in Italy?

Only a few of the actors who didn't speak English. were dubbed. We shot 'in directo' but most of the leads spoke English. The one dark haired girl didn't. She's dubbed and some of the other supporting actors are.
Were you approached to be in the sequel?

Yes, but I was in New York and missed the shot.
Have you gotten interviews or publicity in horror magainzes like Fangoria due to your work in these films or on talk shows?

Ultra Violent is doing a big article in their next issue

The Dark Side (UK) August 2005, Iss, pg. 44-48, by : Jay Slater, "Demon Lady" is a very in depth interview.

Alison known as the Screamstress wrote an amazing article: Get To Know Geretta Geretta

Do you plan to return in the horror film industry?

Yes, I am writing something for myself and new comers.
Now here's some fun stuff: What are your favourite horror films?

'Frankenstein', 'The Wolfman" both the originals. 'The Hunger" "Thirst" "The Fog" ...  "Nadja" by Michael Almereyda.
If you were a scream queen for a day whether she was alive or dead who would she be?

What show were you in that you fondly cherish the most?

'Smithereens' by Susan Seidelman.
What show were you in that you weren't particularly proud of and would like to change?

Oh, none. No regrets.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Tranquility. Usually early in the morning about 5:00 listen to Oregon Public Broadcast Radio. Or blasting a bunch of early 'Green Day' from my days living in the UK.
What are your ambitions in life?

Avoiding the dirt nap. Not going to Hell when I don't.