KRUEX CUTS: Talking With Nikki 'Homicide' Kruex by Owen Keehnen

Minnesota based Nikki 'Homicide Kruex (pronounced 'Crew') is a fresh face in the ever-expanding sea of scream queens. With dark good looks, a banging body, and attitude to spare her resume is quickly getting some solid meat on it's bones (or on horror resumes is the meat off the bones?). Anyway, her list of credits include playing The Savior in 'Blood Planet', Augmenta in 'Tales of the Dead', a role in 'Terror Overload', Kylie in 'Hit Chicks', Lacey in 'Trinity', Nicole in 'Lust', and several other titles as well as some very promising horror projects in the offing. She was even chosen as Scream Queen of the Month October 2008 by the popular website. However, Nikki's most impressive credential is her kick ass enthusiasm for the genre and a love of all things dark and other words, my kind of girl...well, if she was a guy anyway. This is one scream queen who proves what they've been saying all along - You've gotta be Kruex to be kind.


First off, what do you want to be called? Nikki or Nicole, Nikki Kruex or Nikki Homicide K...or something else?

For you? Anything. (laughing) Really, Nikki or Nikki Homicide is just fine. Hell, lately I've been referred to as Stupid Girl, Her Wickedness, and 'Lovely Monkey' (don't ask) so I guess anything fun would suffice!

In a business where name recognition is a goal for so many is there some reason for the different names?

Realistically, I go by Nicole Kruex (pronounced CREW), most people aren't aware I actually have an industrial/commercial career. I've done work for T-Mobile, CBS, the MMSDC of Minneapolis, and the Detroit Pistons to name a few. But my heart lies in the morbid recesses of all things disturbing. I've got an insane obsession with Serial Killers, mortality, and Gothic Medieval Saga, and so was born 'Nikki Homicide K' . The variations of late are all subject to those would have twisted it so, but for the purposes of horror film crediting alone... I am Nikki "Homicide" Kruex.

We horror folk can be a very visual crowd. To set the scene for our visit can you give our readers a description of the room where you are answering these questions?

Of course! From the coutside my home is quite normal, newer in contruction and beautiful for what it is in design and livability. But inside? I am currently surrounded by the things I most love, move memorabilia (i.e. 'The Goonies' and 'The Shining' framed prints), wicked band posters (like early years Cradle of Filth) skulls, dragons, and an Asian motif to appease my obsession with Japanese culture. Every year I shop a day or so after Halloween for house decor! Of course then there is my massive collection of Horror flicks, dark wave and metal CD's, anime stuff, toy and comic book piles...I could go on for days. But one thing rings true, no matter which way you look there is always something morbid.

When did you first realize you were such an afficionado of the horror genre and all things gruesome?

The day I decided to sleep with all of the lights out and face my fear. I was always scared sh*tless of Horror, things like little Gage from 'Pet Semetery' to the Troll in 'Cat's Eye', I'd actually jump from a strategically placed spot on my carpet to the safety of my bed to avoid the monsters lurking beneath the sheets. I'd often beg mom "Don't turn the light's out!" and all that jazz. But, I suppose around twelve or thirteen things changed I started to find those same images intriguing, mesmerizing even. I entertained fantasies of being a vampire and practiced gothic behavior long before the popular reality of 'Hot Topic' and 'Vampire the Masquerade'. Hell, my idols date back to the early days of Julian Sands in 'Tale of a Vampire' (1992) or 'Warlock (1989)', Doug Bradley (better known as Pin Head of 'Hellraiser'), the 'Omen (1976)', 'I Spit On Your Grave (1978)' and the creepy multiple personality extravaganza of Sally Field in the movie 'Sybil (1976)'. Some of the best films came out of the late 70's and I wanted to be a part of those movies because they were visually incredible, powerful, and tremendous.

Nikki, what made you decide to become an actress and who have been your biggest acting influences?

Ah, well I'm a born extrovert. I love to entertain people, but not out of vanity (I actually hate seeing myself on screen... I've only watched a few of the 30 some films I've done) I like to make people feel. Be it happy, sad, scared, or elated my greatest accomplishment is when I know I've affected an audience. I guess this is why I've begun directing as well! Personally though, it's an escape from who I really am. To have a few moments in the course of my mortality to be hundreds of personas is like therapy. As for influences: Heath Ledger, Audrey Hepburn, and Johnny Depp fuel my pursuit of serious thespian-ism... but in Horror, Doug Bradley, Tony Todd, Debbie Rochon, Brinke Stevens, Jamie Curtis, Sally Field, Sissy Spacek, Rob Zombie, Robert Rodriguez, Wes Craven, Clive Barker, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and John Carpenter stand out as those I look up too in both acting and production.

You are up in Minnesota and it's amazing how much seems to be happening up there horror-wise. I've chatted with several folks from up there. Have you found the horror community up in The Land of 10,000 Lakes to be a pretty close knit and welcoming bunch?

For the most part of course!! I especially love the boys from NFTS, Haunted Autumn, director Dan Voltz, and 'Trinty' Producer Merle Productions. My team from TRIWAR Productions and the subdivision DEADTIME are some of the best people I've ever worked with. Then of course fellow scream divas Rachel Grubb and Scarlet Salem!! The three of us are taking the Midwest Horror community by storm!

So tell me a little bit about the movie 'Hunger' that you did for Jonathon Jones. Give me a teaser that is going to make it irresistable

Ha Ha!! We still have yet to film it. I leave for Kansas at the end of October for a weekend to film my part. My role is more fun then I was expecting when I first signed on!! I love Jonathan Jones as both a director and as a genuine sweetheart of a fellow horror hound, he's always out there promoting the works of others while struggling though battles of his own... EVERY ONE GO SUPPORT HIM!!

What's something that you are always hungry for?

Sex?... Err, mean really really red strawberrie... rawr.

You also play the lead role, The Savior no less, in 'Blood Planet'. Tell me a little bit about that production...oh, and can you let me know who or what you save?

Oh yes yes, this production is the brainchild of young Nick Markgraff. He's a doll of a boy, a soldier no less!! We began filming early last year but the production as put on hiatus so Nick could take a year to build up revenue and boost his production value. We will continue the production next year regardless of where I am at, hopefully well enough off to help him finish a great story. Unfortunately, I can't release the details of his story!! Sorry!!

I also want to hear a bit about the three-part featurette you are doing for NFTS Productions.

Oh gosh... so much nakedness!! I play Aja, one of two destructive and scantily clad... um, well just buy the film. I promise, with a writer like Joe Knetter you're guaranteed few disappointments.

Do you have any other film projects you would care to talk about with the readers?

I'm directing my first film in November. Details? Well, if I told you I'd have to kill you... then of course, lick the blade clean. But as for acting, I've been contacted about several features, all out of state. I'm now contracted to play a lead in 'Zen Hunter' by director Jim Devault in the spring of next year and perhaps a New York film entitled 'Go Straight to Hell' optioned by the amazing writer Scott Sanford. I'd like to say I'll be taking it easy to counteract the craziness of this year, but so far between hobby film and commercial work I'm booking out two weeks!

For your films roles, potential, and your lovely face and figure the popular website Scream Queen named you Scream Queen of the Month for October 2008. What exactly does that term mean to you and what SQ attributes do you think you bring to the table?

First off, that was a pleasantly wicked surprise!! I had no idea!! Ms. Grubb actually informed me of the title. And to be honored with the month of Halloween?? HOT DAMN!! Honestly, I'm not a typical scream queen. You won't find me tripping on rocks, topless, and groveling with the antagonist in a pair of broken heels (okay, maybe I'm lying about the heels). Instead, think of Michelle Rodriguez circa Resident Evil, leather, lace, and latex with weapons and wickedness. My appeal is displayed with a snake like forked tongue precision, sensual and dangerous... I'm labeled trouble before I've had a chance to speak. Funny thing is I still sleep with stuffed animals and prefer kittens to snakes!!

Nikki, what do you think lies at the bottom of your deep attraction to the horror genre?

Serial Killers. The real ones. People like Ed Gein, Davey Burkowitz, Jeffery Dohmer, Andy Cunanan, BTK and the Zodiac all fascinate me to no end. I've gone so far as to contact court appointed therapists and psychologists who've actually spent time with some of them. Most recently I spoke with a former prison psychologist, who now counsels dysfunctional families, that spent time with Ed Gein at the Fergus Falls Hospital for the criminally insane (which is here in MN). He told me how after Ed had completed his quest, killed all of those people, he became a reticent introvert... shy even. He was so docile that they allowed him wood carving tools, he spent the remainder of his years just as any porch rocking grandfather. How can behavior that extreme NOT fascinate someone?

What is the first movie you ever saw that made you scream out loud?

Haha!! I love that memory. It was 'The Descent'. I saw it in the theater. I turned away from the screen for a moment, just as the girls were panning around the dark cave with the night vision mode on their camcorder, and as I looked up the first of the cave dwellers was on screen. I almost jumped out of my seat!!

We're pulling the car into the Nikki Kruex Drive In. What three horror flicks are going to be on the triple bill tonight and what goodies are they going to be serving up at the concession stand?

YES!! The number one horror film of all horror films: 'The Shining'. I'm a big fan of audience participation, Hitchcock styled horror. I like to be given the chance to put things together in my head rather then be shown everything and 'The Shining' is a prime example of horror at it's best.
2: 'Halloween'. Every horror-fest needs a good old fashioned knife wielding slasher flick.
3. '28 Days Later'. Though I firmly stand by my argument that the creatures in this film do not qualify as Zombies, I love it none the less as part of my Zombie Obsession Collection. Great mix to include several facets of horror! As for the concession stand... POPCORN!!! Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist and Licorice

So zombies, vampires, creatures, aliens, werewolves, witches, wicked children, etc. What sort of ghouls have captured your black little heart and why?

ZOMBIES!!! I'm not sure why but I'm never bored with zombie flicks. Vampires make me smile, wicked children scare me sh*tless. And humanistic monsters (killers) are fascinating. I do hope that one day soon, someone will make a truly wicked werewolf flick, the werewolf is almost a forgotten and under-used icon of horror.

What has been the best Halloween costume you ever had?

Playing the Devil.

What scares you in real life?

The Government....and Brown Recluse Spiders. Honestly I'm not scared of many things people are normally scared of. I learned the hard way I'll even stand defiant at gun point (as stupid as that was, long story but I have pictures!!) But, I am* scared of liars, vanity, selfishness, and lazy ambitions (ie lazy actors). The one thing that keeps me going is to know that I practice a zen of humility, and my hard work and constant study of acting practices (which include weekly classes with a SAG approved coach, constant audition and scene training, and addiction to the piles of literary materials on Miesner, Stravinsky, and Chekov Techniques) keep me on the best track I can hope to be on. I feel bad for those who take the lazy road and hope the looks of today will carry them... but even Debbie Rochon still trains, and it\rquote s almost a shame to the hardworking actresses of the past to not do them proud by being the best you can be.