'Tis the Season for Noel Francomano by Owen Keehnen

West Virginia native Noel Francomano is a fresh face on the horror scene. She was chosen as Scream Queen on the month by the website for March 2006. Her films include a starring role as Oncilla Satana (with a name like that you know that chick is evil!) in the black magic flick 'Ancient Evil 2: Guardian of the Underworld' . She was also featured as Lizzie Crewes (that would definitely be a bad girl name!) in the 2004 Tony Urban movie 'Kottentail' which also featured such Racks and Razors interviewee favorites as Nathan Faundree, Zoe Hunter, and Kelly Ray. Noel has also been featured in 'UFO Fever' , 'Crazy Love' , and the deliciously titled 'Prison of the Psychotic Damned' . In addition she has a flourishing print model career. As if that weren't enough she's also a whole lotta fun as is aptly displayed in this exclusive www.racksandrazors.com interview!


Noel , let's start the www.racksandrazors.com readers off with a visual. Can you describe the room where you are answering these questions?

It's a sterile box located on Wall St. which I have decorated with skulls and dead things, a miniature Were Rabbit I created out of clay and a few miniature rats and cockroaches some real...some not. All you can hear is the sound of Pantera blasting over my speakers and the occasional bashing of my head into the keyboard.

Tell me about your role as Oncilla Satana in the black magic opus 'Ancient Evil 2: Guardian of the Underworld'. What was the best part about playing that character?

Ahhhhh... Oncilla. Well it's funny. A lot of people didn't understand that Oncilla was supposed to be an over the top character. What was fun about playing her was that I got to be campy and over the top and basically a total poser witch. She takes herself way too seriously, which is hilarious. That's what works about the character. The audience should... SPOILER COMING... cheer when she gets off'd by Anubis. And from most of my reviews from that part... they do. HA!

How did the role of Oncilla come about?

I had actually been in contact with director D.W. Kann from years back. I had originally sent my submission materials in for another film he was casting at the time. Things happen and that film got pushed back but we had kept a dialogue between us. Dave and I have become good friends and I was so happy that he kept me in mind when AE2 came about. He told me there was a fun part for me and wanted to know if I would be interested. Um... HELLS YEAH!

Do you have any overriding memory of making that low budget horror flick in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts?

It was FUCKING BRUTALLY COLD!! We were on the set from 6 PM to 6 AM. We had a lot to shoot and little time. Basically we were fighting the sun and the weather. My costume had little to it and the original script was written as a completely nude scene. But there was just no-way. Thankfully Dave let me keep my tank top and skirt on. The temp was in the 30's. They had given us hand warmers that you crack and shake to keep your fingers warm... they gave out around hour 5 I think? But it\rquote s all part of the process and earning your lumps. I can't stand actors that are prima donnas... You do what you have to do to get the shot that's needed. That's it.

I also want to hear about your work for Tony Urban as Lizzie Crewes in the Crazy Ralph movie 'Kottentail' (2004).

What can I say about that? I got stung by a wasp on that set.

Tell me a little something about your work as Nessie in D.W. Kann's 'Prison of the Psychotic Dead'.

This was another cold set. I was in make up for the Nessie Monster for 10 hrs... and the building temp was somewhere in the 40's. It was another brutal day. If it weren't for my FX handlers Keir and Mike (LOVE you guys!!!) I think I would've died. 10 hrs in a prosthetic rig in freezing cold = no fun. But the part of Nessie herself was fun to play... and Dave Kann and I had a lot of work to do to discover who she was. The original script really gave us no clue to who or why she was even there. So we made her the little sister of the group. She is a little weird, definitely quirky with a touch of lost innocence thrown in. I definitely won't miss her hair though.

So what are the perks you receive as the reigning Scream Queen for March 2006? How was that selected? Do you get a plaque or certificate or something...?

I went to a bar the other day and tried to use my powers as Ms. March to get me some free booze.... didn't work. I'm thinking of making myself a bloody sash and tiara and see how that works. Unless you had plans to send me one???

You're also an extremely popular print model -- doing magazine, comic book, and book work. Does the modeling get your foot in the door for film roles, does it pay the bills, is it another avenue to fame for you, or an entirely separate career? How do you view the connection between the two in regards to your overall career plan?

I fell ass backwards into modeling. Funny enough it was D. W. Kann who recommended I start modeling. At first I was doing a lot of figure work and glamour. Then I realized I really enjoyed working with FX artists and creating these bizarre characters. It's another creative outlet for me. I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing photographers. As far as a foot in the door.. I could say it definitely hasn't hurt. The horror genre is a close-knit group of people who enjoy art in all its forms. I like to look at the images I do as another way of making people think. I hope they feel the same way. Sure it pays the bills... sometimes. I do it more because I enjoy it. But it has also become a necessity. Actors and actresses these days have to do both. And have to do both well. Take for example this interview. Doesn't do me any good to have shitty pictures to represent me when you're asking me questions about my career right? What are you going to put up a bad digi cam pic??

Do you have any other pending or upcoming projects you would like to plug or brag or inform the www.racksandrazors.com one readers about?

Wow...lets see. I have a few projects in the works. I will be working with photographer Gothic Hangman on a series of twisted Carnival shots. I will also be doing a shoot with my co-star in Prison Melantha Blackhorne. I have several films in the works, some horror, a documentary and a comedy. I also will be working closely with the Voodoo Brothers. www.voodoobrothers.com --But everyone should check my website for the updates!! www.redheadedvixen.com

Noel - zombies, vampires, werewolves, witches, psychos, creatures, aliens, telemarketers, mimes - which one does it for you - fear wise - and why?

Mimes... anyone who can trap themselves in an imaginary box with no way to escape...should be feared.

So what advice do you have for other young actresses' (from places like Walkersville, W.V.) when it comes to breaking into the film business and specifically the indie horror world?

Get out of your town. When I finished high school I was gone. Small towns sometimes can be great places. They just weren't great places for me. I know the old adage. You can make art anywhere, that's true but who is going to see it?

We're pulling the car into the Noel Francomano Drive In. What three horror films are they going to be featuring on the triple bill and what goodies will they be serving up at the concession stand?

'Carrie', 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'- THE ORIGINAL none of that re-made Hollywood crap

'The Shining'

Good eats- Maryland Steamed Crabs with tons of Old Bay and butter. I know a little tricky to eat at a drive in.. But who gives a shit its my fantasy right? Popcorn- a must at any drive-in. Beer- The Europeans really got this one down... America should take a lesson.

What makes you go psycho in real life?

Stupidity. I am amazed at how much of it walks the streets every day.

What scares you in real life?

People who don't give a shit about hurting others. I find it very sad.