By Owen Keehnen

Suzi Lorraine is a very successful model who over the past four years has managed to accumulate an extremely impressive print resume and portfolio that includes work with Mercedes Benz, Mattel, and Macy’s as well as calendars, CD covers, catalogues, etc. Now this leggy magna cum laude Business Management major has her gorgeous eyes set on movies. In that past 2-3 years she has worked very steadily, appearing in ‘Acrimony’, ‘The Night They Returned’ (playing a cannibal sister who is definitely not on a diet!), ‘Love’ (a deceptively titled drama/horror movie from Spoon Theory Films), ‘B Movie: The Shooting of Farmhouse Massacre’, ‘Purple Glow’, ‘Around Midnight’, ‘Day of the Ax’, ‘Thorn, ‘and ‘Cold Blonded Murder’ among others. In talking with this up-and-comer one thing definitely seemed certain, in time you will know Suzi.



Owen: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, or Michael Meyers and why? 

Suzi: Freddy Krueger.  His character always intrigued me - he was the coolest.  So damn scary in "Nightmare on Elm Street" - I saw that movie so many times growing up.  And the reality factor made it scary - he was not some cheesy sci fi monster - his face was all burned off, he was this evil child abuser, and he attacked people when their guard was down (in their dreams).  Then he evolved a bit in subsequent "Nightmares", cracking jokes and combining a badass sarcastic attitude to go along with all the carnage, but he was still Freddy!

Owen: What scream queens inspired you and continue to inspire you today?

Suzi: My favorites are Jamie Lee Curtis, Heather Langenkamp, Jennifer Tilly, and Adrienne Barbeau.

Owen: What has been your favorite role to date?

Suzi: My favorite role so far was Maryann in "Day of the Ax" (4th Floor Pictures).  It was a brief but powerful role.  Similar to "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" my character had been beaten and tortured by the red neck maniacs in the woods.  She comes into contact with the main characters while she is walking (actually wandering/stumbling, in a daze) down the road.  Maryann is approaching madness at this point, as she's seen her friends
slaughtered right in front of her.  So she basically comes unwound during the interaction with the other characters, and gets to run the gamut of emotions from distracted and dazed, to nonsensical and crazy, to desperate and completely psychotic.

Owen: Tell me a little something about your delicious role in 'The Night they Returned'. 

Suzi: I play Tawny Taggart - one of the crazy cannibal sisters.  Tawny, along with her sister Brenda (played by Melantha Blackthorne), gets her kicks by luring unsuspecting strangers to our cabin in the woods, and then dismembering and eating them.  My character switches from sweet and demure to saw wielding maniac in the blink of an eye.   One of my fondest memories of the film was when our sister Jess (played by Liz Faure) starts going into this "psychic trance".  She's a great comedic actor, and really begins to take the character over the top - hysterical howling sounds, tongue lolling out, eyes crossing, you name it.  So Melantha (Brenda) and I are supposed to be all concerned about her at this point, and really serious, and neither one of us could look at each other or at Liz (Jess) without cracking up.  We had to re-shoot that scene A LOT.

Owen: Do you have a dream role in the genre? 

Suzi: I gravitate toward really strong female characters that are multi-dimensional and really well fleshed out.  I like the opportunity to show many different sides to the character, thereby making her more "real" in the viewers' eyes. And it's always fun to play the antagonist rather than the victim.

Owen: What's your response to arguments that the whole label and existence of scream queen is misogynist and sexist? Do you think that element exists and if so what makes something non-exploitative vs. exploitative?

Suzi: Well I think there's a lot of gray area there.  I mean certainly a horror film can exhibit misogynistic and sexist elements, but there are plenty that don't.  For example, I just saw "Chainsaw Sally" and was totally impressed by the strength of the lead played by April Burril.  She is the complete antithesis of your typical "damsel in distress" helpless female.  She kicks major butt, and wields a large chainsaw. And in terms of a film being exploitative vs. non-exploitative, well now that's really subjective.  I think it's all good as long as there is "equal opportunity exploitation" - the male characters should subjected to the same level of objectification or abuse - what's good for the goose, is good for the gander.  Personally I think as long as the actor is comfortable doing what they're doing, and doesn't take it too seriously, and realizes it is JUST A MOVIE and is not indicative of what they would do in real life, then there's generally nothing wrong with it.  Doesn't mean I would necessarily choose to watch a strictly exploitative film, but to each his own.

Owen: Well put. What projects do you have lined up in the future?

Suzi: I recently wrapped "She Demons of the Black Sun" with SVBI Films in Montreal.  For those who are familiar with my work, they know I have done several other films with these guys - including "Cold Blonded Murder", "The Night They Returned", and “Purple Glow". They are definitely great people to work with - we all share similar interests and goals, and it is always a blast to work with them.  We just found out that "Purple Glow" will be premiering at the Fantasia Film Festival this summer!  And "Day of the Ax" just won first place in the best horror feature category at the Indy Gathering Film Convention in Cleveland!  It will be officially released the end of this year by Brain Damage Films. I'm heading back to Montreal again in August to work on "Hell Jail: Rise of the Ghosts" - which will be one of Sv Bell's most ambitious projects to date.  Really excited about that!

Owen: As someone who is up-and-coming in the field what advice do you have to give to someone who is looking to break into the indie horror scene?

Suzi: Do it because you love it, not for the money.  Choose your projects wisely, and remember that film is permanent.   Don't let anyone pressure you into anything.  Work your hardest and do your best no matter what you are working on - everyone has to start somewhere.

Owen: And finally, what's something that makes you scream in real life?

Suzi: Cockroaches and mullets, or better yet, cockroaches with mullets.

That’s very scary!