Take Back the Knife: Lena Headey and Nicole Pacent step into “Satan’s Closet”

 
 

OK, so no one asks me where I get my ideas, but my point remains. For the silly stuff I make, at least, that’s generally how it goes. Sometimes I create the title first, as I did in this case; in fact, almost every film featured in Ghostella’s Haunted Tomb was borne of title first. See, I came up with a list of 50 fake horror movie titles for my blog and I just pulled episodes from that. After I decided that In Satan’s Closet would be a possession movie dipped in 1970s European flavoring, I had to figure out exactly what that meant and how I could make something similar in sunny, modern Los Angeles. Basically, this is what I came up with:

1) Since this was a trailer, I wouldn’t really have to worry about, you know, plot or characterization or any of those pesky aspects of script writing. Why, I wasn’t even going to write a script for this — I was simply going to come up with crazy crap that would happen and some crazy crap that actors would say. I didn’t have to concern myself with any of it actually making sense, which, for me, is simply delightful.

2) I knew the possessed woman (it’s almost always a woman, you know) would have to get "gross face." I love the chewed-up oatmeal faces that characters get when they’ve been possessed! They’re simultaneously hilarious and terrifying, and I dig that evil spirits manifest themselves by giving you weird eyes and a severely chapped face.

3) It’s an exorcism movie, so there’d have to be, umm, an exorcism scene, and during said exorcism scene, someone would have to get puked on. Luckily for me, Heidi "Ghostella" Martinuzzi is always down for my antics and was ready to do it — she even went so far as to volunteer that she’d do it with her mouth open. Now that’s commitment.

4) As I said, there was no script, but I knew I wanted two lines of dialogue to be uttered: in response to the question "Am I mad?", a character would intone "You’re not mad … but you are insane." Additionally, I wanted someone to say (preferably in a British accent) "You’re all going to die down there!" — my little shout-out to the line uttered by the evil computer program in Resident Evil.

5) Characters! Ah, yes. Those things. Well, there had to be the possessed woman. She’s played here by Shannon Lark, with whom I’ve worked numerous times before (most notably, she’s the lead in Ludlow), and therefore I knew she’d go all out for this like she does in everything. What I didn’t know is that she’d always wanted to play possessed and she had so much fun in the various stages of contorting, groaning, flashing-teeth-ing, and barfing that she never would have stopped if I didn’t force her to.

I desperately wanted to do a satirical take on that old horror movie stereotype, the Hispanic maid. In films such as Dolly Dearest and Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell, the housekeeper is the first to figure out that there’s something evil a-brewin’ in the house. She’ll go on to talk about her "funny feelings," she prays, and inevitably she’ll die before she can properly warn anyone of said danger. This character is as much a staple to low-budget horror movies as The Final Girl, The Dorky, Annoying White Guy Whom You Hope Dies Quickly and The Black Guy Who Dies First. Stepping up to the plate as the maid in In Satan’s Closet is actress and former Miss Alaska Stacey Storey. She provided her own costume, so you can thank her for that.

The rest of the cast of Characters Doing Random Things features faces you’ve undoubtedly seen on one screen or another. Feed’s Amanda Deibert slapped some contacts in her eyes to portray the Hot Blind Chick with a Dog — a character that’s a nod to the Hot Blind Chick with a Dog in the insanely awesome 1981 Lucio Fulci film The Beyond. As I mentioned, that’s Heidi Martinuzzi as the unfortunate “Sister Mary Abstinence”. Her cohort in holiness is played by Brea Grant (Heroes, Friday Night Lights), all but unrecognizable beneath her habit. Don’t worry Brea fans — her head didn’t really explode.

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