If you were to try to pick one word to describe Suzi Lorraine, you’d be up for a challenge. You might focus on her work as an actress; after all, she’s a talented actress who’s appeared in more than 60 films. On the other hand, you might look at her modelling career since she’s been featured in magazines around the world including GQ, FHM and Esquire. But then you’d be missing out on her work as a writer for numerous horror magazines including Gorezone and Shock Horror in the UK, Bio Gamer Girl in the US and Virus Magazine in Germany, not to mention her work as a screenwriter. That makes trying to capture the essence of this multi-talented beauty in one word like a blind man describing an elephant by feeling its tail: you can capture one aspect, but you’d miss the bigger picture.
So instead of wasting his time trying to pigeonhole Suzi, B Movie Man Nic Brown jumped at the chance to talk with her again. Catching her just after she returned to the US from stint filming in Europe, we get to find out about her new films, her thoughts on the changes in the publishing world and why you might catch her wearing a tuxedo and riding a tricycle!
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Nic – Suzi, it’s good to talk with you again. You’ve been busy with a couple of new projects. In fact, I hear you’ve recently returned from working on SOLID STATE in Italy. Could you tell us about the film, your role?
Suzi – It’s great to talk to you again Nic. I love your site and the fact that you’re such a big supporter of independent films.
The rumours are true! I returned last week from northern Italy, where we were filming Stefano Milla’s latest sci-fi/horror film SOLID STATE. This marked my third feature film with Stefano. SOLID STATE was written by Gero Giglio and is a cautionary tale about an American rock band on their big comeback tour in Italy. Years back, this band was huge, but now they’re kinda relegated to VH1’s "Where Are They Now?" Their sleazy but loveable manager convinces them to re-unite for a new tour, and en route to the show, they are thwarted by a huge, deadly meteorite from outer space. Even bigger than the meteorite are the fights and power struggles that develop between the band mates, who each have polar opposite personalities.
The lead singer, Emily, and leader of the pack, is played by horror icon Debbie Rochon. This was something like my seventh film with Debbie, and each time I work with her I am in awe of her work. She really sets the bar in terms of an incredibly powerful performance. Plus she’s great fun to hang out with and joke around with.
The guitar player, Cynthia, is a new age-y peace, love granola chick, and is expertly played by LA-based actress Ava Brunini. Ava is such a great actress, and I had a ball working with her. And you should see her with a machine gun!
I play Sharon, an enthusiastic but somewhat dense chicky, who’s claim to fame after "Three of Sin" was winning the reality TV show, "Tits Up". Oh and she patented a wildly successful edible line of bras, named "Bracologic". Now, we know I’m in the band, but we’re not quite sure what I actually play. This remains a mystery throughout the film. Much like what keeps happening to our drummers, given we’ve gone thru between four and six drummers (depending who you ask) over the past 15 years or so. As in, dead. Our latest drummer (# 4 or 6, depending on your perspective) is played by Italian comedian Diego Casale. Diego has brilliant comedic timing, and he was a great fit for our hapless drummer.
Nic – You’ve also been working on a sequel to your 2009 film BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE called PIN-UP DOLLS ON ICE. So what’s new with the "girls on ice"?
Suzi – The girls are back on ice! Well, at least the ones that weren’t killed by Moe the first time around. Ok, well, maybe one that got killed by Moe the first time around will be back…I mean, did that axe to the head really kill her? She was wearing lots of hairspray, after all.
In the sequel, Moe focuses his attention on a touring pin up/burlesque troupe, slicing and dicing his way through their once idyllic retro world.
And yes, Moe still really loves ice. And chicks. His disturbing back-story is revealed in this film, giving viewers some insight into Moe – the man, the myth, the maniac.
This film has all the elements of the original – times 10. Expect more chills, thrills, scares, fight sequences, chases, gore, sexy chicks, "No, he didn’t!" moments, and oh yes, gratuitous nudity. The characters this time around are more fully developed as well (no pun intended). Ok, pun intended. Seriously, directors Geoff Klein and Melissa Mira allowed the actors to flex their own creative muscles and have significant input in terms of the character’s personality and development. I think this allowed us to flesh out the characters, and really bring them to life. I think the viewer will care what happens to these girls – it’s not just a matter of Girl A being lined up for the slaughter, followed by Girl B, repeat, ad infinitum. I’ve always believed that if you’re half way through a movie, and you don’t care whether the characters live or die, it’s a bad movie. Geoff and Melissa worked hard to fine tune the killer script (written by Michael Penning), and bringing the individual personalities out of each character.
We shot on location in Canada, about an hour outside of Montreal in a campground. The setting was great, as it was right on the edge of the St Lawrence River, providing spectacular views. And lots of water for killing peeps in. The campground was at the end of the season, but actually still open to campers. So we would have these surreal moments where an actor would be half decapitated and covered in blood, and one of the local campers would walk into the mess hall and order a cup of coffee. The campers were really nice and seemed to be really excited about the film, staying up late to catch a glimpse into the world of movie making madness.
I play Joy, who is the manager of the campground, and the one in charge of organizing the big bash/pin up show. I was pleased that Geoff offered me this role, rather than killing me off in the first ten minutes as he had in the last film. 😉
Nic – In addition to your work on the silver screen, you’re also a journalist and writer. We’ve talked about this aspect of your career before, but it’s clear that technology is changing the industry. Many magazines are struggling now due to falling subscriptions and the closure of some major outlets such as Borders Books. What are your thoughts on the challenges and opportunities this presents to writers?
Suzi – This is a great question! And a very timely topic. You hit the nail on the head – many print publications are struggling due to the growing power and dominance of the internet. It’s not just limited to magazines. Newspapers and even books are suffering as well, due to the immediacy and instant gratification of online news, and books that can be read online, Kindle, etc. I imagine that the newspaper may well become a dinosaur in the next ten years or so. Speaking of dinosaurs, I personally love to hold a magazine or book in my hands, rather than strain my eyes to read words on the internet. There’s just something so tactile and satisfying about it. At least for this little Dinosaur.
Over the past 7 years, I’ve written for two major magazines that have either gone defunct or gone to an online medium only (Horror Mania and Gorezone). I’m currently writing for 3 hard copy magazines (Virus Magazine in Germany, Shock Horror Magazine in the UK, and Bio Gamer Girl Magazine in the US), but I’m sure that they have to hustle to maintain and grow their fan base and to constantly change to meet the needs of the "I want it now" era. To the magazine’s credit however, there still is something exciting about receiving an actual glossy magazine in the mail each month. Sometimes the internet can be overwhelming, and you end up feeling like you have "ADD", clicking all over the place, whereas with a magazine, you’re able to focus on one thing at a time, and revel in the experience.
Nic – Between your work as an actress, model and writer, you can’t have a lot of free time, but when you do have some time to yourself, what do you like to do for fun?
Suzi – I put on my Jigsaw/"Saw" mask and tuxedo and ride my miniature tricycle around the neighbourhood, entertaining the local children. When I’m in the mood for a less solitary endeavour, I grab a few friends and we form a Human Centipede, and give the children pony rides.
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