Chiller Theatre is hosting the Italian Invasion II in Parsippany, NJ for the April 16-18 horror convention and have lined up a trio of directors who Italian horror enthusiasts will be foaming at the mouth to see. Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust), Sergio Martino (Torso) and Lamberto Bava (Demons) will all be appearing at the fiendish gathering along with a slew of other horror greats.
Joining the directors will be actors Francesca Ciardi and Carl Gabriel Yorke (Cannibal Holocaust), Geretta Geretta (Demons) and Irene Miracle (Inferno). You won't find the splatterific trio of helmers together very often so this is a rare treat for fans of the genre -- making this an event you won't want to miss.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Demons actress Geretta Geretta, who played a netherworldly creature set loose in a movie theater in Lamberto Bava's cult classic. Get to know her better after the jump.
You may know her by many names but there is only one Geretta Geretta. She played Rosemary in Lamberto Bava's 1985 film Demons (Dèmoni), where she was transformed into a demonic creature who tries to a slaughter Berlin theater audience. Since then she's continued a steady acting career as well as writing and producing her own work including the comedy Sweetiecakes and the drama Whitepaddy starring Sherilyn Fenn and Lisa Bonet.
Geretta Geretta started her career as an off-Broadway actress in New York City but eventually moved to Italy where she had a full-time acting career. It was there she met Bava and Argento who worked with her on Demons, but she was no newbie to the horror scene. "I have always loved horror it was my Mom's favorite type of film and back in the day there were still 'Fright Night' channels so I grew up watching all kinds of things go bump in the night," Geretta recently told me.
Her experiences with the Italian directors were inspiring and led to a lifelong friendship: "They were gracious guys and [treated] everyone so well," she said. "I still hang with Lamberto Bava at the odd Fangoria convention I'll attend or we do Q & A like at the New Beverly Cinema in L.A. and Grindhouse fests. Dario and I are Facebook friends."
After working in Italy, Geretta moved to Los Angeles where she graduated from The American Film Institute's MFA screenwriting program and took a turn behind the camera as a director for a number of shorts. Ireland was her next spot on the globe where she lived for two years, interning with the award-winning film collective Northern Visions and taught a number of writing seminars. She received a number of grants to further her work and was the first American to receive the Northern Ireland Film Council Study Grant. She completed her film Sweetiecakes in 2001 while attending the University College Dublin's program and was a producer for Ulster Television–appearing in a series called Geretta Geretta looks at...
I asked her what some of the biggest differences were in working with American vs. European directors and cast members: "On the indie level in Europe most of the actors are sort of doing it as a 'lark' which effects professionalism where as most American actors pretty much show up ready to go and do what they are told. On the other hand, Americans hound you forever about the 'premiere,' 'their shots' and more of the 'business side,' yet don't really have a clue about how almost impossible it is to make any film outside of the studio system. And, hey, fair enough; I'm the Producer. That's my worry. Not the talent's."
Geretta's experience as a globetrotter was vital to writing, directing and producing 100 Voices Against Apartheid, a collection of 150 anti-segregation testimonials from Odessa, Billy Bragg, Miriam Makeba, Roberto Benigni, Run DMC, Public Enemy and more. Since then, her work has been featured in film festivals all over the world, including the Melbourne Underground Festival where she won Best Female Director for Sweetiecakes.
Though her film projects have run the gamut, Geretta still has a fondness for horror audiences. "[They're] all the same, the best in the freaking universe and loyal as hell! (or heaven)," she jokes. Some of her favorite horror movies include The Hunger, 30 Days of Night, The Sentinel, Bela Lugosi's Dracula, Boris Karloff's Frankenstein, Love at First Bite, The Others, The Fog with Jamie Lee Curtis and the original Nosferatu. She's currently working on a film called Seamens, a modern version of Demons. I look forward to seeing what this horror maven has to offer audiences next.