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Debbie Rochon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Written by Mike Watt   
Jan 24, 2005 at 02:00 AM
Regular readers of DARK GALLERY need no introduction to Debbie Rochon. One of the busiest actresses in independent cinema, she's starred or appeared in over a hundred movies and is considered one of the most talented women working outside of the Hollywood studio system.

With her most recent films hitting the shelves - the grim dark comedy NOWHERE MAN, the hilarious b-movie love letter DR. HORROR'S EROTIC HOUSE OF IDIOTS, and the documentary SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT (not to mention the upcoming Sub Rosa production SEVERE INJURIES, directed by Amy Lynn Best) - Sub Rosa has recently released two rarities in the Rochon oeuvre: the horrific faux documentary STRAWBERRY ESTATES (directed by Ron Bonk) and the short homage to severed hand movies, STUMPED (directed by Mike Legge (STRAWBERRY ESTATES has been long considered a "lost Debbie Rochon movie". How do you feel now that at least some of the footage is finally available?

DEBBIE ROCHON: Well, I am excited to see it myself, so I guess an honest answer will come after I view it, but the idea of releasing both versions on one disk has always intrigued me! I thought it was a good idea. Interesting for fans and filmmakers alike.

DG: What was your take on the role of the psychic, Jennifer, in the film? Did you do any special preparation for the role?

DR: I have done real life psychic work in the past so I really used a lot of that while shooting. I remember having a great time shooting the film - the only regret was wearing the silly tin hat! [laughs]

DG: What are your memories of the production?

DR: I remember it snowed like crazy when we were up there! We were pretty much snowed in at this location which was in the middle of nowhere! It made for a creepy feeling. One night Tina Krause and I were sleeping in our own 'room' and we heard strange sounds and thought we saw something on the wall that wasn't there before! So we ran screaming downstairs to where everyone else was sleeping and stayed there for the rest of the shoot. That was funny! I had to wear special eye lenses for the final scene which creeped me out pretty good... once they're in you can't see ANYTHING and that was a really weird feeling.
DG: Another rarity, STUMPED, will be featured on the GUT PILE DVD. This is a fun little throwback to the Amicus horror days. What are your memories of this production?

DR: I had a blast working with these people, they were all so cool and I loved the story too. Jasi [Cotton Lanier (WERE-GRRL), billed as "Roxanne Michaels" in the film] and I spent some time together and one of our scenes was just so funny to shoot it had me laughing for days after that. Everyone was very committed and easy to work with.

DG: Coming up later in the year will be SEVERE INJURIES, the third film you've made with actress/director Amy Lynn Best. What's your take on this production?

DR: I only shot for a couple hours at the Troma building for my little scenes, but it's always a lot of fun improvising. That's one of my fav things to do, it keeps me on my toes and I get to be creative in a different way so I love it! It's fun acting like a crazy person - which I did while Amy, the director, looked on in horror. [That's not true - Amy was very pleased by Debbie's performance, and hopes that this admission will bring no further harm to her family.]

DG: It's difficult for women to get any sort of respect in the film industry, be it Hollywood or Indie, yet actresses seem more prevalent in the low-budget world. Any thoughts?

DR: That's a long talked-about topic. I think actresses are more prevalent in the low-budget world simply because they're thought of as 'product' by a lot of filmmakers. But exploitation goes both ways. You can use anything to your advantage if you're smart. There are even less female directors in the horror or exploitation or science fiction genres than other genres so there's still a long way to go. I think it will happen though, as more women enjoy watching horror movies, more women will become interested in making them.

DG: Do you feel that women are finally getting more recognition in the industry?

DR: Slowly. As women make more of their own movies it will happen. AND if they're people out there who like and support them it will happen.

DG: The industry has certainly changed a great deal over the past decade. What do you feel is the current state of low-budget, independent film?

DR: Some great things some bad things. Good things include the lower cost of making movies therefore it becomes easier for filmmakers to make them and easier for them to pay for the production themselves which in turn keeps the content under their control. Bad things include people just calling themselves filmmakers or actors and they have no training or experience. Remember, a lot of filmmakers started out making shorts, experimenting. Now you see a lot of people trying to make a feature film their first time out and trying to sell it. It's entirely possible to do that but not everyone is ready for that right away.

DG: What do you think are the primary problems with the industry as it stands now?

DR: Bad economically, but as with every other problem that has plagued the indie industry the strong will tough it out and overcome.

DG: Do you see yourself taking a larger role in the production end of upcoming projects (i.e. writing or producing in addition to performing)?

DR: I have already written stories, produced films etc. Right now I enjoy acting and developing stuff I would like to do on screen and stuff I would like to see.

DG: What do you have coming up? (Go hog wild, as I'm just as interested as the readers!)

DR: Well, I prefer to acknowledge stuff that's coming out, because once you mention a number of things you're working on you never know if they will get rescheduled, start on time or get canceled! But I am just about to shoot a movie called SCARE MUSEUM (directed by BOG CREATURES' J. Christian Ingvordsen). I will be going to Germany to shoot a movie soon and in a couple months to The Netherlands to shoot another. Also, sometime in the near future, DOOMTOWN (produced by and co-starring Amy Lynn Best). I'm working on a script with Jon Keeyes for the AMERICAN NIGHTMARE sequel. My upcoming releases include NOWHERE MAN - an amazing film about a woman who cuts her boyfriend's penis off and goes on the run with it; FORT DOOM (Ingvordsen again), a horror-western, in which I fight confederate zombies, it also stars Billy Drago; SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT (written and directed by Jason Paul Collum and produced by J.R. Bookwalter), a documentary which focuses on nine actresses and their experiences, good and bad, in this business. A very honest doc! [Also] CORPSES ARE FOREVER (directed by Jose Prendes) which has many great folks in it - including Linnea Quigley, Don Calfa, Conrad Brooks, Brinke Stevens to only mention a few!

DG: Anything else you'd care to add?

DR: Umm... 2 plus 2 equals 4.

Visit Debbie's website: www.debbierochon.com


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