-Interview by Nic Brown-
The table in front of Vinnie Bilancio is covered with
what look like crime scene photos from a lingerie store
massacre. Scantily clad women appear to have been slaughtered
mercilessly. You look closer and realize that many of the
‘victims’ are actually smiling at the camera. They haven’t died
a horrible death; they are actresses in the film
WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN’S PRISON. Bilancio smiles knowingly as
people passing his booth at the
2008 Scarefest Horror and Paranormal Convention in Vinnie Bilancio looking a little
under the weather as Jack in WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN'S PRISON
Vinnie Bilancio looking a little under the weather as Jack in
WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN'S PRISON
It is not surprising that Bilancio’s film company: V Movies, is known for such horror fare. After all, as an actor Vinnie Bilancio had his first featured role in the 1986 slasher classic SORRORITY HOUSE MASSACRE. Now twenty plus years later, one can find Vinnie lending his years of filmmaking experience to almost every job needed to make a film: writer, director, actor, cinematographer, prop maker, sound… the list goes on and on.
Vinnie took a break from peddling his horror wares to the fans at the convention to talk with B Movie Man Nic Brown about his film company, what it’s like to work with scream queens Victoria DeMare and Julie Strain, and why he should have changed the name of his character Jack in WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN’S PRISON.
Nic - Vinnie, you have your own production company. Can you tell us a little about “V-Movies”?
Vinnie - Well V-Movies started about five years ago. We make “B” movie horror films. They’re kind of in the vein of Troma films; lots of gore and girls.
Nic - V-Movies’ most recent release, and one of my personal favorites, is WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN’S PRISON. I know the name says a lot about the film, but what can you add for folks who haven’t had the chance to see it yet?
Vinnie - Yeah, what can I say - the title covers it. (Smiling broadly and winking) Seriously though, that film came about fast. We went from concept to film in about six months. It just shows that once you have a great idea and you roll with it many things can happen. We had a prop house, we had a great costume, basically thought why don’t we combine the great 70’s “caged women/women behind bars” films with werewolf movies!
The story is basically about a couple camping in the fictitious foreign country of ‘Canpuna’ and they’re attacked by a werewolf. Her boyfriend (played by Bilancio) is brutally killed and she is bitten. Even though they were attacked, she’s accused of killing her boyfriend because of course werewolves don’t exist. She’s thrown into a foreign prison and you can imagine how bad that would be! She keeps pleading that she didn’t do it. Well lo and behold the full moon comes out and she wreaks havoc in the prison!
Nic – Vinnie, I picked up on a bit of AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON in this film. Was that intentional?
Vinnie - Yes it was, but there were some things that weren’t intentional. We didn’t realize when we wrote the film that we’d called the boyfriend Jack, which was the same name as the friend in AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. We knew we were paying homage to the film with the scenes where Jack visits Sarah from beyond the grave, but we didn’t catch that we’d given him the same name until after we were done!
DeMare (Women of Horror featured actress) played the main
character, Sarah Ragdale in WEREWOLF IN A WOMEN’S PRISON. She
was also in another V-Movies feature AZIRA: BLOOD FROM THE SAND.
She’s been called “
Vinnie - Oh man,
Nic - Haven’t you got another film that you worked with Victoria DeMare on that I heard was in post production?
Vinnie - Oh Yeah! (grinning) That was BIO SLIME. That’s basically a monster movie. It’s a film about a slime creature, kind of in the vein of THE BLOB, but more like THE BLOB meets INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. That film is in post production right now. However, it is already getting a lot of publicity online so hopefully we won’t disappoint!
Nic - In AZIRA: BLOOD FROM THE SAND you’ve also worked with one of the true icons of B cinema, Julie Strain.
Vinnie - Yeah, you know it’s interesting who you get to work with. I mean Julie is a rather big icon and we were lucky to get her. We talked to her and she seemed to like us. In fact she said she was only doing this because of me and a guy named Scott Evangelista who was also one of the film’s producers. She’s said if it wasn’t for us she’d just stay home because she’s tired of doing these movies (Laughs). Seriously though, she was great to work with and we were really lucky to have her for AZIRA.
Nic - There have been quite a few remakes done lately. As a filmmaker, are there any movies that you would like to try your hand at remaking?
Vinnie - Well if I did a remake of a horror movie I’d like to do
WILLARD. Even though it’s been done already, I think I could do
it a little better (grinning slyly). Another one is
Nic - You mentioned WILLARD as one you might like to remake. Don’t you also have a project of a more personal nature that’s related to WILLARD?
Vinnie - That would be WIDOW. Not because of the female version, but because of the Black Widow spider. You could think of WILLARD, but with lots and lots of spiders and of course one big momma spider, instead of rats.
Nic - That sounds pretty creepy… I like it! So Vinnie, if I wanted to learn more about some of your films is there anywhere to go?