I recently caught up with actress Debra Lamb for a follow-up interview for this Halloween season. I was fortunate to catch her when I did because, as this goes to press, Debra will be preparing to get on a plane to the East Coast for her appearance this weekend at Chiller Theater in Parsippany, New Jersey.
Since my last interview with Debra, she’s been pretty busy. Last November, she and three of her fellow Scream Queen icons (Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, and Debbie Rochon) shot the soon-to-be-released Disciples, directed by Joe Hollow. She also shot commentary scenes (a still at left) for the recently-released Celluloid Bloodbath: Previews from Hell and has a still-under-wraps project in the works with her good friend and fellow psychic, Liane Langford, that you’ll be reading about here first.
CHRIS CHARLES: Great to have you here again Debi! It’s funny but when I do an interview that’s not face-to-face, the younger ladies prefer e-mail or chat, whereas you “old school” girls prefer the telephone, as I do.
DEBRA LAMB: Yeah, I’m like really detailed-oriented so when I’m asked a (written) question, I really ponder it and and have to write it out just right, but if it’s a phone it’s more spontaneous and back and forth.
CHRIS: Yes, much better in case of follow-up questions. So since we last spoke, the first major project you were involved with was Joe Hollow’s Disciples, right?
DEBRA: Yes! We filmed on location in Florida in late November of last year, right before Thanksgiving. We picked up again in February on location in Los Angeles, and that’s where we finished up the shooting.
CHRIS: Now in that one of course, you were with your fellow Scream Queen icons Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, and Debbie Rochon. Was it the first time the four of you had worked together on any project?
DEBRA: Yes! Actually, I had known Linnea way back in the day, but we hadn’t been in a film together. In the 80s and early-90s, I’d been in a couple of the same films as Brinke Stevens, but we had never actually met because we were in different scenes that were shot at different times. So, we finally got to meet in person. Debbie Rochon and I knew each other because we met like 20 years ago, but we hadn’t worked together, so this was the first time. It was really fun and exciting!
CHRIS: So I assume you ladies had a lot of stories to share with each other?
DEBRA: Oh yeah! We were all catching up with each other and kind of giving each other rundowns of what we’ve been doing the last 20 years.
CHRIS: I’ll bet being behind the scenes there it was sort of like being in the locker room of an all-star baseball team, where you have the best in the league coming together and swapping stories.
DEBRA: (Laughs) And to be working with some of the other great people there like Tony Todd, Angus Scrimm, Bill Moseley, Mark Hansen …it was just amazing. I wasn’t actually in scenes with all those people but just to be working with them was amazing.
CHRIS: So when will the film be out?
DEBRA: It’s still in post production and then they’ll be looking for distribution. And you do know that I was the co-executive producer on that film!
CHRIS: Great! Looking forward to that one. Another recent film you’re in is Celluloid Bloodbath: More Previews from Hell that has that just been released. Who approached you to appear in that one?
DEBRA: James Murray, who’s one of the producers of the film. (Debra to her friend in the room: Oh, go you-know-where and get me you-know-what!) Haha! Don’t put that in the interview! Or you could, actually (laughs).
CHRIS: Well in our last one I did mention that you don’t close the door when you go to the bathroom at home.
DEBRA: (Still laughing) Oh, I’ll tell you, this can be in the interview. I’ve gone to the bathroom with everybody (while on the telephone with them)! I’ve gone with Joe Hollow on the phone and Liane (Langford).
CHRIS: (Laughs) Well, I guess it’s better than having us hold the line until you get back, so I can appreciate that. (We talk about phones for a bit)
DEBRA: So, where was I? Oh yeah, Celluloid Bloodbath! So, James Murry and I were friends on Facebook and it’s really funny because some of the people I “friended” was kinda based on their picture or something they said ….this was before I had over 4,000 (Facebook) friends …and there was this one picture of this guy who was in medieval armor and holding this sword …with sunglasses on! It was just so funny and I made a comment about it. So about six months to a year later he contacted me and said they were doing this previews film and asked if I would consider doing a little vignette for them.
CHRIS: Is this going to feature any clips from films that you’ve been in?
DEBRA: No, they’re all older films. I would say from the 60s and 70s mostly, so before my time.
CHRIS: Is it sort of like Terror in the Aisles ….you know, the documentary that featured clips from 80s horror movies? It was hosted by Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen.
DEBRA: Oh I haven’t seen that but it sounds good and this is the same concept. This film really good. I saw it not too long ago. It moves along really well, great editing and sound. In fact, one of the regulars from Creepy KOFY Movie Time, was really impressed because he thought he’d seen every old horror movie there ever was and he said he saw previews from films that he had never even heard of. I was also able to invite Reyna Young (Miss Misery) to also do some commentary for the film. For my segments, I was using her home studio where she does her show. I was doing my segments in my comedic vein, whereas a lot of the others were doing it more seriously. I could have done it more seriously but I was in a very comedic mood. But they were all very appreciative. In fact, those guys are flying me out to Chiller (Theater in New Jersey) to appear there next weekend.
CHRIS: Yes, and that’s on my list of questions to ask you about. But first; speaking of Reyna Young, you were at her “Days of Terror” convention in Sacramento last month. How did that go for you?
DEBRA: Great! Last night and today I’ve been posting pictures from that on my Debra Lamb Extreme Facebook page.
CHRIS: Were there many fans there who knew you from the films you made back in the 80s and early-90s or were they mostly more recent fans?
DEBRA: Both. I had a handful of people coming out there specifically to see me and bring me things to sign. There was a fan who brought a poster of The Invisible Maniac and a VHS copy of Warlords. The fans who came to see me were really happy that I could make it out to Sacramento because for a lot of these people, it’s hard to travel just to see a convention.
CHRIS: Did you meet anyone there you hadn’t seen in a long time?
DEBRA: So many of my friends! It was like half the people there I already knew. Well maybe not half (laughs). Uh, Charles Webb from G-String Horror was there and he’s friends with Johnny Legend and Johnny is also featured in Celluloid Bloodbath. James Murray knew Johnny and I were going to be there to promote our own things as well as promote Celluloid Bloodbath. That guy is sooo funny! I got tons of pictures of Charles and Johnny camping it up and me and Johnny, and me and Charles Webb’s wife Edwina. It was just a lot of fun. Plus my friend and director of photography Wolfgang Myer was there to promote Disciples and his girlfriend Stacy Hammond who goes by “Pippi.” Wolfgang is going to be doing a film called Shadow Hunters based on the comic book by Jason Dube. Another friend, Phil Castor was there covering the event ….oh, and filmmaker Kenneth Hall was also there. I knew so many people and one person I was happy to meet for the first time was Eileen Dietz, who was Linda Blair’s double in The Exorcist.
CHRIS: Speaking of G-String Horror, is that all wrapped up or still in post-production?
DEBRA: Oh, it’s all done and they’re going to be showing it at “A Hole in the Head Film Festival” in San Francisco next month. I’m supposed to be there. I’ll have to check with Charles about it.
CHRIS: Was that whole film shot at the Market Street Cinema (in San Francisco)?
DEBRA: Pretty much. It’s part documentary and part horror film. So, the documentary parts are kind of interjected in the horror and I think there’s one segment that’s shot at a restaurant and a couple of parts where you see Charles driving. Other than that, it was all shot at the cinema.
CHRIS: I especially want to ask you about your project with Liane (Langford). As you know, I interviewed her a month ago and she told me that the working title of it is “The Worst”?
DEBRA: No, no, not “The Worst,” it’s “So Wrong.”
CHRIS: Oh, “So Wrong”? She told me the working title was “The Worst.”
DEBRA: Oh, that might have been the working title before we decided to change it to “So Wrong.”
CHRIS: Ahh, I see. So this is going to be an online show and the two of you are going to set up a Youtube channel and website?
DEBRA: Yeah, it’s gonna be for Youtube and who knows where it could go from there.
CHRIS: So you two are going to be physically in the same location when you shoot it?
DEBRA: Yes, probably down where she is in Carmel.
CHRIS: Will you be in a studio or have different locations?
DEBRA: We haven’t gotten that far but it will probably be a home studio kind of thing.
CHRIS: Will it be kind of a talk show format with you two as co-hostesses?
DEBRA: (Laughs) Kind of, sort of, if you want to call it that. It’s going to be a very abusive show, toward our guests. It’s going to to be a combination of things, but at the end of every show you’re just gonna be saying; “Oh my, that’s just so wrong!” That’s our goal, to have the audience leaving saying; “that’s just so wrong.”
CHRIS: You’re going to have a studio audience?
DEBRA: No, I just mean the viewing audience. We’re in pre-production right now. We’re in development and script-writing mode. It’s gonna be a lot of improv as far as the dialog, but will have a lot of it planned out. We’re both are strong in our improv skills so we’ll both be relying a lot on that.
CHRIS: That sounds like it should be hilarious.
DEBRA: Well yeah, between her and me (laughs). When we talk about it we just start laughing because we know just how funny it’s going to be.
CHRIS: Yeah, I can imaging because I’ve also talked to her at length.
DEBRA: So you can imagine! We’ll bring you in to be one of our victims.
CHRIS:Sure, I’m game. Is there going to be a lot of dark humor?
DEBRA: Oh yeah.
CHRIS: So, it will be like something you’d see on Saturday Night Live or will it go a step further than that?
DEBRA: Oh yeah, it will definitely be a bit more demented than Saturday Night Live. I would say it will kind of be on the torturous side (laughs). CHRIS: Will the guests appear as themselves or will they be playing characters? DEBRA: We’ll be having people appear as themselves. We’ve had a couple of ideas for people who’ll appear as out first guests but not all of our shows will necessarily involve a guest, but a lot will. CHRIS: Well that’s something I’m really going to look forward to. Next on my list and what we’ve already mentioned; is that you’re going to be a guest at Chiller Theater in Parsippany, New Jersey next weekend. So, you’re going to be on the plane …? DEBRA: Thursday. I’ll fly out very early Thursday and then I’ll have a meeting with some people regarding a film that I might be cast in and then Friday morning, James Murray and I will be driving from Philadelphia up to New Jersey and then late Friday night, I’ll be at a screening of Celluloid Bloodbath. I’ll also be at Chiller Theater on Saturday and I think there will also be a screening of Celluloid Bloodbath on Saturday night, but I don’t know if I’ll be at that one because I’ll have to drive back to Philadelphia Sunday and fly back home. But I’ll be at Chiller Theater all day Friday and all day Saturday. The only not cool thing about being at Chiller is that I’m going to be one of the guests on Creepy KOFY’s Halloween show, which will be on Saturday night, when I’ll be in New Jersey! But it’ll be on their website for me to watch when I get back home. CHRIS: So, I’ll get this interview published just in time for those to be an upcoming events. Will we be seeing you breathing fire Saturday on Creepy KOFY?
DEBRA: No, I’ll be promoting Disciples. They’re going to show a trailer from it and another cool thing is that it’s their 100th episode! Oh, and another coll thing is that the movie that they’re showing that night will be Night of the Living Dead. Oh, and another cool thing is that John Stanley is also a guest. So that’s five really cool things! Oh, and another little tidbit for you is that I met John Stanley at Reyna’s A Nightmare to Remember Film Festival last June and then he was also at Reyna’s Days of Terror convention. Oscar Benjamin was there covering the event. So, Oscar was there when John Stanley came by my table and Oscar mentioned how he got a picture of John making out with Reyna and I said to John “well, we’ve got to get a picture of us kissing!” (Laughs). So, Oscar got these great pictures of John Stanley and me lip-locking! It was really hilarious and he (John) seemed to really enjoy that.
CHRIS: Haha! I’ll bet he did. I know you’re the type of person who usually greets someone with a hug rather than a handshake.
DEBRA: (Laughs) Oh, I’m just hugs and kisses. You know, I especially like to hug and kiss people who, I know, aren’t huggy-kissy types …who aren’t like me, because I want them to have that experience of having someone grabbing them and hugging them. Because everybody needs a hug, you know? Especially the ones who aren’t huggy types. Especially them! I haven’t had many complaints.
CHRIS: Well, I sure did appreciate it! So, thanks so much again for this Debra. Have a great time in New Jersey and I’ll talk to you again soon. DEBRA: Great talking to you again Chris! (Author’s Note: Unfortunately, no hug and kiss since we were talking over the telephone, but I took a rain check.)
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the quarterly magazine, Effective.