Actress Laura Giglio has appeared in over 200 B-horror films to date, beginning with 1994’s Sorority Slaughter. (“…we used real cow’s liver and cow’s hearts for the guts and I remember how much it stunk!” she fondly recalls of that one.) Along the way, she’s worked with quite a few other top ladies in B-horror. She’s been bloodied, bound, strangled, stabbed, and drowned on screen throughout her career and, despite the occasional bumps and bruises, has always proudly embraced being known as a Scream Queen. Her production company, Laura G Productions, produces custom made B-horror films, which have been written by her clients.
Also a semi-professional mermaid, Laura entertains children and adults alike at parties and events as her alter ego, “Serena the Sea Princess.” Another branch of her production company makes custom mermaid films that feature Laura. Read on to find out more on Laura and her colorful career in the following exclusive interview. All accompanying photos courtesy of Laura herself.
LAURA GIGLIO: The very first time I ever acted was in my high school play, A Christmas Carol, my sophomore year. I was 15 and I played a bag lady! (laughs)
CHRIS: Would you say horror has always been your favorite genre?
LAURA: Yes, definitely! I’ve loved horror movies since I was a kid. The first horror movie I ever saw was Poltergeist when I was about nine. My parents wouldn’t take me to the movie theater to see it because they thought it would be too scary. So when it came out on HBO, I was dying to see it, but we didn’t have HBO, so my brothers and I snuck over to our friend’s house to watch it! I loved it! It definitely scared me, but I loved the feeling of being scared and from then on I was hooked on horror movies!
CHRIS: Who have been some of your favorite actresses to work with?
LAURA: Definitely Debbie D! We met on the set of a WAVE Productions movie back in 2000, and she was so sweet and so nice we hit it off right away! We’ve actually become really good friends over the years. She’s known me since before my kids were born and she watched my kids grow up and they love her! They even call her Aunt Debbie D! She sends them gifts for every birthday and holiday and we have her over whenever we can. We still film together and we’ve both been mermaids together too, in mermaid parades, underwater shoots, and movies! Some other actresses I’ve enjoyed working with over the years are Pamela Sutch and Tina Krause. I have a lot of fun memories of working with them throughout the years!
LAURA: I’d like to work with Debbie Dutch. I actually did do a movie with her one time years ago, and she was really nice and fun to work with and I’d love to work with her again. Also, although I’ve filmed scenes for both filmakers Phil Herman and Joe Sherlock, I’ve never actually worked with them in person and I think that would be really cool.
CHRIS: I’ll name a few of your films, from earliest to most recent, and I’d like you to tell me about the first thing that comes to your mind when you recall shooting them. First one: Sorority Slaughter (1994).
LAURA: This was my very first B-horror movie!! I had so much fun working on this movie! There was a LOT of blood and gore! And we used real cow’s liver and cows’ hearts for the guts and I remember how much it stunk!! (laughs)
CHRIS: Virgin Sacrifices (1996).
LAURA: Another classic!! I remember the mud pit!!! I hated that! I had to be tied up in a mud pit and it was really gross! I told them I would do it if I could wear my hair up inside a hat so I wouldn’t get mud in my hair! (laughs) I have a lot of hair and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get it all out! So I wore the hat, but during the scene, most of my hair came undone and fell out of the hat, so I got mud in my hair anyway!
CHRIS: Psycho Sisters (1998).
CHRIS: Cannibal Hillbillies (2003).
LAURA: What a fun movie!! I played exactly what the title says; a cannibal hillbilly! (laughs) I had to act like a less-than-bright backwoods hillbilly girl who, along with her hillbilly brother, enjoyed kidnapping innocent victims and cooking them for dinner! All of our dialogue was completely ad-libbed! We made up all these funny lines in a thick southern accent and it was hilarious and so much fun!!
CHRIS: Cannibal Sacrifice (2004).
LAURA: I remember the apple in my mouth and the lettuce bikini! (laughs) I was the main course for Debbie D’s meal!
CHRIS: Wolfika (2006).
LAURA: I was asked to film a scene for this myself and send it in to the producers. I had to act like I was trapped in my bathroom as a werewolf was breaking through my bathroom door. So there was a lot of screaming! Interesting fact: I was pregnant with my daughter in this scene, but I wasn’t showing yet.
CHRIS: Giftwrapped & Gutted (2019).
LAURA: My latest and most recent movie! I played the nagging wife of a psychotic mall Santa. I was hogtied and strangled with Christmas lights! And the lights kept getting very hot as we were filming and they had to shut them off a few times. Loved working on this movie!
LAURA: Luckily, I’ve never had to go to the ER while working on a film, but I have gotten hurt a few times. There have been a couple times I can remember an actor squeezing a little too hard in a strangling scene, a few bumps and bruises during struggling or fight scenes. Not too long ago, during a death trap scene, where a rope was being burned through with a candle, the flame burned through it faster than anticipated and the singed rope flung back onto my arm and left a burn mark. It healed quickly though. I also came home with bruises all over my midsection after I had to lean over a tub for a drowning scene. Most recently, while filming Giftwrapped and Gutted, I ended up with bruises all up and down my arms from where I was grabbed in a scene (laughs). So yeah, little injuries here and there, but nothing major.
CHRIS: I understand you were a snake handler on the 1994 film Rana, Queen of the Amazon?
LAURA: (Laughs) Yes, I was!! I controlled the giant snake puppet we used in the movie! I was the puppeteer, or the “snake handler”! We had so many laughs over that thing!!
LAURA: Well, I have my own small production company, making custom B-horror and mermaid movies, so I’m a director and producer also.
CHRIS: Yes, please tell us more about your production company.
LAURA: It’s called Laura G Productions and we produce custom made B-horror films written by customers! We also produce custom mermaid movies under the name Mermaid Dreams Productions. My longtime friend and fellow actor, Dave Castiglione, is my filmmaker and editor.
CHRIS: Are you currently working on a film, either as an actress or producer?
LAURA: I just finished filming a few scenes for an upcoming horror short for my friend Luc Bernier. The movie is about a woman who keeps seeing images of her dead son.
CHRIS: Let’s talk about your alter ego; Serena the Sea Princess. How did she first come about?
LAURA: I’ve always loved mermaids since I was a little girl. As a kid, I used to tie my legs together with a belt and wear flippers in my pool and pretend I was a mermaid. As I grew up, I never lost my love of mermaids. When I realized that there was a whole community of professional mermaids out there, I decided to give it a try. About 16 years ago, I bought my very first mermaid tail and started a mermaid production company making custom mermaid movies and to my surprise, the idea took off! I produced quite a large collection of mermaid movies from customers’ own scripts. I also entertain at children’s birthday parties and events as a mermaid.
CHRIS: Did you have formal training to learn how to swim with a mermaid tail?
LAURA: No, it came very naturally to me. I guess from the years I spent swimming like a mermaid in my pool as a kid, it was very easy for me.
LAURA: There are definitely a wide range of mermaid tails out there that vary in quality and price. All of my tails are fabric tails. There are very realistic silicone tails out there that cost in the thousands. I’m not willing to pay that much, so I stick to the fabric tails, but there are some very nice fabric tails that look beautiful and are nice quality without breaking the bank.
CHRIS: How long can you hold your breath underwater?
LAURA: I’ve never really timed myself, but I’m going to say maybe about a minute? Sometimes less, sometimes a little more, depending on if I’m staying still or exerting myself.
CHRIS: Is there a certain technique you had to learn to move when you are out of the water wearing a mermaid tail ….for example, when you have to move from your throne to the pool and back?
LAURA: Butt scooting! (laughs) That’s really the easiest way.
CHRIS: Do you have any interests or hobbies that most people don’t know about?
LAURA: I love to read, anything from romance to thrillers to fantasy to horror. I can really lose myself in a book. I love the beach and anything to do with the ocean and its inhabitants. I’m an animal lover and I have my own pet sitting business. I can write and draw pretty well. I used to win awards for my short stories in high school. I’m also a HUGE superfan of The Walking Dead!
CHRIS: Oh, just one last question: How many boxes of Girl Scout cookies do you have right now?
LAURA: (Laughs) Quite a few, you want some? My daughter’s a Girl Scout, so we’re always peddling Girl Scout cookies this time of year!