One of the biggest champions for the horror scene in Perth is Vanessa Gudgeon. If you’ve gone to a horror screening at one of the many cinemas around the city, then you’ll likely have seen Vanessa dressed up in some of the most inventive and exciting horror costumes around. Vanessa’s work stretches from modelling, to her love of mermaids, to being the main champion for the Perth Horror Fans community, and finally, to being the co-director of the Fangoria X Monster Fest Trasharama Golden Lomax winning short film, Hobo Sewer Slaughter, all of which makes her love of horror films purely infectious.
Andrew put ten questions forward to Vanessa to find out what drives her love for horror, mermaids, and everything in between.
What was your first experience with horror, and when did you know that you loved it?
I’m not really sure what started my love of horror, but as
far back as I can remember, I have always gravitated towards spooky things,
with Halloween being my favourite day of the year.
You have been a major champion for horror in Perth, from the biggest horror films, to the low budget, indie films. What do you enjoy the most about the horror scene in Perth?
The people are my favourite thing about the horror scene,
they are some of the most passionate and genuine individuals I have ever met. I
love our group outings with the Perth Horror Fans crew to see scary cinema of
all kinds and then discussing what we loved (or didn’t love) for hours on end,
it’s a real sense of being part of a community which adds so much to the cinematic
You’re an avid mermaid lover. Can you tell us about what mermaid life is about?
Being a mer is a lot of fun and there is nothing quite like
swimming in a beautiful tail, especially if you’re with a pod (group of mers),
but being a mer also comes with great responsibility! We are ambassadors and
advocates for the sea, who make it our life’s goal to help with beach and ocean
clean ups and teach others about pollution and conservation of our waterways
and all the creatures who live in and around them.
The mermaid tail that mermaids wear looks like an impressive tool to help you swim. What’s it like swimming with one on?
It’s incredible, with a good quality monofin and correct
technique, you can feel as at home in the water as you would on the land; the
speed, depth and grace of it all is surreal sometimes, plus it’s great exercise
I’ve always admired your varied horror costumes and the different characters you’ve cosplayed as. How much work goes into creating these characters, and what has been your favourite costume to wear?
Thank you so much! I put hours into my costumes and use them
for all kinds of burlesque, horror and Cosplay events. It’s a difficult to
choose just one, but one of my favourite costumes I’ve made is my “mermaid
being carried by a skeleton pirate” costume, it’s not easy to get around in,
but I’ve used it a lot at different events and it doubles as a Halloween
decoration when I’m not wearing it!
You recently screened Hobo Sewer Slaughter at Fangoria X Monster Fest in Melbourne. What was that experience like?
Fantastic! This was my 3rd short film to premiere as part of Trasharama and Monster Fest in Melbourne and my second to screen at Cinema Nova. The audience feedback has been great and I’m so proud of our cast and crew and to have actually won this years covered Golden Lomax award has been a long life dream come true. It has really fuelled my ambition to work on my next film projects; a short called Mr. Bang-Bang and The Babes Of Death, a documentary about Deadly Earnest and an upcoming anthology called Bleederville, which I am one of the writers for.
Can you talk about the making of Hobo Sewer Slaughter and how the concept came up? And also what are the challenges of making low budget horror films?
We took on the challenge to make a fake grindhouse
derosploitation style trailer, all with practical effects and the use of as
many bodily fluids as we could think of. We shot most of it in tiny bathrooms which
came with obvious difficulties, but served to challenge our creativity and gave
us the opportunity to explore new shots and angles.
When you’re working with a low budget, it is so important to
work out everything you need and can achieve with the money you have well
before you start filming. Learning to do things yourself is key and involving
your friends and family is extremely important, especially when it comes to
appointing someone to feed your hangry cast and crew!
I know you’ve got a long running list of ‘bucket list’ places in the world that you’d like to visit. What are the places that you simply cannot wait to visit?
I’d love to visit Ireland and learn more about my personal
What is your ideal horror experience?
There are so many that come to mind, but my ultimate dream
would be to bring a series of varied and amazing horror experiences and
screenings to Perth as an ongoing thing for everyone who is partial to the genre
to enjoy and share with each other.
As a horror fan, what are some of your ‘must see’ horror films?
As an avid horror fan, that is a very difficult question, as so many, MANY titles come to mind! But some of my personal favourites include; Sleepaway Camp (1983), The Greasy Strangler (2016), Suspiria (1977), Cat Sick Blues (2015), 100 Bloody Acres (2012), Wild Zero (1999), Night Of The Living Dead (1968), The Faculty (1998), Nudist Colony Of The Dead (1991) and Backcountry (2014).
Finally, what question would you love to know the answer to?
I’d love to know what horror films your readers would recommend!
You heard it readers. Drop your horror film suggestions below!
Hobo Sewer Slaughter will be screening as part of Fangoria X Monster Fest and Trasharama at GU Film House Adelaide, 9:30pm Friday November 1st https://tinyurl.com/y4gubxkk and Fangoria X Monster Fest at Event Cinemas Innaloo Perth, 6pm Sunday November 3rd alongside Satanic Panichttps://tinyurl.com/y2x6rww2
And, after you’ve done that, make sure to check out all the different social media scenes that Vanessa is part of below:
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