Thursday, February 4, 2010

Black History Month Day Five: My Interview with Geretta Geretta

The 80s was an era of complete cheese where horror movie creators stuck to their guns and the all too familiar formula of how the movies played out was born and studied. Sex, boobs, annoying girls who get killed for being trashy- or having sex. Girls who stand and scream while being attacked instead of fighting back and girls who get knocked off faster than a whore's high heels. Enter Geretta Geretta in Lamberto Bava's Demons circa 1985. Perhaps one of the greatest exceptions to the rules- Geretta's character Rosemary turned the dumb bimbo stereotype right on it's head. Her character is the "first victim" sure- but veers off into bad ass, first demon villain, oh my god what is happening territory, extremely quickly. Instead of merely getting stabbed in the gut- or something horribly lame and boring, Rosemary turns into the first evil, disgusting demon that we see- and is responsible for the epidemic taking the movie theater over. Her transformation was terrifying- and her demon persona only made things worse. Geretta's character is one of the strongest in the film- and even though she was the first victim- she sure as hell didn't take anything lying down.

Before becoming an actress, Geretta was a model. However after being told countless times that she was far too out going- she promptly decided that being an actress was perhaps a better fit. She first entered the horror business upon meeting Bruno Mattei in Rome- after that, a few house hold names like Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento caught wind of her name and the rest is history. Her role in Demons wasn't vastly different from anything she had done. In fact, previous to doing Demons, Geretta had been in a film where she was on screen killing live rats- leading to production saving the dead ones for props, "so I was used to anything to tell you the truth".

In the midst of filming Demons, Geretta was also doing a Television sketchy comedy show in Italy- a somewhat strange combination to tackle I think- but Geretta had no problem adapting to the change in subject matter and the strenuous hours of demonic makeup application, "I just showed up, rolled up my sleeves and got busy. You really don't think about it. You just do it. It was tough though. The hands alone took four hours every day"

Gross demonic hands with Nosferatu fingers, pulsating pus wounds, green slime vomit- Rosemary's transformation in Demons was certainly one of the most terrifying to witness on screen- and possibly one of the most terrifying to live through as well- "The cheek thing freaked me out. I had a sort of breakdown and they stopped the shooting to let me pull myself together. The gouging of the eyes made me cry- and you look pretty dumb crying for killing people!" During the non mental breakdown portion of the day however there was some time for one of Geretta's fonder moments on the set- lunchtime, "They feed you well on Italian sets. They served wine with lunch. No one gets drunk. Ever. I love Italy."
However- Demons was a mere 25 years ago and Geretta has continued to stay busy ever since. She dove further into the business by writing and directing some films- and even won a Best Female Director award at the Action on Film festival in 2008 and currently is busy at work on her next endeavor, " I'm directing a movie with Kavita Patil from "LOST" and Ashley Palmer from "Paranormal Activity". It's a Bollywood in Hollywood romantic comedy that takes place in Silver Lake, this arty community in L.A. It's called "Four Weddings and a Shaadi" (Shaadi means wedding in Hindi) and it's about two girls that party by night and live traditionally by day". In terms of past projects, Geretta's first feature film "Sweetiecakes" is set to be screened in Osaka, Japan this March for the CineDrive Film Festival. For a woman this busy it's a wonder how one of Geretta's greatest achievements, keeping her figure,- is bod secrets to be revealed soon. So what is the most important thing she's learned while being in the Horror business? "Be nice to everybody. There is a well known "horror urban legend" about a very famous Oscar Award Winning actress who once had a crew secretly pee in the prop water she was standing waist deep in- for being snotty!" Yikes. Make note of that helpful hint horror hopefuls- so you can avoid the inevitable pee bath.
Strong, outgoing, awesome and fabulously brilliant- Geretta Geretta is an icon of horror. Her achievements as of late have proven that she is here to stay and like many of the strong female characters she had played, she's here to whoop some serious ass. Expanding and improving on female roles and getting respect for those roles could be on the list too- although Geretta's pretty confident that will be no problem, "Women scare the crap out of most people in general so can you just imagine what new monsters we can think up? That girl in "Paranormal Activity" scared me to death!" "I was used to being cast as the "strong Black chick" I always had machine guns, or was the one that survived and I just never had any idea of being the character that runs, falls and sprains an ankle. In Warrior Of the Lost World, I whooped a few guys asses!"


Franco Macabro said...

Awesome interview, you killed two birds with one stone! You got the Women in Horror thing, and the Black History Month thing in one swell post! Kudos, I had no idea she was so prolific!

Dod said...

GREAT piece, Andre! She has such a pivotal role in Demons, but I'm even happier to see she stayed successful well after it.

Chris H said...

This is an absolutely fantastic post! Wow! She is so freaking great in Demons and really elevates the entire film.

You're on fire!

kevessence said...

Keep these black history posts coming! They've all been great especially this one. Love Geretta in Demons.

Andre Dumas said...

Thanks everyone- if you haven't already make sure you follow Geretta on Twitter @GERETTA she is amazing.

And don't worry Kevessence there will be one every day in the month of February!

B-Sol said...

Great stuff, gotta love Geretta!

oducerproducer said...

Just watched Demons myself!