Tuesday, September 11, 2012


After a really nice review of Maleficarum appeared in Obscure Video and DVD Blog back in July, he was nice enough to ask me to do an interview as well. You can read it on his blog or right here below!


Amy Hesketh, not many know the name that read this blog, but she is a very talented and beautiful young woman who starred in a film I reviewed here called Maleficarum, about the Peruvian Inquisition and it has developed into my most read review and has made traffic to this site triple.
My blog deals with older movies, cult films,a few newer low budget gems and the like, but Maleficarum struck me as a cross between Jess Franco films and the witch finder films of the 60's and 70's.
I consider Amy a very "Jess Franco" type director with a similar vision (I hope she doesn't mind me saying that).
Amy was very kind to link the review to other sites and I decided to see if I could do a small interview about her and her other projects.
Here, below are the results of that request and some interesting pics of her upcoming projects.

I know you were shown the movie Fright Night with Roddy McDowell when
you were six,
but are there other films of that genre that you like and got you
interested in movies?

Four films that I saw when I was younger are Return to Oz (1985), Warlock (1989), Tale of a Vampire (1992), and Boxing Helena (1993). I realize that it's a bit strange that three of these films feature Julian Sands... I also realize that some of these are not movies for young people. My dad was great about not censoring my viewing, he let me watch what I wanted. These movies made a big impact on me. I realized very young that horror, violence, obsession, sex, art, and perversion were the "good stuff" in movies. I think my work features a healthy dose of the "good stuff".

What kind of film would you ultimately like to direct?

I'm so happy to have the freedom to write and direct almost any movie that tickles my fancy, I have several scripts and ideas on the burner for the next few years. Eventually I would like to be able to obtain the film rights to a rather famous book that was slated to go into the public domain last year and didn't.

Can you give us a little info on the movie you are now directing
called Le Marquis de la Croix, such as when it will be released?

Le Marquis de la Croix and Barbazul I directed in 2011and they'll both be released this year, Le Marquis will be direct to DVD/VOD in the Fall, and Barbazul will debut in Bolivian theaters October 11th.

Le Marquis de la Croix is inspired by the writings of the Marquis de Sade. The film features a man who is writing in prison, played by Jac Avila.. It's implied that le Marquis was locked up for obscenity. He pays for a young woman, a gypsy, Zinga, played by Mila Joya, to be brought to his cell. He writes about and commits all kinds of atrocities to her. It's intense. I really tried to bring the writings of de Sade to life in this movie in a very graphic way. At the same time, I wanted to keep it a bit fun, a bit campy, old-timey exploitation, done in a post-modern way, with a sprinkling of social commentary. I think I succeeded in doing all of that.

Barbazul (Bluebeard), is based on the children's story by Charles Perrault about a man (with a blue beard) who kills his wives. He's a serial killer. This, again, is a very graphic movie in terms of violence and nudity. It seemed as though other movies made about Bluebeard skimmed over the more intense elements of the story. There was a hole in the cinematic trajectory of Bluebeard. I'm not one to squander an opportunity so I made Barbazul much in the fashion of the 1960's/70's Italian exploitation horror flicks of yesteryear but, like I do, went farther with the "good stuff". It's a tense and terrifying movie, but has enough (very) dark humor to appeal to a wider audience.


Have you always wanted to both act and direct or does one interest you
more than the other?

I started taking acting classes when I was 6 years old and I've wanted to direct since I was about 10 or 11 years old . Both have their value and interest to me. Being on both sides of the camera makes it easier for me to ask for more from my actors and to understand what they're going through. I've acted in difficult roles and done extraordinary things, so when I tell them to do something that may sound a bit crazy I'm pretty sure my actors think "Well, at least I don't have to sit on a wooden horse for 5 hours like you did!". One actress told me straight out that it's amazing that I think up these crazy ideas for movies and everyone just goes along with me like what we're doing is normal. Like the Pied Piper of Crazy Art Movies. I doubt anyone who works with me would want to continue to do so if I made "normal" movies, they would think I had completely lost my mind.

What are your five favorite movies of all time and why?

Well, if I can only choose five...there are so many more that are not on the list below.

Pretty much all of the movies I love have one thing in common, a depiction of the point when the personality is stripped away and something is revealed beneath: the animal, instinctual, something sick or undefined. It's what I explore in my own movies. Call it an obsession.

1)The Night Porter (1974). Dirk Bogard and Charlotte Rampling, two amazing actors in a very sexy film. It's audacious, crazy, wonderful. I would love a role like Charlotte's. Dirk Bogard in a Nazi uniform gives me a frisson.
2)Le Mepris (1963) Brigitte Bardot in what I perceive to be her most revealing role. I have a thing for the miserable, lost and existential.
3)Jules et Jim (1962) Weird threesome, dark, existential, what's not to like?
4)Weekend (1967) In my opinion, Godard's most important film. It also embodies the spirit of film-making for me.
5)Antichrist (2009) When I saw this in the theater in NYC, half of the audience walked out. I was leaning forward in ecstasy, hoping it would be 8 hours long.


My blog is usually about off the wall and older films yet Maleficarum
seems, at least to the people who read it to fit right in. How do you
feel about that and account for it?

I'm very glad that Maleficarum fits into your blog as we admire the movies you write about here. Maleficarum, as well as the other films that we make, is made in the style of the older audacious exploitation films of yesteryear. Those films were shocking in their day, and our films are shocking now. We take those older films as inspiration and build upon that, going farther with the "good stuff". Essentially we make the movies we, ourselves, would like to see, but can't find because they don't otherwise exist.

Maleficarum is interesting to viewers in many different ways, historically because we use actual transcripts of testimonies from the Peruvian Inquisition (it's amazing to think that people really said these things), in terms of how we graphically show the tortures as realistically as possible, no holds barred, and the story arc of the victims, the sad tale that it is.

Where eventually do you want your acting career to go?

I plan to keep pushing myself until I burn out... joking! I want to get to a point in which I've acted in every role imaginable, a point in which I can say, "you did good, kid". It could be a long time from now.

Is a sequel to Maleficarum planned?

We haven't planned a sequel to Maleficarum, however we may touch upon the theme of the Inquisition in a film again. We've had so many emails and messages requesting just that, it would be hard to let people down. ;)

I know from very personal experience that I get a rush from making a
movie. Do you have the same feelings when acting and directing?

It's the best! I get more of a rush from writing and directing a film than acting. Standing behind the camera when the actors do something really good, when the scene comes to life right there in front of you, pretty much exactly how you imagined it, is thrilling. Acting is more complicated for me. The characters I tend to play, having to enter into the soul of another and leave myself behind is draining. When I watch the dailies and see I did a good job, that's when I get a good feeling from acting.

An exception might be some scenes in Maleficarum. There was adrenalin involved when we shot the roasting scene. A lot of adrenalin. I was scared out of my mind. That's a kind of rush I guess.

My recent role in Diego Torres' experimental film La Montaña Interior was an exception as well. To have to hike up to about 5000 meters (16,000 feet), shoot some scenes, then take my shirt off in front of a glacier (a glacier!), shoot that scene before the clouds came in, and then go back down. That was a rush. More from the extreme cold than anything else...  

I gave myself a lead role (which I normally don't do) in my new film Olalla, inspired by the story by Robert Louis Stevenson. That could be a rush, and an opportunity for catharsis.

I hope you enjoyed this small little interview with someone whom I think will go BIG places.
Maybe I should have Amy in my next project? A huge thanks to Amy for the pictures in the interview.


  1. great interview. It's good to see a woman that enjoys not only acting but also directing these kind of movies that are enjoyed by much more people that is willing to recognize it. Looking forward to Le Marquis de la Croix and Barbazul, they look good!

    1. Thanks so much for your words! More than enjoy, I am fulfilled by making these films!

    2. Amy,

      Very nice interview! You gave me a great insight into
      you plus some movies I need to check out.

      If I had a vote I would vote, "No" to a Maleficarum sequel for the simple reason you don't survive it! You
      and Mila are just too wonderful to watch to imagine a sequel without seeing you too. There is a word that
      might interest you - "revenant". You may know it
      already. A series based on a revenant theme could
      really work for you and the crew you work with.
      Not all revenant themes are gross, the older
      '81 movie "Ghost Story" is an example where the
      emphasis is off the gross-out and on the mood.
      Not a 5-star flick I know but just an example.

      Mostly, just thank you & keep working,

      Andrew/No URL

    3. Thanks!

      Well, I don't survive Maleficarum completely intact. But through witchcraft I could miraculously heal! Doing another Inquisition-themed movie may happen, but as I said, very different from Maleficarum. ;)

      I'm familiar with revenant lore, the basis of vampire lore, and how the idea of the walking dead or undead came about as the result of not understanding the plague.

      I'm going to look up Ghost Story (1981). Thanks for the tip!

      Always working! Sometimes 7 days a week.