Interview – Sadie Katz

Sadie Katz is a woman of many talents, all of which she is applying to several upcoming projects. Horror fans might recognize her from 2014’s Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort and underground gems like 2017’s Bus Party to Hell, but in addition to acting, Katz also writes, directs, and produces. Along with fellow scream queen Felissa Rose, Katz curates the films shown on Room 236, a sub-channel on Thrillflix that features indie Horror. She has several feature-length films coming out this year, and she recently completed a pilot episode for a trippy new show called Down the K-Hole. Excited about what is ahead, Katz recently sat down to talk about her work both behind and in front of the camera.

Cryptic Rock – You have quite a bit going on as far as current and upcoming projects. Which are you most excited about?

Sadie Katz – I’m actually really grateful for this year: I have a lot of projects I’m really passionate about. I have a sexy, scary Thriller, Megan, releasing in the summer. I shot it in Italy with the director, Silvio Nacucchi. It’s a little bit Misery (1990) meets Hard Candy (2005). I’m also looking forward to the release of Amityville Harvest, directed by Thomas Churchill, which is really great because in Megan I’m the antagonist and in Amity I’m the protagonist. I find it a lot of fun to be able to play really evil and then really vulnerable – they both kinda come from the same place – I mean, I think anyone who commits evil acts is hiding deep vulnerabilities.

Cryptic Rock – Certainly that understanding lends nuance to your roles. One project that definitely caught our eye is your upcoming television show Down the K-Hole. Can you tell us more about that?

Sadie Katz – I’m glad you noticed. It’s a pilot based on a depressed, entitled, Manhattan Beach husband whose marriage is falling apart, and he starts micro-dosing ketamine to deal with the depression. I wrote the script and I just loved it because my goal was to write satire, but in a man’s voice. That sounds so sexist! But, truthfully I wanted to write something politically incorrect, but not really judge the characters.

Because of the drug elements, I wanted the show to have a bit of magic realism and to feel, at times, like you’re on your own drug trip watching the show. It’s really rare for something you write to actually look like how you pictured it while writing. I was really grateful to Director Myles Reiff for taking what I wrote and even pushing it further. The show is at the selling stage and it’s funny because I’m mostly hoping the show gets picked up so I can spend more time with the characters. Kyle Lowder from Days of Our Lives is a lead and watching him do comedy is a treat, as well as Augie Duke from Netflix’s Messiah, who is perfection in the pilot.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Gravitas Ventures

Cryptic Rock – That is definitely an original and engaging plot. Hopefully someone picks it up! You have been primarily involved in the Horror genre since the beginning of your career. Was Horror your first choice, or did you just sort of fall into it by chance?

Sadie Katz – I always wonder: do you choose Horror or does it choose you? The thing I have to admit is there’s a certain adrenaline to doing Horror films. The fans are super loyal and supportive so, although I’ve done other genres, the Horror community is just so special I can’t help but come back for more.

Cryptic Rock – Agreed. Horror fans are a special breed. You have experienced every major aspect of the film-making process. Which is your favorite?

Sadie Katz – My absolute favorite part of film-making is being part of a team. When a film has a really well working set, and everyone is giving one hundred and fifty percent, there’s a magic in the air by being surrounded by people who love what they do.

Cryptic Rock – Do you prefer being in front of the camera or behind the camera?

Sadie Katz – Being behind the camera is a tough gig. As an actor you get to leave when your job is done, and it’s in the hands of the director/producer. Producing or directing, your job has really just begun. You have to have a really strong commitment to the project because it’s such a journey. I think I really enjoy being behind the camera, but acting is a hell of a lot more fun!

Gravitas Ventures
Silvio Nacucchi Productions

Cryptic Rock – Well it sounds like you have experienced the best of both worlds. What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Sadie Katz – My documentary The Bill Murray Experience. I had several screenings and film festivals – most notably the premiere at AMDOCS Film Festival in Palm Springs, which was just an amazing week of docs and hanging with filmmakers from around the globe. I was so grateful to have a ton of friends and family come out to Palm Springs for the premiere as well as PJ Soles and Joel Murray, who also appear in the doc. I also did a special screening at UCLA, and I had three hundred people come and support me and the film — lots of different people I worked with over the last decade, and I just was so overwhelmed and happy to have that support. I was even happier that my own peers actually enjoyed the film. Well, at least that’s what they told me!

Cryptic Rock – Your streaming channel, Thrillflix, showcases a lot of content from as-yet unknown filmmakers. Out of the indie Horror films you have featured, which were you most excited to discover and share with your audience?

Sadie Katz – Oh my gosh, I’m obsessed with The Glass Coffin (2016). The Lead Actress Paola Bontempi is absolutely riveting as an actress who gets kidnapped in a limo. It’s a Spanish film and it’s a must see, if only to argue whether the twist ending is too much or just right. Felissa Rose and I came on to Thrillflix because we thought it would be really exciting to have a smaller online viewer party of some fun films you maybe missed or just never had a chance to see. For $3.99 a month, it’s a bargain.

Cryptic Rock – Sounds like a good deal! We love our scream queens, but until recently, women haven’t had many opportunities in Horror besides playing victims. What’s it like being a female creator in the Horror industry?

Sadie Katz – If you go to horror conventions, you see a ton of women! I think you even see more women than, let’s say, Comic-Con. Women really love Horror films. I’m really excited to have a chance to give a female voice and storylines that might appeal to that audience as well as men. I hate to make everything like, ‘women rule blah…blah…,’ but we are pretty damn cool.

Sadie Katz & Felissa Rose

Cryptic Rock – It’s great to hear that women feel welcomed in the community. What advice do you have for other women who aspire to work in the Horror industry?

Sadie Katz – Run! Kidding. But, yes, you will do some running. (Laughs) I’d say get involved in making yourself a brand almost immediately. Before you worry about your manager or agent, get a publicist if you have a film coming out. (Mine’s Jimmy Star by the way – he’s amazing.) I don’t think this applies as much as it does in other genres, but if you’re making indie films, lower-budget Horror people want to follow your films, and a big part of that is your hustle. Also, don’t say ‘yes’ to every project.

Cryptic Rock – It is clear you have a great sense of humor. Can you share your funniest on-set story with us?

Sadie Katz – When I was filming Megan we had already been on location for a couple weeks and my co-star Randy Wayne had a pretty crazy scene with some partial nudity, and, well, when you see it, it’s a tough scene. I’m not one to get embarrassed, but after you’ve spent weeks with the crew, there is the whole thing of like ‘tomorrow you all are going to see me pretty naked doing some really crazy intense things.’

The night before the shoot I had joked that everyone had to be in their boxers too on the crew! When the moment came for the scene, our fabulous DP and his crew all shot in their boxers. It made what would have been a really tough scene a little easier to handle. When we wrapped, we all took a picture together, and whenever I look at the picture now, I just giggle and miss everyone.

Cryptic Rock – That was sweet of them to show their solidarity in that way. Last question. Cryptic Rock covers music as well as films, particularly Horror and Sci-Fi. If you are a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi films, what are some of your favorites and why?

Sadie Katz – The circus season of American Horror Story was brilliant! I just loved it. Scream is such a solid, fun franchise. Same with Final Destination. I also do love post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi movies. The Matrix (1999) is still amazing. Ex Machina (2014) I talked about for weeks – just a great film. Truthfully, though I love anything and everything, making films is such an act of dedication that even when they’re bad, I think they’re still good.

Dimension Films
Warner Bros.

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Feature photo credit: Michael Round

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