We conclude our Women of Mycho Spotlight Series, ending with this exclusive interview with the multi-talented model, actress, and filmmaker Luna Wolf.
In my final interview for Women in Horror Month on Morbidly Beautiful I got a chance to talk to the multifaceted model, photographer and filmmaker Luna Wolf, who discuss what Women in Horror Month means to her, her work in the genre and her upcoming projects in 2019.
INTERVIEW WITH LUNA WOLF
1. How important is it to recognize the female filmmakers during Women in Horror Month, and what does it mean to you?
I’m of two minds in all fairness. I genuinely feel that women in horror should be recognized throughout the entire year, but Women in Horror Month is great — and it gives us a chance to pull together and do something special. It’s almost like Christmas where you make the effort to be just a little better.
2. What made you decide to get into filmmaking originally?
That was my dad’s fault! He is the reason why I am like this (Laughs). My dad basically raised us because my mum was unable to (she had a car accident) from a really young age. My dad did the best he could, and he just got us involved in the thing he really liked…and basically it rubbed off.
Originally, around Christmas time, we were watching Gremlins (1984) and Die Hard (1988), and things like that as you do as a family. Until one day I was about 8 maybe 9 ,and I said, “Dad, what’s that?” It was The Terminator (1984) movie and it was in like a blue tin box. It was a VHS with special booklets, and I was in awe over this. I was like, “Dad, please let me watch this movie,” and he was like, “I am not gonna show you this, this is bad parenting.”
So, I just kept going on about it until he said, “Ok, I am gonna let you watch it, but you will have to watch the making of it first.” So, he made me watch the making of The Terminator first, and I actually enjoyed the making of much more than the film. That was the another reason why I wanted to be a filmmaker. We watched the making of Alien (1979) and then Aliens (1986), and it snowballed from there.
3. So, it was the making of rather than the films that got you interested?
Yeah, the process itself — how they work the camera, being able to show the people what the world looks like through your eyes. Maybe not necessarily horror movies, but being able to show people what you see helps to explain to people why you do things. I’ve always said I see beauty in things that most people take for granted. It’s not until someone has seen a photo I take or video footage of it and they say, “Oh ok, now I get it, I understand.”
I’ve tried my hardest to get my foot back into the industry, as I had a bit of a break recently in the last two years. After we were finishing filming Slasher House 2 (2016), I had a bit of a sickness. I wasn’t well for a very long time, and I lost a lot of my hair. So, I am beginning to get back into it, and 2019 is going to be my return.
4. I definitely want to discuss what you have coming up this year. But, first, I want to talk more about your background. In addition to filmmaking, you have proven yourself to be multitalented as a photographer, journalist, model and makeup artist working primarily in horror. What influenced your decision to focus more on horror than other genres?
That again is because of my family. They were into Hammer Horror and Carry On films, so I fell into the role. One of the main scenes I remember loving so much, no so much because it was a comedy but because it was so gross at the time, was the scene with the knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). I was gobsmacked at how someone could have their arm lopped off, and my dad was like, “It’s just plastic and wax.” I thought it was like magic! Film is like a magic world, and that’s why I loved it so much, particularly horror. I would go to school, and if I didn’t want to go to PE or something, I would get the makeup out and say, “I have just fallen down the stairs (laughs)!” It used to work — not always, but sometimes!
I like being an instigator of people’s adrenaline. People who watch horror movies are passive adrenaline junkies. This is just my opinion, so I may be wrong. But I get a kick out of being a cause of that. That is the difference between being a filmmaker and a sadist I suppose. You can be a sadist, scare people and get away with it if you are a filmmaker, especially in horror.
5. You mentioned your make up effects there; were you self-taught originally?
Yeah, I am self-taught. I was a tom boy when I was younger because I grew up with my dad and brothers, so we were always going around on old motorbikes and falling out of trees. I would pay attention to the bruises I would get, and I would be like, you know that makeup box that I got last Christmas that I haven’t even touched, maybe I can make something out of this.
Then the Internet started happening, and I got better and better at it. I would tell anybody interested in make-up effects to take a formal course, because it’s the quickest route to learning. Nothing beats the hands-on experience with the professionals. But doing it yourself, you can do it on your own time, and you can do what you want to do. You get to make your own mistakes without any judgements so to speak.
I spent a lot of time wondering things like, “Can I make my best mate into a zombie today? I’m really lucky I had people who were willing to support my passion and who would say, “Ok, I will come over and let you experiment on me, just let me feed my cat!”
6. You also have your own production company called Disturbia Films which specializes in horror. How did the company come about?
It was just me needing a hub — a place to put all my film stuff on. My brain is a bit like a bee hive, so I need to section things out and keep it a little bit OCD. Disturbia Films is the place for my film productions behind the camera, where my Luna Wolf Disturbia website is for my modeling and acting in front of the camera. I like to keep it all separate so I can manage my time properly.
7. Do you have any projects coming up from Disturbia films?
I have a two-part web series which I am writing and rewriting. I do have someone who has come on board for that now ,and they are going to help me finish writing it. I’ve been writing it for the last two years since Slasher House. It’s a little like Silent Hill with a twist. It’s not what you would expect, but that’s the only way I can explain it without giving it away.
8. A lot of horror fans may recognize you as Amber in the horror film Slasher House 2 (2016) and will be pleased to hear that the character will be returning in Pandamonium. What originally attracted you to the role?
I knew it was a challenge. They wanted to cast me because of some photos I took before. I had a load of tattoos, and I had this really big wig on. I couldn’t do it at the time, so they got somebody else in. But when that fell though, they came back to me and said, “What’s going on, can you do this?” At that time, I was like, “You know what, yes, I can do this!” It was a challenge because of the character, who is nothing like me. I’m also not comfortable being naked or in skimpy outfits. But I decided I was going to do it, and they were all really cool. It ended up being brilliant.
9. So what did you find was the hardest part about playing Amber?
It was the cold! We were shooting in January, mostly shooting in a warehouse. I remember it like it was yesterday, as I am still cold now (laughs). It was snowing outside, and I was in this tiny little outfit and this horrible itchy wig. They looked at me and said, “We are really sorry. There is nothing else we can do for you.” I just shrugged and said, “Whatever, it’s fine.”
It actually turned out to be a lot colder inside the warehouse than it was outside, because it was solid concrete brick. I remember Moray and Anna Dixon getting me these hot water bottles and blankets to try and keep me warm between shoots because it was that cold. I know all the other actors were cold, but they couldn’t say anything because of me (laughs). That was the hardest thing!
10. You are hopefully returning for Pandamonium. Can you tell us how this will fit into the Mycho Universe?
So, you remember Slasher House 2? I was there, Panda was there. That’s as much as I know right now! (Laughs) That is all they have told me right now. I do know I will be back as the Amber character, and I am also possibly doing behind the scenes stuff. I am quite excited to be back with the crew.
11. You said that 2019 will be a big year for yourself. Do you have any other projects which you are currently working on?
Apart from the scripts that I am working on, I am going to do promo shoots for some of my other skills, as I am also a fire breather… I perform with fire. I have the production team Mycho from Slasher House who are going to help me film it, but I’ve also got a top audio producer for the music — so this will be a really cool promo for my performing.
We have been doing some screen tests as well because I have been learning some CGI. The last one that I released was a video log for a LARP (Live Action Roleplay) game that I play. That’s called Gruntz. It’s basically the colonial marines from Aliens (1986). We play these characters who are shooting each other and aliens. I thought what an opportunity to test out my skills with a Vlog in the way my character does. I actually animated the planet moon and put all the effects in.
There is talk of another Mycho production which may happen this year, maybe. Unfortunately, I can’t say anymore at the moment.
12. Are there any other women working in horror who you feel don’t get the recognition they deserve and whose work we should look out for?
I think so many people in horror need credit, including all of the cast of Slasher House 2. Someone who puts in a lot of work and doesn’t get credit for is Anna (Dixon). You watch the film and can see it’s an amazing creation, and you think, “Well-done, MJ.” But even MJ will say, “If it wasn’t for Anna, this probably would have never happened.” I’ve got the greatest respect for that woman. Anna without a doubt needs to be recognized for what she has done! Just don’t make me wear another wig!
13. So is that be your stipulation? No wig?
Honestly that wig. She had to do pick up shots, so she put it on and sent me a message, “Oh, that fucking wig!” As soon as this Amber character is done, I am burning that wig!
14. What was wrong with the wig?
It was hot, it was cold and there were forests in it as well. They had to use it for another film, so there was mud and all sorts in it. We tried to brush it out, and Anna was spending so much time on the wig. So I was like, “Just give it here, and I will see how it goes.” Half an hour in, I was like, “Get if off!” That’s why half of the behind the scenes was me in a hair net because I couldn’t stand it anymore. I didn’t care how I looked.
15. If someone was looking to get into filmmaking, what advice would you give them?
Start shooting videos on your phone. Don’t bother going out and buying all this amazing software or whatever. If you’ve got a Mac at home, or even on your phone, there are free apps you can edit stuff on. Just go out and shoot every day. Write stories, write notes. Get a pad and write, keep it by your bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, write it down. Because if you don’t, it will not be there in the morning. You need to keep going at it. YouTube is your best friend, and it’s taught me so much in my life.
All the equipment I have is from the last year building up to my return. When we were filming Slasher House, all I had was my iPhone and my Cannon 60D because I started off as a photography doing fantasy and horror photography. But that just had a 5-minute record. It doesn’t matter how good or bad it is, just do it. Don’t go out and buy thing and not do it, just shoot a story and see how it goes. What’s the worst that can happen? Look at the person who invented the lightbulb. His failures, I don’t know what the statistics were, but he didn’t see them as failures. They were just lessons learned, and he finally got there. It’s very much the same! Just shoot people. No, don’t Shoot People…Shoot Film!
You can find out more about Luna wolf on her websites: