A Closer Look at Jane Clark’s New Horror Comedy Feature ‘Crazy Bitches’

Writer and director Jane Clark made her directorial feature debut only last year and hit it big right away: After its premiere in March 2013, her ‘Meth Head’ went on to become a multi award winning drama receiving a dozen awards and playing in over twenty five festivals worldwide. With ‘Meth Head’ now available on DVD and VOD, Jane is unleashing her next feature on the world, the comedy slasher horror ‘Crazy Bitches’ which will premiere later this week in San Francisco. Come on inside for a closer look at a sexy girls’ weekend away turned nightmare, trailer included.
Seven women, sisters of the Alpha Kappa Pi sorority, and their best gay friend reunite for a weekend to celebrate their pal Alice’s birthday. But at the remote ranch where they settle for leisurely days of gossip, girl time and grub, something soon seems amiss.

The gang starts where they usually do with lots of smiles and hugs all around until past rivalries surface. There’s Taylor, the pretty one, always touting her beauty. Princess, the smart one, boasts of her brain. Cassie likes to show off the hard body she’s built on the volleyball court and BJ, well, it’s easy to guess what he’s good at. Extreme vanity covers great insecurity among all of them, but underneath it, they truly love each other and their BFF Alice.
A number of margaritas into the first night, a dark secret is revealed. The cabin is the site of a gruesome mass murder of teenage girls on a sleepover 15 years earlier. Blood still stains the floor under new carpets and the killer still runs free.

The women take the ghost story for what it seems – a tall tale on a stormy night – and at first, the story only adds to the romance of the ranch. One of the girls sneaks off with the hired hand. Another seeks to rekindle her old college flame. But after a third turns up dead – the story no longer seems silly and sex is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

One by one they are cut down, victims of the particular vanities they flaunt in each other’s faces. And as the fun-filled weekend turns into a race against death, they wonder: which crazy bitch will make it out alive.

Samantha Colburn as Taylor Newhouse

With all this going on in front of the camera, something has to filter through into the reality of the cast and crew, right? After all, a good actor gets into character all the way, bordering on a personality disorder. Or, on second thought, bringing out he tur nature of one’s self. Which ever it may be, ‘on the set of ‘Crazy Bitches’, it was no different. Apparently…

Mary Jane Wells as Princess Faulkner

“I play the pretty one,” says Samantha Colburn of her role as Taylor in new horror comedy sex romp ‘Crazy Bitches’. “Umm, no, actually I’m the pretty one,” counters her co-­‐star, Mary Jane Wells (Princess), “the smart one, but also the prettiest.” “Well, I play the little sister and she is younger than the other girls,” adds Liz McGeever (Minnie), before offering a grin. “And prettier.”

Liz McGeever as Minnie Grace

So it went during fifteen long, hot summer days of shooting ‘Crazy Bitches’. One would say one thing, another would refute it, and so on. And each would tell you she meant everything she said, with nothing but love in her heart… Yeah, right.

This sentiment, tongue in cheek, of course, was exactly what writer and director Jane Clark wanted from her ensemble cast of seven leading ladies and one fab gay friend. From the moment she conceived her second movie following the award-winning drama ‘Meth Head’, Jane sought a group of women who could coddle one another with just the right amount of cattiness thrown in. But where dis that intention come from?

“‘Crazy Bitches’ stems from a long-ago lunch conversation with one of my best friends,” Jane recalls the beginnings of the project. Who that was, she either can really not recall or she is just not naming names. “The girlfriend was at a particularly depressed time in her life,” she continues, “and made a comment to me that was meant to prop up the her own self esteem. Yet the very statement she made struck at a deep insecurity inside me.”

“I remember thinking, what the f**k did you just say to me?” Jane recalls. “But I knew she loved me, and I knew she wasn’t trying to hurt me. Still, it really stung. And I thought, ‘how many times does that happen, that a friend inadvertently in trying to make themselves feel better, actually makes the other person feel bad. That was the germ of the idea, then I took it and extended it and looked at what vanity means – in particular, the idea that vanity can be the flip side of insecurity.”

After coming off ‘Meth Head’, which earned more than a dozen awards at festivals in 2013, including several best feature honors, Jane wanted a change of direction, and horror seemed to be the perfect genre for a comedic tale of vanity run amok. On the surface, ‘Crazy Bitches’ may seem to be all blood and guts, but underneath it all are real characters dealing with fears, failures and bullying. These women wear their vanities on their sleeves and flaunt it in their friends’ faces, but their own insecurities make them all too human. Although, not for very long.

John W. McLaughlin as Gardner Jones

“I wrote funny because that’s who I am,” Jane explains, “and the horror was just… well, you know, you got to kill the bitches off!” Yet, even as she smiles, her producing partner John W. McLaughlin, who also portrays ranch hand Gardner in the movie, is quick to point out that all the jokes point to a greater truth. “That is one of the things that sets this film apart from other horror movies,” he says “because by the time they are killed for their vanity, you actually care about the bitches.”

Candis Cayne as Vivianna Huffington

All this may sound more like a socially critical look at modern society with tragic a hero doomed for his own demise or, in this case, a group of heroesses sliding with increasing speed towards the same fate. While this aspect is there, it is not what ‘Crazy Bitches’ wants to be. It is a horror film. And what would a horror film be without some sex thrown in? For that, there’s boozy, man-stealing Vivianna (Candis Cayne), sex-crazed ranch hand Gareth (Blake Berris), philandering husband Eddie (David Fumero) and, of course, beautiful, sexy Taylor. Samantha Colburn characterizes her role best: “I’m the virgin,” she pauses. “Do I really need to say more than that?” There you have it.

Blake Berris as Gareth Jones

Pre-production for ‘Crazy Bitches’ began in earnest in May last year (2013). Principal photography took place on Great Spirits Ranch in late June and early July. The ranch, which also serves as an animal sanctuary, is situated high in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, CA. “It was absolutely gorgeous at the ranch, despite the weather being 111 degrees, or something like it, every day,” recalls Blake Berris. While that, along with all the other little things that go awry during filming, is certainly no walk in the park and creates memories most of the cast and crew could happily live without, Jane Clark sums it up best: “When I watch the finished film, those memories fade away. I sit and laugh, ” she says. “Making the film was crazy and definitely a bitch, but the end result slays.”

David Fumero as Eddie Major

‘Crazy Bitches’ premies at the upcoming Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco on June 26 at the Victoria Theatre. If you are further south in Cali, you will have the chance to see ‘Crazy Bitches during Outfest in Los Angeles on July 17 at the Ford Amphitheater. Following the screenings in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the film will hit the horror festival circuit later this year. Tickets are available online, respective links can be found on the film’s official website as well as the festivals’ websites. You can find the links as usual below the trailer.

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Frameline Film Festival Website
Outfest Website

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