Throwback Thursday – Cannibal Sisters (2006)

Just decided to throw up a few of the pictures taken on the set of “Cannibal Sisters”, the re-make of Andrew Shearer’s short film classic on an all-female family of orphan cannibals. I met Andrew and the Gonzoriffic crew for the first time when I volunteered to play the victim in his latest movie, and it was a blast.


And when I say “It was a blast”, I mean it literally as well as metaphorically. As the final victim of the film, Andrew set me up for a (SPOILERS!) spectacular special effect sequence in which I would be attacked by a cannibal so superhumanly strong and savage that she would literally punch through my sternum and rip out a handful of my heart-meat in an orgasmic shower of blood. Andrew and his make-up genius, Teresa Sullens, rigged me with an explosive prop which would shoot out an amazing amount of fake blood from my cleavage. Although sadly, poor Teresa ended up spending more time in make-up trying to cover my tattoo than she did rigging the blood fountain…it took so long to cover the black lines of the Fire Bird that I teased her about getting extra billing as the Boob Wrangler of the film.

Andrew and his crew were amazingly fun to work with and they spent a lot of time with me, in a genuinely respectful and collaborative spirit, which was fantastic. In retrospect I wish I had actually wasted less of Andrew’s time trying to  “contribute” (since I really had no experience whatsoever with film-making or scripting) and had just done exactly what he asked me to. He was a great director and his instinct about what his film needed in terms of pacing and drama were spot-on, and I honestly think any actress can trust him implicitly.If Andrew tells you that you need to step exactly onto the piece of squishy goo and it’ll be funny and gross…you step on that goo, baby.

That being said, I think the most affirming moment of the shoot came after Andrew had run me through the two takes he needed of the attack itself. This is a scene of pretty dire physical horror–I’m just a helpless middle-class, middle-aged woman with a hungry cannibal perched on my chest, about to kill me. I screamed my heart out and did my best to fill that plastic-coated Serial Killer Garage with the sounds of mortal terror. And at the end of the second take, Andrew said, “Cut! Dear God, please stop” and Monica Puller, my Cannibal co-star for the scene, helped me back up to my feet and said, “I feel really bad! Like a real monster!”

Which was awesome. Teresa Sullens later gave me a fantastic make-up job as a zombie Sunday School Teacher for Jesus H. Zombie, and told me while I was in the chair that I had scared her too. Which made me grin and feel just like Jamie Lee Curtis. Squee!

To this day, I have never driven home from Andrew’s house in Georgia without having my hair full of fake blood.


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About Arinn

Author, Game Developer, Anthropologist, Feminist, reformed Supervillainess.
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