Alicia Faucher and Larissa Thomas Talk ‘Allie And Lara Make A Horror Movie’
“A feminist screenwriting duo take the leap to directing on their first epic creature feature. Can they defeat the naysayers, nemeses, and night stalkers without the help of Satan? No. They need his money.”
So goes the logline for “Allie And Lara Make A Horror Movie,” an upcoming webseries written by the dynamic duo of Alicia Faucher and Larissa Thomas. Twelve episodes are planned for the series’ first season, which describes itself as a “comedy of horrors” that tackles the making of a fictionalized horror movie called Womantis.
We chatted with Alicia and Larissa as well as the main cast members, Maddy Foley (Allie) and Heather Dicke (Lara) to find out more about their inspirations, heavy metal vs. classic rock, and the wily Womantis.
Alicia and Larissa, tell us a little bit about yourselves and what made you want to make a webseries about making a horror movie (It’s so meta!)? What might surprise people about the two of you?
Alicia: I’m actually in my late sixties and Larissa is a virgin.
Larissa: A butt virgin, to be precise.
Alicia: The first part is simple: we were two gals writing a horror movie. We were just getting to know each other, and while writing we would riff on these outlandish exaggerations of ourselves. It was a lot of fun. Suddenly we weren’t writing a feature anymore… well we did; this was just born out the process.
Larissa: I was dead set on continuing with our feature, but when she pitched it, it sounded like a lot of fun, and it seemed like something a little easier to tackle as our first project together. I was so fucking wrong. It’s a lot of work, but it’s rewarding. We are dealing with the same issues as our characters. What we are learning in the process is giving us confidence to move forward with shit that, I personally, have always wanted to do, and might not have if it weren’t for this project.
What are some of the horror movies you love that inspired you to embark upon this project? And what about TV shows?
Larissa: We’re the Winchester sisters in the Cabin in the Woods in the deep dark recesses of Sunnydale.
Alicia: In a nutshell, haha. I don’t know, I wouldn’t say that there is any one particular film that inspired this project. Our scripts are loaded with references, like that, that range from horror and comedy films, to situations inspired by behind the scenes gossip.
Larissa: I have a sickness and it’s called Alt.Gossip.Celebrities.
Alicia: She really does. Behind-the-scenes featurettes are another source of inspiration. When Crystal Lake Memories came out it was the best day. As for TV: Twin Peaks is huge for me, Buffy and Supernatural are big for her. There is a theme here: Mystery, Slashers, Stalkers, Voyeurism. You’re gonna see a lot of that in Allie’s character and you’ll see total ass kicking in Lara’s.
Larissa: This is why we chose this format. We want to have time to explore our characters, create a world for them to thrive in, or fail and learn shit.
What’s up with the heavy metal in the soundtrack? Why is heavy metal so important for not only horror movies but also being creative?
Alicia: I think we are attracted to organized chaos. We’re writers, not performers. We need to get that overwhelming energy out somehow. It bubbles to the surface and then you find yourself thrashing in its jaws. Metal is the perfect pace. I air guitar to Iron Maiden at least twice a day. It’s my yoga.
Larissa: I just like to do some rockin’ to some Dokken!
Womantis: The Woman, The Mantis, The Legend—tell us more about this creature.
Alicia: She has evolved quite a bit, thanks to a rivalry in our story that forces a re-write. But her origin story is simple. Global Fucking Warming. It affects all of us. We could all wake up as insect women one day.
Larissa: I often have fantasies about other creatures taking over the earth and destroying humans, and it all seems plausible in my sweet erotic dreams.
Why do you think that so many artists fail to successfully combine horror and comedy? What is it about your series that will prove those two genres belong together?
Alicia: Do they fail? You’re talking to two people who’ve watched, liked, re-watched, and probably purchased the majority of films that most would think fall into this category.
Larissa: Subgenres are a niche audience; horror-comedy has a lot less eyeballs on it. We’re not really out to prove that they do belong together. We’re just trying to create a voice for the shit that we like. A lot of what we obsess over is written by men, and that’s not a bad thing; it’s just the truth. We want to fan out over female voices, but there just aren’t as many out there creating serialized content in this area, so why not us? *Points to herself* #JosselynWhedon
Alicia: *Points to herself * #KevinWilliamdaughter. Also something we wanted to explore is how, when you’re part of a fandom, or ya know, a gender, you are expected to act and look a certain way, like and dislike certain things. My whole life I’ve heard shit like, “YOU are a horror fan? You just don’t look like a horror fan.” “You like ‘90s horror? Right, so you’re not actually a horror fan.” “Horror is misogynist. How can you enjoy that as a woman?” WE JUST CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!!! So we chose a subgenre with the same reputation. And we plan to destroy both.
Larissa: Don’t get us wrong; there is stuff out there, and we love it, but we want to spin it in a different direction.
Alicia: I don’t know if our show falls into horror as much as it is a comedy for horror fans. We’re more The ‘Burbs than Dead Alive. More Evil Dead: The Musical than Evil Dead II.
Why is classic rock so important to your creative process?
Alicia: It’s not just Classic Rock, it’s everything! ‘80s film scores really help us focus and keep energy up while we’re writing.
Larissa: Then there’s Alicia with her fucking Billy Joel. I just like to listen to AC/DC and pretend I’m Stephen King.
Alicia: I just like to listen to the Eagles and pretend I’m hooking up with Don Henley.
What can you tell us about the production crew?
Alicia: We had a small team of amazing people volunteer to help us make our trailer. Pierce Derks, our DP, has been hugely supportive and so wonderful to work with. If I could queue up the theme to Growing Pains and show you a slideshow of each individual face I would. All of them. Sharing the laughter and love.
Larissa: We are still building our team, so there isn’t much to say quite yet. We do have two announcements though. We are excited to have Larica Perera (Tik-Tik) come on board as our director, with Steven Kostanski (Manborg, The Void) guest directing a few episodes as well.
Tell us about the cast.
Alicia: I’ll start by saying that their chemistry read had us bawling from laughter. They just get it. They seem like they are genuinely having fun, and it’s infectious. We spend time with Maddy and Heather outside of the project, and it’s really influenced how we write for them. Sharon Belle recently came on board and just blew us away.
Larissa: They do a great job of bringing the characters to life and making them their own. Like The Dude’s rug, they really tie a room together.
Heather and Maddy, what attracted you to this project?
Heather Dicke: I was attracted to this project at first because I loved the role of Lara. She’s a strong, sassy, take-no-shit and give-no-apologies kinda woman and I was SO EXCITED at the prospect of getting to play someone like that! Not only is she bold, but she’s funny, so just a total lottery win for an actor. It’s also got this fantastic mix of harsh truths (it’s hard being a woman in this industry; living with roommates as an adult sucks) and balls-to-the-walls madness. It’s just the most beautiful insanity. It’s smart comedy, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it as soon as I read the breakdown.
Maddy Foley: The writing. Seriously. To find something that resonated with my type of humour and insight was so exciting. I read a lot of scripts where the style doesn’t speak to me, or the role (especially as a woman) is very one dimensional. To read something and be like “Yes, this character makes sense to me or even IS me,” is really exciting.
Tell us about the Drunken Cinema event that’s coming up in Toronto. Why did you choose Jennifer’s Body? What can attendees expect?
Larissa: It’s one of my favorite movies. It’s a genre film about female friendship. It just seemed kind of perfect for this event.
Alicia: Anyone interested in joining can sign up on our website to get a copy of the rules. The link to the live feed will be posted to our Twitter and Facebook accounts.
We will go live at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, introduce ourselves and then start the movie. If you have the movie, we recommend watching along with us. We will advise when to press play and when to pause for intermission. If you don’t have the film, but still want to play, you can align to one of us and drink when that person drinks. Either way tune in, get to know us, and have some laughs.
Alicia Faucher and Larissa Thomas are currently applying for Independent Production Funding for “Allie and Lara Make a Horror Movie.” They plan to shoot the series’ first season in Fall 2017.
You can follow them here:
Facebook Event Page for the Drunken Cinema screening of Jennifer’s Body: https://www.facebook.com/events/1812355969017815/
June 1, 2017
Read about our project on @ModernHorrors https://t.co/D7K1bLbCg6 @womantisfilm #AllieandLaraMakeaHorrorMovie… https://t.co/fP1BLCwz7R