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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 16, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 29
Peaches Christ and Mink Stole talk All About Evil
Arts & Entertainment
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Peaches Christ and Mink Stole talk All About Evil

by Gary M. Kramer - SGN Contributing Writer

All About Evil
Playing July 17 at Egyptian Theatre


All About Evil is the brainchild of Joshua Grannell's (a.k.a. Peaches Christ). It's a wickedly funny horror comedy about Deborah Tennis (Natasha Lyonne), a movie theater manager turned filmmaker who snuffs out bad manners by making snuff films starring the offenders. Unspooling as a midnight movie in "4-D," the film co-stars Mink Stole. Seattle Gay News chatted with Grannell and Stole about All About Evil.

Gary Kramer: Joshua, where did you get the inspiration for All About Evil?

Joshua Grannell: It came from having worked in movie theatres. I was running the Bridge, a single-screen theatre in San Francisco, where I did my Midnight Mass show. The city was going through a change where all these multiplexes were opening and I had a fear/paranoia about single screen theatres closing.

Kramer: You have two Midnight Movie stars in your film: Mink Stole and Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson. But you cast them in "normal" roles. Was that deliberate?

Grannell: Yes, it was. It was one of those things where I got to be in a position where I knew them as friends, outside of their iconic roles. I'm a huge fan. In my drag persona, I worship Elvira and at the altar of Mink Stole. So doing tributes to them was a thrill, but I've gotten to know them as women, professionals, and friends. When I wrote the screenplay, I didn't write the parts for them, but created a world of characters. When I was done, and started thinking of casting, I saw Cassandra as this mother, outside of the drag. It wasn't totally intentional, but it was a chance to see them in roles I believed that they could play.

Kramer: You act in the film as Peaches Christ. Did you have to sleep with the writer/director to get this role?

Grannell: [Laughs.] You are the first person to ask me that! Yes! We had to have sex more than once!

Kramer: Was it difficult to perform and direct?

Grannell: That was another challenging thing. Harder than I imagined when I wrote the part. Peaches is a character that exists, and I thought she should have a cameo. But friends encouraged me - "More Peaches!" I wanted her to exist in the world of the movie. It was very likely that Peaches would show up and become a fan of Deborah. I didn't want it to feel out of place. I have the hardest time watching the Peaches scenes. Because I feel she looks fat!

Kramer: Natasha Lyonne is fabulous as Deborah Tennis. She seems to be paying homage to every great female vamp. What cues did you give her?

Grannell: She was amazing. She's truly a lover of old movies. She showed up with that under her belt. When I pitched the film to her, she not only knew Doris Wishman, but she met Doris and knew her before she died. [Doris] was the only female exploitation filmmaker. She was an eccentric who played in this man's world. For Deborah, she was without a female role model, but she takes her persona from her knowledge of women from the big screen. We mapped out Deborah with Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Mae West, Barbara Stanwyck, Gloria Swanson, etc. But we also looked at Tim Curry as Frank N. Furter, too. Natasha was game, and we really put her through the wringer.

Kramer: You come up with some very funny/clever film titles - A Tale of Two Severed Titties, for example. Is that because you're a sassy drag queen?

Grannell: I think so. I think that's a big part of it. The movie embraces my dark sense of humor and love of puns. Any drag queen should love a good pun. I loved all those horror movies and great taglines. INTERVIEW TURNS TO MINK STOLE


Kramer: Mink, you were a midnight movie star with Pink Flamingos. How do you feel this genre of films have changed over the years?

Mink Stole: Enormously! Shocking isn't shocking any more. What we got away with - what we didn't get away with - now shows up on television. I got fed on this film. Peaches fed me. John didn't feed me on Pink Flamingos.

Kramer: You play a librarian here, who lives alone, with her cat. She seemed so boring and normal. How did you relate to your character?

Stole: Those are the hardest characters to play. Insane people are easy, all you do is unfocus your eyes and yell. Trying to make a normal person interesting is hard - there's no hook. I found her a challenge. I'm a book reader, so that felt comfortable to me. I related to her love of books.

Kramer: What did you enjoy about making a horror film where you got to be a little bit violent?

Stole: I never see horror movies. They frighten me. Fake blood scares me. I know they are fake and everything is a special effect. I don't like rollercoasters, driving too fast. I'm not a thrill junkie. It doesn't occur to me to jump out of the plane.

This one, there was such a humor to this. It's not a straight horror movie - it's funny. The whole sequence of the "Maiming of the Shrew" was very amusing. I enjoyed that. I have no problem performing the special effect. It was fun. I had a full face cast, and that was no fun - it took several times to make it. But it looks really real. I can watch that knowing that it wasn't, and it doesn't make me cringe, because I can appreciate the effect. I like being able to say I've done that. This film gave my life more interesting sentences.

© 2010 Gary M. Kramer

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