We would like to thank Shannon Lark for doing this interview. Shannon can currently be seen in the movie, “Walking Distance” starring along side Reggie Bannister (Reggie from the Phantasm series) and Adrienne King (Friday the 13th).

LH: What director would you like to work with and why?

SL: Alejandro Jodorowsky. His work is phenomenal, surreal, and beautiful. If I could be lost forever in a Jodorowsky movie, it would be a lovely nightmare.

LH: In your opinion, what was Tim Burton’s last great film?

SL: I love all of Tim Burton’s work. Everything from “Edward Scissorhands” to “Alice.” In my perspective, he’s simply an artist who is learning and expressing himself through film. It’s been wonderful to see him grow and project himself through his characters.

LH: What is one B-movie or horror movie that was absolutely horrible to watch, but it had a great soundtrack?

SL: I’ve never seen a classic B-movie I didn’t like. However, the modern term for the “B” movie genre has seemed to create badly shot video, and has lost the glamor that the classic B-movies created. The worst modern B-movie I have ever seen was “The BTK Killer.” It was so bad I had to shut it off. I felt bad because I can hang with the worst, but the soundtrack was never going to save this film.

LH: Can you tell us more about the Viscera Film Festival that you created?

SL: Viscera is a Festival for women horror filmmakers. We screen, distribute, and promote short horror films made by women all over the world. Sponsors assist in the promotion process and critique the films, along with screening them in various geographical areas. The Festival is about getting exposure for the filmmakers, and assisting those filmmakers in growing in their craft. This year we had our first premiere in Los Angeles and showcased over 28 films with an award ceremony and special guests. Along with turning Viscera into a non profit organization, we are busy with launching our new submission phase, preparing a new website and the 2011 Festival.

LH: What is your favorite classic black and white horror or Sci-fi movie?

SL: I would have to say the Twilight Zone really does it for me. I grew up watching the show and would run and hide in the closet when the climax came.

LH: What are your thoughts about how both independent and major movie studios today are mainly using CGI to replace traditional, practical visual effects like latex and corn syrup with red food dye?

SL: If you’re talking FX, I’m a traditional kind of girl, sort of. When it’s used as an atmospheric setting and an entire world is being created from CGI (such as in “Pan’s Labyrinth”), I think it works great. But for horrific monsters and blood, practical FX should definitely be used. A huge budget is the only way CGI will look good, and using it will create a more fantasy-like experience, as opposed to a horrific one. Particularly in B-movies, I despise green screens/cgi unless it’s meant to look terrible and give a throwback to camp. Because it does.
However, the exception to the rule is “King Kong” by Peter Jackson. Kong looked wonderful in CGI, but he was supposed to be seen as a sweet ape, not a menacing or terrifying character. Also, they had a ridiculous amount of money to make him look good.

LH: You’ve been very successful as a writer, dancer, director, and actress, so what is the one thing you want to accomplish, but haven’t been able to do yet?

SL: I would like to direct and produce several feature films, with varying types of budgets.

LH: How was it seeing Adrienne King of “Friday the 13th, Part 2” fame back onscreen in the movie “Walking Distance”?

SL: It was exhilarating. Everyone on set could tell that she was very excited to be back in action. She is an absolutely wonderful person. It blows me away every time I think about it!

LH: Do you see yourself always being involved at some level in the horror genre?

SL: Most definitely. One of my personal heroes is Frances Bay, and she is in her 90’s and still working. That’s how I will be.

LH: Would you ever consider crossing over into mainstream movies, being that you are a huge supporter of the indie film scene?

SL: Yes, I would. But I definitely wouldn’t stay there and walk away from independents. It’s been a hard road for me because I do not do nudity, so working exclusively in independent horror has brought some challenges that I’ve had to overcome. Roles have been continuously out of my reach for many years because of not wanting to disrobe. I have nothing against actresses who do nudity, but there should be a choice. To me, movies are movies. A filmmaker doesn’t need 40 million dollars to make a good movie, or alot of characters, or even FX. It’s the acting and pacing that’s important. These are the movies I seek, high budget or not.

LH: A lot of production companies and websites out there don’t have names that really grab your attention, so how did you come up with the memorable name “The Chainsaw Mafia”?

SL: I was talking to a friend about starting up a website to help filmmakers and potential filmmakers in getting together and creating. I was a bit disappointed at the lack of community online for the horror genre at the time, so the name just made perfect sense. I launched TCM a year later, in 2004. Since then the site has definitely taken off and promoted a lot of artists, which has been unbelievable, and a lot of work. Recently, I passed the CEO position over to the editor, Jamie Jenkins, so I can focus on my acting and directing.

LH: If you could be in a horror movie from the 80’s, which one would it be?

Hellraiser. The atmosphere is very, very well done. OR The Shining: I could see me losing myself in that hotel. Everything about the music, the characters, and the pacing is wonderful.

LH: In your opinion, what is the one horror movie that perfectly blends its social message(s) with the story, characters, and visual elements?

SL: I would have to say “American Psycho,” which is a perfect representation of the striving aspect of American society that is ruthless, hallucinatory, obsessive, and needs therapeutic attention. However, on the outside, Bateman is cool, calm, and collected to all of his important colleagues. His behavior towards women and to men (who, in his mind, have more than him) shows a sick, internal struggle within our society: the strive for perfection can be a killer.

If you haven’t already, check out Shannon’s Highway Hotties page.