Podcast Episode 110: In Bed With Twisted Twins Jen And Sylvia Soska
Celebrating Women in Horror Month with an archive interview featuring Canadian sibling filmmakers
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Credit: Miguel Rodriguez
Episode 110: In Bed With Twisted Twins Jen And Sylvia Soska
As February's Women in Horror Month comes to a close I get into bed with Twisted Twins Jen and Sylvia Soska to pay tribute to 'American Mary.' Here's a series of interviews from my archives as I followed the progress of 'American Mary.' I also speak with make-up artist Todd Masters who did the practical effects on the film.
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I was introduced to the work of twin filmmaking sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska at the inaugural Horrible Imaginings Film Festival.
Festival director Miguel Rodriguez showcased their first feature, "Dead Hooker in a Trunk," in 2010 and I was hooked. This was a bold new voice in horror and I wanted more immediately.
But it would be two years before their next feature "American Mary." I was so excited about their project that I convinced NPR to let me do a feature about it. The film tackled a subject that's rarely discussed: body modification.
Katharine Isabelle played Mary Mason, a med student whose financial hardship leads her into the lucrative world of underground surgery. Her clients ask her to split their tongues or surgically attach horns to their foreheads. But the film also turns into a perverse rape-revenge tale that is not afraid to go someplace very dark.
The Soskas are currently enjoying success with the reality show "Hellevator." In fact they just received their first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Host for a Reality Show or Reality Competition Program for "Hellevator."
They have also directed a pair of features for WWE Studios, "See No Evil 2" and "Vendetta." They campaigned to get the directing gig for "Deadpool 2" because they are diehard fans of the comic but lost out to 87Eleven's David Leitch. But I'm hoping they have a shot at "Deadpool 3" because I'd love to see what they could come up with and how a female perspective could add a new dimension.
The Soskas are also a brand. They formed the aptly named Twisted Twins Productions and their success is based not just on the films they make but also on the twins themselves. Being Canadian, they are excessively polite and nice (also absolutely adorable and geeky) but don't let that fool you. They are also tough and single-minded when pursuing their vision and they are in no way afraid of going someplace dark.
I am thrilled to see them achieve so much success yet a part of me is sad that they have not taken a break to make a more personal horror film, one that would tap more deeply into their unique skill set and let us see once again that audacious and original horror sensibility that made "American Mary" such a kick-ass film.
I had the opportunity — on two occasions — to get into bed with the Soskas for an interview. You see I met up with them while we were both at festivals/conventions and their room was so small that the only place for all three of us to sit was on their bed. So that is how I was lucky enough to get into bed with the Twisted Twins. And since they are masters at marketing, they even encouraged me to promote my interview with those words.
Out of the archives, here is a compilation of interviews I did in 2011 and '12 as I followed the progress of "American Mary" through various festivals as it made its way to a distribution deal. I also speak with special visual and make-up effects artist Todd Masters who worked with the Twisted Twins on "American Mary."
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