Hurricane Kay replacing heat wave with wind and rain
S1: Baja is feeling the brunt of Hurricane Ike and it's headed our way.
S2: And the rain is going to be widespread on Friday and Friday night.
S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. This is KPBS Midday Edition. New state violations are found against an El Cajon nursing home.
S2: It seems like a dangerous nursing home , one that I would be reluctant to send anybody , let alone friends or family.
S1: A lawsuit alleges the sheriff's department failed to protect employees from sexual harassment and film out. San Diego's premiere LGBTQ film festival gets underway tonight. That's ahead on Midday Edition. For people who've been saying this week's weather feels more like Florida than San Diego. We've got a real Florida ending to our heat wave coming up. Forecasters say Hurricane Ike is already making its way up the eastern side of Baja and should bring winds and rain to San Diego by tomorrow. As much as we need the rain , a downpour , especially the rainfall totals expected in Mexico , could cause their own problems , flash flooding and the possibility of mudslides. Joining me is Alex Tardy. He's warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in San Diego County. And Alex , welcome back.
S2: Thanks for having me on again.
S1: I don't know if people can hear it , but where I am it , we're getting a pretty good downpour right now.
S2: So we expect Tropical Cyclone K , which is a hurricane now. It's still well to the south of of the Baja , well , south of San Diego , hundreds of miles , but it's slowly moving northward. And so we expect it to get really close by Friday night. But it's important that we don't focus just on the center of the storm. As we can see already today , some of the rain bands associated with the monsoon moisture and the tropical moisture are already producing some rain and not just in San Diego all the way up to Big Bear. So there are some scattered showers around and that's only going to increase as we end this workweek and go into Friday. And the rain is going to be widespread on Friday and Friday night.
S1: Well , can make landfall.
S2: It doesn't look like the actual eye center will make landfall. But for us , what that means is we're going to be on the front side of the storm , the rain side of the storm. And so we're going to see a lot of rain. Most places are going to see a half inch to an inch of rain. Doesn't sound like a lot before September when it normally doesn't rain. That's a lot of rain. Our mountains and deserts and this is important. Our desert slopes are going to see the most rain. They're going to see two or three inches of rain. And most of that's going to occur Friday afternoon or Friday night. So it's going to come in a lot at once. There'll be thunderstorms. They'll also be wind. We're going to see the easterly winds. So coming from the desert , that's why they're going to get the most rain in the desert. The winds going to be coming from the east , blowing down the mountains. So we're going to see a combination of a lot of wind and a lot of rain now in San Diego itself. Now , we're not going to see 50 mile per hour winds and we're not going to see the eye of the hurricane per se. But we are going to see some wind in our mountains. They will see over 50 mile per hour winds in our mountains , along with all that rain.
S1: Now we have another flex alert today. It has extended hours from 3 to 10 p.m..
S2: If you ranked the heat wave in the past seven days from Salt Lake to Sacramento to San Diego , it's ranked 1 to 3 everywhere for seven days of heat. So the heat's going to be slowly eroding and we're still going to see intense temperatures north of L.A. , Bakersfield , Fresno , all the way up to the Bay Area , Sacramento. So most of California is not feeling the cloud cover or even any of the rain that we're starting to feel now.
S2: But most of those hurricanes quickly go out to sea with the normal trade winds and the normal monsoonal winds that we see in that area. So tremendous amount of rain inches , a half a foot of rain is going to be moving up along the Baja Peninsula with those hurricane related winds. So I'm sure it's pretty , pretty scary at the moment and will be the next 24 hours as that storm system slowly weakens. But it's important to understand , even though the hurricane's weakening , the moisture is not. And that's why we expect a lot of that rain making it into San Diego County.
S2: Yeah , thunderstorms are certainly a possibility. Bursts of heavy rain are small areas where the rain comes down a half inch to an inch in one hour. So there is the threat for some urban and flash flooding. We're not really worried per se about like San Diego River. Even though it will increase rapidly , we're more worried about urban flooding , desert flooding. All areas are under a risk of at least some flash flooding. When would that occur ? It looks like Friday and Friday night. Yeah.
S1: Yeah. I was going to ask you , what is the timeline on this storm ? Now we're getting these early bands of rain in some areas.
S2: Some of this rain is going to be occurring during daylight and dangerously. Some of this rain is going to be occurring Friday night when it's dark , where it's it's harder to recognize the flooding. A lot of people might be thinking , well , it hasn't rained for weeks , months. You know , it's been a hot , dry summer. But this type of rainfall doesn't care about that. And so we can still see flash flooding in urban areas.
S1: Now , you alluded to the fact that the tropical storm Kay is going to sort of ease out our heat wave. But talk more about that.
S2: The heat wave today with the clouds and the light showers around. A lot of places are going to be cooler. But keep in mind , the difference in this heat wave was it was muggy. That's what people experienced , like at San Diego State University , at the Aztecs game at Snapdragon is muggy. This is Florida , Texas humidity. And when you're 100 degrees and you add that it's miserable , it's really hard on the body. So it's going to remain muggy and feel really warm and tropical even with the cloud cover. I think for the most part , most of our areas are out of the excessive hot temperatures , but we're still going to see places shooting up into the nineties. And you combine this muggy tropical air that already was in place and is expanding as the storm gets closer. And that's really what's important. That's what makes the nights really warm. And that allows your homes and your businesses prevents them from cooling down.
S1: Are we expecting highs in the seventies next week ? She asked. Yeah.
S2: Yeah. You know , this is this is a welcome relief. It's going to be too much rain at once. But overall it's going to reduce our fire weather threat and our fire weather danger and fire weather conditions greatly. It'll buy us a few weeks this fall before we get into Santa Anas. And the good news is the whole weather pattern breaks down , the heat dome goes away more or less. We're going to see normal temperatures , it looks , next week. And after the rain , it's going to feel good.
S1: All right , then. I've been speaking with Alex Tardy , warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in San Diego County. Alex , as always , thanks a lot.
S2: Thank you.
S1: An El Cajon nursing home had such a long record of poor care and abuse that federal officials moved to decertify it in April. But then , to the shock of advocates , they rescinded their order. In the first of a two part series , KPBS investigative reporter Amita Sharma examines the evidence against the nursing home and why it remains open. And a warning. This story contains graphic descriptions that some audience members may find disturbing.
S3: At 2 a.m. on February 7th , a quadriplegic woman slept in a chair covered by a sheet at avocado post-acute nursing home in El Cajon while a man stood over her with his hands under that sheet. The incident is one of three sexual assaults that the California Department of Public Health substantiated at the 256 bed facility so far this year. And since 2019 , state records reveal 628 overall complaints filed against avocado. That's four times the state average for facilities with at least 100 beds.
S2: It's an unsafe place for residents to be.
S3: Toni Chick A Tell is a lawyer with the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. He is familiar with the state's investigations into avocado.
S2: It seems like a dangerous nursing home , one that I would be reluctant to send anybody , let alone friends or family.
S3: Here are some of the most egregious examples taken mainly from state regulators reports with support from police investigations. A 90 year old man was allegedly assaulted and later died. A 71 year old woman was sexually assaulted by a caregiver during a diaper change. A resident with strict swallowing precautions choked to death after she was let to eat her lunch alone and a caregiver allegedly slammed a residence into a wall.
S2: It is quite straightforward.
S3: That's Scott Vikes , an attorney who has sued Avocado for negligent care. He's discussing the state's regulators findings.
S2: There's a long evidentiary record that shows are unable or unwilling to provide the level and quality of care that Medicare and Medicaid demand.
S3: Earlier this year , the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services , the federal agency that oversees nursing homes , seemed to agree. The agency stated in April that it was terminating avocados contract with CMS to operate as a skilled nursing home , citing its failure to protect residents from abuse , neglect and exploitation. But weeks later , CMS reversed course and rescinded plans to decertify avocado. A CMS spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the termination order was pulled because avocado had , quote , returned to substantial compliance with the Medicare requirements. Yet just two months after regulators canceled the decertification , state investigators found 13 federal deficiencies at avocado. When questioned about the new findings , a CMS spokesperson again told KPBS that Avocado returned to substantial compliance in July. Avocado did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Also , since April , state investigators have substantiated 11 abuse cases of residents. Chica tells us keeping avocado open illustrates how regulators abdicate their duty to protect residents in favor of shielding for profit.
S2: Nursing homes will have the rules and they look great on paper and then we don't enforce them , so they over time just become meaningless.
S3: As Avocado racked up complaints over the last year , its profits grew 72% , from 3.2 million in 2017 to 5.5 million in 2020 , according to financial disclosures.
S2: That is a fantastic revenue stream.
S3: Ernie Tosh is an expert on senior care finances. He says given Avocados compliance record , it would be beneficial to have a third party monitor.
S2: You should also be finding them substantial.
S3: Tomorrow in part two of our series. Avocado allegedly allowed a man with severe mental illness and a history of violence to share a room with another resident. The result was deadly.
S1: That report was from KPBS investigative reporter Amita Sharma. And Amita joins us now. Welcome.
S3: It's good to speak to you , Maureen.
S1: Talk to us more about the agency that first moved to decertify and then rescinded that order against avocado nursing home.
S3: They're called surveyors from the California Department of Public Health , and they're the ones who do inspections at nursing homes each year , every year. And the job of the surveyors is to basically make sure that nursing homes are following the law and delivering health care. And the inspections usually last several days. And the surveyors end up talking to staff. They interview residents. They even interview the family members of residents. And on top of that , if a complaint is filed against a nursing home by a resident or family member , even even the nursing homes themselves file complaints there. They're supposed to surveyors will go into the nursing homes to investigate those specific complaints.
S3: And it's it's interesting because it's that return to , quote unquote , substantial compliance that led CNS to cancel the decertification. But there was another inspection in June , and that inspection found 13 deficiencies at avocado. And those deficiencies included things like failing to get patients dialysis care , failing to reposition a quadriplegic patient with bedsores and not properly managing pain. CNS said Avocado returned to substantial compliance from those deficiencies by simply putting together a care plan , and seniors stated that the reason all they had to do was put together a care plan was that those deficiencies did not constitute and this is their words did not constitute actual harm or immediate jeopardy.
S1: Is anyone in the public allowed to have information about those deficiencies if they requested ? And I'm thinking of someone considering avocado as a home for someone in need of nursing care.
S3: Yes , but you have to know where to look for that information. People can go to CDP Nature's website and click on the Cal Health Find database. Once you type in the name of the nursing home and the city that it's in , all these details will pop up details on how many beds are at the facility , how many complaints have been filed , whether those complaints were substantiated. It will all also include deficiencies and enforcement actions that have been lodged against the nursing home.
S1: Now , Avocado has already had one of its former nursing assistants convicted of sexual assault.
S3: CDP imposed a $2,000 fine on avocado for failing to immediately report that resident's sexual assault accusations to local authorities. So basically , Avocado waited eight days before reporting that incident to police.
S3: I've spoken to advocates , lawyers who sued nursing homes and they flat out say that the nursing home regulatory system is broken and they say that the regulatory response to avocado is Exhibit A in that belief. They say that the fact that there hasn't been stronger regulatory action against avocado , given that it consistently has four times the number of complaints compared to other nursing homes , that it has the kinds of deficiencies in incidents that we've already discussed. They say all of this has got to mean that state surveyors are not really investigating nursing homes with any real purpose or mission , and it strains credulity for regulators to say otherwise. They also say that there is a profound inadequacy in the response by CMS and CDP to the kinds of shortcomings that have been documented at Avocado. Keep in mind , this is a really important point that since April , when CMC cancelled the decertification. State surveyors have confirmed or substantiated 11 abuse cases at avocado and one quality of care violation. So if anyone thought that the threat of decertification would have an effect , I think advocate's conclusion on this is that it's had zero effect.
S1: Now you have a second part to this series airing tomorrow. Can you give us a preview ? Yes.
S3: So tomorrow's story focuses on the circumstances surrounding the death of a resident at avocado last year. He was allegedly assaulted by his roommate and that roommate had a history of mental illness and reportedly had been violent with other residents at avocados.
S1: I've been speaking with KPBS investigative reporter Amita Sharma. AMITA Thank you.
S3: MAUREEN Thank you.
S4: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH , a former San Diego County sheriff's sergeant is being sued over claims of sexual harassment. The complaint filed late last month against longtime Sergeant Shawn Silva , also named San Diego County for failing to protect the employees he allegedly harassed. The suit claims Silva's persistent use of sexist comments created a toxic work environment for his colleagues. Joining me now is Gina Rangel , the attorney representing the plaintiffs in this case and partner with the San Diego law firm Hay Quist. And. Jane , welcome to the program.
S3: Thank you so much for having me.
S4: This lawsuit alleges persistent sexual harassment committed by former Sergeant Sean Silva.
S5: Two of them were. Our.
S2: Clients , Stacy , Ralph and Debra Stuart Meyer. Detective Ralph had worked in the police station for several years before she started directly reporting to him. And once she started reporting to him , the harassment just immediately started. He made comments about her sexual orientation , about her sex life with her husband , made derogatory comments about female officers in general and about her specifically. He also would kind of monitor her and micromanage her unfairly , reprimand her. And a lot of it was because she started to stand up to some of the inappropriate , degrading comments that he was making to her. Detective Ralph made several complaints and absolutely nothing was done to the point that her mental and physical health was so degraded she had to get herself out of power. And unfortunately , that opened up the space for a new detective to come in. Who is our client ? Detective Cece Meyer. And so when she started , after Detective Ralph left , Sergeant Silva started right up with the harassment. He was obsessed with her sexual orientation. He was obsessed with her physical appearance and would make comments about every little thing. And both of these detectives just wanted to do their jobs.
S4: Now , the suit also named the county itself for failing to protect the two plaintiffs who are no longer with the department , as you mentioned.
S2: They've got a duty to now report that these things are happening and the county has a duty to now take corrective action that's actually going to put an end to the sexual harassment. And they did none of that. So instead where you had other detectives , other sergeants , other lieutenants and captains witnessing this sexual harassment occurring to Detective Ralph , to Detective Cece Meyer , two other females in that power station , they all turned a blind eye and did nothing. And so it was allowed to continue. And because Sergeant Silva is in a position of power , a supervisory position as a sergeant , the county is also now strictly liable for his harassment because by putting him in a position of authority , they now are strictly liable for any of the harassment that he imparts on to his employees. So they're liable in two parts , not only just for failing to prevent and correct his harassment , but for the fact that he committed their harassment as well.
S4: He's also alleged to have used racist comments.
S2: Once he had been reported for the sexual harassment and gender discrimination , they conducted an investigation in which they spoke with 24 other employees and at least one or two of those employees brought up these instances of racist comments being made. I won't repeat them here , but they are listed in the report and.
S4: Your clients wanted to make this case public.
S2: If you even look back to last year , the county was found liable for sexual harassment and failing to prevent and correct sexual harassment when it occurred with their former assistant sheriff , Richard Miller. Had they taken steps at that time , our clients may not have been in this position , but they didn't. And now our clients have suffered the consequences of their continual failures to prevent and correct sexual harassment. And so now for them , you know , all they want is for other people to not have to deal with this. They want other females to have these jobs and have these dream careers like they had , but to be able to work them without suffering daily sexual harassment and degradation based on their sex and gender.
S2: Compensation for the loss of their career. Compensation for the emotional. The stress they've suffered not only daily from the sexual harassment , but since then having to essentially take matters into their own hands and leave careers that they absolutely loved because they can no longer trust this department to protect them. And so the compensation is what you get , but you hope that that will teach a lesson to the department. There's also an aspect of injunctive relief , which means that trying to seek some changes that could potentially be made at the department to adequately address the sexual harassment issue.
S2: It was just filed by the county. And Sergeant Silva will have 30 days to respond to the lawsuit. And then it moves on into , you know , typical litigation. At one point in the case , several months out , the court will set a trial date. And so I would anticipate in a not for another year plus before it actually makes it to trial. But right now , we don't have a trial date set.
S4: I've been speaking with attorney Jenna Ron Howell. Thanks for joining us so much , Jenna.
S2: Thank you so much.
S4: KPBS reached out to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department who said it could not comment on pending lawsuits. County officials have not responded to a request for comment.
S1: The prolonged heatwave has put stress on the state's electrical grid , as well as many individual home and business cooling units. And San Diego County schools are feeling the heat to air conditioning. Failures and breakdowns have plagued classrooms across the county. Emergency repairs are underway at several schools. Joining me is KPBS education reporter M.G. Perez. M.G. , welcome back.
S6: Good to be here.
S6: And we know that they both continue to have problems. The good news is that they have technician teams that are dedicated to trying to figure out the best solution for the schools that are continuing without AC. Right now.
S6: We do know that in San Diego Unified , all schools do have air conditioning in the classrooms , with one exception. And that's San Diego High School. And the reason San Diego High School had does not have air conditioning is because the district was tied up in a legal debate with the city about leasing the property that the school sits on. That has since been figured out and renovation work is underway and slowly air conditioning is being installed at San Diego High School as far as other districts go. It just depends. We have 42 different districts. Many of them nearest the coast don't have every classroom air conditioned. But as I said , San Diego Unified made a point of getting that done several years ago using bond money and approval from the school board.
S6: This kind of heat has never really been felt for this extended amount of time. And so machines break down. And that's really what has happened. Many of them are outdated and some of them are just over used or overstressed. And and because it continues and it being the heat wave , they are struggling to try to scramble and keep up so that kids are cool. Yeah.
S6: And as I mentioned earlier , there is a team that has been directed to specifically address every break down as it comes along. I talked with Shamma Naji , who is a spokesman with the district's facilities department.
S2: And essentially the way we triage how to prioritize repairs , it really depends on how many folks are impacted by an outage. So let's say an entire school goes down that's going to be prioritized over a school that potentially lost air conditioning in a building.
S6: So what we know is that San Diego Unified has already distributed 120 portable AC units to schools that need them , and there are 60 more that are scheduled to be installed by the end of the week.
S6: In the case of San Diego Unified , the largest district , they don't call off school , but in fact they schedule minimum days. And that's true in Patchway where they're having problems and other districts , the thought is the quicker they can get kids out , you know , in the middle of the day , the heat of the day , the better and safer for them. So cancellation is really not an option. It's more a case of trying to get portable AC units in there and also making the day shorter for students.
S1: This must be a real challenge for students and teachers alike.
S6: Yes , absolutely. Because just think about it. If I personally don't have air conditioning at home and I have been agitated and not really feeling as motivated because it's hot and sticky and imagine multiplying that by thousands of students and teachers who are trying to maintain a classroom and order. It's a challenge. And that's why it is important not only from a health perspective , but just from a mental perspective , to stay cool so that learning can continue during this heat wave. Okay.
S1: Okay. I've been speaking with KPBS education reporter MJ Perez. MJ. Thanks.
S6: Thank you.
S4: California water regulators approved the world's first testing standard for tiny fragments of plastic found in drinking water. They're better known as microplastics. And the pilot program to monitor them was just announced yesterday. So how much microplastics have we been ingesting and what does that mean ? Rachel Becker has been covering this story for Calmatters and she joins us now. Rachel , glad to have you here.
S5: Oh , thanks for inviting me.
S4: Okay , so you break down what microplastics are really well in your article.
S5: They can shed from synthetic clothing in the wash cycle and be released into wastewater and from wastewater treatment plants. They can rub off of tires on roadways and crumble from , you know , the uncountable amounts of plastic waste we dispose and end up in water systems in the ocean. And the big open question that we really don't have an answer to is what this means for people and how much people are ingesting. We know that microplastics are found worldwide in the Antarctic to the Arctic , in rain , in the Rocky Mountains , in human placentas , and from studies in animals. There do seem to be health effects.
S5: There were some male reproductive effects in , again , not humans , but in mammalian animals , model systems , female reproductive effects , some liver effects. But you know what that means for people still really up in the air.
S5: It goes back to a law in 2018 that tasked the water board with coming up with guidelines for monitoring program , figuring out , you know , whether there's a health limit , which , you know , as we talked about , is still an open question.
S4: Well , and that's an interesting point you make in that there's not been a safe amount of microplastics that one can ingest established yet. Right. Right.
S5: Right. Well , you just don't know. And so that's that's what this is , you know , starting to get out because you can't say what's safe if you don't even know what people are exposed to. Hmm.
S5: And the idea is that they will be doing quarterly testing over the two years that they are required to test.
S5: It'll also go to the water board and the public is required to be notified of any microplastic detection yearly in what's called the Consumer Confidence Report , which describes , you know , what's in a given water systems water. There's also language that the water board has recommended for notification to the public. And basically , it kind of goes through what we've talked about , which is that , you know , studies in rodents indicate potentially adverse effects , including on the reproductive system , but that there's more research needed to be understood what concentrations could cause harm. And so that's why California is monitoring microplastics and drinking water , too , really. And this is a quote here to understand its occurrence and is supporting ongoing research.
S4: What happens now ? I know there are steps that have to be taken before this monitoring system is actually finalized.
S5: So first step will be this pilot phase to really kind of hone the techniques to figure out sampling methods , which is what's really a challenge with microplastics , is that contamination is so easy to happen because microplastics are everywhere. And so the sampling technique is really going to need to be fine tuned in order to avoid any sort of cross-contamination from , you know , lab sources , from the filter , from from people , from their clothing. And so that is one of the things that the water board hopes to work out over the coming year is exactly how to do that , sampling , training people up on that. And then in the following two years is when when we're expecting to see the monitoring really get underway.
S4: I have been speaking with Rachel Becker of Cow Matters. Rachel , thank you so much for joining us.
S5: Oh , thank you for inviting me. Great chatting with you.
S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Hyneman. For more than two decades , Phil now has been showcasing LGBTQ movies in San Diego. It kicks off this year's film festival tonight at the San Diego Natural History Museum. On Friday , it moves to the Museum of Photographic Arts for three days of features , shorts and documentaries. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO speaks with filmmaker Carter Smith about his horror film Swallowed That screens on Saturday.
S3: CARTER You have a film called Swallowed that will be screening at Film Out this year. So first of all , tell us a little bit about what Swallowed is or at least what you can reveal of this film. Yeah.
S2: Yeah. So Swallowed is a story about two childhood best friends living in small town rural Maine. One of them has decided that it's time for him to move on , and he's moving to the bright lights , big city of Los Angeles to become a gay porn star and his childhood best friend , who he may or may not be one actually he is in love with and who is also straight. The two of them sort of have their farewell evening together , which of course turns into kind of a nightmare after a after they agree to deliver a package over the Canadian border for a friend. Let's just say.
S3: All right. Let's hear a little bit from swallowed.
S6: You know , you could just give me the little box.
S2: Come on. That wasn't part of the deal.
S3: Do you think you're just going to shove it in your shoe or in the glove compartment ? No way. We do it my way or nothing.
S2: No way I'm doing it.
S3: Oh , come on. The implication here is things go wrong. So this is a film that does.
S5: Delve into horror.
S2: I have always loved , you know , not only as an audience member , but as a filmmaker. I love telling stories that make people uncomfortable. I love telling stories that make people sort of question how they feel about something , you know , whether something is kind of alluring , but also at the same time off putting like there's something really interesting in that balance. But also , horror is a place where you can explore all kinds of stories. Like if you're if you're working in the horror genre , you can sort of tell all sorts of stories wrapped in this kind of genre horror wrapper , which I find really interesting.
S3: Now , you mentioned you like making people uncomfortable , so having a festival that is now back in person , that must be a more interesting.
S5: Or a more.
S3: Fun way for you to present a film where you can actually watch the audience , watch your film.
S2: It's been amazing to sit in the theater and watch people kind of squirm in their seats and gasp and kind of and and at the end , talking to people afterwards , you know , to find people , like , crying and sort of touched by this kind of tender love story that's hiding at the heart of this really messed up sort of body horror film.
S3: And I wanted to ask you about queer horror , because this is a genre or subgenre that has really come into its own recently.
S2: Well , I mean , I think horror has always been queer. I mean , horror has always been stories of outsiders and monsters and people seen as monsters and unconventional heroes or heroines fighting back against the monster. And I think that the trope of the final girl is something that , like , as a queer kid , you can see yourself in a lot of these these characters that sort of don't fit the norms. Like it's never , you know , it's never the frat kid or like high school football star that ends up being the last one to survive. You can sort of see yourself as an outsider and some of these other characters and the possibility of surviving whatever it is you're going through. There's a queerness that's kind of always been there. And , you know , I think only recently have films and books and and stories been starting to come out that where queer people are at the center of those stories. Yeah , that's that's one of the things that I really wanted to do and swallowed was make a story that kind of was universally relatable and that these characters , yes , some of them are queer , but that's not about this kind of angsty , the fact of them struggling with the fact that they're queer. You know , like there's you know , they're just a queer character and they're facing adversity and these horrific situations that don't necessarily have to do with the fact that they are queer.
S3: I don't want to give away too much in your film , but.
S5: It does venture into body horror , as you mentioned. Yeah.
S3: Yeah. What is it about that particular kind of horror that attracts you ? Because for some people , you really need to kind of convince them to give it a try.
S5: Because they're really like , Oh , I don't know if I.
S3: Can take that , but there's a real sometimes beauty and fascination to. It.
S2: It. You know , as a queer kid growing up in the eighties and early nineties , like I sort of came of age when I was pretty afraid of my body and pretty afraid of sex like I was. It was AIDS was it was like the forefront of everything. And like , every muscle or rash was like like I was convinced that I was going to die and I was petrified of sex. So there was this , like , sense that horror and sex and the body were sort of tied together in a way that I don't think I've ever quite been able to shake , and at least in my storytelling. And so I think that the idea that our bodies aren't trustworthy , they , you know , they can break down on us. They can turn on us , they can they don't always behave as expected is kind of fascinating to me. That's where it started. And I think that , you know , oftentimes you spend your lifetime working out your teenage trauma. So , yeah , I'm still I'm still here.
S3: And speaking of horror , you have.
S5: Mark Patton in your.
S3: Film , and he is something of a queer horror icon. So remind people who he is and how you got him in your film. Yeah.
S2: Yeah. So Mark starred in Nightmare on Elm Street , part two back in the eighties , Freddy's Revenge. And that was the first time I saw him when I was a kid. I saw him in that film and he ended up having a really tough time because the film was initially hated by horror fans mainly. Like people thought that he was too gay. His character of Jesse a couple of years ago , there was a documentary called Scream Queen My Nightmare on Elm Street , which was about his experience making the film and the sort of the aftermath of the reaction to the film. You were seeing Scream Queen was the first time that I got a sense of like Mark Patton today. And so I saw the dark. I kind of fell in love with him and his story and wrote the script with him in mind and the beauty of our modern age. I sent him a direct message on Instagram and was like , I wrote a movie and , you know , I want to send it to you. I'd love to. I'd love to have you come to backwoods Maine and make it. And he responded , I mean , it took a little prodding to convince him that I was a real filmmaker and it was a real movie. And it was , you know , I was able to just track him down like that and send a messages over Instagram. That's how I cast him.
S3: And you are planning to be here in San Diego to present the film , correct ? Yes.
S2: I'm coming with my two lead actors are both going to be there as well. So I am super excited to to to see it with them , you know , with this specific audience.
S3: Well , thank you very much for talking about Swallowed.
S2: Thanks for having me.