Independent filmmaker/author Gregory (SLIME CITY) Lamberson sent along word that he has cast actress Erika Smith, whose credits include Shock-O-Rama/POPcinema’s BITE ME! and SINFUL (pictured), in a short film/music video called GRUESOME that he’s directing this spring. The minimovie is based on Lamberson’s upcoming novel JOHNNY GRUESOME, which is also spawning a horror rock CD called GRUESOME by Giasone and Marcy Italiano. “This video will really be the film I never got to make,” says Lamberson, who first created the Gruesome character for a feature that wound up unproduced. “It will be chock full of sex, violence, rock ‘n’ roll, and gore—not your typical MTV or VH1 fare.”
GRUESOME casts Smith as the girlfriend of Johnny Grissom, a headbanger who is murdered and then comes back from dead for revenge. “I cast Erika because I’m treating this like a feature,” Lamberson says. “She’s a talented actress with a strong fan base, and this will be a cool showcase for her.” Co-starring are Ryan O’Connell, Jennifer Biel and Dan Loughery; David Gray of Gray Effects is creating the prosthetics and gore. “Dave’s old school, just like me,” the filmmaker adds, “so there will be a lot of latex and blood tubes involved. He’s sculpting at least two separate appliances for Johnny’s decomposition.”
Lamberson has big plans for the GRUESOME franchise; in addition to the novel, which will be published in September as a signed, limited-edition hardcover by Bad Moon Books, with illustrations by Zach McCain (see cover below), and the CD, arriving in August, there’ll be original comics by Kelly Forbes and Martin Blanco on the project’s website here, Halloween masks by Matt Patterson and a documentary called JOHNNY GRUESOME MEETS HIS MAKER by Robert Lingle, who’s handling cinematography chores on the short with Matthias Saunders. Check out that site for more details on all of those, and visit Lamberson’s personal site here and MySpace page here for more info.