Interview with Jeff Leroy
Director of Dracula In A Womens Prison
Starring Robert “Corpsy” Rhine as Dracula and Victoria De Mare as Liz / Rachel
Corpsy: It is always a pleasure working with you, Jeff. You have that rare combination of cheap, fast and good which makes you a great director for fast-fun low-budget horror. I had a blast in Dracula in A Woman’s Prison and getting to play the lead of Drago! I mean, who could turn down playing Dracula? I particularly liked that you were directing the film in the style of The Hammer Dracula films starring Christopher Lee rather than the latte drinking teen vampires we have become inundated with in films and TV. Why did you want to make a film in the old Hammer style?
Jeff Leroy: The Hammer films are my favorite. I used to watch them on TV as a kid. Horror of Dracula is the best. I love the cliché’s of the genre: When Van Helsing walks in the happy Transylvania bar and asks the way to Castle Dracula and everyone gags. All the warnings not to go to the castle. Dracula always gets obsessed with one woman, which is his downfall. I can’t really think of a recent Dracula movie that made an impression on me. Maybe Copola’s Dracula, but that was awhile ago.
Corpsy: There have been so many vampire films — what makes Dracula In A Womens Prison different?
Jeff Leroy: Well, it’s two films in one. A Dracula/vampire movie and a women’s prison movie. I love the cliché’s of that genre. The shower scenes, riot scenes, lesbian guards. You could be the warden with a hot tub in your office, but Dracula can’t stand water. Plus, we couldn’t afford a hot tub.
Corpsy: You also wrote and directed Werewolf in A Women’s Prison and Frankenstein in a Women’s Prison. What are your favorite prison films?
Jeff Leroy: My favorite is Caged Women 1991 (Le prede umane). I love the Japanese Scorpion films. And the Pilipino shockers with Pam Grier (Black Mama, White Mama).
Corpsy: You do your own special effects. Where did you learn to build props and do special effects?
Jeff Leroy: Well, I wanted to be a special effects person. And my first couple of films, the props and makeup effects never showed up because of liars (who never completed the job). So in order to make sure things are done, I have to do them myself.
Corpsy: Are you ready for your face to be carved into the Mount Rushmore of low budget icons, along with Lloyd Kaufman, Ed Wood and Charles Band? And what have each of those director/producers meant to your career? What are your favorite films by each?
Jeff Leroy: The guy I’d really like to be is Sam Rami. Make one horror film that makes a huge impact, then establish yourself as a top director.
Corpsy: You also seem to dig sci-fi camp. What are the films growing up that most influenced you?
Jeff Leroy: Oh, in the 70’s. I looked for the special effects name like Harryhausen, or Eji Tusbaraya or Derek Meddings. The disaster films. Godzilla movies. Space movies and horror films. Today’s special effects all look the same. Like cartoons.
Corpsy: What are the elements needed to make successful Jeff Leroy film? And which of your films have been the most successful and why?
Jeff Leroy: Well, I know what I like. If I’m making a women’s prison film, I rent tons of them and pick out the stuff I like. The riots and whippings and things. I re-watched my Hammer box set for Dracula and wrote down what I like about the film and avoid the things I don’t. I like a lot of naked girls and gore – not realistic torture, but over the top nonsense.
Corpsy: You also cast several of my friends, screams queens Victoria De Mare, Tasha Tacosa, Rachel Riley and Elissa Dowling. What else have you directed them in and what do you like about each of these actresses, who you have used, and abused, repeatedly in your film?
Jeff Leroy: Victoria De Mare really saved the Dracula movie. One of the leads quit the day before the shoot and I begged Victoria to play her own sister (in dual roles). She did a killer job. It lead to some makeup challenges, but she saved the film. Tasha Tacosa was in my rat movie and is always terrific. Elissa I knew, but never had the opportunity to work with before. We were always meeting at parties and saying how we were going to work with each other. She’s great.
Corpsy: What’s it like working with Corpsy on so many films? How many times very planning on killing him. I think you are up to six
Jeff Leroy: I had met Corpsy at several conventions through a friend. One day Dave Sterling showed me a movie “Snake Club”, and I this is the first time I had seen Corpsy act. I told Dave he was really good and Dave Sterling booked him in a movie. It’s great to have a professional actor like Corpsy that always gives a realistic performance and easy to work with.
Corpsy: And I didn’t even have to pay you to say that! Who are some of the filmmakers you look up to? Or, on low budget, down to?
Jeff Leroy: Well, I think my favorite is Peckinpah. I like the way his films weave from sentiment to cynicism to bloodshed. On the low budget scale, Jim Wynorski’s films are always fun to watch. There was a director named Brett Piper (Arachnia) who did his own effects and stuff like me.
Corpsy: What are the tricks to making a successful low budget movie? And what are the pitfalls?
Jeff Leroy: Making successful low budget films is really hard because so many people are doing it now. Your movie, no matter how good or bad, gets buried along side other stuff.
Corpsy: What films would you like to make in the future. And if you have an unlimited budget, what kind of film would you make?
Jeff Leroy: Well, as you know, because you are in the film, I am working on a kind of Ultraman Web Show with giant women battling monsters. There is a lot of interest in this subject and I would like to do twelve episodes. I have some other scripts I wrote.
Corpsy: What are the three craziest stories you can recall happening on the sets of your films?
Jeff Leroy: I blew myself up in a pyro accident. Lorenzo Lamas being chased around by his ex wife Shauna Sand on the set of my film Alien 3000. Big, tough Lorenzo, who is a great guy, hid behind a rock when his ex made a surprise appearance and demanded his salary.
Corpsy: Haha… nice! What has been your worst movie experience? Did you ever not complete a film? Tell us about that.
Jeff Leroy: Again, Alien 3000. That was my biggest budget film, but I don’t think the money was spent wisely. The film is a real snore. Just terrible. I followed that one up with Creepies, which is so bad it’s fun. I try to make movies I would enjoy watching. I don’t think you can guess what a huge population of people want. Just what you like.
Corpsy: Tell us the plot of your next movie Giantess Attack. What does Corpsy play?
Jeff Leroy: Two “difficult” actresses play TV stars. Corpsy is Joel Blowfield, their agent, who is sleeping with both of them and stealing their money. I hate to ruin a great ending, but eventually you get dissolved in stomach acid.
Corpsy: You should have said spoiler alert. So... speaking of death… how would you like to be remembered?
Jeff Leroy: Some guy who came out of nowhere and made some fun films.
Corpsy: Thanks Jeff. I hope all our fans check out your movies featuring and starring Corpsy: Snake Club: Revenge Of The Snake Woman, Grand Auto Theft, Dracula’s Sorority Sisters, Aliens VS Titanic and Giantess Attack.
Robert “Corpsy” Rhine interviews director Jeff Leroy
Robert “Corpsy” Rhine interviews star Victoria De Mare
Robert “Corpsy” Rhine interviews co-star Jin N Tonic