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Q&A with Reyna Young

by: Heather Wixson

At 24 years old, Reyna Young is storming the horror industry.  She currently writes, directs, edits, and produces her own horror movies  through her production team, Last Doorway Productions.  She is  also Co-Owner, CD Reviewer and Model for American Dream Records and Bayarea Indie and hosts The Last Doorway Show. 

Heather Wixson with Terror Tube recently had a chance to catch up with Young to find out just how she got to be so busy.

Can you talk a little about your background- how did horror come to speak to you?  Was it always something you loved?

Young: Horror was always something I was into when I was a little girl! There was this movie on television a lot that my father would never let me watch because it was too scary! So one morning going through his collection of VHS tapes I found it. It was called HALLOWEEN by John Carpenter, along with THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2. I watched HALLOWEEN and fell in love for some reason.

I thought it was scary but for some reason I loved it. Being scared excited me and after that it was Edgar Allan Poe books and any horror film I could get my hands on. TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2 made me sick though and ever since that, I haven't eaten chili. Every time I see chili, I think of being a little girl again watching the movie at like six in the morning and getting sick to my stomach... 

When did you start The Last Doorway Show? Was it all you- if not, who else was involved? I know you have a team of people now; can you talk about them and their roles?

Young: Well, I originally wanted to start The Last Doorway as like a Twilight Zone kind of thing. It ended up going in another direction. I wanted to show short films and host of course and do some advertisement not just to help get my name out there but to help promote my friends. I ended up at first not receiving any short films so I showed my own and started to interview people I knew in the horror genre. After that I got use to doing interviews and started interviewing horror celebrities at the Horror conventions. Its fun and I love it, I host under the name Miss Misery!

Whenever there are times when I'm sick or really tired, my Co-host Dylan Walsh takes over for me, he's one of my actor's too! My husband John Gillette was pretty enthusiastic about it when we started. We were going to make it an hour special and throw it on Public Access in San Francisco and have his band "Dammit!" play.

Instead, we chopped it down to 30 minutes and decided to start on the web. 26 episodes later we are still going strong and helping out anyone we can in the horror genre.

I noticed you guys have your 2nd Annual Short Film Festival in June? Why did you decide to start up a short film festival and can you tell me a little bit about it?

Young: One day at home I was on MySpace just goofing around and it dawned on me that I wanted to do my own film festival and not just to show my own films. I realized that there aren't really any short horror film festivals. So, I put up a blog on MySpace and gave details about having people submit “20 minute and under” horror shorts.

I also decided there should be a guest of honor and raffle with prizes for the audience and the first ten people in line get a goodie bag. I posted the blog and then turned around and told my husband that we were throwing a film festival! He was like "WHAT, how are we going to do that?"

I didn't quite know exactly what to do but from there it kind of just was self explanatory. I looked for sponsors not for money only for prizes. The festival was out of my pocket and the help of other Last Doorway crew. We each put in $200.00 bucks. It was a great success too and I cannot wait to do it again.

We had John Stanley as Guest Of Honor and Joe and Priscilla of The Joe Flynn show for the Horror achievement award! They have a horror show on cable access in San Jose.

When did you decide to start putting together the Women in Horror Documentary? Can you talk about your process?  What is the status right now?  What is your hope for the documentary?

The Women In Horror Documentary was something I had wanted to do for awhile but just never got around to it. After meeting so many great women in this genre, as well as up-and-coming women, I decided I wanted people out there to see what a woman goes through to become a scream queen or have to struggle through a man’s world basically.

I know I sure as hell had to. Being a filmmaker in a male dominated genre, I admit I was a little scared, not knowing what bullshit I had to go through. I still have sexist men in this genre laughing at me.

I recently thought to myself after receiving an e-mail on my Documentary that I am so glad I am doing this for the women in horror. A guy from a website didn't want to throw up any advertisement on the doc. He laughed at me and called me a joke. That's why I'm doing this. More and more women are coming up in this genre and it's about time to show the world the future of the horror genre.

I just hope this documentary helps get the word out there for other women who love horror to come out and be a filmmaker, or FX artist, or Scream Queen. Women are a lot stronger then men and I believe horror will be taken over by the women whose sick and twisted minds will open the doors to something new!!!

Who are your heroes in horror?  Who influences what you do?

This is a good question because all my influences in film making are men. I grew up on men Directors! It wasn't until I saw AMERICAN PSYCHO that I fell in love with Mary Harron. I always wanted to be a Scream Queen but mainly a filmmaker. My Influences for me personally is everything that has to do with horror, including the good and the bad just because I learn from everything! For horror hosting, that would be Elvira, Bob Wilkins, John Stanley and Vampira.

For more on Last Doorway Productions, you can click here.

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