Artist, Creator, Horror Lover Anastasia Elfman [Women in Horror Month 2022]

With Bloody Bridget in post-production and its sequel in pre-production, Anastasia Elfman is one busy horror creator with many hats to wear.

Please introduce yourself:
Hmmnnn… I’m an actress, dancer, burlesque artist. And essentially a comedian with a love of horror. 

What is it that attracts you the horror genre for your chosen field of creative work?
I see horror as fairytales. There’s an otherworldly freedom there. If I had to describe myself, I would say I’m a mix of Lon Chaney, Lucille Ball and David Lynch… with a sprinkle of Goldie Hawn on top. I love being cast against type, usually the unassuming girl who ends up being a maniac serial killer or gruesome demon. I grew up in the theater performing, doing ballet and later had a career in practical horror fx.. so horror has always felt like home. Blood and guts are my bread and butter! 

Who inspires you in your work and in life?
I married into an exceptionally creative family. They constantly inspire me both personally and of course professionally. I’m also very inspired by David Lynch, he does no wrong in my universe. As a dancer I’m also musically driven. I tend to stick to classical and 80’s new wave like Talking Heads, ABC, The Residents, The B-52’s, Joy Division and of course Oingo Boingo. 

What are your passions, cinematic or otherwise?
I’m a huge classic film, stop motion, cartoon nerd and horror kid. I grew up mostly watching the great silent films, Laurel & Hardy, film noirs, Fleischer cartoons, all the important classics and any horror film I could get my little baby hands on. I have a deep affinity for practical effects and love researching how artists like Dick Smith or Rick Baker created a certain bladder gag or werewolf transformation. Most of my favorite horror films are heavily practical fx driven, like 1992 “Death Becomes Her”, 1994 “Wolf”, 1984 “Gremlins” and 1982 “The Thing”. I mean come on– does it get any better?! 

Considering this is 2022, why do you think we still need a movement like Women in Horror Month?
Women in Horror doesn’t need a f***ing month– we need support every single day. Why wait once a year to maybe write an admiration post about “Women in Horror” and then forget about us. Hire us, write strong roles for us, help us get our projects financed, mention our names when projects are being crewed up, share our projects, come to our screenings, read our scripts, give to our campaigns. The opportunities for support are endless. 

What would you tell an up-and-coming creative in the world of horror who sees that being a woman/identifying as a woman as something that makes it so much more difficult at times? 
Surround yourself with as many talented and kind people as you can. Know your craft and film history by watching the great classic films. 

What are your favorite bits of helpful advice that you have received about your work or your field?
Do the work! Come to set super prepared and ready to play. And my favorite of all “Fuck It” (to quote my brother-in-law Danny Elfman). I can’t tell you how many times that has saved my performance and nerves. It’s really helped steer my choices. I’m a complete perfectionist and enjoy digging into the work of preparing a character. But sometimes you’re not going to have that luxury of rehearsals or you’re getting slam/bang rushed through a scene and instead of crumbling just remember “Fuck It”! 

In honor of celebrating Women in Horror Month, who do you believe viewers should keep an eye on in terms of the creative ladies in horror? 
I’m lucky to live in Hollywood and surround myself with so many talented friends who are really kicking ass in our genre and writing amazing parts for women in horror. Sophia Cacciola is a wonderful cinematographer/ director/ actor who I’ve worked with on many of her unique projects. Heidi Honeycutt & Stacy Pippi run the Etheria Film Night which is a film festival supporting women in genre. My husband Richard and I judge the festival every year and love those ladies. Sofia Garza-Barba is a talented director who incorporates a lot of stop motion and vivid colors in her work. Staci Layne Wilson is a writer/ director who comes from rock royalty and has a very distinct aesthetic that I love. Heidi Moore is a writer/ director who has such a unique vision and I love creating with her. Chelsea Stardust is an exceptional director who really loves horror and it shows in the details of her films. All of these women have a very strong force and impeccable creativity. I’m so grateful to know them. 

What do you have coming soon that you can talk to us about?
I recently wrapped a really fun project with my husband called “Bloody Bridget,” now in post. A Van Nuys burlesque dancer is mistaken by a voodoo deity as his missing wife. He transforms her into a “Valentine vampire.” Sucking blood only whets her appetite. She must eat the beating hearts of her victims–and they all f***ing deserve it. This has got to be the goriest, sexiest, craziest film I’ve ever shot. 

What do you hope to leave behind in your legacy as an artist?
Well, my greatest joy is entertaining others. Perhaps in my own, quirky “Anastasia” way I’ll leave work behind that will give horror fans laughs and delight for years to come. 

Pop them links to follow your work here:
Bloody Bridget Instagram