Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, co-star of the recently released Havenhurst, is best known as an actress. However, she’s also a producer and director of horror movies. With her husband Michael Biehn, she co-starred in and as well as co-directed The Victim. A gritty send-up of grindhouse movies, it makes use of the rape revenge format as well as backwoods horror. Recently, Blanc-Biehn co-produced 2016’s Good Family Times, a twisted film that inverts the time-honored tropes of home invasion movies.
With the release of Havenhurst, CineDump reached out to Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and she was kind enough to grant us an interview about her role in the horror world and the challenges she has faced there.
Pennie Sublime: How did you get into directing horror movies?
Jennifer Blanc-Biehn: Well, it was basically this investor partner of ours that had come to me, and asked me if I thought we could make a movie on a certain budget. He had been turned down a bunch, so I said, “Let’s try it!”
PS: What has been the biggest challenge as a female director and producer?
JB: If you get tough you are a bitch-- if it's a man he's just tough. This means it's harder on us when we get mad and show it.
PS: How have you seen the place of women in horror change since you first became involved in the industry?
JB: I worked as an actress with Ralph Bakshi directing a series of films for showtime Called Rebel Highway, and there were so many male directors: him (Ralph Bakshi), Joe Dante, and Robert Rodriguez. Back then Mary Lambert was the one woman. But now with the fabulous Soska sisters and more out there it's a way higher percentage. Our films are like 85 percent or more female directors.
PS: What attracts you to a project, whether as an actress or director?
JB: It’s the idea of making something entertaining and cool-- something that moves you in one way or another. Along with that, I’m interested in the study of the human condition.
PS: What is your favorite horror book/movie?
JB: I did like It Follows.