32 year-old actress/filmmaker Amy Lynn Best leads a double life – a life that most folks (Amy included) would call schizophrenic. She is the independent horror and “B” film genre’s answer to Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne. Simultaneously holding down a day job and stable home life while producing, directing and acting in some of the most imaginative and innovative straight-to-video horror titles ever made AND being a major draw at genre conventions like Baltimore’s Horrorfind where she is surrounded by a small but growing legion of fans AND organizing her own con (Genghis Con to be held in Pittsburgh this November) with her husband/partner respected journalist and indie filmmaker Mike Watt would make shredded wheat out of the nerves and egos of lesser latter day scream queens, but Amy takes it all in stride with a mixture of grace, talent and above all, hard work . And, did I mention that she also co-founded one of the genre’s newest and most revolutionary internet outlets Pretty-Scary.net, a site devoted purely to celebrating and promoting a positive image for women in horror film? Amy’s roster of accomplishments and talents is virtually endless. In fact, it is more difficult to compose a list of things that she doesn’t do.
A native of Pittsburgh, PA, the legendary stomping ground of horror giants like George A. Romero and Tom Savini, Best has studied acting and dance since early childhood. In 1995 she broke into the world of independent horror as the star of the short “Tenants” (now available as an extra on the Sub Rosa DVD release of Paul Talbot’s “Campfire Tales”) where she picked up skills in producing, camera and grip work (for the uninitiated, low-budget film work more often than not requires cast and crew to be interchangeable multi-hyphenates) learning all aspects of production from the bottom up out of sheer necessity. 1997’s rarely seen Resurrection Game (to at last be widely released on DVD in the “very near future,” and trust me the long wait will be well worth it), firmly established Best’s identity in the “B” movie realm with her role as Sister Mary Bliss, a motorcycle riding nun/dominatrix/pop psychologist/zombie exterminator and also marked the formation of the production company Happy Cloud Pictures with husband Watt and partner and co-star Bill Homan. With her considerable production skills, it was inevitable that Amy would step behind the camera as a director and in 2002 she did just that with the shot-on-video horror-comedy “Were-Grrl” (aka. Were-D**e), an “anti-exploitation” film made as a pointed reaction to the slew of over-sexed lesbian themed cheesecake flicks cranked out by the likes of Seduction Cinema and their ilk. Best would follow up “Were-Grrl” with 2003’s Severe Injuries, a loving and hilarious parody of ‘80’s slasher flicks (think “Scary Movie” if it had been made by people with a true affection for the genre) which has recently garnered positive reviews in many major genre publications including the horror industry bible, Fangoria.
With numerous projects in the works and plans to move away from the horror-comedy subgenre in a big way, Amy somehow managed to find a few spare moments for this interview to talk candidly about the “B” horror world, women in the genre and finding life balance in the world of low-budget filmmaking.
Get the interview in part two of AMY LYNN BEST: INSIDE THE WORLD OF OUTSIDER ART>>>