Tag: Cortney Palm

‘Death House’: Actress Cortney Palm Discusses All-Star Horror Fueled Adventure

During an exclusive tour of a nine-level, secret prison known as “Death House,” agents Toria Boon (Cortney Palm) and Jae Novak (Cody Longo) become trapped inside its walls after a power outage frees a ruthless army of the world’s most dangerously maniacal prisoners. Trapped in the labyrinth of horror, the agents must push to the facility’s lowest depths, where they’ll come face to face with a supernatural group and discover a dark secret about themselves.

The premise for the B. Harrison Smith directed feature was originally based on a concept by the late Gunnar Hansen (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) intended to bring as many horror legends together in one film. That’s why, in addition to appealing performances of Palm and Longo, “Death House” features a plethora of iconic horror stars from the mid-70’s to present day, including Kane Hodder (“Friday The 13th”series), Dee Wallace (“Cujo” “The Hills Have Eyes”), Barbara Crampton (“Re-Animator”), Tony Todd (“Candyman”), Bill Moseley (“House of 1,000 Corpses”), Michael Berryman (“The Hills Have Eyes”) and Felissa Rose (“Sleepaway Camp”).

As an actress, Cortney Palm has a knack for playing strong, female characters (just check out the beautiful artist’s work in 2012’s “Sushi Girl”) and Agent Boon is another convincing role that’s right in her wheelhouse.

“Death House” is more than just an “Expendables of Horror” film. It’s a gripping tale of good versus evil, the dangers of experimentation, the macabre, and how things are not always what they appear to be.

I recently spoke with Cortney Palm about her role in “Death House” and more in this exclusive new interview.

How did this project come about for you?

In this age of social media people have different ways of reaching out and giving you information about opportunities. In this case, the original lead for the film had to unexpectedly drop out. They were going to start filming and I received a Twitter message from [director] Harrison Smith telling me they were looking for someone. I read the script and was immediately excited. It was a fun, in-depth story about good and evil. About finding what it takes to face your inner demon and coming out on top. I called my agent, flew out a few days later and we made it happen.

What was it about the script that intrigued you the most? Was it the idea of having so many horror icons attached to the project?

Originally, I didn’t know it was being pitched with a lot of horror icons attached to the screenplay. What drew me to the story the most was the strong female lead. I’m always attracted to characters who don’t take anything from anyone else and who can stand on their own two feet. 

How would you describe your character, Agent Toria Boon?

She’s a very by the books kind of person. She’s a daddy’s girl, but daddy really wanted a boy. As a result, she’s had to step up her game and trained hard for what she’s doing. As the story unfolds she realizes there’s something she hasn’t been told. Everything is snowballing all at once and she’s not really sure who to believe or trust. She has to follow he intuition and think things through as they happen. She’s figuring out how to survive while at the same time, visions of “Who Am I” keep racing through her mind. There’s also a dynamic, female power trip going on within the film. It’s about who’s on top and who’s going to be the manipulator. The women all have to fight for a place. They all have to be there for each other but it’s still about who’s bite is bigger.

How would you describe the story of “Death House?”

It’s a crazy roller coaster ride, so stay in the cart and keep your legs and hands inside at all times. The story goes into the idea of what happened back in the Fifties and Sixties when the government was performing tests on people. It also dives deep into what it means to have good and evil in the world. The yin and the yang.

What was it like working with Harrison Smith?

Harrison was once a history teacher and was such a good mediator at getting us all to the table and keeping us on the same page. For any issues we had to overcome he was the hub and teacher who kept everyone grounded. He also gave us the freedom to innovate and try new things. Some of that inspiration took the story deeper than what we originally expected.

What did you enjoy most about making “Death House?”

I loved the prison location. There was a lot of energy there that was indescribable, but not necessarily good or bad. People have actually been burned and murdered there and there were also riots. It was dark and there were some really cold, long shoots. It was a lot of work but the prison made it magical.

Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

A film I shot a few years ago, “Sunflower,” is getting distributed in the middle of 2019. I also recently wrapped a father-daughter drama called “Two Cents from a Pariah” as well as a voice over for a psychological thriller called “Purple.”  Another film, “Herringbone,” just won the online Sydney Lift Off film festival and is in the festival circuit. It’s a touching tale about two women struggling to survive captivity and torture, as it represents the dairy industry. I’ll also start filming a movie called “Bleed Millions,” that’s directed by Sam Koze, in January. It’s an interesting story about a psychopathic individual who uses the blood of his victims to paint works of art.

Have you ever thought about getting on the other side of the camera someday – either as a writer or director?

I’d definitely consider it. It’s really a matter of finding the right projects. I have a few ideas for a film about unity and casting children as leads. We’ve gotten away from our innocence and the nature of just accepting and being present. That’s something I’d like to explore.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2019?

I’m excited about expanding my horizons and meeting people who are more about the human condition and how it’s represented in film and in our daily lives. Instead of being caught up with unsubstantiated hate towards one another or victimizing ourselves or others, I want to focus on waking up to a collective consciousness. Having people realize their true selves and the beauty the world has to offer. I’m looking forward to helping to influence people in positive ways to make changes so our world can become better place. 

Death House” is available now on Digital, Streaming, DVD and Blu-Ray.

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Actress Cortney Palm Discusses New Crime Thriller, “Sushi Girl”

CortneyPalmA work of art. That’s what best describes both actress Cortney Palm and her latest movie, “Sushi Girl”. Whether it’s the beautiful cinematography or the element of surprise that keeps you guessing until the very end, Sushi Girl (releasing world-wide on DVD February 19th) is a story and film worthy of the big screen.

Sushi Girl tells the story of Fish; a newly released convict who has spent the last six years in jail successfully not ratting out those involved in the diamond robbery that sent him to prison. On the night of his release, he and the four men he’s protected celebrate his freedom with a Nyotaimori, a meal consisting of a lavish array of sushi served off the naked body of a beautiful young woman (Cortney Palm). Sushi Girl must appear catatonic, and is trained to ignore everything in the room regardless of the danger. But there’s more than meets the eye in this crime thriller. Old wounds are opened among the thieves amid accusations of what became of their missing diamonds.

Palm is more than comfortable in her own skin, and for her role as Sushi Girl she has to be. Appearing nearly nude the entire time, she’s more than convincing in the role, leaving almost nothing to the imagination.

Sushi Girl also features memorable performances by Tony Todd (Candyman), Mark Hamill (Star Wars), James Duvall (Independence Day), Noah Hathaway (The Never Ending Story) and Andy Mackenzie (True Blood).

I had the pleasure of speaking with Cortney about her work on Sushi Girl. We also discuss her role as the ill-fated Maria in the horror film, “Silent Night” as well as the significance behind some of her amazing tattoos.

Cortney Palm is laying the foundation for a long and fruitful career. Her performances thus far are worthy of praise, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for this amazing actress.

gJg: What attracted you most to the role of Sushi Girl?

CP: I really liked the way the story was written and the way my character was portrayed on the page. She had something really good to offer. She was subtle and powerful and I really enjoy playing characters like that; women who are strong or have a purpose.

gJg: What was it like for you working with iconic actors like Mark Hamill and Tony Todd?

CP: Tony was amazing. He just brought 110% every day so it was much easier for me to just play off of him. We shot the film primarily in chronological order and you could just feel the emotion and the buildup. For Mark, I remember being a little nervous at our table read when he showed up.  But at the same time, we’re all there for the craft. Sometimes it may be kind of unnerving being around actors who’ve done so much and are so iconic, but you have to stay true to your character and true to your art.

Cortney Palm in Sushi Girl
Cortney Palm in “Sushi Girl”

gJg: Mark’s character, Crow is definitely no Luke Skywalker.

CP: Mark is such a smart talented actor who’s done a lot of theater and film work. He really made that character come to life.

gJg: How would describe the story of Sushi Girl?

CP: It’s a crime thriller where something is going on and everyone wants to get to the bottom of it. But it’s also a story of revenge. We like to say revenge is a dish best served cold and that’s really the epitome of what the film is all about.

gJg: One of the best elements of Sushi Girl is the beautiful cinematography.

CP: Aaron Meister, the director of photography really makes that film what it is. He and Kern (Saxton, Director) had a great vision and just projected it beautifully. It’s a great film, and cinematically it’s perfect! I will never look at my body the same way again. [laughs]

Silent Night
Cortney as Maria in ‘Silent Night’

gJg: Let’s talk a little about your character Maria in “Silent Night”.

CP: When I mentioned that I’m drawn to powerful women..she’s not. But, she has to fight to survive and that’s what makes it fun to play. I love expressing human emotion in films and with ‘Silent Night’, there’s plenty of that! [laughs]

gJg: Tell me about the infamous wood chipper scene.

CP: That was a fun scene to film. We really had a great team of people. Steven (Miller, Director) had a great vision and Joe (White, Cinematography) was right alongside of him making it work with me running through the trees.

gJg: Are you a fan of horror?

CP: I am a fan of the genre. I like movies like “The Ring”, “Mirrors” and “Silent Hill”.

gJg: What projects are you currently working on?

CP Right now, I’m working on ‘Fringes’ where I play a rabbi’s daughter. It’s the story about a Jewish community and a Catholic community at odds with one another, but when things start to break down around them they have to rely on each other to get through. It’s a brotherhood story.

gJg: Tell me a little bit about your tattoos.

CP:  I have several and all of them are real. On my inside right arm I have the quote “For peace with justice in harmony with nature”. On my wrist I have a gecko with the initials “LP” for Lake Powell. It’s significant to me because that’s one of my favorite places to go. The gecko also represents strength, agility and conservation. That’s important to remember in our world and our lifestyle. We need to conserve the land and enjoy what nature has to offer.

On my side I have the quote “Float Upon Sturdy Waters”.  Even though water isn’t really sturdy (because you sink down into it) you can float upon the surface and make it sturdy. You choose your own destiny.

Article first published as Actress Cortney Palm Discusses New Crime Thriller, “Sushi Girl” on Technorati.