The 13th Floor

From Screamqueen To Video Producer: Catching Up With Felissa Rose

As fans of the horror genre, undoubtedly there will come that time when you finally see SLEEPAWAY CAMP. You may have already experienced it back on it’s initial release in 1983, or more than likely discovered it at the video store in the heyday of home video releases, But either way, once you’ve seen it, you’ll never forget it. Especially that ending!

For that shy little girl that played Angela Baker, it’s been a long, strange road to end up here. Felissa Rose first got wind of the huge cult following for the entire SLEEPAWAY CAMP series after attending a sold out Fangoria Weekend of Horrors show back in 2001 where Sleepaway Camp Movies webmaster Jeff Hayes organized the first official SLEEPAWAY CAMP reunion. Since then, Rose has returned to acting, primarily in the horror world and attends & mingles with fans regularly on the convention circuit. This last year has been huge as she’s taken a giant leap forward into the producing world, first with revived film company Carolco Pictures and now focusing on producing music videos for some of the best metal acts on Nuclear Blast. Her most recent video was the title track off Slayer‘s latest album “Repentless.”

This writer has a long history with Rose, especially considering we’re both originally from Long Island, NY. So we were able to get candid quickly and delve into the continued cult following of SLEEPAWAY CAMP and what it’s like to work with metal legends Slayer.

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Blumhouse.com: It’s been over 14 years now since that first big SLEEPAWAY CAMP reunion! And I know that was the first time you became aware of just how big of a fanbase the film really had. How has it been since then, having a little bit of time to reflect and look back?

Felissa Rose: It is still so huge. It was huge in 2001 and when we did that first Fangoria Weekend Of Horrors, it completely blindsided me. And then we did the Anchor Bay DVD with the first commentary track. And then all the conventions and tribute websites popped up, it grew to become a monster. And now, it’s bigger than ever. I don’t know what to attribute that too? Yes, Scream Factory put out the Blu-Ray and it got attention, but it’s just one of those movies people still talk about, and it’s probably because of that controversial ending. Anything I do, inevitably, that’s the only thing people will know me for! I could rollerblade to the moon and no one would care. (Laughs) It’s like, “she was Angela in SLEEPAWAY CAMP!” Oddly enough, someone was following me recently on Twitter and said, “Oh my God, are you Angela from SLEEPAWAY CAMP?! I only followed you because you produced the Slayer music video!” So finally! I thought that was super cool.

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Blumhouse.com: There’s still so many tributes to this day. Creepy Company pins just did an awesome Angela pin and there’s always fan art popping up. How do you feel seeing that stuff?

Felissa Rose: I’m such a mush! All I do is cry. When I see something like that, I’m always so grateful. And there will never come a time where I’d take that for granted. I’m always blown away by everything that happens from SLEEPAWAY CAMP. From my husband being the biggest fan to Creepy Company making a pin! It blows my mind and I feel so blessed.

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Blumhouse.com: You just showed the original SLEEPAWAY CAMP to all 3 of your kids for the first time. How’d they respond to it? Be honest!

Felissa Rose: My kids have been dying to see it. I think my girls were honestly a little shaken up. (Laughs)

Blumhouse.com: Rightfully so!

Felissa Rose: The last shot! It’s bad enough mommy’s killing people. She has a penis too? (Laughs) They knew I was the killer before we watched it. They knew there was a surprise ending. They knew it had to do with sexuality. I didn’t want to throw them in completely blind! They were definitely taken aback by it because they love 80’s horror movies. So it’s another 80’s movie they think is cool. Only difference is mommy is in this one! My son’s the youngest, he kept walking away. I don’t think he wanted to see mom in that capacity just yet, so maybe in a couple of years, he’ll want to see it.

Blumhouse.com: Nowadays, you’re producing music videos. You had just recently produced the Slayer video for “Repentless,” the title track off their latest album with BJ McDonnell directing. But you’re also married to Deron Miller from CKY. Did you learn a lot about how the music industry works just from experiencing it through his eyes?

Felissa Rose: I’ve always been a huge music lover and there was always music playing in my house. Yes, with Deron, he’s played me a lot of music, but he really opened me up to a whole new world. Although I was into Metallica, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, I was later exposed to Exodus and Overkill and Megadeth. And then Slayer, I’ve always loved. Deron was definitely the key to exposing me to amazing music. With these videos, it was really in part to him because he introduced me to the label Nuclear Blast, and because they knew that I produced stuff, they were like, “do you want to talk about music videos?”

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Blumhouse.com: You’ve now met and hung out with Slayer. I don’t want to ruin their rep or anything, but which member of Slayer is the biggest teddy bear?

Felissa Rose: (Laughs) I’d say Tom Araya. In my opinion. They’re all great, but he’s just such a deep soul and I connect with that. They’re all mesmerizing and fascinating people, but I love Tom. Our director BJ McDonnell really connected with them.

Blumhouse.com: So does this mean you guys all might reteam and do more videos with Slayer?

Felissa Rose: Yes, we’re actually doing 2 more videos back to back. The prequel and sequel to the “Repentless” video. I can’t tell you the songs we’re doing next off the new record just yet, but we are doing 2 more with BJ directing again. I’m a huge fan of BJ’s and the twisted things he comes up with. Especially now that we know how to work together! When we did “Replentless,” we were just meeting, but now we know each other and it feels like we’re old friends. I have so much respect for him because it’s so nice to meet a director that’s as passionate as he is. As a producer, that’s the best thing to have someone that wants to create that playground to shoot in. I can’t say enough good things about him. He comes up with these great treatments and they’re perfect, especially for these Slayer videos! I’m so excited, because we have a lot of fun making these.

Check out Slayer’s video for “Repentless,” directed by BJ McDonnell, produced by Felissa Rose and starring horror alumni Derek Mears, Tyler Mane, Danny Trejo, Jason Trost, Sean Whalen, Tony Moran and Vernon Wells.

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