2013 Christmas Compilation

After catching Kristina Michelle (above) in her very recent holiday photo shoot with Scott T. Morrison of Discovery Photo, it gave me the idea for this Christmas-themed post featuring some of the ladies I've had the pleasure of interviewing over the past few years. A big thanks to all of them for sending me their photos, some of which were taken by them, exclusively for this feature. (Clicking on their names will take you to their interviews here.)

Charlite Brooks

Singer and model Charlite Brooks began her primary vocation when she was a child, singing at local events in and around her native Port Lavaca, Texas. Charlite (pronounced "Charlotte") also showed quite an ability for quickly learning dance moves from watching music videos on MTV and she soon began choreographing her own. After moving to the larger city of Victoria when she entered high school, she continued to develop her talent, performing in the choir, talent shows, and even putting together a step team, choreographing many of the routines they performed.

Although she's also a very experienced model, Charlite didn't begin or even show an interest in modeling until she was well out of high school. A friend told her she looked good in a bikini and should consider modeling. Charlite decided to give it a try, but sure didn't start out in the minor leagues when she did. She went right to the majors by auditioning and straight away landing a spot on the Austin-based Texas Bikini Team, which is sort of like guy who's never played baseball in school, suddenly deciding to try out for the Yankees and getting signed on the spot.

Now, turning her focus back to her music career, Charlite recently spoke with me about such topics as, why she took a break from singing after high school, her experiences as a bikini model, the difference between one who can sing and one who can "sang," and how she got the nickname "Lil Miss Swag" (which is the song that will play after the jump). Above photo by Roy Nierdieck.

Friday the 13th Victim, Alice Hardy

Not exactly a post to get one into the Christmas spirit, but it is Friday the 13th, so here's the sole survivor of the original film, Alice Hardy (played by Adrienne King), feeling the wrath of Jason's revenge in the opening scene of Friday the 13th Part 2. Alice was Jason's first victim in Part 2. For your Friday the 13th trivia question; can you name his first victim in the original?

Paula Marcenaro Solinger

This interview is going to press the day actress Paula Marcenaro Solinger is scheduled to arrive back in the US from Buenos Aires, where she was visiting via Columbia, where she was on location to shoot a film entitled Where Evil Dwells. Unfortunately, evil dwelled (as she put it) on the set and production was shut down. However, that setback will definitely not put Paula at a standstill. Since moving to the US from her native Argentina in 2011, Paula has landed roles in several independent films. A couple of the more promising ones, that are currently in the early stages of production, are Diana Bigham's Till Death, and Abel Berry's Blood Sombrero, the latter of which is described as "a trigger happy kill fest of blood lust and chrome vengeance."

Even though Paula is now completely focused on her film career, her true passion is stage, where she has an extensive background, beginning when she joined the drama club in elementary school.

Besides acting, Paula is also an accomplished painter and has been an avid hard rock fan since she was a child, growing up listening to the likes of Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, and Kiss. In fact, she's since met many of her musical idols and currently has very good connections for Skid Row concert tickets. Above photo by Toia Islas.

Cecily Strong - SNL's Hottest Female Cast Member Ever

This is just this author's opinion (which is all that counts here, anyway), but while only in her sophomore year on Saturday Night Live, Chicago-area native Cecily Strong has established herself, not only as one of the foremost funny ladies in any SNL cast, but also as one of the show's all-time absolute hammers.

Above is arguably Cecily's best character, "The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation with at a Party," appearing on SNL's "Weekend Update" last season, which she now co-anchors this season. Speaking of which, now that she's serving as an anchor on Weekend Update (pretty much a straight role), I hope that doesn't mean that we will be seeing no more of this character, as Update was the only segment in which she appeared. If SNL's producers don't see the potential in this character and feature her in a series of sketches, then they obviously haven't been talking to the the right girls at parties.

Linda Le's FHM Cover Shoot

Popular model and cosplayer Linda Le, who's better known by many as "Vampy," is the most recent cover girl for FHM Singapore. Based out of San Jose, California, Linda is one of the highest-profile cosplayers of today, often appearing at the most popular anime and comic conventions and events all around the globe in carefully-detailed costumes, many of which, Linda creates solely herself. The following are just a select few examples of her versions of well-known comic book superheroines, as well as her own Vampy persona.

Amanda Marie

Actress and model Amanda Marie is another Texas girl who's making quite a name for herself in the independent film industry. Besides her work in front of the camera, her resume also includes producer, casting director, assistant director, choreographer, wardrobe, hair and makeup artist, and still photographer. She's played roles ranging from glamorous to grotesque and hasn't been afraid to take a few bumps and bruises that sometimes go with the territory.

Amanda currently has a recurring role in the web series The Allegiance of Powers, and as this goes to press, she's preparing to leave for Columbia for two weeks, where she'll be shooting scenes for Massimiliano Cerchi's Where Evil Dwells. The film's produced by Josh Piper and features a diverse cast whom she is understandably very excited to be working with.

Amanda was gracious enough to grant me this interview before her departure and in addition to her accomplishments and obvious, I can say that she also has a great sense of humor. Above is Amanda on the set of A Love Story, which is currently in production and will continue filming next month, after her return to the States.

Ally Maki Does 2 Broke Girls

Among the many roles Japanese-American actress Ally Maki has played on TV sitcoms, a couple of the more notable ones were actually Korean. She played North Korean spy Joyce Kim in a flashback episode of The Big Bang Theory, in which she was was sleeping with one of the main characters, only in order to obtain classified information on the rocket fuel he was working on.

The Girls of the "Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead" Trilogy

What could be a better piece for Halloween than a feature on the female cast of another zombie splatter movie from Japan? A feature on the the female cast of a zombie splatter movie trilogy* from Japan. Naoyuki Tomomatsu's Rape Zombie: Lust of the Dead trilogy, the first part of which was featured at the 2012 Yubari Fantastic Film Festival, is as wonderfully gory and tasteless as the title implies and it should go without saying that the cast is chock-full of JAV (Japanese Adult Video) alumnae.

There are over a dozen former and current gravure, pink film, and JAV idols who appear in this 2012-2013 three-part splatterfest (some in "blink-and-you'll-miss-her" parts), but the focus here will be on the four ladies in the more prominent roles and a few honorable mentions. The "nurse" at the forefront of all three of the above posters for the films, is the trilogy's main heroine, played by JAV idol Alice (Arisu) Ozawa.

*So far, this is a trilogy. There could be a part 4 in the works and possibly an intent to make this a franchise, but as of this writing, the "Rape Zombie" movie count stands at three.

Michael Myers' Victim, Jill Franco

To make this a Halloween victim trilogy, here's Haddonfield Memorial nurse Jill Franco (played by Tawny Moyer) getting stabbed in the back and elevated by antagonist Michael Myers in the original Halloween II, which was, arguably to few, one of the best horror sequels ever made.
Tawny Moyer as the ill-fated
Nurse Jill Franco
Miss Moyer has stated this was her favorite scene in the movie to shoot, and especially loves the part where the clogs slip off her feet. Her acting resume seems to have ended in 2001 but she, like Pamela Susan Shoop (nurse Karen Bailey, who got deep fried in the hydrotherapy tub), has since made occasional appearances at horror conventions and probably will continue to do so in the future.

Michael Myers' Victim, Karen Bailey

As I stated in my last post here, in my opinion, the original Halloween II had the hottest victims of all the films in the franchise. My choice for the hottest was Alice Martin (see last post) but I'm sure there are many who'd say it was nurse Karen Bailey (played by Pamela Susan Shoop), who got "deep fried" by Michael Myers in the hydrotherapy tub at Haddonfield Memorial. Yes, the hot water she got into with head nurse Alves for showing up 15 minutes late for her shift, was nothing compared to the above.

Michael Myers' Victim, Alice Martin

With the Halloween season in full swing and some major cable channels running horror movie marathons, it's a sure thing that the films of the Halloween franchise will be among those being shown ....in their edited versions, of course.

While watching the original Halloween II for the umpteenth time, it reinforced my contention that it is the Halloween film with the hottest female victims. Of course, this is just a matter of opinion and in this writer's opinion, the hottest of those victims whom serial killer Michael Myers slayed, was the lovely Alice Martin, played by Anne Bruner.


The Japanese urban legend of Kuchisake-onna (the Slit-Mouth Woman) was believed to be very real in Japan's Nagasaki Prefecture in 1979. In fact, reports back then were given such merit, the police stepped up patrols in the area and parents were warned not to let their children walk the streets unaccompanied by an adult.

Details of Kuchisake-onna's legend vary from source to source but the prevailing tale is that she was the very beautiful wife of a Samurai warrior during Japan's Heian Period (794-1185). When her husband discovered she had been unfaithful to him, he became outraged and slashed her mouth from ear to ear, leaving her horribly disfigured, wearing a permanent gaping and grotesque, evil smile. He then asked her "Who will think you're beautiful now?"

Elisa Lam Mystery

The mysterious death of 21-year old Vancouver university student Elisa Lam was ruled an accidental drowning by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, but it’s a case that will probably go down in history as one of the eeriest unsolved mysteries on the LAPD’s books. I can’t tell you anything about the details of Miss Lam’s death that hasn’t already been covered, speculated about, and theorized at hundreds of other blogs and websites around the net, but this is a refreshingly morbid piece for the Halloween season.

One of the photos released by the LAPD
that appeared on missing person flyers
before Elisa's body was found.
Above is the actual elevator surveillance footage from LA's somewhat infamous Cecil Hotel, where Miss Lam was staying at the time of her disappearance, just a short while before she was never seen alive again. Behaving strangely in this viral 4-minute video, she acts as if she’s hiding from and later interacting with, someone who isn’t there or, at least, wasn’t caught on camera. Also strange is the elevator doors staying open so long.

Miss Lam was reported missing on February 5th. Her body was found by hotel maintenance workers on February 19th, in one of the hotel’s rooftop water tanks, which supplies the rooms with potable water. Guest complaints of low water pressure was what prompted the maintenance workers to check the tanks.

Selected articles in chronological order:
Reported Missing
Body Found
Ruled Accidental Drowning
Cecil Guests File Lawsuit Against Hotel
Lam Family Files Lawsuit Against Hotel

March 15th, 2014 Addendum (and we knew this was coming):
Mysterious death of Elisa Lam inspires Sony film project (Los Angeles Times)

Carly Capra

Native Texan Carly Capra was brought to my attention by my good friend Carlo Rodriguez, who's had the pleasure of photographing Carly on several occasions. (The photo at left is from one of his shoots with her.) A trained dancer and former co-captain of the Cowtown Hotties bikini and promotions team, Carly has been modeling since she was very young and has been a promotional model for such names as Stanley tools, Miller Light, Heineken, and Bank of America. Not to mention she was also the Alien Bee Babe of the Month for April of 2012.

Carly's still modeling but now focusing more on her acting career. One of her most noteworthy film credits to date is that of Dr. Elizabeth Craig in the 2011 indie horror film Psycho Killer Bloodbath. Her strong performance in that one, reminiscent of Camille Keaton in 1978's I Spit On Your Grave, earned Carly the Best Actress award at the 2011 San Antonio Horrific Film Fest. Her most recent film, Billy "Bloody Bill" Pon's gorefest Circus of the Dead, in which she plays "Cry-Baby," is slated for release in May of next year.

Miss Misery's Movie Massacre

As it's coming up on the Halloween season, here's the Queen of Horror in the San Francisco Bay Area, Reyna Young, better know by Bay Area horror fans as Miss Misery, with a teaser for her Movie Massacre.

Besides hosting Movie Massacre, which is now getting ready to go into its fourth season, Reyna is now earning some attention for her acting roles in several short films. The most recent being in two of her own, Sally, and Monster of the Golden Gate, the latter of which she tells me is a throwback to the awesome black and white cheesy B monster movies of the 1950s and 60s. She'll also be appearing in a small role in Patrick O'Bell's The Divine Order, due out later this year and she recently published her book of poetry, entitled Dislocated Thoughts

Tiffany Apan

A multifaceted lady, Pennsylvania native Tiffany Apan began her affair with music and theater at an early age and has since built up quite an impressive resume. To drop a couple of names; her first dance teacher was Gene Kelly's niece and she worked with jazz great Billy Harper in a production of Marta Effinger's Whispers Want to Holler, where she played a freestyle jazz singer.

Also a prolific fiction writer, Tiffany's Bloodlines series is another one of her works currently in progress. Originally intended to be "light and relatively happy with just a touch of paranormal mystery," she said she didn't like how the story was turning out and so she stopped to take a second look at it. After some refocusing, she then began uncovering things and just let the story flow naturally as it took a different direction. Not originally intended to be a series, the story expanded, and now it will be a four, or possibly five, book series.

It took a while, but I was finally able to get Tiffany to take time out to answer some questions for me. I had planned on doing an interview with her shortly after catching a very favorable review of her film, Driving Nowhere, (currently in post-production) and writing this this brief feature on it, but her schedule these days includes several irons in the fire, so I was lucky to get this in time for the Halloween season. In fact, as this goes to press, she's appearing this weekend at Horror Realm Con as one of the featured guests.

Friday the 13th Victim, Eva Watanabe

Serial killer Jason Voorhees isn't a discriminating slayer, but to date, his only Asian female victim has been Eva Watanabe (played by a then-unknown Kelly Hu), in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989). As you can see from the above scene where Eva meets Jason, and her fate, her death sure wasn't merciful, but at least it was "splatter-free."

As for Kelly, she's definitely not one to be found in the "Whatever Happened to..?" file. In fact, she's gone on to have the most successful career of all the ladies who've played prey for Jason in any of the films in the franchise. See her list of credits, spanning 26 years, at her IMDb page.


Adrea Simmons, known professionally as Dre'a, has been singing since she was five years old, taking after her mother, a professional singer whom Dre'a tells me fronted for the band Blues 'N' More for 12 years. During that time, she saw her mom open for some top acts, such as the Temptations and MC Hammer.

Hailing from Port Lavaca, Texas, the 23 year-old singer-songwriter is currently signed with H-Loyal Management, who originally recruited her to write songs for another singer on their label. She accepted the offer, and was subsequently asked to be half of a singing duo with the lady she was writing songs for. She agreed and after that project ran its course, Dre'a realized a solo career was what she really wanted to pursue and she's currently working on her first solo album.

Cherry Poptart

Debuting in 1982, Cherry Poptart was the creation of artist and writer Larry Welz and originally published by San Francisco underground comic publishing giant, Last Gasp Books, who, I'm pleased to state, are still in operation today.

Last Gasp editor-in-chief, Ron Turner, tells me the character Cherry Poptart actually got her beginnings in Bakersfield Kountry Komics. According to Ron, it was after catching her there, that he got Welz and his colleague, artist Larry Sutherland, who were both originally from Bakersfield, where Bakersfield Kountry Komics was published, to "commemorate that lovely San Joaquin Valley shithole."

The title character, described as "blonde, cute, sexy, fun, friendly, and smart," (in addition to always braless, very openly bisexual, and eternally 18) was ranked #82 in the Comic Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics.

Shortly after the second issue hit the stands in January of 1985, the Kellog company (the makers of Pop-Tarts® toaster pastries) got wind of the buxom blonde comic cutie, and threatened legal action against Welz and Turner if they continued to use their trademarked name. Because of that, the title of the book was shortened to just Cherry by the third issue and the character's surname changed from "Poptart" to "Popstar." Above is the cover of issue #1. I've seen prices on this one ranging from a few bucks for one in fair condition to well over a grand for one in mint condition.

Honey Lee for Dulcolax

A familiar face on a recent commercial that aired on American television during the CBS evening News, caused me to do a double-take. The face was that of former Miss Korea Honey Lee, who’s featured in the above Korean-produced commercial for the laxative Dulcolax, that’s currently airing on network TV in the United States. 

Reportedly, the commercial has been airing in Korea since February and Dulcolax made the decision to start airing it in the US, after a consumer survey yielded positive feedback, which isn’t hard to see why. Since her pageant days, the 2006 Miss Korea and 2007 Miss Universe third runner-up, has established herself as fairly prominent TV, stage, and screen actress in Korea. Here name in Korean is 이하늬 and Google is our friend.

One-Question Interview with Linnea Quigley

When it comes to Scream Queens, they don't come any bigger than Linnea Quigley, who has appeared in over 100 films covering a span of 37 years. While some pundits may consider Jamie Lee Curtis the original Scream Queen, Linnea's horror film debut predated Jamie Lee's by three years and many consider Linnea the true holder of the title, often referring to her as "Queen of the B's." Among roles in movies that include the titles Silent Night, Deadly Night, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Linnea is arguably best-known for her role as "Trash," the orange-haired punk-rocker chick who did the graveyard striptease in the 1985 dark comedy-horror cult classic, The Return of the Living Dead.

One of Linnea's most recent films is Joe Hollow's Disciples, in which she stars alongside three other big names in Scream Queendom; Brinke Stevens, Debra Lamb, and Debbie Rochon. A horror film with those four names in the cast is sort of like a Yankees team with the names Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantel all in the starting line-up. Above photo taken 2011 on the set of A Blood Story, also directed by Hollow.

Zombierella - Messer Chups' Bombshell Bassist

Svetlana Nagaeva, better known as Zombierella or Zombie Girl, is the bombshell bassist for the horror surf band (as they are best described) Messer Chups. Hailing from from St Petersburg, Russia, Messer Chups' sound is reminiscent of the great surf rock bands of the 1960s but they definitely have their own unique style, which combines surf sounds, classic B-movie horror, and retro-themed artwork. Their instrumentals like "Twin Peaks Twist," "Tremolo From the Crypt," and "Zombie in a Mini Skirt" are just as cool as the titles. Zombierella's vocals on tunes like "Jason Bond 0013," spiked with her famous shrill, spine-chilling scream, make you wonder how a girl can sing, play, look so sexy and be so cool, all at the same time. Above is Zombierella playing her Fender "blue baby" at the 2012 Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Livorno, Italy. Thanks to Mauro Della Prugna at Youtube.

Levy Tran Featured in Controversial Music Video "Asian Girlz"

Heavily-illustrated model Levy Tran recently tweeted an apology after the above music video she appeared in received a strong backlash due to the song’s lyrics.

Jen Rainwater - The Oakland A's Socks Girl

If you're an Oakland Athletics fan and a regular at O.co Coliseum, then you're probably at least casually acquainted with Jen Rainwater, known among A's fans as the "Oakland A's Socks Girl." Even to say Jen's a die-hard A's fan would be an understatement. This girl bleeds hunter green and California gold and almost nothing can keep her away from an A's home game, where, as you can see at left, she's always seen sporting a pair of the green and gold socks that have become her trademark. She knows Oakland coliseum as well as she does her own home because it's practically her second home, and if you want to know the status of any game the A's are currently playing, just follow Jen's Twitter because she'll keep you just as up to the minute as the announcers will.

Jen is actually a native Texan who began learning about baseball from her mother and grandmother at the age of two. At four, her family moved to the Oakland area and she's been an avid and loyal A's supporter ever since. She became a season ticket holder in the mid-90s and hasn't missed an A's spring training in over 10 years.

Despite my being a fan of Jen's most hated Major League Baseball team; the defending World Series champion and A's arch-rivals from across the Bay, San Francisco Giants (She despises the "gnats with a passion beyond anything"), she gladly agreed to do this interview with me.

Tristan Risk

I'll admit, I'd never heard of Tristan Risk until I saw the movie American Mary, in which she played Beatress Johnson (yes, "Beatress," not "Beatrice"), a stripper who had 14 surgeries to become a real-life Betty Boop look-alike. She gave such a striking performance, hers was the first name I Googled right after the final credits rolled ....and that's saying something because American Mary was full of memorable female characters. It also has the makings of a potential cult classic.

Tristan has been described as a "corsetier, chocolatier, baker, ta-ta shaker, hip-swayer, tight lacer," and a "troublemaker." While all of that's true, first and foremost, the Vancouver native is one of the best-know names in neo-burlesque, incorporating fire-eating and vaudeville-style magic into her act. She was originally recruited by the producers of American Mary, Jen and Sylvia Soska, as a choreographer for the film's dance numbers. The role of Beatress had not yet been cast since none of the actresses who'd read for the part so far, seemed to understand the character. When Jen and Sylvia decided to give Tristan a shot and saw her audition, they knew they'd found their Beatress and the rest is history.

After doing a bit of research on "Little Miss Risk," I sent her a link to the piece I wrote on the female cast of American Mary and told her I'd love to do and interview with her sometime. When she promptly replied, saying she'd love to, I was flattered, feeling that she was an admirer of my writings. However, it turned out, Tristan's a self-admitted attention whore and relishes any chance to talk about herself and her doings at great length. Certainly nothing wrong with that but I was a little disappointed that my journalistic qualifications didn't play a role in getting her to agree to this interview. Anyway, regardless of her reasons for doing this, I'm proud to add Tristan to my list of lovely interviewees. Above photo by Black Opal Images.

Calamity Chang

When American burlesque was in its heyday, Asian striptease performers were practically unheard of. However, with the emergence of "neo-burlesque" in the mid-1990s, a few Asian ladies have taken to the stage, doing the retro "bump 'n grind" acts. One of the most prominent being New York City's "Asian Sexsation" Calamity Chang. Above is Calamity doing her "Nunsploitation" routine at a show entitled "Meat My Friends," hosted at Full Cup in Staten Island. See more of Calamity at her official website and you can follow her on Twitter.

The Ladies of American Mary

Above is the trailer for Twisted Twins Productions' 2012 thriller, American Mary, which became available on DVD this month. The twins behind TTP are the eerily provocative Jen and Sylvia Soska, who also brought us 2009's Dead Hooker in a Trunk.

American Mary stars Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, Freddy vs. Jason) as a medical student who applies for work as a dancer at a strip club, named the Bourbon a Go Go, to help make ends meet. When a "medical emergency" occurs during Mary's interview, the club owner, knowing that Mary's a med student, offers her five grand on the spot to save the victim's life. Mary does, but sure doesn't seem to appreciate the chance for the hands-on experience because she goes home, gets sick, and tries to shower the ordeal away.

Korean Dance Team Waveya

Most Korean female vocal groups work with choreographers to develop dance routines they perform to their songs that they’ve recorded in the studio. However, it’s no secret that when on stage, they usually lip-sync so they can focus more on the dancing. Well, Waveya is one girl group who can’t be accused of lip-syncing to their songs, because they’re not a singing group, they’re a dance team who perform their routines to mainly (but not strictly) current popular K-pop songs. Some of those performances have been before students at colleges and even high schools, sparking a little controversy due to the girl’s provocative dance moves.

Above are the ladies doing their thing to HyunA’s “Bubble Pop” and “Change.” They are (from left to right in the above still); Hyang, Miu, Ari (leader and choreographer), Doori, and Yuna. Occasional sixth member Yuji isn’t part of this one. See more from them at their Youtube channel and Facebook fan page.

Coco Komatsu

Born and raised in Tokyo, import model Coco Komatsu was brought to my attention by another very talented lady, model, artist, and designer April Syrup, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing last year

Coco began her modeling career in Japan, where she still calls home, but she's gradually making quite an impact in the US market and her trips to the States are becoming more frequent. One of her most notable appearances has been on the cover of the May 2012 Super Street magazine. More recently, Coco was in Los Angeles for a shoot with her favorite photographer Rey Trajano and an appearance at Autocon, where she was one of the featured models.

Despite her very busy schedule, Coco took some time out during her recent stay in California, where she was very willing and able to answer most of my questions. Besides being an extremely sweet and gracious lady, she speaks much better English than she gives herself credit for ....particularly impressive since she's mostly self-taught.

Jessica Cameron's Truth or Dare

Here's the very intense teaser to Jessica Cameron's directorial debut, Truth or Dare, a thriller about six college students who find Internet fame when they make “truth or dare” videos with violent twists. It’s all fun and games until their biggest fan decides he wants to play.

In addition to directing and producing the film, Jessica plays the role of Jennifer Collins, a straight-A student with a handsome boyfriend, great group of friends and a bright future ....if she lives to see it. Jessica describes her character as "the most level-headed of the group, and is very strong emotionally." She added that given Jennifer's past, she had no other choice than to be as she is. The movie also features two other lovely fright film alumnae, Devanny Pinn (American Girls) and Heather Dorff (Scary Story Slumber Party). Check out my November, 2011 interview with Jessica here.

Remembering Shim Mina, "Miss World Cup" of 2002

First off; she's still alive and well, but it's hard to believe it's been nearly 11 years since Shim Mina was discovered while showing her support for her national soccer team during the 2002 World Cup. After being dubbed by the Korean media as "Miss World Cup" and gracing the covers of all the major sports newspaper in the country, Mina shortly thereafter released her debut album and quickly became a K-pop sensation.

The 2013 Miss Korea Pageant Contestants

It’s no secret and certainly not news, how common it is for South Korean women, particularly those in the entertainment industry, to have facial cosmetic work done. The most common being the “double-eyelid” surgery, which is intended to give a more big-eyed “Western” appearance. So, when I caught an article stating that all of the contestants in the 2013 Miss Korea Pageant looked alike, I thought it was nothing new and I didn’t even bother reading it. However, when I recently caught the now viral GIF image (right) of seven of the contestants, created just to illustrate how they all look like they rolled off the same plastic surgery assembly line, it did make me stop and take notice. It practically looks like the same girl with different hairstyles and clothes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I suppose. Just an observation. Excellent article at KoreaBANG that includes photos of all 20 contestants before and after makeup here.

Bada on Saturday Night Live Korea

Saturday Night Live Korea made its debut in December of 2011 and has since done quite well in the ratings. Closely patterned after the long-running "live from New York" original, SNL Korea is considered to be in its fourth season, as Korean TV seasons are relatively short. This excerpt from a July 2012 skit features the show's host, singer/actress Bada (Sea) overseeing auditions to choose two new singers to flank her in "SES II."

One-Question Interview with Beverly Randolph

The 1985 dark comedy-horror film, The Return of the Living Dead is a classic of its genre and the cast often reunites for appearances at horror convention and fan events. Some had already made names for themselves in B-moviedom (such as Clu Gallagher, Linnea Quigley, and Jewel Shepard) when the film was cast, but most were unknown at the time, such as Beverly Randolph.

Van Tieu Apologizes for her Colleague’s On-Air F**k-Up

As many of you might already know, a rookie North Dakota TV news anchor was recently fired right after he preceded the opening to his very first news broadcast with some profanity. (Story here) If you saw it, you may not have paid as much attention to his gaffe as you did Van Tieu; his pretty co-anchor who introduced him and maintained her composure during the awkward on-air moments.

Since Van is the lead anchor of KFYR’s evening news, she was given the unenviable task of apologizing to the viewers for her former and very-short-lived co-anchor’s blunder. The above is her doing so at the opening of that evening's 10:00 PM newscast, which she handled solo. I don’t think they would have been the next Rather-Chung, anyway.

See more of Van at:
Her Facebook Fan Page
Her Reporter Reel
Van on Twitter

Korean Racing Models Do the Gwiyomi Song

Released three months ago by Korean singer Hari, the Gwiyomi ("Cutie") Song immediately went viral and has now become the latest Internet meme to originate from Korea. Above are three of the most popular Korean Racing models doing their version. The ladies are (clockwise from top left) Hana Hong (whom I've had the pleasure of interviewing here), Boyoung Chun, and Siyoung Ha.

Erin Tjoe in "Too Good to Waste"

The above video still is from a recent ad for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's water conservation campaign. It may give the impression that actress Erin Tjoe is going to be ill, but in fact, she's portraying a consumer who's made aware of the value of saving water. The 30-second spot is one of a series of ads being put out by the SFPUC, that feature Erin.

Stella Chuu

Above is the "Anime Princess of Burlesque" Stella Chuu, performing her act entitled "The Darkest Corners of the Internet," which is her homage to the infamous website 4chan.org and the notorious Internet meme it popularized; "Pedobear." The opening song is Florence + The Machine's "Girl With One Eye" with Oingo Boingo's "Little Girls" accompanying the Pedobear part at the end.

Besides being a burlesque performer, Stella, a New Yorker, is a very high profile cosplayer and pin-up model, often appearing at comic and game conventions for fans to meet. As of this writing, her website is still under construction but you can see plenty more of her at her Facebook fan page and countless other sites all over the net.

What would have been Brenna Roth's interview

Just because the interviewee never gets back to me after agreeing to an interview, is no reason to let my good and pertinent questions go to waste. So, here's my half of what would have been my interview with actress and model Brenna Roth. I contacted Brenna through a Facebook message on April 16, 2012 about an interview here, to which she replied "For sure. Email me at (e-mail address) xoxo blr" [sic].

I e-mailed her Brenna my questions. She never replied to them. No surprise, her loss, and chalk up another for the "Incomplete Interviews" file. At left is where the lead photo of Brenna would have been with credits to the photographer and, as always, a good lead-in here.

July 2015 Addendum: After seeing this, apparently for the first time, over two years later, Brenna responded and that can be seen at the end of this half-interview.

Sexy Taiwanese Quintet Does the Harlem Shake

One never knows what the next Internet meme is going to be or why it catches on and spreads like wildfire, but sooner or later, there will probably be a sexy Asian version of it. (Take for instance, this adaptation of the inanely popular "Charlie Bit My Finger." )

In the case of one of the latest memes, the ever viral "Harlem Shake," we have the above performance by five outrageously hot Taiwanese babes. The ladies are; Ting Ting ("Little Red Grinding Hood"), Xuan Xuan (stretching out with the leg up high), DJ Alyshia .L (working the black lingerie), Natasha Liang (the gyrating girl with the butterfly tattoo), and Cookie Wu (joggling the juggs). Oh, and you don't have to wait for the two solo performances that are "coming soon" because Alyshia's is here and Natasha's, here.

Judy Cerda in American Horrible Story

In this scene from Jason Salazar's comedy-horror short American Horrible Story, Judy Cerda plays a realtor who's very up front with details about the house she's selling. The film was produced by Beyond Forever Studios and you can see it in its entirety at their Youtube channel. Also check out Judy as Hollywood agent Amelia Orange in Salazar's web series The Uploaders, another Beyond Forever production. For those wondering; the large and lovely Georgian-style house the above scene was shot in, is located in San Francisco ....which means the price tag on it is even larger than the house itself. See my June, 2011 interview with Judy here.

How to Survive a Horror Film with Traycee King

Here's Traycee King's fifth tip in her How to Survive a Horror Film series, and it's a good one. Simply never be a sexy blonde with blue eyes who dresses like a slut, like actress Rebecca Denise winningly portrays here (even though I think her eyes are actually hazel). The video series is produced by Tracee's own Kitty Quilt Productions and you can check out the other tips in the series at the website and the Youtube channel. Also stay tuned here for (hopefully) an exclusive interview with Traycee in the near future.

See more of Traycee and her work at:

Lucy Liu Does Saturday Night Live

As an avid Saturday Night Live fan, I'm a pretty good authority as to who the more memorable (and forgettable) cast members have been and which hosts and musical guests have shined (and stunk) over the years. After watching the show the other night (and dubbing Cecily Strong the hottest female SNL cast member ever), I did some research and, just as I thought; in SNL's 38-year history, the show has never had an Asian cast member and has had only one Asian female host, who was Lucy Liu, well over a decade ago. Above is Lucy's opening monolog from her December 16th, 2000 appearance as host. Since she was the first Asian female to ever host SNL, it wasn't surprising that she capitalized on that fact by using some Asian stereotypes to bring out the laughs.

Artwork by Karina Dale

Several months ago, while doing research on pinup model Inkerbella, for her feature here, I made sure to note the artists' signature beneath the illustrations I saw of Bella at her website. That brought me to Portland, Oregon-based artist Karina Dale.

Karina's illustrations initially bring to mind (my mind, anyway) the classic pinup artwork that graced the noses of famous World War II fighter planes like "Memphis Belle," "Dauntless Dotty," and "Diamond Lil," not to mention the traditional Sailor Jerry tattoo designs. However, Karina's renderings of her models are more refined. In her own words, Karina says; "I draw real people, of all shapes and sizes, and believe that beauty is in real life all around you." Many of the models she chooses are modern-day burlesque performers, such as Violette Beretta (shown at left), and pinup models, such as the aforementioned Inkerbella and the iconic Masuimi Max.

If you're in the Pacific Northwest, you can see Karina's talent showcased at any of her shows she presents in and around Portland. You can also see them in her book; PDX Gorgeous: The Art of Karina Dale, available at Amazon.com. To see her latest interview, along with a few more samples of her artwork, just click the link to read and view more.

Frances Manzo

I wrote a piece just last month on Frances Manzo's latest film project, Redlight Kate, which is still in pre-production. Even though tackling the role of producer is still fairly new to Frances, she's no newbie when it comes to show biz. In fact, she has some pretty impressive credentials, particularly as a dancer, with a resume that includes working with the likes of Mitzi Gaynor, Britney Spears, and Destiny's Child (back when people still realized there were two other girls in the group besides Beyonce).

Obviously not one to procrastinate, Frances eagerly agreed to an interview with me and her detailed and prompt replies to my questions impressed me, considering her very busy schedule and how many irons she has in the fire. Also a talented singer and songwriter, she's a former member of the Los Angeles-based girl group Darling Stilettos, and has recently released her first single entitled "MJ's Coursing." Her first album is also in the works. As I write this, her latest co-authored song, "Long Way Down," will be featured on the episode of CSI:NY that airs tonight (February 8th) on CBS. Check your local listings. (Above photo by J. Blair Images)

WTF with Bianca Barnett

I know it's too late to be featuring a Christmas-themed piece and way past the Halloween season for a horror-themed one, but this is the latest and last episode of the first season of the fright film review show, WTF with Bianca Barnett. (It stands for "watch these films" and yes, of course; at first, I thought it stood for "what the fuck" like I'm sure most of you did.) This one posted on Christmas Eve and here Bianca gives her review of the 1980 Yuletide slasher flick, Christmas Evil

The online syndicated show has become quite popular and is carried on Apple iTunes and several websites such as Horror Palace, where you can find all season 1 episodes on video and podcast. To learn more about the 2011 Golden Cob award-winning Scream Queen, check out her website and my August, 2011 interview with her, which is the best interview with Bianca on the net, despite what others may claim.

Frances Manzo as Redlight Kate

October 2014 Author's Addemdum: Redlight Kate's funding campaign fell short of meeting its goal and the above trailer is no longer publicly viewable. While the film project has not been officially cancelled, it has been indefinitely shelved. If  and when it resumes production, this article will again be updated.

The above teaser for the yet-to-be-completed indie drama Redlight Kate, stars Frances Manzo, who also wrote and produced the film. The song "Suffer, Kate" (no, not "Suffocate") is by Los Angeles-based band, Maudlin Strangers. The supporting cast includes Monique Dupree and Melanie Robel, two ladies who've already made names for themselves in the independent film industry. In fact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Melanie for this site last year.

Redlight Kate has a campaign at IndieGogo.com, a site developed to help raise funds for various projects, most of which are in the performing arts. Check it out to see what your support for this film will get you in return. Frances also has a strong dance background and has worked with and choreographed some pretty big names. Check her Now Casting resume and her IMDb listing to see just who they've been.

Annette Lawless

News reporter Annette Lawless has been with WJW Fox 8 in Cleveland for the last two years, after moving there from her native Kansas, where her heart still seems to be. The Kansas State alumna and die hard Wildcats fan, has recently branched out into acting, which is how I first noticed her. Annette plays the vilianess "Pandora" in the upcoming action fantasy film Lady Dragon, written and produced by Kristina Michelle.

Besides covering news stories for Fox 8 and her acting gigs, Annette co-hosts the podcast show Hottie and the Jerk, is a wiz in the kitchen and an experienced bowler, recently scoring a 238. She's also very knowledgeable about the best places to eat in Cleveland (and you owners whose restaurants she's given praise to here, should show her your gratitude). Learn more on Annette in my following interview with her. For those who haven't heard of her before; you'll probably someday remember seeing her here first, before she became a famous actress, cooking show host, or pro bowler, depending on which path she takes.

Soo Yeon Lee for Target

This recent Target commercial for Nature Made prenatal vitamins is entitled "Ravenous" and features actress, model, and world class table tennis player, Soo Yeon Lee, portraying a pregnant lady who's in a frenzy to satisfy her hunger cravings ....or just to make a mess in her kitchen. Said Soo Yeon (who was not actually pregnant here) of this role: "It was good practice to be a pregnant woman." See more of her at her official website.

Tiffany Apan's Driving Nowhere

November 2020 Author's Addendum: The below trailer for Driving Nowhere, as well most of the media related to the film, has long been removed from public access online. To find out if the film is available from any source, I suggest you contact Tiffany through her official website (link below).

The above trailer for the soon-to-be-released supernatural thriller Driving Nowhere, features Tyffani Richards, Heidi Engel, and Tiffany Apan. The short film has gotten some very favorable reviews from fans and critics at the indie film festivals it's shown at, and even won the award for Best Horror Short Script at the 2012 International Indie Gathering Film Festival. Tiffany Apan, who, in addition to starring in the movie, wrote and directed it, is also a talented singer and musician. Learn more about her at her official website.
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