63°F
weather icon Clear

City can’t escape its ties to horror

It’s almost Halloween. Little ghosts, goblins and ghouls will soon be out in full force as they try to leave a haunting impression on neighbors brave enough to hand out candy. While the tricks and treats will be in good spirit, there are two Hollywood actors with spooky connections to Boulder City’s own annual Dam Short Film Festival.

Actress, writer and producer Naomi Grossman is known for her monster-sized role as “Pepper,” a microcephalic woman, for the FX television series “American Horror Story.” Pepper has been the only character to repeatedly appear (17 episodes) in the Emmy award-winning TV show, allowing Grossman to spend two seasons co-starring alongside actors Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett. It was the actress’s ties to our city’s film festival, however, which helped launch her stage career in London.

Prior to her infamous role as Pepper for “American Horror Story,” which is described by CinemaBlend.com as “various bits of demented oddities” with some plot elements loosely inspired by true events, Grossman was a member of the famed Los Angeles sketch comedy troupe The Groundlings. Alumni of The Groundlings include Will Ferrell, Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph. Further, Grossman taught Spanish at The Playboy Mansion, but that’s another story for a different day.

During Grossman’s three-season run with the Dam Short Film Festival, she starred in April Wright’s film “My Boyfriend is a Blimp” (2010), wrote and appeared in “Touch My Junk” (2012) and wrote and starred in both “Wigga Pleaze” and “Yes” (both in 2013).

When I spoke with Grossman earlier this month, she had nothing but wonderful things to say about our film festival and its international reach. “This unassuming, little festival managed to yield some truly story-worthy times and lifelong friends, including the producer, who transferred my solo show to London’s West End. Who knew this small film festival could supercharge my stage career across the pond? The universe works in mysterious ways, which is why I never questioned; I just attended the Dam Short Film Festival,” she said.

Continuing Grossman’s theme to entertain and scare, the actress will be featured in a 2018 film titled “An Accidental Zombie (Named Ted).” The film is in post-production, but its trailer is available on YouTube.

Another Halloween Hollywood tie to Boulder City is actor, director and writer Trevor Zhou. With his film “The Waltz” quickly becoming a 2017 DSFF fan favorite, the actor took a script doctor writing job for a short horror movie titled “The Wrong One.” Zhou, who spent time during last year’s film festival exploring Boulder City with his favorite Coffee Cup mug in hand, transitioned from writing for “The Wrong One” to becoming the movie’s assistant director.

I am hoping “The Wrong One” premiers at the 2018 DSFF, but if it doesn’t, you can still catch Zhou playing the role of Cuong for the 2016 movie “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” starring Ben Affleck and Amy Adams. Zhou also has worked on various television shows, including “Law &Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Blacklist” and “Broad City.”

One more Hollywood horror tie on this Throwback Thursday is our very own Tom Devlin. Not only was he a contestant on the first season of “Face Off,” but Devlin has created creatures and makeup effects for more than 100 feature films and the 1990s television series “The X-Files.”

In fact, if you’re still looking for a last-minute Halloween costume, I encourage you to shop local and pay a visit to the Tom Devlin Monster Museum, 1310 Nevada Highway. Not only does the museum host an assortment of Halloween costumes, Devlin has created a special haunted house for the season. Tickets are $10, and the haunted house portion of the museum is open at 7 p.m. this Friday and Saturday.

Boulder City is always a wonderful place to celebrate the holidays, especially Halloween. I love living here because some of the ghosts, goblins and ghouls we see around town sometimes play major roles within the movie industry’s horror genre. We’re a unique city for many reasons, but our ability to scare up Hollywood talent never seems to disappoint.

Tanya Vece is an entertainment and music writer who resides and volunteers in Boulder City. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @hollywoodwriter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
City’s past, future tied to lake

Lake Mead, the gem in Boulder City’s backyard, is losing its gleam.

Set goals for community, as a community

As a not so closeted optimist, I like to think about those things I’ve succeeded in and, because I hate the word “failed,” those things that I haven’t succeeded in during the new year. This year I worked my butt off, I read a ton of books, I wrote a lot of stories, I had one published and few opinions posted here. I went to some cool places and met some incredible people and taught a few classes of amazing people.

Shift to even-year elections produces some oddities

Our newest City Council members, Sherri Jorgensen and Matt Fox, took office only six months ago. So, it might seem much too early to start talking about city elections again. But this year marks a major change in Boulder City’s election cycle: a shift from odd-year elections to even-year elections. In other words, past city elections were held in odd-numbered years (for example, 2017, 2019 and 2021), but beginning this year they’ll take place in even years (2022, 2024 and so on).

Stick it to me

I’m in heaven today. That’s because it’s National Sticker Day. It’s a day that I can happily pay tribute to one of my favorite obsessions: stickers.

Reid was true friend to city

Few people know of the genius of Sen. Harry Reid. I was fortunate to get to know him from my position as mayor and council member of Boulder City. He was available to Boulder City residents and the citizens of Nevada regardless of which party they were affiliated with. I consider him to have been a friend.

Resolve to avoid resolutions

A new year. A new you. Making New Year’s resolutions to improve yourself or your life is a tradition that dates back thousands of years.

Path to move forward clear

I want to wish all the residents of Boulder City a new year that brings better times and allows us to move beyond the challenges and struggles we have had in the past year and more. We are tired and frustrated from the pandemic that has caused hardship and, for many, personal loss.

Memories made as time flies by

There are only a few hours left in 2021 and I don’t know how the others passed so quickly. It seems the older I get, the faster days fly by.

‘Twas the baking before Christmas

A few years ago, many readers commented how much they enjoyed my column about holiday baking and requested that I make this an annual tradition. Though my holiday baking has since expanded into the entire month of December so that more family and friends can enjoy the fruits of my labor, the true spirit of the message remains. I promise to stay knee-deep in flour, sugar and spices, and wish all a sweet holiday season and new year.

Diversity more systemic than racism

We live in the greatest country in the entire world. It has many inequalities and a number of negative attributes, but these are an exception, not the norm.