Blood and Black Tights:  An Interview with Horror Connoisseur and Clothing Designer Madeleine Boyne

 

The bay area has always been packed with underground collectors and archivists, but none have seem to dug as deep into their obsessions in an honest and passionate way  as SF based  horror-obsessive multi -genre artist and clothing designer Madeleine Boyne.  We  sat down and spoke with her about her love of the macabre and  current projects she’s working on.

 Welcome to Decaycast artist spotlight –  much of your work revolves around themes of horror and sci fi? Can you describe the origin of  your interests ?

 I was born with a love of the macabre and weird.  It must be a mutant gene I have. Even as a tiny little girl, I was obsessed with graveyards, witchcraft and horror movies.  I was asking my mom for black clothes in elementary school.  I think my parents were very confused.

Much of your visual work seems to revolve around horror,  what were  the  first three horror movies you saw and what stood  out about any one of them in  particular?

It’s hard for me to say what the first ones were.  I wasn’t seeing them in the theater but were but there were always old black and white horror films on TV in Hawaii where I grew up so classics like Dracula and Frankenstein as well as old Hammer horror stuff or films with Vincent Price. For some reason Les Diaboliques played a bunch on late night TV and that was probably my introduction to more art house horror.  I also saw Carnival of Souls as a kid and that completely freaked me out.  I still have a very soft spot for Carnival of Souls and of course the soundtrack by Gene Moore.

 

Spending a couple of hours with Umberto Lenzi was like standing near a supernova.

Huge supposition coming here, why are soundtracks so important to you in horror and what are you’re all time desert island selections and why ?

I feel like the soundtrack can make or break any film and there is something so delicious about a really creepy soundtrack.  The first soundtrack I fell in love with was Alain Goraguer’s score for The Fantastic Planet.  It was another one I caught on TV as a kid and I remember being really preoccupied with the music afterwards. So that one had better be on the island with me.  I wouldn’t want to be without some Ennio Morricone so maybe Lizard in a Woman’s Skin and Vergogna Schifosi. Those are two of my favorites out of a few hundred favorites. I love Alessandro Alessandroni’s Devil’s Nightmare and Alberto Baldan Bembo’s Nude for Satan so both of those.  Another Italian composer I love is Piero Piccioni and in particular the soundtrack for Camille 2000 which is actually more of a, shall we say, sensual film.  Also, Carlo Rustichelli’s soundtrack for Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace.  How is that for a pile of sleazy listening on the on the tropical island? This list could go on and on and then we’d be talking about an island of vinyl!

What was the most impactful scene in any  film you’ve ever seen?

So hard to say!  There are so many films and scenes I come back to over and over again.  I will say that overall the work of Mario Bava probably feels most impactful to me.  Something about the pools of color and exquisite details juxtaposed with violence speaks to me like nothing else.

Can I tell you a little Mario Bava related story while I’m thinking of him?  The last time I was in Rome, I decided to make a pilgrimage his grave and Google told me he is laid to rest at Cimitero Flaminio.  So I got this big bouquet of flowers and headed over there.  Being such a Bava fan, I tend to think everyone else is on the same page and so somehow I thought there would be signage “This way to Mario Bava!”  But it was this massive expanse of a cemetery with no maps at all.  So I was wandering around in this place with my armload of flowers for ages and I finally found a little office with, like, seven guys sitting around it it – one behind a computer and six of them probably maintenance.  So I walk in, this boho American woman with a armload of flowers and tell them in broken Italian, “Per favore, dov’è Mario Bava?  Ho bisogno di visitare Mario Bava?”  – I NEED to visit Mario Bava!  And these guys were like, “A WOMAN NEEDS OUR HELP!” and there was all this energy in the room and they were all talking and the guy behind the computer was searching away and then suddenly he stopped and said, “Mario Bava, il regista horror?” and it got quiet. Hell yeah, that’s who I’m looking for…….  Ultimately, no one could figure out where his grave was but they gave me a little map and I found that Sergio Corbucci was buried there so I went and put the flowers on his grave.  So in conclusion, if anyone knows the final resting place of Mario Bava, let me know because I need to visit him.

Can you talk a little bit about your clothing line and what inspired it?

My background is in art and about 8 years ago I did this whole series of graphite drawings of mutant animals, Siamese twins and such.  My friend Ms Momos Cheeskos suggested I silkscreen these on clothing. I think she actually said,  “Those would be great on panties!” 

Anyway, I took her suggestion and started silk screening them on t-shirts.  This led to a natural progression to putting images from films on shirt, bags and leggings.  I still want to do a line of women’s under garments.  Can you image?  Leatherface lace trimmed bustiers…..

 

Sounds fantastic. Any upcoming projects your excited about and would like to talk about ?

Yes!  As always I’m working on new designs for the clothing line and currently I’m thinking about stuff for kids and brides.  Gotta have sinister stuff for the little ones and weddings!

A lot of people were familiar with my soundtrack show bunnywhiskers  on Radio Valencia and I’ve now moved over to New New World Radio out of Moscow.  I asked Grux if he wanted to name the new show and he christened it with the rather stunning name Fly Faced Necronomicones Served by Marziveined Vampires.  There are tons of really cool shows on the station and I’d suggest everyone listen in at https://nnwradio.com/

Also, I’ve had an ongoing project of adding to the documentation of the lives of the great maestros of Italian genre films. Over the last three years, I’ve interviewed Sergio Martino, Fabio Frizzi, Enzo Sciotti, Umberto Lenzi and Luigi Cozzi. Those are on my youtube page and my Radio Valencia podcast page.  I’m currently in the planning stages of returning to Italy to record more interviews.

I just want to close out on a little something about the Italian genre maestros. Meeting these guys that had devoted their entire lives to their art was such a privilege.  I’m gonna say something that really sounds California-esque  but there was kind of a light about them that I think comes from a lifelong commitment to art. Spending a couple of hours with Umberto Lenzi was like standing near a supernova.  So for anyone out there that is questioning whether a life in the ups and downs of art is worth it, I’d say go for it.  It will fill you with something intangible and bright, even if your thing is slasher and cannibal films.

Make sure to pick something up from her incredible ETSY STORE 

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