A Conversation With Director Joe Begos And Actress Riley Dandy For The Film “Christmas Bloody Christmas”

By: Chris Hammond

This Holiday Season director Joe Begos releases an instant classic horror film Christmas Bloody Christmas. I recently had the pleasure of discussing the film with Joe Begos and actress Riley Dandy who plays Tori Tooms in the film.

The film is a neon-splattered film that casts a robotic Santa display that malfunctions and goes on a killing spree. For more information and my review of the film check out this post here.

Christmas Bloody Christmas is a genre-bending film mixing action, horror, and comedy altogether. Joe explains how he manages to keep the tone of the film while still keeping the sole plot in sight.

“Yeah, I don’t know it’s hard. I think it’s a testament to everybody kind of coming together. it’s a testament to I had my idea put on page and the actors understood. It’s a big thing in casting them being able to do these passionate ballads”
“It just comes down to everybody being on the same page and knowing exactly what kind of movie we’re making because the type of stuff I like is something where you can laugh and then you can f@3&in scream and then there’s a scene you can explain to your friends. Those are the types of movies I like to make and I like to see, so you know I try to put that into my movies. You know, never really a moment to breathe”

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

Riley Dandy as Tori Tooms is mesmerizing on screen. Begos explains how he went about casting her for the role
“Riley was one of six and those six I started working with and riffing with them and seeing who could react to certain things, or who could take the ball and riff with something. As we went further into that process, Riley was riffing on stuff that sounded like I would have written it and she had never really have met me.
I don’t think she knew that the character was very much inherently based on me. The way she was able to take that material and like I said move from being passionate about this to making you laugh to being seductive to being a F%$kin action star it was so good and I think she’s not a familiar face yet and I’m pretty confident she’s going blow up. Whether it’s from this movie or something in the near future. Not knowing who she is going into the movie adds a lot to that”

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

The score to the film is composed by Steve Moore who Begos used in many of his previous films. Joe explains why a score is important to a film and how it can make or break a film.

“It might sound ridiculous, but it can really make or break a movie. If you have a sh$%$y score if it doesn’t hit the right beats or it doesn’t like aesthetically integrate itself into the world or the vibe that you’re trying to give it can really F#$k with it”.

“Steve is somebody who’s like on the same page, has a lot of the same tastes and is extremely F@$kin talented and just you know elevates the scenes”.

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

Shifting gears a little when video chatting with Riley Dandy who plays Tori Tooms in the film. She explains if she knew the role was going to be so physical and emotional in nature.

” I think to an extent, yes, but then once you get to set and see the scale of everything we’re doing, I quickly was like oh sh$% this is special. Everything was so epic, every single day I got to work we did something different. I’m very grateful to Joe for writing a female character to have so much fun”

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

Sometimes actors bring aspects of their own personalities to their characters. Dandy shares if she is that different from the actual character of Tori Tooms.

“What’s funny is Joe and I have talked about this and I think I am more Tori than people realize. Just because of roles I’ve played in the past. There is a cynicism and a little bit of darkness to Tori that I do have inside of me that not many people get to see. There’s something super freeing about that and getting to explore that.”

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

Preparing for a role especially one with so much action might seem like a given, but Dandy explains if she did much prep work before shooting or not.

“No, so as far as the action stuff, I was pretty intent on like not really wanting to do a ton of training because I don’t think Tori would have really had a clue oh what she was doing. You know she chills at her record store and drinks whiskey and smokes weed. I think she gets away with it all because she’s scrappy and she figures out how to make it all work when she’s in survival mode. As far as like prep goes with all the nuanced pop culture references in the movie. That was a big part of my prep was like listening to music she would listen to and watching the movies she would watch, yeah I think that was my favourite part of prepping for the role”.

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

Riley Dandy is not a household name yet, but finding out what films and shows made her want to get into the entertainment industry was interesting to find out

“Oh, Well, I know that completely. To get into this industry the first movie I watched that really affected me was Eternal Sunshine (of the spotless mind), I just remember thinking that Clementine was so cool and then a lot of cartoons actually. Like, I feel like as a young person I shaped a lot of my personality off of cartoon characters. I think what got me into it was the idea of what different characters are. Like, the idea that not everyone is like me.”

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

Final Girl is a word that gets tossed around quite a bit, but Christmas Bloody Christmas is a film where Riley Dandy shows she is more than ready to take that title. Dandy explains how the final girl is a Bucket List goal of hers.

“That’s a big like bucket list tick for me is to be a final girl. I look at a list of final girls that exist and it’s a pretty amazing list to be on. I remember watching Ready or Not with Samara Weaving and so many people have talked about this movie and that movie in the same breath and that’s like a huge honour to me because I love that movie and I love her. So yeah, it’s pretty special”

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

Abraham Benrubi who some might recall from the Television shows Parker Lewis can’t lose and ER plays the role of Robo-Santa in the film. Dandy explains what type of interaction she had with him on set.

“When we were on set, the first couple of days I could tell he was trying to keep his distance, because you know we’re supposed to be. Everyone loved him and he was so cool that I like forced friendship on him because I just wanted him to like me. He’s incredibly talented and whenever Ab is on set everyone is in a really great mood. He’s this huge teddy bear of a man, umm he’s scary he can be scary. His psychical stature as well umm is helpful because anyone he talks to he makes feel “this” big.”

The full answer to this question can be heard below.

Shudder and RLJE Films will release CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS in Theaters and it will stream exclusively on Shudder on December 9, 2022. 

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