Bloody Bridget - Anastasia Elfman Ket Art
Elfmaniac Media

While covering the 2024 Make Believe Seattle Film Festival, we screened Richard Elfman’s Bloody Bridget, starring Anastasia Elfman as the lead. The story follows Bridget, a burlesque dancer given a second chance at life after being transformed into a Valentine vampire by Haitian voodoo deity Baron Samedi. She embraces her new role by feeding on the hearts of scummy, abusive men (and one deserving woman).

As we mentioned in our review, Bloody Bridget is gloriously campy, with solid performances, entertaining effects, and well-written characters. We were thrilled to speak with Richard and Anastasia about their film, which is now awaiting release. Be sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram for updates and festival screenings.

Horror Geek Life: Maman Brigitte is such a fascinating folkloric figure. How did you decide to adapt her story into a film?

Richard Elfman: When I was 15, I heard a 1950s recording of Celia Cruz, a famous Black Cuban singer. The album was Homenaje a los Santos—”Homage to the Saints”—the “saints” being Yoruban deities from West Africa. BANG!! Afro-Latin percussionist, my passion at age 15, started playing professionally at 20, and I am still in a band. Getting deep into the music entails getting deep into the culture.

In Haitian religious folklore, Baron Samedi, the deity of Life and Death, is married to a red-haired Celtic goddess from Ireland, Brigitte… later canonized as St. Brigitte of Ireland. Anyway, that was a great start.

Bloody Bridget - Jean Charles as Baron Samedi
Elfmaniac Media

HGL: The film went all out, with elaborate visual effects, gore, and even a musical number! Was getting everything from the script to the screen you wanted challenging?

Richard Elfman: Are you kidding? Challenge? A salmon swimming upstream has it easier than Richard Elfman. Anastasia and I totally self-funded this chingadera with a mortgage and credit cards. Kind of a pirate operation with friends, fans, and family. Shot with two cameras over two weeks—the fastest I’ve ever worked. Fortunately, I had a great cast and crew.

DP Howard Wexler and I have worked together for 25 years and dance like Fred and Ginger (I guess I’m Ginger). Post took a year with tech friends moonlighting. Veteran editor Andrew Kasch and a TON of special effects by Emmy-winning Kevin Kutchaver. Music brudder Danny and band-mate Ego Plum, currently Hollywood’s hottest animation composer. And hell, Anastasia, the ultimate trooper, is in every scene, helping other crew between takes. But we did it!

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HGL: Anastasia, as I mentioned in my review, you were an absolute delight to watch. You appear to have a wonderful time playing Bridget.

Anastasia Elfman: So kind, thank you! I was actually having the time of my life! Staring in a Richard Elfman original horror comedy surrounded by talented friends and family, plus getting to rip the beating hearts out of several naughty boys? Come on, does it get better than that?!

I’m a mega monster kid and horror freak at heart, so anytime I get to be covered in blood and tear into an insane scene, I’m happy.

Bloody Bridget - Anastasia Elfman BTS_ed
Elfmaniac Media

HGL: Do you have a favorite scene?

Anastasia Elfman: Yes! My favorite scene was the scum bag lawyer’s kill. We shot that at our friend and producer Brian Yuzna’s house. Adam J. Smith was such a killer actor and supportive scene partner. He really made that chase scene fun! Not to mention, performing those scenes in front of horror icon Brian Yuzna was both exhilarating and a bit nerve-wracking, as I’m a huge fan of his work.

If you can imagine, every time I went around the corner chasing Adam, I’d see Brian enjoying wine in his kitchen and waving. Or when we were in the den and I go in for an initial vampire bite, I’d see Brian smiling ear to ear! It’s moments like this that I have to pinch myself as a horror fan.

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HGL: I’ll bet! As Bridget, you epitomized everything I love about feminism. You decide what to do with your body and fight to protect women. It’s a comedic character, but did you feel feminism rush through you?

Anastasia Elfman: Oh, definitely. Besides liking this guy—I’m a huge fan of his work in general, and he’s pretty cute—that’s a big reason why I focus on doing a lot of horror. That’s where the fun roles are for women. I get to play weird, fun, intense characters. I’m not just somebody’s girlfriend or sister or something like that. I get to have fun.

I wanted regular Bridget to have a distinction between her normal side and then her demon side, so that was fun. Personally, I’m a big sister and a mom. So, I always wanted to take care of everybody. Even on set, I was taking care of people by making sure everybody was okay. So yeah, a lot of that came through. I want Bloody Bridget to be pro-empowerment and, like, let’s get all the naughty boys because there’s a lot of them out there.

Bloody Bridget - Richard Elfman BTS
Elfmaniac Media

HGL: I had to take a few breaks throughout the musical number because I was laughing! Could you take us behind the scenes a bit?

Anastasia Elfman: The end musical number was a gigantic scene to film! Richard played the Devil and had major practical makeup appliances and a heavy costume to deal with while directing. Our choreographer, Lennon Hobson, and her demon dancers were also in massive masks and were total troopers.

We shot on a huge green screen stage, so I had no idea what our hellish landscapes would ultimately look like. Luckily, we had veteran VFX artist Kevin Kutchaver create the ultimate underworld that grounded our musical arbitration for Bloody Bridget’s soul!

HGL: The final scene is artistic as Bloody Bridget exacts her final revenge. How did the music and choreography all come together?

Richard Elfman: First of all, Anna is a classical cellist, and then a friend of ours, a world-renowned concert pianist, Christopher O’Reilly, played piano. Pepe (Marcos Mateo Ochoa) wasn’t playing the old piano there. I got a lot of visual ideas for music, and then Anna’s performance and her moves and all that were hers. So, the film is a collaborative medium.

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HGL: The film concludes with the confirmation of Bloody Bridget 2. Can you give us a little teaser of what we can expect?

Richard Elfman: Well, Bridget and Pepe are having a little threesome with Baron Samedi (Jean Charles). Meanwhile, down in Hell, the jealous Devil is watching on his laptop. He surprises them for a rather painful foursome. Bridget lodges a complaint with her yarmulked little people lawyers, Daniel Dershowitz (Rick Howland) and Daniel Dershowit Jr. (Evan Eckenrode). The Devil requires that the father and son go to Ireland and infiltrate the leprechauns to retrieve a sacred document.

“Oy, Dad! They’ll see the yarmulkes under our leprechaun hats!”
“Shut up and follow me…and watch the Brooklyn accent!!”

Elfmaniac Media

HGL: Well, I was hoping that the sequel would go even bigger, and with leprechauns, threesomes, and devil foursomes, I think it will!

Richard Elfman: We’re going to give them their money’s worth.

HGL: When will Bloody Bridget be available to audiences?

Richard Elfman: I don’t know. It’s completely self-financed, and we’re just having fun building word of mouth. At some point, we’ll do something with a distributor. We’re quirky and off-beat, not wanting to beat my own drum, but I’m a percussionist. Certain things I’ve done, I know will be around forever. Nothing’s ever exactly how you want it, particularly on a lower budget, but there were enough things done right. The music, the pacing, the story, the performances, and watching the audience’s reaction—I know that it’ll be around forever.


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