Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Hacked in Head was EXTREMELY excited to chat with PJ Woodside, a force in indie horror that just keeps getting stronger and stronger with each passing year. PJ and her work partner Steve Hudgins (Interview here) make up the formidable Big Biting Pig Productions - a Kentucky based film company who have consistently delivered an exceptional horror/thriller movie (or more) each year for the past several.

Read on for a great interview with the lady herself and if you don't know much about Big Biting Pig at this point - head off and educate will NOT regret it. 

Pssssst. Big Biting Pigs brand new movie Lucid has also received its official premiere date:


PJ on the left...but you knew that...right?

Hacked in the Head: Hi PJ! Honoured to feature you on the site, truly. So as most readers will know you ARE Big Biting Pig Productions along with Steve Hudgins. What's that like for you? Growing in popularity year by year with one great horror/thriller release after another must be pretty wonderful?

PJ Woodside: It IS wonderful to be growing year by year, and we’re hoping to make another leap in growth with the release of our next movie, Lucid, which features Bill “Leatherface” Johnson of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 fame. The truth is, we’ve always been a grass-roots kind of production company. We have so many fans because they like the movies and because they feel they own a piece of them. We’re sort of the “hometown band making a name” equivalent of movie-making. With each movie we gain a larger and larger fan base, in addition to winning awards and receiving national recognition. But we never forget our local support -- it keeps us grounded.

Hacked in the Head: Could you tell us a bit more about the upcoming BBP movie Lucid, on which you write and direct? It sounds very very intriguing.

PJ: Lucid is the story of a woman with increasingly disturbing and violent dream who consults a famous sleep therapist, hoping for some answers. As you might guess, the answers she gets turn out to be twisted and dark -- we are, after all, a horror and thriller production company.

I have always had vivid dreams, sometimes lucid ones where I’m aware I’m dreaming, and in the last ten years I’ve become a sleepwalker/talker as well. Some of my quite vivid and violent dreams are the basis of this script. When I talk about the night terrors I have, people try to attribute them to the fact that we make horror movies. However, I started having dark and twisted dreams far before we started making movies, so I would have to say the cause and effect relationship is the other way around: I make dark and twisted movies because I have a dark and twisted mind.

Lucid is our most ambitious movie to date. It moves in and out of the main character’s subconscious landscape at a faster and faster pace. It was fun to make but at the same time challenging. More than once I had to remind myself that the script made sense in totality, even though on the set from day to day it seemed pretty crazy. We had a great time with Bill Johnson (“Leatherface” from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) on set. He plays PawPaw, a rather unpleasant relative of the main character. I get chills watching some of his takes.

Hacked in the Head: Wow. Lucid sounds fantastic - cannot wait to see it later on in the year!

Going back in time a couple of years, The Creepy Doll remains one of my very favourite indie horror films. It was so well written and acted and the story just sucks you right in. The climax was also brilliant and without giving anything away there is a shot of the doll towards the end which was in turns scary, unpredictable and jaw dropping. I didn't see it coming as everything that had come prior to that scene was so purposefully ambiguous. What inspired you to make a film about a potentially haunted toy? Considering the final scene of the film do you see a possible continuation of the story in the future?

PJ: Thanks, Mark! It means alot to me when people like my movies because I spend SO much time working on character and thematic elements -- they matter more to me than almost anything else. I actually got the idea for The Creepy Doll because of the doll-maker, Susan Andrews, who had a table next to ours at a convention. I was a little freaked out by her “Paranormal Babies” at first, but over the course of the weekend they kind of grew on me. (You can see her work at We also watched her selling them left and right as other people had the same reaction we did. She seemed interested in providing dolls for us to work with, and that planted the seed. If you watch The Creepy Doll carefully, you will actually see three distinct doll heads. The subtle changes lend a lot to the viewer’s sense that something is not right, either about the doll or the woman, or both.

I haven’t thought about a sequel to The Creepy Doll, but there certainly is room for one. I developed the script for it differently than my others, which usually come from a situation rather than a prop. The backstory of the doll is complex enough. However, we’re not usually interested in sequels of movies, even our own, and have enough original ideas to keep us busy for a while.

Hacked in the Head: That's fair enough PJ - but know if you do ever decide to make a sequel I will be first in line to see it!

Not too long ago you decided to start your own blog 'This Old Bitch Makes Horror Flicks'. Congrats on a great name AND a great blog. For anyone who hasn't yet had a chance to check it out (DO!) it's a funny, well written and insightful look into indie film making. What made you decide to start the site up PJ?

PJ: My first love (and my degree) is in writing. I actually began my career as a fiction writer, poet, and essayist -- though not a very successful one. The movie production schedule keeps me busy, but I found myself wanting to say something more direct about it once in a while, particularly about the role of women in the movie business. I had heard my husband talking recently about the importance of a memorable blog name, and that’s when “this old bitch” was born. It gives me an outlet for my own personal voice, my ideas, my experiences. I’m always looking for topics of interest to other people, so feel free to look me up and make some suggestions!

Hacked in the Head: I loved your blog entry about working with Steve. Its very funny and allowed readers a window into the movie making process. Has there always been a bit of an assumption that whichever of the two of you writes and directs, the other has nowhere near as much to do? I loved that you have pointed out its still a full team effort regardless :)

PJ: I think the worst assumption is that somehow Big Biting Pig is Steve’s work and I’m just secondary. Anyone who knows us knows we are a team, and that the total impact is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. Everyone who participates in our movies is part of the process, to be sure, and there are folks we have come to rely on a lot in their various roles. However, I cannot imagine that either Steve or I would have the kind of success we do if we hadn’t teamed our efforts from the beginning. Over the years we have worked out a system of checks and balances to make sure we use all our strengths and avoid pitfalls, plus keep each other on track. We trust each other’s judgment implicitly. We sometimes disagree, but we have a common goal and that is what we put above all else.

Hacked in the Head: I also understand you are a Teacher as well as a film maker? Tell me more, tell me more! I would have LOVED to have a teacher involved in horror movies when I was a kid...I may have actually enjoyed school if that was the case!!

PJ: In getting my graduate degrees, a Masters in English and an MFA in fiction, I received fellowships that included teaching freshman English classes. That experience has kept me in part-time jobs. I currently teach and tutor part-time at a community college. It’s not really very exciting. I would prefer to teach acting and theater but I don’t have the right degrees for that.

Hacked in the Head: That's great! It must be really rewarding and maybe one day you will get the qualifications you need to really follow your teaching dream!

I understand also that horror was never really your 'chosen path'. I find that really interesting as you do it so well. You may be less inclined on the out and out horror story like Steve but the psychological stuff is just as scary. Could you ever see yourself writing a full on slasher film or something similar?

PJ: I’m not sure I would go for a full-out slasher film. I’m much more interested in the inner creepiness -- I like to say that Steve is the creepy and I’m the crazy. I’ve always been more interested in character-driven stories, and particularly in exploring women’s roles. Any plot that can take the stereotypical female character and make her real and interesting and dangerous is probably up for my consideration. 

Hacked in the Head: What would PJ Woodside doing if she wasnt making awesome movies over at Big Biting Pig Productions?

PJ: Acting more and probably trying to get a novel published.

Hacked in the Head: I wondered if maybe you might be keen to delve into some more acting? You gave an amazing performance in last years Spirit Stalkers and its made we want to see more of you on screen!

PJ: Thanks so much! I was quite nervous about the role in Spirit Stalkers, as I knew it would be emotionally demanding, but after the first day on set I realized I was up for the challenge. You’ll get to see me again soon, so you’ll get your wish -- I have a very interesting role in Lucid. (Do you recognize me in the production stills?)

I love acting. I’d done some acting and directing back in grad school, and had just returned to it when I met Steve. We met while doing a play in 2005.

I truly believe writing, acting, directing, and video editing are all closely related -- they all must tell a story and engage the audience. Each of these informs the other for me. I cannot imagine directing actors without having the experience of acting in your own background. I know people who do it, but being actors ourselves gives us so much more insight into what works and what doesn’t.

I would love to have a role in a movie that’s not for Big Biting Pig Productions -- just to work with another director and other actors, and not have so many other hats to wear at the same time. With my busy schedule I just haven’t had time to get a portfolio together and go to auditions. But I’m up for it. Anyone out there?

Hacked in the Head: Get in touch with PJ people NOW! Finally PJ, is there anything further you wish to share with readers?

PJ: Just that if you haven’t already done so, you can find all the Big Biting Pig Productions info at these locations:

And more about PJ’s Productions (non-horror sister company) here:

And the blog is here:

Hacked in the Head: Thank you again for agreeing to interview with Hacked in the Head!

PJ: Thank you, Mark! So cool to have fans on the other side of the ocean!

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