Interviews: Actress Stacey Danger Talks About The Stoner Slasher Movie 4/20 Massacre

Stacey Danger talks 4/20 Massacre

Suspense, smoke and spine-tingling chills are on the menu when horror icon Jamie Bernadette and Justine Wachsberger, star of the Divergent series, face a 4/20 Massacre.

The first-ever “stoner slasher” movie pits today’s hottest young stars against cinema’s next iconic movie monster in a frightening and funny comedy-thriller released just in time for the “The Official Holiday” for weed enthusiasts.

From writer/director Dylan Reynolds comes the story of five women who go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over the 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana growing operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.

Jamie Bernadette (I Spit on Your Grave: Déjà Vu, Killing Joan), Vanessa Rose Parker (Samurai Cop 2), Justine Wachsberger (Divergent), Stacey Danger (Jean-Claude Van Johnson), Marissa Pistone (Raze), Jim Storm (Dark Shadows), Mark Schroeder (Pretty Little Liars) Jim Round, Drew Talbert and James Gregory star in a Dylan Reynolds film.

It will be released on VOD and DVD 4/3 from Film Chest. In addition to its DVD and VOD release, Dylan Reynolds’ 4/20 Massacre will also now get a theatrical release in Los Angeles from 4/20.

The film premieres 4/20 this April at California Institute of Abnormalarts, 11334 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, California 91601. The premiere is open to the public and more details can be found here. Following the premiere, the movie will screen at select times over the next week.

Inhale. Exhale. Scream.

We had the opportunity to talk to actress Stacey Danger about the film.

TMS: I watched the movie earlier this week and totally loved it, so I was really excited to get to do this interview.

SD: Oh my god, thank you so much! It's really fun, it’s such a fun movie!

TMS: So fun! Honestly, I'm a horror junkie, I've encountered a lot of direct-to-DVD horror that was just god awful, unwatchable, and I was so pleasantly surprised by 4/20 Massacre. It's a little gem. And I loved your character; Donna is fantastic.

SD: I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

TMS: What got you interested in acting, is it something you've always done?

SD: Yeah, I actually remember my first acting, if you could call it that, I was on stage for my church's Christmas performance, and I was immediately hooked standing up there. I couldn't have been more than four or five years old, and after that, any opportunity I had. I'm from a really small town, so there weren't a lot of opportunities, but any time something came up, I was always down to act or perform in any way possible.

TMS: How did you get involved in this project? Did you just hear stoner-slasher and think "Hell yeah, that's me!" How did you become Donna?

SD: I actually know (co-star) Vanessa (Rose Parker) through previous work, and I met her husband and knew he was a writer/director and they had mentioned the possibility of reading for this character. It came and went and I didn't hear much about it for a long time and we all grew as friends, then one day, out of the blue, a couple of years later, I got a call "Hey, would you want to come do a table read, we'd love to have you read for the role of Donna." And I thought, okay, sure, I'm always down to read a script and help some friends out, so they sent it to me and I read it immediately and was so in love with her and felt an immediate comradery with Donna. You always hope, going into a table read, that they have you in mind for the role, but you never want to assume that, and when they called and offered me the role, it was just the greatest feeling ever. To actually connect to a role and character and just know that it's you and it couldn't be anyone else. And then who would turn down an opportunity to work with some of their friends, you know?

TMS: Absolutely! That's awesome. And it leads into my next question. One of the things I loved about Donna is that she was kind of like every stoner girl stereo type rolled into one, in the best way possible. None of it was overdone, she has a conspiracy theorist side and observes 4/20 traditions, all that stuff. Do you relate to any of those tropes that she exemplified?

SD: *Laughs* A few of them yes, a few of them no. Surprisingly, I have never been stoned, but not for lack of trying. I'm one of those people where substances affect me differently. So, especially leading up to Donna, I really wanted that experience because I wanted to portray that as true and grounded as possible and it just wasn't working. But, I have friends who are creative and partake regularly and they're very active and productive people and so, a lot of her, I just found inspiration in a couple of friends of mine, by watching them and listening to them and one friend, in particular, who's big into the conspiracy theories, I'm just so enamored by what he really, truly believes in, and that he believes in some of these things with full conviction and I loved that. As far as having to do things, right at the moment, and being a traditionalist, that I definitely relate to a lot. I'm a big celebrator, I'm a big fan of doing things in a way to commemorate specific moments that mean something, I'm a sentimentalist at heart so that definitely is a big part of me.

TMS: I never would've guess that you'd never been stoned. You nailed it.

SD: Oh, good! *laughs*

TMS: You mentioned that doing 4/20 Massacre, you were working with friends. The chemistry was so obvious and visible, it really seemed like you all got along, how was the atmosphere on the set, was it just one big party?

SD: We were very easy on our partying, we were all very, very professional. Cast, crew, everyone. But we had so much fun together. It's a true gem when you get to work with people you immediately connect with and find comradery with. Especially with a large group of women, who are staying together in the woods for two weeks with one bathroom. *laughs* So, yeah, it can always go either way, but thankfully, what you always hope for is professionalism, no matter what, and we just hit the jackpot with all five of the women, and everyone that we worked with everyone who was out there together for production just got along extremely well. Everyone did their jobs and respected everyone else's jobs and their process, which, really helped the atmosphere.

TMS: I love hearing girl-power stories. That's awesome.

SD: Absolutely, especially where Hollywood is now, and where it's going, I could not be prouder to be in a female led ensemble cast and to be able to say, wholeheartedly, we had a phenomenal time together.

TMS: That's so great to hear. So, are you a horror fan? Did you grow up watching horror movies?

SD: Yes and no. I grew up around the original Halloween films, and was there for Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but I never strayed too far off the beaten path from what my friends were seeing in theaters, because I scare easily and I grew up in the woods. When I saw Wrong Turn, I decided this is a little too real for me, and when you're home alone at night, miles out of town, with just you and the chirps from the woods coming from outside your door, you tend to watch more comedy and lighthearted films. *laughs*

TMS: Understandable! You mentioned Halloween, do you have a favorite scream queen or final girl? Or some iconic role that you would like to portray, if there was a remake, say?

SD: A remake, man, I mean Jamie Lee Curtis is queen throughout. I was thrilled when she was on the series Scream Queens, because it was such an ode to her early days, and she can do no wrong. I'm so in love with her.

TMS: And that was a great role, talking about girl power or female empowerment, she was this young girl, kicking ass and staying alive. So, that rolls into the whole thing too! So, are you more focused on the acting aspect of film, have you done any writing or directing? Is it something you want to pursue?

SD: I'm definitely interested. I write, but I haven't brought anything to screen yet. I love acting, it just brings me alive like nothing else, but I'm also a business minded person, so the production aspect calls my name. I also do other things, I do comedy. I recently became a stand-up comic, as well, so I just really love to entertain and tell stories, so whatever that ends up being for me in the future, is alright with me.

TMS: Awesome! That's really cool. Have you been performing your comedy live in the Los Angeles area?

SD: I have! I've done a few shows at The Ice House, which is one of the country's oldest comedy clubs, so I've been cutting my teeth there and I really love it! I love, again, it's just another aspect of storytelling and writing and it brings out the creative force, and everyone loves a good laugh.

TMS: What do you have up next? Are you going to be focusing mainly on comedy? Do you have any films that you're working on right now?

SD: I'm focusing a good bit on comedy, but I'm definitely going to dive way more into film. We just finished pilot season here, everything goes, in LA, fairly seasonal still, so my team is always out there looking for the next opportunity. I just kind of go with the flow with all of it.

TMS: That's a great way to look at it. Especially in such a cut throat business, to be so relaxed and particular is really great.

SD: You have to be open.

TMS: Right! Have you done any promotion for 4/20 Massacre, is there a premiere?

SD: There is! It's going to be on...4/20! Which is awesome, so the premiere is in North Hollywood, and we're getting all the details ready for that, we just launched the poster, so we're now in party planning mode.

TMS: I really hope, I feel like this movie could become a cult classic, it seems like everything is lining up for that.

SD: Thank you for saying that!

TMS: Where can our readers see it?

SD: So the film is coming out on VOD and Amazon on April 3rd, and then the premiere is open, so if anyone wants to fly to LA, as far as I know, it's an open party!

TMS: I mean, it's still cold and rainy and snowy in Detroit, so you might have some takers! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us!

SD: Thank you so much for wanting to interview me! And for being a cheerleader for the film. We poured our love into this, so we appreciate it!