Who does not love Barbara Crampton? She’s a genre powerhouse, a woman in horror who has helped pave the way for female representation in the industry. Barbara started out strong in the 80s and has only grown in strength and talent while building an illustrious career that has shown no signs of slowing down. Currently, Barbara is starring in the Lovecraft-inspired thriller, Sacrifice. I caught up with Barbara last week, and we discussed the film, what she loves about the genre, what’s up next, and of course, horror movies.
PopHorror: Hi Barbara! How are you?
Barbara Crampton: I’m good, thank you! How are you?
PopHorror: I’m good, thank you. I watched Sacrifice a few days ago, and I thought it was great so I’m really excited to speak with you.
Barbara Crampton: Oh, thank you! I watched it last night again, too. I saw it about six months ago, and I thought I should revisit it. I enjoyed it!
PopHorror: Good! What intrigued you about Sacrifice, and made you want to be a part of the project?
Barbara Crampton: It has roots in folk horror, there’s a cult, and it feels very Lovecraftian, and there was just something about that that I haven’t ever really been a part of a movie like that before. The Wicker Man is one of my favorite movies of all time, and this felt very “Wicker Man-ish” to me. And also felt very Lovecraftian, so anything Lovecraftian even though it’s not based on any Lovecraft story per se, I always gravitate towards. The fact that our world is so big and we think that we can control it but really, we can’t. We’re very minuscule. There’s a lot of things about the movie that attracted me. Also, Sean Knopp, who is one of the producers, and I worked on a movie called Replace a number of years ago and we’ve stayed friends. He called me up as a friend and said, “I have this script and would you like to be in it?” And I feel like the more you’re in horror, the more that happens. People that you know reach out to you personally and see if you want to be a part of their films. That’s usually how it happens with me lately, is people I already know and I love Sean so I wanted to work with him again. And also I got to go to Norway!
PopHorror: That’s a plus!
Barbara Crampton: Location shooting is always awesome.
PopHorror: You’re such a huge horror icon and a fan favorite at conventions. We’ve met a few times, actually. What continues to draw you to the genre?
Barbara Crampton: At its core, horror is about empathy, and also being able to deal with situations where someone feels like they’re the outsider. A lot of horror fans feel like they’re outsiders. But also it gives us an opportunity to face our fears and I think that identifying with your main protagonist who overcomes something, it allows you to see yourself in that character, and feel like you too can be a survivor of whatever’s happening to that character on screen. I think that it prepares you, when you’re watching a horror movie, to feel like you can fight back and you can overcome things, and you too can win over whatever is oppressing you, whatever’s coming after you. I think it’s a genre that shows you that you can be brave.
PopHorror: I love that, a lot. I agree with you 100%. That was really fantastic, thank you. I know that Covid has stalled a lot of projects, and things have been canceled and pushed back, but what is next for you? Are you currently working on anything right now?
Barbara Crampton: I have Jakob’s Wife premiering at SXSW, which is going to be an online festival again this year. I think they were the first festival to do it online last year, and they have to do it again this year. Very excited about this project. I’ve been working on it for five years, developing the script and working with the production company, and trying to raise the money, and looking for a director. I was able to work with Travis Stevens on this, and he’s been a producer in the horror world for a very long time. We worked on We Are Still Here together.
PopHorror: Huge fans of Travis Stevens in this house!
Barbara Crampton: Yeah, right? It never occurred to me, really, to consider Travis for a director, but when his movie The Girl on the Third Floor came out it was right around the time we were looking for a director. Of course, we loved the movie, and we talked to him, and he said, “I want to make this movie with you guys! I love it and don’t talk to any other directors. I want this to be my next film!” And I nearly fell off my chair and cried because, you know, you get Travis Stevens on board, you’re getting more than just a director. You’re getting somebody who understands the genre inside and out. And with his wealth of knowledge and experience, I just knew it was going to be the dream realized that I hoped it would. The movie got into SXSW so we’ll see what happens. I’m very excited about that. And I also was able to work with Larry Fessenden in a bigger capacity on this movie. We worked together on We Are Still Here, as we did with Travis, but he has a very big role in this film and we don’t often get to see Larry as a leading man.
PopHorror: That’s true.
Barbara Crampton: We played husband and wife and we had so much screen time together so that was really fun for us. That happened this year. And also I’m one of the leads in a video game, of all things! Back 4 Blood. I was able to record that all this year, and that’s coming out in June.
PopHorror: That’s exciting!
Barbara Crampton: Yeah! I play kind of a badass zombie hunter and I get to shoot zombies. I have a little bit of history on that from Re-Animator. That was fun too.
PopHorror: One last question for you today, Barbara. What is your favorite scary movie?
Barbara Crampton: Well, I don’t know. Does it go back and forth for others like it does for me? I think, “Well this is my favorite movie,” and then “No, maybe it’s that one.” “I don’t know, maybe it’s this one.” There’s a few that I go back and forth with as being my top. Definitely, Rosemary’s Baby is right up there, and The Shining is up there. But also I feel like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the scariest movies of all time.
Don’t miss Sacrifice in select theaters on February 5, 2021, and On Demands on February 9. You can also pick up the Blu-ray on February 23.