Interview with Jennifer Nangle: Horror Hostess Malvolia, Queen of Screams

Most of our readers will recognize Jennifer Nangle and her alter ego, Queen Malvolia, as they have haunted PopHorror indie coverage on numerous occasions. She’s even interviewed women in horror for us in her Madame of the Month series. From The Queen of Screams YouTube series to the horror hostess’ first anthology appearance in Scream Team Releasing’s 10/31 (read our review here), Nangle has gone on to win 18 awards and garnish 15 nominations. With performances in Hunter Johnson’s Irrational Fear (read our review here), Aaron Mento’s Ugly Sweater Party (read our review here), Alexander T. Hwang’s Lilith and PROco PROduction coMPANY’s That Night (read our review here), it’s easy to see how far this indie talent in horror has come.

More recently, Nangle has been increasingly busy filming Thomas Haley’s Desert Moon (read our interview with him here), Alexander T. Hwang’s Unholy Attraction and Paranoia Tapes 5: Rewind. We recently caught up with Nangle, who was fresh off the set of Deranged Minds Entertainment’s next feature, Inverted, to speak about this highly anticipated indie horror as well as other exciting projects.

PopHorror: Hi, Jennifer! It’s great to speak with you again. Let’s begin with your alter ego, Malvolia. This character has come a long way since first being conceived. Originating as a YouTube idea, you brought the character into her first feature film in the anthology 10/31. How did you become involved with this production?

Jennifer Nangle: 10/31 was everywhere on social media. And I was nosy … So, I asked [Director] Brett DeJager about his segment and if he needed an actress. He said that the film was near completion and everyone had shot their segments. But he recommended that I connect with Rocky Gray [read our interview with him here] even if it might be for future projects. So, I reached out to Rocky and tried to pitch myself, saying that if he ever needed an actress or Horror Hostess for anything, to just let me know! Well, I guess I left an impression, because a couple weeks later, he hit me up saying that he needed something to connect the films together, and asked if I would want to shoot a couple scenes. Because it was so last minute, it was going to be something quick and short. I say, “Yes” to pretty much everything!

I’m extremely thankful for it, because it really changed my life and expanded the Malvolia name to people that didn’t know I existed. In fact, in Deborah Voorhees’ [read our interview with her here] private Facebook group, she had shared one of my episodes, and a guy recognized me from 10/31! A lot of people thought that I was just brought on as that “Elvira-looking” character and didn’t realize I had my own show. So, it was great to network that way!

PopHorror: That’s great! And networking is absolutely necessary. You never know what opportunities might come along that way. A 10/31 sequel has since been announced. Will we see more Malvolia this time around? What can we expect from the upcoming feature film?

Jennifer Nangle: Yes! Did you notice the poster!?

PopHorror: Of course! You’re featured on the poster for the film!

Poster artwork for 10/31 II

Jennifer Nangle: A lot of reviewers and fans of the film said that they wanted more of me in the first film, which is an amazing compliment! So, I think Rocky listened and went with it! We’re currently working on the wrap around segment as we speak, and I can’t really give away too much, but it’ll be a killer of a time as always! I’m just excited to see all the segments! He has such a well-rounded variety of all different types of directors this time!

PopHorror: I’m excited to see the final product! Around the haunting season, we’re treated with Malvolia YouTube specials, which saw a darker direction last season. Will we see more of this horror hostess this coming season?

Jennifer Nangle: Yes! I’m currently in the middle of writing the Halloween Special and collecting films to host. Season One was such a trial and error time for me, because Malvolia wasn’t suppose to last this long… I was originally writing a feature film about a horror hostess and wanted to make her “real,” so that is why I created the webseries. But she took on a life of her own! I had no idea that these holiday specials would be so popular!

Jennifer Nangle as Malvolia: The Queen of Screams

PopHorror: I knew I wasn’t the only one who looks forward to seeing these specials! What might we expect from this ever evolving character, and where do you see Malvolia going from here?

Jennifer Nangle: Always evil… dark. I pushed some limits last season and had a blast doing it. So, I’ll continue in that direction. Besides 10/31, I also hosted four feature films for Dustin Ferguson [Amityville: Evil Never Dies 2017 – read our review here] entitled Malvolia’s Matinee, which we are continuing this fall. I also hosted The Theatre of the Deranged Part 3 for Troma. And, I just recently hosted the pilot episode for The Bone Yard Effects’ YouTube channel that debuted August 3rd! So, I’m venturing off and working with others as this character, but I’m always keeping with who she is: a blood drink-aholic who is evil in every which way imaginable!

PopHorror: I’m glad to see so many opportunities are opening up for this character! Apart from Malvolia, you have been busy! Not too long ago, you were filming Thomas Haley’s upcoming feature, entitled Desert Moon. What can you tell us about this film and your character?

Jennifer Nangle as Alicia Evans in Desert Moon

Jennifer Nangle: Thomas Haley and I were talking one day, and he mentioned a feature he had been wanting to do, but he was having a hard time finding the right time to do it. He mentioned that I would be perfect as the wife character. Not many people say that they see me as something very often. So, I kept pushing him to do the film. He ended up teaming up with writer Joe Knetter [Blind 2019 – read our review here], and I think they came up with a badass script! Tom has always said he wanted to showcase me in a different light. So, people may be surprised when they see me as Alicia Evans, and I am very excited for it! She is a loving “OC” wife who appears to have a perfect life. She has gone through something very emotional, but that doesn’t stop her from having a good heart and wanting to give back. However, this time around, she may have been too giving to the wrong person. Working with Tom, Sarah French [read our interview with her here] and the rest of the Desert Moon crew was a huge honor, and I feel so lucky that Tom saw something in me for the project.

PopHorror: Well, Tom isn’t the only one to see something in you, because you have once again worked under Lilith director Alexander Hwang for his upcoming feature, Unholy Attraction. What can you tell us about this film and your role?

Jennifer Nangle as Melanie in Unholy Attraction

Jennifer Nangle: Again, a character completely out of my comfort zone! It’s always such an honor to be asked back to work with a director again. Lilith was such a great time! And I knew Unholy Attraction was going to be just as challenging. My character, Melanie, is a realtor who is trying to spruce up a house she is trying to sell after it mysteriously goes vacant. She brings on a friend’s daughter to clean up the house, a bubbly, conceited know-it-all. Again, something VERY different than what I usually play!

PopHorror: That sounds like an intriguing paranormal feature! Another horror you have coming out is Paranoia Tapes 5: Rewind. What can you tell me about this film and your character?

Jennifer Nangle: A couple years ago, I won a Best Webseries award for Malvolia in the Southern Sykos Film Festival. Just after that, Jack Hunter reached out and asked if I wanted to be apart of his Paranoia Tapes franchise. Again, I say, “Yes” to almost anything, and before I knew it, the fifth installment was offered to me to create. I was able to bring my best friend, Charles Chudabala [read our interview with him here], into it, and I just ran with it. It’s a NO BUDGET anthology. So, some of the segments I shot are very bare, basic and gritty. I’m excited for its release! I’m just putting the finishing touches on it as we speak. I play Sasha, who is the sister of the lead character, Henry, from the first film. And things get a little crazy from there!

PopHorror: You’re definitely having a productive year! What are some of your favorite memories from the sets of these productions?

Jennifer Nangle: I think what sticks out the most is the incredible talented generous, kind, loving, supportive, hard working people I’ve worked with. During Inverted, I had some hiccups in my personal life, and I also got sick. Everyone in the cast and crew was there for me. They let me cry, consoled me and supported me. One of the actresses even went to the store and bought me cough and cold medicine. It was incredible support that I never usually open up to, and I am forever grateful for each and every one of them.

Poster artwork for Inverted

PopHorror: I’m sorry to hear that your last adventure didn’t go entirely smooth, but I’m glad that you had so much support! So, speaking of Inverted…how did you become involved with this production?

Jennifer Nangle: PopHorror’s Tori Danielle [Romero] is such an amazing friend and supporter. She had told me that if she ever saw a casting opportunity that I might fit, she would pass along the information. Sure enough, she passed along the casting call for Inverted back in 2018. I had only fit into really one of the characters, which was Woman #1. Usually, smaller roles are unnamed. I immediately thought that there would be NO WAY they were going to fly me out from Los Angeles to play a character with one or two lines. But I knew I still wanted to audition to show them what I could do, even if it was for future films. To my surprise, it was a lengthy scene. I submitted, and I heard back from director Tristan Clay [read our interview with him here] in less than 24 hours, and they wanted to cast me.

I remember saying, “Well, you probably only need me for one or two days…” And he replied, “No, we will need you for two weeks.” That’s when I learned that I booked my FIRST lead role in a feature film! Within hours, he sent me the script, and I read it all in one sitting. This was before I saw their first film, Red Eye [2017 – read our review here], and I thought, “Damn… this is gonna be racy!” It’s a wild ride!

PopHorror: I’m glad it turned out to be such a great opportunity! What can you tell us about your character?

Jennifer Nangle: I play the right hand woman to the Invert cult leader, Alma Fines. Basically, I take new recruits through different challenge stages to prove themselves to be a part of our cult, our family.

PopHorror: That sounds like a crazy role! With last year’s Malvolia Halloween special, I can see how you would be great for that character. What was the most challenging part of production for Inverted?

Jennifer Nangle: I’d say the most challenging part would be the weather. I’ve lived on the west coast for about 10+ years now… I’m not use to humidity, nor was I prepared for that heat wave that hit us the first week of filming. The Midwest is FILLED with so many bugs and creepy things! I was always checking for ticks and scratching mosquito bites! Also, the script was very challenging. Memorization was tough. I am used to monologues when playing Malvolia, but my character in Inverted doesn’t talk modern day speech. I was going back to some of my Shakespearian roots!

PopHorror: I could see how that might be more difficult! What was your favorite memory from the set of Inverted?

Jennifer Nangle: I can’t reveal much about this film, but the one thing that really, really warmed my heart was the time when we watched some of our auditions during the last days of shooting. I was in awe at the kind of things everyone was saying about mine. Auditioning is very hard for me, and we never usually get much feedback from them. So, it was nice to hear that I made a great impact on everyone!

PopHorror: That would be a great feeling! Deranged Minds founders Tristan Clay and Destinie Orndoff [read Malvolia’s interview with her here] are young, but they certainly have hit the ground running with their passion. What was it like working with such young and ambitious filmmakers?

Jennifer Nangle: Making a film is not easy. Making a film on a very limited budget is even harder. To then not be afraid to take risks, talk about things that other people don’t want to talk about or show things people are really scared to see is pretty inspiring. Not following the rules, pushing the limits and doing things they want to do is why I love Deranged Minds Entertainment. It was a pleasure working with them. I didn’t see either one of them break, and we were having long, heavy material days. They problem solved very easily. The future is theirs for the taking! And I hope they ask me back. I would definitely work with them again!

Jennifer Nangle

PopHorror: It sounds like they have a good handle on what they’re doing! What can we expect from Inverted?

Jennifer Nangle: When I first read the script, I said it was Rob Zombie meets Saw meets Charles Manson. And I still stand by it. This film is an insane roller coaster from the very start. Definitely NOT a slow burn.

PopHorror: I can’t wait to check it out! Are there any other upcoming projects that you would like to discuss?

Jennifer Nangle: I’m just focusing on finishing up Paranoia Tapes 5 and shooting Malvolia’s next Halloween Special. Other than that, my schedule is open for any projects that come my way!

PopHorror: As much as things picked up for you, I’m sure more opportunities will open up! Thank you, Jennifer, for taking the time to speak with me.

Jennifer Nangle: Of course! My pleasure.

As Jennifer flexes her talent, showing versatility with new roles in upcoming films, she proves that we haven’t seen the last of her any time soon. And here at PopHorror, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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