Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Cry-An Owl Creek Exclusive!


Bernadine was kind enough to make a trip to my Owl Creek Bridge ( ) in order to share some stories about making her Supernatural Thriller Based on the Legend of La Llorona.

I hope that you enjoy her story and that you are as inspired by her determination to see her creative dreams realized as I am.


I first heard of La Llorona when I was a kid growing up in a small town in New Mexico. Ever since I can remember, we were told stories of a woman who drowned her kids in the river—basically to get revenge from her lover who had betrayed her. But after drowning them, she realized what she had done and let out a horrifying, heart-wrenching cry. From that moment she was condemned to roam the rivers forever, crying and searching for her children.

As kids, our parents always told us that La Llorona would take us away if we went by the river to play alone, or if we misbehaved. On top of being completely scared stiff that La Llorona was going to get me, the whole idea that a mother would kill her own child absolutely terrified me.

When I decided to make a movie, there was no question in my mind that it had to be about La Llorona. On the one hand, I definitely wanted to do something focused on my culture. And from a more personal perspective, having grown up in a very superstitious environment (a combination of old Spanish beliefs dating back to the time of the Inquisition mixed with Native American beliefs), making a movie about La Llorona was a way for me to conquer my some of my fears/demons, with La Llorona being a big one.

Like most of the more than 28 million people in the U.S. who grew up with stories of La Llorona, I originally thought that this ghost was from my small town. After learning that she’s basically everywhere and has been a strong force in the Latino world for five centuries, I set off on a search for her across the U.S. and Latin America. I dug up historical material on her dating back hundreds of years, interviewed people who believe they’ve seen or heard her, and collected stories, artwork, poems and songs about her from all over the continent. You can see some of my research on my website I also went on to explore “Lloronas in other cultures,” and found several similar legends from all over the world like the Greek Medea, the Jewish Lilith and the Irish Banshee. In the end, it took me 5 years to get to a place where I felt as though I knew La Llorona well enough to write a script that would truly capture her essence. Then it was writing, rewriting, finding money, shooting, finding more money, post-production, distribution…what seemed like endless work.

Since it’s Halloween, I want to mention a few creepy experiences that I had while making The Cry—moments where I definitely felt La Llorona’s presence.

The first creepy experience happened one day when I was shooting in Spanish Harlem. Some santeros (traditional saint makers) from New Mexico had carved a wood statue of Death in the form of a woman (Dona Sebastiana). It was quite difficult to transport the santo to New York because it was a large, life-size carving and very fragile. In any case, the day my best friend, Horacio, and I were unloading Death from the vehicle, a freak accident happened where I was hit in the head—just a hair above my right eye—

with something flying through the air. It felt as though a brick had hit me, and I almost lost my eye. I remember grabbing my head and seeing blood pouring into my hand. Horacio ran and caught me just as the world started spinning and I was falling to the ground. The experience totally freaked me out not only because it happened when we were moving Death, but also because in The Cry the way that I physically show La Llorona’s curse on people is through their bleeding eyes. A few months later when I was doing post-production on The Cry, one morning my project manager suddenly had some bloody tears coming out of her eyes. She never did find out why that happened.

Another creepy experience happened when I was shooting some of my flashback scenes in New Mexico. Basically, I had spent several days looking for the perfect river location to shoot La Llorona drowning her kid, and found it months before we shot there. The place had a strange, haunting feel to it that made it perfect for The Cry. What was creepy about this was that a few weeks before we shot there, my sister, Rita, who still lives in NM called me to tell me that a woman named Bernadine—my name, which is pretty uncommon—had gone to the same location and drowned her two kids and herself. When I heard this my stomach fell to the floor. As I was shooting my scene I remember looking out over the river and feeling La Llorona’s presence more than ever.

The last creepy experience that I want to mention happened when I was in the final stage of post-production. In The Cry, I am the voice and cries of La Llorona. It took me quite some time to figure out what La Llorona would say, and this is something that I wrote only after digging deep into my knowledge and “relationship” with her. On the day I was in the studio recording La Llorona’s voice, something very strange happened. All of a sudden, something moved through me, taking control of my body and my voice. It felt as though for that slice of time, I was outside of me, hearing someone else’s voice come out of my body. It was a haunting, yet amazingly experience. The sound team that was recording in the control room was frozen stiff with how scary my voice sounded. You’ll get a taste of it yourself when you see The Cry, and you can read about more creepy experiences on my blog

Making The Cry is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. (Details included in my next horror film.) But despite all the unbelievable struggles, if given the choice, I’d do it all again. The film helped me learn so much about myself—my culture, my power as a woman, how to face and fight my fears—not to mention how to make a film. Though I have to say that perhaps the most important thing I learned by making The Cry is that nothing is more fulfilling, empowering and magical than pouring your heart and soul into a dream and making it come true.

As per La Llorona, we’ve been together for many years now, and I know her well—perhaps better than anyone else on the face of the earth. And although I no longer fear her, I am now more certain of one thing than I ever was before: There’s nothing worse than a mother who murders her child…and La Llorona is real.

I hope you enjoyed Bernadine's article.

Please visit Bernadine's Sites and check out her wonderful work:


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Inviation To The Danse

Feeling Brave?

Visit Anita's Owl Creek Bridge to learn the Strange History of
the Soul Food Cafe's Chamber of Horrors at:

Thursday, October 19, 2006


by Anita Marie Moscoso

Violet didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the end of the world; it was what happened after it was all over that would keep Violet awake at nights.

She'd would be laying there in the dark picturing a dead and lifeless world with a small yellow sun rising in front of a blood red moon while all around her room on tables and in the windows and on their own special tables were dead and dieing plants in overpriced planters.

There were no starter plants with tiny little roots floating around in plastic fast food drinking cups in this room.

Only the best for her little victims.

Violet figured it was the least she could do for some poor plant that was bound to die once she got her hands on it.

However, what she did to plants was nothing compared to what she did to those colorful fish you kept in wine glasses with the half marbles scattered at the bottom glass.

Violet had come in from work one day and found all that was left of her fish were blue and red scales stuck to what looked like a fish's skeleton.

The day she saw those little corpses floating in the cloudy water she decided it would probably be better if she avoided the live animal route all together.

It wasn’t like she didn’t know any better.

There was the puppy got when she was eight.

Santa had brought the 'sleeping puppy' in the basket with the red bow tied to the handle and Violet had dragged it out to the living room stuck it in front of the Christmas Tree bright and early on Christmas morning and said, " It coughed all night, I don't think it feels well. Can we exchange it? "

There was the kitten four years later that started to bleed from it's ears and not to soon after that the baby brother that turned from pink to dark red right in front of Violet's eyes.

Then she grew up and moved out and started with the plants.

It was like having a bad tooth...your tongue just wants to go to it and poke around. That's the way Violet was with plants; she just kept buying them or planting seeds and they just kept dieing on her.

And Violet kept watching.

So it's not really a shock that she couldn't sleep at nights.

And then it got be too much.

One evening Violet’s dieing and decomposing plants couldn't keep her mind off of the little things that nibbled away at her mind during the day so she reached for her TV remote control and when she pushed the 'on' button the little black and silver box hummed in her hand and she knew the battery was dead.

She reached over and turned her bedroom light on and then she popped the back panel off of the remote.

Along with plant murder she had rotten luck with batteries too. She had guessed that if she bought batteries from someplace other than " Dollar Bonanza" (where all the stock was a dollar or less) they might last a bit longer.

She reached into her nightstand drawer for some new batteries when she saw that the battery in the remote control had split at the seam and the acid had started to ooze out and then before it ran off the side of the battery it had hardened and turned to dust.

She dropped the remote on the floor and reached for the little ivy plant that was dieing in the planter shaped liked an elephant. She touched one of the leaves and felt it turn to power between her fingers.

Now that was a new one.

Violet reached over and turned off her lamp but she didn't sleep.

It wasn't soon after that she stopped sleeping all together.

So instead of sleeping Violet did a lot of thinking; she thought about her dead and dieing plants, her puppy and kitten and little brother. She thought about the way no one ever sat next to her on the bus.

Even if her seat was the last open seat and they had to stand.

She remembered the way her own Mother would wipe her hand against her hip after helping Violet brush her hair and the way her Father would hold his hands out to stop Violet from rushing into his arms the way all little kids do.

It was strange, those little gestures that people used to keep Violet away. They were the same gestures Violet saw when someone had a coughing or sneezing fit and the person standing next to them would turn their head or pull in a long deep breath and try not to exhale until they were safely away.

That's exactly the way people acted when they got to close to Violet.

One morning Violet brushed her teeth and combed her hair and put on a bright yellow t-shirt. Yellow was her favorite color and today she wanted to do something nice for herself.

She walked down to the Lake and watched birds fall from the sky and bees drop from flowers. The trees put up more of a fight. She could hear them creak and groan and she could hear the leaves whither and then curl and crumble right on the braches.

When she got to the lake she put her hand into the water and she watched it thicken and could smell it go bad and then the fish all rose to the surface and tried to jump to land and before they were airborne for more then a second they fell dead back into the water.

Violet got up and walked to a little hill and when she got to the top she sat on a bench and she could see the route she had walked because it was a dead route now and unless you were looking you probably wouldn't notice the narrow trail of death; but Violet did.

That was it for Violet, this was all she would ever do-she would infect anything unlucky enough to get to close to her and then it would die.

Violet looked at the trail she had walked and saw the dead trees and plants she had passed could see the trees and grass and plants further away start to turn brown and curl and she could smell them turn to dust.

Violet Delaflote was spreading.

Violet walked to the lookout spot next to the Lake she had infected (there was no other way for her to think of it) and she figured she could just walk out and keep walking until the water covered her head.

She couldn't swim, she had never learned how...not after watching her swimming instructor drown all those years ago. " She had some kind of Virus, " her Dad told her " and when she dove into the water she got sick and couldn't breathe and she drowned.”

Violet passed the picnic table and walked into the water and she was surprised at how easy this was turning out to be...but what was the alternative?

She was a serial plant killer and she lived alone.

That was Violet's life.

She kept walking and by the time the water was up to her chest she realized what she was doing...she spun around went under and fought her way back to shore.

When she turned around and looked back at the lake...she covered her face with her hands and screamed until her throat felt raw.

Then she ran.

She ran and ran until she came to the Shopping Mall and she collapsed on a bench outside of the food court.

People were eating and laughing and scowling and living...and when it came down to it Violet decided she wanted to live too. She wanted to eat soft pretzels and drink strawberry lemonade and she wanted to shop and be rude to salespeople...just like everybody else.

That was what Violet wanted, she covered her face with her hands and she cried for the life she would never have.

When it came right down to it Violet decided she might only be a germ that had somehow disguised itself as a short woman with okay skin and dry hair but she still wanted to live just like anyone else.

She knew though she couldn’t do that like everyone else and Violet knew that was alright.

So she took her hand away from her mouth and nose....

And she sneezed.