Michael Madsen (RESERVOIR DOGS, KILL BILL), William Forsythe (THE DEVIL’S REJECTS), and Christy Carlson Romano (MIRRORS 2) all have something in common; they are trying to keep their distance from the INFECTED, a breed of non-generic zombies born from a parasitic “tick” virus. One of the rustic hamlet’s populace, formerly a gorgeous, vivacious redhead, has eroded into “a crazy zombie bitch”. The producers cast Lily Haze in the plum role (formally re-christened “the Infected Woman” on call sheets).
Ms. Haze is a self-professed nerd, an apprenticing Horror Hottie who is resistant to the “Scream Queen” handle. “I’ve been performing onstage since age nine but I was usually cast as the ‘good girl’. It’s nice to finally have a role I can sink my teeth into” Ms. Haze smirks impishly. “I love horror, especially the films that don’t rely solely on the overwrought carnage so popular in most of what you see today. I’m only disappointed over the forfeiture of significant female roles in the genre. I want to transcend the virgin/whore complex displayed in most slasher films and either find or create female characters who truly represent the diversity of my sex.”
To this end, Ms. Haze is currently developing a documentary about the parts women have traditionally played in the horror genre. It is an exploration of female roles in film and literature, including graphic novels, with a nod to their intrinsically fetishistic nature. She has also already begun production on her own indie horror film. (Details will be released on that project at a later date.)
In an almost prescient maneuver, just a few weeks before she was officially cast as INFECTED’s comely cut-throat, Haze had been involved in a zombie photo-shoot. “The funniest thing about it,” She recalls, laughingly “was that we were just doing a glamor shoot on the train tracks. I mentioned I had some fake blood left and the photographer and I both had the same idea almost immediately. So, I ‘died’ on the tracks and came back down to attack! Then I got captured and put inside a giant aquarium- that just happened to be in the backyard. Because, why not, really?”
Ms. Haze was introduced to Glenn Ciano and Robert Rotondo, the Director and AD of INFECTED at a local Horror Convention. Ms. Haze screened a demo reel of the duo’s previous film, INKUBUS, a suspense thriller starring Robert Englund. She was very taken with their work and eager to interview them for her documentary. In the course of discussion, Haze was overjoyed to hear that they were still casting for their next project- INFECTED. She submitted herself for the role and, in her own words, “For my film debut, I get to come back from the dead. Just think what I’ll do next!”