JACKIE KONG: The 2016 Etheria Inspiration Award Recipient
The Etheria Inspiration Award honors a genre film/TV pioneer who has inspired women to create their own genre films.
Jackie Kong is a director, producer, and screenwriter known for irreverent comedy and over-the-top horror films. In 1983, she made her feature film debut as director with the low-budget drive-in horror film The Being, which starred Martin Landau and Jose Ferrer. In 1984, she followed up by directing and co-writing the breakout comedy Night Patrol, featuring Linda Blair, about a Los Angeles policeman moonlighting as a stand-up comedian. Kong received a Platinum Video award from the RIAA for Night Patrol, which became a college-party film staple. Night Patrol was a major worldwide theatrical success, setting the stage for Kong to direct the comedic cult horror film Blood Diner, released in 1987.
Kong added her comedic flair to Blood Diner, changing the traditional horror film into a gore fest with outrageous effects and comedy, ultimately pioneering a new subgenre of horror film. It is now one of the most beloved horror films of all time. The fact that Blood Diner was directed by a woman blew audience’ and critics’ minds. She followed that with another comedy, The Underachievers.
Kong’s films are always irreverent, inventive, shocking, and funny. Weirdly, she enjoyed making the horror films much more than the comedies. “Making a monster movie was actually more fun than making a comedy,” she says. “People watched the comedies and because they’re laughing, think it must have been so much fun, when in fact that was harder work than making a monster movie. There’s something about getting everyone in makeup and costumes and creating a hyper reality, that’s so much more fun. Both are tough crowds to surprise.”
Kong’s next film project is the feature comedy Lost in Vietnam (currently in development). Also in the works is “City of Demons”, a modern-day “Twilight Zone”-style TV series for which Kong is planning on hiring women directors. “Isn’t it about time women are included in the mix?” she asks. “I’m scouting the Etheria directors; there’s is some great talent here.” Jackie Kong has always been a director ahead of her time; she feels now the world has finally caught up.