Gregory Lamberson has cast actress Erika Smith in a starring role in Gruesome, a short film/music video based on both his upcoming novel, Johnny Gruesome, and the horror rock CD Gruesome, written by Giasone and Marcy Italiano. He’ll direct the project in March and April in upstate New York.

Lamberson directed the cult classic Slime City and wrote the Anubis Award winning novel Personal Demons. Bad Moon Books will publish Johnny Gruesome as a signed and numbered limited edition hard cover, illustrated by Zach McCain, in the fall of 2007. Lamberson created the Gruesome character in an unproduced screenplay.

“This video will really be the film I never got to make,” Lamberson says. “It will be chock full of sex, violence, rock ‘n roll, and gore—not your typical MTV or VH1 fare.”

Smith appeared in Bite Me!, The Sexy Adventures of Van Helsing, and Sinful. Her upcoming features include Eat Your Heart Out and Splatter Beach. In Gruesome, she plays Karen Slatter, the girlfriend of murdered head banger Johnny Grissom, who rises from his grave as a vengeful zombie. The remaining cast includes Buffalo locals Ryan O’Connell, Jennifer Biel, and Dan Loughery.

“I cast Erika because I’m treating this like a feature,” Lamberson says. “She’s a talented actress with a strong fan base, and I think this will be a cool showcase for her.”

Lamberson’s multi-media plans for Johnny include comics by Kelly Forbes and Martin Blanco for his website; the CD Gruesome which will be available in August; two different Halloween masks by Matt Patterson; and the novel, due in September. To learn more about these efforts, visit Johnny Gruesome

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