In her childhood home in Manhattan, where opera rattled the walls and her music-director dad read her bedtime stories like Macbeth, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni became enamored with Deep Red, a film by Italian horror legend Dario Argento. Years later, she was brilliantly killed in his Opera and Mother of Tears (the latter recently screened in Toronto). The visual artist and goth musician got her film start in the cult ’80s flick Demons 2, part of the 24-hour Music Box Massacre film fest this weekend, when the Second City alum will be in from NYC.
With demons coming out of TVs in Demons 2 and scissors carving into you in Opera, did those things ever freak you out?
Actually, the other day I was cutting my bangs and poked myself in the eye, and I thought, If any fan just saw how retarded I am! I totally relived that scene.
In your song “Broken Neck,” a line refers to “demons that lure.”
There’s a human presence [in my art]. I’ve painted visions of people and then met them, it’s scary. You call things to happen. I like white; when I see the canvas, I think how I can pull all the darkness out of me.
How did they pull off your gnarly teeth in Demons 2?
Ha, that’s all mechanical, I wore dentures, there were no computers. That’s the beauty of it. Even in Mother of Tears…it’s that artisanship [of] Italian directors.
Do you like being killed?
It’s a rebirth for my character, and as an artist. It’s this eternal life, to never die. A vampire of art.
The Music Box Massacre descends Saturday 13 and Sunday 14. See Film.