Fairuza Balk gets a “DOSE OF REALITY”


The line between thriller and horror is finite and often subjective and here at FANGORIA laboratories. We are often in horn-locked debate over what we should cover and what we should leave on the shelf. In the case of the indie flick DOSE OF REALITY, the plot synopsis might normally make us shy away. In it, two greaseballs running a fleapit bar are getting ready to close up for the night, when a wild eyed woman emerges from the ladies room saturated in blood and claiming to have been attacked. As the men try to alternately come to her aid and figure out if she’s telling the truth, the damaged damsel begins slowly, surely turning tables around, even overturning them as a bizarre dialogue driven, psychological cat and mouse drama plays out.

Written and directed by Christopher Glatis, DOSE OF REALITY is a solid, compelling and fascinating picture with good turns from THE CAVE’s Rick Ravanello and FINAL DESTINATION 3’s Ryan Merriman. But the main hook for this writer and FANGORIA fans is the presence of the one and only Fairuza Balk, she of RETURN TO OZ, THE CRAFT and THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU fame. She of the translucent eyes, magnetic screen presence and multi-hyphenate talent that reaches into painting and music.

Balk demolishes the screen in this humble, crackerjack dark drama/thriller/borderline horror movie, shifting gears and alternating pitches wildly. And for those of us who appreciate her work and only get to see her sparingly used these days, DOSE OF REALITY allows her to go off the rails with bravado.

We called the down to earth, unaffected actress/artist for a frank chat, one that will grace the pages of an upcoming issue of FANGORIA this year. But here, in honor of DOSE OF REALITY hitting VOD and DVD this past Tuesday, we have isolated a sample of Balk’s words on why she chose to appear in the picture.

And a warning to those planning on watching the film as there are mild spoilers…

FANGORIA: DOSE OF REALITY is a subtle mind bender with a profound pay off…

FAIRUZA BALK: Yeah and that’s what interested me about this film.  The character is free-falling, improv-ing  her way into this intense scenario that goes way beyond where it’s supposed to go because the momentum keeps building. The concept was interesting to me.

FANG: And it’s a testament to your work here that we are gripped. You’re like a female Klaus Kinski, going wild in this very confined space…

BALK: [Laughs] Well I liked that it was a three hander all set in the bar. It’s like a play, in many respects. We shot the film very fast with a very small crew just whipping through the scenes. And the guys were great and totally on point. It was a really interesting experience and I’m glad to hear you liked it. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I’m totally looking forward to it.


FANG: These three characters are trapped in a kind of hell, some get off easier than others….

BALK: When I read this script, I saw elements of that, that they push this (one) guy to the point where he is totally broken and that’s what interested me. That’s why I think DOSE OF REALITY has extra sting, y’know?

FANG: This is vintage Balk , you at your most intense. Are there any more wild roles like this in your future?

BALK: I don’t know! Maybe…it all depends on what comes down the pike. For me it’s all about continuing to explore where I can go with acting as well as music, as well as art. I hope the next time I get the chance to play a role that no one expects. I have explored the dark, heavy duty parts in depth… maybe I’ll try a more subtle character in the future (laughs).

DOSE OF REALITY is on VOD and DVD now from Monarch Home Entertainment. Be sure to get the full Fairuza Balk experience in the pages of FANGORIA Magazine later this year.

About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
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