The beginning of The Graves shows the sisters running around Phoenix with a video camera, trying to memorialize their last days together before Megan takes a job in New York. They stop at Atomic Comics on Country Club Drive in Mesa and hold up their favorite comics. Megan, of course, holds up an issue of Lady Death. There's a quick scene in the Halo body-piercing shop on Central, then they cut to The Sets in Tempe. In this scene, Pulido has a cameo as the guy who introduces local horror-punk band Calabrese.

Pulido directed the band's "Voices of the Dead" video and asked Calabrese to perform a song in The Graves. The film's soundtrack also includes music from Tucson band The Mission Creeps, and Phoenix rockers Sixstitch.

"I wanted people to get a sense of what I loved and adored about the Valley," Pulido says. "I wanted to kind of reflect what I'm into — I dig going over to Midnite Movie Mamacita [at Chandler Cinemas] and seeing a crazy film, and I'll go buy some comics, and I dig the Valley music scene. There's a lot to be said about it, and I thought that by showing my love and excitement for it in the movie, that people will get to see a little bit of a chunk."

The Graves sisters.
ourtesy of Mischief Maker Screen Partners LLC
The Graves sisters.
One of the Skull City Psychos.
courtesy of Mischief Maker Screen Partners LLC
One of the Skull City Psychos.

Once the Graves sisters hit the road, they stop at a place called Screamer's Diner, a real diner off the U.S. 60 in Wickenburg that serves up old-style floats and burgers. There, the sisters have a run-in with some strange townspeople, including a beady-eyed waitress named Darlene (Amanda Wyss), who suggests they check out the Skull City Mine down the road for "a real scream."

A lot of things happen after the sisters arrive at the mine for a tour, including murders and a metaphysical twist. Suffice it to say, they'll need all their wits and strength to make it out of the mining town alive.

"A story's a fine meal," Pulido says. "You need an entrée, you need some vegetables, right? So I knew a couple things: I knew that I was going to deal with themes I've dealt with before, which is strong women — whether they are coming on to their power or contain their power — and I knew I wanted to write really freaky bad guys."

Brian Pulido calls his wife, Fransisca, his muse. She has been a partner in all his creative projects, including The Graves, for which she served as executive in charge of production and production designer. She's an upbeat woman who's constantly working multiple projects but says she can still "make a gourmet meal in stiletto heels and chains."

Fransisca says the day she met Brian, St. Patrick's Day 1988, was fraught with crappy weather, floating tires, and bad '80s fashion.

They were filming a movie in Fransisca's home state of Connecticut, a "post-apocalyptic spaghetti Western" called Death Collector. Fransisca was doing makeup and hair, and Brian was the assistant director. The first day of shooting, they were filming a love scene at a tire farm, and it rained heavily.

"We were standing in the mud, sinking, and the water was rising so much that tires were floating in the background," Brian says.

Brian introduced himself to Fransisca and right away, she says, she was hearing strange voices in her head. "Here comes this metal guy — now, mind you, I'm more of a New Wave/punk chick, and I had my Madonna hair going and the little skirt, and I wouldn't date you unless you were blond and from Europe," Fransisca says.

"So a heavy metal guy would totally not be in my thoughts, but he walks up and . . . I shook his hand, and the loudest voice I ever heard in my life came right in the back of my head and said, 'This is the man you're going to spend the rest of your life with.'"

The two dated for three years before tying the knot with a Justice of the Peace in upstate New York in 1991. Their one-night honeymoon was like a scene out of a comedy film. They'd booked a room at a lodge in the Poconos because it had a heart-shaped tub, and they were ready to celebrate their wedding night when they began to suspect they were at a swinger lodge.

"We didn't know, and we have nothing against swingers, but it was like, 'Hey, this is our wedding night,'" Brian says. "And everybody's like, 'Hey, do you mind if we sit at the table with you?' I was like, 'What's going on in this place? Everybody's vibing on us.' And then we realized what everybody was doing, and that's why they had all these heart-shaped pools and people hanging out."

Brian did achieve his goal that evening, which was to pile bubbles on his head. "I got in the tub that night and I was able to pile bubbles on my head at least Marge Simpson-size," he says with a grin. "You gotta have your priorities on your wedding night, and mine was to see how high I could pile the bubbles."

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Nice article but the pic shows that they still aren't making fake blood that LOOKS like the real stuff. Still looks like that sticky red-dyed stuff we used as kids on Halloween.

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