Film & Video


Piney Croft. An unproduced feature screenplay by Christine Madrid French & Megan Matousek. “A local historian fights to save her family during a violent hurricane that brings malevolent spirits and a powerful demon from the past into their home.”
Synopsis: Poppy London (37), her two kids Jasper and Golden, and her dad Ruben are new transplants to the weird land of Florida. They are settled into a mid-century modern A-frame house in Maitland. Newly single Poppy works at the Art & History Museum and depends on both her best friend Natasha and the neighborhood sage Betty for advice on ghostly activities on their street, named Piney Croft. As their first hurricane hits, so does the hell. The swirling storms power the paranormal manifestations of a woman brutally beaten and drowned at the old Piney Croft estate by her husband, the Mayor of Maitland.

Poppy tries to understand the presence of the spirits, but their only intent seems to be inciting terror. When the body-building neighbors are inexplicably murdered and cannibalized by a face-eating college student, Poppy realizes there is a common denominator between these crimes: a demon named Danyal that arrives with the storms and seduces people to violence. After her discovery, Poppy rushes her family to safety into an underground shelter behind the house created from the wine cellar of the old mansion. The brick vaults contain hundreds of Prohibition-era bottles, now empty, hidden decades ago.

The family is blocked from leaving the cellar by Danyal himself and the raging storm outside. They escape after Poppy fashions a demonic-bottle trap holding her own nail-bitten fingernails and strands of hair, snaring the demon. When they emerge from the shelter, they find the neighborhood trashed but their home intact. Returning to the cellar, Poppy realizes that Danyal has hidden his trap among the collection of old bottles, each now plugged with a cork and indistinguishable one from the other. The family blockades the cellar rather than risk releasing the demon. Danyal is entombed—for the present—in his glass prison.

Review from iHorror Film Festival: “Historian Poppy London, her two children, and her father Ruben, are recent Florida transplants living in a mid-century A-frame house. When a hurricane begins to batter their area, dark spirits are unleashed and one in particular has set his sights on claiming Poppy as his own. It’s an epic battle between good and evil with a healthy dose of social commentary that keeps the pages turning.” 


Maravilla Handball Court: A Place That Matters, director Manuel Huerta, 2010. Short documentary. Selected for Love Your Shorts film festival, Sanford, FL, 2012. Built brick-by-brick in 1928 by East LA community folks tired of waiting for the government to provide recreational opportunities, the Maravilla Handball Court is a community jewel in danger of being demolished and privately redeveloped. Directed and produced by East Los Angeles native Manuel Huerta, this video examines the history and significance of the Maravilla Handball Court, built by Michi and Tommy Nishiyama and now one of the oldest courts remaining in East Los Angeles. The newly formed Maravilla Historical Society encourages children to participate in the sport and contribute to the preservation of this site, an important part of the cultural heritage of the Latino and Japanese-American community. IMDB listing.

Additional Crew

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, directed by Ken Burns, Florentine Films, 2007. From Ken Burns FAQ: This series “(five episodes, ten hours) will tell the human history of five of the nationís most important and most heavily visited National Parks (Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Acadia, and Great Smoky Mountains) and the unforgettable Americans who made them possible. Set against some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, each park’s story is filled with incidents and characters as gripping and fascinating as American history has to offer. Woven into the series will also be a broader, evolving story of the very idea of National Parks, as uniquely an American concept as jazz, baseball, and the Declaration of Independence as well as the expanding, constantly changing National Parks system  (encompassing stories from other parks) and the growing role they all have come to play in our nation’s sense of itself, its past, and its future.” IMDB listing. 


Madam Historian Craft Along – Mrs. Bates Holiday Ornament made from a Shrunken Apple Head. Morbid Fun! Join Madam Historian (aka Christine Madrid French) for a holiday-themed homage to Mrs. Norma Bates from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho.” Her shrunken apple-head ornament is perfect for your tree! This is an easy to make craft straight from the 1970s when we didn’t have internet or cable to entertain us. We hang her dessicated visage up just like her taxidermist son Norman would have intended. Watch on YouTube.

Capen House Relocation, Winter Park, Florida. One of my favorite projects…we raised $1 million, cut an 1885 Victorian Mansion in half and floated it across a lake to be restored at the Albin Polasek Museum. Watch Videos and news coverage of “Fred” and “Ginger” being relocated as part of a community effort to save the building. 

The Capen-Showalter House Move, the Albin Polasek Museum:, drone video of the house moving: 

News 6, Orlando, FL, by Candace Campos: 

News 6, Orlando, FL. Barge brings Capen House across Winter Park Lake, Dec. 10, 2013. 

WESH 2 News, Orlando, FL, raw helicopter video “Historic Capen House moved across lake,” Dec. 10, 2013. 

WESH 2 News, Orlando, FL. “Half of Winter Park’s Capen House moved across lake.” Dec. 10, 2013. 

Podcasts + Interviews

“The Cinematic Pleasure of ‘The Shining’ from Christine Madrid French” with Chandler @ The Beauty of Horror Podcast, September 17, 2021. What a blast to meet Chandler! We delve into the intricacies of “The Shining,” in all its forms, from the original novel by Stephen King (1979), to the movie directed by Stanley Kubrick (1980), to the television miniseries written by King (1997). Chandler Bullock calling from his spooky seat in Amsterdam and me at my haunted mansion in Maitland, Florida. We discuss Houses of Horror, how buildings help you “time travel,” and the beautiful nature of horror films. Catch the whole interview on Itunes or at Anatomy of a Scream. 

Horror Legend Tom Holland, Madam Historian Christine Madrid French, and Hitch Geek Joel Gunz, September 27, 2021. Horror Legend Tom Holland joined Joel Gunz aka Hitch Geek of “Alfred Hitchcock Geek” on Facebook (194K followers) and me for a great chat about Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Vertigo, The Birds, and of course Psycho II. Holland wrote Psycho II (1983), Fright Night (writer/director 1985), Child’s Play (writer/director 1988), as well as a few Tales From the Crypt episodes! We get into all things Hollywood such as the architecture of film and Holland’s experience with production designers that worked with Hitchcock including Robert Boyle. Watch the interview on Facebook at Alfred Hitchcock Geek. 

Christine joins Robert for Robert Bellisimo at the Movies, part of his series “Alfred Hitchcock Movies That You Need to Know.” We work through The Birds, directed by Hitchcock, released in 1963 with the tagline “Suspense and Shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!” See it on his channel on YouTube. 

US Modernist Radio, “Where the Bodies are Buried: Henry Kuehn + Christine Madrid French + Peter Lamb and the Wolves.” It’s our Halloween midnight madness Mod-tacular, and joining us is someone who knows where all the bodies are buried, author Henry Kuehn of Architects Gravesites – along with modern preservationist by day, horror historian by night, Christine Madrid French.  #219, Halloween 2021. 

US Modernist Radio, “Modernism Week 2019: Christine Madrid French + Amy Jarvis + Ken Topper.” Palm Springs has a huge architecture event called Modernism Week every February. Today George talks with author and longtime Modernist researcher Christine Madrid French, who with Marty Hylton did the first comprehensive survey of Florida mid-century Modernist architecture. #96, April 29, 2019. 

US Modernist Radio, “Evil Lairs: Adele Cygelman & Christine Madrid French.” If you’ve seen a thriller like North by Northwest or Diamonds are Forever  you may have noticed that the bad guy has impeccable taste. We’re talking about Evil Lairs, the tricked-out Modernist houses no self-respecting villain intent on world domination would be without. #21, March 6, 2017. 

“Christine Madrid French” interview on US Modernist Radio. Christine is one of America’s foremost experts on Modernist preservation. She pretty much knows everything modern from Bauhaus to Bob’s Big Boy. #2, April 27, 2015. 

Studio Tulsa, “A Chat with Christine Madrid French, a Noted Architectural Historian and Historic Preservationist.” Interview by Rich Fisher, May 26, 2015.  French speaks about significant architectural works in Tulsa and architectural underdogs that sometimes don’t make it to the “next generation,” including Richard Neutra’s iconic 1961 Cyclorama at Gettysburg National Battlefield in Pennsylvania. 

Print Interviews

Winter Park Magazine, “Building Consensus,” by Randy Noles, Fall 2016. 

Next City, “Preserving the Recent Past – An Interview with Christine Madrid French” by Rob Hainer. We discuss Brutalism, thoughtless demolition, and the preservation of significant buildings and structures from the recent past. January 8, 2008. 

The Hook, “Recent passed: Will groovy structures be landmarks?” April 15, 2004, issue #0316, cover story. “When Best Buy came to town last summer and demolished the Mount Vernon Motor Lodge and the adjacent Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House, Charlottesville resident Christine Madrid French realized her town was losing more than just a few pancakes and a heart-shaped swimming pool. While many locals welcomed yet another low-cost electronics emporium, French mourned the loss of legitimate pieces of Charlottesville history and the end of an era of tourist-oriented roadside architecture. “These buildings,” says French, “have no protection at all.” She’s on a mission to change that– or at least change a few minds. …”