Saturday, February 28, 2009

Horror Society Presents: WOMEN OF HORROR!

The wonderful city that I am just a mere suburb of, is hosting the Horror Society's 4th Annual Film Festival. On April 25th, 2009 from 5pm to 12am, they will be showcasing films that women have either directed, written, produced, or starred in [as villains or heroes]. The goal is to showcase women in horror films as more than just blood, boobs, and bait. hm, sounds a little familiar ;) The films are going to be submitted and you can even submit your own films still for the showing!!! I'm absolutely ecstatic to know that there is going to be a film festival that pertains to the exact topic I've started this blog for. 

Needless to say, I will be leaving college that night and training my way back into Chicago to catch this.  For more information about this fun filled event, check out the website for it: Chicago | Horror Society

Portage Theater 
4050 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ode To The Shower Scenes [part 2]

As promised, I have the continuation of wonderful horror scenes that take place in the most private of personal quarters....THE BATHROOM! After talking with my mentor B-Sol, [yes, the same guy who makes lists for bloody-disgusting, and the writer of The Vault Of Horror] the only horror scenes in the bathroom we could think of.... were with women. So kudos to women for making the shower scene your very own!

First up today is the lovely tub scene from the film that inspired this blog; Day of the Woman [I Spit On Your Grave].  Now, most people would assume that I would be focusing on the wonderful revenge move of castrating Johnny in the tub, however that isn't why the scene is included on this list.  I'm concentrating on the aftermath of the castration.  After Johnny has managed to go down stairs [without his manhood and covered in blood] you see Jennifer in the bathroom.  Johnny sure did make a bloody mess and she begins to clean. It's very frightening to see how little remorse she has for his death. The only sounds in the scene are that of moving towels, and that squeaky clean sound of the bathtub. Her face remains normal as if she was doing an ad for Scrubbing Bubbles.  Sometimes, nonchalant is the scariest emotion at all.  Even though the prick deserved it.

Undoubtably, one of the most controversial horror films to ever hit a mass audience is Dressed To Kill. The shower scene alone had to be edited to avoid an X rating.  [thanks to Ann Margaret's crotch shot]. No one actually dies in this horror scene, but what is scary is that it's the beginning to an extremely crazy film.  I could have brought up this film during the "rape" talk, but because it was a dream, I didn't want to associate it with intentional rape scenes.  Nonetheless, watching someone get raped in the privacy of their own home, dream or not-is pretty terrifying. Not to mention, this film portrayal of it, is extremely graphic.  

One of my favorite horror movies with a woman killer, and one of my favorite horror movies of all-time is none other than Sleepaway Camp. Now, I could talk for days on why this movie is important to women, but we're focusing on shower scenes. I live on a college campus and we have public bathrooms, and public showers.  Anyone who has gone to a camp or gone to college understands that sometimes, taking a shower knowing that there could be endless amounts of people outside the stall, is scary enough on its own.  Yet for bitch camp counselor Meg to take a shower, alone, in a public bathroom, with a killer on the loose....was just dumb on her part. Showers put us in an extremely vulnerable position, and dying naked isn't exactly how I pictured I'd go. Good ups to Angela Baker though, for finding a knife that cut cut through not only a metal shower stall, but also a human back.

Thank heavens I never had to shower in high school. This is another one of those bathroom scenes where no one dies. In the famous adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie. We see a poor troubled teenager receiving her first menstrual period. Now, as a woman, getting your period for the first time is pretty life-altering. Yet, we normally know what to expect, and what it is. Poor Carrie has no idea what is going on and assumes she's dying.  If I wasn't on my period and suddenly started bleeding from my lower region, I'd freak out too. Rather than try to help her however, those bitches threw tampons at her while she sat naked, mortified, and in the shower. Little did they know that Carrie was telekinetic and was eventually going to kill them all.  Hm, sucks for them. Maybe they were the ones that should have plugged it up. 
The shadowy figure in the curtain, the sound of beating water, that infamous scream, the bright knife, the wailing of violins, the sounds of knives puncturing fruit, and of course the chocolate syrup down the drain; yes ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about the one, the only...... PSYCHO. There is no movie, no scene, no sound that will ever stand up to the iconic shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's classic. You never even the knife enter Janet Leigh either! There are three frames [or an eighth of a second] of the entire scene where you see the knife barely enter two layers of skin on her abdomen.  Yet, this scene is what started it all. It's what makes us nervous in the shower, and makes shadowy figures in the bathroom more terrifying than anything. This scene is by far the greatest shot of horror caught on film.  Despite the rumors of how it was made, or why people revolted at the decision to kill off their headliner so soon; Psycho is the epitome of horror.  I in no way could ever give a justifying tribute to this shower scene.  This scene is probably the most memorable scene in horror history, and probably in the history of cinema itself. This is a classic film that no one can ever touch, or even attempt to top. Sorry Vince Vaughn.  

Thursday, February 26, 2009


There's something iconic about being hot, wet, steamy, and naked. Of course, that is if you're in a horror film. Some of the most memorable death scenes from films take place in our most private quarters. People use the bathroom to partake in some of our most "personal" activities. This is going to be a two-day special so stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of the scenes! So before you start asking "where this scene is" remember that tomorrow will have more!!!

Ladies, there is a reason Edward Scissorhands didn't get the girl at the end of the film, it's because he has frickin' razor's for hands! I've heard of romantic touching while in the bathtub with a loved one, but razor blade hands?! COME ON NOW!  What makes this scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street so scary, is because his hand is going right in between her legs. This scene gives the same scare for women that I Spit On Your Grave does for men. Except Nancy Thompson gets that lovely "final girl" rule, and she doesn't lose any of her goodies :) 

Following up we have the bathtub scene from Slither.  I was extremely skeptical about the film, because it was mocking a genre i held so dear to my 
heart, but I was surprisingly pleased with it. In this scene we see Connie taking a bath, when suddenly a slug squirms its way into the bathroom.  She is "asleep" while in the bath [because sleeping while in water is incredibly smart] when the slug starts swimming its way towards her mouth.  She wakes up and screams and the slug darts right into her mouth. She grabs the sucker and throws it across the room. Then she cuts the bugger in half Angela Baker style with a curling iron.  I don't know about you, but when I'm nude, an alien slug is the LAST thing I want slithering at me. The same reason the razor hands freak us out from NOES, the slug is going straight in between her legs. You get that pit in your stomach the second you see it, and a sigh of relief when you realize it's heading for the mouth.  Scary either way to have some foreign slug trying to get in you, but I think I'd rather have it in my mouth...and yes; that is what she said.
I will be the first to admit that I'm not a huge fan of American re-makes of foreign horror films, but watching Amy Smart have her jaw ripped off of her face in Mirrors is one of the most gruesome things I've ever witnessed. To think that I could strip naked, get ready for a nice, warm bath; to only be rewarded with my own demise by having my lower jaw completely ripped off my face isn't exactly ideal to me. What's worse, is that there isn't a creepy ghoul to fight off! Her jaw is literally ripping itself off of her face. Damn you reflections, damn you!
Finally, we see a woman who is the scary one in this film, rather than the one being terrified.  Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining is one of "the great ones".  While I've touched on some of the creepiness of The Shining before, one of the more strange scenes is when Jack becomes entranced by the Naked girl in the bath, who later turns into a naked, dead, elderly woman. I've heard of people waking up with ugly people next to them after a night they don't remember, but that's just ridiculous.

I'm including this not because it has anything to do with women, but because I find this film extremely underrated and extremely hilarious. Reading me ramble, and looking at images you've already seen aren't the always the most interesting things, so I've included a clip from the film Ghoulies II. Plus, with all of the threatening of women parts in horror, it's nice to watch a man scream for protection of his parts... :) enjoy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Little Girls, Little Girls, Everything about them is...LITTLE

There is something extremely frightening about children in horror movies.  Now I could sit here all day and talk about little Gage in Pet Semetary or Isaac in Children of the Corn, but I'm here to talk about the terrifying little girls of the horror world.  I feel that girls are much more terrifying than boys.  When you think of a "little girl" one typically thinks of frilly socks, pink bows, and ringlet curl hair.  However, when your "little girl" starts screaming "Your mother sucks cock in hell" and projectile vomiting green goo, things get a little more mortifying. 

First, of course is Reagen MacNeil of The Exorcist.  Not only did Linda Blair's portrayal of a demon possessed child earn her the iconic image, but she also helped give it 10 Academy Award nominations; winning two.  What makes her so terrifying; is that this is a little girl with the power to levitate, spin her head 360 degrees, projectile vomit, scream obscenities, roll her eyes into the back of her head, speak in a TERRIFYING male voice, brutally attack people, and not to mention the awesome wounds that just appear on her in an instant.  When it is discovered that she isn't possessed by a demon, but the Devil himself, well that's just the icing on the cake now isn't it? As a woman, even thinking of the possibility that I could come home someday and my darling little girl is suddenly possessed by Satan scares the living ba-jesus out of me. Seeing it on screen, is an entirely different nightmare.  

5 Steps to Creating Terrifying Twins For The Shining....

Step One: Find hollow eyed twins.
Step Two: Dress them alike
Step Three: Write Creepy Catch Phrase
Step Four: Make them speak in unison
Step Five: Subliminally show them axed and covered in blood.
Wet, Lather, Rinse, Repeat...forever and ever and ever and ever...

I have never been a huge fan of people who dress their children alike, let alone a set of multiples.  No matter what a set of twins could be saying, I am instantly creeped out whenever they speak at the same time.  I don't think anyone will ever be able to say "Come Play With Us" without thinking of the iconic and terrifying Grady twins from The Shining.

The one who started it all really in terms of scary little girls is none other than Karen Cooper of Night of the Living Dead. It takes some real guts [literally] to stab your own mother with a trowel and eat your own father. When I say eat 
your own father, I mean it. The man who played her father in NOTLD, was her biological father. How's that for creepy? Now, Freud wasn't around to create some weird complex for her, but I'm sure he could have come up with something. The originator of the Zombie Complex! When there is a zombie infestation going on, the last thing I really want to see is a zombie child, let alone a flesh hungry zombie girl. Along with being the infamous Karen Cooper, she is also that body at the top of the stairs that scared us all so much.   Kyra Schon IS the scariest of the little girls, and a true horror icon. She is a living legend and a walking piece of history. In fact, with Night of the Living Dead in the Library of Congress, it shows that even our darling government wants her to remain a part of our history.
Modern Horror gets an extremely bad reputation for not living up to its horror predecessors.  Especially when a good amount of "American" horror is nothing more than a cheap re-make of an overseas classic. Samara Morgan from the re-make The Ring. Scared the living daylights out of me the first time I saw the film.  I for one do not like killer kids to begin with, but when you throw long straggly dark hair and creepy crawling out of a well, count me out. Samara is a combination of the three [four] killer kids I have talked about earlier. She is possessed by evil spirits, she has special powers, she is occasionally seen dead, and she tries to kill you. Simply put, she's scary.  Watching her in that whacked out death video was enough to give me goosebumps, but watching this child come out of a television set, soaking wet, was enough to make me jump just a little bit.

Now, this list isn't to say that these are the "top four" or "only four" scary little girls in horror. These are just four that are extremely iconic in my opinion. I tried to get a pretty decent time span on them as well.  There are plenty other little girls that make things go bump in the night, and just because they are not mentioned, does not mean they are not praised. I personally, was seriously damaged after watching the unison albino demons that were the children of Village of the Damned. Those little girls give me the creeps and make me weary of white-blonde children. That my friends, is a very serious statement.  There's also the girls from Ghost Ship, Fear [dot] com, Poltergeist, Sleepaway Camp and countless others. Keep the screams going, and keep suspicions, because you don't know what little girls are really capable of...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Woman Of The Week: P.J. Soles

Happy Sunday everyone! Every Sunday we will be featuring a jump into the past, and showcase a notable face of the horror industry. It may be a director, an actress, a character, or even just someone with an incredible scream.

This week, we are featuring P.J. Soles. While she has quite a resume ranging from television to the silver screen, she is being glorified for her two most recognizable roles in the horror genre. [Not to say Rock 'N' Roll High School wasn't awesome].  P.J. Soles got her BIG moment in horror as most memorable playing red hat wearing bitch Norma Watson in the adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie.  Norma was a wonderful little toadie to the queen bee of bitchery Chris Hargensen.  Norma is infamous for being the first person to laugh at the pig's blood covered Carrie White at the prom (all while still wearing that damn red hat). That first laugh is what sparked the haunting reprise of Margaret White pleading "They're All Going To Laugh AT You".  P.J. really kept herself in character, as she received an actual injury on set.  When Carrie starts to kill off all those who tormented and laughed at her, a firehouse begins spraying wickedly around the gym.  Norma is infamously hit in the face with the hose and drops down on the floor (still wearing that damn hat).  The scene we have all witnessed on film was P.J. Stoles actually having her eardrum burst by the water and passing out on the floor.  Talk about commitment to a role!  

On the night of October 31st, 1978, one Lynda Van Der Klock had planned to meet up with her friends [Annie Blackett and her boyfriend Paul] at the Wallace resident for some "fun". Little does Lynda know, Annie has been murdered by Michael Myers. Thus, sets us up for one of the most iconic scenes from Halloween ever.  

Lynda has sex with her boyfriend Bob when he goes downstairs for a beer.  While he is downstairs Michael pins him to the wall with a knife.  He then disguises himself as Bob by wearing a white sheet over his head and Bob's glasses. Lynda of course believes it to be Bob and begins to flash him her breasts. Now, as a completely heterosexual female, P.J. Soles looks pretty decent naked, especially for the 70's.  She gets up to call her buddy Laurie Strode to see if she knows where Annie and Paul are.  The second that Laurie picks up, Michael Myers grabs the phone cord and strangles Lynda with it. Of course Laurie assumes its a prank call and just hangs up the phone. Lynda falls dead and Laurie finds them later on.  Now for those who are thinking I'm a complete moron for describing one of the most infamous scenes that "everybody" knows about; there is a method to my madness. People don't realize how iconic P.J. Soles helped make that scene.  Go check your local Hot Topic or Spencer's gift store to discover that you yourself can have your very own Michael Myers [wearing bed sheet and glasses] figurine. Now, this scene may not have been as wonderful without Soles.  The role of Lynda was specifically written for Soles after John Carpenter had seen her in Carrie, and because of the way she said "totally".  Without P.J. Soles, or the character of Lynda, this scene may never have even taken place.

A band originating from my hometown even has an album dedicated to her. Check out Local H's album "What Ever Happened to P.J. Soles?"

P.J. Soles will forever live in infamy as one of the most treasured women in horror. Everyone recognized her as dying in all of the horror films, but it is my goal to put a name to a face. Thank-you P.J. Soles for being wonderful, and making such classic films all the more memorable.  

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Emma Stone to become a screaming siren?

We loved her as "the hot girl who befriends the lovable loser" in Superbad, and as the "desperate sorority girl" in The House Bunny. It seems our endearing red-head Emma Stone is going to jump her way from teen comedy into Horror Comedy. She has signed up for a film called Zombieland. If the title alone doesn't make your pants fit a little tighter, maybe throw in that Woody Harrelson will be staring alongside her.  The director of this lovely film is Ruben Fleischer. Rumor has it that Abigail Breslin will join the cast to play Stone's younger sister. 

With the movie buzz out of the way, I am absolutely thrilled to see her in a horror/comedy movie.  The last time a big named red-head was in a horror film, we ended up with Lindsay Lohan in I Know Who Killed Me. Needless to say, this will be an upgrade in itself.  Now, my baby sister is a red-head, so I've always been partial to great red-headed actresses. Possibly because considering red-heads genetically, they're mutants.  Which in itself is incredibly cool in my opinion. So here we have this mutant bombshell who has done pretty decent performances in teen comedy movies. I've said before that horror film acting is completely different from any other form of acting, but I think she may be able to handle it.  One of the things I loved most about her in Superbad was that she was convincing as a high school student.  I don't know what high school you readers went to, but we never had anyone who looked like Sarah Michelle Gellar or Jennifer Love-Hewitt in my school.  Not to say Stone isn't gorgeous, but she looked like a REAL student in Superbad.  Looks aside, her mannerisms as well as reactions to funny actors like Jonah Hill were very realistic and made her such an endearing character. She was very believable as the girl next door. So, back to horror.  I think that the two most difficult roles to portray are teenage girls, and screaming sirens.  She has the teenage-girl thing nailed down, so now all she has to do is make a convincing role of terror. After seeing her in The House Bunny which starred mock Scream Queen Anna Farris, I kept seeing horror babe in Stone. Her acting has intelligence behind it which makes her ideal for a genuine horror star.  It's stereotypical that women in horror films are either bait for slashing, or psychotic women.  Stone has piercing features that would do her well with either part. 

The film has just started production and is due sometime out in 2010. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day Of The Woman Rips Apart Scream Queens

So I'm sure many of you out there have either seen or heard of Vh1's reality show Scream Queens where ten "unknown" actresses compete for a starring role in the next of the Saw series. Now I will be the first to say that the idea of having a horror themed stardom show was extremely exciting for me.  Acting for a horror film is a completely different world than acting in any other genre.  You need to be able to scream, and to look petrified convincingly.  As Emily Dickinson wrote "I like a look of agony, because I know it's true".  Meaning, you can't fake agony, and if you better be damn well good at it.  But I digress.  So VH1 comes up with this absolutely fabulous idea for a reality show and instead of bringing top notch obstacles for the girls to compete in, they almost mock the very genre they are telling these girls will make them a star!

First, the show is hosted by Shawnee Smith.  While I completely understand that you'd have the golden child of Lionsgate films as your host, but honestly...she's the same character on-stage as well as off. I couldn't take her seriously as a host because her voice never changed the entire show.  A host is supposed to be the life of the entire show, and she was completely dull. Shawnee Smith was supposed to be a mentor for the girls, but you'd think that they would have found someone who was a more inspirational Scream Queen.  Jamie Lee Curtis would have done nicely...Despite the host being completely un-motivational, the contestants themselves make me disgusted to know that these girls are the possible future of the horror industry.  To prepare some inexperienced girl to be the feature star of such a big budget film in only 8 weeks is incredibly stupid in my opinion.  The Saw series is already flopping fast, and their sad attempt at picking up a new audience by putting a show on that attracts only 15 year old girls, and horror fans who already see their films; was a completely idiotic move. It sounded good on paper, but when they put it together, it was much like the fifth installment of Saw. FAIL. It seemed that the producers just wanted some ratings, so rather than give the contestants assignments that had to deal with actual acting, they put them in situations that either required sex or screaming.

Now I am not saying that sex and screaming isn't a major part of the horror genre by any means, but it isn't the only aspect of it. Much like when MTV's Real World stopped getting real and starting getting sexual, this show just glorified the future of horror films, and glory doesn't look so bright.  For example, the only thing that saved the very sexy Amy Smart scene in Mirrors was the fact that her reflections was ripping its fucking jaw off. Without the jaw-rip, it would have just been any other cliche "hot girl screams in the bathtub horror scene". 

After re-watching the show for a second time, I became more annoyed with it as I did when it first aired.  This in no way was a true competition for acting.  It was nothing 
but a completely immature drama-fest of young girls.  Picture VH1's Flavor of Love with machetes and fake blood.  (Flavor Flav is about as appealing as Saw VI sounds right about now).    As the show progressed, I had my favorites of course...but I tried to think about where they found these "actresses".  I wonder if anyone remembers Lindsay from about 2002...When I was younger, I remember my mother telling me how I reminded her of a character on a Nickelodeon show called 
"Caitlin's Way", and who starred as Caitlin you may ask? Why of course Lindsay Felton! I am not sure if being the poster child for Hottopic pre-teen angst automatically means that becoming a Scream Queen is in your future, but apparently Lindsay thought so. She barely touched on the fact that she had her own show back in the day, and that could possibly be because Nickelodeon is owned by the same corporation that owns VH1...Now, that being said....Lindsay was the only one that I felt had any sort of acting talent. She was trained yes, and it was obvious that she had been trained, but I feel that she suffers from the "child-star syndrome" and that screwed her over. The first time she was given rave reviews, she said she did horrible.  She was stuck in the mindset that she still needed to break from her child stardom, and her lack of confidence really took her out.  As far as the rest of the contestants, the rest of them made me want to knock them out.  The runner-up of the show was Michelle.  Michelle suffers from the "good looks get me places" attitude.  Now it may be true that being pretty will help you for small time things or get you a part of a "pretty girl", it does not guarantee you a part in a feature film.  If you look back at some of the horror babes of the 90's, they weren't all knock outs.  Jennifer Love Hewitt is undoubtably beautiful, but during the 90's horror films, she was VERY plain-jane and there wasn't anything unbelievable about her. Knowing that Michelle got as far as she did is just once again proving that the horror industry is concentrating more on who looks best running naked in the woods rather than who can pull off a convincing role.  The rest of the contestants looked like bad college theatre drop outs. I honestly wouldn't have been surprised if they all worked at the same Denny's together in downtown L.A.

Of course, every reality show has to have a winner, and the winner was Tanedra.  At first I really loved Tanedra and thought she had great potential and very very very good natural talent...and then you hear the sob story. She comes from a family of food stamp pushers, she had been hit by a truck, she's a minority, and hasn't taken a single acting lesson.
 So then of course my skeptic alarm went ringing off the hook because I thought to myself that there was no way in hell the producers weren't going to have this sad story come out on top.  In her defense however, she showed raw emotion and eventually won me over. Maybe it's because I couldn't handle watching another pretty, bitchy, stuck-up actress to star in a horror film.  What made me extremely irritated was the postings on VH1's website by the viewers about it.  They posted up a forum for the show and after the results were in, the message boards were flooded with nothing but race comments.  It seemed that people weren't accepting of Tanedra being the winner because she was African-American.  People were complaining that African-Americans have no place in horror films and that she would do nothing but destroy the horror genre.  Now now now people, are we forgetting about Aliyah in Queen of the Damned? Or how about Wesley Snipes as BLADE for chrissakes?! Will Tanedra be the next Fay Wray or Jamie Lee Curtis? I doubt that, but at least they picked someone with some sort of talent. Who knows, maybe she will spice up the fire beneath Jigsaw....

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