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 are....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....

1 comment(s):

Spike Ghost said...

aww man, i loved Lindsay Felton in Caitlin's Way. I can't believe she went that low :(
If she wants to have roles she needs to practice acting, not go on pathetic things like that.

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