Sunday, February 5, 2012


To celebrate Women In Horror Recognition month, Day of the Woman is celebrating by compiling the ABC's of women in horror.  

Before there were final girls, there was Hazel Court.  Her autobiography published shortly after her death was called Horror Queen, and that's exactly what she was.
Despite her long career on both sides of the Atlantic, many film fans know of Hazel Court only from appearances in such productions as The Masque of the Red Death and The Raven. But Miss Court is far more than just someone who once appeared in a Vincent Price movie. A promising British starlet in the 1940s and early 1950s, Court hit her stride appearing in crime dramas and mysteries--even appearing in several of them with her then-husband Dermot Walsh. In 1954, she starred in the offbeat English sci-fi flick Devil Girl from Mars, and before long was specializing in horror pictures. Court was the female lead in two early Hammer productions: The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959).  She went on to star in dozens of other horror films, and established a reputation that has yet to go unmatched.

“I think women have a different take on what people find scary. I love horror films but most I don’t find scary. Some of the ideas the women have come up with are scary, perhaps rooted in their own experiences. A lot of them have female lead characters. What we’re not getting is the standard horror film, where the only appearance girls make is to run around semi-clothed before getting their heads chopped off. The female characters are much more important in the narrative than in most horror films.”-Caroline Cooper Charles.  Caroline Cooper Charles is one of the most influential women in horror that you've probably never heard of. She is currently CEO of Universal Spirits, the independent production company she established in the spring of 2010 and is the  head of creative development of Darklight, an initiative to encourage female horror directors at the low-budget film studio Warp X. To put it in the simplest terms, Caroline Cooper Charles is a damn fine example of a Woman In Horror deserving some recognition.

With twelve (and counting) purely horror genred movies under her belt, Jamie Lee Curtis is often seen as one of the most well known and respected scream queens in horror history.  The daughter of powerhouse actor Tony Curtis and Janet "mydeathruinedshowersfortherestofeternity" Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis was destined for film stardom.  The definitive "final girl", Jamie Lee Curis broke onto the acting scene with her iconic portrayal of The Shape's baby sister, Laurie Strode in Halloween.  Between the years of 1978-1981, Jamie Lee Curtis was the "Molly Ringwald" of slasher films.  Her acting chops were undeniable and her career skyrocketed shortly after.  While she has gone to perform in films of just about every genre, Jamie Lee Curtis will forever be known as the "queen of scream".  Recently, David Grove penned a novel detailing the life (both personally and professionally) of Jamie Lee Curtis throughout her career.  Now if she can only convince her husband Christopher Guest to make a horror themed film with his comedy style.  Hey, a girl can dream.

Love her or hate her, Diablo Cody has been making ridiculously huge strides for women in horror.  Although she made her mark in the cinematic world penning a little indie film that destroyed its hipster cred by going oh-so-mainstream, Diablo Cody has been on a huge upswing for screenwriting horror films.  The author of the screenplay for the Megan Fox horror/comedy Jennifer's Body, she created a story about the perfect, pretty, cheerleader Jennifer Check (played by Megan Fox) and ends up as the sacrifice in a Satanic ritual. Now this isn't held by some weird cult, it's held by a douchey garage band in the hopes that the sacrifice will increase their chances of getting signed. While she may be criticized for the dialogue she uses for her characters, she brings in the bacon and her films never seem to do poorly in the box office.  Her talent hasn't gone unnoticed as she is set to co-write the script for the upcoming re-imaging of The Evil Dead as well as the film adaptation for S.G. Browne's Zombie love story BREATHERS.  I admire this woman for her accomplishments and personally, I find her to be quite inspirational.

 She may not have a laundry list of horror credits to her IMDB page the way Jamie Lee Curtis does, but Neve Campbell should never be ignored when it comes to horror street cred.  Neve Campbell emerged as the fresh faced final girl of Wes Craven's SCREAM.  Campbell revisited her role three times in all of the sequels from the original film.  Wes Craven saw her performance on the television show Party of Five and is quoted to say "She could best embody a character who was "innocent" but also able to handle herself while dealing with the demanding physicality and emotions of the role".  Neve actually almost didn't take the role after finishing The Craft, but was willing to do so as it would be her first feature starring role.  It's safe to say that she made the right decision in taking the job.  Her role as Sidney Prescott even earned her a Best Actress award at the 1997 Saturn Awards.  Over ten years from her first performance as Sidney Prescott, Neve Campbell returned to the big screen for one final hurrah in SCRE4M.

Obviously, there are PLENTY of women and films that have yet to be uncovered, but who knows...maybe they'll make an appearance under another letter.  Stay tuned to Day of the Woman for a continuation of this series and
for plenty of Women in Horror Recognition Month updates. 

0 comment(s):

Related Posts with Thumbnails