Friday, February 10, 2012


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

Claude Rains may have been The Invisible Man, but behind every great man, is a great woman.  Or in that case, look straight through him and you'll see Flora Cranley played by Gloria Stuart. Gloria appeared in over 40 films during her career, and also came full circle and played Darien Fawkes' grandmother in SCI FI Channel's TV show The Invisible Man.  She may not be classified as a "Scream Queen", but no one can take away the fact that she was THE girl of The Invisible Man. 

Death Fascination,  Puberty, and Werewolves, OH MY!  In 2000, Canada delivered us a memorable werewolf flick with insanely strong feminist overtones.  Ginger Snaps is the story of the two Fitzgerald sisters and their struggle to deal with issues of not only gender identification, teenage rebellion, family dynamics, peer acceptance, an obsession with violent deaths, the transformation from child to adult, and obviously...werewolves.  The transition for females from childhood to adulthood is an incredibly powerful and yet equally terrifying experience.  This film has metaphorically exposed this fact by comparing the menstrual cycle triggering female puberty to the quick decline from sweet little girl into savage beast.  Not only does the film showcase a more modern view of feminism (using the female differences to overcome obstacles set by men), but it also shows the very important bond of sisterhood and the innate protective nature we seem to have wired into us.  Ginger Snaps is an extremely important film in the world of feminine horror and a cult classic for horror fans regardless of gender.

What can be said about Sarah Michelle Gellar that hasn't been said before?  The pretty little darling of daytime television grew up into one of the finest examples of a Scream Queen at the end of the millennium.  With starring roles in Scream 2, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Grudge, The Grudge 2, and The Return, SMG has quite the horror resume.  Most importantly, is her role as the femme icon Buffy Summers in the smash-hit television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  While she may be beautiful, Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance showed women everywhere that lacking a Y chromosome doesn't make you any less capable of kicking-ass and taking names.

Although written and directed by a man, Paul Solet's GRACE is (in my opinion) a wonderful example of a horror film from a feminist perspective.  Not only was there a lesbian relationship that wasn't turned into some sexual fetish scene, but the film posed the question just how far will a mother go to protect her child?  The film showcases the intricate relationships between women and their friendships, lovers, family, in-laws, all while having a baby with the same appetite as Audrey II.  This film is breathtaking, terrifying, disturbing, moving, and inspiring.  Many can criticize it for it's slow pace, but I believe the burn to be enjoyable and intriguing as hell.

One of the most iconic pin-ups of the World War II era, Anne Gwynne is praised as one of the earliest Scream Queens from her numerous appearances in horror and science fiction pictures.  One of the leading ladies of Universal Studios, Anne Gwynne starred in ten genre films including Weird Woman, Black Friday, Murder in the Blue Room, and House of Frankenstein.  Her beauty, stage presence, poise, and grace has yet to be matched, and she is truly a staple for the early days of horror.  Interesting fun fact?  Anne Gwynne is the grandmother of heartthrob actor Chris Pine, so you can all thank this lady for his good looks.

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. 

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