Monday, February 20, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: M IS FOR...

To celebrate Women In Horror Recognition month, Day of the Woman is celebrating by compiling the ABC's of women in horror.  
TODAY'S PROGRAM IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTER: M

A Hammer Horror favorite, Caroline Munro is a woman who could get your motor running and kick your ass all within a five minute time frame.  A household name thanks to a lucrative modeling career, she first hopped into the horror world  opposite Vincent Price in The Abominable Dr. Phibes as the deceased Mrs. Victoria Regina Phibes.  She would later reprise the role in the sequel.  However In 1974, Hammer Horror got a hold of her and turned her career from modeling to acting. Munro has the distinction of being the only actor ever signed to a long-term contract by Hammer Films.  Honorably, Munro turned down two roles from Hammer because they required nudity.  Get it, girl.

Another Scream Queen making her debut as a pornographic actress, Michelle Bauer was in just about every B-Movie released around the 1980s-1990s.  A former Penthouse Pet of the Month, Michelle Bauer was one of the few porn actresses to require a double for the sex scenes.  Arguably, her most well known performance was in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, a tongue in cheek B-Movie with Leatherface included as a character.  She frequently worked with fellow B-Movie Scream Queen, Linnea Quigley as well as directors Fred Olen Ray and David DeCoteau.  She has been a feature in many horror documentaries and was recently featured in Screaming in High Heels: The Rise & Fall of the Scream Queen Era. A film following the careers of Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, and you guessed it, Michelle Bauer.


Sometimes, it only takes a single role to make your mark in the film industry or in a specific genre film.  Known moreso for her cult films, it is vital to shed some light on an actress who has made one of the largest impacts in horror. Mercedes McCambridge was a popular radio voice in the 1940's and constantly played the rough and tumble, butch female leads in films throughout the 1940's and 1950's, but it was her work in quite possibly the biggest horror film from the 1970's (if not, all time) that has made her truly an unsung horror hero. After swallowing raw eggs, smoking constantly, and guzzling booze, Mercedes was able to transform her voice into something far more sinister.  Ms. Mercedes McCambridge was the voice of Pazuzu, the demon that posessed little Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist. What? You didn't think a woman could voice the horrifying male demon?  Well, think again.  One of the scariest, most horrific, traumatizing, haunting, and creepy voices in all of horror history belongs to a woman.


And we make another round about the porn stars turned B-Movie stars with actress/filmmaker/musician, Misty Mundae.  Legally known as Erin Brown, Misty Mundae got her start in softcore pornography, but made a smooth transition into low budget B-Movies, to which she has starred in over fifty.  Mainly working with E.I. Independent Cinema's horror division Shock-O-Rama Cinema, at the 2006 New Jersey International Film and Screenplay Festival (later renamed the Hoboken International Film Festival), she was nominated for Best Actress, for her role in the psychological thriller Sinful.



And finally, we end our "M" round-up with one of the most important women in horror history.  Mary Lambert was known for directing most of the early music videos for Madonna including the extremely controversial "Like A Prayer" video (You know, the one where she has sex with Black Jesus?), but genre fans adore her as the female director behind the camera for the film adaptation of Stephen King's Pet Sematary and the sequel Pet Sematary II. Mary Lambert has since directed Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, The Attic, and a film for SyFy entitled  Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.


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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