Monday, February 27, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: Q 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: Q

It's the letter Q...cut me some slack.
She got her early breaks in B-flicks like Psycho from Texas (1975) and Stone Cold Dead (1979). But it was one movie in particular that would make her legendary in the annals of scream queen history. Return of the Living Dead helped put Linnea Quigley on the map, and she was also helped out by mucho coverage in the pages of Fangoria magazine during the 1980s. She became, without a doubt, the most prominent horror pin-up girl of the decade--at least in the U.S. And as a testament to her staying power as an icon of the genre, Linnea Quigley has remained a staple of the B-movie scene, despite recently passing the big 5-0, and will forever be the penultimate scream queen.



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. 

HAPPY THIRD BIRTHDAY DAY OF THE WOMAN!!!

I realized today that with only a couple more days until the end of February and Women In Horror Recognition Month, I wasn't going to finish my alphabet on schedule like I had hoped.  You know something, though? I'm totally okay with this fact.  The thing about WiH month isn't to raise awareness for women for 28/29 days out of the year, WiH month is to help bring us together and shed light on women by showcasing them in a giant festival on a grad enough scale to generate interest.  The ABC's of Women In Horror WILL continue into March, and will continue on as long as I blog. 

I also realized, with the stress of real life that I missed my own damn anniversary.  What started out as an outlet to cure my boredom while residing in the cultural wasteland my university is sadly rooted within, has lead me to the greatest family I've ever known. You've all been incredible over this past month and over the last 3 years (and one week) and I am so incredibly grateful for everyone that I've encountered through this journey.  Thank you, thank you, thank you from the very bottom of my heart.

Peace, Love, & BRAAAAAINS

Friday, February 24, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: P 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: P

It's not a secret that here at Day of the Woman, there is a great deal of appreciation shown for Ms. PJ 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 is infamously hit in the face with the hose and drops down on the floor (still wearing that damn hat).  P.J. Soles actually had her eardrum burst by the water and passed out on the floor. Shortly after, PJ Soles starred as Lynda Van Der Klock, the naked girl strangled by Michael Myers in a bed sheet with a telephone cord in Halloween. 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.


Without Brigette Fitzgerald, Ginger Snaps would have been your run of the mill werewolf story. Thanks to the sisterhood element brought on by Emily Perkins, we were given a fabulous example of an empowering horror movie for females. Emily Perkins may have been second banana to Katharine Isabelle in the original, but it was her work in the sequel Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed that proved her merit as a performer and even earned her the Chainsaw Award from Fangoria magazine.  Known mostly for her work with the franchise, Perkins recently starred in Blood: A Butcher's Tale and had a cameo role in Juno.   

I will be completely honest here when I say that as a large supporter of women in horror, I am very uneducated when it comes to women behind the scenes.  This isn't a slight against myself or a way to lessen my credibility, it's just an honest admission.  I'm 21 years old, I'm a double major at a university, and I have rehearsals from 7pm-11pm every night. Cut me some slack.  Luckily, I have found refuge in Heidi Honeycutt's newest takeover, Planet Etheria.  A website entirely dedicated to horror, sci-fi, and fantasy work created by women. PlanetEtheria.com is also the only place linked to the free Encyclopedia of Women Directors of Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy.  Seriously, if you don't read this site...you're completely missing out.

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. 


Thursday, February 23, 2012

THE ABC'S OF WOMEN IN HORROR: O 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: O
 
I'm still not entirely sure how the little Spanish speaking girl from Kindergarten Cop turned out to be such a babe, but I guess I'm not one to ask questions.  I'll be honest when I say that I don't find Odette Yustman particularly talented, but forgive my ignorance when I admit to being unsure about the letter "O".  Odette Yustman is known in the horror world for her role as the damsel in distress in Cloverfield, and the only reason anyone went to see the flop The Unborn.  Let's be honest here, her ass on the poster drew in the crowds. Sex Sells, I guess.

The Japanese horror film Ōdishon (more well known as Audition) is a Takashi Miike masterpiece that served as one of the precursors to the American obsession with Japanese horror.  Not only did it bring a new serving of over the top gore and cruel & unusual torture scenes, but it presented audiences with one of the most memorable and horrifying female villains in horror movie history.  The film has since developed a bit of a cult following and Eihi Shiina's portrayal of Asami Yamazaki undoubtedly proved that women could be far more sinister than their male counterparts.


Rising starlet, America Olivo has been popping up in horror films both within the mainstream and indie realms.  The sister in law of fellow horror movie actress Neve Campbell, Olivo has been quickly rising within the genre.  Performing in films like The Thirst: Blood War, Neighbor, Circle, Bitch Slap, and the newest remake of Friday the 13th, America Olivo has surely been making a name for herself in the world of modern horror.  In 2013, Olivo will star alongside Elijah Wood in the remake of the classic horror slasher Maniac as Frank's Mother.




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. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MAKEUP ARTIST ZACH SHILDWACHTER IS AUDITIONING FOR SYFY'S FACE OFF!

Here at Day of the Woman, I try to allow this blog space as a haven for many of my fellow colleagues and friends to spread the word about their work and perspective projects.  If you recall a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to sit for makeup artist and horror journalist Zach Shildwachter when he asked if he could toy around with a few makeup ideas and was in need of a model.  After debating whether or not he should start branching out his enthusiasm for the world of special fx makeup artistry, Zach has decided to go balls to the wall and try his luck auditioning for SyFy's addicting makeup competition, Face Off.  Day of the Woman would like to wish Zach Shildwachter the very best of luck in this endeavor and at the very least, help shed some light on an extremely passionate and talented artist.  Below is his audition tape in which he transforms himself into a demon. Check it out!



Check out Zach's other works on his site Awkward Creations
or 

Read his horror journalism over at The Blood Sprayer 

HELP MAKE "HAUNTED" A REALITY

Although I had reserved Day of the Woman exclusively for Women in Horror month festivities, a new kickstarter project has been brought to my attention that I highly recommend you check out and support.  The brain child of three of my favorite horror bloggers; Brad McHargue, Count Vardulon (www.vardulon.com) and The Dive Mistress (www.zombots.net) need your help to make their film HAUNTED a reality.   "The conception of the script developed out of our desire to create a unique “found footage” horror film that didn’t pander to the audience or rely on standard found footage gimmicks, but with a unique "hook" that makes it stand out from the pack. We’re well aware that the “found footage” sub-genre of horror films has become, for lack of a better phrase, played out, with criticism being lobbied at the ultra-cheap method of filmmaking by fans and critics alike." What started out as a simple discussion about the quality of Paranormal Activity, the three have collaborated to essentially show us what the film SHOULD have been.  Yes, these three ambitious individuals are promising to one-up one of the biggest horror franchises of the last five years. The filmmakers stated With your help, the creators are planning on completely fan funding this project.  If funded, every last red cent will go into the production of this film.


You can check out the “official” website for the film at http://www.haunted-movie.info for updates on the film’s production. 
Questions concerning the film and its production can be directed to hauntedmovie2@gmail.com

This project will only be funded if at least $35,000 is pledged by Friday Mar 16, 6:54pm EDT. 

Visit HAUNTED's kickstarter page
HERE

THE ABCs OF WOMEN IN HORROR: N 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: N

England born actress Naomi Watts has become one of the go-to women for both mainstream and indie horror films. From 1986-2000, Naomi Watts garnered roles in a multitude of B-Movies including Children of the Corn IV.  In 2001 she busted into the "big time" with a role in David Lynch's psychological thriller, Mulholland Drive.  The film helped her gain a leading role the following year as the protagonist of the smash box office hit American remake of the Japanese horror film, The Ring.  IN 2005 she played the leading lady (made famous by Fay Wray) in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong.  In 2008 she played the main female role in the hyperthrilling horror film Funny Games, a shot for shot remake of the Austrian original.  Naomi Watts has been called the "Queen of Remakes" and is possibly going to play Melanie Daniels in the rumored remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.  
 

Her first widely released film was for the witch film, The Craft.  Neve Campbell played telekinetic "Bonnie", one of the four members of the coven shown in the film. It was later that year when Neve Campbell would secure her spot in the horror movie hall of fame as Sidney Prescott in SCREAM. 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".  Playing Sidney would be her first feature starring role, and without a doubt, her most memorable. 



A writer and director with countless credits under her belt, Ashleigh Nichols is emerging as a fresh face behind the camera in the horror genre.  With a bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts, Ashleigh Nichols started out like most theatre graduates...jobless and without luck finding a job. Thankfully, Ashleigh was able to nab work through Eddie Beasley and it sparked her future endeavors.  What started out as just another girl working behind the scenes on films, Ashleigh worked as a set PA until she finally found her place behind the camera.  In 2011, she collaborated with (now husband) Eddie Beasley to direct and produce the zomedy short film Summer of the Zombies.  The hilarious short takes multiple jabs at hipster culture, includes a romantic transgression, and brings an entirely new look and feel of the zombie monster.  I am definitely hoping to see what else Ashleigh has up her sleeve and what the future has in store for her. 



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. 

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. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

THE ABC'S OF WOMEN IN HORROR: L 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: L

Indonesian beauty, Laura Gemser is a woman many have seen but is often left behind.  After a brief stint in modeling, Gemser found herself performing in soft core pornography.  She gained international recognition when she was cast as the star of the Italian Softcore Sexploitation films known as the Black Emmanuelle series; a series following the erotic, bizarre and occasionally violent travels of Emanuelle, a globe-trotting, hedonistic investigative journalist.  Laura Gemser really made a name for herself in Italian horror during the 1970's and 1980's.  With seventeen horror credits to her name, Gemser was an extremely busy lady.  More interesting perhaps was her jump to costume design, where Laura was the designer for both Troll 2 and Troll 3

The split pea spitting, cursing, blasphemous, head spinning, demon possessed Reagan MacNeil of The Exorcist is a character that has haunted nightmares for generations.  Starting off her career in the horror genre, Linda Blair has stayed predominately in the horror genre for most of her career.  Whether playing her iconic role or even parodying it, Linda Blair is well aware of how she made herself a household name and has never left her fans behind.  From 2000-2006, Linda Blair was the host of the popular haunted house television series Scariest Places On Earth, and had a cameo role in Scream.  Horror is definitely a staple in Linda Blair's life and we as horror fans should embrace the fact that unlike most actresses who get their start in horror (I'm looking at you Katherine Heigl) she has never once abandoned us and has always kept us at the top of her list of loving fanboys and fangirls.  With twenty one horror credits to her name, Linda Blair is one of the sweethearts of horror...and has an Academy Award nomination for it to prove it. 

Laurie Strode may be the woman many most quickly associate with the beloved Halloween franchise, but the godmother of The Shape is none other than Debra Hill.   John Carpenter even credits her as being the other half of the 50/50 writing cred for Halloween, Halloween II, and Halloween III: Season of the Witch. She also worked alongside him in The Fog. Outside of working with Carpenter, she produced The Dead Zone, Head Office, Escape from NY, World Trade Center, and two of my favorite cult classics: Clue and Adventures in Babysitting. She was honored by Women in Film in 2003. After years of having people not taking her seriously because she was a woman, Hill became one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood. She recalled the transition from being called "sweetheart" and "darling" in her early years as a producer to the respectful "ma'am". She was an incredibly influential screenwriter and producer and gave wonderful pieces of cinema for us to treasure for generations to come.




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. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

THE ABC'S OF WOMEN IN HORROR: K 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: K


Writer-director-acting coach, Katt Shea is the woman every horror fan wishes to encompass.  Honored by retrospectives of five of her critically acclaimed films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, The British Film Institute in London and various festivals throughout Europe, Katt Shea consistently produces solid work. In 2011 she won the Trailblazing Award at Bleedfest for "inspiring a generation of young filmmakers".  She currently working with Mary Lambert and Nancy Kirhoffer on an anthology series called Hystere, Imps of Perversity, a twisted, modern and controversial interpretation of Poe also written and directed by six other maverick women of horror whom Katt and Mary have chosen.  Katt is truly an inspiration to women film makers everywhere as she puts her all into everything that she creates. *From Her Website* 

A household name in the world of horror, Karen Black's horror career spans nearly four decades.  Notably, she starred in one of the most popular TV horror movies of all time, Trilogy of Terror. In it, she played three roles in an anthology including Amelia, in the third story. Any kid who grew up in the 70s and saw this one would never forget it. It was nightmare inducing...and Black gives a tour de force as a woman whose Zuni fetish doll comes to life and tries to kill her. Although an Academy Award nominee, she found it difficult to nab roles so she began to drift back into the horror genre including 1977's Burnt Offerings.  Most recently, Karen Black was Mother Firefly in Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses. Sadly, she did not revive the role for The Devil's Rejects. Karen Black has inspired many and there's a New York punk band respectfully called "The Voluptious Horror of Karen Black". She even occasionally performs with them, proving that Karen Black is not only a well rounded performer, but one who truly loves those that love her work just as much as they love her.

Best known for playing the titular character of Ginger Fitzgerald in the Canadian werewolf film, Ginger Snaps, Katharine Isabelle is a fan favorite within the horror genre.  She was one of the troubled teens murdered in a cornfield in Freddy vs. Jason and an irritating teenage girl in the made for TV movie version of Carrie.  Katharine Isabelle was recently revealed to play the titular role in the new Soska Sisters horror film, American Mary.  Reprising her role as Ginger in the rest of the installments, Katharine Isabelle displays a grasp of bitter and dark emotional complexities when it comes to her portrayal as everyone's favorite werewolf.  She's stunning, interesting to watch, and a powerful figure for actresses everywhere.  

Kristy Jett may very well in fact be the horror genre's biggest cheerleader.  She is the true and undisputed queen of the horror webosphere and one of the leading female voices within the horror fan community.  The extremely talented and passionate redhead from Rochester has truly raised the bar when it comes to social horror networking, and as a former contributor to Bloody-DisgustingDread Central, and even Fangoria.  She currently wries for TheDreaminDemon, Freddy In Space, It Goes to 11, and contributes to Horror Hound...IN PRINT.  Most notably, she is the feisty woman working for Fright-Rags.  As a powerhouse at promotions and shirt selling, Kristy has been flooding the facebook waves with horror news and Fright-Rags goodies for months now, and helped inspire some of their most favorite designs.  She's the woman who saved Popcorn and a true bleeding heart for all things horror.  To put it simply, Kristy is who I want to be when I grow up. 



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. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

THE ABCs OF WOMEN IN HORROR: J 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: J
Towards the end of her career, she was known as "box office poison", but there was a point in time where Joan Crawford reigned supreme as the queen of cinema.  In 1927, she performed in the film The Unknown, the first horror film for Mommie Dearest.  Unfortunately for our genre, she then went on to playing leading ladies and screen kissed starlets until her trademark looks turned into something much more identifiable.  With eyebrows aged angry and surprised, it wasn't a shocker when Joan Crawford began dabbling in the realm of horror films in the 1960s.  Her most memorable role in a horror film is undoubtedly Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?  She starred alongside Bette Davis who was nominated for an Oscar for the role, Crawford contacted the other nominees to let them know if they could not attend the ceremony, she would be happy to accept the Oscar on their behalf; all agreed. Both Davis and Crawford were backstage when the absent Anne Bancroft was announced as the winner, and Crawford accepted the award on her behalf. Evil on screen, as well as off so it seems.

How Diablo Cody understands completely what teenagers today sound like is beside me. Witness Jennifer's Body. Cody wasn't trying to give us these super deep characters, she gave us vapid teenagers in a horror comedy.  It seems that most people take this film too seriously. It's a film with Megan Fox in it for christ-sake, what were you expecting?  The film shows a strong female lead but I am convinced that because it is played by Megan Fox, people automatically assume that she can't be taken seriously as a strong character. Well, stop slut shaming and understand that you can be beautiful AND powerful.  
A woman who made a career off parodying herself, Jennifer Tilly is the woman with a voice as recognizable and understandable as R2D2s bleeps and bloops.  Providing the voice of Chucky's doll wife Tiffany in Bride of Chucky, Tilly later played herself as well as voiced the doll in Seed of Chucky.  Continuing her voice-over work, Tilly is also the voice of the tiny monster Mike Wazowski's medusa headed girlfriend Celia in Monsters, Inc. She may be more well known in the world of poker these days, but she has a decent amount of B-Movie credits making her a staple in the horror genre. 
Regardless of your personal preferences, there hasn't been a kill as iconic, recognizable, parodied, or effective as the infamous shower scene in Psycho with the death of Janet Leigh.  Another one of Hitchcock's ice blondes, Janet Leigh made it terrifying to shower and although a top billed performer, was killed off early into the film, something unheard of for its time.  Leigh has about eight horror credits to her name, two of them playing cameo roles in horror films with her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis as the starring role.  Her scream and slow descend into a pool of chocolate syrup at the bottom of a shower drain is a moment in cinematic history that changed the horror genre forever and helped gain the film four Academy Award nominations, something else that has yet to be reached by a horror film.  
 Known more for her physical assets than her acting chops, former Penthouse "Pet of the Year", Julie Strain is one of the biggest names in B-Movies.  Her likeness has been attached to numerous comic book characters and animation items and she even did the voice acting for the main character in the Animated Movie, Heavy Metal 2000.  At "6 foot 1 and worth the climb", Julie Strain has over one hundred film credits under her belt and remains a favorite among genre fans the world over.  It's for her acting though, I swear. Totally...



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. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: I 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: I


In 2010, horror fans bid a farewell to the undisputed queen of Hammer Horror, Ingrid Pitt.  The 1960s and 1970s presented a cornucopia of genre love from just about every angle of the spectrum, and Ingrid Pitt reigned supreme as our queen.  A survivor of the concentration camps of the Holocaust, Ingrid Pitt was a member of the Berliner Ensemble (lead by the legendary Bertolt Brecht's widow).  It was when she became involved with Hammer productions that the Polish beauty skyrocketed to cult status.  She got her first big break playingMarcilla, Carmilla, and Mircalla Karnstei in The Vampire Lovers.  The following year, Ingrid performed in her most well known role, the title character in Countess Dracula.  A true icon, Ingrid Pitt is a staple in horror history.


The film for which this very blog gets its name, I Spit On Your Grave is a bit of an enigma.  Much like The Descent, there are those that argue the film is or isn't "feminist".  Now, I can see both sides to the coin, but I am not drawn to this film whether it is or is not a feminist film.  When the film was created, it was a time that didn't have as many "politically correct" and taboo subjects constantly buzzing around. Many view the infamous rape scene as exploitative, but I find it necessary if only to serve as an example for the true terror of humanity and expose the dirty little secret society brushes under the rug.  Despite all of the turmoil the main character, Jennifer manages to overcome the terror and seek her own revenge.  Now, I find it empowering to see a woman that doesn't allow such a treacherous act destroy her.  Her revenge is what puts critics at odds in determining the feminist nature of the film, but I find it to be a quite modern view of female power.  Not only does she enact her revenge, but she uses her birth-given assets as a woman to her advantage in order to do so.  Hate me if you want, this movie changed my life.

Ida Lupino may not have an extensive horror film resume (I consider her film The Hitch-Hiker to be a thriller noir), but her contributions to the film world cannot be ignored.  An English-born film actress and director, Ida Lupino was a pioneer among women filmmakers. In her 48-year career, she appeared in 59 films and directed seven others.  She appeared in serial television programs 58 times and directed 50 other episodes. Additionally, she contributed as a writer to five films and four TV episodes.  Considering she was doing all of this during a time when women were expected to have hot dinner ready on the table for their husbands and holding a job outside of child bearing or menial task work was out of this world.  Her first directing job came unexpectedly in 1949 when Elmer Clifton suffered a mild heart attack and could not finish Not Wanted. Lupino stepped in to finish the film and went on to direct her own projects, becoming Hollywood's only female film director of the time. She directed films geared towards "women's issues" and was also the first woman to ever to direct a film noir.  Ida Lupino truly paved the way for female directors of all genre.



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. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: H 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: H
Heidi Honeycutt (The artist formally known as Martinuzzi) is quite possibly the go-to woman in horror.  An actress, film journalist, new media journalist/consultant, web designer, editor, screenwriter, director, film festival director, webmaster, and staunch feminist, Heidi Honeycutt is one of the most pivotal women dealing with the horror genre today. In 2004 she created the website Pretty/Scary, the first horror website devoted to women, now known as PlanetFury.com and continues to write about women directors of genre films. Her news website PlanetEtheria.com is all about women directors of horror, science fiction, and fantasy films. Heidi  is the co-director of the Viscera Film Festival  the first women’s-only genre film festival in the world, and she’s also the director of the Etheria Film Festival, which shows only science fiction and fantasy directed by women.  To put it simply, Heidi Honeycutt is an inspiration, and a beacon of hope for women in horror everywhere.

Alexandre Aje's Haute Tension is a film that has many horror fans and feminists alike in a state of peril trying to determine just how to classify this film.  Although I personally do not believe it to be a feminist film, there are those that believe it is, and for that, I will give it notice.  The two major characters this story are female (with some major lesbian undertones) and seem to be struggling to escape the terror of an unknown man.  While the twist ending seems to be what prevents this from being a feminist film, it is still about and driven by strong women struggling to overcome turmoil both mentally and physically without the help of a male.  

She has evolved from a running scared little girl, to debonaire Scream Queen. It takes some mad skills, a wicked scream, and of course a sexy look to transcend in the film industry, and this one has done it with flying colors. She's of course, the one and only Danielle Harris.  The undisputed sweetheart of the horror genre, Danielle Harris has been acting within the genre for a majority of her existence.  Her character "Jamie Lloyd" in Halloween 4 & 5 was able to win over the hearts of fans everywhere and was adorable enough to get ol' Uncle Mike to even remove his mask for her.  She took some time doing other films which most have become cult-hits and even got to be in a Disney Channel flick with a very very young Katherine Heigel. She made her return to the genre that made her famous by playing a seemingly bit part but a very memorable part in Urban Legend. She had some reoccurring roles on the show Charmed but she recently got back into her horror roots...literally. Rob Zombie cast Danielle to play Annie Brackett in his Halloween remake as well as the sequel H2. Quickly following, Adam Green scooped her up for his Hatchet films just to add to her impressive resume of horror credits.


Ti West's smash-hit House of the Devil is in no way a feminist film, but I feel that the main character is crucial in the way women should be represented in horror films.  Samantha Hughes is your everyday girl just trying to scrap up some extra dough in order to achieve her independence and live on her own.  She looks like the girl next door and behaves like a normal college student.  This BLOWS MY MIND considering horror films of the new millennium fail to believe that female roles cannot be played by anyone that doesn't resemble a super model or act like the girl every guy wished he could get in high school. A majority of the film showcases Samantha alone without any other interaction, and she behaved the way any actual young 20 something would. Samantha Hughes is one of the most authentic female characters in a horror film of the last ten years and I commend Ti West for creating a film with a front woman that can actually be liked.  She is strong, quirky, intelligent, independent, has a strong sense of sisterhood, but more importantly...she's real. 

Heather Langenkamp was just a bit player in The Outsiders until Wes Craven made her Nancy Thompson, the teen heroine of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Nancy Thompson isn't just a character, she's an icon; and Heather Langenkamp gave us a performance (whether it was Oscar worthy has nothing to do with it) that we won't ever be able to forget.  Not only was Nancy (in my opinion) the strongest of the final girls, but Heather Langenkamp is an actress that never forgot where she came from.  Years after putting away her shield against the razored gloves, she returned to her roots by serving as not only the executive producer and an actress, but also the narrator of the incredible documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.  Langenkamp and her husband, David Leroy Anderson, own and operate AFX Studio, a Special F/X Make-Up firm that is credited with the special make-up for such films as Dawn of the Dead, Dragonfly, Frost/Nixon, and Angels & Demons.  As of right now, Heather Langenkamp  directed an autobiographical documentary about her career as Freddy's favorite teenager titled I Am Nancy.



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. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: G 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: G

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. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: F 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: F
I've never known someone to be offended by the term "superfan".  If we're talking all things Texas Chainsaw Massacre, then Krystal Fancey Beck is the undisputed queen of all things Leatherface related.  Making her rounds as of late as the "girl with the hitchhiker blood splatter tattoo", Krystal Fancey Beck is one of the most dedicated fangirls I've ever witnessed.  When she's not adding to her INSANE collection of Texas Chainsaw Massacre memorabilia, she is the artistic mind behind The Zombified"The Zombified is an alternative online store featuring original Halloween and horror inspired artwork for the darkly inclined."  Selling her artwork in forms of everything from prints, jewelry, pins, pocket mirrors, cards, and clothing, Krystal Fancey Beck helps deliver a feminine touch to an often times overly masculine genre.  Her work is sensational and her gallery proves so by showcasing an individual who went as far as to having Krystal's work tattooed on their body.  She doesn't stop with creating art just for horror themed goodies, either.  Krystal Fancey Beck is also the writer, illustrator of her own comic book Hallowhaus.    

Whatever happened to Fay Wray? That delicate satin dramed fraaaaaaaame.  Sorry, Rocky Horror nerdgasm just escaped there for a second.  In 1926, American film association: Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers chose Fay Wary as one of the "WAMPAS Baby Stars". These were a group of women who the WAMPAS believed to be on the threshold of movie stardom. Wray signed to various film companies and it was under these deals that Wray was cast in various horror films, including Doctor X (will build his creatureeee) It was her deal with RKO Radio Pictures where she made some of her most memorable and iconic films. Wray was paid $10,000 dollars to play the iconic famous blonde damsel in King Kong. The film was a commercial success, has become one of the most influential pictures, and was actually the film that saved RKO from bankruptcy. Wray's role would become the one with which she would be most associated.


Yesterday, I featured this next woman in horror's sister.  Today, it's all about Brenda Fies.  Brenda Fies is a producer, writer, editor, and director. While I may not have been privileged to view much of her work, I will say that her short film Distraught is one of the creepiest and most hilarious horror shorts I've ever seen.  Brenda is the right hand woman and co-founder of the monthly female centric film festival Bleedfest, as well as an empowering figure for women everywhere.  To quote the sisters off of their website, "Female filmmakers are not “hobbyists”. They’ve worked full time on their movies for an average of three to five years, usually in a Second Shift after their full-time paying job where they make 29 cents an hour less than their male co-workers. Many of these dedicated female filmmakers have given up having children and getting married to have the ability to afford the time and money it takes for filmmaking. Most have invested and lost their life savings, and have film school student loans hanging over their heads (the average film school now has a 50/50 gender matriculation)." Finally, a woman looking for the advancement and equality of female filmmakers!

 
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. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: E 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: E

While her credentials do have quite the impressive list of horror chops, Elsa Lanchester easily has the top billing when it comes to female significance.  The Bride herself may not be the most ideal of a female character (she’s inarticulate, rude, and loud) she marked a very important transgression for women in the horror genre to become monsters rather than victims.  Many horror fanatics like to criticize The Bride for rejecting the man she was created for, but I find her rejection of Frankie to be the most empowering move the Bride could make.  Brought into this world solely on the grounds of being the mate for the monster, she stands her ground and says "NO".  Well, she doesn't exactly say it...she sort of screams bloody murder and hisses at him like an irate cat. Regardless, Elsa Lanchester is the true godmother of Women In Horror everywhere.

Kathryn Bigelow may be first female director to win the Oscar for Best Director & Best Picture but it is VERY possible that a woman can create a quality film.  Elisabeth Fies are living proof that women can be more in the film industry than actresses and makeup artists. Fies is just bursting with talent from every angle, and if the big-wigs in the film industry had half a brain...they'd give her a big budget and the freedom to make a film with the same power as her indie hit, The Commune.  In 2010, Elisabeth Fies was the winner of a Golden Cob Award (recognizes the best in B-Movies) for the Best Emerging Director.  Not only is Elisabeth Fies a fantastic director/writer, but she's also an actress, producer, and one of the founding directors (her sister Brenda is the other one) of Bleedfest-a monthly genre film fest featuring all female directed material.  The mission of Bleedfest is to spotlight edgy genre work and their fearless makers, and to allow audiences to see through a variety of women's eyes.  Each month Bleedfest DOES screen a male filmmaker who has an empowering, authentic, and feminist female protagonist; his work screens out of competition and receives the honorable "Partnership Award".  Elisabeth is an inspirational woman, and one of the most sincere women I've interacted with.  I cannot wait to see what else she concocts for the future.

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark very well may be one of if not the most easily identifiable woman in the  horror genre.  With an iconic look, set of catchphrases, her own theme park ride, dozens of films, and a fan base that spans over four decades Cassandra Peterson's Elvira character is one of the most recognizable women to slither in a black gown.  Along with Robert Redding, Peterson developed the big haired, big boobed look of Elvira and the rest is history.  What started out as a simple Horror Host gig to cover after Vampira called it quits became a cult sensation and horror franchise.  

When I was thirteen years old, I was wondering why my parents couldn't understand my junior high trauma.  When Emily Hagins was thirteen years old, she became the first teenage girl in America to direct a feature film, the bad-ass zombie film called Pathogen and being filmed by a documentary crew about her journey.  She hasn't quit making films and her vampire action/romance/comedy My Sucky Teen Romance will be playing at SXSW. Not bad for someone who's never been eligible to vote in a Presidential Election.  

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. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

THE ABC's OF WOMEN IN HORROR: D 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: D

Now we couldn't make this series entirely Western World now could we?  Claire Denis is not only an esteemed filmmaker, but also a woman of the world.  While noted as a French filmmaker, Claire Denis was raised in Africa but is currently a Professor of Filim at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.  While she made a name for herself in North America with her non-horror films, (Chocolat, anyone?) Claire Denis was the mastermind of Trouble Every Day, a film that has been praised for its unique take on the horror genre as well as gender roles.  



The world of horror journalism is often times viewed as a playground for fanboys with computers and basic literary skills to whine and rave about their beloved genre.  Okay, so that's not completely true, but it's been assumed for a hell of a long time that if a horror film is the topic at hand, a man is the brain behind the words.  Witness Jessica Dwyer, living, breathing, writing proof that women are just as powerful in the world of horror journalism and conventions as their male counterparts.  Ms. Dwyer is a highly respected writer for HorrorHound Magazine as well as one of the incredible minds behind the HorrorHound Weekend convention/film festivals.  To put it bluntly, Jessica Dwyer is incredible at what she does.  When she's not the Queen of all things HorrorHound, in 2004 she started her own online magazine-Fangirl Magazine. The magazine aims to act as a sanctuary for the long neglected demographic as a place to not only geek out over the things they enjoy, but to be able to do so in an environment of women of all ages from all different opinions and viewpoints.  Not only is there an e-zine for Fangirl Magazine, but also the Fangirl Radio podcast to go along with the zine.  Jessica Dwyer is a dynamo with a dvd collection and a true woman in horror. 


 
Devi Snively is one of the sweetest women I've ever had the pleasure of meeting in person.  A powerhouse filmmaker, her films have been selected to play in over 200 film festivals worldwide, garnering numerous awards and critical acclaim.  I've seen just about all of her films, and she has a distinctive feel to all of them that are all her own.  In 2007 she was selected as one of 8 participants in the American Film Institute's prestigious directing workshop for women.  Her upcoming film  Paige & Hadley’s Prom from Hell was a Sundance Screenwriters Lab Finalist.  Devi teaches a course on horror films at the University of Notre Dame and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood.

Andre Dumas is a blogger, fangirl, wine aficionado, Martha MacIsaac lookalike, and one of the most intelligent female minds in the world of horror.  When she's not training her horde of cats to fight crime or do her bidding, she's a staff editor at Planet Fury as well as the writer and editor of the incredible horror site, The Horror Digest. I've collaborated with Andre personally and not only is she smart as all get out, but she's downright hysterical. She's reviewed just about every film under the sun and gives an interesting analysis as well as honest voice to all of her articles.  She's not afraid to say "this sucks" but unlike most film critics, she will give a highly articulate and through provoking reasoning as to why the film does in fact, suck.  She's an avid supporter of all things Dario Argento and would probably let herself die by way of Landis helicopter if she had her choosing.  As long as there isn't a shark or any form of vomiting around, Andre Dumas could easily take on just about anything...and she probably has.  While most horror fans try to earn their street cred with obscure reference tattoos and stamps on their convention cards, Andre Dumas earns her horror street cred the way that real thugs do, by living and learning it.  

There aren't many horror films that critics like to toss under the "feminist horror" sub-genre, but it's been up to debate since its release in 2005 whether or not it should be accepted that The Descent is one of those films.  Now, it's been up to speculation whether or not an all-female cast automatically constitutes a feminist film (I do not believe so) but it is very important not to take away the fact of the matter: this is an all-female cast.  The film was interesting, original, and incredibly creepy...all with ass-kicking women fighting for survival rather than playing the usual "damsel in distress" archetypes that horror films set up for women.  The sequel was arguably a bit more "feminist" to the strictest definition, but the original received mostly favorable reviews topped plenty of "Best Horror of the 2000s" lists.  We could debate until we're numb in the fingertips whether or not the film is or isn't feminist, but we cannot deny the breath of fresh air that was an all female cast in a horror film...and a damn good horror film at that.  I personally highly enjoyed the film and definitely enjoyed seeing women in empowering roles, and I can only hope that more film makers take note and follow suit.




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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