Wednesday, February 27, 2013

DAY OF THE WOMAN TURNS FOUR!

I'm more than positive that this is the second year in a row that I have forgotten about my own daughter's birthday, and in times like this, I am thankful that John Hughes never got a hold of my life to make a movie out of.  Regardless, Day of the Woman is officially four years (and one week) old.  I was only eighteen years old when I started Day of the Woman, and it is because of you readers that I have been able to continue.  I'd like to take this time to thank each and every one of you that has ever read a blog post, made a comment, shared an article, or sent me an email suggesting topics.  While DotW is my baby, it is also an environment that I want to be heavily influenced by its readers.  You choose the content, I just try to satisfy you.  Thank you again for your continued support from a girl who started a blog as a means to not develop cabin fever in a dorm room, but was given an entirely new lifestyle that is helping shape the rest of my future.  I wouldn't be the same person without each and every one of you. Thank-you. I mean it. Peace, love & braaaaains.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

AN INTERVIEW WITH MARCUS DUNSTAN

Although this is not a part of my Women In Horror Month celebration, this is an article that I could not pass up posting on Day of the Woman.  For those unaware,  I was recently given the job of EDGE editor for the entertainment section of my university newspaper.  The Western Courier has been taking up much of my free time, but has given me some incredible writing opportunities.  Interviewing Marcus Dunstan, is one of them.  Marcus Dunstan is a native of Macomb, IL, the town in which my university is located.  Macomb is a rural town hours from any sort of "civilization," and is surrounded by cornfields for as long as the eye can see. The nearest Starbucks is over an hour away, if you're catching my drift.  His name may not sound familiar, but I guarantee his work is something you're aware of.  Marcus Dunstan is a horror movie screenwriter and director. His most recognizable works are the Feast trilogy, The Collector, The Collection, and the last four installments of a little franchise known as SAW. 
As a fellow horror aficionado and soon-to-be survivor of the life experience that is Macomb, Illinois, I was determined to get a hold of the man behind the movies and dig just a little deeper.  I bring to you, the x-post from my first interview at the school paper over to Day of the Woman. An interview with Marcus Dunstan.  

******************************** 
 BJ-C: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview, but I have to ask, what was it like growing up in Macomb?

Marcus Dunstan: I came from a wonderful family. I made friends for a lifetime, and I learned the great adage: “The trouble with trouble is that it starts out so very fun.” That line was never more profound than when I needed a shot for the grand finale of my junior high VHS epic, “KILLER,” in which our villain throws the hero from the roof of my dear friend Joe’s home. Well, (Joe and I) took a G.I. Joe snowsuit, stuffed it with enough clothes to match the body type, taped a basketball to the shoulders for a head and threw this dummy from the roof where it landed with a horrific splat at the feet of a shocked witness.  The problem was that our friend Joe was Joe Wagoner — son of WIU President Ralph Waggoner. The house in question was Ralph’s house, the only home in Macomb to be patrolled by security. When security received a call from someone shrieking, “Someone is throwing children off the President’s roof!” Well, that was a wrap on the day. 

BJ-C: That story is priceless. I wish I could have seen that. I’m assuming this means you’ve always been passionate about entertainment. Was it difficult being so far away from cultural epicenters? (Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, etc.)

MD: It could have been frustrating, but fortunately, with the aid of the aforementioned great family and friends, it was quickly clear how much of an advantage not being near the entertainment epicenters was. How many life experiences are forged and shared one block from a movie studio? Not many that I have seen in theater. What I have seen are tales of terror in the woods, people fighting in outer space, dramas of broken souls picking themselves up and living proud in towns no different than mine. “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Suspiria,” “Halloween,” “The  Thing” and “Slapshot” are all films not inspired by one iota of proximity to an entertainment studio, but by a proximity to life. That is everywhere. The town, jungle or planet you are born in is what makes each storyteller unique. That terrain asks: “What can you bring to the table?” The answer is all around you.

BJ-C: This next one may be a loaded question, but what movie(s) made you want to make movies?

MD: Great question. I think it was a combination of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Suspiria” and “Evil Dead 2.” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” had adventure, ghosts, heroes and villains. “Suspiria” taught me that horror can be beautiful, suspense can be unrelenting and music can be a character. “Evil Dead 2” showed me that horror can be funny; the camera can be a character and just because your budget is tiny, doesn’t mean you can’t have big ideas.

BJ-C: All three of those are on my top lists as well.  Great minds think alike. I’m soon graduating and leaving the safety of good ol’ Macomb, so I have to ask, how was making the plunge moving out of the Midwest and to the cut-throat world
of Hollywood?

MD: There was my hit to the nuts. (laughs) I think a run in a military school may have helped a bit. I think opium may have helped, but the first five years was mental boot camp. The subsequent seven years, more mental boot camp. Any journey from home, no matter which direction, seems to be toward a gauntlet for our dreams. Will the dream still be there on the other side of that journey? Will our bones make it to that other side? Oh wait — it is all about the journey and how we realize a version of that dream each day, isn’t it? Yes. When I couldn’t buy film, I shot video. When I didn’t have a video camera, I shot pictures. When I didn’t have pictures, I had a computer. When I didn’t have a computer, I had paper — and when I didn’t even have paper, I had my imagination and a radio. I never stopped climbing and the hits just made me tougher. They still do. I just had a movie come out and maybe six people saw it. (laughs) But I loved that damn movie. It’s a wild bastard. The experience of making it will forever be with me, and this spring I’m off to do it again. I had some fresh wounds to lick, sure, but then my brain found a solution to that pain as well: “Hey! Would you rather trip in front of the entire high school or win the race in front of one?” Plus, there is always that little person version of me, still in the center of a pile of leaves at the edge of light, and that little person would have given anything to make a movie in the first place. 

BJ-C: You’ve stayed within the same genre, so why horror?

MD: Horror is a mental audition for life’s worst days. It never leaves a mark. It invites you into the dark, shows the impossible, the improbable, the wicked, and then turns the lights back on as the cold hand of the experience drapes across your neck for the walk home. 
Why is horror a popular date movie experience? Why has horror withstood the test of time? Why have two horror movies opened to No. 1 box office in the month of January when ten, count ‘em ten, Oscar contenders are vying for the same dollar? Well, because humans love to be scared. They’d rather be scared for 90 controlled minutes than for three seconds of skidding car. A good horror movie is a like an exorcism of life’s jitters. 

BJ-C: Horror has been very kind to you, because you know how to make some quality horror films. What was it like seeing your name on a poster or in a trailer for the first time?

MD: That is where words come up a bit short. Your whole heart just floats out. Something hugs you and says, “How ‘bout that?”

BJ-C: I’ll admit, that’s a feeling I hope to achieve someday. You haven’t been all positivity though, the latter “Saw” films have seen their share of criticism. How to do you handle judgment on such a large scale?

MD: Oh, yes. To criticism one can only quote Joe Swanberg, who faced a vicious critic of his work and manhood in a boxing ring. Before Joe placed his mouth guard in, he took the emcee’s microphone, addressed his opponent at full volume and said, “No matter what happens after the bell rings just remember this: there is no you without me.” DING! WHAM! The critic tapped out in fourteen seconds.

BJ-C: That’s something I’ll have to remember the next time anonymous trolls flood my comment box. Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?

MD: Dario Argento. An Italian maestro of suspense. He’s still making films. He directed “Suspiria” and the rest is lovely, terrifying history.

BJ-C: Argento is an artist beyond compare. You got that right. What work are you the most proud of?

MD: “The Collection” or “Feast.” “The Collection” nearly killed me. “Feast” was kicking down the door and getting that first shot to tell tales. “Feast” was the world opening up.

BJ-C: You’ve worn a few hats within filmmaking, but what aspect of film is your favorite to work on?

MD: My favorite aspect of filmmaking is that feeling when there is enough in the can to know you’re no longer fighting to exist, but now shaping the existence. How could this be scarier? As opposed to, “I hope the lights work today.”

BJ-C: You haven't had to do it alone, how is working with Patrick Melton?

MD: Working with Patrick Melton is an honor. He is a great friend, a loving husband to his wife, and a proud father to three wonderful little folks. There is an entire life construct to Patrick that is wildly different than mine and yet we both sprang from Illinois... both we're projectionists at the University of Iowa...and both fell in love with the same raunchy horror films. 

BJ-C: You have been an absolute pleasure and I thank you again for talking with me. Final question: any suggestions for film geeks everywhere?

MD: Absorb your surroundings. A life’s experience is what charges your tales, your courage and ultimately becomes your shield when things don’t go as planned. Directing is 99 percent dealing with things not going as planned and one percent acting like you knew that all along. Kinda like life.

You can check out Marcus Dunstan on IMDB or follow him on twitter @MarcusDunstan.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

HELP GET FIONA & DAMIAN TO MONSTER MANIA!!


As part of Women In Horror Recognition month, I'd like to spread some spotlight to one of the biggest horror nerds in the world. A little girl named Fiona. This fundraiser was brought to my attention by Kristy Jett, the Executive Director of Service and Sass at FRIGHT-RAGS. To put it simply, it's a fundraiser to encourage the joy of horror in the lives of two little kids. Kristy met Fiona when she was even littler than she is now and before her little brother Damian was even born.  

Little Fiona even writes and directs her own movies.  This is a crucial point in a child's life where we should be nurturing and encouraging these types of passions.  For Fiona and Damian, horror is their passion.   

2012 was an especially hard year on their family financially and right now, at the start of 2013 things are very tight. What Kristy is wanting to do is be able to get these kids to Monster Mania. Going to conventions is their world and what better act of kindness than to get these blooming horror nerds a chance to experience one of the biggest events of horror fandom?  Going to a convention for a horror fan is better than Disney World.  Help this little girl and her little brother get to Monster Mania, and be a part of encouraging a soon-to-be woman in horror.  


CLICK BELOW TO DONATE!



Monday, February 18, 2013

UNCOVERING SINS EVEN THE DEVIL WOULD BE ASHAMED OF: A COMPARISON BETWEEN WHITE ZOMBIE & NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

Although it is Women In Horror recognition month, it is also Black History month. In honor of the monthly celebration, I present an analysis of two of the most prominent zombie films of all time, and the historical context of African American characters.

Zombies are arguably the most well known and universally adored of all horror movie monsters. Although the Universal Horror films presented fans with horror staples like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man, zombie films are the undisputed kings of monster movies. Although George A. Romero is the incontrovertible father of the modern zombie film, film companies were cranking out zombie films as early as the 1920s. By analyzing what critics and theorists have accepted as the first solid zombie film, White Zombie and the “first” zombie film of the modern era, Night of the Living Dead, we can see a transformation in not only the treatment of the zombie subgenre, but horror storytelling in general. Focusing on the two most pivotal films of the beginning of history within the zombie subgenre creates a stronger through line and aides in presenting a clearer analysis.

Before the Cold War, there was a strong emphasis on fantasy and escapism in American cinema. However, in a post World War I America, movies became more socially responsible. The zombie sub-genre of horror films is no exception. Low budget filmmakers and brothers Victor and Edward Halperin, found a way to spawn an entirely new creature in the midst of the Universal Studios explosion of movie monsters. While big budget Frankenstein’s and nocturnal bloodsuckers were challenging sexual and social mores, the early zombie film was a safe haven to reinforce the discriminatory ideals by setting up a racial dynamic within a fantasy setting. 1932’s White Zombie is typical of the blatant racism that was commonplace in society at that time. The very concept of zombies in the 1930s came from an American obsession with the voodoo practices of Haiti. Americans found themselves intrigued with the “exotic” and “fascinating” practices unlike the typical Catholic/Christian backgrounds most Americans at the time were a part of. It was the idea that the Haitians’ own religion offered an opportunity for white commanders to enslave the Haitian people to do their bidding for as long as they desired that appealed to a pre-World War I America. The zombification of yesteryear was a statement on not just the social classes, but also the discrimination of the time before the civil rights movement. By setting the film in an exotic setting, the racism doesn’t appear to be white Americans acting racist towards other Americans, but rather white Americans acting completely justified in a world of savage undead Haitians. The fear of the zombie creature was not so much an attack that society has become accustomed to today, but rather the fear of actually becoming a mindless zombie with no other purpose than to serve the needs of others. Film critic Elizabeth A. Kingsley has drawn special attention to the discrimination in place amongst even the zombie characters. "Clarence Muse stands out like a sore thumb amongst the “black” characters in this film, many of whom are white actors in blackface. The zombies who slave in Legendre’s sugar mills are given only a passing glance; it is the white zombies, they who form Legendre’s bodyguard, in whom the film’s horror is located.” Her statement agrees that is almost insinuated that the black characters are without soul and it is a much more devastating occurrence for a white person to be transformed into a zombie. This is further proven by the treatment of the white zombies vs. the black zombies. White zombies are seen to be Murder Legendre’s right hand men while the black zombies slave away in the factories and are shown in large groups, almost like cattle. It isn’t until analyzing from the mindset of a new-millennium individual that using monsters as a scapegoat for enforcing racism is apparent.

George A. Romero ushered in the modern zombie movie as the world accepts it today in a post-Civil Rights Movement, post Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. society. It was now deemed unacceptable for filmmakers to write characters, African Americans in particular, in the same light in which they were previously exploited. Instead of portraying African Americans as useless, or even worse, actively evil, this time around George A. Romero created an African American protagonist as the voice of reason. The closest thing to a hero in Night of the Living Dead, Ben, was a black male character. He is the protector, the leader, and even the one person to order around a white woman. Unlike White Zombie, in which the entire basis is the subjugation of the blacks and the untouchable nature of white women, it is accepted that Ben had the liberty to speak as he pleased, not because he was black, but because he was a fellow man. Romero even went as far as to add depth by making the character flawed, just like every other human being. Ben loses his temper, and not all of his decisions are correct. He's not perfect by any means, but he's a real person rather than a caricature. Much like White Zombie, Night of the Living Dead was a great example to exploit the mentality of society at this point in time. Kendall Phillips states in his book Projected Fears, “Not only does Night draw on the political images and concerns relevant to the counterculture of the 1960s, but also its narrative structure parallels the emergence and dissolution of the counterculture’s political aspirations.” At this time, the flower child and civil rights movements were emerging in the wake of Vietnam, and African Americans were finally beginning to be recognized as more than just second-class citizens. By Romero utilizing an African American as a protagonist, he helped enforce the changing political and social norms of the time. Unlike White Zombie, Night of the Living Dead takes place in rural America, a very familiar territory for most audience members. By bringing this fear into the backyards of those watching the films, it removed the safe sense of separation audiences had when watching White Zombie with its Haitian background and now forced audiences to see the world how it really was by pointing the lens at Middle America.  Romero firmly claims that when Duane Jones auditioned for the role of Ben, he earned the role because he was the better actor, and not because of the color of his skin.  It is still debated whether or not this is fully true, but regardless of intent, Ben still remains to be one of the most progressive characters for African Americans in horror films.

Although George A. Romero is a white man, his progressive viewpoints helped to influence a greater thought process towards minorities in cinema. Instead of reinforcing or exploiting the racial fears that white Americans possessed (and showcased in the 1930s), he condemns them and even shames the viewer for feeling that way. Phillips continues to say in his book, “Even for audiences not directly identified with the racial frustrations implicit in Ben’s actions, Ben is an attractive protagonist because he embodies a pragmatic militancy.”The narrative story shows Ben as the protagonist and the major antagonist to be a white man. Regardless of an individuals feelings on racial acceptance, the story is written to where the white man, Harry Cooper is impossible to root for and in turn, forces the audience to support the black man, Ben. Ben was one of the most prominent figures of African Americans in films portraying something outside of a parody or stereotype. The existing through line between both 1932’s White Zombie and 1968’s Night of the Living Dead clearly both utilize the setting and narrative properties in order to showcase the underlying correlation between the American zombie film and society’s viewpoints towards African Americans. While the 1930s used exotic landscapes and foreign practices to excuse their racist beliefs, the civil rights empowering late 1960s forced the horror in our own backyards and forced us to take a closer look at the way we treat our fellow man.

Friday, February 15, 2013

SLASHER SASHAY: THE BLONDS PRESENT HORROR THEMED FASHION LINE

This may be leaning towards the more stereotypical side of Women In Horror month, but I will admit my second X chromosome was doing a freak out when I saw these images. David and Phillip Blond are a design duo who have dressed some of the most iconic looks on celebrities like Rihanna and Lady GaGa.  Their style is 'unique' to say the least, but their Fall 2013 line will have women in horror everywhere losing their minds.  It's no surprise that when it comes to horror garb, men have it much easier than women.  Popular horror t-shirt companies are a wonderful asset, but unless we want to wear a rockabilly style patterned dress, the more feminine looking horror clothing options are slim to none.  Not to say there is anything wrong with a zombie pin-up patterned dress, but sometimes I want to look a little more modern.  The Blonds are known for putting out clothing that is a bit more extreme for the average gal, (and far more expensive than my minimum wage budget will allow) but maybe the positive feedback for their line will promote more mainstream clothing companies to crank out some scary attire.  Seriously, I want that Shining dress. I want it really, really badly.  Below are a few more pieces from their Slasher Sashay line.

A knife printed A-line? Yes please!

This looks a bit "Patricia Bateman," what say you?

A walking victim, with elegance.

This looks like a modernization of The Birds to me.

Psychotically...sexy!

It's as if Morticia Addams was cast in Death Becomes Her
This Psycho printed dress is so beautiful I want to rub it on my face.


Monday, February 4, 2013

WAIT, IT WAS A WOMAN? A LOOK AT THE SHOCKING REVEALS OF FEMALE VILLAINS

For some strange reason or another, people are under the impression that women are not as capable as men when it comes to committing dastardly deeds of violence.  It is almost immediately presumed that the villain of a horror movie is going to be a man.  This has never really sat well with me, because I firmly believe that while men can be the more physically aggressive killers, women have a very particular style within their madness.  The way I see it, women are far more manipulative, calculated, predatory, and conniving.  Where women suffer in the sense of their physical strength (that's not a sexist statement, it's science) in comparison to their male counterparts, women have found a way around this limitation by using the most powerful muscle of all, their brain. Whenever horror films have an unseen killer and it is later revealed to be a woman, this for some reason is incredibly shocking for audiences to handle.  I would argue, perhaps more shocking than the 'man as woman' reveals of Norman Bates in Psycho or Angela Baker in Sleepaway Camp.  Why? Because it becomes far more understandable for a villain to be a man than to be a woman...even if he's wearing women's clothing.

What always struck me as confusing is the way that people reacted to Pamela Voorhees being revealed as the killer in the original Friday the 13th film as being so shocking.  Last semester I took a collegiate level horror film analysis course and this situation was brought to our attention.  The class was asked "who thought the killer was going to be a woman" and I was the only one who raised their hand.  When you really look at it, Pamela Voorhees' tactics throughout the film gave away her gender from the very beginning.  From the get go, camp counselor Annie needs to hitch a ride to the camp and hops a ride with an unseen driver in a jeep. Right away, the fact she gets in the car and is so friendly to the driver makes me believe the driver is a woman.  I'm sorry, I will be gender biased here on this one, I would wait two hours before I would (as a young woman) get in a car with a strange man. Maybe that makes me a misandrist, but so be it. I would trust a sweet old lady in a cable knit sweater before I'd trust some big dude.  Not only that, but instead of just slash and dashing up her victims, Mama Voorhees was very calculated.  She even went as far as impersonating the voice of a child in order to lure out one of her victims, knowing that she wouldn't be able to ignore a crying child.  That's a woman move, right there.

Word to the wise: don't piss off Aunt Jackie.  After the success of the original, Scream 2 needed a bigger shock ending, and what more than making the masked killer a woman?  The more "masculine" actions can be excused by the writing team having to do emergency re-writes do to script leaking, but come on, they killed her baby. OF COURSE MOMMY WAS GONNA COME BACK FOR REVENGE!

In a twisted game of "who-done-it," the horror/murder mystery, Cry_Wolf showcases someone who has to be the most calculated and manipulative human being possible in order to go undetected. A woman scorned, Dodger manages to win a game where the rules are "Avoid suspicion. Manipulate your friends. Eliminate your enemies."  She creates an elaborate trap and convinces everyone to walk right into it.  Dodger uses not only her intellect, but her sexuality as a weapon and ultimately gets away with absolutely everything.

The 90s gets a lot of slack for being a lackluster decade for horror, but the reveal of the killer in the cameo ridden film Urban Legend showcased a manic woman who managed to skim under the radar for a good majority of the entire film.  It isn't until the final moments that the idea of this woman being the killer is even a plausible assumption.  Again, manipulation played a major role, a tactic more frequently shown with women over men. 

Strangely enough, these attributes seem to be solely attached to women in horror films rather than any other genre.  For example, if we take a look at Disney films, another genre notorious for having female villains, their representation is dramatically different.  Although the concept of the female villain being far more intelligent than their male counterparts staying the same, the major difference is that Disney female villains require assistance.  Granted, their assistants are usually bumbling, foolish, men, but they still require assistance nonetheless.  Whereas in horror films, female villains are relentless and just as capable of extreme violence as their male comrades...but in a far sneakier way.  This isn't a criticism of the female strength in any way, shape, or form, this is merely an observation of the different ways the sexes earn their power.  There's a reason men in high school just beat the snot out of each other and girls will spread rumors and psychologically torture their victims.  We think differently, and that is okay!  By taking a closer look at the tactics of unmasked killers, we can always determine whether or not we're dealing with a man or a woman.

NOTE: OF COURSE THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE, I'M WELL AWARE OF THIS AND AM FOCUSING ON THE RULE AND NOT THE EXCEPTION FOR SIMPLICITY'S SAKE. THANKYOU.

Friday, February 1, 2013

WOMEN IN HORROR RECOGNITION MONTH'S MISSION STATEMENT

Hurray! Day of the Woman has officially been approved to be an ambassador for Women in Horror Recognition Month!  As part of my duties, I'm sharing with you the mission statement of the program for those that may desire some clarification.


























WHY WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH?

Today is February 1st, which marks the beginning of Black History Month, LGBTQ History Month, Heart Health Month, National Bird-Feeding Month, and Women in Horror Recognition Month.  Every year, Day of the Woman chooses to participate in WiH month.  While I could very well do my part to observe an event for all of these fantastic monthly celebrations, I personally choose to focus my time and energy on women in horror.  Women in Horror month has received its fair share of criticism over the years as being "pointless," "unnecessary," and even "insulting to Black History month."  Well, while I can see where the naysayers are coming from, women in horror month is still absolutely necessary.


You'd have to be a complete idiot not to notice the gender injustice that exist between men in women in the film world.  Without even addressing the absurdity that is women v. men in the acting field as far as unfair treatment due to age, appearance, and the dollar signs on their paychecks, the world of "behind the scenes" film making boast some rather depressing numbers.  Stacy L. Smith, Ph. D., Katherine Pieper, Ph.D. and marc Choueiti at Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California recently released a study tracking the statistics of film-makers competing at Sundance.  The study assessed 11,197 directors, writers, producers, cinematographers and editors whose movies screened in Sundance from 2002-2012. The results are depressing to say the least.
  • For every 1 female film director, there are 15.24 male directors.    
  • Women support women.  Films directed by women feature more women in all roles.  There is a 21% increase in women working on a narrative film when there is a female director and a 24% of women working on documentaries
  • In narrative film when looking at women directors over the last decade, only 41 women have made films in the top 100 released films every year across the decade, compared to 625 men.
Luckily, Sundance has more women directing narrative films more than ever this year with 41% of the accepted narrative films coming from female directors.  How many of these films will receive a national releasing or be picked up by a studio will be a totally different story.  This is just  a small amount of the statistics released, but I am completely in awe of these numbers.  Some people may argue "it's because women aren't making movies" and I have to agree to disagree.  This. Is. Not. True.  Women are making films by the boatload as of late, the problem is how many of them make it through the Hollywood ringer and given its fair exposure.  The study continues on to showcase that women are less likely to be "trusted" with a larger budget and although women are more likely to be producers, and as the roles become more high profile and money becomes a factor, the number of women goes down. So women are more likely to be associate producers than producers.

Hannah Fidell, left, Liz Garcia, Cherien Dabis, Naomi Foner and Gabriela Cowperthwaite. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / January 22, 2013)


I'm sorry, but why is this happening?  It has already been shown that now that educational equality has been spiking up, women are smarter than men, and the military FINALLY agrees that women are just as capable of fighting in combat positions instead of being whisked away as nurses and computer technicians.  The struggle for women in entertainment (or genre culture in general) is deep and abiding.  Women are constantly forced to work twice as hard as their male counterparts just to be seen as equals.  It's almost as if a woman must be flawless in all aspects of life to be taken seriously.  So Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar, so what?  That's one female director in an ever powerful sausage fest.  Until the film world takes off their NO GIRLS ALLOWED (except hot actresses LOL) sign off of the clubhouse, it's not going to be a fair playing field.

In the horror world especially, women are pretty big on the indie circuit, I will not deny that.  However, when it comes to the world of Hollywood, women directors can be counted on one hand.  Why? Why is that? Why can't we take some of these rather impressive female directed films and give them large-scale exposure?  I have had this discussion with many of my male horror comrades and they unfortunately just don't see the injustices between women in the filmmaking world.  They are convinced that because they haven't seen quality female filmmaking, it must not exist.  Well, I disagree.  There ARE fantastic films directed by women, but access to these films is rather exclusive and the only films that we DO seem to get a hold of are the ones that go viral for whatever reason or another.  As much as I respect what they have done for getting female directed horror films back in the limelight, there are female directors other than The Twisted Twins making movies, but no one seems to want to take the time to seek these films out unless they are already a woman in horror, or they feel compelled to participate in a women's event.

Now, I understand those that make the argument, "isn't drawing attention to the injustices just emphasizing the separation even more?"  In some ways, I agree with this point but I truly beg to differ.  Women in Horror recognition month is absolutely necessary for our horror world.  There are so many filmmakers, producers, writers, actors, cinematographers, etc. etc. that would NEVER receive their deserving exposure if it wasn't for this month.  To put it simply, women are just never a priority for people in the film journalism field.  Forcing individuals to seek out women who are struggling to make it work allows us to discover untapped talent and gain exposure to an entire world of filmmakers that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. 

So again, why women in horror?  I participate in women in horror because the lack of exposure for female filmmakers is something that needs to stop, fast.  We need to realize that the lack of a Y chromosome does not render you incapable of making films.  We need to start entrusting our hard earned dollars on women to give us quality horror films.  We need to accept female filmmakers as equals and encourage their talents to be something more than just indie filmmakers destined for low-budget B movies or stifled from high authority positions.  Now, being an indie filmmaker is NOT a bad thing in the slightest, but until I see a female director's name on a film preview in a movie theater for a horror film (more than once every 10 years)...equality just doesn't exist. 
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