Women in Horror Month
Start of a new month, so another deep dive from yours truly. First, I am going to give you all a look behind the curtain. I have loved having guests on the show. I think that one of the best things about horror is discussing it with others, and I relish the opportunity to have a platform to discuss it. We are even more lucky that we have had actual Hollywood players on the show. Personally having Ben Rock on the show was a high point for me, seeing as he was instrumental in the production of my all time favorite horror film, “The Blair Witch Project”. That led us into conversations with Bob DeRosa, Ben’s co-writer on the amazing Shudder original podcast “Video Palace”. And during this time, we were even able to coordinate an interview with Stu Silverman, who is currently filming his kickstarter funded horror film. But, there has been something that has been bothering me. We have not had a female voice on the show. We did interview Lady Sylv way back when Justin’s wife was in labor, and that was fantastic. But I want to talk to women in the industry who not only have a women’s perspective on horror, but are actively changing the way horror is being constructed.
This will be changing rapidly however. Our first big female voice on the show is one that I am so incredibly excited to have on. She stole the show in “Video Palace” and has also been in Rob Zombie’s “31” and the TV show “Brooklyn 99”. That’s right, Devin Sidell will be joining us for an hour interview discussing her career and thoughts on horror. To me, she was the best actress on “Video Palace” and I do not think that without her performance that it would have hit me as hard as it did. That episode will be coming out on February 25th, so if you want to get some emails in to ask her questions get those to us by the Thursday before!
It wasn’t until the “Suspiria” (2018) review that I personally realized that our show was lacking in a certain regard. The film really focused on aspects of feminism that the original did not, and I tried my best to cover it how I saw it. But even as someone with a Women’s Studies minor, I still see everything through the lens of masculinity. Granted my problems with the film did not stem from that feminist tones, but I have been wondering a lot lately if my opinions would have been changed if I was a woman. And that is something I can never know. This leads to the first big reveal of this blog post. We have invited Rachel Shotto, co-host of The Zombie Grrlz Podcast and co-host of Dead Lantern’s Splattercast, to come onto the show to re-review “Suspiria” (2018) and have these discussions that would not be possible without her on the show. This episode will drop on March 4th.
So when I started thinking about the issues with the review, I also started to think about other issues that we have when reviewing horror. The biggest thing that leapt up to me was a scene in Rob Zombie’s unrated cut of “Halloween”. Michael escapes after two guards bring a female patient of Smith’s Grove into Michael’s room and the guards rape the girl. I have always hated the scene, and much prefer the theatrical cut. But in the mindset of a feminine perspective, how would a woman feel watching that? The movie is already dark as is (it's a slasher for Christ’s sake) but that is unnecessary and disgusting to watch. But as a I kept watching, I also noticed how much unnecessary nudity was present in the film. And this led me to think back to all the horror movies (mainly slashers) that literally just have nudity for the sake of nudity. How would a woman feel watching these movies? Would these terribly written (usually) female characters turn them off from the film? But then, how do we juxtapose this with the ‘final girl’? Yes, usually the final girl has to adhere to a certain set of Puritanical codes in order to survive the film but that is a way different conversation. One trait of the final girl is strength, usually of character, and it sets her apart from the walking nude models that the slasher gets to mow down. Do women then ignore the bad stereotypes and instead focus on the pros of the final girl? Justin and I are just not equipped to discuss that, at least not well. With that in mind, we are happy to announce that we will have Alison Lang on the show to discuss this topic in depth. She is a published writer and speaker, who has given speeches on Final Girls and has even interviewed George Romero. (Seriously, check out her stuff she is amazing https://womenandsongs666.com/) Her episode will drop on March 11th, which will move the shows schedule around a bit, but I think having this discussion is of the highest priority.
I hope you guys are as excited about these two guests as I am. These are conversations that are not only important to have, but make us all better fans of horror in general. Understanding how characters are portrayed on screen and how that portrayal makes the real life counterparts feel is very important in an age where it seems these discussions are forgone in favor of screaming at each other. If there are other women that you would like to see us have on the show, whether they be streamers, writers, directors or other podcast hosts, please let us know. We want to have them on and we want to have these discussions with them.