After releasing over 40 films and cementing themselves as the new home for horror, Blumhouse Productions is finally making a feature film with a female director. Sophia Takal (Green, Always Shine) will helm a reboot of Black Christmas. The 1974 Bob Clark slasher film follows a group of sorority girls over the holidays, where they are stalked by a mysterious killer.
Early physicians who did not understand female anatomy routinely used ‘female hysteria’ as a potent weapon against women to institutionalize them for illnesses they never had. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the American Psychiatric Association rescinded the usage of the term “hysteria” — from hystera, the Greek word for uterus — as a medical diagnosis. But, “crazy,” “neurotic,” “psychopathic” are still acceptable adjectives to describe women who don’t conform to social norms. These perceptions have wormed their way into mainstream media and inspired cinema, especially the horror genre.
Sometime between 1780 and 1782, the Italian artist Clemente Susini created the first Anatomical Venus: A life-sized, nude, wax woman, with human hair brushed down over her shoulders, a pearl necklace clasped around her neck, and her lips permanently parted. Students of anatomy could unhook the hinge along her torso and swing the skin-colored door out to reveal seven articulated layers of plasticine organs. Here was an alternative to dissecting corpses. Instead of decaying flesh, a beautiful facsimile of a woman with pieces you could remove, threaded muscle around bone, and a stone-sized fetus tucked into the bottom layer.
I have a group of men that I regularly go see horror movies with, they are four tall, white, hairy, middle-aged, gay men that I affectionately refer to as my Horror Bears. It’s cute and succinct. It was during one of our outings that someone in the group started talking about what podcasts people are listening to and Attack of the Queerwolf came up. In the sea of podcasts (myself included since I run Nocturnal Emissions podcast) it’s hard to find content that rises to the top of the “subscribe” pile. But in a single sitting, I knew I was going to be addicted to Attack of the Queerwolf. The podcast has the two crucial elements of what makes this kind of podcast work, one; knowledgeable and well-read hosts and two; an affable and friendly vibe. The podcast feels like the kinds of conversations I have with my friends about horror movies, calling out problematic elements, commenting on who we’d have sex with, and talking about is a movie “camp” or not. The line between camp and horror is razor thin sometimes and the depiction of queer people can also be so derogative in horror that it makes it hard to know if we’re in on the joke or just the joke. That’s why having actual queer people go over the material and examine it is useful in its categorization of whether it’s fun or actually harmful to the community.
I finally got my dear friend Amie Simon to come on my podcast and talk horror with me. Amie is a blogger, movie critic and horror fanatic, we’ve been on panels together and I wanted to talk to her about being a woman in the field and her latest projects.
You can find Amie’s work at the links below, please give her work the love it deserves!
Listen to the episode here.