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Monday, November 23, 2009

Ms. Horror Blogosphere: Entry #19

Blogger: Monster Scholar
Blog: Monster Land

I’m an aspiring Ph.D. student in English with a penchant for monsters and horror films. I wanted to be Anne Baxter as Nefertiri in the Ten Commandments when I grew up, but when that didn’t work out I turned to studying literature. I teach composition to college freshmen, and in my spare time I watch horror movies, blog, lurk and write seminar papers.

What initially drew you to the horror genre?
I’ve always been drawn to monsters ever since I was little and Where the Wild Things Are was one of my favorite books as a child. I began identifying with monsters in high school when the rigor of social pressure made me feel like an outcast. It wasn’t until later that I realized monsters are powerful in their difference. No one can stop Frankenstein, and the Phantom of the Opera will have his revenge. Monsters and horror helped me to see my own difference as a strength, and it’s something that has empowered me ever since.

Are significant others generally freaked out or psyched by your horror proclivities?
I am blessed with a husband who gets me and supports my fanaticism for the genre. After we started dating, he took a class with me on monsters in literature, which earned him brownie points from the beginning. We have an agreement: If he watches horror movies with me, I’ll watch kung fu movies with him.

What made you decide to blog?
I was doing research for a bibliography paper on Frankenstein when I stumbled across Pierre Fournier’s blog Frankensteinia. Before then, I thought blogs were for lonely people who wanted to update the world on what their cat had coughed up that morning. It wasn’t until I saw Frankensteinia that I realized a blog could be a medium for something more serious than the vagaries of day-to-day human existence. I blog about horror because it forces me to watch horror films and have an opinion about them. Also, there are few horror blogs that look at the genre from a critical and/or academic standpoint. Some that come to mind are I Love Horror, The Gore Gore Girl and the Tomb of the Headless Werewolf. I saw a niche where I could contribute my own point of view, and jumped at the chance.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
My best friend Stacy. We met when I was a senior in high school and she was in college during a production of Major Barbara. We were backstage and she was reading a copy of Poppy Z. Brite’s Lost Souls. The director of the play took an interest, and asked to see what she was reading. Stacy handed over the book, calm as anything, at a time when I was ashamed to be seen reading Laurell K. Hamilton in public. The director was promptly horrified at the detailed description of some guy’s throat being torn out, to which Stacy replied nonchalantly “Yeah, they’re vampires. It’s what they do.” She was so fearless, and that inspired me to be out in the open about my love of monsters.

How would you best describe your blog?
My blog is a critical examination of monsters with a feminist slant. I am by no means a feminazi, but I can’t ignore how being a woman affects my reading of horror texts. I’m primarily interested in how monsters function as an expression of society’s fears. Horror is a unique genre, because it embodies a return of what is consciously repressed in mainstream culture, from the sci-fi horror films of the 1950’s that represent fears of communism during the Red Scare, to the horrors of Vietnam represented in the monstrous family of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Bang, Marry or Kill: Freddy, Jason, Michael. Please explain your answer.
I would have to marry Freddy because he has the most personality of the bunch. I appreciate his flair for the theatrical, and I could see myself having long conversations with him about Freud and the meaning of dreams. I would kill Jason because he’s been brought back from the dead one too many times and he has mommy issues. That leaves Michael. He’s the strong silent type, and I think I could help him overcome his psycho-sexual issues with a little sexual healing.

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