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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ms. Horror Blogosphere: Entry #6

Blogger: Emily I.
Blog: The Deadly Doll's House of Horror Nonsense

By day, I protect an appliance company from bad grammar and rusty marketing. But when the sun goes down, I strip away my Clark Kent-like dress pants to sit below my vintage Puppet Master poster with a DVD, carefully absorbing any lessons I can from whatever genre picture my trusty mailman delivers. I'm a native New Yorker, hibernating playwright, retired dog walker, a lifelong and soul-crushed fan of the NY Mets, and mother to a pair of cats with vague resemblances to Zelda Rubinstein and Alan from Return to Sleepaway Camp.

What initially drew you to the horror genre?

I grew up in the golden age of VHS, with the added bonuses of unlimited credit at a video store, older brothers with a Fangoria subscription, and parents that defined supervision as fast-forwarding though sex scenes if the remote happened to be nearby. In the early days, onscreen murder was just more fun than the Care Bears. But then one fateful day in 1988, I met my match in the 2-foot-tall frame of one Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray. Being afraid of dolls and, you know, six, I was soon haunted by nightmares and menacing daydreams regarding anything made of plastic and trying to be my friend. Terror eventually became fascination and now, some 21 years after screaming my kindergarten head off, I can’t help but love a genre that keeps my attention like nothing else in this world.

Why is it that there seems to be more female horror fans than ever before? Are more women watching horror, or are more women admitting to watching horror?

Horror has always had a mixed fanbase, but I think the illusion of the female indifference and prejudice towards the genre was, for so long, caused by the fact that filmmakers, studios and authors didn't always acknowledge that women were watching. Most '80s slasher films, for example, feel so catered to 15-year-old boys (both in style and marketing) that it was hard for some women--especially when they're younger--to justify why it's enjoyable to watch a topless actress get hacked to less pretty pieces. There's definitely been a boom of "respectable" mainstream horror that, on the surface, is much more female friendly (think of the strong maternal themes of The Ring) but I believe we scream princesses have always been out in the cinematic wilderness. The internet just gives us a more public platform.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Credit certainly goes to some highly esteemed bloggists (all hail Final Girl), film critics and scholars (Roger Ebert, Carol Clover, Kim Newman, Joe Bob Briggs) and family, but I think it's ultimately the films themselves and the community they breed that force my fingers to tap away at my keyboard. On one hand, a hidden gem like Who Can Kill a Child makes me want to email everyone I know with news of why it's amazing, but then I watch something like Kevin Kangas' Fear of Clowns and find that I can write my own book detailing how its insanely silly badness makes it such a must-see. It's too much fun not to do.

Is image more important for female horror bloggers than male? If so, why?

Probably, but I try to avoid worrying about it. I attended a Halloween party last month dressed, quite well, as Mrs. Peacock from the 1988 adaptation of Clue. It was a hit and I was proud, but when the costume contest began, the shock-jocky DJ announced "Ladies, remember that in order to win you gotta show some skin." Really? That's how you measure creativity and seasonal spirit? The same could be said for blogging image. I can’t imagine how my looks would improve anyone’s experience reading my site, so I tend to avoid publishing Maxim style photo stills of myself. If you want to see boobs, just rent an '80s slasher.

Bang, Marry or Kill: Freddy, Jason, Michael. Please explain your answer.

Freddy is that guy that makes you laugh at work or school, so then you attempt to hang out socially and you find that he tries too hard, talks too much, and does things in his spare time that are Court TV reenactments waiting to happen. Hence, kill.

Bang Michael. The guy knows how to drive which leads me to believe he has a little more knowledge about other current practices, including safe sex and making eggs.

Marry Jason. Not that I'm attracted to him, but from what most wives I know have told me, marriage is the best way to commit sexual suicide, and since we know Mr. Voorhees has that whole purity thing, such a sacrament may be the only way to keep myself alive.

If you could have the baby of one figure in the world of horror, real or fictional, who would it be?

Since we’re talking reproduction and not mere coupling, I’ll forgo Viggo Mortenson’s Tex in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III in place of one refined and well-educated gentleman. Sure, Hannibal Lecter would probably not be father of the year when it comes to diaper duty, but the man could most certainly pass on some of his intelligence and, if our child is lucky, those piercing blue eyes. Plus, I’m sure he’d use fatherhood to impart some rare but luxurious values normally reserved for boarding school trust fund babies: art history, table etiquette, high fashion, gourmet cooking... It’s like we’d be breeding the perfect specimen for a reality competition on Bravo.


William Malmborg said...

Great post. Your parents did the same thing mine did when watching movies. Rather than denying us the entire film they would just fast-forward the sex scenes and kind of make a noise to distract us if a really vulgar statement was coming up. Other parent’s thought this was insane, and sometimes would get mad at our parent’s because we would watch those movies when my friends came over, but they would always brush away the criticism.

deadlydolls said...

Thanks William. It's good to know I wasn't the only one out there with incredibly informed and responsible parents!

B-Movie Becky said...

Haha, Chucky was one of my first introductions to horror as well...at an age that probably wasn't appropriate. I love your parent's definition of supervision.

deadlydolls said...

I need to find someone to watch Child's Play fresh for the first time in their life. When you're a kid, watching a movie about a nasty little doll hunting someone your own age is horrifying, but everyone I've met that has seen it as an adult was far from impressed. I still hold that it's a great little film, but I want it proven that it works at all age levels.

So in a way Becky, watching it an an inappropriate age may be the only real way to watch it!

Andre Dumas said...

Wow! Mrs. Peacock is such a great costume idea! I frickin love Clue and was going to write a little on it for one of my scary moments posts (when the maid gets strangled by the deeped voice mrs white)

You have totally inspired me to go as Ms. Scarlet next year! She was always my fave

Anonymous said...

Your responses were (but of course) a fabulous read.

deadlydolls said...

Thanks Christine!

Andre: We got the idea because there were three of us going to a wedding, so we wanted a group costume that was somewhat formal. I have to say, we looked pretty damn good!

Oddly enough though, two of us had attended a party in costume (sans Miss Scarlet) the night before and had less success out of context. The strange thing was that the only people that knew who we were were, on three separate occasions, women dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. Apparently, Clue is all the rage in the LRRH community.

Matt-suzaka said...

Emily is my boo! One.

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