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Horror Movies, Gender Issues and Super Hero Jive...

So here I am on a Saturday afternoon with the goal of doing homework, but instead I am watching Night of the Living Dead. Can I just say that I am really getting back into my zombie and vampire movies at this point in my life (read into that however you want). I mean I really love them and the idea of zombies/vampires in general. Immortality, but of course at a price. George A. Romero is making my life right now! I found it very interesting that when Tony Todd's character Ben comes into the plot he is carrying what apprears to be a steel hay hook as his primary weapon. The reason that this is so cool is because in the movie Candyman, Todd uses the same weapon when he portrays the murdering Daniel Robitaille (Candyman). I am sure this is simply a freaky coincidence due to the fact that the version of The Night of the Living Dead in which Todd appeared was released in 1990, and the Candyman was later released in 1992.

Might try a little horror writing here soon. Right now I am strongly considering writing a screenplay with two of my friends (they don't know yet) and having it center around the idea of sexual vampirism and the lure of the erotic vampire in a serious context. I'm not talking about simply alluding to the common theories surrounding sexual vampirism which are evident in the movie Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood. Though the film does present an interesting modernized yet skewed look at the sexual vampire, I don't think it really does the concept much justice. The film seemed to lump the various theories of sexual vampirism into one concept, which isn't really common considering they are all derived from completely different areas. Rather than only exploring the idea of Lilith, this movie touched on the Succubus, but failed to recognize the male sexual vampire figure in the form of the Incubus.

But who knows where this screenplay/movie idea is really going right now. Just putting that out there as kind of a call for interested parties for a possible crew. Back to Night of the Living Dead for a minute. It was rather neat to watch the film and not that there was a female heroine in the form of Patricia Tallman's character Barbara. I believe that the early 90s was a time when the female lead character/heroine first began to gain popularity with the masses. Today we don't think anything of the idea of strong women in masculine roles, for example Jessica Alba in Dark Angel or Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy the series came out in 1997, Dark Angel in 2002, and if we want to get technical Buffy the movie came out in 1992 (still the 90s though).

Previously in my Art of Film class I analyzed the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The portrayl of Linda Hamilton's character Sarah Conor is something to look into as we try and bring together this theory about female leads emerging in the 90s. Terminator 2: Judgement Day was released in 1991 adding support to the prevoius statement. I kind of wish that I would have at some point picked up a women's studies minor, but then again there are about 4 other areas that I wish I could have dabbled in as well. I think that is about enough on these topics for now considering I have spent the last hour not doing homework and blogging about my thoughts.

Comments (4)

Leslie, the reason the movie doesn't recognize the male sexual vampire in the form of the Incubus is because simple research would show that the Succubus and Incubus in many circles were considered to one in the same--i.e., the demon was able to gender-shift.

Yes, I said demon. NOT vampire, as you would think. A succubus is a demon, not a vampire.

Sorry, just thought id add my two cents to a subject that is very near and dear to my heart.

Great entry, Leslie. When you talk about the female lead in horror film, you're tuning in to something very significant, and I bet if you did a little research into what feminist film scholars have said about horror movies, you'd find an enormous amount of interesting material to work with. (Dr. Klapak sometimes offers "Women in Film" in the Communications program; check and see if it's offered in the spring?). On the creative side, I think it's great you want to write a screenplay -- the trick is to do something totally different than what everyone else is doing...frankly, every horror movie these days seems the same. Maybe a review of classic horror stories and gothic novels would help trigger new ideas for you (btw, Dr. Pullen sometimes offers a "scriptwriting" class in the Theater program -- again check the schedule to see if this is an opportunity for you before you graduate).

Thank you for you comment Dr. Arnzen. I have always wanted to write a screenplay in hopes of then making a short film, and horror is the area I want to explore. I'll admit that I have no previous experience with this type of thing, but I have some pretty demented thoughts brewing in my head. I want to do something that is classic, but in the same regard totally innovative. Seems difficult.

Correction to this entry (better late then never). The director of this version of Night of the Living dead was Tom Savini. I don't think I credited to Romero, but I did mention him in the entry and didn't want to allude to him having directed it when he didn't.

I have recently been working on some more zombie research and referred back to this entry.

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