It’s the boogieman no kids talk about on playdates or at birthday parties. You don’t mention it in the living room, on the porch, or by the baby’s crib. It’s the dark feeling you don’t know how to put into words, the one that keeps you up at night and haunts you during the day as a parent or caretaker. It’s the Babadook.
Horror films are fertile ground for conversations about gender, fear, and body fluids. On this show, writer Sarah Marshall lays out her favorite underrated horror heroines, we meet up with a "final girl" brunch club at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema, and the ladies of Crimson Wave discuss the irony that even gore-fest films seem to fear the sight of menstrual blood. Plus: a conversation about alien abduction with Study Group Comics editor Shanna Matuszak.
Individual show segments and more ways to listen are below the cut.
Sinister lighting, innocent child, creepy closet full of demons... check, check, and check!
I’ve always appreciated horror as a genre full of little experiments. If a director’s goal is to scare, disturb, or unsettle the audience, she has to manufacture a Rube Goldberg-like system of tense silences and jump scares to find success.
“Those are the directors?” This question, delivered as a scoff, came from the man sitting behind me as the directors of the Etheria Film Night shorts program walked to the stage of Hollywood’s Egyptian theater for a Q&A.
Director Kim Peirce and the blood-soaked poster for her new film, the Carrie remake.
Filmmaker Kimberly Peirce is a crusader. Like the protagonist of her latest film, Carrie, Hollywood has failed to bully her around. She’s kept at the business and art she loves, despite being passed her over for major projects and has carved out her own success, taking the helm of unconventional films like Boys Don’t Cry and Stop Loss. During her long career, she’s also been an outspoken voice against censorship—as best seen in This Film is not yet Rated—and, in her free time, directed an episode of The L Word.
Peirce spoke with Bitch about her history with Carrie White, the appeal of revenge stories, mother-daughter relationships, and filmmaking while female.
Slumber Party Massacre comes off as yet another sensationalistic and gory ‘80s slasher. I picked it up recently mainly due to its ridiculous title and the fact that most of the characters were female. Upon viewing it, what shocked me was not so much the gore and violence, but the film’s clever humor, the funny characters, and most of all the incredibly veiled feminist satire.
There's a scene in the original Carrie that made me tear up the first time I saw it, at age 12 or so. It's not one of the movie's famous scare scenes—not the ones at the prom, not the pants-peeingly unexpected shock ending, not even the senseless murder of a pig—but it's one that resonated for being profoundly upsetting in an entirely different way.
The new movie The Conjuring has been called "scary as hell" and "the summer's scariest movie"—it's so frightening, in fact, that it earned an R rating despite an absence of any explicit violence, sex, gore, or foul language. According to star Patrick Wilson, the film gave the ratings board a case of the willies that was simply too intense for a mere PG-13.
Ghosts get a bad rap. But the stories we tell about spirits reveal what our cultures fear and value. In this show, Bitch Creative Director Andi Zeisler and literary ghost expert Jessica Jernigan look at how female ghosts from The Conjuring to Beloved can't escape gender roles. Plus, we talk with Jamie Holding-Eagle of the Red River Seed Library about how special corn seeds preserve the spirit of her great-great grandmother.
A teen girl waits inside a creepy, empty house with a knife. She knows the killer is outside and she knows he's coming to kill her next. Her friends are dead, her clothes have been ripped to shreds, she is covered in blood, and she is all alone in the deserted house. But she is ready. She waits, ready to avenge her friends and save her own life. She is the Final Girl.