Friday, November 11, 2016

Horror Podcasts: Faculty of Horror

I have a crazy long commute to work, so I needed something to keep my mind busy. I've been going crazy with all the traffic I have to go through and I need a mental distraction to not let the frustration get to me. I've been trying out a variety of podcasts, all about horror in some way, and here's what I think of them. I hope to review one a week or so.

* Faculty of Horror

Faculty of Horror is a horror podcast focused on analyzing horror films in an academic way hosted by Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West. The beginning of the podcast starts a little rough. There are a few factual errors that annoyed me and Alex has some personal opinions that rub me the wrong way. However, their analysis is always well researched and changed the way I saw some films, particularly Jennifer's Body. I still think it fails as a horror comedy and isn't a very good film, but they describe the two main characters Needy and Jennifer as opposing female stereotypes that merge into one at the end of the film to create a real person.

In their episode on Silence of the Lambs, they both seemed to dismiss the anti-LGBT aspects of the film without much discussion. I love the film, but this critique is significant enough to warrant discussing. Like a lot of films before it, Buffalo Bill has an exaggerated and deranged sexuality and sexual identity that includes taking normal sexuality and sexual identity (homosexuality and transgenderism) and adds mutilating, murdering male lovers, and murdering women in order to transform when conventional channels have refused him. It's not a coincidence that many other horror movie murderers also break gender conventions to show their madness, condemning this behavior, such as Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Norman Bates in Psycho.

I very much enjoyed their episode highlighting key episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, which is one of my favorites of all time. Their guest Stewart articulated what I love about the show and describes how the deep emotions portrayed are much more than the bad acting or bad CGI. It bothered me that Alex hadn't watched the entire series, which means she missed a lot of the context of the key episodes, and refused to listen to the songs in the musical episode Once More with Feeling. The lyrics are pretty essential to the plot. She also flatly hates the show, which fills me with rage. This show has been so formative for me that I take it personally if someone hates it just like Andrea who literally spoke everything I was thinking.

Even with my disagreements with their perspective, I love to challenge my own perspective and deepen my own understanding of horror films. I've listened to the first 13 episodes plus a few that particularly interested me like the eating disorder episode featuring Black Swan and Drag Me to Hell and their episode on Rosemary's Baby. This podcast is definitely worth your time and makes me want to write even more about horror films.

My rating: 4.5/5


Angela Lindseth said...

I love it when a reviewer opens up a movie in a way I've never looked at it before. Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorites, but I never considered the LGBT aspects before. Thank you

Kathryn Troy said...

It's nice to hear you actually absorbing what they're saying and still being able to form a separate opinion or argument-tgats what makes it stimulating for me to hear them and read your posts in tandem. A discussion about a discussion!