Saturday, February 18, 2017

Women in Horror: Women in Caskets Podcast

Women in Caskets is an excellent podcast hosted by Jen and Dawn who cast a critical eye on the horror genre through a feminist lens. They aren't afraid to call out misogyny or toxic tropes or lazy writing. Their podcast are always refreshing to listen to especially with so many dudebro, overmasculine horror podcasts out there.

* Women in Caskets episode 45: The Love Director

Jen and Dawn interview Anna Biller, director of feminist film The Love Witch. It's a 60's throwback visually with a modern feminist critical view of society mixed with some modern technology. I've seen the film and the insight into Anna Biller's vision changed my view of the film. Because Elaine is so narcissistic, her true view of things is sometimes hard to see, but Biller's explanation of the scene with the cake was a significant one that changed my assessment of the character.

* Women in Caskets episode 2: Last Woman Standing

Jen and Dawn describe the final girl, her origins, and her role in film from the origins of the slasher genre to today. They cite Carol Clover's Men, Women, and Chainsaws because it lays out the slasher formula right from the beginning to show where the final girl started. Jen and Dawn go a step further and categorize the subcategories of final girls typically seen in other horror subgenres as well. The final girl falls into these tropes: noble virgin, genre savvy heroine, warrior woman, wounded warrior, and protector/mother. They describe final girls throughout film history and describe which tropes they fall into. It's a great place to start if you aren't familiar with these tropes.

* Women in Caskets episode 21: "The Gift" that Keeps on Giving

Jen and Dawn hear about an awful twist in the film The Gift that involves a woman being raped and then being lied to so she won't even know about it and use that as a jumping off point to talk about how rape is used in horror films. It's usually a lazy shorthand for making someone horrible and making that rape more important to the male character rather than the woman it actually happened to. This also ties in with the Carol Clover book, but this podcast points out the more misogynistic elements of rape revenge films. Films critiqued include the originals and remakes of The Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, and The Hills Have Eyes plus The Gift and American Mary.

* Women in Caskets episode 13: The List

Jen and Dawn give a top 10 list of feminist horror films for a jumping off point if you aren't familiar with the genre. They have caveats for each film and no film is perfect, but they describe how and why the films deserve to be on the list and how each film can be problematic. The only film I hadn't seen on the list was The Host (2007 Korean film not the Stephenie Meyer one) and I Spit on Your Grave, which put them on the top of my watch list.

I haven't listened to all of their episodes yet and other ones look very promising like Episode 20: Merry Black Christmas Pt.2 covering the original version, Episode 22: Taking a Bite Out of Sex Ed covering Teeth, and Episode 32: Subverting "the Final Girls" covering the movie The Final Girls. Check out their awesome podcast, especially if you are interested in looking at horror in a different way.

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