This February marks the seventh year celebration of Women in Horror Horror Month (WiHM), an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. WiHM is the brainchild of writer/director Hannah Neurotica, founder and editor of Ax Wound.
In 2010, the Horror loving Hannah wrote a manifesto expressing the need to have the world acknowledge and celebrate the contributions made by the talented women within the Industry. But, more importantly, she sought to create opportunities and awareness for the significant strides women can and have in fact made in genre cinema.
“…We are dormant zombies who must rise up and take up space, push people out of the way, and say LOOK AT MY BRAINS!!!!!!” – Hannah Neurotica
We here at Morbidly Beautiful proudly champion these same ideals. In an effort to lend to the celebration this month, we acquired the blessings from Jen and Sylvia Soska, Hannah herself, and the incredible people at Austin’s iconic Blue Starlite Drive In to show a classic double feature representing three of the genre’s most influential female directors.
On Sunday, February 28, beginning at 7 pm (gates open at 6 pm CST), the Blue Starlite Drive In will be showing a FILM FATALES double feature honoring women in horror. The event will kick off with a screening of Jennifer Lynch’s cult classic BOXING HELENA, followed immediately by DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK, the debut feature from the groundbreaking Soska Sisters. The event, taking place in our hometown of Austin, TX, is presented by Morbidly Beautiful and supported by our great friends at Blood Over Texas.
It was difficult to narrow down my possible choices for a screening, but the combination of The Twisted Twins and Jennifer Lynch kept tugging at me. The Lynch family in general has captivated me since gaining a true love of cinema, but BOXING HELENA has always been engrained in my memory since adolescence. The story is frightening, surreal yet plausible, and downright dark…just how I like it! If you’re not familiar with the tale, it involves a surgeon and his debilitating obsession for a past lover who shuns him. Determined to possess her, he holds her captive…through amputating her limbs and making her dependent on him.
Since this film left such an impression upon me, I followed Jennifer Lynch‘s career with great enthusiasm, eventually looking upon her as a personal hero. To know she was merely nineteen years of age while making BOXING HELENA blew my mind, eventually helping set my foundation for studying film and opening the doorway to seeking other women in the Industry making astonishingly great films.
Jen and Sylvia Soska made quite a statement with their debut film DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK. With a ridiculous amount of determination, ingenuity, and innate talent, these sisters made a film even Eli Roth described as “fucking awesome”. When I first heard of this release, I was beyond excited…here was another team of women whose ambition was to add to the list of worthy women contributors.
The mix of black comedy and gore was a hit in many eyes, and it was the epitome of Independent filmmaking. A laundry list of obstacles were encountered with the production of DEAD HOOKER…but they never became reasons to give up. They only served as reasons to help the enormously talented sisters become resolute in their purpose on this earth — making some fucking awesome horror films, developing their own production company (Twisted Twins Productions), and eventually creating their own horror themed game show on GSN (Hellevator). Yes, folks, these ladies mean business and are bound to have many more future productions under their belt, while helping pave the way for other female filmmakers.
This too, is a goal here at Morbidly Beautiful. We want to spread the love for the ladies who create amazing horror themed content. We want to showcase the talents and share the achievements of our genre obsessed Sisters! This double feature is our small way of showing how much the women in horror mean to each of us. If you’re in the area, we sincerely hope you join us for this important celebration.