Presentation on theme: "Monstrous Feminine & Final Girl 2 Key Female Archetypes in Horror Films Warning: Blood and Gore Next."— Presentation transcript:
Monstrous Feminine & Final Girl 2 Key Female Archetypes in Horror Films Warning: Blood and Gore Next
Species Searching for a mating partner so she can become pregnant, Sil leaves bodies in her wake.
Dawn of the Dead, 2004
Monstrous Feminine Barbara Creed – Feminine Reproductive Biology Made Monstrous Barbara Creed – Feminine Reproductive Biology Made Monstrous
Stephen King on Carrie “If The Stepford Wives concerns itself with what men want from women, then Carrie is largely about how women find their own channels of power, and what men fear about women and women’s sexuality... Which is only to say that, writing the book in 1973 and only out of college three years, I was fully aware of what Women’s Liberation implied for me and others of my sex. The book is, in is more adult implications, an uneasy masculine shrinking from a future of female equality.”
Monster, Victim, or Hero? “For me, Carrie White is a sadly misused teenager, an example of the sort of person whose spirit is so often broken for good in that pit of man- and women- eaters that is your normal suburban high school. But she’s also Woman, feeling her powers for the first time, and, like Samson, pulling down the temple on everyone in sight at the end of the book.”
“Final Girl” – Carol Glover Slasher Films – films that exploit women on one hand and make them heroes in the end, on the other hand. Men, Women and Chainsaws, Carol Clover
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974 Tobe Hooper (college professor) $83,532 production, $30million gross Unprecedented profit for indie film until Halloween broke that record Fake doc footage thought real, Ed Gein
Halloween 1978 Production cost: $320,000 Grossed $75 milliion in 6 years
Michael vs. Jamie Lee
Alien, 1980 (We’ll come back to this)
Friday the 13 th, 1980 Jason vs. Betsy Palmer
Friday the 13 th Part II “Ginny”
Nightmare on Elm Street 1984
Freddy vs. Heather Heather Langenkamp
Silence of the Lambs 1991 The Classy Slasher Film
What do the “Final Girls” Have in Common? Tom-boyish Usually not sexually active Specially skilled (e.g., mechanical) Is at the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time Becomes an adult by becoming male (phallus) Kills the slasher and is last one standing in end
The New “Final Girl” Intentionally takes on the challenge Becomes a main action hero Visible from the beginning, physically fit We know about their lives & psychology Being a Woman is Integral to Character (being a mother, partner, etc.) Sequals Allowed This to Happen (move from traditional last girl to new last girl character)
Alien Movies Summary Alien 1979 (traditional last girl) Aliens 1986 (superhero and mother) Alien 3 1992 (gender subversion, rape) Alien Resurrection 1997 (biotech violation)
Alien Resurrection 1997 How is this different?
Side Note: Thelma & Louise (1991) comes out during the transition.
Theme of Violation – Final Girls The Final Girls Must Be Sexually Violated to Be Heroic and Still Be a Women
Theme of Violation Ridley struggles against the monstrous feminine— (the monster is at times separate from her, at times internalized as a pregnancy or DNA, and at times phallic and violating—tonge, tail, etc.)
1991 Clarice Starling allows herself to be incest victim to Lecter in order to solve the crime and show her competence. This is how she becomes a “woman” (vulnerable, etc.)
Scream 1996 “Sidney” vs. her boyfriend... ?
Questions? In your opinion, what ways are “final girls” positive or negative characterizations of women?