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Monstrous Feminine & Final Girl 2 Key Female Archetypes in Horror Films Warning: Blood and Gore Next.

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Presentation on theme: "Monstrous Feminine & Final Girl 2 Key Female Archetypes in Horror Films Warning: Blood and Gore Next."— Presentation transcript:

1 Monstrous Feminine & Final Girl 2 Key Female Archetypes in Horror Films Warning: Blood and Gore Next

2 Alien Eggs

3 Species Searching for a mating partner so she can become pregnant, Sil leaves bodies in her wake.

4 Dawn of the Dead, 2004

5 Monstrous Feminine Barbara Creed – Feminine Reproductive Biology Made Monstrous Barbara Creed – Feminine Reproductive Biology Made Monstrous

6 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.”

7 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.”

8 “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

9 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

10 Remake 2003


12 Halloween 1978 Production cost: $320,000 Grossed $75 milliion in 6 years

13 Michael vs. Jamie Lee

14 Alien, 1980 (We’ll come back to this)

15 Friday the 13 th, 1980 Jason vs. Betsy Palmer

16 Friday the 13 th Part II “Ginny”

17 Nightmare on Elm Street 1984

18 Freddy vs. Heather Heather Langenkamp

19 Terminator 1984

20 Terminator, 1984

21 Silence of the Lambs 1991 The Classy Slasher Film

22 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

23 New Era “Final Girl”

24 T2: Judgment Day, 1991 Sarah (Linda Hamilton) isn’t crazy. She’s ready.

25 Sarah Connor Action Figure Doll

26 Mother/Savior Androgyny A different kind of representation

27 Contrast 1979 – Ripley in the wrong place at the wrong time

28 1996 Ripley - Action Hero who chooses the battle.

29 1986 Final Girl Fights Monstrous Feminine (external and internal) symbolic internal battle

30 Champions Motherhood? A gruesome form of birth

31 Subverting Gender Norms Vasquez 1986 Ripley 1992

32 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)

33 Alien Movies Summary Alien 1979 (traditional last girl) Aliens 1986 (superhero and mother) Alien 3 1992 (gender subversion, rape) Alien Resurrection 1997 (biotech violation)

34 Alien Resurrection 1997 How is this different?

35 Side Note: Thelma & Louise (1991) comes out during the transition.

36 Theme of Violation – Final Girls The Final Girls Must Be Sexually Violated to Be Heroic and Still Be a Women

37 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.)

38 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.)

39 Scream 1996 “Sidney” vs. her boyfriend... ?

40 Questions? In your opinion, what ways are “final girls” positive or negative characterizations of women?

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