Friday, February 27, 2009

Vampira

It's been a few days since I watched it, but I still find myself thinking about the Pretty Bloody documentary. I'm not sure what it was, but the whole concept struck a nerve and I've found myself discussing women in the horror industry with a few friends over the last few days. One of the stories that stuck out most for me was about Vampira.

Now, if you're like most of my friends, you've never heard of Vampira, but she was the host of a horror television program in the 1950s, long before Elvira came along. I was blown away not only by her tiny waist, but by the fact that she ended up leaving the show because the television station that aired it wanted to own more than 50% of her character. That decision pretty much ended her career, but I loved that she was willing to stand up for her rights at a time when many actresses were still stuck in the unfair studio system. You can Google Vampira and find out all sorts of interesting things about her life and career, including her work with Ed Wood.



This weekend is a busy one, but I've scheduled in time to work on re-writes. I have a lot done on that and I'm mindful that I could pick away at the novel for the next twenty years and still find things to change, so hopefully this will be a fruitful session. I'd like to start pitching agents and publishers when I'm back from my honeymoon in July, so at least I have a deadline in mind.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pretty Bloody

I watched a documentary on women in the horror movie business called "Pretty Bloody" last night on Space. I was really glad that I took the time to check that out. I'm on Rue Morgue Magazine's newsletter list, so I had received a note that it was playing (their female editor-in-chief is profiled) or I likely would have missed out.

I'm not as big a fan of the horror genre now as I was growing up. I was one of those kids who saw every Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th movie (at my friend's house because my mom was not so keen on me watching that stuff) and I used to buy any book about vampires that was released. I loved gory horror novels and, as I got older, I got more into B-movie horror stuff. I still think all of those things are pretty awesome, but there's been less and less of it in my life as an adult.

Pretty Bloody made me remember all that I've been missing out on. I don't write horror fiction, nor have I ever been inclined to, but I understand the potency of the genre. Each month in our book club at the office someone chooses a title that they enjoy and we all read it. Often, this takes us out of our reading comfort zones and gets us to try something we otherwise might have missed. A few months ago one of the women chose a horror novel - nothing too out there, but something that I would have loved in high school and overlooked as an adult. It was a pretty great read and it reminded me that it's not about the genre, but about the quality of the writing and the compelling nature of the story. Great horror writing is something I definitely want to find more time for. I might also try to squeeze in a horror movie this weekend - there's something to be said for a good scare now and then.