This is an extended version of our interview with Brittney-Jade Colangelo that we featured in the April 2010 issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois. Download the entire issue by clicking here.
Brittney-Jade Colangelo is the author of the award winning horror blog Day of the Woman (http://www.dayofwoman.com/). She is also the indie film and direct-to-dvd film reviewer for Bloody-Disgusting.com and a contributing author to HorrorSociety.com.
What is the root of your love for all things horror?
My mother was always a diehard horror fanatic so if we want to go all psychoanalytical, it reminds me of my childhood. I know it sounds completely ridiculous to think that one of the “worst horror remakes” could have influenced me to enjoy old-school horror, but the 1999 remake of House on Haunted Hill plays a huge part. I saw the film on VHS in a camper when I was about 09years old, It scared the crap out of me (at the time) and I was absolutely in awe of it. After that weekend, I ran home to my computer and used Ask Jeeves (yes, this is before Google blew up) and typed in “the house on haunted hill movie”. I was hoping to see if it, in fact, WAS the guy from Night at the Roxbury in this film. Instead of getting a bunch of images from the movie I had just seen or finding out that YES Chris Kattan did a horror film, I was given a picture of Vincent Price. Being only 9 years old, I had no idea who the HELL Vincent Price was. My mother did a great job leading me to the Freddy films, Jason, Michael, Carrie, and the rest of Stephen King’s characters, but I had no idea who this guy was with the Boris Badinov mustache.
So I went to my local family owned video store and asked “Do you have anything with Vincent Price?” The man smiled at me and said “Of course I do, and I wouldn’t let most kids rent his stuff, but then again Brit…you’ve never been like most kids”. I scurried out happily from the video store with VHS copies of House of Wax, The Pit and the Pendulum, Theatre of Blood, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Fly, and on top of the stack…The House on Haunted Hill. Along with those films, he sent me home with a few of Castle’s other greats, like Uranium Boom, The Tingler, Macabre, and what ended up my personal favorite, 13 Ghosts. I must have looked pretty bad-ass to any middle-aged pedophiles down the street–a little 9-year-old girl with a vast collection of horror films bungie-corded on the back of her Huffy.
When did you decide to start blogging about horror, and to what do you attribute Day of the Woman’s rapid success?
DotW is a little over a year old. It was originally just a hobby I started to keep myself occupied while cooped up in the sticks of Macomb. I started writing about horror because I had been stalking the forums of Bloody-Disgusting for an extended amount of time and I found that most of the fans on there LOVED hearing a 19 year old girl take down a 46 year old guy in a debate over whether or not Fulci’s zombies were scarier than Romero’s. It was on B-D that I became associated with Brian Solomon of The Vault of Horror. He really encouraged me to start up a blog and became my Obi-Wan if you will. He showed me the ropes and was a huge help in getting my name out there. Most horror bloggers at the time were all sort of writing the same thing, I came along and I was this young, feminine, sarcastic voice who wasn’t afraid to comment on Anna Falchi’s rack in Dellamorte Dellamore and people really dug it. After about 4 months, I was accepted as an exceptional entry to The League of Tana Tea Drinkers which is the internet’s premiere horror blogging group. Once I was in the LoTT-D, my blog blew up and I was recently voted by the internet as Ms. Horror Blogosphere 2009.
Let’s get down to brass tacks; what is at the root of your hatred of the Twilight franchise?
At first, I didn’t hate it all that much. I saw it as another fad for teenage girls and housewives who weren’t getting enough attention from their husbands. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I just tried to ignore its existence. I assumed the books were at least halfway decent…until I read one. The saga is pure literary garbage and just a walking wet dream of Stephanie Meyer. Honestly, how many times can someone use the expression “perfect face” to describe someone?! It wasn’t until it started invading MY neck of the woods that I had a huge problem. Twilight posts were showing up on horror blips, people were comparing it to Anne Rice novels, and the fact the horror industry started trying to ride the Twilight wave and cranked out horrible vampire flicks (Transylmania anyone?) really bothered me.
I went to Walmart one day and bought a few horror flicks to where the cashier (sporting a Team Jacob pin nonetheless) asked me how pumped I was for New Moon. When I replied with “as excited as I am to put mouthwash in my tear ducts” she looked at me like I was crazy. When I asked why she’d assume I’d want to see that abomination of cinema, she said “you’re a girl buying horror movies”. frack me running…. It’s become a stigma that my generation is uber obsessed with this trash and further ruining our reputation.
What possible reason could there be for rating Saw higher than Ginger Snaps on your list of top 25 horror films of the past decade? On a related note – which did you like better, Ginger Snaps 1 or 2?
When I did my top 25 of the decade, I took into account things other than my personal feelings. I honestly don’t like the Saw films all that much, but I had to rank it high because it spawned the first true horror franchise in years and brought the torture porn genre full frontal. So, it had to be ranked high. It was THE horror franchise of the new millennium whether I enjoy the flicks or not. I hated to do it, but I would be lying to my readers if I denied its importance. I do like the first film though, I may have been 13 or so when I saw it for the first time, but I thought it was very different from anything I had seen and it really spawned the horror world’s obsession with over the top gore which is something that hadn’t been appreciated since the 70′s. I personally love the original Ginger Snaps better, but I think it’s because it blew me away the first time I saw it so I associate my feelings for the film with my initial response.
Often times, women are perceived as victims in horror films. What do you think the horror genre has to offer women that is positive?
I’ve found that the horror genre has put women into six different archetypes: 1) WOMEN AS THE REASON FOR THE RAGE, 2) BOOBS TO KILL, 3) TOUGH GIRL WITH FABULOUS LEGS, 4) STUPID GIRL who does the obvious wrong thing… 5) FEMALE KILLERS, and 6) FINAL GIRLS.
The 3rd archetype shows that contrasting to the skanks who show off their tots, we have the tough fighter types that always have legs that go on for days. I think there’s an unwritten rule that if you’re a hot chick fighting some scary figures, you have to either be wearing a dress, a skirt, short shorts, or leather pants. Alice in Resident Evil sports all three, Slack in Land of the Dead even goes as far as to rock some fishnets, Selene in Underworld has those “painted on” leather pants, Trash in Return of the Living Dead and even Jenny in I Spit On Your Grave [Day of the Woman] has some sassy legs on her raper killing self.
The 5th archetype shows that sometimes we women get lucky and have some women that are plenty clever, plenty sexy, and plenty “going to kill the shit out of you”. Pictured is one of my favorites [albeit the movie sucks] of Dodger in Cry_Wolf, but let us not forget about Karen Cooper in Night of the Living Dead, Countess Dracula, Angela Baker [kind of] in Sleepaway Camp, Irena in Cat People, Baby Firefly in House of 1000 Corpses/The Devils Rejects, and you know, that weirdo from Urban Legend.
And the 6th archetype shows that Final Girls are the epitome of female characters in horror. They’re the killers, the survivors, the virgins, THE ICONS! They show that women don’t have to be damsels in distress and that despite every obstacle and the odds against us that we can overcome and survive the most impossible situations. So thank-you Laurie Strode, Nancy Thompson, Sidney Prescott, Clarice Darling, Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, and hell even Clear Rivers for being s-s-survivors!
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