Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Waxing and Waning

Hi there, readers! Jace here, posting to our long-neglected blog.

I’m thinking about bikini waxes. There. I’ve said it. Brazilians, Playboys, landing strips, you name it – I’ve got them on my mind. And it has everything to do with NIGHT OF THE DEMONS.

Let me explain. There’s a scene toward the beginning of the movie where three of the female characters (including Bobbi Sue Luther's Suzanne, pictured above) drink and talk. The subject? Bikini waxing. Now, a very interesting thing happened when Adam and I finished the script and showed it to some of our fellow horror screenwriters. “It’s not realistic,” I heard. “Women don’t talk to each other that way. This scene shouldn’t even be in there.”

I heard the same criticism when we were editing: women don’t talk that way. I’ve gotten the comment from fans. Several critics have singled out the scene, saying the dialogue sounds like it was written by some horny and/or lonely guy fantasizing about how women talk. (I always laugh at that – after all, the last time I checked I had ovaries.)

You want to know the really interesting thing about these complaints? I’ve only heard them from men. Not a single woman has told me that the conversation was unrealistic. In fact, they tend to laugh with recognition.

Here's where I got the inspiration for the scene: in line at a frozen yogurt shop. Three young women in front of me – they had just graduated from high school – were comparing notes on the best place in my neighborhood to get a bikini wax. “The place I go is great,” one announced. “They don’t make you get on your hands and knees.” (Sorry, ladies – I eavesdropped hard, but missed the name of the salon. I’ll get back to you on that.)

Let me repeat: this conversation happened in line at a frozen yogurt shop.

I’d tell this to the guys who didn’t think the scene seemed real. “I’ve had conversations like these, too,” I’d insist. (Believe me, war stories get passed around.)

They’d look at me doubtfully, like maybe I’d been imagining the whole thing. Maybe I was just a lone weirdo who talked about…that. “Really?,” they’d ask. Then they’d shake their heads. “Nope. I just don’t buy it.”

It’s an odd thing sometimes, being a woman working in the male-dominated world of horror films. I’ve been the lone female at many a horror writer/director gathering, and I even once had a director say that I seemed “too nice to write horror.” But I have to say that few things have been as weird as having men insist to me that women just don’t talk that way – even when I’ve actually had the conversation we’re debating.

News flash: we know how we talk. There are lots of us who love horror passionately, who debate new releases and old classics with as much gusto as the guys – and more of us need to be writing and making horror films.

As for NIGHT OF THE DEMONS, check it out on October 19. Tell me what you think of the scene – if you’re a woman, have you had a similar conversation? If you’re a guy, do you believe it?

Oh, and if you know of a better pain reliever than aloe vera, let me in on the secret.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What have you been up to lately?

Thought I'd give you guys an update on how things are going for us professionally. The good news is, we are currently employed -- which these days is a cause for celebration. A while back we were hired to write a cool horror movie called HELLVIEW. It's a gory and suspenseful movie about....nah. I'm not going to spoil it.

I've also been finishing up post on FERTILE GROUND, a creepy little ghost story I made for After Dark. It's pretty good, and something very different from AUTOPSY and NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. Anyway, that should be coming out relatively soon as part of the After Dark Originals series. One cool thing about FERTILE GROUND is that it's a script that Jace and I wrote a while ago and never thought it would be made, even though we both loved it.

Hey, Jace here now. First post to this blog, and I figured this one was a good one to hijack halfway through. I'm really psyched about FERTILE GROUND -- the story idea sprang from an image I had and the female protagonist, Emily, is one near and dear to my heart. My fingers are crossed that some of you will like it as well!

Adam back. Look for NIGHT OF THE DEMONS in a theater near you on September 23rd. I can't wait for people to finally see that -- it's just pure horny-horror-party-punk rock fun, and it has the soundtrack of my dreams.

Other than this, we've just been speccing and pitching and all those wonderful things that go with trying to make a living in this crazy business.

Blood, guts and pussy,

Adam G

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Asia Argento Syndrome

When you move to Hollywood and try your hand at writing, directing or acting, one of the first things you'll find is that there is a truly strange barometer when it comes to what is and who are viewed as successful. The first movie that Jace and I ever were paid to write was CROCODILE, directed by Tobe Hooper. We weren't paid very much, and it was a rewrite -- but still, it was Tobe Hooper! We're talking the guy who directed TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, POLTERGEIST, FUNHOUSE, etc etc etc! I mean, who wouldn't view that as a great first gig?

The answer is, well, us. We were as proud as hell to be working with Tobe. We even thought the movie might turn out to be pretty good (it didn't, and that's partially our fault). But because of the low amount we were paid, we didn't feel like it was a "real" job. If you think this is one of the most mind-blowingly stupid things you've ever heard, you're right. And the lesson is, do not let Hollywood, what you read in websites and magazines, and what your friends think determine what you feel "success" means. Asia Argento didn't.

I think we can all agree on one thing: Asia Argento is hot. Those of us who watched her in her early Italian horror films all thought she was a goddess. Now, I don't know Asia. I don't know what she wanted her career path to be or if she's satisfied with where she is now. I only met her once, and that was briefly on the set of MOTHER OF TEARS. But it's very clear to me that when Asia was offered the keys to the kingdom, she said "no." After XXX, she was on the cover of Rolling Stone as the new "it" girl. She could've had it all: fame, lots of money, avoiding paparazzi, and all that other stuff that comes with being a rich and famous movie star. But it seems very clear that she didn't want that -- she had her own path and her own view of what success is.

I've known lots of people that I thought could've been huge in movies. A chick I went to college with, Carol Oldham, was a good actress and absolutely gorgeous, and I was pretty sure that if she were to move here and start auditioning she could have made it pretty big. However, Carol decided to do small theater projects and work for the Sierra Club -- that's where her priorities were, and she should be applauded for it. There's many more out there like her.

So please, if you're doing something creative and it makes you happy, enjoy that. Whether you're Cree Creepersin, who makes cool little ultra-low budget indies, or Neil Marshall, it is up to you to determine what you define as success. If you want more, go for it. If you're happy with where you are, or want to change directions altogether, it's up to you and nobody else.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Times, They Are A'Changing

So I've never been much of a Bob Dylan fan (always more of a Misfits and Motorhead kind of guy), but truer cannot be spoken for the state of horror films. Times are tough but far from hopeless. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be writing a lot about how we can still make our scary celluloid dreams come true. But for now, I'd like to say a few words about love.

Me and Jace have been hitched for about eight months now -- and I can happily report that it has made no difference whatsoever in our relationship. I still love her so much, and she's still my best friend. We're still writing horror movies together. I thought I would post our wedding vows for your amusement and as a sign of hope for good things to come. So here's what was spoken during the "I do" part of our wedding. Enjoy.

Jace, if Adam tells you he needs his own space, do you promise not to stalk him relentlessly and boil Goblin in a big pot to gain his attention? Do you pledge that, if you and Adam stumble upon the secret headquarters of a French group devoted to discovering the secrets of the afterlife, you will not insist on spending the night there, thus allowing the turban-wearing elderly Frenchwoman leader of said group to arrive and strip all of Adam’s skin off of his body? Do you promise that you will always get a bigger boat? Do you promise that, even if a group of women tell you that the underpass is always safer than the street, that you will not use the underpass?

Adam, should Jace break her promise and use the underpass and something vile and unwatchable happens to her for eight and a half minutes, do you promise not to go to the nearest gay leather bar and bash in a random stranger’s head with a fire extinguisher? Do you promise not to chain Jace to the bed and break her ankles with a hammer if she stops working on a script? Finally, no matter how sweet and convincing the old couple next door is, do you promise not to let them conjure the devil and impregnate Jace to further your directing career?