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.