John Carpenter’s ghosts of Mars

WiHM: Pam Grier

WiHM: Pam Grier

Pam Grier, Women in Horror Month
When you first think of Women in Horror, you might not think of Pam Grier. Pam is more famous for her early career in exploitation cinema than in horror. However, she has had roles in several horror movies and is well known to most horror fans. February is not only Women in Horror Month, it is also Black History Month, so it seemed the perfect time shine a spotlight on Pam.
Pam's career started in the early 70s when she was cast by Jack Hill in two “women in prison” films. The 70s were the time of exploitation films, and the women in prison film was a sleazy and popular subgenre. These films lead to a long association with director Jack Hill and exploitation films, including two of her more famous early films, Coffy and Foxy Brown. It also lead to sharing the screen on multiple occasions with horror icon and all around great guy Sid Haig.
Pam Grier in Jackie Brown
Exploitation films of the era were controversial in about every way possible. The women in prison films were criticized for their portrayal of women and the violence against women. It's hard to argue that the films generally presented women characters in a good light. However with Pam Grier, the genre found a strong woman, cable of going toe to toe with men and even headline her own films. With Coffy in 1973 Pan became the first African American, female lead in an action film.
More films in the blackspolitation genre followed, they were all controversial at the time for perpetuating black stereotypes. While a lot, if not all of that is true, it also gave rise, and jobs to many black actors and directors who otherwise might not have found jobs. Still the criticism almost certainly hurt and limited Pam's career at the time. However today many look back more favorably on Pam's early career. They see her as a strong female, willing to do what it takes, and fully able of kicking ass on her own.
It was also in 1973 that Pam made her horror debut in Scream Blacula Scream. This was a sequel to the popular film Blacula, and part of the genre that has been dubbed Blackspolitaion horror. While still displaying some unfortunate black and gay stereotypes, Blacula was listed by it's lead William Marshall, and is considered one of the better films of the genre. In Scream Blacula Scream, the titular bloodsucker is revived and quickly falls in love with voodoo queen Pam Grier. I can't say I blame him.. Blacula and it's sequel have attained cult status, and Scream Blacula Scream put Pam squarely into the hearts of true horror fans.
Ms. Grier spends most of the rest of the 70s making exploitation films such as Foxy Brownand Friday Foster. In the 80s she delves again into the horror genre, with films like The Vindicator, (very) loosely based on the Frankenstein story, and an adaptation of Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. Exploitation cinema is rapidly winding down and Pam finds work in more mainstream film and television, including a recurring role on Miami Vice. Her roles, even though more mainstream, aren't as high profile.
The 90s saw a major revival for Pam, with roles in genre favorites Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Mars Attacks, and John Carpenter's Escape from LA. While none of them are strictly horror films, they put her back in front of horror fans. In 2001, she teamed with Carpenter again for Ghosts of Mars, a sci fi/horror re-imagining of his classic Assault on Precinct 13. That same year she also appeared in the urban horror film Bonesalongside rapper Snoop Dogg and a young Katharine Isabelle.
Pam Grier is still active today although she hasn't appeared in a horror film since the early 2000s. She now holds two honorary PhDs and is still the strong beautiful woman her fans remember from the 70s. Those films – and Pam's characters – may be controversial, but she was a role model for all women and for black women especially. Horror and exploitation films have a history of treating women with little or no respect. More often than not they are consigned as the victim, or just to provide sex appeal by appearing nude on film. While Pam did do her share of nude scenes, she was never the helpless victim. She fought back, against men and women, many times along. Foxy Brown, Coffy, and Friday Fosterwere strong women who did what they had to do to survive and to protect their loved ones. But Pam was more than just someone who played a strong character on screen. In real life she was just as strong.
In 1988 Pam was diagnosed with Stage Four Cancer. She was reportedly given only 18 months to live, but like Coffy and Foxy, she didn't give up. She fought and survived and is now cancer free. She credits eastern medicines, but how much had to simply be her will to fight on?
In 2011 she released a memoir, Foxy: My Life in Three Acts. In it Pam reveals that she was raped as a child of six years old and again at age 18. She was assaulted a third time but managed to fight off her attacker. From being victimized as a child, she rose to become the epitome of a strong woman on screen because Pam Grier was a strong woman in real life. She survived rape, she survived cancer, and her career survived the downfall of the blacksploitation film craze. I am proud to call myself a Pam Grier fan and honored to do this humble spotlight on her for Women in Horror Month.
Posted by Allen Alberson in TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
HISTORY OF HORROR: AUGUST

HISTORY OF HORROR: AUGUST

By John Roisland & Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in August. Click on thumbnails for full images.

August 1 - 7

 


08/01/1883
Lon Chaney, Sr. born

0801_800px-Lon_Chaney,_Sr._The_Miracle_Man


0801_The-Omega-Man-Poster

08/01/1971
The Omega Man released theatrically


08/01/1986
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives released
theatrically

0801_Friday6


0801_Resident_Evil_1_cover

08/01/1996
Resident Evil released on the PlayStation in Europe


08/01/1999
Silent Hill released on the PlayStation in Europe

0801_Silent_Hill_video_game_cover


0802_Wes_Craven_2010

08/02/1939
Wes Craven (director of Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street) born


08/02/1999
The Sixth Sense released theatrically

0802_The_sixth_sense


0802_TheOthers

08/02/2001
The Others released
theatrically


08/02/2002
Signs released theatrically

0802_The_Signs_movie


0803_PiranhaPosterA

08/03/1978
Piranha released
theatrically


08/04/1932
White Zombie released theatrically

0804_Poster_-_White_Zombie_01_Crisco_restoration


0805_John_Saxon_1975

08/05/1935
John Saxon born


08/06/1970
M. Night Shyamalan (director ) born

0806_M._Night_Shyamalan_by_Gage_Skidmore

0806_250px-Silent Hill 3_boxart
08/06/2003
Silent Hill 3 released on the PlayStation and PC in North America

August 8 - 14


08/09/2005
Matthew McGrory (Played Tiny in The Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses) died

0809_Matthew_McGrory


0810_Chaos_(2005_film)_poster

08/10/2005
Chaos (2005) released theatrically


08/11/1947
Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator and Dagon) born

0811_800px-Gordon,_Stuart_(2007)


0811_Ein_Zombie_hing_am_Glockenseil_Poster

08/11/1980
City of the Living Dead released theatrically


08/11/1989
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child released theatrically

0811_Nightmare5


0811_Systemshock2box

08/11/1999
System Shock 2 released on PC


08/12/1941
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) released theatrically

0812_Jekyll-hyde_1941


0812_Castlevania_II_Belmont's_Revenge

08/12/1991
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge released on the Game Boy in Japan


08/13/1899
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE, born

0813_800px-Hitchcock,_Alfred_02


0813_Film1953-TheWarOfTheWorlds-OriginalPoster

08/13/1953
The War of the Worlds (1953) released theatrically


08/13/1982
Friday the 13th Part 3 released theatrically

0813_Friday3


0813_Jason_goes_to_hell

08/13/1993
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday released theatrically


08/13/2004
Alien vs. Predator released theatrically

0813_Avpmovie


0814_Original_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show_poster

08/14/1975
The Rocky Horror Picture Show released theatrically

August 15 - 21


08/15/1986
The Fly (1986) released theatrically

0815_215px-Fly_poster


0815_Manhunter_michael_mann_film_poster

08/15/1986
Manhunter (1986) released theatrically


08/15/1997
Event Horizon released theatrically

0815_Event_horizon_ver1


0815_Event_horizon_ver1

08/15/2003
Freddy vs. Jason released theatrically


08/16/1956
Bela Lugosi died (born October 20, 1882)

0816_220px-Lugosi_Bela


0817_Robert_De_Niro_Cannes_2016

08/17/1943
Robert De Niro born


08/17/1969
Donnie Wahlberg (actor in The Sixth Sense, Dreamcatcher, and Saw II) born

0817_Donnie_Wahlberg_2010


0818_424px-Roman_Polanski_Cannes_2013

08/18/1933
Roman Polanski (director of The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Ninth Gate) born


08/18/1969
Edward Norton (actor in Red Dragon) born

0818_437px-Edward_Norton_2012


0819_Nightmare4

08/19/1988
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master released theatrically


08/19/2005
Dead & Breakfast released theatrically

0819_Dead&Breakfast2004


0820_H._P._Lovecraft,_June_1934

08/20/1890
H. P. Lovecraft born


08/21/1943
The Seventh Victim released theatrically

0821_220px-The-Seventh-Victim-poster


0821_220px-An_American_Werewolf_in_London_poster

08/21/1981
An American Werewolf in London released theatrically


08/21/1998
Blade released theatrically

0821_220px-Blade_movie

August 22 - 28


0822_390px-Nightofthecreepsposter

08/22/1986
Night of the Creeps released theatrically


08/22/1997
Mimic released theatrically

0822_220px-Mimic


0824_Takashi_Miike

08/24/1960
Takashi Miike (director of Ichi the Killer, Visitor Q, Audition) born


08/24/1990
Darkman released theatrically

0824_215px-Darkman_film_poster


0824_John_Carpenter's_Ghosts_of_Mars

08/24/2001
John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars released theatrically


08/25/1979
Zombi 2 released theatrically

0825_Zombie_Flesh_eaters


0825_Castlevania_-_Dawn_of_Sorrow_Coverart

08/25/2005
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in Japan


08/26/2005
Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 released for the PlayStation 2 in Europe

0826_Resident_Evil_Outbreak_File_2


0827&28_Castlevania_II_Simon's_Quest

08/27/1992
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe


08/27/1987
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Famicom Disk System in Japan

0827&28_Castlevania_II_Simon's_Quest

August 29 - 31


0829_IngridBergmanportrait

08/29/1915
Ingrid Bergman (actress in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)) born


08/29/1935
William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist, Rampage, The Guardian, and Bug) born

0829_800px-William_Friedkin


0829_400px-Joel_Schumacher

08/29/1939
Joel Schumacher (director of The Lost Boys) born


08/30/2000
Resident Evil: Survivor released on PlayStation

0830_RE_Survivor_front


0831_220px-Basketcaseposter

08/31/1983
Basket Case released theatrically


08/31/2007
Halloween (2007) released theatrically

0831_Halloween2007

Keep it Evil

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments