marilyn burns

WiHM: A Matter of Respect

WiHM: A Matter of Respect


February in my life is a pretty active month. Not only is it the shortest month of the year, we also get to celebrate my birthday, my sons birthday, and geographically this is supposed to be the month where we get the most snowfall and I happen to love snow! But this is also a very special time of year for horror fans as it is Women in Horror Month. As a writer for House of Tortured Souls, I could very easily pick one name of a well-deserved list of actresses and give you a couple of highlights of her career and a quick biography, but as the founder and CEO of House of Tortured Souls, I feel it is my responsibility – and my honor – to generalize the importance of the celebration of Women in Horror Month itself.

From the beginning of horror films women always played a much more important role that people actually give credit for. In the earlier days of horror cinema, the women usually portrayed poor and defenseless women who were attacked by a creature of the night. Usually helpless and seemingly brainless, they almost never spoke back or acted to defend themselves, reflecting society’s view of women at the time.

Through the years, however, the female role and presence on screen became larger as women’s roles in society changed. And as their roles changed, the characters (and even names of the actresses) became iconic, ultimately being being dubbed Screen Queens. At first, these roles were primarily in slasher films, where often attractive buxom young ladies let loose with glass shattering screams while being attacked and murdered – usually topless during a shower or bedroom scene. You always remembered the scene and the face.

As the popularity of the Scream Queens grew, so did the role of women in horror – on screen and off. Female leads became stronger on screen, and women who watched these films were inspired to go into horror. In fact, these immense changes in the way that women were portrayed in horror soon inspired women to branch into other areas of horror cinema. Women no longer went only for on screen roles but also for behind the scenes roles as writers, directors, producers, makeup artists, and virtually ever other aspect of horror filmmaking.

Now, in 2017, many Scream Queens who first started in the industry at a young age are being honored by lifetime achievement awards, and those who stay behind the camera are making groundbreaking films, shorts, and TV shows.

Scream Queens will always have a place in horror cinema, but there’s another change in the on screen female characters in the horror industry. Women have gone from solely being the victim to sometimes being the killer. Along with the other changes in the industry, horror films have again changed up the role of women characters. The tables have turned, and horror movies will never be the same. As for the women in the industry are concerned, from film to TV and all aspects involved, the female presence is very strong and very welcomed.

It’s nice to see these talented women getting their notoriety and respect.

As I sit back and reflect, many names cross my mind, names that helped lay the foundations for what has been built and for what is yet to come. Some of these names are:


These are but a few the iconic women in horror cinema! All of these women have, in one way or another, brought a part of them to the silver screen and made a huge impact on not only me, but also on the world of horror fans.

I'm very proud to be an avid horror fan, and I'm doubly proud to be a supporter of the Women in Horror Month.

You have a lot to be proud of, ladies! Much respect!!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in EDITORIALS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Eaten Alive (1980)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Eaten Alive (1980)

By Nick Durham

eaten alive

When you find a movie called Eaten Alive, there's probably two thoughts as to what kind of movie it is that pop in your head: is this a cannibal movie, or is it a fucking porno? Wait what? There is a cannibal movie called Eaten Alive? Okay, that makes sense I guess. What else is it? There's like over a hundred porno movies that have some variation of the phrase Eaten Alive in it? Okay, that makes sense too I guess. No matter what type of Eaten Alive strikes your fancy, I think you'd be better off with either the cannibal one, or any of the porno ones, than you would be with this fucking thing.

Anyway, Eaten Alive is Tobe Hooper's 1977 follow up to his landmark smash hit The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Only instead of revolving around chainsaw-wielding inbred hillbilly cannibal maniacs, this revolves around...well, inbred hillbilly maniacs and a giant fucking crocodile. The crocodile lives next door to a run down hotel owned by the mentally deranged Judd (Neville Brand), who often supplies the croc with fresh victims of those that cross his path. We get to meet a variety of people, including a fucked up couple (William Finley and Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre lead Marilyn Burns) and a dude named Buck (a pre-A Nightmare on Elm Street Robert Englund) that likes to do stuff that begins with the letter F and ends with -uck.

Okay, let's just get this out of the way: Eaten Alive is a terrible movie. I know this film has its fans, but holy fucking hell I can't stand this flick. Usually I wholeheartedly enjoy this kind of shit, but there's always been something about Eaten Alive that has rubbed me the wrong way. Whether it's the overall tone of the film to the fact that when compared to the magic Hooper made with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, this thing just can't compare. It almost comes off as being an ill-conceived parody of monster movies and backwoods living...without any laughs. Plus, it just drags on and on and on and feels like that it is NEVER going to end.

Now I could spend all day shitting on this movie, but I won't, because somehow this managed to get a wonderful Blu-ray release. Arrow Films, whom I worship day and night, has provided Eaten Alive with a fantastic physical media release here, more than this fucking movie deserves. The film's picture and sound have been remastered, a commentary by one of the film's writers and a couple actors (curiously nothing on the commentary from Tobe Hooper or Robert Englund), a new introduction from Hooper, new and vintage interviews with Hooper, Englund, and Marilyn Burns, and a featurette about the story of Joe Ball; the real-life Texas bar owner that the film is loosely based upon. Yes, Arrow has packed in a shitload of features for this fuckfest for some odd reason, don't ask me why.

To wrap things up here, I really dislike Eaten Alive something fierce. That being said, if you are a fan of this film, this Blu-ray release from Arrow Films is definitely worth picking up just for the special features alone. There's no denying that Arrow has given this film a treatment that it really doesn't deserve, but if you somehow enjoy this flick, by all means pick this release up. For the rest of us, we can keep pretending this movie never happened, just like Tobe Hooper has been pretending the past few films he's directed never happened either.

Rating: 2/5 (but the Blu-ray is super-mega-crocodile-tits)

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments