Due to personal reasons, for the time being, I shall be celebrating Women in Horror Month online, discussing the work of the incredible women I have encountered over the years and looking to what the future looks like for women working in horror. Jennifer xo

Find me on social media @jennifersbodies on Twitter and Instagram.

"Jennifer’s Bodies is a roving annual festival of female-helmed horror movies and part of Women In Horror Recognition Month, an international assortment of affiliated events organised partly to highlight just how much women can and do contribute to the genre outwith the typically accepted factors of tits, ass and mezzosoprano screaming." Starburst Magazine

Saturday 8 February 2020

Women in Horror Spotlight - Roxanne Benjamin's Body at Brighton Rock

So the other night whilst having a wee nosey through Shudder, I noticed that Roxanne Benjamin's feature debut, Body at Brighton Rock had recently been added.  Having loved her anthology segments in XX and V-H-S, I have been looking forward to this since it was released last year.  

Wendy, a part-time summer employee at a mountainous state park, takes on a rough trail assignment at the end of the season, trying to prove to her friends that she's capable enough to do the job. When she takes a wrong turn and ends up deep in the backcountry, she stumbles upon what might be a potential crime scene. Stuck with no communication after losing her radio and with orders to guard the site, Wendy must fight the urge to run and do the harder job of staying put - spending the night deep in the wilderness, facing down her worst fears and proving to everyone - including herself - that she's made of stronger stuff than they think she is.

So often in horror; situations, as well as individuals, are hyper exaggerated to fit a certain narrative.  What we have in Body at Brighton Rock, however, is the simple premise of a likeable young girl, on a mission to prove to her friends and co-workers that she's just as capable as them when it comes to getting out and about in the woods to complete the assignments that are part of their job.  It's a beautiful sunny day, she has her music and the flyers she needs to go and put up around the park...what could go wrong!?  

The beauty of nature is how cruel and unforgiving it can be.  All it really takes is one wrong turn, or a foot in the wrong direction, to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and shit hits the fan.  This is what I loved so much about this film, Roxanne Benjamin's appreciation of nature, of its beauty, but also that of why we need to respect it on every level.

In horror, we largely experience "terrifying" situations that happen at night.  The creaking of trees, shadows in the moonlight, ominous noises that are usually probably just that of some cute forest/farm animal....or they could be something bigger!!  These kinds of thoughts totally play on our minds, I don't think it matters who we are.  But have you ever been lost in the woods during the day? Or coming back from hiking as the sun starts to set?  This can be equally as creepy, and Body at Brighton Rock absolutely nails the daylight tension just as effectively as that of the dark.  The mind truly is a place of its own and Karina Fontes excels in leading a film that primarily plays on the places our minds wander to when alone in an isolated place...or worse...when stuck with a corpse in an isolated place! 

Don't really want to say too much more but definitely recommend checking this out and the end made me smile...like, a lot!!  For those of you in the UK, it's on Shudder, but I'm not actually sure about outside the UK. 

Ps. I got some total mad The Trouble with Harry vibes whilst watching this film and would love to know if Roxanne Benjamin is a fan of this underrated Hitchcock gem.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Women In Horror Spotlight - Revisiting Jen Moss's The Morning After, Starring Kate Nash

After being invited to take part in a new book on women in horror, I've been thinking a lot about some of my favourite films that I have screened over the years.  It's inspiring to see just how far women have come since Hannah Neurotica started this movement, so much has been accomplished, but there is still a long way to go yet.  With that in mind, I have decided to take a look back over some of my favourite films over the years, from those that I have screened, to those that I just bloody well love!  I'll be sure to share links as to where you can watch/buy said films too.  :) 

So first up, Jen Moss's The Morning After.  Starring singer Kate Nash in what would be her most excellent debut film role, The Morning After was a film that I instantly loved due to its quirky dark humour focusing on addiction...with a twist! ;) Check it out, and let me know what you think! 

I found a recent podcast where Jen Moss talks about her job as director of music supervision at Warner Music, where she helps to create the musical soundscape of films and has worked on a variety of films including genre films Prevenge, 47 Metres Down and Malevolent, as well as various non-horror films such as I, Tonya and American Animals amongst others.  It provides a really interesting look into a side of the industry that we don't often hear about.  I love how Jen gives a shoutout to Prevenge's Alice Lowe at the end as well.  You can check out the podcast here

On top of still doing music and soundtracks and stuff, Kate Nash has continued to act, most recently with a prominent role in Netflix's super popular female wrestling show GLOW.  

Oooh, also one of the things I absolutely adore about Kate Nash...she loves bunnies!  Found this really great interview with her earlier where she talks bunnies, mental health and Veganism, it's well worth a read and encompasses so much of what I love in life. 

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Where it Dwells - Female Driven Scottish Student Home Invasion Film Needs Your Help!

Where it Dwells is the final graduation project of Screen Academy Scotland student Kayleigh Boyd, starring Saskia Ashdown and produced by Sunrise Ishimwe.  Having seen a rough cut of the film, I think we have something really special here that would go down a treat with film festival viewers, that would also really gives audiences a great insight into what this young Scot is capable of.

Putting a twist on the classic home invasion story, Where it Dwells is a short film that pays homage to films like Hush, The Shining and Memento.  There is a beautiful subtlety to it.  One that makes for a short film that is genuinely eerie and quietly disturbing....which makes it all the more effective and most certainly gives it the potential to be fleshed out into a full feature.

Saskia Ashdown gives a beautiful and very understated performance.  When paired with Boyd's tight script and excellent direction, complimented by cinematographer Stuart's wonderful attention to visual detail, everything jells together perfectly.  

I'm always particularly happy to see Scottish chicks making horror films (these are my people after all!) as it still is very much a massive sausage fest in this country, that I really hope that folks will get behind Kayleigh and see just what she has to offer.  

Kayleigh and her cast and crew are currently raising funds to help complete post-production on the film and to use anything left over to go towards film festival submission charges and are looking for backers.  If this is something you would be interested in getting behind, you can check out their IndieGoGo campaign here.  

Thursday 1 February 2018

Women in Horror Spotlight - Melanie Light

One of the things that I have always loved about women in horror, is that there are so many incredible women that have used their voice and their art to speak out about various social justice issues in our society.  

With the dairy industry responding to Veganuary with their Februdairy campaign, Melanie Light's The Herd is absolutely my favourite film to kick off Women in Horror Month!

First and foremost, Melanie is an awesome fucking individual, end of.  For everything that I believe in, I feel that she's one of my total girly soulmates.  Through her art, she totally expresses the way that I think and feel about so much, and in a way, that I have yet to be able to even properly express myself.  That makes her a true inspiration in my eyes, and also why I think everyone needs to see her work. 

A little while ago, one of my young staff members had been asking for scary films to watch, I sent him a link to The Herd.  It genuinely got to him.  So much so that when one of our friends asked just last week for us to recommend scary films to him, I was asked the name of the film I had recommended to his bud and re-shared the link.  I got some really awesome feedback with people asking for me to recommend more films like that, and others checking out Melanie's other work on their own and absolutely loving it which was really awesome to hear.

The thing with The Herd, is that to "normal" society (don't even know what the fuck that means, haha), the dairy industry is totally cool and what's wrong with "milkin' a coo" and all that?!  When you show them it from a human perspective, from the truly non-specist point of view, it suddenly becomes this utterly horrific and brutal situation that they wouldn't wish on their worst enemy!  It's really weird.  

I feel that Melanie encaptures everything here, from animal rights to feminism and how society deems those they feel are "lesser creatures" (animals and humans), and in the most beautifully graphic and on point way possible.  This is one of the films I recommend the most when people ask me to recommend stuff to watch.  I love films that are not only wonderfully dark but dark for a purpose, because they reflect society's general human acceptance of the most twisted of things.     

Please watch The Herd, have a wee think about it and then be sure to let me know your thoughts! :)  

Want to know what is probably the most truly inspirational thing about this awesome chick....she literally went from making films about serial killers to animal rights with her feminist art.  Don't think I need to point out the beautiful irony and wonder of this.  Melanie is awesome and so incredibly fearless in her fight to end cruelty to both animals and women, end of!  We need more Light in our lives! <3  

If you like The Herd, or are curious about Melanie's film growth, then please be sure to check out her website.   If you are particularly wanting to see more animal rights stuff, then definitely check out The Skin You're In on her website, as well as Vimeo.  Also be totally sure to check out Switch and Escape for lots of killer goodness as well!

Oooh, side note.....these are just Melanie's amazing films that she's done herself, she has also worked on a shit load of awesome films including The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Cockneys vs Zombies, Doghouse and Centurian. 

Her most recent work is Crispian Mills new film, Slaughterhouse Rulz.  Yup, the Crispian Mills of Kula Shaker for all y'all 90's kids like moi, haha.  He's also the Crispian who wrote the brilliant and severely underrated A Fantastic Fear of Everything, and is getting us Simon Pegg and Nick Frost back together, woohoo! :)  

Just to balance out the dark subject matter though, I think we need some Melanie doing work with the Animal Justice Project showing that happiness is truly being covered in piglets! :)

Saturday 18 February 2017

Jennifer's Bodies 2017 Official Selection - Sophia Cacciola starring With Whip, from Lianne O'Shea!

Sophia Cacciola is one powerhouse of a lady!  And a Vegan one at that!  This filmmaker/actress/musician has been done so much within the past ten years, it's hard to keep up.

For me personally, first and foremost it was her film TEN that first got my attention.  Ten was awesome!  And not only did Sophia write and direct the film, she also played a folk singer in it too....which was a nice little way of showing us just how wickedly talented she actually is!

This year I have a film that Sophia and her partner in crime, Michael Epstein produced, and that Sophia starred in, alongside writer Lianne O' Shea and director Aviv Rubinstein.  :)

With Whip is a delicious little short that takes a cheeky swipe at consumerism and how brain dead our society has actually become.  It may be short, but it is most definitely sweet!  In an ever so naughty way!

You can follow more of Sophia's work at her website and check out her latest feature, Blood of the Tribades on Amazon and VOD.  Oooh, Sophia also features in Izzy Lee's Innsmouth, showing at Jennifer's Bodies as well. :) 

Check out the trailer for Blood of the Tribades below. 

Jennifer's Bodies 2017 Official Selection - Jessica Cameron's, Tristan Risk and Ellie Church Starring MANIA!

So I was supposed to be screening Mania last year, but due to projector problems just before I was away to show it, I was annoyingly unable to let people into the madness!!  Amusingly enough, it was after a burlesque act that everything crashed, haha.  Anyhoo, I  LOVE this film and know that you all need to see it! 

Tomorrow, you will finally get to see this incredible film from one of Jennifer's Bodies favourites, Jessica Cameron, and starring horror darlings Tristan Risk and Ellie Church! :) 

I have been screening Jess's work for YEARS....first starting with the lovely lady as an actress and teaming up with Elisabeth and Brenda Fies.  It makes me so freakin' proud to see just how far she has come, how little shit she takes, and just how much of a genuine bad ass she is!  And she can play so sweet at the same time.  That is an admirable quality for sure and Jessica Cameron oooooozes it from her every pore!

Jess is easily one of the most identifiable women at the forefront of Women in Horror, and she owns that position for a reason!  This woman is a workaholic who never stops.  

As an actress, Jess has been totally earning her reputation as a total scream queen over the years.  But it is when you look behind the scenes, that you realise that she is making equally as much of, if not more of, a bad ass reputation!  Anyone who has seen Truth or Dare will realise that this is a girl unafraid to push boundaries.  Mania continues to do the same thing...push the boundaries...fight convention!  And in the most darkly delicious of ways possible! 

Come and check it out this Sunday at Blackfriars in Glasgow! 

You can follow Jessica on Facebook, Twitter and at her Official Website.  

Friday 17 February 2017

Jennifer's Bodies 2017 Official Selection - Izzy Lee's Innsmouth!

To make an outstanding short film, one that leaves the audience craving for more, desperate to further discover the characters they have been introduced to, in a fascinating world, after only the shortest of introductions...it takes some major talent!  Director Izzy Lee most certainly has the level of talent required to deliver such a film and Innsmouth is proof of that.  A film that totally left me wanting to explore this gender-flipped, loose adaptation of Lovecraft's Shadow Over Innsmouth all the more.  

Izzy is an incredible director with a capacity for wonderful attention to detail and atmosphere in visually stunning films that really make you think.  You can check out more of her work at her website Nihil Noctem Films and also go like her on Facebook too.  :)  

Innsmouth is a great example of bonding between some of my favourite women working within horror today with both Tristan Risk and Sophia Cacciola involved too.  Yay! <3