By Alan Kelly.
1) Tell me about Ax Wound, what it is, what it does, who it is for?
For those unaware the term “ax wound” is slang for a woman on the rag. That being said, Ax Wound is a cut ‘n’ paste ‘zine about gender and the horror genre. It contains articles, reviews, art, interviews, and whatever crazy shit I think up. I once did a quiz ‘Which Final Girl Are You?’ And this new issue will have a feminist horror wordsearch. So, its got essays but also light aspects. Overall, I consider it to be a critical look at the genre through a feminist/cultural/psychosocial lense. I love horror and think it has a lot to teach us about sexuality, gender relations, and culture throughout history. Ax Wound is for anyone interested in horror films. It is not only for women or gender/film studies students. It’s really just for anyone who wants to look at horror in an intelligent and different way than your typical horror magazine. It also works to bring recognition to amazing artists working under the radar who may not be getting as much exposure as I feel they deserve.
2) I’ve read your Manifesto on a Woman in Horror Recognition Month. For those who haven’t read it, can you offer, in a nutshell, why this is important?
Women write horror, we make films, we create freaky art, we do fx makeup, we are audience members. And yet there is this idea that horror is a male genre. The Women in Horror Month Manifesto is my way of saying, hey fuckers, we are fans too, we are working under the radar, we deserve recognition. I mean the lack of funding to women in the arts in America is disgusting but in horror its even more behind the times because this idea pervades that we like romantic comedies and in reality we love blood and guts too. Why can’t Texas Chainsaw Massacre be a chick flick? It’s one of my favourite movies, ya know? So, February 2010 is the first annual WiH Recogniton month. It’s important to bring awareness to women in the genre and allow women to be seen as more then ‘bloody babe of the month.’ We have intelligent things to say. Our opinions and stories and experiences matter.
3) What do you find irritating about writing/working within the horror genre?
Women don’t get taken seriously as artists and instead are seen only as ‘sexy horror babes.’ That is beyond irritating because I know of so many amazing women working there ass off writing and directing etc and they don’t get written about or funded and even some women who claim they are all about promoting women in the genre are really just as bad as everyone else and only feature these stereotypically hot model-looking chicks with no real reason for being promoted other then they look good in bikinis and fake blood smeared on their tits. And the horrible unoriginal crap Hollywood puts out is ridiculous. I am not opposed to horror remakes if they are done well and for good reasons, but that doesn’t seem to be the case and remakes of Friday the 13th and My Bloody Valentine are just atrocious. Oh, and did I mention Twilight irritates the living shit out of me. I’m sorry, but that is some bullshit.
4) Gimme a short list of women you admire; who are your icons?
My icon list is not necessarily the same list as the people I admire. I can admire someone but that doesn’t mean they are my icon. Does that make sense? Lydia Lunch is definitely at the top of that list. She presents real life horror. I love her work with such passion. I admire the research of Carol Clover, Aviva Briefel, Isabel Pinedo, and many other academics who spent real quality time studying feminism and horror films. Right now I am so in love with my twin guardian devils- the Soska Sisters. They just released there first feature Dead Hooker in a Trunk and I just loved how badass they were. Y’all should really keep your eye out for them. Seriously.
5) What are your plans for Ax Wound, where are you gonna go next?
Well, darling, the new issue of Ax Wound comes out on Hallo-fuckin-ween. So that is super soon. This is a packed issue. Some content includes an extensive interview with Eli Roth about his films and themes of feminism, interview with Lucky McKee about May as well as an article about queer themes in that film. My essay on the stock slut character in slasher films. Carol Clover coined the girl to always survive ‘the final girl’ so I’m writing about ‘the first girl.’ Also articles on gender and Hellraiser, review of Inside, plus so much more. Also, starting in early November, after everyone has bought copies of the ‘zine, I will be launching Ax Wound Radio which will take the themes of the ‘zine and put them into an audio format. Very exciting. Also, I will be working on Women in Horror Month events and promotion. I always need help.
First posted: Friday, October 23rd, 2009.