Rue Morgue Podcast

Episode 053: HEIDI HONEYCUTT

on February 22, 2012 | 37 Comments

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

As February draws to a close, so does Women In Horror Month.

But here on the Rue Morgue Podcast we’re raging against the dying of the light with a blistering interrogation with Ms. Heidi Honeycutt (the artist formerly known as Heidi Martinuzzi), one of the masterminds of the Viscera Film Festival and the creator of PLANETETHERIA.COM and PLANETFURY.COM (the website formerly known as FANGIRLTASTIC.COM).

Endure.

:- FDBK 

The Rue Morgue Podcast now has a FACEBOOK page of its own. Check it out HERE.

To have one of your letters read on an upcoming edition of the Rue Morgue Podcast, send an email to letters @ ruemorgueradio.com.

To listen to the episode, use the embedded player or click HERE
(or ‘Right Click’ to save to your hard drive).
To subscribe in iTunes, use the following URL:

http://www.ruemorgueradio.com/RMpodcast/rss.xml.

Tags: heidi honeycutt, planet fury, Viscera Film Festival

Responses to Episode 053: HEIDI HONEYCUTT

  1. Feedback says:

    As discussed in this episode, here’s a link to the Fango editorial that was reposted on Heidi’s site.

    http://www.planetfury.com/content/fangoria-310-women-horror-month

  2. Mike Tank says:

    Feedback! What a great episode!

    Heidi Honeycutt is a real delight, very spirited and refreshingly opinionated. She was never less than articulate, and made so many great points that it made my head spin.

    I followed the whole Fango editorial debacle with my jaw agape at some of the things that were said. I seriously cannot get my head around WHY it is even an issue that there is a WIHM, but I think you and Ms. Honeycutt nailed it.

    I particularly liked her “Masters Of Horror” analogy. It seems to me as if now, more than I think ever before, the horror genre is a Boys Only Club. The wild resurgence in popularuty of the genre over the past 10 years has done nothing to dispell that notion. I look at the roster of the filmmakers who have risen to prominence over the last decade…names and personalities like Eli Roth, Adam Green, Joe Lynch, James Gunn….and I feel less like I’m witnessing the rise of a new breed of horror “master” and more like I’m watching the Delta House scene at the beginning of NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE.

    I’m not saying these guys aren’t talented or that their films are not worthy of the success they’ve had, but there is DEFINITELY a frat boy mentality that has permeated throughout the horror genre amongst its top players, and it has unfortunately trickled down to the journalists and much of the fan base.

    So kudos to Heidi Honeycutt, Lianne Spiderbaby, Andrea Subissati, Hannah Neurotica, and all of the other female writers and personalities who continue to try to bring attention to the female filmmakers and artists who can’t seem to even get past the door at the “Masters Of Horror” Delta House.

    Loved this episode. Thanks!

  3. Feedback says:

    Great post Mike and thanks for the comments.

    I’m with you on the whole DELTA HOUSE generation. You can’t even remotely equate those guys with the preceding generation of American horror filmmakers. They’re not even playing the same game as much as many of them are fond of praising their own efforts.

    The difference is, regarding the likes of Carpenter, Romero…etc…those guys were filmmakers interested in narrative cinema. They got cornered into the horror world because of their early success in the genre but most of them have been frustrated at being typecast in this fashion.

    But you take the Roth/Green generation and those guys are making horror films presumably to reflect their love of horror films – so it all starts to feel a bit hollow and empty. They’re not aspiring to be great narrative filmmakers, they’re aspiring to make entertaining, relatively mindless horror films. So the relevance of their work is watered down respectively (as much as Roth believes his HOSTEL films contain some profound social commentary on post 911 paranoia).

    But with regards to Roth and Green specifically, I think there IS more to them than what I’ve described and I believe they both have more potential than what we’ve seen but they definitely need to mature.

    But one thing that DOES connect the Roth generation to the Carpenter generation is it’s all still looking very much like a boy’s club. But I believe this will change radically. I think we’re starting to see that happen now and it’s due in a large part to things like WOMEN IN HORROR RECOGNITION MONTH and the work of Heidi Honeycutt and her associates. They’re making a lot of noise and they’re empowering women to be disruptive and to dare to aspire to positions behind the camera.

    But there’s still a great deal of resistance to female equality in the horror industry, as evidenced by that Fango piece that refuses to even acknowledge there’s a problem to begin with.

    But rather than outrightly dismissing WOMEN IN HORROR month, isn’t it more interesting, progressive and constructive to use the occasion to generate a discussion on these issues and to agitate some informed debate?

  4. Alexandra says:

    This was one of my favourite RM episodes. I think you and Heidi are two of the most fiercely passionate and opinionated people in the genre and it’s really refreshing to hear a direct conversation about something I think people have been dancing around this past month.

  5. FEEDBACK says:

    I think that editorial was really important because it exposes just how much misinformation and confusion exists regarding gender issues in the horror community.

    And the reason so many seem to be ‘dancing’ around this issue is because Fangoria is one of the world’s leading horror publications and no-one wants to burn bridges with a magazine of that stature, whether they’re journalists or filmmakers.

    Essentially, the neurotic nature of the film industry makes whores out of ALL involved. (And yes, I’m aware of how problematic the connotations of the word ‘whore’ are but I’m applying it here with a decidedly non-gender distinction…I just couldn’t think of a better word for it.)

    But in a way, Alexander did a service with that editorial because his assumptions aren’t unique to him. He was merely [fill in the blanks with your preferred descriptor] enough to put them on paper in such a high profile publication.

    But it’s an opportunity to fire up a dialogue in the hopes that those lingering under such wonky assumptions can be given a more informed perspective.

    I’m not sure how that can be done but it can’t happen with an academic thesis. Obviously, the Fangoria editor and those who champion his editorial have no knowledge or education whatsoever in anything resembling an academic understanding of gender issues so it has to make sense to them on a level they would understand or pay attention to.

    But keeping QUIET about the issues is DEFINITELY not the way to go.

  6. Dark Mark says:

    Curiously I think that with his backhanded dismissal of Women In Horror Month the editor of Fangoria has actually raised awareness about it and its aims, though that was clearly not his intention. After listening to this podcast I am certainly feel better informed.

  7. FEEDBACK says:

    I suppose perversely it did. But I’m sure had they used the space to CELEBRATE the struggles of women in horror rather than denigrate those who do then overall, it would’ve been far more progressive and constructive.

  8. Andrea says:

    Heidi touches upon some great stuff here: how privilege is taken for granted, the trappings of masculinity and femininity, and the whore/virgin binary (that underpins the “final girl” theory as well as the lyching of attractive girls who think). I recently checked in on that video recording of my podcast interview on YouTube and found someone had commented: “She’s attractive. It’s making me realize how better off I am not seeing the person I’m listening to.” When I asked him to elaborate, he openly admitted that seeing the person biased his opinion of their argument. In my case, negatively.

    I don’t understand why some people continue to deny the existence of these biases when they are so casually and ROUTINELY demonstrated around here (in horror forums/blogs, that is). If someone publicly said that Black History Month is bullshit, the shitstorm would be immeasurable because racism, unlike sexism, is taken very seriously. But this wasn’t always the case and as Heidi pointed out, it takes a long time for everyday cultural equality to catch up with legal amendments and social movements.

    Heidi was a terrific guest. Were you even in that podcast, Stuart? These women in horror are stealing all your thunder… be afraid!

  9. Feedback says:

    Apparently, I was in that podcast FAR too much for some.

  10. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Good stuff as usual.

    I’m curious to know what the endgame is for a movement like Women in Horror Month. Is it for more women to be working in horror films in high level positions?

    and my 2 cents re: self-sexualized females in horror. I suspect I have some insight into the backlash. Because I work in comedy, another so-called “boys club” I’ve seen this debate flare up constantly. You see comedy. like horror, is one of the last fields where unattractive, unkempt boys (like myself) can be the heroes- Heidi even said it herself, when her geek-girl site was copied and augmented (pun intended) with boobs and dimples. With that in mind, to see focus shifted from our ideas to the way we look can be troubling. The times we live in cater to our base impulses, moreso that any other era.

    Its like that old joke about David Lee Roth auditioning women for his new music video. All candidates are asked the same question: “if you found a wallet with $200, what would you do with it?” Some answered that they would give the money to charity. Others said they would return it to the owner. Some said they would keep the money. Which one got the job? The one with the best rack, of course.

    Obviously, the job of a horror journalist (or intense fan) differs greatly from that of an extra in a David Lee Roth video, but the idea that “our” playing field is being tampered with to prioritize one’s physical appearance (as has happened with many other types of journalism and creative arts) can and should set off alarms.

    Mind you, the exchange that occurred as a result of one of your previous podcasts went beyond any kind of coherence and into some poisonous territory, the likes of which I found embarrassing and disheartening. And by exchange, I mean one side looked like a total asshat.

    In any event, much like Women in Comedy, Women in Horror has my ideological support, but without a projected final result it’s rather difficult to know where to apply that support.

    Keep cool and put those thoughts on the glass!

    -Z

  11. FEEDBACK says:

    Thanks for the comments, Z!

    I have no idea what the endgame for WIH month is? I suppose there isn’t one. While women continue to struggle to find equality in all fields of the genre, I suppose it will continue indefinitely.

    But I can say with more clarity how the whole WIH month thing will be dealt with on the podcast (assuming we’re all still here this time next year.)

    Like I said on the podcast, I was doing WIH stuff long before WIH recognition month took off but my shows were centered on INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY (which incidentally is in three days.) And I know a lot of folks thought MARCH should’ve been designated the proper month for the WIH thing.

    Regardless, I’m gonna continue doing WOMEN IN HORROR themed shows but whether that happens in February or March or even during another month, it doesn’t really matter. The important thing is to decide whether or not doing shows that celebrate the struggles of women in the industry is worthwhile or not – and obviously I think it is and I think the backlash you talked about illustrates just how much work is needed to be done.

  12. HotCarl says:

    Great show, sir, as usual. But your last point above: wasn’t that the point of the fango article to begin with? To talk about girls in horror all the time and not in Febuary?

  13. FEEDBACK says:

    I see where you’re coming from but no, that wasn’t the point of the Fango piece.

    The Fango piece refused to think there was any need to shed light specifically on the struggles of women in the horror industry. Alexander argued that their coverage was perfectly sufficient all year long because he thinks we’re ALL equal to begin with so it does a disservice to women to single them out as a group.

    But he fails to recognize the prevailing inequalities of the horror industry surrounding gender. (For instance, I wonder how many female directors have graced the cover of Fango in its 311 issue history?)

    So anyone who thinks we’re all “equal” in this world has perhaps watched too many episodes of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and believes that’s the society we live in.

    Also, Alexander thinks because they have a female staff member and that they provide coverage on so many horror ‘actresses’ that they’re already doing a great service to ‘women in horror.’

    He completely missed the point.

    Anyway, I’m coming at this from a completely different angle. I recognize that there exists a grave inequality in the horror industry and I plan to provide coverage that spotlights those issues. Whether that happens in March or February is irrelevant. The important thing is that it happens and that I take time out specifically to address those issues.

  14. FDBK says:

    By the way, Hot Carl…..

    What a….lovely…nickname!

    My spider senses are going off with this post. You’re not from Fango are ya?

    Because if I were to construct a rebuttal without revealing that I had a horse in the race, I’d start it off with something like, “Great show, sir, as usual.”

    Because from there, you quickly go into Fango’s defense.

    Problem is….

    I’ve never heard from a Hot Carl on the show before and the email you used to register the post doesn’t exist…..

    So…..?

    Just curious. This isn’t Alexander sneaking on here for a little of the old in/out, in/out is it?

  15. HotCarl says:

    Hahaha no never posted on this site. Love the show. Just was saying that the blog made that point is all.stay ghoul!

  16. Feedback says:

    Fair enough, HC. Fair enough.

    Obviously, you know the Fango article VERY well to zero in on this wriggle room of debate so I’m sure Alexander will be delighted to learn he has such an attentive reader.

    But I expect to hear from you again on a podcast unrelated to this issue. It’s the only way I’ll ever believe in the TRUE Hot Carl Experience. ;)

    But if this ISN’T the real Hot Carl as I first suspected, then I have one thing to say to you. How far are you willing to go to perpetuate this ruse? I’m thinking George Costanza when he pretended his elbow was gibbled. I require THAT level of commitment.

  17. FDBK says:

    p.s. Hot Carl! The fact the you called Chris’s editorial a ‘blog’ really sends my spider senses into overthrow.

    How does someone as clearly aware of the intimate content of that ‘blog’ mistake the format of it? We never discussed those details of his editorial on the podcast yet you zeroed in directly on a passage I wrote on this blog that you felt contradicted a central point in the editorial.

    But yet, you called it a BLOG? Hmmmm……Surely, you know it wasn’t a blog but a magazine editorial.

    Perhaps, and I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate here, but perhaps this is someone feigning cluelessness in order to throw me off the scent and posting again with ANOTHER email account (different from the first one) that doesn’t exist.

    Weird.

    But do you remember SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and how Hannibal Lecter helps Agent Starling figure out how to catch the killer? He said, look at the pattern. It’s random – desperately random – like the elaborations of a bad liar.

    Anyway, HC. Don’t worry. I don’t really suspect you to be ‘you know who’ but you can see how one might build a case.

    But really, if I were to take the detective work on this seriously, then all the above is but garnish to the meal. As an administrator of this blog, I can see the IP address you posted from and at quick glance, I can tell a lot about that address. For instance, I know it’s Cogeco home cable and I can roughly pinpoint the location. And to be honest, it places you firmly in the zone of my prime suspect.

    But wait. In my outlook mail client, I can also see the IP addresses of incoming emails.

    Hmmm….

    I guess I COULD theoretically compare and contrast this IP address with the IP addresses of some known suspects taken directly from any email messages I may have received. It’s as easy as going…FILE – PROPERTIES – DETAILS and it’s all there, in painful glaring detail.

    But of course. Everyone knows this so only a blithering, drooling, nonsensical chone would try to pull a move like that – so that leads me to suspect that this really IS Hot Carl and that my suspicions are completely unfounded because the opposite theory is just too laughable and hilarious to take all that seriously.

  18. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    This is all so interesting. I hope I don’t throw the lesson in detective work off the rails with this comment.

    Fango almost never puts ANY directors on their covers. I can think of 2. Yes, they were men.

    If it weren’t for Fango, I would have never heard of the top females working in horror today. I read about them when they were starting out. People like Jen Aspinall, Kathryn Bigelow, Mary Lambert, Amy Jones, etc. I literally read about them as spunky up-n-comers, not as “women”. I personally think it’s unfair to say that they historically feed the gender bias. The editorial in question is another story (plenty to work with there), but as for the politics of the mag, I’d give them a passing grade.

  19. FEEDBACK says:

    That’s a fair point, Z. And one I will gladly go along with.

    Unfortunately, that editorial was a missed opportunity though. Had Alexander used the space to continue to shed light on some of the great women in horror instead of effectively telling the entire WIH movement to go suck his dick (I mean, what else does ‘EAT ME’ actually mean?) then we wouldn’t be having this conversation now, would we?

    But you’re right about Fango’s history. I give them a passing grade too.

  20. FEEDBACK says:

    Problem is though….

    Does the film industry get a passing grade in your view because those women managed to break through?

  21. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    I don’t have a solid answer for that. It’s not about how many men vs women are working high profile positions in the film industry, its about how many women are a) turned away from positions on the basis of their gender, b) alleged prevailing attitudes that facilitate subconscious bias against women (employed by both genders), and c) steps taken to at least recognize the pattern. Its complex, for a variety of reasons.

    We have to look at the multitude of examples of bias within the industry to comprehend how women fit into that. We can presume the biz is a boys club on the basis of where the numbers currently stand, but I feel that conclusion is weightless without considering a) and b)- how many women strive for those positions, how many don’t reach them and why, and is there something beyond our societal norms that has more boys lining up to make monster movies (or movies in general) than gals? Could it be related to biology? Dudes like monsters, girls like dresses- before you jump down my throat, Im generalizing for a purpose.

    I can’t conclude with 100% confidence that the imbalance exists entirely on the basis of a society that aims to keep women down. I honestly believe that overall, less women want to make movies than men. I know how that sounds, but it sounds a lot less crazy when you compare it to other industries. For example, we can assume that less men want to be nurses (apparently an extremely difficult industry for men to break into). Less men want to be ballet dancers. Less men want to be pastry chefs. There are societal factors, sure, but I don’t believe that they are the only factors.

    But this is all changing, rapidly. And while my castration-bating proclamation would seem to counter my support for WIH, I do acknowledge some bias. And some bias is too much bias- if (when?) there is one gal left on planet earth who wants to make movies but can’t or won’t on the basis of her gender, that is too much. So in the grand scheme of things, I can’t wait until the idea of Women in Horror becomes redundant.

    To answer your question, if we are to look strictly at numbers, we can say that the industry is getting better in terms of quantity. For that reason, I give the biz a passing grade. B for effort, if you will. Maybe C for change is more apt. There’s still work to be done, that’s for sure.

  22. FDBK says:

    So…

    Your point is essentially there’s less women in horror because less women want to make horror movies.

    Ah…Jeez.

    Well, at least you’re right about one thing.

    There’s still work to be done, that’s for sure.

  23. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Well, that’s just my theory based on life experiences, and only one part of it. Don’t know if you can tell, but I don’t have a university degree on sociology or gender studies.

    Would that ever be an acceptable conclusion? Is it possible that when the walls that divide genders fall down, there will still be an uneven number?

  24. FDBK says:

    “Don’t know if you can tell, but I don’t have a university degree on sociology or gender studies.”

    Yeah, I think it’s obvious. ;)

    Listen. If you’ve talk to enough women in the film industry you’ll hear just how difficult it is to operate in what is essentially a man’s realm. Of course, there’s plenty of women who’ve found a way through and I think it’s getting somewhat easier for certain women in certain positions but by and large, it’s a male dominated industry (like most) and women are at a disadvantage.

    And I think part of the reason why women may not aspire to be horror filmmakers is purely because it seems out of reach as a possibility, especially if they’ve had a little taste of the overt sexism that proliferates throughout the film industry.

    I know a few women in town here who work in film and I’ve heard amazing stories of situations that are beyond archaic, working for men who can only be described as sexist fiends. That’s the reality, the grim day to day reality of inequality in the workplace where women are just not regarded as equals by their male counterparts.

  25. Andrea says:

    I think what Z is describing here is a classic chicken-or-the-egg situation: are there less women interested in horror because of systemic bias or is there systemic bias because less women are interested in horror? But unlike the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum, we know that patriarchy came first, so anything we can say about nature is hypothetical and speculative and really fun to talk about.

    Last I checked, sociology wasn’t 100% decided either way on the nature vs. nurture debate. I believe that we are mostly the product of our environment with some genetic predispositions that come from our parents but that have nothing to do with gender. For example, my love for a good dance party comes from my dad’s love for dancing, not because I’m a girl or because dancing is for girls. I think we all have genetic predilections as well as environment-based preferences but society dictates whether they are considered masculine or feminine. Then it’s up to us to decide whether or not to fly in the face of these tensions and fight for a spot. There are tons of factors involved in THAT decision, some of which are material and some of which have to do with ambition, character and resilience.

    I consider myself a pest and a whistle-blower but I have quit jobs in sexist environments that I just didn’t feel like fighting over. Maybe another meaner woman would have persevered in that environment and changed everything for the better. My dad and I share a love for dancing but as a female in this society I would be much more likely to pursue a career in it than he would, and THAT fact is entirely environment-based. Sadly, enjoyment of something doesn’t always come with talent for it… sigh.

  26. FDBK says:

    Well, there you go. Our resident zombie sociology expert puts it into perspective for us. Thanks, Hellbat.

  27. ZIMERMAAAAAAN! says:

    Yes, I know the book very well. In fact I reviewed it for…well, that’s not important :)

  28. FDBK says:

    Yes, I read that review.

    Erm…..I had some issues with it but I’ll say this much, it was better than the review I read in ‘You Know Where.’

    And if you don’t know where, let me just say that if you’re here already, then you’re VERY warm…..

    ;)

  29. Nick English says:

    I’ve been listening / reading / lurking since the beginning, and for me, the only real names that come up when I think of female horror directors are the ones I knew coming in: Mary “Pet Sematary” Lambert and Amy “Slumber Party Massacre” Jones.

    I enjoy the philosophical debate, but I wish some of the time was spent talking about the women who’ve done it, the ones who are out there doing it now and the ones who are trying to break in.

  30. FEEDBACK says:

    This exact sentiment is the idea that will drive my ‘Women in Horror’ themed shows next year. I had some ideas I didn’t get to this month that I’d definitely like to dabble in.

  31. Nick English says:

    Not totally related, but in the ballpark . . .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwuGGoNRtgE&feature=player_embedded

  32. Lianne says:

    Thanks Heidi!
    Great podcast. I’m a little upset he called me “that chick…” wtf?
    You were amazing, so well spoken and articulate, so many great points made. You really do have it all figured out.

    xox

  33. Feedback says:

    For the record, I didn’t use the word “Chick” in a derogatory sense, although I realize the word CAN be derogatory but for me, it’s how the word is used, not the word itself.

    But while we have your attention, I’m dying to know your take on the whole FANGO editorial we discussed on the show. As someone who works with Fango, and as someone who does a lot of ‘Women in Horror’ themed shows, I’m sure you have an opinion on that editorial. I’d love to hear it.

  34. Owen Garth says:

    Wow, someone mentioned Iowa on the Rue Morgue Podcast. If Heidi ever makes her way to this state, I would be glad to show her around…

  35. Feedback says:

    But Demon. Surely the world is a more interesting place with Heidi in it.

  36. Owen Garth says:

    I agree. The outcome of such an event would in no way be guaranteed. She perhaps might sway the Demon with her fascinating, intelligent conversation. Perhaps.

  37. Feedback says:

    Nick. I just checked out the trailer. Thanks for posting it. Definitely looks like a must-see.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>