FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

May 6, 2010

Bloggenaire: Tim Grant, Post-Mortem Depression

To be honest with you, Mr. Tim Grant of Post-Mortem Depression doesn't blog enough for my liking...and I say that because I enjoy his blog. It's like being all into a bag of M&Ms and then you discover there are only 6 M&Ms in the bag.

Oh, and don't tell anybody, but I think this guy is A Gay!

PS- How have I existed for so long and I've never seen Tentacles? Truly, one of life's mysteries.

1) What's the key moment that led you to click that "Start Your Blog" button?

As an insecure narcissist under the enduring delusion that tens of people out there might care what I have to say, I simply couldn't avoid that button any longer.

Also, I thought it would be interesting to try to link the subtext of horror films from my formative years with my own psychological development as a gay man. Nobody else was doing it ... and based on the miniscule number of eyeballs my blog gets, it's probable nobody else is reading it either.

But that's okay. My mother still loves me.

But she doesn't read my blog either.

2) Please describe your blog in no more than 3 sentences. You must include the words / phrases "morbid", "aesthetic", and "electromagnetic".

Using a darkly-comic aesthetic, my blog attempts to bridge the gap between two seemingly disconnected and deeply personal aspects of myself -- my morbid fascination with horror films and my psychological development as a gay man.

Though the subject matter is deeply personal, I try to make it entertaining in the hope that at least one other person might find it interesting (judging from my one comment ... exactly one person has ... thank you "thenotoriouslez"). I hope one day to be as pithy and prolific as the electromagnetic Stacie Ponder a.k.a. Final Girl.

3) Bearing in mind that opinions are subjective (except mine because I'm always right), do you enjoy movies that are generally considered "bad"? Why or why not?

I adore bad movies and subject my friends semi-regularly to bad movie nights. For me to consider a film "good-bad," it is crucial that the film isn't campy by design. Artistically earnest incompetence is always more charming than someone just trying to make a buck with a funny title or wink-wink concept. I will take the 1980s musical The Apple over Attack of the Killer Tomatoes any day. No inference should be drawn from the fact that both movies reference fruit in their titles.

My favorite bad movie of all time is the Exorcist II. For bad movie night, I made my friends wear synchronizers made out of cardboard on their head and drink every time the name "Pazuzu" was mentioned. Is that weird? They don't really talk to me anymore.

4) Did you know that there exists one variety of carnivorous parrot? It's true. They live in the mountains of New Zealand, and they eat the fat surrounding the kidneys of sheep- WHILE THE SHEEP ARE ALIVE. It's horrible.

Where you see horror, I see opportunity. We could train them to eat human cellulite instead! We'd be millionaires! What could go wrong?

5) What's the one- ONE- horror movie you love so much you want to stick it down your pants?

The first Friday the 13th. As I discuss in my latest blog entry (plug success!), I love the subtext of the sexually repressed, smothering 1950s mother reacting violently to the sexual freedoms of a new generation.

I also love how the victims never (not once!) use their arms in even the mildest, most lizard-brainish attempt at self-defense. Mrs. V is about to axe you in the face in the bathroom? Just keep your hands in your pockets, close your eyes and stick out your face! Mrs. V is stalking you through the open woods wielding a nasty Bowie knife? Just back yourself up to the closest tree and lift your chin so she can get a good slice across the neck.

I love that one aspect so much that I might just marry it. 



6) Adrienne Barbeau. Discuss.

I like to call her Billy .... everyone does.

7) Why should people bother to read your blog?

Really, they shouldn't. It's completely solipsistic and appeals to the narrowest sliver of the population possible ... those who are interested in gay-centered psychology and trashy horror films. It's almost like I went out of my way to create something nobody would want to read.

Or maybe I'm using reverse psychology. Maybe I just know your readers are a group of iconoclasts and rebels. Maybe I know they are thinking right now --"Nobody's gonna tell me I shouldn't read that blog!!!!" To that I say ... don't let the man keep you down (even if that man is me and I'm cleverly misdirecting you). You have free will -- use it! Click on my blog right now at http://postmortemdepression.blogspot.com. Make comments! Add it to your Google Reader! That'll show me!

8) Where does Jigsaw get all the money he needs to build all those traps and buy all that warehouse space? Better yet, does he have some sort of engineering background? He must, right, if he designs all that crap?

He was a Netscape secretary from the internet boom years? He outsources the torture device design to Halliburton? OK, I got nothin'.

9) Several theories regarding the reasons why people would subject themselves to watching horror films (when they're so, you know, traumatic) exist. Which is closest in line with your feelings on and reactions to the genre? Feel free to elaborate. Or don't, see if I care.

a) RELIEF THEORY: The unpleasant feelings of distress cause more stimulating feelings of relief when the unpleasantness passes- the stressed arousal caused by fear becomes pleasurable arousal later on.

b) CONTINUOUS REWARD: The excitement felt during the film is the appeal in and of itself.

c) SOCIAL THEORIES:

1) Stereotypical gender roles are reinforced: men act as protectors, women need protection.
2) Violating social norms- watching "deviant" entertainment- is exciting.

3) Experiencing heightened emotions with others makes us feel like we "belong" and we're truly part of a group.

I think all of these are valid reasons (with the exception of c1 which I will get to), but I also think there is one more: I'll call my PSYCHOLOGICAL PROJECTION THEORY (I'm keeping with your all caps style to make my theory look equally valid, so there!).

I think that horror movies are metaphors for our own individual psyches. The final girl is the every person - a little repressed, hesitant, insecure. She is our avatar into the shadowlands of our own psyches which are populated with scary echoes of our past -- angry punishing moms like Mrs. Voorhees, creepy pedophiles like Freddy Krueger -- and/or representatives of our own darkest primal impulses -- like the pure wordless infantile rage of Jason Voorhees.

Through the final girl, we are given a way to experience the terror of the "scary place where the bad thing happened" inside of us in a way that is safe, communal, and fun.

In terms of c1 (“Stereotypical gender roles are reinforced: men act as protectors, women need protection.”), I believe, as Carol Clover does, that the opposite is true. Mens' machismo is rarely rewarded in horror movies. The female almost always survives and does so based on her own abilities.

Does Ginny get any help from Paul in F13 Pt 2? What about Sally in TCM? Jerry, Kirk and Franklin ride the saw early on. But, Sally is beaten with hammers, cut, used as a human sippy cup for Grandpa, and forced to jump through two plate glass windows. But she keeps going and survives. The women are shown to be stronger in the end.


10) Which year produced better horror movies: 1977 or 1981? Why?

Tough one. I'd have to go with 1977. Suspiria and The Hills Have Eyes are classics -- still disturbing after all these years. 1977 also has some of my favorite bad films, including Exorcist II, and the double-whammy of Jaws rip-offs -- Orca and Tentacles. I think any year that has a killer octopus movie starring Shelley Winters should just be declared the best year that ever was.

1981 is close. I didn't like Friday the 13th Part 2 when it first came out, because I loved me some Mama Voorhees and didn't like the "Jason is really alive" thing. But now that Jason has been around for three decades, I can look back on it with fondness. Ginny is a kick ass final girl. The guy in the wheelchair is all kinds of cute. Halloween 2 has also grown on me, too.

But no killer octopus. No Shelley Winters. 1977 wins.

11) What the eff is up with those French and their crazy horror flicks?

Two words -- Jerry Lewis. It explains everything.

12) What's your favorite Animals Run Amok movie?

Toss up between Food of the Gods and Squirm. I guess I have to give the edge to Squirm, since "Wormface" has become the official mascot of "Post Mortem Depression".

13) If Jason Voorhees is on a train heading east at 80mph and Leatherface is on a train heading west at 65mph…why the hell would anyone ever watch Rob Zombie's Halloween?

The answer to your question is 15.

14) What are your funereal wishes?

Someone stands up in the middle of the ceremony, points out my murderer and declares "It was you!", then presents the murder weapon -- an empty bottle of lye -- as evidence of her treachery.

15) Why do I have such a fondness for Shelley Hack? It's not like she's really done much to deserve it, but there it is.

Do you also have a similar fondness for Jenilee Harrison, cousin Cindy Snow of Three's Company? Just looking for patterns.

16) You're on a sinking ghost ship that's being piloted by a witch. What are your last words?

The horror …. the … horror …

17) Asking about your funereal wishes and your last words means nothing, I swear.
Why? I didn't swear at you.

18) Do you know where I can get some lye?

Wait ... a ... minute....

19) Weren't you glad when THAT JERK in THAT HORROR MOVIE got what was coming to him?

THAT HORROR MOVIE was a little slow for me and I found THAT JERK's performance to be thoroughly unconvincing. However, when THAT DOUCHEBAG got whacked in THAT OTHER HORROR MOVIE, I was tingly in the places where my underpants should have been.

20) Overall, what’s your favorite era of horror films?

Late Seventies and early Eighties.

21) Would you rather be:

1) a vampire

2) a witch/warlock
3) a werewolf
4) a Frankenstein (and yes, I know technically it’s “Frankenstein’s monster” but “a Frankenstein” sounds better)

5) a Jaws


A warlock. I always wanted to be Uncle Arthur. I got the Uncle Arthur gay, but not the Uncle Arthur magical powers. I feel a little cheated.

22) If you could turn back time- if you could find a way- would you take back those words that hurt me, so I’d stay?

Every single one ... except that one word ... you know the one I'm talking about ... and you know why... don't play dumb ...

23) What's something you want people to know about you or your blog that I didn't ask?

Reading Post Mortem Depression will make you a better person. More attractive people will want to have sex with you more often simply because you read this blog.

Okay, well that's not exactly true. In fact it's a big fat lie.

The truth is my blog is just a little lonely. Sure it's not as pretty as some of the other blogs, but it's got personality. It's got a good heart.

OK, fine. It'll put out and won't get all clingy and drunk dial for days after you visit.

Buy a blog a drink?

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Big thanks to Tim. Stay tuned for another exciting episode of...THE BLOGGENAIRES!

6 comments:

rikp said...

I got my family to go see "Tentacles" at a drive-in! And we didn't go to many movies so why anybody went along with that choice is way beyond me.

Daniel said...

Definitely one of your funner bloggitudes. That's right, funner.


However, Mr. Grant must realize by now that he appeals to a much greater sect than the narrowest sliver of the population... No, not because he is pleasing to my eye things. Heady homo correlations to horror are rather abundant. So much so that it has deterred my own dreams of being a future bloggenaire because the niche seems to be in good and plentiful hands.


That and I just realized I should've said "Heady homo horror correlations" to make always awesome alliteration. GAH!

TrG said...

Thanks for the post Stacie!

Daniel, I'm blushing from the praise ... but don't use me as an excuse for deterring your dreams, Mister.

Get out there and blog!

Liam said...

Awesome Bloggenaire! Very enjoyable, and a great blog to highlight too

The Groundskeeper said...

I'm enjoying the Bloggenaire series for serious so far. It looks like Mr. Tim Grant has a lot to say. I like the cut of his jib.

In a completely hetero way of course.

Drew said...

Loved this entry! Definitely going to check out his blog. His comments about the "final girl" were so well-spoken!!