Hello there. My name is Emily and I’m a Motherfucking Munster!
That is me paraphrasing Nicki Minaj, but also me trying to reveal to you the truth about myself. In addition to being the Managing Editor and Co-Founder of Cinefilles, I am pretty much Marilyn Munster and I’m proud of that fact. And I want to talk about this fact at great length in our newest column, She Screams!
In case you’re not familiar with Marilyn Munster, she is the outcast of her typically horrifying family, the Munsters (of, yes, The Munsters and that not-perfect Munsters reboot Mockingbird Lane). With her platinum blonde hair and penchant for wearing pretty vintage dresses (ya know, like another Marilyn you may be familiar with), she doesn’t really look at home in the dark corridors of 1313 Mockingbird Lane (this is, of course, the joke). But looks don’t matter in the Munster family, and Marilyn takes part in all those spooky family traditions with the rest of them, even if her doing so drives the other “normal” people (including, yeah, the “normal” boys) outside the fam away.
As a girl who has always held her horror in as high regard as her hair, I have always related to Marilyn Munster. I was the little girl who devoted as many hours to reading Goosebumps and writing my own spooky stories (my first one: “The Night of the Big Crash”) as watching Mary-Kate and Ashley movies (bonus was when MK and A did Goosebumps-like storylines in series like The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley) and picking out my school outfits. I was the tween queen who wanted to rent both I Know What You Did Last Summer and Summer Catch for sleepovers (hey, I did like Freddie Prinze Jr. a lot back then!) and brought glow-in-the-dark Ouija board just in case. I was the high schooler who dressed up as Elle Woods on Halloween and then ended up staying in to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street (still in costume, of course). I am the adult who is unafraid to rock a tweed skirt and Evil Dead shirt simultaneously and wants to cosplay as Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors in her best dress … after she’s eaten by Audrey II. I am the woman who looks up to Buffy Summers, not just because she’s a the Slayer of the Vampyres, but because she isn’t afraid to look her damn best from the schoolyard to the cemetery.
In short, I’m not the stereotypical horror fangirl, the hardcore queen of darkness who projects the horror way of life inside and out (think rad horror-themed clothes, maybe some tattoos, definitely some striking make-up, along with a serious passion for genre). I’m not even the Elvira type, who looks the part, but gives off the Valley girl vibe (if only). I’m a totally different breed of horror fan and I totally, absolutely love it and own it, just as both types of girls mentioned above should as well. But sometimes because of my differences, I have to spend time “proving” myself to seemingly “normal” horror fans, whether that’s by bringing out retro and real-time references (i.e. “That Green Inferno totally stole from Cannibal Ferox, amiright?), or by choosing the Chucky tee over that Zara blouse. On the flip side, sometimes people who hate horror are shocked to hear that I, that girl they know who is really into Taylor Swift, is into Tobe Hooper. It’s a sad, but true fact and the very reason why I’m creating She Screams!, a column for girls and women who are, just like myself and Marilyn Munster, equal parts girly girl and horror girl.
I want to have a space where I can speak frankly about my personal stance and perspective on the genre without any judgement or expectations. I want to have a space where I’m allowed to talk about Sorority Row, with no need to feign irony or lack of knowledge of Audrina Patridge’s past work. I want to have a space where a 2,000-word post on the brilliance of the Lizzie McGuire or My So-Called Life Halloween episode is totally, absolutely appropriate, if not on theme. And I think this the time and place for this type of horror conversation too, as new explicitly female-focused horror series and movies like Scream Queens and The Final Girls, are hitting mainstream audiences and forcing us to confront our preconceived images of women in horror yet again.
I don’t know exactly what the future holds for She Screams! but I do know that I’m as excited as I would be to receive a Chanel-o-ween package to figure that out. This month, Galloween month, is just the beginning, ghouls. Maybe next month will bring an ode to the ladies of Scream Queens (lots ‘o thoughts on Chanel and the fact that both our villain and supposed Final Girl are blonde preppy girls!). Maybe the next month will cover the glitter gore of The Loved Ones. Maybe the month after that will cover how horror movie up your Valentine’s Day party (Valentine, anyone?). Whatever happens, just know that if you’re a Marilyn Munster or appreciator of one, I’ll be here for you the first Thursday of the month, ready to slice into something both girly and gory.
This piece is part of Galloween, Cinefilles‘ month of all-girl horror coverage. Click the image to read more.