A Damned Take on Women in Horror Films
The Guy’s Point of View!
In honor of Women in Horror Month 2017, I asked six male horror writers for their top-five favorite horror films staring strong leading ladies and why they loved them so much. So, without further ado…
Day 06 – Jon Olson:
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Leading Lady: Gaylen Ross
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
“This movie came out before I was even born but after I watched the original Night of the Living Dead, I had high expectations that this film would be bigger, badder and better. To my enjoyment, it was with a lot more blood, gore and zombies. The more I watched it though, the more I began to realize that George Romero was yet again taking a big step forward with his main characters. In the original the main protagonist was played by Duane Jones who was black. With Dawn of the Dead, he had a good group of actors but Fran (played by Gaylen Ross) really stuck out. At the beginning of the film, she’s portrayed to be another ‘damsel in distress’. As the movie progresses, however, we discover that this is not the case. Fran makes it clear that she will not be a second rate person in their group but an equal member demanding (and getting) among other things a gun and input in their plans. She’s also the only one to realize that if something were to happen to Roger, who is a pilot, they would all be without access to the helicopter. As a result, she gets him to teach her how to fly it, which places her in the unique position of being relied upon as opposed to relying on someone else. It was a great step forward in terms of serving up a strong female character in a genre where women often were not.”
On top of working full time as a Security Checkpoint Coordinator at the Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport and still learning the ropes of being a father, Jon is also a writer of horror and dark fiction. While he writes predominantly about the dark and horrible, he will step out into other areas if the interest is there. He finds enjoyment in expressing his creativity through fiction, poetry, songwriting, painting and thrashing the crap out of his bass guitar.
Stop by my other blogs for more Women in Horror Month content!
Sotet Angyal, The Dark Angel – Dark emotive flash fiction written by me.
Spreading the Writer’s Word – A new Horror Flash-Fiction from a different female author daily in February!
And don’t forget to visit the Women in Horror Month official web site
for more great WiHM8 events and posts!