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Lady Killers: Women who Killed in Film in 1990s

  • Peabody Essex Museum 161 Essex Street Salem, MA, 01970 United States (map)

America in the 1990s had a women problem. From the treatment of activists and political figures like Anita Hill and Hillary Clinton to out-spoken women like Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna to criminals like Tonya Harding and Lorena Bobitt to supposed sexual objects like Monica Lewinsky and Amy Fisher - women were a problem. They were too loud, too provocative, too angry, too present. 

The 1990s film industry worked parallel to the mainstream media to perpetuate the archetype of the unhinged killer woman through various genres and to varying degrees of subversion. In this talk we'll be discussing the films Single White Female (1992), Basic Instinct (1992), Serial Mom (1994), Natural Born Killers (1994), Scream 2 (1997), Urban Legend (1997) and The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999) among others. We'll explore the various filmic archetypes these murderous characters inhabit alongside their "real-life" counter-parts and the treatment they received in mainstream culture.

Presented by Alex West

Alex is co-host and marketing maven for The Faculty of Horror. Her work has appeared in The Toronto StarRue MorgueFamous Monsters of Filmland, and Shock Till You Drop. Her writing has also been published in The Supernatural Cinema of Guillermo del Toro: Critical Essays, Art of the Title and Offscreen Film Journal.  She has lectured on theatre and film in schools in Ontario, Québec and Cambridge, Massachusetts and has published two books: Films of New French Extremity: Visceral Horror and National Identity and The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle: Final Girls and New Hollywood Formula.

Later Event: October 13
Death Becomes Her