When it comes to Women In Horror, there are some names that come up over and over again. Women who have long fought for gender equality in the horror industry. Have I written about this woman before? Oh, hells yeah! But when you speak about WiH month, this woman simply needs to be paid her dues. She is known by all as a champion in the independent film scene. She is a disgustingly talented horror and cult journalist. She has appeared in numerous indie films. She was featured on E!: Entertainment Television is a series of episodes on Scream Queens. She is the co-founder and co-head of the Viscera Film Festival alongside Shannon Lark. She is the woman behind Fangirltastic.com. She has written for numerous publications including Fangoria, The Dark Side, and Femmes Fatales and she's written for Bloody Disgusting and Film Threat.
Of course, there is only one woman I could be talking about. A woman who truly needs no introduction...
HEIDI MARTINUZZIA woman whose collective accomplishments more than speak for themselves. However, it's this woman's genuine "say-whatever-the-fuck-I-feel-like-and-I-don't-give-a-shit-what-you-think" attitude has won her a legion of loyal followers, unparalleled respect for her honesty, and cult classic status.
"I never do anything because of how people perceive me - I gave up on that a long time ago. If there's a bit of 'whore' in me or what I do it's because it's genuinely there - maybe I'm a whore that day. If I express a desire to enjoy gore, it's because it feels right at the moment. Women need to stop pretending to be something they're not to impress people who don't give a fuck who they are. I genuinely just try to be myself, which is why there are people who don't like me!" ~ Heidi MartinuzziIt's not only her refreshing honestly that has captivated the masses, but her trademark sense of humor as well. Often, she appears in films where the horror gives way to moments of that delicious brand of inappropriate humor. Some titles include Retardead, Come Get Some More!, Fistful of Brains, Slaughter Party (featuring a special appearance from Seymore Butts as he tried out his acting chops), and the upcoming Amateur Porn Star Killer 3D: Inside The Head.
But horror is where this femme fatale really shines. Her film, WRETCHED, her directing debut alongside of Leslie Delano. The piece which she also wrote features a woman who is trapped in an abusive marriage. She struggles to cope by controlling her food intake, with the focus being on purging.
The most incredible aspect of this short is that Heidi opens herself up in a very personal and commendable way as she based the story on her own personal experiences with bulimia, depression, and abusive relationships. It is a rarity to see this level of honesty in anyone's work, especially in regards to experiences that are so clearly painful and scarring. This is another place where her honest self expression excels and furthers the respect her peers and her legions of loyal fans have for the woman.
Heidi, also, makes an appearance as a Junkie in the film giving an unexpected moment of levity in this disturbing short.
Bulimia, depression, and abusive relationships are things that plague the lives of so many women and men, as well. In the US alone, between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of girls and women (i.e. 5-10 million people) and 1 million boys and men suffer from eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or other associated dietary conditions.
"Wild and Gutwrenching!" - Lucky McKee (director of May)
"It's a disturbing portrait of a serious subject. Bloody in the best sense of the word. The acting was excellent. Joe Bob Briggs is terrific. It's really a different kind of horror." - Don Coscarelli (director of Beastmaster and Phantasm)
“Extraordinarily well written, Wretched is a cerebral treat for fans of quirky dialogue and unique storytelling. Intelligent viewers looking for something different won’t want to miss it.” - Art Ettinger, Ultra Violent Magazine
You can see Heidi appearing as a performer in the short film BOX, which has now been completed, and in the upcoming AMATEUR PORN STAR KILLER 3D: INSIDE THE HEAD.
As I've mentioned earlier and many of you in the know already, well, KNOW, Heidi also runs Fangirltastic.com (formerly known as PrettyScary.com) and holds the Viscera Film Festival annually in LA with the sensational Shannon Lark. The festival is the only of it's kind and they is no submission fee.
"Viscera specifically focuses on women gaining self confidence, knowledge, and growth through the creation of horror films.
This process is to achieve equality in the film industry, not domination.
Specializing in short horror films made by the female gender, the Viscera Film Festival hosts an annual bloody carpet event in Los Angeles for the selected Filmmakers, Special Celebrity Guests, and a live audience. Each Filmmaker receives a hand crafted Viscera Statue, along with promotional materials and the option to be distributed on the next Viscera DVD Compilation. Throughout the year, Viscera is continuously working to get the Viscera films screened and promoted all over the world."
And they are currently taking submission RIGHT NOW. Submit here. I know we will be and we most sincerely hope to see you all there.
Heidi is a truly inspiring Woman In Horror and it would be impossible to speak of Women In Horror without taking the time to look at the astounding achievements of this bold and strong woman. She is genuine and it is more than simply a breath of fresh air in this business. It's something we can all aspire to be more like. When a man is strong in business, confident, and not afraid to speak his mind, he's just being a man. No one even bats an eye. When a woman does the same, she is often labeled a bitch, a cunt, or even a dyke. That is beyond disgusting. It's intolerable. Women like Heidi who so tirelessly fight for equality amongst the genders is a true champion. It is impossible to not admire this strong business woman and who she encourages women everywhere to be fearless and stand strong. And united.
With women like Heidi and events like WiH month, I firmly feel that future generations will be able to see a day where there is equality and gender will not be a basis for discrimination. The work deserves to speak for itself. Regardless of whether it be by a man or a woman.
Thank you, Heidi, for being such a strong voice not only in horror, but for women everywhere.