1000 Women in Horror: 1895 – 2018
Published by BearManor Media, 2020. 600 pages.
By Alexander Heller-Nicholas
This book is amazing for a few reasons. First of all, it is an incredible source of information about women in the horror genre, from directors, screenwriters, costume designers, actresses, and just about every other job there is in the business. As the title states, we get to learn about women from way back to 1895 to the more recent 2018, as well as from all around the world, from Thailand to Turkey, from California to Canada, and everywhere in between. It shows this talent is everywhere.
It also proves a couple of fallacies within the horror genre. By the numbers listed in this book, it is obvious that there has been, and still are a great number of women working in the horror business, in a variety of jobs, some of which that have become immortal, such as actresses Fay Wray or Gloria Stuart. This also proves that the horror genre is definitely not just for the guys! Just by reading the author’s introduction, you’ll quickly realize there are plenty of women within these pages that are just as passionate about the horror genre as some of the men that I’ve met over the years, some even more so. It shows that gender has no bearing on one’s love of cinema. We’re all going to like and dislike different titles, which is to be expected. But sharing one’s love for the genre should not have any boundaries or hurdles.
I will admit that in my informative years as a student of the genre, I didn’t come across too many female horror fans, but that didn’t mean they weren’t out there. Decades later, and hundreds of horror conventions, I now know that has changed even more so. What hasn’t changed yet is that as dedicated and hardworking as these women are, we know they are facing harder challenges than their male counterpart. Things are changing, but we still need to make sure we support these talented women when we can.
By reading through this volume, I have added so many titles to my Need-to-See list of films. From different directors, writers, supporters, I came across plenty of titles that sounded interesting for me to seek out. Filling out the book with interviews with some of the different subjects makes it even more of a fun read. We get to hear personally from some of these talented women on what drives them, why they do what they do, easily seeing their passion for the genre. For example, the interview with Hannah Neurotica shows just why we needed a Women in Horror month and why it is important.
Not only is this a very effective title to have for your reference library, but hopefully it can open the eyes of other fans to see how many women working in the genre there are and are more than worthy of your attention. Pick this up, start paging through, read, learn, and write down those titles to seek out.