By Rachel Shatto
If you listen to the Zombie Grrlz podcast regularly then you knew this one was coming!
With only one horror title under her belt, it may seem to some like I am jumping the gun by including her in our list of women who have contributed to horror–but I disagree (obviously). I am not ashamed to say it, I am a Diablo Cody fangirl. So, I am amazed by how often when her name comes up I find myself forced on to the defensive, trying to push back against the unfathomable backlash against her. For some reason her success really gets under people’s skin, and the failure of Jennifer’s Body at the box office had the blogosphere and many a horror fan buzzing with a schadenfreude-fueled glee. What’s with all the hate people?
Any time we have a high profile female screenwriter it’s reason to celebrate, but in the case of Diablo Cody we have one that not only makes waves in the mainstream but doesn’t turn her back on genre films. As a fan of horror I feel a kinship to Cody, shes a horror geek who has time and time again confessed her love of the genre, and despite the pummeling she received for the under-appreciated Jennifer’s Body she has made clear her plans to return to horror.
In the past I’ve talked a lot about Jennifer’s Body, so I wont delve too deeply into the film here, if you want my full thoughts go back and listen to Episode 11, but the at the very least Jennifer’s Body is so much more then your average PG-13 throwaway flick like Prom Night or One Missed Call, created soley to numb the mind and fleece teenage boys and girls of their hard earned milk money. It’s an allegory for the real life horror of teen female relationships, it’s about horizontal hostility, the stuggle for power and of how friendship can be at once, tender and toxic. These are all real life horrors, these are all things I, and many, many women I know lived through–demonic possession and bloodlust aside. But by using metaphor, humor, Karo syrup and Red Dye No. 9 she created a story that spoke to all that painful reality in a way that only one with first hand knowledge of that particular brand of cruelty could. And in the same year that saw films like Deadgirl, Donkey Punch and the Last House on the Left remake hit screens it was a fresh breath of feminist air.
Her unique voice, clear and clever, self aware and self deprecating and a gift for successfully mating the affected kitsch of hipster lingo with of modern slang–makes her the natural heir to the likes John Hughes, Joss Whedon and Kevin Williamson.
Oh, and she’s a geeky fangirl, too. Come on, how can you not love her just a little bit after seeing her geek out over the Generalissimo? Diablo rules, Excelsior!