As you may know, February is “Women in Horror” month. To celebrate, PromoteHorror.com asked women from different professions if they would like to answer some questions about being a “Woman in Horror.” One of the women, who was kind enough to answer our questions, was writer/actress Dr. Rhonda Baughman (aka Rachelle Williams). Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-PH: When did you first become a horror fan?
-Rhonda: Oh, at the age of 9. Canton, OH videostore, VideoTime Video, happily gave me my first pink, laminated rental card. My grandparents would also drive me to the store and let me look for hours – those people were saints, honestly. How they never even look bored, I will never know. Some of my first rentals included both horror and comedy films with Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley – who would continue to just be fabulous female role models for ALL of my life and introduce me to the many levels and layers of horror. Video stores would be so glad to see me coming – they knew how excited I was to poster and cardboard standee shop, as well. An ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ short story called ‘The Mugging’ by Edward L. Perry introduced me to the literature side of horror things and there was no stopping me then.
-PH: Was there a specific moment when you realized that you wanted to go from being a fan of horror to a woman who contributes to the genre, or did it just kind of happen naturally?
-Rhonda: I can recall specific moments. Right away, I always knew I wanted into the writing/publishing community, and horror was just one genre I enjoyed. My first original short horror piece “The Man Behind The Bushes” must have been written when I was 9 or 10 and to this day it makes me smile to see it, like, little Rhonda was such a big-hearted tiny weirdo. And not much has changed presently, to be honest. I still write, non-fiction if not a fiction piece, and I am a journalist of all things horror and women in horror since 2006, then for Sirens of Cinema and now for ‘Grindhouse Purgatory’ and ‘Exploitation Nation’. I am getting ready to launch my own fiction series as well entitled ‘MC’ and my own Patreon.
A little bit later, around the age of 12, my father took me to my first horror movie convention in Pittsburgh, in the early ’90s, to meet Brinke and Linnea. I knew then I wanted to be like them – you can see how happy I am in the photos next to them – I am just BEAMING and so excited to be alive in these photos – they showed me what it also meant to be professional and talented and gracious all in the same moment. At age 23, my alter ego Rachelle Williams was born (to pay homage to the deceased, yet still talented, Robin Rochelle Stille and the Plasmatics’ Wendy O. Williams). Scream Queen Ryli Morgan and her hubby, director Mark Baranowski would give me my first shot on screen in ‘Expendable’ and what a grand memory it is! I’ve always enjoyed the stage, but they helped me enjoy the screen.
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-Rhonda: That we are here and we are everywhere and we’re not going anywhere. You can deal with it or embrace it. We are here to celebrate, be celebrated, and not to be discouraged from our goals and dreams in any way – I mean, folks can try to discourage us, but you will fail.
-PH: Is there a woman in horror who you consider a role model?
-Rhonda: The one and only Brinke Stevens. She is smart and talented, funny and professional, and that woman has so much patience and gratitude that I am constantly still learning how to be a better actress and writer, as well. Her recent work she directed and starred in, ‘Personal Demons’ is easily her best work to date and she is proof that age is no factor in anything. I have to say, though, I really love the newer, up-and-coming women in horror, or the ones who have been here for a while who are finally getting some due from all their hard work and efforts: i.e. the Soska sisters, Little-Miss-Monster-Maker on Instagram, Amy Lynn Best, to quickly name just a few. We’re not just the victims in horror anymore – we are the very foundation of horror now. And perhaps, we always have been.
-PH: How do you think the role of women in horror has changed over the years?
-Rhonda: In light of recent current events, the #metoo movement and the #timesup movement, for example, as well as other social media platforms allowing brilliant, talented, like-minded badass women to chat and share, create and showcase, I think we’re stronger than ever now and will only become more so as we continue on, support and encourage one another … our power is a unique force – strong alone, but stronger together.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-Rhonda: Oh, I would say there’s definitely no stopping us now. People will try. They always have. But we will not only prevail – we will flourish.
-PH: Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
-Rhonda: Rachelle Williams is waiting for the next awesome film or multi-media project to come along, while Dr. Rhonda Baughman is getting ready to launch her fiction series ‘MC’, continues to write for ‘Grindhouse Purgatory’ and ‘Exploitation Nation’, and is moving her wild, wacky world to Patreon.
My Facebook will lead to all other platforms: https://www.facebook.com/rhonda.baughman.3
We would like to thank Dr. Rhonda Baughman (aka Rachelle Williams) for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!