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 the terrific writer, director, and producer Tara Price. Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-PH: When did you first become a horror fan?
-Tara: When I was a kid. There was a brief moment in time when I was very young that my mom worked for a cable company. A perk of her job was that our family got free cable – something we could not have afforded otherwise. I used to sneak out of bed and turn on the TV late at night when everyone was asleep. I watched a ton of horror flicks. I was hooked. One movie that stands out from that period of my life is “The Re-Animator.” That one made a lasting impression. I had never seen a severed head before and I just couldn’t get over it! My mom would not have been pleased… haha…
-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?
-Tara: As a recovering actor, I was always thrilled when the opportunity to be in a horror film came along. But actors are limited to the roles that are offered to them. So, I decided to start making my own films. The first one was a short called “Zombie Island.” I wrote and produced and acted in it. Eventually making movies became more important to me than acting in them. This ultimately led me to write and direct a film called “Earworm” and I feel very fortunate that it was embraced by the horror community.
-PH: Since you’ve become a horror fan and woman in horror, have you always had the support of friends and family or did you have some explaining to do?
-Tara: It seems to me that most of us in horror were some sort of outcasts when we were growing up. It’s what we all have in common and is probably the reason the horror community is such a tight knit group. There are definitely those who don’t get what I do or why I do it. And that’s ok. You gotta do what you’re passionate about. The people who truly love you will always root for you. I’m reminded of that every day by my husband whose love and support has been beyond what I could have ever imagined.
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-Tara: I think it’s fucking awesome. Anything that brings attention to the film contributions so many women throughout history have made gets a gold star from me.
-PH: Is there a woman in horror who you consider a role model? How have they affected your life in and outside of horror?
-Tara: As a kid I wasn’t too aware of what was going on behind the scenes, so it was mainly actors who captured my attention and I just loved Elvira (played by Cassandra Peterson.) She was weird, and smart, and funny as hell! Those were attributes you didn’t see in a lot of female characters back then. And women rarely hosted things. That was (and still is according to most talk shows) a field dominated by men. Elvira was a hilarious badass. She made a big impression on me back then and I thank her for it.
-PH: How do you think the role of women in horror has changed since you got involved in horror? Have you personally noticed a change from when you started?
-Tara: I’m so happy to be seeing more women writing and directing. As a long-time fan of the genre, it’s incredibly refreshing to see stories told without the filter of the male gaze. I get excited seeing the evolution of female characters who are more than just victimized arm candy.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-Tara: We’re all in this together so I’d really like to see more women in the biz supporting each other. I think once we master that the possibilities are endless.
-PH: This is Women in Horror Month 11… how long do you think we will continue to celebrate this month before women get the recognition they deserve?
-Tara: Let’s hope sooner rather than later. Although history would argue that, I’m gonna remain optimistic and just keep doing what I love. There are some great male allies out there who champion us. I am lucky enough to have experienced that firsthand. Let’s just keep opening the doors for one another.
-PH: If you could serve a role in horror that you’ve never done, what would it be?
-Tara: Y’know, I consider myself retired from acting, I focus only on writing and directing now, but I think I could possibly be lured back into it if the opportunity to play a really memorable villain ever presented itself.
-PH: Who is your favorite final girl, and favorite female villain?
-Tara: Ripley in “Alien”, hands down. Although she’s hardly a “girl.” She’s a badass woman (who doesn’t abandon her cat!) And while it’s not within the horror genre, I gotta go with Glenn Close as the Marquise de Merteuil in “Dangerous Liaisons” as my villain. She is phenomenal in that role (and to my delight gave us sort of a modern take on it years later when she played Patty Hewes in the remarkable TV series “Damages”.)
-PH: Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
-Tara: You can now watch my short film “EARWORM”, starring Ernest L. Thomas, on Amazon Prime!
And my next film “TEA TIME”, featuring Rob Van Dam, is about to be released so stay tuned for that! (I’ll be making announcements on twitter. Follow me at @tarapriceless)
We would like to thank Tara Price for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!