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Last Doorway Productions Bleeding Beauty

Bleeding Beauty of the month is dedicated to the Women In Horror! Each Month a new Woman will be selected to show off her sexiness, power, talent and HORROR!

Miss Misery is proud to present
Hannah Neurotica
Creator of AxWound Magazine

Hanna

1: What is it about horror that intrigues you?

This answer is very fluid for me. My love of horror and the aspects that intrigue me now are much different then what drew me in when I was a teenager (or maybe they aren't that different, just more complex. Yes, that's what it is). For example I always greatly enjoy(ed) the communal and controlled fear of the genre. Watching the movies with a group of friends with our sleeping bags and junk food and trying to get the cheesiest, bloodiest, graphic-sex-scene-having horror movie on the shelves. We would go through the entire horror section for hours; it was like a ritual for us. Not to mention the added bonus of unintentional comedy in a really cheesy horror movie! I cannot even count how many private jokes my friends and I had growing up that in one way or another stemmed from a horror film. First one that comes to mind: the clothing in the original Sleepaway Camp. We laughed from the fucking gut over those short shirts and cut-off shirts the guys wore. I still crack up just thinking about it. I still love watching these movies with my friends and laughing at the cheese but the most intriguing thing for me these days is definitely the cultural/feminist/psychosocial film analysis. I find it fascinating how horror films so clearly reflect current cultural attitudes surrounding sex/gender/technology/politics/etc. I cannot watch a film, especially horror, without digging way to deep into its meaning. I find meaning where a lot of people might think there probably isn't any or am told "hannah, your reading to much into this!" But what those people don’t seem to realize is that not all meaning is intentional. We are influenced by our cultural surroundings whether we are conscious of it or not and one of my favorite parts of horror viewing is looking at the piece. I also just REALLY like to be scared in a controlled setting. Controlled setting being very key. I was on CBC radio recently talking about women and horror film viewing. A woman from Fearnet was on before me and said she always asks horror fans “if they like roller coasters” and a lot of them apparently say “yes.” I don't get that correlation beyond the obvious assumption of “controlled fear.” However, the reality is roller coasters are not truly controlled fear in the way horror films are. Nothing is going to go wrong watching a film other then maybe your DVD player breaking. Freddy's knife fingers are not going to slip out of the screen by accident. Ever. But there are plenty of stories about people being injured on rides. I hate roller coasters. They scare the shit out of me. My body produces far too much real anxiety to add extra. So horror/exploitation films provide COMPLETE safe and controlled fear like most other things cannot. Also, I just love the look of fake blood, the adrenaline of the story unfolding, the wondering of what is gonna happen. The art of creating fear in the audience. The differences we all in terms of what we find scary. I mean, that is very subjective. I love engaging in discussion with friends after viewing horror films. The nervous and not so nervous laughter of bad acting/dialogue. Plus, one might say you can work out a lot of aggression by watching people get hacked to death on a movie set. Is that morbid? I don't care. Bring it on!

2. Why did you create ax wound?

I had been making zines (small cut n'paste magazines) since I was a kid so the zine aspect was always there. In college I became fascinated by the intersection of feminism and horror or rather feminists, like myself, who loved the genre. It seemed taboo and not discussed and I had experienced some brief guilt until discovering Carol Clovers book Men, Women, and Chainsaws. That book is what really shifted my thinking on the subject. Also, around that same time I’d been learning a lot about critical thinking in relation to pop culture and something just clicked. After running a workshop at the Olympia Sex Conference in 2003 all about the subject of horror/porn/feminism I really wanted a way to continue the conversation. One night the name "Ax Wound" just popped in my head. Ax Wound being a derogatory term for a menstruating women and an obvious connection to horror. Once I had that name stuck in my head I knew I needed to make a feminist horror zine. Nothing had ever existed in the zine world like that (at least that I have found) and I saw a gap needing to be filed but also a way to explore this topic that I was getting so damn passionate about. Ax Wound is now more then just "a feminist horror zine" but a zine about cultural/feminist/queer/psychosocial analysis of the genre. Also, its mission includes bringing attention to women in the horror industry that get little to no attention or funding. Horror is so behind the times in recognizing women as fans and artists. It's really time to change that. There are so many women in the genre from writers, fx artists, directors, actresses, producers, etc and so little is known about them. You really have to dig deep and that shouldn't be the case. Not to mention how many women probably don't make horror because they don't realize how much support is brewing in the underground.I want to change that and Ax Wound is my way of doing that. I just created/wrote a manifesto for the first Annual Women in Horror Recognition Month coming February 2010! Since Ax Wound is a word linked to menstruation and February most of the time has 28 days it just seemed ridiculously obvious and appropriate. I'm so fucking excited to see what happens this February!

 

AxWound Magazine

3. have you ever thought about making a horror film or have you?

I have wanted to make a horror film/or a film in general since forever. Being a filmmaker was always my dream but I had this traumatizing experience when taking my first From Script To Screen class in Jr. high. On the day we were gonna shoot my short I showed up really early and built a crazy cool set out of almost nothing. To bad I don't have pictures. However once the shooting started all these boys took over my movie and kept telling me they "knew how to do it better" and "you should do this" and next thing I know I’m off to the sidelines and the project was no longer mine. One boy in particular was very pushy about making my script his own and I just had no self-confidence to speak up and push him out of the way and reclaim my space/project. My self esteem was shitty anyway because it was fucking jr. high and how rare is it for girls to have high self esteem in jr. high!? I let myself be pushed out of the picture because of that and it sucked. Ever since that experience I was to intimidated and afraid to attempt it again. Since then I have written a few short films that almost nobody has seen. Iv never even been on a horror film set! Seriously. I was in a friend’s film but I shot the footage of myself and sent it to him so I was never part of the collaborative process. How bizarre that I’m so connected with all these awesome horror artists/filmmakers/etc and I never once experienced what its like to actually make a horror film. I remain a writer on the sidelines analyzing the cultural significance and bringing attention to the women I admire. Admiration that runs so deep because they are actually doing something I always felt I couldn't do. Currently I’m applying to a Masters of Fine Arts program and as part of my degree I will step through my fear and write/direct my first feminist horror short. That is something in the future. In the meantime I will continue to fantasize about being in someone else film or at least hanging out on their set and helping out. Random memory: Walking home late at night from friends houses and in my head pretending I was in a Slasher film and a killer was after me. It made me walk faster! Ha. One day I will make a film though; it will happen I have no question in my mind. I’ve been making films in my head for almost 20 years. I dream them up in entirety. Nobody has ever asked me this question, thank you for giving me a reason to reflect on this.


4. Whats in the future of ax wound?

It's funny how magazines come and go and with the current state of print awesome mags are disappearing all the time. Since I make Ax Wound in my bedroom it will never cease to exist. I just can't picture that ever happening. The future of Ax Wound is unknown other then that it will never disappear. I will keep striving to make more frequent, intelligent, and entertaining issues. I'd love to see Ax Wound become the first "real" magazine for female horror fans since nothing exists in mainstream culture like that. However, my roots will never leave the underground and I imagine it would be hard to lose creative control of something I’ve been making out of my bedroom for the last six years or so. It will probably stay a cut n' paste zine forever because I have no funds to make it more widely available. And honestly, what are the odds someone is gonna throw that money my way? That would be my dream come true though! This subject is not as niche as people might think. Women are coming out more and more about how much they love horror and how many fucking fashion magazines do we need? Those are so damn boring. I want Ax Wound to be a magazine for women in the way Fangoria has always mostly been purchased by men. As far as my roots in the zine world I will always make cut n paste personal zines but it would be truly amazing to see Ax Wound grow and become colorful and assessable to a wider audience of women (and men!) who are intelligent fans of the genre. If I wasn’t always so broke and nervous about paying bills vs. overdraft fees I would launch Ax Wound as a glossy magazine w/ the same edge and look it has now but sadly paying rent is essential to survival. Oh! and duh, Ax Wound Radio is coming before the end of the year! Long story short: Ax Wound will keep growing and never die (at least I can’t picture that happening while I’m still alive).

5. What's the craziest dream you ever had?

Lady, there is NO WAY I can answer this question. ALL my dreams are bizzare/crazy/horrifying/and fucked up. I think I mentioned above somewhere that I dream full feature-length horror films in my sleep; that was no exaggeration. I have full three act screenplays in my unconscious at least 1-2 times a week. I recently had an entire film dream and was so shocked by the way it ended in the same way I’d be watching a movie with a twist ending. I woke up and told my dad all about it and was like "I totally didn't see that end coming!" I'm sure when I make my first short film it will be based on a dream. They are so real and scary and a lot of them have re-occurring characters/themes. For some reason I can't train myself to realize it's only a dream and a lot of the time will wake up very disturbed and feel exhausted from all the running and screaming in my imagination. I have really bad sleep apnea and before it was diagnosed I was losing a lot of oxygen while I slept. This made for a lot of fucked up dreams. One in particular involved these white crab/lobster/spider/creatures with very long spidery/crabby like legs. They were white as snow. And they trapped me in the living room I grew up in with this fast moving white webbing that kept growing and I couldn't run past them because of how creepy they looked. I was so fucking freaked out when I woke up. Since that dream I have been way more freaked out by seafood then I already am (I have a peculiar fear of fish) Have you seen Frankenfish. Now that is funny! oh, and last week I dreamed that I pulled down my underwear and there was a sunny side up egg in the crotch. I couldn't eat an omelet for days. What would Freud say?  *shudder*

6. Whats your websites?

I have way to many websites.
Ax Wound is a paper zine so the website is pretty bare but you can visit axwoundzine.com or my personal site hannahneurotica.com.
I also do a radio show all about zines/DIY publishing called zinecore radio.
Soon ax wound radio will be available on the website as well.

Hannah Neurotica October 2010

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