FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 1, 2022

SHOCKtober Day 1


Well well, if it isn't that time of the year once more! I don't know about you but this year I am feeling it! Just this morning I christened SHOCKtober 2022 this morning with some pumpkin spice (by smashing a full coffee pot over my head, as if it was a bottle of champagne and I, a new boat). I am super pumped to bask in some horror movies! My sweater with a skull on it is gonna be worn! I might even cram some candy corn up my nose later, we'll see...although to be fair, that's more of a regular hobby than anything SHOCKtober specific. But still! It's easier than usual to find candy corn these days.

And hey, you know what is SHOCKtober specific? SHOCKtober here at Final Girl, that's what. I've hemmed, I've hawed, I've re-hemmed and hawed once more. I made my list and checked it twice, then I scrapped that list and made a whole new list (which, yes, has also been checked twice). Finally I settled celebrate this year: every day I'll be spotlighting one of my favorite random characters in horror.

I'll tell you right now though, it's best that you think of characters as """"characters"""" because...ehh, you'll see. Let's just say it's entirely possible that the candy corn in my nose is cutting off the oxygen supply my brain so desperately needs. Oh well! It's time to get this show underway with...


Marilyn Burns gave an incredible performance in Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, making us truly believe that Sally Hardesty was a terrified woman running on pure survival instincts to escape the business end of Leatherface's chainsaw. Marilyn Burns also gave an incredible performance in Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive, making us truly believe that Faye was a woman who would wear a wig! Was there anything Marilyn Burns couldn't do? No, there was not. RIP, legend, icon, and queen.

Eaten Alive feels like Tobe Hooper's trashy, cocaine-addled riff on EC Comics or something and it's just so weird! It's theatrical in the purest sense of the word: there is no attempt to hide the artifice of it all, from the swamp that is obviously a soundstage to the Argento-esque primary color lighting schemes to Carolyn Jones's terrible old age makeup (and wonderful visor) (hmm I should have put that visor on the list for this month) (I still might) to...yes, that there wig. 

Faye shows up at the Starlight Hotel and we are not fooled for even a fraction of an instant into thinking that Party City mess on her head is her real hair. But given the proliferation of wigs and fakery in this movie, we must accept it and figure okay, so Tobe Hooper put Marilyn Burns in a wig for this role. But then! It is revealed that it was in fact Faye wearing a wig and I completely lose my mind.

Why does Faye wear a wig? It is never mentioned! When I interviewed Burns long ago I asked her about it and even she had no idea why: "She could've been kinda kinky!" she said. That's a motivation I can get behind, of course, but the fact that it goes completely unacknowledged in the film means I will remain obsessed with it for the rest of my life.

Thinking about Eaten Alive always gives me more pleasure than actually watching Eaten Alive does. I want to love this movie, and when I reflect on how strange it is from top to bottom, I do. So I hit play and within moments I'm reminded that man, it's such a goddamn chore to sit through. It's a cocaine-addled, screechy, incoherent mess of underbaked ideas. 

But that wig! That visor! That cast! It's perfect! And so, another round of Eaten Alive...and another round of SHOCKtober. The cycle continues!


MorganAC said...

Some people have face-blindness, I have wig-blindness. I take each and every plastic horse hair curl as real genetics.

So stoked about this random character "" countdown. Happy Shocktober!

Riccardo said...

Happy SHOCKtober fellow Finalistas, always a happy time of year!

Stacie Ponder said...

Finalistas! I love that! :D :D

Thanks y'all!

Steve said...

Same for me, MorganAC. I'm almost always shocked when a wig comes off.