Chapter 4. American Mary and The Lords of Salem: Post-Feminist Nightmares
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AMERICAN MARY AND THE LORDS OF SALEM
Two thousand twelve saw the release of two horror films that explored themes of agency and control over women’s bodies. American Mary, written and directed by twin sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska of Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) fame, featured scream queen Katharine Isabelle of the cult hit Ginger Snaps (2000), as Mary Mason, a medical student who drops out of medical school after she is drugged and raped by her professor. Following her rape, Mary enters the world of underground surgeries and body modification. A few months later, writer and director Rob Zombie’s Lords of Salem was released. The film featured scream queen and Zombie’s partner, Sheri Moon Zombie, as Salem radio personality Heidi LaRoc. After receiving a mysterious record from a group called the Lords, Heidi finds herself pulled into a world that blurs the lines between the past and present. After giving birth to the spawn of Satan, Heidi becomes an (un)holy Madonna figure.
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