Episode 23. The Assessment Part 2: The Revenge


Andrea and Alex venture once more into the breach and tackle the questions and comments received over the last year. They also look back on a year’s worth of topics and reassess their own opinions.


The 8-bit Lakeside Lunatic by artist Trevor Henderson.

House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films by Kier-La Janisse. Highly recommended reading!

Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson. Subverted fairy-tale goodness.

Definitions and terminology from the National Center for Transgender Equality.


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13 thoughts on “Episode 23. The Assessment Part 2: The Revenge

  1. T Quest says:

    Great flashback episode. I vividly remember leaving the comment that you read out in your revisiting of last year’s epic Witches On Film episode. I’d come home from a day of hearing about the Elliot Rodger shootings and feeling pretty dismayed about gender relations in the year 2014, and really appreciated the perspective you brought to bear on your discussion of fictionalised misogyny in witch-movies. So, that’s what my comment referred to.

    I’m trying to think of movies about matriarchy and the best I can come up with is the ridiculous Neil LaBute version of The Wicker Man, or elements of The Descent (which I’d love to hear you talk about).

    Thanks for another year of great work — your podcast is truly peerless in its field!

  2. Sam Costello says:

    Love the podcast so, so much. Keep up the great work. Just two things to add:

    1. In re: your question about examples of matriarchy in horror movies, what about the coven of female witches at the center of Paranormal Activity 3? Very few, if any, men in that family’s power structure.

    2. I don’t know if everyone gets this, but whenever a new episode shows up in my podcasts app, it’s huge: 500MB-800MB per episode, while most other 60-90 minute podcasts are 30MB-50MB. Is there any way to compress/optimize the episodes so they eat less data?

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Sam,

      Very interesting observations on both fronts! I haven’t seen Paranormal Activity 3, but between you and Beyla’s suggestion above (“oh god, not the bees!”), it looks like we might have enough examples for an episode on matriarchy after all!

      As for the episode size… I haven’t had anyone else mention bring it up, but I certainly could investigate ways to shrink the file size. I’ll look into that for you. My hard drive will be grateful!

      • Sam Costello says:

        Hi Andrea – It’s totally possible that the file size thing is a quirk of my podcasts app, so if no one else is reporting it, maybe the error lies on my side.

        • Chris Mosher says:

          I use beyond pod for android and i have had the same problem with file size. The file downloads to be almost a gig. when i checked my Itunes the file was 81.1 mb versus the 811 mb on beyond pod.

      • Andy says:

        The file sizes are a bit large sometimes. Maybe it has to do with including an entire song at the end of most of your podcasts? Incidentally, that has to be some kind of music copyright breach, right? Careful, I don’t want FOH to be sued!

        The audio quality has improved since the early days when those “p”s were popping! If that means larger file sizes then so be it.

        Love the show and looking forward to the changes you’ve alluded to.

    • Alex says:

      I’d love to talk about PA 3 and Wicker Man.

  3. Beyla says:

    Only example of matriarchy on film that comes readily to my mind was the 2006 Wicker Man.

  4. E.S. says:

    Allo again,

    Another excellent installment — truly, it goes without saying, but as it is good to say it, I shall continue to say it.

    On the subject of matriarchies depicted in film, it seems to me that such depictions more oft fall under Science Fiction than Horror. Which is interesting: I suspect many men would be terrified at such a thought, so instead it is depicted, when it is depicted at all, as “oh that wacky sci-fi.” And even then, none have yet seen fit to adapt John Wyndham’s “Consider Her Ways” or Geoff Ryman’s “O Happy Day!”

    Owing to the previous, I suspect the subject of matriarchies in horror films would need to be approached more obliquely — elements of rather than explicit focus upon.

    A few titles and preliminary thoughts:

    Fritz Leiber’s novel _Conjure Wife_, in which all women are witches whom surreptitiously use the dark arts to benefit and manipulate their husbands, suggests women as the “hidden rulers” of the world. The power behind the throne — not the same thing, but as I said an oblique approach containing elements of. Anyway, this novel has been twice adapted for film: _Weird Woman_ in 1944 (boo) and _Burn, Witch Burn_ in 1962 (not bad).

    Argento’s “Three Mothers” trilogy comes to mind — and then I recall the actual content of those films and suddenly I am more hesitant at the thought. It does seem that matriarchy in horror films could be combined with the second witch installment. That being so, Lucky McKee’s _The Woods_ should be mentioned.

    Fabrice du Welz’s _Vinyan_, other than being an excellent film, almost depicts a nascent matriarchy birthed out of familial loss.

    _Silent Hill_? As much as the spectral can have leadership and a society, it does strike me that said leadership and society is female in _Silent Hill_. Though female does not automatically equate to a matriarchy. Still, perhaps something to ponder.

    Although made-for-television, I would be remiss not to mention _Harvest Home_.

    I will have to think more on this.


  5. Maxwell Dean says:

    Great stuff. I would for you guys to do a episode which featured a Mario Bava film.

  6. Andy says:

    The assessment episodes have both been great. The outtakes were hilarious and showed off a goofy side that’s a nice contrast to your usual cerebral personae.

    Two movies I’d like to see covered are Let the Right One In(2008) and The Descent(2005). Two of my favourite horror movies of the last ten years and definitely two movies that provide plenty of issues to tackle.

    Love the show and looking forward to office hours in 2015.

  7. FictionIsntReal says:

    I recall some scientist saying that while there are examples of matrilineal societies, there aren’t really ones that are matriarchal in the way that other societies are patriarchal. On the other hand, when one publication invited Baltimore kids to review “The Wire”, some said that the big deviation from reality was overlooking how much the inner-city is matriarchal (with so many men dead or incarcerated).

    Reading anthropologist William Buckner’s account of witch-doctors, I don’t find credible the suggestion that warlocks resort to magic because they are “oppressed”. Reading sociobiologists, Randall Collins, Steven LeBlanc, Lawrence Keeley & Azar Gat, I also don’t find credible the suggestion that male violence is due to “repression” rather than a capacity that evolved because it was selected.

    I recall years ago coming across Ben Sixsmith’s account of having anorexia, but finding the prospect of discussing such a problem in therapy to be even worse, and eventually getting over it on his own. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to find it in a long while. Typing up this comment inspired me to go looking for it again, and I eventually found it was locked up behind a login-wall, but fortunately accessible for anyone who doesn’t feel like creating an account via the Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20181225090231/https://quillette.com/2018/12/21/in-defense-of-male-stoicism/

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