A Female Horror Fan’s Perspective on Attending Big Named Horror Cons

A Fan's Open letter on Monster Mania 2018

The Horror Convention season is here in New Jersey! With events such as the ever-growing NJ Horror Con, and the infamous Monster Mania, you can be sure that the horror fan in all of us is ready to splurge on meeting our celebrity heroes while draining our bank accounts to feed the fandom we live for with autographs, pictures and merchandise. One of our long time followers and fan, Jenny Noval, had a bit of a different experience this time around at Monster Mania at the Crown Plaza in Cherry HIll New Jersey last weekend. Jenny brought to my attention about how the convention atmosphere is in a bit, extremely different when it comes to playing a part of the horror fandom surrounded by fans such as herself in a rambunctious overwhelmingly fun experience, but at what cost? Here is what Jenny had to say about her experience last weekend at the near-disastrous Monster Mania 2018:

“My random thoughts and opinions while navigating through horror conventions in 6 inch heels .
I was 9 years old when I saw my first horror movie ,1984’s Nightmare On Elm Street. I was hooked. My scream queen, Nancy, was fearlessly battling Freddy Krueger. I thought, I could be Nancy, taking on the challenge of saving my loved ones from the slashes and gashes of Freddy’s bloody knife glove .

Then John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween was released and to this day the opening scene of the inmates wandering outside of the asylum still creeps me out.
Carpenter’s movie introduced the world to one of the greatest scream queens in history , Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis’ character Lori, was a strong female battling the impossible to kill Micheal Myers .

I grew up during the slasher movie era where women were depicted as being punished for being sinful .
In classic horror genres from the 1930’s and 1940’s the monsters were holding the female characters captive until the men came to the rescue .
The women were classic beauties waiting for someone to come save them as they let out blood curdling screams. This is where the term scream queens originated .
Misunderstood evil … or deeper undertones that people don’t want to discuss ? There was a certain romanticism to Dracula biting the neck of the innocent girl .
Looking at the evolution of females portrayed, women became villains and hero’s crossing the boundaries of sexuality .
Sherri Moon zombie’s character, baby ,in Rob Zombie’s House of A Thousand Corpses, is a huge example of sexualizing  the female villain .
The convention this weekend featured Cassandra Peterson known for her iconic character Elvira .
She is admired by men and women and It made me proud to see her hold her own with a huge fan base going neck to neck with Paul Ruebens who played Pee Wee Herman .

There have been so many amazing female horror characters written through the years but horror is still a very male dominated genre .
Right now Stephen King’s “IT” is a huge part of horror conventions .
The main male  character was infamously played by Tim Curry who attended the convention this weekend .Tim Curry’s character Dr. Frank N Furter in Rocky Horror Picture Show changed the worlds view on people in the LGBTQ community. The horror community broke through a taboo subject and to this day that movie is a cult classic .

As I walked through the convention center I noticed a lot of male cosplay characters, however I could easily count the number of women dressed up .
I then moved into the area of the hotel where there was going to a question and answer session with the legendary director John Carpenter .
The line was huge and unorganized .

As some men pushed through the crowd I thought to myself “ you don’t have to push “ we all have a chance to be seated .
The Q&A started and John Carpenter answered question and after question for 10 minutes . Then the assistant stopped and announced if can we please have some questions from the women in the crowd  and John Carpenter then also added yes this happens EVERY TIME , it is all men asking questions and I would really like to hear from the ladies in the crowd please”.This definitely impacted me.I noticed I seemed to get more pictures with the female cosplay characters.In my own subconscious way I’m saying from one horror girl to another I appreciate the time and effort you put into your costume and I’m happy you are here .
It doesn’t mater which female character you identified with through the years it matters that you represent them at these conventions .
I know there are women out there writing horror comics , scripts and directing their own horror movies but where are you?
I would definitely like to see more of your work being recognized and presented .
At the end of the day i was waiting in the lobby with my girlfriends when the elevator opened and out stepped the actor Tony Todd who played the Candy Man .
These young men pushed us out of the way to get to him to take selfies . Tony Todd, looked over at us ladies and shrugged his shoulders as if to say I’m sorry for the behavior of that generation .

We are all excited to be there so why can’t we be respectful to one another .
Horror has always been the one genre in history that has made a huge impact on Hollywood when it comes to female characters .
Females aren’t just victims in horror they are strong evil lead characters and hero’s also .
I am not asking for special treatment I just want the respect to stand next to you in my special effect make up , fake bloodied shirt swinging my plastic chainsaw representing my character just like you  … only  I will be doing it in 6 inch stilettos!”

What are your thoughts and opinions on Jenny’s experience at the latest Monster Mania?Do you agree with the way females are being represented at horror conventions? We here at The Horror Syndicate give a big shout out to Jenny Noval for her experience and look forward to hearing more from fans such as yourself!

About Bryan Enright 72 Articles
A father, husband, actor, writer, and most of all a film guru. Director of the short movie Cuddlez. Favorite music is Synthwave My all time favorite movies are Demons, Suspiria, Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps and Predator 2. You can like my Cuddlez movie page at Facebook.com/cuddlezthemovie And you can follow me at Twitter.com/bryanenright