We are huge admirers and fans of women in horror. We're thrilled to always share what female scaremakers are doing within our community and between Women in Horror Month and the Women in Horror Film Festival, we can't get enough fright from the female perspective. So, as 2019 dawns and a new year of terror begins, we've decided that instead of just jumping on the bandwagon in February that we're going to devote the entire year to women who have in the past or are currently making that scary for all the world to see. And who better to kick off this inaugural first edition than the first ladies of fright themselves, Jen and Sylvia Soska.
Filmmakers. Actresses. Potential harbingers of the apocalypse. The Soska Sisters have made a name for themselves by not only creating so much blood soaked chaos on film and in print but serve as unofficial good will ambassadors for the entire horror community. A part of that time tested genre philosophies of "follow your stupid fucking dreams" and "just make the damn movie," Jen and Sylvia have proven time and again what determination and a willingness to push boundaries and conceived notions can do for the genre.
It also doesn't hurt that they love gore by the gallon either.
I'm not going to list off their IMDB credits (Jen/Sylvia) or try to condense their life story in an article. They were born and raised in Canada and influenced by the great grindhouse and horror auteurs of the 70's and 80's which is evident in the way they take those influences and expand upon them in increasingly entertaining and gruesome ways. Their directorial debut, Dead Hooker in a Trunk was outlandish, bloody, and a lot more fun than the title suggests and was followed up by the body horror masterpiece American Mary. Currently, they're doing something I normally have mixed feelings about: remaking a classic. The Soskas began filming a remake of David Cronenberg's Rabid last year and, with every set photo, production still, and bit of gossip that escapes into the ether, I have to say that this is a film I'm wildly excited about. If any other directors, writers, or producers were taking on Cronenberg I'd cringe and wonder just how bad it was going to be. But the Soskas have both expressed repeatedly through the years their deep love of this master of horror's work and their devotion to not only updating this classic tale but building upon it in ways that should appeal to every horror hound.
In addition to being screen writers, directors, and actresses who also run their own production company, the Soska sisters continue to work to not only better the horror community but the human community at large. Each February during Women in Horror Month they organize a massive Women in Horror Blood Drive and create and host a variety of entertaining PSA's including this gem that brings together three of their passions: blood drives, Deadpool, and gore.
And speaking of Deadpool, Jen and Sylvia recently wrote a special Deadpool storyline for the first Avengers Halloween Special in 2018 and will be writing the upcoming 2019 run of Black Widow.
As if this all wasn't enough, the duo hosted a short lived but amazing reality game show on GSN called Hellevator in which contestants were put through a horror gauntlet to win prizes and money. They also make time regularly to attend conventions and festivals where they're always happy to meet their fans and share their love for the horror genre. They maintain an active Twitter and Instagram account and often offer inspiration and support to creators working in film and entertainment.
As I said before, whether they intended it or not Jen and Sylvia Soska have become the two best ambassadors for what is often viewed as the "fringe" communities of horror and independent film. You can find all things Soska at the Twisted Twins Productions website. No release date has been announced yet for Rabid but, based on articles and stills being teased, it would seem likely that fans will get their first look before the year is up.
Jen and Sylvia Soska with Danno at Women in Horror Film Festival 2017
We're committed to women in horror and we'll be bringing you more articles in 2019 about some great women scaremakers as well as the return of the Women in Horror Film Festival currently slated for February 2020.
Dan is an author, editorialist, podcaster, and horror culture & lifestyle correspondent from the Southeast. You can find Dan's stories at Danno of the Dead Blog and through PDI Press.