Monstrous Feminine public
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Plug it Up is a horror movie podcast about the monstrous feminine. Host Caitlin Grant and her funny guests look at the monstrous feminine in all its forms, including: monstrous menstruation (like Carrie and Ginger Snaps), monstrous motherhood (like Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen), femmes fatales (like Jennifer’s Body and The Love Witch), black widows (like Dolores Claibore), body horror in women (like Teeth and Raw), treacherous friendships between women (like The Craft), women battling horror ...
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Elizabeth joins Caitlin to talk about 1996's Scream, a movie that invigorated not just the slasher subgenre, but horror on the whole. We discuss meta storytelling, satire, subversion, and final girls, and we give Scream all the love it deserves. Tangents include: bangs, ghostface mask ideas, socks, driving, sirens in songs, the rock-and-roller to c…
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WELCOME TO SZN 4. To show our love, we’re kicking off the year with a one-off Valentine’s Special, and our patreon pledges have selected the 2016 thriller ‘The Handmaiden’, directed by Park Chan-wook. 🍭👄📚🐙In this episode, we discuss the cinematic gaze as a tool to explore queerness, subvert patriarchal and colonial violence, and break down the thin…
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Mary joins Caitlin to talk about horror movies that deserve a second chance. These movies aren't necessarily "underrated" (because that means different things to different people, especially depending upon familiarity with the genre), but they're movies that got written off too soon. They deserve a second look; at least we think they do. Let us kno…
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Maddie and Colleen join Caitlin to cover Poor Things, the new surrealist, steampunk epic from Yorgos Lanthimos. We talk about the stellar performances from Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, and Willem Dafoe, and we look at themes around sex, sexuality, identity, existentialism, gender, and bodily autonomy. There's also lots of silly joking around. The revi…
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Mary joins Caitlin to cover Saltburn, the new controversial new black comedy from Emerald Fennell. As degenerate weirdos, we loved it, but not everyone did. We talk about the controversy, and we analyze themes (obsession, weatlh, manipulation, and more). Did you know there are two movies where Barry Keoghan slurps something, and this is not the one…
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Navigating a pivot in plans, Mary joins Caitlin to cover David Gordon Green's recent body of work. We mostly chat about Exorcist: Believer, but we also talk about DGG's Halloween trilogy. To put it kindly, we weren't huge fans of Exorcist: Believer - partly because it tries to cash in on nostalgia and politics in cringe ways, and partly because it'…
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Eric from Bloody Good Horror joins Caitlin to cover May, a cult classic from 2002. Many of us - for better or worse - have related to May at some point. She's an often-overlooked icon of the monstrous feminine, and we wanted to give her her due. We talk about themes of isolation, identity, and being an outsider, and we look at symbols around dolls …
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Mary and Charlie join Caitlin to cover The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the impactful David Fincher thriller. It's got it all: high stakes, revenge, heists, mysteries, Happy Meals, and more. We look at themes of misogyny, violence against women, and intuition vs politeness. Tangents include: merkins, piercings, accents, Emma Stone, booktok, ramen, …
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Soju from Straight Chilling Podcast joins Caitlin to discuss Only Lovers Left Alive, an indulgent 2013 vampire movie from Jim Jarmusch. We talk about brooding, the arts and humanities, love and companionship, and O-negative popsicles. Vampirism 101, really. Tangents include: blood types, FMK for Anne Rice vamps, which emojis are the most sinister, …
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Our final femcel film to discuss is the 2019 film ‘Ma’, directed by Tate Taylor. 🍻🤘🏿🏓😈The general takeaway from this movie is: don’t think too hard about it. Are there plot holes? Yes. Are there bizarre character and plot inconsistencies? Absolutely. Does race add a strange dimension to the film? Definitely. However: do you have a good time watchin…
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Zach, Mary, Charlie, and Colleen join Caitlin to discuss the best and worst of horror in 2023. We cover our favorite and least favorite horror movies of the year, as well as our favorite horror shows. We also talk about trends in the genre, theater experiences, our favorite Plug It Up moments, and our hopes for 2024 horror. We come in SWINGING, bot…
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Christian joins Caitlin to cover The Nun, the biggest box office success from the CCU (Conjuring Cinematic Universe). We talk about nuns (and nunneries), snakes, religion (and religious trauma), spitting, and the Marvelization of the later Conjuring movies. We give this underrated movie some love, and we talk about how the literal blood of Jesus Ch…
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Continuing our exploration of femcels movies, we’re tackling one of Tyia’s favourite films, ‘Gone Girl’, directed by David Fincher. 📍🔍 💇‍♀️🗞Cool Girl ~gender neutral~/ku:l/ /ɡəːl/noun1. The unrealistically chill persona you adopt during the early days of a relationship in order to seem more desirable to your new partner.‘In my youth, I definitely p…
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Colleen and Maddie join Caitlin to assign "big three" astrological placements to popular horror characters. Three queer, horror-obsesed women talking about astrology, boygenius, and doms/subs? Groundbreaking! But hey. It's FUN. We have a great time, and we make strong cases for our designations. Characters covered on this episode: Carrie White from…
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Charlie and Matt join Caitlin to talk about Huesera, a recent Mexican-Peruvian horror movie that features a new take on the monstrous motherhood trope. We explore themes around identity and family, and we look at motifs regarding spiders, ritual, and religion. Definitely worth a watch. Forgive our many bone(r) jokes and our exaggerated pronunciatio…
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Mathula joins Caitlin to cover 2023's Cobweb. (Mathula's pups also join for a bit of background ambiance, but they fade out after the plot synopsis.) Cobweb is a creepy, Halloween-time movie with strong visuals, cool kills, and a memorable monstrous femme figure. And an easily identifiable Busey! Tangents include: crocs, Seth Rogen and his pottery,…
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Our final theme of Szn 3 is femcel horror and we’re kicking off with the 1997 anime ‘Perfect Blue’, directed by Satoshi Kon. 🎤🎀👁In this episode we explain the history and origin of the term ‘femcel’, discuss the dangers of internet stan culture and delve into the exploitative nature of the music and television industries.You can find us on most pla…
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Charlie, Zach, and Mary join Caitlin to cover Slotherhouse, a 2023 movie that seeemed promising, but ultimately let us down. It's not quite a campy creature feature, and it's not quite a sorority horror story. What it does do: cringe attempts at representation, bizarre dialogue, and sloths on instagram. We had a lot of fun with the questions, thoug…
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Victor joins Caitlin to cover Birth/Rebirth, a 2023 monstrous-motherhood interpretation of Frankenstein. It's an impressive film about grief, scientific curiosity, and the different ways people experience motherhood. Even more impressive: this was director Laura Moss' debut film. Well done! Sitting very high in the 2023 horror rankings. Tangents in…
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Maddie joins Caitlin to cover 2023's No One Will Save You, now streaming on Hulu. The townspeople certainly view our main character as a monstrous femme figure, but we are endeared to her. We talk about themes of isolation, regret, giref, and survival, and we applaud Kaitlyn Dever. As always, the latter half of the episode is nutty and full of laug…
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The final movie for our hagsploitation theme is the 2022 horror drama ‘Barbarian’, directed by Zach Cregger. 🚪🍼We dissect the evolution of the hag in horror into something monstrous, discuss women's necessary hyper-vigilance around supposed “nice guys” and debate whether the use of the hag figure in horror is inherently misogynistic. You can find u…
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Alyssa (of The Silver Scream Podcast) joins Caitlin to cover The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster, a 2023 retelling of Frankenstein with poignant, modern social commentary. Nobody asked for two white women to reflect on a movie about Black culture and Black trauma, but we hope to use our voices to lift up this fantastic debut from director Bomani J…
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The next movie for our hagsploitation theme is the 2022 slasher ‘X’, directed by Ti West. 🎥🪓In this episode, we interrogate ageist attitudes towards sex, and discuss how ‘the hag’ character suggests a de-feminisation of postmenopausal women. We then debate whether this film perpetuates ageist stereotypes even as it attempts to bring awareness to th…
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Charlie and Zach join Caitlin to cover 2023's Piglady. We dedicate this episode to our good friend Sarah, who loves pigs. (We love you, Sarah!) Piglady is a monstrous femme figure, and... that's about all we can really say. Tune in to hear Zach make a case for the movie, while Charlie and Caitlin go hard on the critique. Tangents include: murder pi…
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Colleen and Maddie join Caitlin on stage for the first ever Plug It Up Live! This was recorded on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at Nightmare Weekend (hosted by Galaxy Con) in Richmond, VA. Instead of a movie review, we share some of our favorite monstrous femme figures, as well as our favorite final girls. Ah, the duality of woman! We had our first li…
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Our new theme for the month is hagsploitation horror, and the first film we are going to tackle is the iconic 1962 psychological horror ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’, directed by Robert Aldrich. 🎀🎤We provide an overview of hasploitation, and discuss how Crawford and Davis serve in this film. We also delve into the relationship between sexism an…
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Maddie and Colleen join Caitlin to cover Brandon Cronenberg's Infinity Pool. We look at themes of wealth, privilege, hedonism, exploitative tourism, and ethics. But most importantly, we relish the opportunity to do impressions of Mia Goth's deranged baby voice and discuss Skarsgard on a leash. Tangents include: Colleen's delightful fixations, Caitl…
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Colleen joins Caitlin to cover 2023's Clock. This has been a year of monstrous motherhood in horror, and the movie Clock is no exception. It looks at the idea of women's so-called biological clocks, and it explores themes of heritage, patriarchy, procreation, and general fertility. So many eggs! Tangents include: DnD (always), Halloween costumes, t…
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Joe and Graham from Films at First Sight join Caitlin to cover 1999's Audition. Takashi Miike is a memorable director, and Audition is an unforgettable movie. Some view it as a feminist take on revenge; others view at as misogyny put to screen. Regardless of where you land, we can all agree that Asami is an iconic figure within the monstrous femini…
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Our last episode featuring horrible men in horror is the 2023 psychological horror ‘Clock’, directed by Alexis Jacknow. 🕰️👶🧸We discuss how this film accurately captures the valid psychological and physical fears of pregnancy as well as the overwhelming familial, cultural and societal pressures to bear children - grounded by the main character's Jew…
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Soju from Straight Chilling Podcast joins Caitlin to discuss Baby Ruby, a monstrous-motherhood movie from 2022. It explores the darker side of pregnancy, birth, and new motherhood via a perfectionist influencer who loses touch with reality. It also highlights the fact that we live in a culture that gives a lot of platitudes about revering mothers, …
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Perhaps the most on-brand film for our ‘horrible men in horror’ theme is the 2022 British folk horror film ‘Men’ directed by Alex Garland.🌲🍎We think this film deserves more attention. In this episode, we dissect how biblical imagery is used, discuss the horrific birthing body horror and debate whether it works as a feminist film.You can find us on …
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Little bro Zach joins Caitlin to cover 2022's Monstrous, a monstrous-motherhood (insert Leo DiCaprio pointing at TV gif) movie with a double twist, starring Christina Ricci. We look at themes of grief, love, and time, and we talk about the meanest landlady in the history of cinema. This is sort of an oops-all-tangents episode. The back half is much…
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J joins Caitlin to talk about Bad Things, the new release from Stewart Thorndike. Just as Lyle was dubbed "the lesbian Rosemary's Baby," Bad Things is considered "the queer Shining." We look at gender, sexuality, mommy issues, and some good old fashioned snowy isolation. Tangents include: haunted hotels, AHS, blankets, Tibetan sky burials, and quee…
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We’re back and better than ever! Our theme this month is horrible men in horror, and of course we couldn’t do this film without talking about the 2000 classic ‘American Psycho’, directed by Mary Harron. 👔🪓In this episode, we talk about how different demographics have interpreted this film over the years: incels and finance bros have idolised Batema…
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Mary joins Caitlin to cover Talk To Me, the newest horror release from A24. We dicuss themes of grief, friendship, monstrous motherhood, and drugs. Talk To Me is genuinely scary, boasts great practical effects, and has an excellent script with realistic, authentic characters. It's a banger of a debut from the brothers Philippou. Tangents include: f…
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Sofia and Dani join Caitlin to talk about The Bad Seed (1956). The movie approaches the monstrous motherhood trope from two angles: learning your biological mother was a monster, and learning that your child is as well. Transatlantic accents abound! Tangents include: Belle Gunness, Mary Bell, greetings, desserts, chain restaurants, first and curren…
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Rachel and Ariel from the Zombie Grrlz Podcast Network join Caitlin to cover Violation (2020). Violation is a different take on the rape revenge subgenre, and it asks the viewer to sit with discomfort, gray areas, and realism. There aren't perfect victims or perfect perpetrators, and betrayal, rage, justice, and gore all read a little different in …
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Milissa, Nick, and Mary join Caitlin to cover 2022's Smile. It was a box office success, but it's somewhat controversial one among horror fans. Is it derivative, or is it paying homage? We tease out that question and more, including some monstrous motherhood themes. Tangents include: milkshakes, Dateline, breakup horror, worst fast food experiences…
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Morgan joins Caitlin to cover 1999's Jawbreaker, a campy classic that paved the way for many a movie about treacherous friendships between girls. It's funny, highly stylized, has a stacked cast, and pays homage to icons that came before it, including Queen Carrie White. Tangents include: bridesmaid dresses, exclamations and vocal stims, sneezes, hi…
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Andy from Straight Chilling Podcast joins Caitlin to cover the originator or the hagsploitation/psychobiddy subgenre: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. It's a movie with fantastic stunt-casting, incredible lighting, and excellent themes within the monstrous feminine (envy, aging, regression, and resentment). Tangents include: nicknames, film festiva…
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The cast of The Wicked Wild joins Caitlin to cover 2013's Evil Dead - a movie that showed us remakes can be awesome. We talk about the incredible practical effects, themes of addiction and family, and the over-arching aspects of the monstrous-feminine and the wicked-wilderness that make this the perfect movie for a Wicked Wild / Plug It Up crossove…
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Mathula joins Caitlin to cover Phenomena from 1985. Also known as Creepers, this Argento flick has a monstrous mother, a bug-obsessed Jennifer Connelly, and a razor-wielding chimp. Plus Donald Pleasence. What more could we want? Tangents include: Eggers, Aster, vampires, Giallo movies as a whole, bugs, Lost, Florida, dystropian fiction, sneezing, a…
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HAPPY PRIDE QUEERS! 🏳️‍🌈For this Pride Special, we revisit a film we covered in our very first episode: the 2009 cult classic ‘Jennifer’s Body’, directed by Karyn Kusama. 💅💋 💄In this episode we debate the differences between desire and envy in young female friendships, investigate the queer subtext and female gaze of the film, and uncover its true …
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Elizabeth generously joins Caitlin for re-record of The Birds. (I forgot to hit record last time... RIP.) Elizabeth is a Birds expert, and she's my Hitchcock Blonde. We look at themes of disaster linked to female psyche, man vs nature, and some Oedipal monstrous motherhood. We also do a deep dive into the troubling production, most of which would n…
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Mary, Zach, and Charlie join Caitlin to cover Swimfan. It's a real time capsule of a movie; it'll take you right back to 2002. It has a monstrous femme figure in stalker Madison, and it gives us themes of obsession, deception, and troubled pasts. It also gives us an iconic pool scene. In perhaps the most unhinged second-half of a Plug It Up episode…
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Birthday boy Bob from Straight Chilling Podcast joins Caitlin to cover 2017's Thoroughbreds, a movie that features a couple of monstrous femme figures. We look at themes of wealth, pedigree, friendship, and murder, and we do our best to tease out the distinctions between sociopathy and psychopathy. Tangents include: physical media, chicken wings, t…
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For our last mermaid episode of the month, we’re talking about the 2022 American psychological thriller ‘Nanny’, directed by Nikyatu Jusu. 🕷️🧜‍♀️We discuss African deities as agents of chaos, the sense-making function of legends, and how the Mami Wata informs this film's gender, race and class commentary.You can find us on most platforms @themonstr…
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Soju from Straight Chilling Podcast joins Caitlin to talk about Park Chan-wook's Thirst. Thirst is a beautiful vampire romance that incorporates themes of sexuality, pain, guilt, and the monstrous feminine. Soju is my vampire homie, and we give a lot of love to Thirst. We also give a lot of love to Underworld. In fact, take a shot every time we say…
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Pickens, Joe, and Victor join Caitlin to talk about Return to Oz - a fever dream, a cult classic, and, yes, the official sequel to The Wizard of Oz. For a kids' movie, it's got some serious horror beats, and it has a great monstrous femme figure in Princess Mombi. We chat about our favorite freaky moments and go over some fun movie trivia. Tangents…
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