Monday, January 13, 2014

A GUINEVERE TURNER APPRECIATION POST

Women in horror month is only nineteen days away, but it's never too early to shine some light on a woman that has made wonderful contributions to the genre we love dearly.  Whenever the topic of "women in horror" comes about, people are usually quick to mention that AMERICAN PSYCHO was directed by Mary Harron.  Perhaps it is due to the seemingly universal praise given to Christian Bale's most iconic performance, (suck it Batvoice) but everyone is constantly bringing up Mary Harron, Mary Harron, Mary Harron, like she's CANDYMAN around Women in Horror Month.  If AMERICAN PSYCHO is such a strong testament to the fact women CAN make good horror films, where is the love for Guinevere Turner?

Guinevere Turner is an actress and screenwriter.  While my personal favorite of her work lies with THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE, she's also the co-author of the screenplay for AMERICAN PSYCHO.  I understand that Mary Harron also directed the film, so it's a lot easier to slap a writer/director title on her, but that's devaluing Guinevere Turner's contributions and giving AMERICAN PSYCHO the HALLOWEEN treatment.  What I mean by "HALLOWEEN" treatment is how people often fail to mention Debra Hill co-wrote the screenplay because John Carpenter co-wrote and also directed.  I'm not trying to downplay the incredible work done from Carpenter or Harron, but it's important to know that they weren't working alone.

Guinevere Turner is a frequent collaborator with Mary Harron but also has some wonderful credits to her name.  The film that put her name on the map was GO FISH, an LGBT film she co-wrote and starred in.  Filmmaker Kevin Smith enjoyed the film so much that one of its scenes became one of the inspirations for what is arguably considered his best film, CHASING AMY
This scene is an in-joke as Turner IS openly a lesbian and actually did attend Sarah Lawrence.

Turner's most well-known script work is undoubtedly AMERICAN PSYCHO and she even has a cameo as the "I'm not a lesbian!" girl.  Considering she helped write the script and assisted to craft one of the most incredible horror films of the 2000s, why isn't she given her fair credit?  Perhaps it's because people are just uneducated to the fact Mary Harron didn't write the film alone, or perhaps her reputation has been so severely tarnished by the film BLOODRAYNE. Oh, Uwe Boll...I still can't believe people gave you money.  Don't get me wrong, BLOODRAYNE is an absolute travesty of a film, and I can understand why people wouldn't want to associate the screenwriter of that garbage pile with the glory that is AMERICAN PSYCHO, but here's the thing...BLOODRAYNE is not reflective of Guinevere Turner.  Her recent participation with the documentary TALES FROM THE SCRIPT (available on Netflix instant watch) shed some light to what really happened with that screenplay.


When this scene played on my screen, my jaw immediately dropped.  Not only was it mindblowing to hear how Uwe Boll absolutely butchered her script, but the fact Turner was willing to go on record to talk about what really happened was incredibly inspiring.  All too often, women in this industry are told to play nice or keep their mouths shut and here was Turner completely calling Uwe Boll for what he was, and speaking out about the injustices that occur to screenwriters after the script has left their hands.

Guinevere Turner is responsible for one of the best horror films of all time, and some very influential pieces outside of the genre.  Here's to you, Guinevere Turner.  May the movie gods bestow upon you a hundred million dollars to create whatever next comes out of your mind.

3 comment(s):

Pearce said...

She was also fantastic starring in the movie Preaching to the Perverted, as well as in her small role in American Psycho. I really want to watch Tales from the Script now!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you so much! From me, Guinevere Turner. Speak out! Also, Mary Harron and I are working on another piece together, just so you know. Its a scary one again.

The Dude Speaks said...

Watching that clip, I have to say that Ms. Turner is wrong about one thing: She was not the only person in the Chinese Theater laughing hysterically at Uwe Boll's film. I was there, too, laughing my head off. (Though I was in the way back, and assisted by booze and a love of bad cinema).

My (inebriated) compatriot and I wee were part of the "press" covering and we just had a ball with it!

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