Black Women Of 70s-80s Horror Films Celebrated In New Doc 'My Final Girl'
An upcoming documentary from feminist horror scholar and filmmaker Kristina Leath-Malin, is putting a lens on the contributions of black women in American cinema from the 1970s to the early 1980s.
Titled My Final Girl: The Black Women of 70s Horror Cinema, the film will feature notable artists of the period, as well as scholars including: Marlene Clark, Beverly Bonner, Gloria Gifford, Pam Grier, Dr. Robin Means-Coleman, Dr. Isabel Pinedo, Sam Waymon and Dolores Smith.
A recently released trailer offers a taste of what to expect from the documentary.
"The 70s marked a radical change in horror for the damsel in distress. Women began fighting back," the teaser begins. "But less is known about the black women that started this decade of horror."
The video then cuts through parts of Blacula, Ganja & Hess, Scream Blacula Scream, Sugar Hill and Abby, before transitioning to different quotes from actresses, producers and scholars.
"What they can give you — what these women can give you is what filming these films meant to them," Dr. Robin Means-Coleman says, summarizing what My Final Girl hopes to do.
A lot of these movies are considered cult classics at this point, and vary on the ways in which they contributed to blaxploitation films of the time. But it's nice to see them being revisited through the women that were very integral to them.
Such is the case with Marlene Clark as Ganja Meda, in Ganja & Hess. The experimental horror film was screened at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, and although the movie wasn't commercially successful it was well received critically, with writer James Murray hailing it as "the most important black produced film since Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song."
My Final Girl: The Black Women of 70s Horror Cinema doesn't have a release date yet, but you can check in for updates at the website here, as well as donate here. Check out the trailer below.