Hags have always scared me. Hags and witches are my go-to scare-the-shit-out-of-me monsters. But until this weekend, I never thought much about why they're scary to me.
And then one of the fans of my films pointed out that I have a lot of gnarly, creepy female villains lurking around in my movies. I never thought about it, but he's right. A lot of my creep factor films come from some deep seated fear of carnivorous, treacherous women.
And to be honest, I'd never thought much about it.
Makes me think of Wes Craven and the way he's spoken about the genesis of Freddy Krueger. Seems that little boy Wes was in his room one night and he opened the drapes and took a peek out, just cuz, and there, standing at the sidewalk, looking right in his window was a man in a tattered old striped sweater and a worn fedora. The guy didn't do anything but stare at little Wes for an uncomfortably long time, then turn and walk away down the street, but it left such a psychic impression on Craven that he would go back to the image years later as an adult, ultimately leaving his own horror legacy and making his fortune on that single moment in his life...
That one, striking image that never left him...
I don't think I have one “single” image that's stayed with me like that, per se, but rather a conglomeration of similar negative and frightening images from early childhood that left their scars... and apparently, a fear of twisted, nasty, broken women.
So where'd my hag-thing come from?
First off I have a crazy aunt. She's self righteous, judgmental, condescending, mean and a religious zealot. The kind of woman who flies to Africa to feed the starving, while cutting her family out of her life because they're not righteous enough. You know the type. Most families have one. When my dad died in 1996, she stood with me over his casket and said to me “Drew, the fires of hell are hot and burn forever.” I'm not kidding here. This woman stood over my dad's corpse as I was in tears and in no subtle way informed me that he was, at that very moment, burning in hell, and would be, forever.
What did I say to her, you ask? I told her to go fuck herself. And I swear I saw my dad smile just a little from his casket.
But when I was little, I didn't have any means to cope with my aunt's overpowering personality. I was terrified of her. She would sometimes come and take me away at the age of 5 and we'd go to her scary ass church where people would fall down and foam at the mouth and roll on the ground speaking violently in tongues. Now whether you believe that that stuff is real or not, it was absolutely mind-numbingly-terrifying to me when I was 5 years old. She also told me that when the rapture came, she and all the other good people would go to heaven and I'd be left all alone without a mom and dad or anyone to take care of me.
Good Christian values at work.
So that's where my model for the rabid frothing hag comes from. I also had twin sisters who were older than me who locked me in the basement, warned me against the thing that lived in the closet and once told me I might be the antichrist like Damian from The Omen and if I checked my hairline I might have a 666 there. I checked, btw and I did have the mark, but I've learned to live with it.
Lastly, there was our neighbor lady when I was little. My dad, god bless him, called her a witch once and I thought he meant she was a real one. In truth, she was a miserable, nasty schizophrenic with Tourette's and a deep hoarding problem. She had a hook nose and wore a bandana on her head too. So whenever me and the rest of the kids would see her in her yard, we'd run away because she'd swear at us and then start talking to people who weren't there. My aunt (yeah her again) told me our neighbor lady was demon possessed and she was talking to the demons. Great, so now my hag of an aunt is telling me my witch neighbor talks to fucking real demons...
And all that before I turned 6 years old...
So once it was pointed out to me, it was pretty clear what scared me and why. So now that I've spilled the beans about myself, what scares you?
And more importantly, why?
Gaudium Per Atrox.
Bonus: here's a picture of me with hags from my shoot The Old Chair this weekend.
Pictured are Maria Olsen(far left), me, Jonica Patella (bottom) and horror make up artist Melissa Marie Anchondo. Teeth and prosthetic brows on the actresses were done by Jeff Farley. The film The Old Chair also stars Horror's newest luminary Aj Bowen.
Hag ghost on the Queen Mary:
Vindictive suicide victim hag:
This one stars my hag aunt and my sisters... kind of:
The scorned lover hag:
Not a hag on the outside, but definitely a hag on the inside: