Horror Movies, Sex & Fear


Some things in life just go together: peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, Forest and Jenny, sex and horror. Sure a half dozen shots of topless young girls might distract the audience from the pure lack of story in your movie, but there’s more to it than that. Not only is nudity in horror films an institution, but also there are deeper neurological reasons for including generous doses of boobage along with your extra generous doses of carnage.

Is there anything more cliché than two teenagers going to see some cheap-o slasher flick on a date? The movie appeals to the male, terrifies the female, causes the female to seek protection from the male, allows the male to be a savior to the female, and then they both find each other closer together and a healthy make-out session occurs. Cliché…yes. Awesome…absolutely. Necessary…definitely.

All the things we do help to teach us our “roles”. When you’re talking about two people who are together there is generally one who is braver than the other. (I’m not limiting this to heterosexual couples, but since I’m hetero, that’s the example I’ll be using.) A young couple can go to a horror movie and learn their roles by force. The scare comes and the girl seeks the shelter that her guy provides. If the girl seeks shelter and the guy seeks it at the same time, maybe they’re not right for one another. If the guy seeks shelter and the girl slides into the role of protector, well, so much the better. See how helpful in defining oneself horror can be?

Personally I feel that T & A simply belongs in a horror film, but some might see it as exploitative and unnecessary. To those people I simply say: Horror is exploitative, so why not exploit as much as you can during the course of a film? I demand nudity in my horror movies. I can’t watch a horror movie on TV because the nudity isn’t included. I could write a whole other article on why the violence is often left in on television and the nudity cut out, but not today, kids. The bottom line is that without the nudity the film isn’t complete. There’s something missing when I see a girl run from a serial killer and she isn’t topless, or wasn’t topless in the previous scene. I know it sounds misogynistic but there you have it. If you want to send out a petition for more male nudity in horror I’ll sign it, but good luck getting it passed due to all the cultural double standards.

I wish I could write an article simply stating how much I love bare breasts and why they’re great, but you guys and gals out there probably need real scientific-like info. I’m going to give it to you. What follows is the scientific reason why every horror movie needs nudity as well as evidence arguing that watching horror movies with your dates is a good way to score.

Our nervous system stems from our brain and determines how messages are transferred from our receptors to our brain and back down to tell us what to do. This is everything from catching a ball that we see being thrown at us, to swerving out of the way of on-coming traffic. A secondary nervous system located towards the lower part of our torsos is responsible for directing our “fight-or-flight” instincts. This peripheral nervous system also plays a role in our sexual arousal. On top of all that, sexual arousal and fear elicit very similar physical symptoms. We get afraid, our pupils dilate and our pulse quickens. We sweat and the hair stands up on our necks. Adrenaline pumps through our bodies as we decide what to do next. Oh sorry, I’m talking about being horny and aroused…no, wait, I am talking about being afraid…uh, I leave it up to you to tell the difference. In any case, when the fear is fictional, like in a movie, after the fear leaves us we are still left in a heightened state of arousal. Our bodies want some respite from the fear and so sexual arousal is where that energy goes. Then we make out with the person next to us to “celebrate” the fact that we are not dead because that little girl from The Ring is not really crawling out of our TV set. (Scoff if you must but that movie scared the shit out of me.)

It’s very natural for horror fans to be a bit on the lascivious side. After all we spend so much time scaring ourselves with false starts that our bodies need some place to go with that pumping blood and flowing adrenaline. Sex is the only natural outlet. (I suppose you could go on a killing spree, but wouldn’t you rather just get naked and hook up?) So embrace what horror movies are: sex, violence, nudity, scares and gore. In the words of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood: “Take my word for it: If you want to make out with a young lady, take her to see Dracula.”

Of course if Bela Lugosi was living today he might say: “If you want to make out with a young lady, take her to see Zombie Strippers!Zombie Strippers!: A more perfect example of the pairing of sex and horror I cannot imagine.

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