Horror and Feminism
Writer, producer and director David Mahmodieh’s short film (7 minutes) “Snake Dick” introduces us to Jill (Poppy Drayton) and Julia (Sierra Pond) when they are checking the engine of their car at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. They are whistled at, cat-called and verbally harassed by two locals (Micah Fitzgerald, Ross Francis) who are much bigger than they are. Jill pulls a gun on them and she also has a nasty surprise under her skirt . Using the idea of a horror film with a feminist spin, Mahmodieh gives us an amazing little film.
This is the story of two women on a journey across the California wilderness and possessing of a deadly and mysterious weapon. Allegorical to the politics of the setting, we see the intended implications. We have a confrontation between toxic masculinity versus and female empowerment right before us on the screen.
When the women meet the two local men, they come across behavior representing the overzealous relationship between the people and the president. As tensions between the characters open, there is a stand-off. We see the director’s support of empowered women. He says he was influenced by the election of 45 to the presidency.
On a surface level, it’s about sexual harassment and how men are no good. Jill and Julia are minding their own business as they are on their way somewhere. Any half-sensible person would have helped them and sent them on their way but the hillbillies went out of their way to harass them. So, when men come to terms with their fate, the viewer is totally satisfied. That fate is grotesque and horrifying but it is also liberating in many ways. We cannot help but wonder what happened to the women before they came to the gas station and what happens after.