Horror is a genre that can have such a varied effect on those who watch it.
There are those that eat, sleep, and breathe horror; their identity can be defined by the macabre films they consume.
There are those that live to be scared and actively seek out the real-life things that go bump in the night.
Then there are those that can only dip their toes into the world of horror. The images on the screen proceed to haunt their dreams long after the movie is over, forcing them to sleep with the lights on for fear of being visited by a ghost or ghoul.
Wherever you fall on the scale, the one thing that’s for certain is that the horror genre can leave a lasting impact on your life.
That impact is what the folks over at ‘I Spit in Your Mouth’ podcast are determined to find out.
The biweekly podcast is hosted by Dotty and Ghoulia Spartans, and in each episode they interview members of the drag, gay, and queer community to talk about the impact horror has had on their lives, work, music, art, and films.
Horrorfacts had the opportunity to chat and listen to the horror hosts of the night.
Horror Facts: What made you decide to start a podcast?
Ghoulia Spartans: Dotty had a podcast prior to I Spit in Your Mouth that she really enjoyed doing and I enjoyed listening to! We were having cocktails one day (as we do) and Dotty mentioned that she wanted to get into podcasting again. I can’t remember who we were with, but I feel like someone said, “You two should do one together.” Lo and behold, here we are!
Dotty Spartans: as Ghoulia said, I had a podcast called The Drunk Detectives where we talked about cold case murder investigations. My love for podcasting grew with that podcast and, when it was over, I wanted to find a way to stay involved in podcasting and keep it fresh for myself. Horror, queer horror specifically, has always been a passion of mine so I knew if I was going to start another podcast that would be it.
HF: The name of your show, ‘I Spit in Your Mouth,’ is an homage to the movie ‘I Spit on Your Grave.’ What made you choose that particular movie to pay tribute to?
GS: We both love a good tongue in cheek reference. I Spit on Your Grave is one of my all-time favorites. We then were tossing around names and spitting in mouths is one of those filthy, hot, kinda sexy things that we both have well, um… fond pre-covid memories of.
DS: Ghoulia came up with the name. I was worried people wouldn’t get the reference, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the feedback. I Spit in Your Grave is an iconic Rape and Revenge movie that is so incredibly graphic and violent. We knew that if we were going to make a podcast that it would be something that pushed boundaries, so there was no other option, in our opinion.
HF: Your podcast is about focusing on the impact the horror genre has had on the gay community. What made you decide this was going to be the focus of your show?
GS: I don’t know that it was ever intentionally the way we intended it to be. However, the queer community is our people and we want to make sure that we pay special attention to the people in the community and give them a space to discuss things we love with like-minded people! We have some non-queer people on and will continue to do so, but it’s so interesting to talk to people from all backgrounds and find that common denominator of the horror community that brings us all together.
DS: I think horror and queerness are very adjacent and very often overlap and intersect. So many iconic films have underlying homosexual themes and queer coding throughout. Nightmare On Elm Street 2 and Hellraiser are two popular examples of how closely entangled queer themes and imagery are to horror. Often horror focuses so much on female nudity and sexuality that sometimes it’s easy to forget how closely entangled horror is to queer culture. That being said, we try not to make it the sole focus of the show, though it is an important theme for us to discuss.
HF: What is it about the horror genre that speaks to you?
GS: As I’m sure it is with a lot of people like myself or also into horror, I was a weird kid. I was fascinated with the macabre and creepy. A young lover of Halloween (and still am!), I was drawn to the 80s slasher films and loved the feeling I got from a good scare. Once I started getting more and more into the different subgenres of horror, I got into the community. The community is what got me when I was a young adult. You don’t see the passion and dedication with any other genre. The people that love horror, live, eat and breathe it. I admire that so much.
DS: I think for me, I was always drawn to horror because growing up gay in the ’90s and early 2000s, I was scared all the time: scared of being outed, scared of being mistreated, and scared of not fitting in. Horror movies were the one thing that everyone else was afraid of where I wasn’t scared. To me, real-life was much scarier than horror films, so I found comfort in them. I found comfort knowing that most horror movies follow a similar formula, and I identified with these final girls who manage to overcome their horrific experiences.
HF: With characters like Leather Face, Buffalo Bill, Kenny Hampson (Terror Train), and Dr. Frank-N-Furter, do you think that the horror genre is more open to featuring individuals in the drag community? Or does it still have a long way to go?
GS: THERE. WILL. NEVER. BE. ENOUGH. I could only hope that horror and drag continue to grow closer together. Even now there is so much to do. Everything that you mentioned is so great, but from 20-30 years ago! I hope that with the popularity of things like the Boulet Brother’s Dragula and queer voices getting louder and more visible we see a lot more drag in horror. Also worth noting, have you seen some of these queens with their makeup?! TERRIFYING.
DS: I think Ghoulia hit the nail on the head. Drag and horror is a match made in Heaven. Drag plays into the overall camp that the horror genre exudes, and I love a campy horror film. The Boulet Brothers have done an incredible job bringing those worlds closer together and reminding the world that drag is radical, it’s filthy, it’s monstrous, and it’s beautiful.
HF: Do you think that, because of individuals like Clive Barker, Ryan Murphy, Don Mancini, and James Whale, the horror genre is more open to featuring individuals in the LGBTQ+ community? Or does it still have a long way to go?
GS: I think that not only does horror have a long way to go, but the world does. I think the horror community is going to be one of the more accepting, but I’ve still come across some narrow-minded bigotry bullshit in it. I hope that more people in the LQBTQ+ community feel inspired to create more and I hope people give creatives in the community more of a platform in the future.
DS: In recent years, we have seen so much more effort to cast more diverse individuals in horror. It has been wonderful to see, and yet there is still so much more work to be done. Independent filmmakers and studios have a much easier time doing this since they don’t have a large studio to answer to. I only hope that we can move towards seeing authentic queer stories being told without judgment or tokenism, while still maintaining a thrilling horror story.
HF: Overall, how do you think individuals in the LGBTQ+ community are represented in horror movies?
GS: I hope we get more representation in movies and less stereotypical roles. We 100% need more positive trans representation in movies. Normalization of trans actors in trans roles or playing cis-gendered roles is something we are SEVERELY lacking. I want my 90s slasher fantasy with a trans woman playing a trans woman getting her final girl moment. I mean let’s face it, at that point whatever she had been through previously has made her more than strong enough to beat a killer!
DS: I think that American Horror Story: 1984 made a huge step in the right direction by casting Angelica Ross. She’s an incredible performer, and casting her in a role that did not depend upon her trans identity was a bold statement about trans people in film and TV. My hope is that it doesn’t end there. Very recently, the horror genre has started to move away from very stereotypical caricatures of queer people. Hopefully, that movement continues to pick up momentum.
HF: The format of your show is primarily interviewing individuals in the drag and horror communities. Who would be your dream guest to appear on your show?
GS: I know it’s not horror per se, but John Waters is my dream guest. I don’t even think I need to explain why.
DS: I have so many dream guests. I think one of my ultimate dream guests would be Joanna Angel. For those who don’t know her, she’s an adult entertainer, writer, director, and founder of Burning Angel and has helped to grow the alt-porn genre. She has been responsible for some of my favorite horror porn parodies such as Evil Head.
HF: New episodes of your show are currently released every two weeks. Any plans to up it to every week, or are you content right now with just every two weeks?
GS: No plans as of yet. Dotty and I both work a LOT with our full-time gigs and we both work in hospital settings with insane hours and random days so syncing up can be tough sometimes. That isn’t to say that we wouldn’t be open to it in the future.
DS: I think it would be great to release an episode weekly; however, I don’t think we could release full-length interviews once a week. But who knows what the future has in store for us? If there’s an audience for it, I would be happy to release more frequent episodes.
HF: What can listeners of your show hope to expect from you in the future?
GS: Can we just insert a photo of a dumpster fire with fake lashes here?
DS: as always, lots of Prosecco, quips about my butthole, and some really interesting folks who are creating some really quality content.
We at Horrorfacts would like to thank Dotty and Ghoulia for taking the time to chat with us and for giving us a glimpse behind the curtain.
To listen to the show’s episodes, you can click on the link https://linktr.ee/ISpitinYourMouthPodcast which will connect to all of ‘I Spit in Your Mouth’ listening platforms and their Instagram account.
You can also follow Dotty Spartans on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dottyspartans/
and Ghoulia Spartans at https://www.instagram.com/ghouliaspartans/
Or you can email the show at [email protected]
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