Black Women In Horror History: Marsha A. Hunt
Surely, a group of many are able to do great things in a spotlight, see multiple corners of the planet and be able to keep a part of their shadow. Marsha A. Hunt, in such lyrical passages could be described in this manner.
She's been a theatre darling, model, singer, and activist who spent her older youth/young adult years in all the artistic and political vibrancy that the 1960s had to offer. From Philly to Oakland to England, Hunt has made an indelible impression within the art community. In horror, she can easily make an audience starry-eyed with her presence.
It's no surprise then, that Hunt's most memorable roles on screen were playing a vicious werewolf or becoming one of Christopher Lee's victims. Although they were few and her status as a singer and model who shares a daughter with rock legend Mick Jagger tends to overshadow her presence in feature films, I wanted today to shift that focus in honor of this month and briefly reflect on her corner in the horror pantheon.
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
The Howling II: Your Sister Is A Werewolf (1985)
Once again a moving target for Christopher Lee, Hunt in The Howling II slays with a demanding performance as Mariana, a vicious werewolf who acts as a servant with enviable sex appeal. The film itself is less than superior within the sub-genre, but it is fun and I love it because, werewolves. And Hunt makes the case for playing an ancillary villain you can neither turn away from nor completely dismiss. I express a bit more in detail with a prior discussion on Black women werewolves.
"(Oh no!) Not the Beast Day!" was a single she put out and recorded in 1973 on Vertigo Records. It's very 70s and very catchy. For more on Ms. Hunt, read her memoir Undefeated, Like her Facebook tribute page, and check out her film appearances which I do recommend.
It's so important that Black women see their faces in the past, no matter how minor or major our roles are and specifically, when we're not demonstrated as 'types but as characters that create their own meaning of self. Hunt manages to do this with little effort and I'll always admire her for it.