Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
LITTLE ROCK — February marks the ninth anniversary, and the beginning of year 10 for Women in Horror Month. The purpose of WiHM is to salute the fantastic contributions of women in all realms of horror whose work still finds itself marginalized. Such an example of belittlement happened all too recently when Blumhouse's CEO, founder and producer Jason Blum made the following statement last October.
"There are not a lot of female directors period," Blum said. "And even less who are inclined to do horror."
It is hard to believe such an attitude still exists, but unfortunately a bias toward female artisans of scary movies still haunts modern times. Surely, enough is enough. WiHM is well-known for its tireless efforts spotlighting women in horror, and this 28-day celebration will focus on film and television. As such, each day this month will celebrate a different woman whose contributions have left an irrevocable mark on the horror genre.
French actress Simone Simon was the face of producer Val Lewton's very first low-budget horror film for RKO, "Cat People"(1942). The success of the film lead to "Curse of the Cat People"in 1944, which was a ghost story whereas the first motion picture was about a woman who transforms into a savage panther.
Screenwriter DeWitt Bodeen and Lewton planned to title the "Curse" movie "Amy and Her Friend." RKO insisted the project be titled after "Cat People," even though its storyline had nothing to do with the original movie, because "Cat People"was a huge financial triumph. The move was made for better or worse.
Officially a sequel to "Cat People," Curse features Kent Smith and Jane Randolph reprising their roles alongside Simon. They portray the same characters, at least according to their names, but that's where the similarities end. This time around, Simone's Irena is a gentle, friendly ghost. Yes, she's like Casper instead of a savage cat.
In her personal life, Simon was known for having a bit of a temper and a series of torrid love affairs over the years including one with famous composer George Gershwin. Gershwin's piece "Love Walked In"is reported to be inspired by Simone.
Another of Simon's publicized relationships was with the famous British World War II spy Dusko Popov. James Bond fans know that Popov was also the inspiration for Ian Fleming's secret agent 007. Regardless of only two appearances, Simon arguably remains the face of Val Lewton and RKO's time spent in the horror genre.