The True Anxiety of a Blonde Not-Quite-Bombshell Who is Beheaded in a Throwaway Scene of Demonwarp
by Nathan Holic
They are together in a convertible, Tara and Betsy, and they are driving deep into the woods where Betsy has assured Tara that they will smoke lots of pot and have a righteous fucking day and where—currently—they have no reason to suspect that they will encounter an alien-demon-zombie-Sasquatch creature.
You have never met Tara or Betsy, but you’ve seen them before: attractive and disposable horror movie females. In another movie, one that takes place during Spring Break perhaps, these two women would find reasons to shower at strange times of day, to dance naked for the enjoyment of beer-guzzling douchebags even while slashers lurk in the bushes outside their rented beach house. That’s another movie, though. Here, today, it is these two women—Tara the blonde and Betsy the brunette—venturing onto distant and forgotten mountain roads, tires spitting gravel into deep ditches, both of them laughing as the car crunches over pine needles, the whole world certain that this set-up will somehow lead to boob exposure.
But enough of that. I might have glimpsed their lives in a B-movie called Demonwarp, but here in this story these women are real, and they do not consider their lives to be illogical or farcical or throwaway. They do not consider themselves to be props. In fact, they value their lives. We are talking about two women, both of them real, but we are talking specifically about the blonde, Tara, and before she has her head torn off by the Sasquatch, before she even gets into the damned convertible to begin with, Tara is terrified to spend an afternoon alone with her friend Betsy, heading out into the woods to get high beneath the tall pines, because Betsy constantly conjures excuses to remove her top and shake her tits in Tara’s face and laugh, so satisfied with her porn-star-perfect body.
Tara does a great job at hiding her anxiety, sure. Watch: they find the secret spot about which Betsy boasts, the hidden patch of forest where her ex-boyfriend grows his marijuana, and Tara giggles, her blonde hair bouncing as she does her best to look eager.
But look closer: Tara doesn’t have the same smoke-every-weekend confidence as her darker-haired friend, does she? In fact, when the marijuana patch is discovered to have been trampled by someone or something (an other-worldly creature?), Tara looks relieved…now they can leave the forest…now she won’t have to suffer through Betsy’s inevitable undressing…now she can go home and spend her afternoon at the gym, sweating through six miles on the treadmill and pretending that a boob-less athletic build is what the world wants to see.
But Betsy keeps them there, in the forest; Betsy opens the trunk, smoothes her beach towel across the ground; Betsy unclasps her own bikini top and lets it Jacob’s-Ladder from fingertip to fingertip to fingertip to ground, and it almost seems like her gravity-defying breasts stand taller now that they’re on display, and Betsy smiles naughtily at Tara and says, “We might as well get a tan, right?”
(Oh, for God’s sake! Never mind the fact that we’re in the middle of a forest, Betsy, a place where sunlight cannot possibly reach. Never mind that there are tanning beds in town!).
Tara wants to tell her friend that this is stupid, this idea of tanning in the dark forest, but she pretends the plan is good even though every bug bite and every sticky tickle of spiderweb against skin reminds her how much she hates her pot-smoking friend.
She has become good at pretending, Tara has.
She pretends that she enjoys the time they spend together, pretends to find it funny when Betsy calls other women “cunts” even when they’re in McDonalds and surrounded by children, pretends that it’s daring and fun when Betsy grabs her arm at a restaurant and says “Let’s get out of here” and they both skip out on the check because they know the waiter is a high school boy intimidated by their good looks and all will be forgiven. Tara has found herself saying the name Betsy over and over during conversation, too, letting it roll from her tongue like a lollipop lick…Betsy, that name Betsy, so unlikely and so full of personality, and Tara hates her own name, hates how it makes her sound vaguely white-trash, or whorish, or both, or maybe it’s just her imagination but when they go to the local bars together, Tara is always stuck talking to the douchebag Best Friend of the more attractive Male Lead. She is stuck with men who expect blowjobs after only five minutes of conversation, men who—if this was a horror movie, and remember it’s not—would die first because they’re so unlikable. Tara doesn’t even like sex, thinks that a penis feels like sandpaper, and she finds it hard to fake orgasms or even smile when the asshole Best Friends say things like “Come on, baby, act like you’re enjoying it.”
This is no way to live, Tara thinks as Betsy removes her top. This is all wrong.
In fact, Tara fears that—if anyone was to see this small snippet of her life, the driving of the convertible and the searching for pot and the bikinis and the tanning in the woods—she would be judged harshly. This does not represent her. She is a woman with dreams, a woman who knows how to change her own oil, who makes birthday cards on the computer for her parents. Hell, she restored this motherfucking convertible with her father. Could Betsy do that?
And now Tara, here on a beach towel in the middle of Demonwood Forest, thinks of all the douchebags at the bar, thinks of cheap Busch Light cans at parties, thinks of her friend Betsy who fucks who she wants, teases men and gets away with it, sighs and dismisses ordinary-looking men who approach her for conversation…and now Tara fears she’s becoming cruel to even the nicest men in her own life, to the counter-guy at the gym, to the lifeguard, to the boy she sits beside in American History. Pretending she’s too good for them all, rolling her eyes when they speak to her. Tara doesn’t know why this is happening. This is not who she wanted to be.
“We might as well get a tan, right?” Betsy says.
Tara knows that she is supposed to remove her own bikini top, too, knows that Betsy’s stupid one-liner was her prompt, and yet she cannot do it. She hates that audiences—if audiences were to watch this scene depicted in movie form—would interpret Betsy’s comment as “sexy,” that they would salivate and rub their hands together in anticipation of the two women going naked together and circling tanning oil across one another’s bare backs, rolling around with interlocked legs on their towels. She hates it, and she hates Betsy, and she hates Betsy’s tits. She knows that Betsy doesn’t even care about tan lines, that she removes her bikini top and perks her boobs out and says her smarmy comment about tanning simply to hurt Tara.
Because this is the truth: Tara is a woman with small breasts, and she hates herself for it, and she is terrified of showing them off. Are you happy? That’s why she hangs out with Betsy so much. To understand what it feels like to be shirtless and to love yourself. It’s a gratuitous tit scene in a horror movie to you, but to her, this is life.
And here and now, she is finished with Betsy. She is going to assert herself. She is going to punch this bitch squarely in the face.
Unfortunately, it’s at this moment when real tragedy occurs: just as Tara presses her stomach to her beach towel, a Sasquatch creature emerges and—growling, stomping in close-up shots that do not reveal his costume-like body in full—he grabs Tara’s head and twists it from her body like a bottle-cap and tosses it onto the forest floor, where it will lay caked with dirt and leaves and will be forgotten about forever because this is Demonwood Forest and who is stupid enough to come all the way out here?
The Sasquatch has killed her, Tara is convinced (or would be convinced, if she’d survived the decapitation), because she is the girl with the small breasts, the girl who keeps her bikini top on. The Sasquatch, of course, chases topless Betsy through the woods, her audience-pleasing tits bouncing in every shot because why not?, the movie is called Demonwarp and it will be watched late-night by horny teenagers looking to fill spank banks while parents are sleeping, and who wants to see Tara and her tiny boobs? That’s why I’m the one who dies, Tara thinks. My whole Goddamned life has come down to this.
“We might as well get a tan right?” Betsy asks, but she might as well be saying, “You see these? I have a future.”
And although Tara will not live to think about it much longer, her head having been torn off, it will be true. Betsy and her boobs do have a future.
Betsy will also die here in Demonwood Forest, sure…and it’s a slow death, painful, a death by sacrifice in the final scene (Betsy will be naked when she dies, obviously, stretched across a table so the world can watch her pant sexily, breasts heaving, all that, and it will be glorious and so we must take a deep breath and remember that it’s tragic and cruel and…deep breath…God, those boobs.). Slow. Painful. But damn it! Tara—were she still alive to see it—would wonder why she couldn’t be up there, up on that sacrifice slab, the perfect female specimen for a camera to pan across. Or…well…why couldn’t she be some ordinary girl back in town, a boring bank teller who is unaware of the violent world of Demonwarp? Why this life, attractive enough to slip off her clothes and reveal her figure in a bikini and to die first and to die horribly, but never really worth more than that? Head forgotten in the leaves.