Freakshow already appears to be chock-full of references to film, pop culture, history, and lore…just one episode in~
Would anyone be interested in a resurrection of the AHS Refs blog?
Ah! Thank you! As you can see, it’s been abandoned for a bit. But I will resume once the new season starts. ^^
There is one! :)
Rick Genest (Zombie Boy)
While Tate imagines himself walking down the hallways of Westerfield High, preparing for his “noble war,” he appears with a detailed skull painted across his face.
This look closely resembles the face and body tattoos of “Zombie Boy” Rick Genest. Genest is a male model best known for having over $7,000 worth of tattoos etched across most of his body, giving him the appearance of a living zombie. After working in a Canadian circus side show act, Genest gained fame walking the runway at Thierry Mugler’s Fall/Winter 2011 show and appearing in Lady Gaga’s Born This Way video.
Genest cites his love of horror movies and “the art of a rotting cadaver” as influences on his choice of ink. But what was the catalyst for his extreme appearance change?
“Before, I hated pretty much everything and everybody. I just wanted to pass out in the gutter and swear at cars as they went by, shit like that. I wasn’t a happy person at all.
That’s why I got the skull tattooed on my face in the first place, I suppose – I wanted to fucking kill everybody.
"The Yellow Wallpaper"
S01E08 Rubber Man
Episode 8 of AHS was all about the literary references, with Moira filling in as your Feminist Literature 101 professor. She sums up the premise of Charlotte Perkins Gliman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” nicely in her talk with Vivien:
Haven’t you read “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilmore? Her husband—a doctor—locks her away in the upstairs bedroom to recuperate from a slight hysterical tendency. Staring at the yellow wallpaper day after day, she begins to hallucinate that there are women trapped in the pattern. Half mad she scrapes off the wallpaper to set the women free. When her husband finally unlocks the door, he finds her circling the room, touching the wallpaper, whispering “I finally got out of here.” Since the beginning of time, men find excuses to lock women away. They make up diseases, like hysteria. Do you know where that word comes from? The Greek word for “uterus.”
In addition, “The Yellow Wallpaper” opens with the narrator and her husband moving in to a new and strange house. She suspects something is wrong with the property, as it was obtained cheaply and left abandoned for some time. It is also of note that the narrator has recently had a child and is locked, alone, in an old nursery to recover. And she really, really hates the wallpaper.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" was written as an exaggerated account of author Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s experiences with depression and "melancholia." After seeking medical help, Gilman was prescribed a "rest cure" by her physician, renown specialist Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell. She was only allowed two hours of "intellectual life" per day and was instructed to "never touch pen, brush, or pencil again." Gilman followed the doctor’s directions for months before finding herself at "the borderline of utter mental ruin." She eventually threw aside Dr. Mitchell’s advice, returned to working, and started to recover. She wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper" as a warning to doctors and patients alike, and in the process created a staple of feminist literature.
To read the short story in full (do it!), click here.
And click here to read Gilman’s “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper.”
[On a side note: I’m surprised Ben didn’t claim he was screwing the hysteria out of Hayden. He was merely being a good therapist!]
Twisted Nerve/Kill Bill
S01E01 Pilot / S01E05 Halloween pt. 2
As submitted by Anonymous:
I’ve always noticed multiple references throughout the show as well. One thing that stood out to me was the song Tate was whistling. It was originally used in the 1968 film “Twisted Nerve” (as well as Kill Bill). In the film, the main character Martin has a younger mentally challenged brother, his father passes away, his mother finds a new husband, and he likes this girl and kills anyone who gets in his way. I definitely think Tate’s character was modeled after Martin.
As mentioned above, the Twisted Nerve theme (by previously established AHS favorite, Bernard Herrmann) was also featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The song scores a scene in which Elle Driver calmly walks down a hospital hallway, staring straight forward, preparing to kill an unsuspecting (and unconscious) Bride. While she doesn’t like The Bride, Elle remarks that her death is one born of respect.
This is mirrored by Tate’s walk down Westfield High’s halls before he starts shooting classmates. Both scenes also involve characters who wear a sort of costume (Tate’s skeleton makeup and Elle’s nurse uniform) to complete their task.
As Kill Bill was released many years after Tate’s death, this part of the reference is obviously from the writers’ behalf, not from the character himself.
Extra thanks to dontopentildoomsday for also submitting!
Gorgeous page! Publishing since I can’t follow with this blog.
Little Lord Fauntleroy
S1E08 Rubber Man
Before siccing him on Vivien, Hayden calls Tate “Little Lord Fauntleroy.”
Little Lord Fauntleroy was a children’s novel, published in 1886 by Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden, A Little Princess), about a young American boy who learns he is heir to an English estate. His grandfather, the Earl, attempts to transform the polite boy into a true aristocrat. The novel is perhaps best known for it’s influence on American fashion, with the “Fauntleroy suit” (velvet coat and pants with a large ruffled collar) becoming popular for young boys around the time of publication.
However, Hayden doesn’t seem to be referring to the novel’s plot or fashion when calling out Tate.
A “Little Lord Fauntleroy" is also a derogative slang term for a feminine boy, or a man that displays homosexual tendencies.
Hayden McClaine: One classy lady.
[Part One in the Hayden Thinks She’s a Lit Major series. See also: References to Tate’s Sexuality]
I have a big list of references that I’m slowly chipping away at. I have received several suggestions for posts that I will get to as well. If you suggest a reference I am already working on, I will still give you a shout-out in the post to show my appreciation. If you suggest a ref I haven’t listed yet, I will create a graphic and quote your submission (with credit, of course).
So, all this is to say that I appreciate each and every suggestion, even if it’s something I’m already working on. So keep them coming!
And a huge thank you to all of the awesome people who’ve followed, promoted, liked, and reblogged AHSRefs. It means so much. :D