by Mark Teague
Olivia Norquay, founder and host of Bikini Drive-in, takes half an hour every week to get to the bottom of what is really happening in our favorite horror and science fiction movies. She uses the framework of intersectional feminism to unpack the details of these films and provide insight into their impact. By deftly applying elements of screen and media studies, art criticism, and women and gender studies, Olivia brings to light the cinematic and theoretical weight of the horror and sci-fi genres.
Stylus : First and Foremost: What is Bikini Drive-In?
Olivia Norquay: Bikini Drive-In analyzes horror and science fiction films through an intersectional feminist lens, while combining elements of screen and media studies, arts criticism, and women and gender studies. Using horror and science fiction genres as a site of discourse, the show hopefully provides listeners with access points to feminist theory, art history, and film critique. While horror perpetuates certain tropes and stereotypes, it should still be considered an important platform worthy of discussion.
Stylus : What is Intersectional Feminist Theory?
ON: Intersectionality examines how interlocking systems of power affect marginalized groups. Examining the white/cis/male dominated genres, Bikini Drive-In aims to explore how gender, race, identity, and class are represented and underrepresented in horror and science fiction films.
Stylus: Which passion came first: theory or film?
ON: Film! My favourite movie is Scream. I’ve always been a horror fan and I think so-called low brow genre films have cultural value. I’ve taken a few cultural theory and screen studies classes at the University of Winnipeg, but nothing that specifically focused on horror studies. So I thought I would study genre film on my own once a week. Kier-La Janisse’s book, House of Psychotic Women is a huge inspiration to me and is basically my reason for doing the show.
Stylus: How did you get into radio?
ON: I was first introduced to the station by friend and former The Tonic host, Melody Titus. I’ve been hosting The Tonic with Mike Furnish and Sam Doucet for several years.
Stylus: How do you choose which films to focus on?
ON: When my friend Jill Groening and I were hosting together, I think we chose films based on movies we’ve seen and were really excited to talk about. Our movie tastes really vary – she likes devastating nihilistic films like Possession and I like goofy coming-of-age horror like Ginger Snaps. Since Jill has moved and we don’t get to host together as often, I’ve been inviting guests such as Talia Steele, Sara Atnikov and Gwen Trutnau to the show. Having guests is great because I get to examine films that I haven’t seen before the show, like Nightbreed and House of 1000 Corpses. Last year, I was invited to host a panel discussion and live show at Winnipeg Cinematheque during their Aurora Gorealis Canadian horror festival so I was able to discuss such classics as Dead Ringers and My Bloody Valentine.
Stylus: What inspired the name Bikini Drive-In?
ON: The name Bikini Drive-In is the title of a schlocky movie from 1995. Have you seen the “I wish you were her” postcard from The Simpsons? I wanted that same energy.
Stylus: What is your audience like?
ON: I think the show’s audience consists of CKUW listeners and horror fans. The response has been really positive and I’m so glad people like the show.
Stylus: Who would be your dream guests?
ON: I’m a big fan of the horror podcasts “The Faculty of Horror” hosted by Alexandra West and Andrea Subissati, and “The Gaylords of Darkness” hosted by Stacie Ponder and Anthony Hudson, so I would love to have the hosts on the show. Or Katharine Isabelle from “Ginger Snaps” because I’m obsessed.
Stylus: What has been your favorite show to date and why?
ON: My favourite shows are the Scream episode because it’s the greatest movie of all time and the Martyrs episode because it’s such a beautiful, emotional and nihilistic film.
Stylus: I know your show is spoken word but, personally, what are you listening to right now?
ON: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of The Ramones and Beat Happening.
Join Olivia for Theory and Horror on Bikini Drive in – CKUW 95.9 Sunday 4:30 – 5:00pm